ZX96 - a professional system based on the ZX81

ZX96 mainboard
ZX96-Giant memory expansion
bus driver board
AT-Keyboard IF
Memory Map
The following noticable advantages to the original ZX81 are present in the ZX96 System:

  1. contact-secure bus system (DIN 41612, 64 Pins) 
  2. a regular standard AT computer keyboard
  3. memory expansion possible when more memory is required 
  4. a modern mass storage concept (floppy disk and fixed disk) 
  5. instead of a tv a LCD screen can be used
  6. multiple I/O ports (parallel/serial)
A look inside reveils the amount of work spent on the system.

The base of the system is the ZX81 or ZX96 which is enhanced by the Giant-Expansion and the Poke Board. It is connected to the internal bus using a Driver Board. This unit allows for the connection of a ZX81 compatible matrix keyboard, a monitor and a cassette recorder.

A View of the ZX96 main module with the ZX-PCB, the Giant and Driver additions.

The first expansion is a Floppycontroller for single-sided 80 Track 3,5" Floppy Drives. (160kB capacity per floppy disk).

An AT-Keyboard can be connected to a special Interface, which also includes an additional video output as well as a tv modulator. (The modulator was originally placed on the Poke Board, but had to be removed to allow for more board space.)

All I/O ports are present on the Multi-IO Board: Centronics, RS232 and four additional ports with user programmable baudrates.

If the 144kB of memory on the Giant Board are not enough, Megabyte Board can allow for expansion up to an additional 4 megabyte of static RAM.

The LCD screen is controlled by a custom LCD-Interface, which offers additional possibilities: because there is space left on the edge areas of the display screen, these areas can be used for displaying system status information.

The Harddisk Interface can be used to control a regular IDE Fixed Disk Drive. A comfortable special DOS called MEFISDOS with a full-screen editor leaves very little to be desired...

Finally a more in-depth view of the ZX96, as in the back of the picture the Backplane Board is situated.

We have professional PCBs for all of the above extensions in a really good quality (160x100mm). Please have a look at the price list. For more parts and kits please ask!
last updated 07/01 Kai Fischer