Friday, 4 September 2015

Procuring a Keyboard that Looks the Part

Any self respecting quasi ZX81 recreation needs a proper ZX81 keyboard, and by proper we mean totally crap by any modern (or even period) idea of what a keyboard should be like. In short the ZX81 uses a 40-key membrane keyboard completely lacking in any tactile feel, it's almost as bad as an iPone (with haptic feedback turned off). Luckily ZX81 replacement keyboard membranes are in high enough demand that you can procure brand new ones.

The ZX8-KDLX replacement Keyboard for a ZX81 by PokeMon
Sell My Retro has your back for keyboards, there are a couple of choices, a classic membrane version sold by RWAP Software, and the model I ended up going for the ZX8-KDLX sold by PokeMon. The ZX8-KDLX has 40 SMD tactile switches (yah tactile) mounted under a top cover. Basically you get all the look of a ZX81 keyboard with a little extra feel.

All up the ZX8-KDLX is a pretty nifty little keyboard, if your after a more bouncy approach to typing on some period hardware without loosing the look, then I'd highly recommend this bit of kit. For bonus points it'll suit my own project perfectly.