Vanessa (Vanessaira)

ZX Spectrum Component Video

c0pperdragon the designer of the component mod for the Commodore 64 (C64) now has a sister project designed for the ZX (Zed EX) Spectrum family of British micro computers.  This mod will replace and take the space of the existing RF Modulator port socket without having to make any cuts to the computer’s case.  Utilizing an Altera based FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) chip, the addon module listens to the various digital signals generated by the array of onboard chips.  Thus interpreting the video image into three digital to analog channels and powering those lines at 3.3 volts.  Outputting these channels into the three individual signals for YPbPr (component) video.

This video mod solution gives users the video output capabilities ranging from the standard 288p, or 576p utilizing the onboard jumper configuration in this project for component or RGsB.  The developer also wanted this solution to be relatively cheap and as non invasive as possible, but did mention some drawbacks.

Due to the module addon removing the existing RF modulator, the composite capabilities from older video mod solutions would not be possible unless further modifications and wiring is done.  Another note from c0pperdragon is that the FPGA’s video signal can only run at 3.3 volts, but the signal coming from the main board is operating at 5 volts.  Thus facilitating the need for voltage regulators and level shifters to run this projects signals safely.

More detailed project information as well as installation details can be found on c0pperdragon’s GitHub page.  The projects creator does not anticipate a ton of demand for a product like this but is imaging the estimated price to be around 50€.  If you have a ZX Spectrum and would like to enhance its video signal past RF.  Then be sure to check out this project.


c0pperdragon’s GitHub  |