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The ZX Spectrum reborn: a new machine, fully compatible with the original computer, and packed with improvements and expansions.
The ZX Spectrum reborn: a new machine, fully compatible with the original computer, and packed with improvements and expansions.
3,113 backers pledged £723,390 to help bring this project to life.

The keyboard is a ‘GO’

Posted by Henrique Olifiers (Creator)
130 likes

It was a perfect fit, really. In our last update we had a sneak peak of the keyboard via a photo taken at the factory, right before it was shipped over to the team. Now we have tested it for the case fitting, and the happy news is that it just slides into the case as it was meant to.

Phil had the chance to put his clinic eye to the task, and the keyboard’s details through its paces, with just four tiny adjustments needed:

  • The Enter key felt heavier to press than the other keys;
  • Four keys missed the tweak to remove a tiny injection bulge;
  • The connector ribbons had to be extended a bit and;
  • The screws inserts should be 3mm rather than 2.5mm

These changes are small. So small, in fact, we have given the ‘go-ahead’ for mass production, which will start any time now, in parallel to the injection moulding of the case.

We’ve also made the decision to ship the keyboards to the case manufacturer, who will assemble the two together and then ship them over to Nottingham as a single unit, making it simpler at the final assembly stage -- and saving some carbon footprint by not shipping two things halfway across the globe to the UK.

What happens now is the keyboard manufacturer starting the production line and shipping us half a dozen or so keyboards out of it, as the first one we got was manually crafted and assembled. This is particularly important as the keyboard membranes we currently have are hand-built, meaning they have alignment issues that are to be eliminated during the automated manufacturing.

Long story short, this all means that now we’re ready to produce the keyboard, case and ship them over to get the Next assembled and sent to the backers.

So, without further ado, let’s indulge on a slew of Spectrum Next photographs courtesy of Phil Candy from Dickinson Associates. As a note, the case Phil has was a tampo print test, meaning that the ‘ZX Spectrum Next’ red colour is gone. Don’t panic, this is an old issue we solved a while ago. ;)

And there was a time Kickstarter didn't allow us to upload 3D renderings of the Next in the offchance the final product didn't look as good...
And there was a time Kickstarter didn't allow us to upload 3D renderings of the Next in the offchance the final product didn't look as good...

Case and keyboard made for each other
Case and keyboard made for each other

Want a close-up? Here's a close-up.
Want a close-up? Here's a close-up.

They weren't kidding when dubbing it 'Piano Finish'
They weren't kidding when dubbing it 'Piano Finish'

And another close look at those textures...
And another close look at those textures...
So special to see it in the flesh at last. Long road, but we hope it has been worth it!
So special to see it in the flesh at last. Long road, but we hope it has been worth it!

All the Spectrum Next games in one place

Mike Cadwallader has created a portal tracking the Next games (and just started on applications) so we can now head to a single destination to check out everything that’s available to play or under development at the moment. Make sure to check it out, and do let Mike know of any missing game of project in order to make the site an all-inclusive directory of what’s brewing on the Next.

http://www.spectrumnextgames.uk/

http://www.spectrumnextgames.uk/
http://www.spectrumnextgames.uk/

More cool stuff for the Next

dNext

David Saphier shared his video of dNext, a graphics editor for the Next featuring palette cycling. It’s a neat art package super useful for special cycle FXs for great memory-saving animations. Check out his video of dNext in action, also featuring mouse support, something not everyone has tried or seen on the Next quite yet.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Lunark

Hot from its successful Kickstarter, Lunark seems like it will make its way to the Next thanks to the folks at Thalamus, who secured the rights from Canari Games. It’s a lovely platformer reminiscent of Eric Chahi’s Flashback, it will be awesome to see it in the Next. Which reminds me... We got to ship some dev boards to the folks at Thalamus!

Dweebs Drops

Software Amusements continues to lead the way with another wonderful game you can get right now, and in physical form too: Dweebs Drops is a lovely match-three title that will look good in anyone’s Next collection.

Image tools

Alex Evans has updated his github repository, which now features dozens of image tools for several of the Next video modes, all with source code available. Check it out:

https://github.com/varmfskii/zxnext_tools

Next steps

Get the keyboard and case mass-manufactured and shipped to the UK. We hope to share some assembly line pictures and loads of boxes being hauled from A to B shortly...

Simon Dick, Kevin Simmons, and 128 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Alabug on

      Hey guys. Eric Chahi didn't work on Flashback, He made Another World/Out of This World. Flashback was designed by Paul Cuisset and developed by Delphine Software International. The two of them did work together on Future Wars, released in '89.

      It's nice to read about the keyboard. I have been wondering about my Next purchase. I can't wait to learn what it can do!

    2. Henrique Olifiers Creator on

      @Simon We'll be using the same one from last time, Swedish Post. We had a 100% delivery for the boards, so feel pretty confident they will do a good job. ;)

    3. Miki
      Superbacker
      on

      Holy cow.

      Amazing. Great job!

    4. Missing avatar

      Russell Glover on

      Here’s to Martin F*** Knuckle! 🍻

    5. Marc M. Kloosterman on

      @Iestyn Davies
      You only would need to pledge £1 to be able to write a comment here–me being the living proof! Yes, I pledged only £1, but after this Kickstarter ended I got remorse and bought a Next from their webshop. In fact, I got the very last one available 😄

    6. Iestyn Davies on

      Dear Martin,

      Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on being the winner of the ‘Golden Bell-End of the Year’ award for two years in a row, that’s a hell of an achievement.

      Secondly, aren’t we all fanboys? Why on earth would we have spent money on it if we weren’t?

      Finally, and I think most importantly, the fact that you actually spent money just to give you the opportunity to troll this Kickstarter is hysterical. Everyone, let’s all raise a glass and toast the f**k knuckle that is Martin! Huzzah!

    7. Marc M. Kloosterman on

      Very happy if course, but at the same time so sad that Rick didn't get to see the end result.
      I wonder if uncle Clive knows about this product! After all the trouble (to put it mildly) with the V+ he may not want to look at this. But this is actually a well thought out, well manufactured product! Let's hope for the best.

      (Speaking about the V+ – RCL is about to go belly up and you can become a creditor at https://clivehelpus.website/creditor )

    8. Missing avatar

      Michael Fieger on

      Good things sometimes take a little longer...
      Remember this is Kickstarter and not Amazon.

      The only thing I regret is that I also haven't ordered two of those masterpieces - I am not sure if I dare to unpack it or worse, touch it: it could get dusty :-)

    9. Philip Stephens on

      @martin: we don’t care what you think either. You need to improve your reading comprehension, since you would have a truer sense of when the Next will ship if you were to actually read the updates, not merely comment on them.

    10. M Hutton on

      Crikey!

      That's outstanding, perfection is an understatement

    11. Missing avatar

      Antonis Slicher on

      Awesome update Henrique! The Next looks great, can't wait to receive it. Thanks again to everyone involved!

    12. Missing avatar

      zyser on

      Hot D*mn, I should have pledged for two, one for the wall and one to use, it's so beautiful. Thanks to the team, and thanks to the vibrant community (you guys are creating some amazing programs on the Next) Keep it going...

    13. Missing avatar

      Keld R. Hansen on

      Just like we don't care what you think, Martin...

    14. martin Lindholm on

      nice update. But any idea of when it will be shipped? Should have been shipped A YEAR AGO... Will it be delivered this year? Or next year? or ever?
      I can understand that things sometimes take longer then expected, but over a year longer?

      Nice product, extremely poor planning

      (and to all you ignorant fanboys that will hate on this comment: don't bother, I dont care what you think)

    15. LessaWorld Company on

      Henrique & team - You guys did an amazing job!!! Just incredible!! This machine looks like a piece of art! I wish I had ordered 2 just to have one of them framed on the wall! :-)

    16. Missing avatar

      Dennis on

      I’m going to say it again, THANKS to EVERYBODY involved for all the TIME, EFFORTS and PASSION put into making this a reality!!

    17. Paul Heald on

      This looks absolutely incredible, many thanks to the team for all the hard work you’ve clearly put into this. Cannot wait to receive it, feels like Christmas 1984 all over again 😊

    18. thefunkygibbon on

      Looks amazing.
      One thing regarding the game portal site, would be nice to be able to list out the games by category rather than just alphabetically. I'd quite like to easily see which games are not just platformers ;-)

      Also Dizzy is looking good, although I see it's taking its spectrum roots a bit literally. With lots of colour clash. Is it going to be enhanced for the Next using its enhanced colour palette?

    19. DRUNKnRETRO on

      Absolutely beautiful. ❤

      I more than "like" this update, I love it!

      My thanks to you all for putting so much detail and passion into this new Speccy. I am beyond excited and this update really made my day!

      Also, great news on the new games and programs being developed along with the new games website, which was needed and looks great!

      Cheers 🍻👍

    20. Simon Sorlie-Pring on

      Hi Henrique, please could you confirm what postal service you plan to use? I'm hoping you are not planning on using yodel or Hermes as the delivery drivers just leave stuff on the doorstep and the last thing I want is for someone to decide they like the look of the parcel sat there while I'm at work.

    21. Missing avatar

      Steve Hill on

      This is pretty much the most exciting news I’ve had this week :)

    22. Rob on

      It’s really happening! Exciting

    23. Missing avatar

      John Ioannou
      Superbacker
      on

      Brilliant.
      Well done guys

      Looks like an early Spring release is on the cards.

    24. Elba Stevenson
      Superbacker
      on

      So excited

    25. Missing avatar

      RobertPS on

      The relentless attention to detail pays of. What a beauty!

    26. Neill Thompson on

      Looking fantastic! :)

    27. Richard Harrison
      Superbacker
      on

      Looks amazing!

    28. Miika Suominen on

      What can I say?

      It's beautiful!!!

    29. Steven Leicester on

      So hopefully shipping should start in the next 4-8 weeks hurrah!

    30. Paul Morrough on

      Grinning like a maniac. All starting to feel tantalisingly close now. Great effort team, well done.

    31. Paul Martin
      Superbacker
      on

      Awesome update 👍👍👍👍