The latest enclosure-less computer design from Peter "bobricius" Misenko is the Pico ZX Spectrum 128K. And as its name suggests, it emulates the 8-bit ZX Spectrum 128K using a Pico Pi with modern interfaces.
Miskeno has a knack for designing beautifully functional devices using only printed circuit boards as an enclosure. Pico ZX goes further by adding firmware from another project for full-featured emulation.
We have previously covered Miskeno's other projects, such as ARMACHAT and PICOmputer. Like these past projects, Pico ZX is a computing device based on a microcontroller board. Like the PICOmputer, Pico ZX uses the Pi Pico, which features the Raspberry Pi Foundation's RP2040 microcontroller.
The stylish keyboard has miniature push buttons with a layout that follows the original ZX Spectrum. However, if this keyboard style brings back memories of the terrible computer keyboards of the 1980s, there is good news. Fortunately, Pico ZX also supports modern USB keyboards!
Since the ZX Spectrum is probably best known for its games, there are two options for joysticks. The USB port supports modern USB gamepads, and the DB-9 connector accepts original joysticks based on either the Kempston or Sinclair standard.
For video output, the Pico ZX has a VGA port. However, the underlying code base does support other formats such as DVI and direct to a SPI-based LCD.
The reason for the flexibility is that Miskeno built Pico ZX on the pico-zxspectrum project from fruit-bat. Other features include multiple sound outputs, save states and a menu system. Pico ZX's keyboard has dedicated buttons for these additional functions.
We do not have word on if or when these PCBs will be available for sale. But we suspect if Miskeno decides to sell, they will be available through this Tindie Store. Updates to the project are expected on Pico ZX's project page. For more information about the Pi Pico emulation firmware, check out fruit-bat's GitHub repository.