Transforming a ZX Spectrum +2A Into the PIERCy-1 Using a Raspberry Pi

The PIERCy-1 is a cyberdeck of sorts outfitted with a Pi 4, touchscreen display, power booster/charger module, and a 3.7V LiPo battery.

Cabe Atwell
3 months agoGaming / RetroTech

Sinclair's original ZX Spectrum as an 8-bit personal home computer that hit the UK market back in 1982 and competed against the Commodore 64 here in the US. Both were (or still are) great home PCs back in the day, and still have a loyal base that uses the systems, or have designed clones that emulate the machines. Sinclair evolved the Spectrum over its lifetime, with each iteration adding new functionality, such as adding a faster processor with increased ram.

When the ZX Spectrum +2A came onto the scene in 1986, the PC incorporated spring-loaded keys, dual joystick ports, and a built-in tape recorder (or tape drive) dubbed the "Datacorder." Maker and electronics tinkerer Raphael decided to use his non-functioning ZX Spectrum +2A computer to create a sort of cyberdeck (portable PC) using a Raspberry Pi 4. His PIERCy-1 (Portable Interactive Engagement/Research Cyberdeck) was named after prominent cyberpunk author Marge Piercy, who wrote Woman on the Edge of Time and He, She, and It, which won the Arthur C. Clarke award in 1993.

Raphael's PIERCy-1 cyberdeck is a build still in progress, and beyond the Raspberry Pi 4, the platform is equipped with a 3.7V 8800mAh LiPo battery, MP2636 power booster and charger module, USB power switch, toggle switch, and an HDMI port. It also packs an Ethernet port, a 4.3" touchscreen display, and a "special chip" that translates the keyboard into USB (?).

Raphael notes that his next endeavor is to fit a custom macro pad and speaker where the tape deck keys were removed. Those who would like to follow Raphael's progress with the PIERCy-1 can do so here.

Related articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles