Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2020 about hardware







Would you care for a drink with your Amstrad CPC 6128 ?

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Started since 1971 computer science was being introducted in french schools (6 years to 18 years). In 1985 the plan Informatique pour tous was bringing Thomson MO5 and TO7/70 computers linked in a network controlled by a PC with two 5,25 inc disk drives (later with a hard disk). What most of people like me didnt know, there was a definitive plus for technology classes : Youpi is a robotic arm with 5 liberty degrees made by JD Productique. It is controlled through the parralel port with a basic program and assembler routines on a Thomson MO5. You will find below two french interesting links :

Youyoudid was able to get a Youpi which he wanted since his young age. He wrote about it on CPCRulez. In a frist video he is controlling the arm in basic, but the movement is slow so he wanted to accelarate it with a basic compiler :

But finally thanks to the Turbo-Pascal compiler (CP/M) he is able to give a new youth to the robotic arm to let it serve a drink from a plastic bottle.







A VGA adaptator for Amstrad CPC by Edu Arana, and more !

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ATTENTION, you need a VGA monitor which supports 15 khz !

On a saturday morning when you start the day seing an Operation Wolf remake, you can feel that the day will be a good one.

And then comes a VGA adaptator for Amstrad CPC by Edu Arana and from the same person a card to let use Amiga joysticks and a TZXDuino included.

Will I found more goodies today (send me some sun rays, lacking in this respect) ?



Building the Aleste 520EX, a russian clone of the Amstrad CPC/MSX

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The Aleste 520EX is a russian clone of the Amstrad CPC and the MSX. It works not with AMSDOS but with the MSX DOS (see this russian site in english). There was already a thread about the Aleste 520EX on CPCWiki, but this time Sebastian Blanco is talking about the Aleste kit he just bought. Finally he isnt the only one in the Amstrad CPC community to have one. If you are interesting it's seems to possible to buy one kit by writing to tetroid at inbox ru like Sebastian did.

You can see a youtube video of an Aleste 520EX running the Phortem demo by Condense (and MSX games at the start of the video).

A modified version of Caprice32 permits to emulate at least in part the Aleste 520EX.




Repairing and Servicing a 3" Floppy Disk Drive by Noel Llopis

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If you are interested by the hardware of the Amstrad CPC (and GX4000), you should go read Noel Llopis's Twitter.

His Youtube channel Noel's Retro Lab has at the moment a video about repairing and servicing a 3 inch floppy disk drive.




An Amstrad PPC 640 with a LCD color screen and a Gotek

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I did just buy an Amstrad PPC 640 (sold starting 1988) on french site le bon coin. It's a PC weighing 6 Kg, with a green monochrome screen, a real standard keyboard, 640 Kb (no EMS/XMS), a NEC V30 (8 Mhz) replacing the 8086 found in PC 1512 or 1640, two 3,5 disk drives, a 2400 bps modem (v22bis, v23), printer and serial ports, a standard MDA/CGA/EGA video port, a port to connect a PC 1512 or 1640 screen and two extension ports. It runs msdos 3.3

Amstrad PPC 640 closed, up view Amstrad PPC 640 opened, up view Amstrad PPC 640 right side, with the handle

And tonight I am reading on CPCWiki (link below) a quite nice information linking to Hackaday about a modded Amstrad PPC 640 by Retrohax.

He changed one of the two 3,5 inch disk drive with a gotek, but he especially replaced the green monochrome LCD screen with a color screen (coming from a television set) using the MCA2EVGA available on Serdashop. The MCA2EVGA isnt visible as it is now in the room where you could put 1O C size batteries to run the computer (about 1 hour of autonomy).

But even without changing the screen, the MCA2EVGA can be used to connect a VGA screen with the video port at the back of the PPC 640. Doing this you wont need to look for an Amstrad PC 1512 or an Amstrad PC 1640 whose screen can be connected to the PPC 640 for the video (dont forget to change the switches at the left of the PPC) and bring him electricity at the same time, avoiding using its own alimentation.




Collapse OS, a new future OS for Amstrad CPC ?

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Collapse OS is a z80 kernel and a collection of programs, tools and documentation that allows you to assemble an OS that can (available on Github) :

  • Run on minimal and improvised machines
  • Interface through improvised means (serial, keyboard, display)
  • Edit text files
  • Compile assembler source files for a wide range of MCUs and CPUs
  • Read and write from a wide range of storage devices
  • Replicate itself

Additionally, the goal of this project is to be as self-contained as possible. With a copy of this project, a capable and creative person should be able to manage to build and install Collapse OS without external resources (i.e. internet) on a machine of her design, built from scavenged parts with low-tech tools.

His author has been contacted, he seems interesting in porting it on Amstrad CPC. It already works on RC2014 and the Sega Mega Drive.



Imperium Solo firmware v1.0.8 by Duke, an adaptator to connect an USB joystick or mouse

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The firmware v1.0.8 of the Imperium Solo by Duke is available. It's an adaptator to use USB joysticks (PS4, Xbox One...) on a standard joystick port of an Amstrad CPC (and later ZX Spectrum, C64, Amiga and Atari ST).

  • Fix issue with XBOX One S controller - crash when using analog sticks
  • Added support for Retro-bit Sega Gensis (mini) Arcade Pad
  • Added support for Nintendo Switch Pro Controller


uRTC-8 universal RTC for the PCW and other Z-80 computers by Jon Bradbury and uIDE-16(8)

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The uRTC-8 universal RTC by Jon Bradbury is a Real Time Clock interface for Amstrad PCW (or others Z80 computers). It only costs 37 pounds fully assembled (add shipping costs).

This interface cant be used on an Amstrad CPC : I/O are using 16 bits addresses instead of 8.

Jon is also the author of another interface still for Amstrad CPC and PCW : UIDE Universal IDE adapter cards for Z-80 computers which let you connect either a CompactFlash card or a Disk on Module (DOM). It exists in 2 models : uIDE-16 (for Amstrad CPC, but can also work with a 8 bit addressing on others Z80 computers) and uIDE-8 for Amstrad PCW (but can't work on Amstrad CPC).




ACPCPE - an Amstrad CPC printer emulator DIY by Elanstra

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ACPCPE is an Amstrad CPC printer emulator by Elanstra using an Arduino. You put it on the Amstrad CPC printer port, then connect the Arduino to an USB port of a PC where Python code is getting the printing job. Someone suggested to use a SD card to use the interface auntonomously.




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