Sharp X1 Upgrades

The Sharp X1 Turbo is quite a bit more advanced than the Sharp MZ series (excluding the MZ-2500) and its video functionality etc doesnt really need a boost so wouldnt benefit from the Video module upgrades other than to output true RGB given it uses non-standard 15/24KHz display frequencies.

It most certainly could benefit from the tranZPUter SW v2.2 upgrade to add rapid file load/save to SD card, additional memory and CPU performance.

I thus took to evaluating wether the tranZPUter SW v2.2 board could be fitted and made to work. The following picture shows the main motherboard with an I/O daughter board sat on top providing audio, floppy interface functionality. I'm guessing this additional daughter board was necessary as the logic required for the X1 wouldnt fit on the main board!

X1 Turbo II X1 Turbo II

The Z80 CPU is socketed and sat just below the daughter board. The tranZPUter SW v2.2 would need to be partly sandwiched between the mainboard and the daughter board and as can be seen, it should fit except for the I/O expansion connector which juts out a few mm into the tranZPUter board.

X1 Turbo II

I have similar issues with the tranZPUter SW v2.2 board and the Sharp MZ-800 (board fits but SD card/USB connector not accessible), Sharp MZ-80B (Z80 is mounted in the opposite direction and the SD card/USB connector are not accessible) so a new board needs to be designed, using the same circuit just re-organisation of the PCB.

After evaluating wether the tranZPUter SW v2.2 board would fit, I then set to evaluating it electrically and was pleased (after disabling the K64F startup load as it's firmware only detects MZ-80/700/800 hardware at the moment) that I could connect to the embedded zOS and probe the X1 hardware.

In order to get the tranZPUter SW board working with the Sharp X1 it is just a matter of a new PCB and the firmware adapting to detect and interact with the X1 IPL monitor. WIP!


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