Sharp MZ-700 Upgrades

The Sharp MZ-700, an evolution of the Sharp MZ-80A, which provided a faster processor, more memory, colour video and many more expansion options such as a builtin colour plotter printer. It was clearly aimed at the personal computing market with the removal of the numeric pad, TV output, joystick ports and its pricing made it more competetive, being less than half that of the original MZ-80A many more units were sold and this probably makes it the most abundant Sharp MZ series computer still available.

Looking at e-bay and comparative sites such as Gumtree, the Sharp MZ-700 is much more readily available, inexpensive and easy to obtain and an ideal candidate to revisit the Sharp MZ computer era and also an ideal candidate for upgrades.

This section of my projects portfolio is dedicated to upgrades I've designed and made for the Sharp MZ-700. They correct the original limitation of a 40 character display and add additional features and horsepower such as a 24MHz Z80 with 512K RAM, bit-mapped graphics, 64K CP/M and BASIC etc. The upgrades come as both hardware and software.

The projects werent developed for commercial purposes, more a learning and refresher course of my past skills and this being my second Sharp, the MZ-80A being the first, I continued to make the upgrades I always wanted at the time!

All the projects follow a simple rule, 'No permanent physical changes' - from my perspective, antiques shouldnt be destroyed and any changes should be reversible to restore the machine to original factory state. In saying that, enhancements to make the computer more useable are always welcome, hence these projects, enhancements without consequence.

The following diagram outlines the upgrade path available for the Sharp MZ-700.

Upgrade Road Map

At the time of writing, the MZ-700 developments are evolutions of existing Sharp MZ-80A upgrades, bringing together tried and tested designs, albeit in a much more demanding environment in terms of power, size and heat dissipation.

Unlike the Sharp MZ-80A upgrades, these projects use newer hardware technologies due to space restrictions within the machine. In terms of software, I still use a good mix of technologies such as Assembler (Z80, ARM), C/C++ and VHDL programming languages.

Please see the relevant section in the index on the left for board details and the above map on which boards can be combined together. At the time of writing, only 1 board is available, the tranZPUter SW 700, but this will increase over time.

Board Availability

I realise that many people still owning or wanting to own an MZ-700 dont have the resources to build these projects or go to the trouble of ordering up the PCB's and parts. They are also niche developments and thus no commercial reason to manufacture. If any of the boards interest you, either PCB's, components, part or fully assembled, please get in contact

Given the greater popularity of the MZ-700, if there is enough interest I will enquire on getting a small run of a board manufactured otherwise I will endeavour to provide on a cost price only basis (no labour or profit) depending on my available time (unfortunately I still have to work :( !!).

Credits

Where I have used or based any component on a 3rd parties design I have included the original authors copyright notice within the headers or given due credit. All 3rd party software, to my knowledge and research, is open source and freely useable, if there is found to be any component with licensing restrictions, it will be removed from this repository and a suitable link/config provided.

Licenses

This design, hardware and software, is licensed under the GNU Public Licence v3.

The Gnu Public License v3

The source and binary files in this project marked as GPL v3 are free software: you can redistribute it and-or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

The source files are distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.