The Chroma 80 interface is a multi-purpose peripheral for the ZX80. Its primary function is to allow the ZX80 to be connected to a TV via a SCART socket to produce an RGB picture that is sharp and bright. It is very similar in concept to the Chroma 81 interface for the ZX81.
The Chroma 80 interface plugs into the expansion port of the ZX80 and connects to the TV using a standard SCART cable. There is no need to make modifications to the ZX80 since the Chroma 80 interface only requires access to those signals available on the expansion bus.
An exciting additional feature of the Chroma 80 interface is its ability to add colour to the ZX80 display. Two colour modes are provided, each supporting up to 15 colours. One mode provides an attributes file similar in concept to that found on the Spectrum. Use of this attributes file requires dedicated software to control it. The other mode provides a colour look up table that maps specific colours for each of the 128 different characters (64 normal and 64 inverse) that the ZX80 can display. This mode allows existing games to be colourised!
The Chroma 80 interface also provides the following facilities:
- 16K RAM pack.
- Additional 16K RAM, used for the enhanced facilities or for data storage.
- ZX Interface 2 style ROM cartridge socket, allowing instant loading of ZX80 programs.
- Attribute colour mode (15 ink and 15 paper colours per character position).
- Character code colour mode (15 ink and 15 paper colours per line of each normal and inverse character).
- Inverse video mode providing a white on black picture.
- RS232 socket, allowing connection to a variety of serial devices such as a printer or a PC.
- Joystick socket, with support for auto-fire joysticks.
- SAVE sound output through the SCART socket to the TV speaker(s).
- WRX hi-res graphics support for the onboard 16K RAM.
- CHR$128 user defined graphics support for the onboard additional 16K RAM.
- Supports the official Sinclair 8K ROM upgrade.
- Supports the SLOW mode board made by Compshop Ltd.
- Reset button.
- Rear full width gold plated expansion bus.
- A set of configuration switches to allow the new facilities to be enabled / disabled, ensuring full I/O compatibility with all existing hardware.
The Chroma 80 interface measures 10cm by 10.9cm. The key items of the interface are shown labelled in the following photograph:
A plastic case is available for the Chroma 80 interface, as shown in the following photograph:
The Chroma 80 interface was released on 16th December 2023.