Sunday, July 24, 2016

Notes on The Recreated ZX Spectrum bluetooth Keyboard


Sadly the tablet and web app have been taken off-line but I knew this before I bought it … It would be wonderful for it to be properly supported under emulators in the game mode. This post list some basic stuff I’ve found out about the keyboard.

Generally Spectrum emulators do work OK with QWERTY mode (Layer B) once unlocked, but really requires support for Game Mode (Layer A).


Unlocking QWERTY mode will be a problem for this keyboard without the App but there is an easy way to run the Javascript to fix this stupid locked mode [7].

Keyboard Modes

The Full User Guide has some information about the two modes - game and QWERTY  [4] - but not enough to really code for it. (But see [6] - although I wonder if it’s accurate - see below).

ZXSP does work with QWERTY mode, but because the two shift keys are overloaded in QWERTY mode, I don’t think this is going to be ideal for Spectrum games. Additionally SYMBOL-SHIFT Q, W, E generate two keys (most of the time) rather than SYMBOL-W key-combos - obviously.

The game mode is interesting - and uses a unique printable character for each of the keys. I guess this is so that it can interact with the web app (and tablet apps) very easily.

The keyboard mapping is pretty simple:

Key    Push+Release
1    ab
2    cd
3    ef
4    gh
5    ij
6    kl
7    mn
8    op
9    qr
0    st
Q    uv
W    wx
E    yz
R    AB
T    CD
Y    EF
U    GH
I    IJ
O    KL
P    MN
A    OP
S    QR
D    ST
F    UV
G    WX
H    YZ
J    01
K    23
L    45
ENTER    67
Z    <>
X    -=
C    []
V    ;:
B    ,.
N    /?
M    {}            See note [6]
SYMBOL SHIFT    !$        See Note [6]
BREAK SPACE        %^

So when key 1 is pressed, we get an ‘a’ and when released we get a ‘b’.


[1] Main link:

[2] Main support link:

[3] Quick Start:

[4] Full User Guide:

[5] QWERTY Keyboard shortcuts:

[6] There appears to be some conflict here - it might be related to which keyboard you have the Spectrum keyboard selected as - this technical document seems to cover this this … but I didn’t get any difference if I selected ISO or ANSI in my keyboard settings on my Mac

[7] set to Layer A. Then open Web browser and go to: In the search box go to The code to unlock it is relatively trivial.


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