ZX Printer

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The ZX Printer prints on a roll of special metallised paper; it has a stylus which passes an electric current through the paper and blackens the surface.

It is compatible with both the ZX Spectrum and ZX81.

It responds on any port with A2 set low.

  Bit
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Read Paper start latch 0 1 1 1 1 1 Next pixel latch
Write Stylus power Motor Power Motor speed
  • Paper start latch: raised when the stylus reaches the start of the paper, or when stylus power is turned on.
  • Next pixel latch: raised when the stylus reaches the next pixel (approximately every 250 T-states when motor fast)
  • Stylus power: 0=off, 1=on
  • Motor power: 0=run, 1=stop
  • Motor speed: 0=fast, 1=slow (no effect if motor stopped)

Any I/O write to the printer also resets the latched signals.

BASIC commands

  • COPY (Z) will print the current screen (pixel data only; the state of attributes is ignored, so you might get some bits of your picture inverted).
  • LPRINT (Extend-C) acts like PRINT but sends output to the printer.
  • LLIST (Extend-V) acts like LIST.

Alphacom 32

The Alphacom 32 is compatible with software for the ZX Printer, but uses thermal paper instead of the ZX Printer's metallised paper.

External links