Tynemouth Minstrel 2


  • Zilog Z80 CPU
  • 16k RAM
  • ZX80 compatible kit
  • Original 4k ZX80 BASIC
  • Upgraded 8k ZX81 BASIC
  • Fits in ZX81 case
  • Optional tactile keyboard


This is the full kit to build a Tynemouth Minstrel Issue 2 computer, you just need to supply a case and optionally a keyboard.

The Minstrel 2 is a Z80 based 8 bit computer which is a clone of the original ZX80. It sticks to the original design, the only changes being 16K of RAM and a composite video output with a backporch signal that was missing on the ZX80 and early ZX81s. It can run the original ZX80 4K BASIC or the later upgrade 8K BASIC.

Note it follows the ZX80 design, so although it can run ZX81 software with the 8K BASIC, it lacks the fast/slow mode of the ZX81 so cannot run any ZX81 software which requires this (including most games). If you want full ZX81 compatibility, see the Minstrel 3.

The PCB is the same form factor as the ZX81, so can fit in an original ZX81 case and use the original (or a modern replacement) membrane. (note the video out connector is in a different place on the TS1000, so those cases are not suitable without modification) You can also built it as a standalone computer with a membrane stuck to a perspex baseplate or with the optional Minstrel tactile switch keyboard.

This listing is for the full kit of parts to build the Tynemouth Minstrel 2. This kit includes the PCB, IC pack, component pack and printed instructions.

An optional keyboard pack is available which includes two cover plates with the 4K or 8K keywords printed on and mounting hardware.

This is the updated V2.9 PCB with improved video circuitry, in green. This version can be fitted with either a 7805 switching regulator or a 7805 + heatsink (switching regulator and 7805 included, but no heatsink). See photos for examples.


More information

Build instructions

Additional information

Include Keyboard?

Yes please, No thanks