Hardware Feature #13
Name Manufacturer Price
ZX Lprint Euroelectronics 34.50 (10.45 for cable)

ZX Lprint

The following review was taken from Your Spectrum issue 2

ZXlprt.jpg (95993 bytes)

HARDWARE
This unit was the only horizontally fitted interface on test. A single PCB is sandwitched inside a small, standard 'plotting' box; the result is not particularly attractive. A detachable ribbon cable, just over one metre in length plugs on to the rear of the unit and although no key is provided at the unit end, it would be difficult to plug it in the wrong way around. On the review sample, the plastic frame of the PCB-mounted header had been cracked but no problems resulted. Interestingly, this interface does the COPY processing internally - a ROM contains suitable software for the printer chosen. Of the six remaining IC's, two had had their idents removed and as they all appeared to be common devices, the reason may be that they are rejects - which could bode ill for long-term reliability.

MANUAL
It seems almost churlish to call a single side of A5 paper a manual ! However, further information is provided 'on-screen' once the software is loaded. Interestingly, there is no mention of LLIST anywhere, yet it works !

SOFTWARE
The driver consists of a short (109byte) routine that forces itself to the top of memory and then resets RAMTOP. All the rest of the processing is carried out by the ROM in the interface. To prove that it really works, the tape includes a demo picture to dump - one of those highly magnified views of a pimple ! The COPY program supplied with the review sample was suitable for driving the Epson range as well as the Star DP510 and 515 printers and the Shinwa CP80. Alternative software is available for the Seikosha GP100 and GP250X printers, the Microline series and the last offering is for the Tandy CGP115 and MCP40 printer plotters which can provide (very slowly) copies in four colours. A new version of the interface is due out shortly with a range of software built-in as standard.

SUMMARY
Despite its rather shabby looks, the LPRINT worked well and the provisions of software in ROM makes for faster operation. When your author passed comment on its appearance to a friend he replied that he expected interfaces to look like that ! The price of the cable is very high and it might be worth making your own. But apart from that, it offers good value for money.

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