New Build ZX Spectrum - Installing The Capacitors

Now we are done with the resistors it’s time for capacitors. We will be using two types of capacitors in our build, the first type are ceramic capacitors. These look like the below and the big difference for our purposes is that they don’t have a polarity meaning they can be installed either way around.

Ceramic Capacitor

We have in our list of components split out the capacitors to make it easier for you, and in our guide ceramic are in yellow and electrolytic in red.

Follow the same procedure as the resistors and follow our guide to where to place them.

Ceramic capacitors in position

Once you have all the ceramics in place it’s time to tackle the electrolytic capacitors. An example of these are below.

Electrolytic capacitors

The big difference we need to take notice of is these have polarity. Which means we need to install the correct way around. As you can see above there are two types of electrolytic capacitors, one with legs each side and one with legs coming out the same end. Both are functionally identical, but for the Spectrum, the ones with legs on each side is preferable as they are easier to install. These are called Axial, while the others are called Radial. I have put a video below on how to bend the legs of Radials in case that is all you have.

With the Axial, you can find out which leg is positive and negative in two ways, the first is look for the strip with – on it and follow the arrows to show the negative leg, in the case of the image above negative is on the right hand side. You will also see a “bulge” on the capacitor. This will be on the side of the positive leg, in the case of the photo above on the left hand side.

With the Radial you can either find the longest leg, this will be the positive leg, or again find the strip with the – on it, and it will be on the side of the negative leg.

The PCB will have printed markings on where the + and – legs should go.

Positive leg to the top

Solder these all in, taking in to account the polarity and you are ready for diodes.

Bending Radial Legs