Page 1 of 1

Hello from Hampshire

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:14 am
by Doug
Hi all,

Getting back into the QL after finally moving some old dusty things from my parents' house over to mine...

The QL was our first family machine so it inspired a general fascination for computers, and now of course a strong nostalgia for my youth. I am interested in getting my QLs back up to speed and supporting the community by buying stuff to help with that! Very keen to see what the original QL is capable of in 2017 with the right bits and software.



Re: Hello from Hampshire

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:36 pm
by vanpeebles
A warm welcome to forum :) What goodies did you have stashed away? :D

Re: Hello from Hampshire

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:01 pm
by Doug
Thanks! I've got 3 QLs of similar vintage and they all boot (though one likes to slowly crawl the mdv1_ motor along the whole time it is on!?)

I'm focussing on getting one into a decent state first, so have cleaned it, replaced the membrane and bought the RGB to SCART lead on eBay, though have had no luck yet finding a SCART to HDMI converter that correctly centres the image, after a couple attempts via Amazon.

The peripherals I have are the mICE pointer environment, the 512k Miracle Systems Expanderam and QL Disk Card with a double 3.5" disk drive. A very wide QL when all plugged in!

The mouse pointer is very wonky when moving up and down the screen but generally hardware-wise it all seems to work as I left it many years ago. (Enjoy seeing what year the QL decides it is going to be when loading up the ICE environment, yesterday it was anything from 1963 to 2054...)

I never had that much in the way of software (faves being PSION Chess, GraphiQL, and Microdeal Flight Simulator) but alas none of the media I've tried has survived; neither disks (unless the drives have become faulty) nor microdrives (unless some new felt would save them). Gonna need a reliable way to store and transfer things to the QL to try new software...

Shame I missed the QL's big birthday as it seemed like a bunch of things came and went again around then (like the replacement microdrive felts and the QL-SD) but it also seems like some other interesting things are in the pipeline, like the new interface in the hardware section, so good times ahead :D Would be great if someone could clone/emulate the Super Gold Card!

Getting reacquainted, things like the SMSQ/E environment are intriguing to me; my younger self wouldn't have believed the QL could run stuff like that (albeit with a gold card.) That and tinkering with other old software I didn't have at the time, trying out the spectrum emulators, maybe even getting the QL online etc are all things I'm keen to experiment with.

Re: Hello from Hampshire

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:20 pm
by Timbucus
Welcome from Wales - I have been going through a similar re-acquaintance with a QL. As I had to get an old one from e-bay with no RAM expansion I bought the QUBIDE clone from ZAXON on sellmyretro which has a 512K expansion. That coupled with an SD card to IDE adapter by SINITECHI like this that with an old 256Mb card formatted to have a small 12Mb partition to start seems to work well. Do not format the whole card to 256 as you will have little or no memory to work as it fills memory with drive blocks!

(I used a short 4" 40pin cable to link them and had to make a small flying lead by picking out the wire for PIN20 in the cable soldered to the Red wire cut from a HD power lead to power the board from the QL 5V which the Qubide provides on the normally not connected PIN 20.

Before you go down that route though are you sure your floppy drives don't work - try some newer disks (make sure they are DD no HD). If you have a Maplin near you you may be lucky to get a 3.5" drive cleaner as it is likely if your disk media was poorly stored that the surface came off on the heads. I get that every 10 or 20 disks or so and have to clean the head - do this before you try new media as it could damage the new disks.


Re: Hello from Hampshire

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:26 pm
by Doug
Hi Tim,

Belated thanks for your advice, which I have now taken as regards the Maplin drive cleaners. My local shop didn't have any but were able to transfer one from another store. I've been busy with other stuff lately so I'm yet to try it out, but hopefully it will help!

Noticed that QUBIDE clone and it does seem like a good shout to get some things going from hard disk, good to hear people on the forum have had success with it. Will probably look to pick one up in the coming months.

I also have the Tandata modem stack but no software for it, will be interesting to see if I can get something out of that at some point too!