Expanding the QL + other questions

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Andrew
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Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby Andrew » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:00 pm

Hi all
I have bought a Sinclair QL and I am waiting for it to come. Hopefully it will be in good working order, so the next step will be to add some expansion boards.
I have read RWAP's post "Overview of QL SD / CF Solutions" but still could not reach a decision:
What would be a better solution: Sinclair QL Tetroid disk interface with Compact flash card or Gold card clone + some storage device ? and what kind of storage device ?
What I am looking for is this:
1. add some memory to the QL
2. to have Tk2 built in
3. keep the microdrives working (if possible)
4. improve the speed (yes, I know, only the GoldCard here)
5. have a convenient modern storage that so i can transfer files from the Windows computer running Qemulator (tetroid has Compact Flash, but other solutions are described in RWAP's post)
6. do not have any boards sticking out of the QL (so no backplane)

A Gold Card clone + QLSD seems a good option or a vDrive - but I have not been able to find any posts for sale for either - do you know where I could buy one ? Also, at this moment, it is not very clear for me how the PC to QLSD / vDrive transfer works.

So, what would you recommend ?

Software question: Where can I get/buy Lightning toolkit ? or a Speedscreen ? Or maybe someone can send me a copy (I hope it is not still copywrited)

And the last question: where can I buy some felt for microdrives, preferably from Europe ? (if I buy from outside EU the package might stay 3 to 9 months at the romanian customs :( )

Thank you !


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XorA
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby XorA » Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:47 am

You will want to wait a little bit for the GoldCard compatible QL-SD to be release. Its coming soon you can check its progress on other threads.


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dex
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby dex » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:48 am

Andrew wrote:What would be a better solution: Sinclair QL Tetroid disk interface with Compact flash card or Gold card clone + some storage device ?


1) question of games:

For playing games - get the Tetroid interface.
For calculations, get the Gold Card. But games, with accelerated processor, are accelerated to unplayable speed. This requires various tricks to slow down the computer (e.g. SLUG command).

2)
for classic QDOS (Minerva) get the Tetroid interface.
SMSQ/E cannot run there.

For SMSQ/E, get the Gold Card.

*)
I personally prefer the way of having at least two QL computers:
One with original speed for games.
Second one accelerated for "more serious" work (if playing with old computer can be called serious).
And both of them could be connected to build the QLan.

Andrew wrote:A Gold Card clone + QLSD seems a good option or a vDrive - but I have not been able to find any posts for sale for either - do you know where I could buy one ?


Appears sometimes on sellmyretro.com.
But now the producer (from New zealand) is taking a break while moving home (since May).
It is not easy to catch them, the batch is sold out quickly.

Andrew wrote:Also, at this moment, it is not very clear for me how the PC to QLSD / vDrive transfer works.


vDrive uses FAT formatted SD card only with microdrive images on it (128 kB).

QL-SD with new QXL-WIN driver uses QXL.WIN harddrive images (not microdrive tape images).

Andrew wrote:Software question: Where can I get/buy Lightning toolkit ? or a Speedscreen ?


You don't need this with Minerva.


Andrew
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby Andrew » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:15 pm

Thank you for info.
Any idea about the targeted price for the QL-SD ?


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Cristian
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby Cristian » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:45 am

Minerva ROM does not accelerate text mode; on the other hand, Speedscreen (and also Lightning I suppose) does accelerate the text display very much.


Derek_Stewart
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:52 am

Hi,

According to the Minerva documentation, Minerva accelerates 98% speed of Lightning.

There is no overhead, that is no installation.

Other advantages with Minerva is Multitasking basic builtin after version 1.96, Second Screen support, enhanced network drivers (that work)... I2C Access with Minerva MkII

If you are all using JM, JS, I would recommend upgrading to the Minerva.

I always hear that some software does not run on Minerva, but this type of software is very badly written and should use the correct system traps and vectors to access the QL hardware. Not assume the screen and system variables are permanent position.


Regards,

Derek
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Cristian
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Re: Expanding the QL + other questions

Postby Cristian » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:53 pm

Derek_Stewart wrote:Hi,
According to the Minerva documentation, Minerva accelerates 98% speed of Lightning.


But the text scrolling and displaying speed remain slow, apparently the same speed you get with previous ROMs.
In any case, I also recommend Minerva for its completeness, reliability and high level of compatibility.



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