My First Sinclair QL

A place to discuss general QL issues.
ROM Dongle
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My First Sinclair QL

Postby rgh.key » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:11 pm

Managed to pick a Sinclair QL up for £115 from eBay. It had its original charger, joystick with flying lead to connect into the proprietary 6 pin BT socket, 9 games and video cable. I didn’t think that was a bad deal at all :D

Now I have a shopping list of things I need:
1.) Scart or Composite Video Cable
2.) Original Utilities Wafers (Abacus etc...)
3.) Floppy Disk Interface Unit (Maybe next pay day!)
4.) Some blank wafers!

If anyone can help with anything please let me know, would be extremely grateful ☺️

Bent Pin Expansion Port
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby georgeo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:40 pm

I have a Tetroid disk interface with Compact Flash, and find it to be an excellent addition. Microdrive wafers are getting fragile with age. Best to put everything on floppy and use the wafers sparingly.

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Commissario Pebbli
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby vanpeebles » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:55 am

Yes, the microdrives are just a curiosity now :) Has the keyboard membrane been changed? Or does it work ok?

ROM Dongle
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby Timbucus » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:09 pm

I would also advise extreme care before you use any of the Cartridges in your QL - the felt pad usually fails, gets distributed in the cartridge and on the head. This causes a jam and a need to clean up - often the cartridge cannot be recovered or the tape cleaned well enough. It can also move to the next one you try so you end up ruining a few.

Unless they have been re-felted I would suggest not trying them - if you do ensure the felt is firmly on the copper carrier and does not disintegrate to the touch. Just hold the cartridge sideways and press gently with a plastic spatula end of a pen and you will see the effect.

ROM Dongle
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby SM7I » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:58 pm

I do alot of refelting. So far this year I’ve done 200. I use 8 track tape felt cit down to suitable size.

Brittle Membrane
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby polka » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:07 pm

I am surprised by this Ebay offer, because I did my own SCART cable for my QL, and with the sole QL plug, it worked only with a special video monitor. For connecting to normal TV sets you have to send 5V from outside the QL plug to 2 other pins on the SCART. I did it by picking this tension from the power line inside the QL itself.



Super Gold Card
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby martyn_hill » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:41 pm


That lead from Retro Computer Shack works because it also connects the Composite PAL signal from the QL (pin-1) to the SCART Blanking input (pin-16) - which doubles-up to select between CompVideo (0-0.4V) and RGB (1V to 3V) on most TVs.

The Comp-PAL signal from the QL, whilst fluctuating, is on average sufficient to trigger RGB mode and thus saves providing a dedicated 1-3V signal level to SCART pin-16. Pin-3 from the QL (Comp-Mono) should also work.

Its a neat solution and has been effective for me across several LCD TVs at home.

Brittle Membrane
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby retro_collector » Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:44 pm


I also just picked up a like new QL. Owner said it was used once and put back in the box and comes complete. From the pics it looks like it was never used!

Only 120 quid :). Its costing almost as much to ship!

Got me an RGB to SCART cable, and SCART to VGA SIMPLE VIDEO SCALAR from JS Technologies with the QL firmware so the 3 characters is the over scan area will be displayed.

Any a VdriveQL, Super gold card, rom switcher, a power regulator, new keyboard membrane just in case and games, apps and all kinds of goodies

Cant wait to play

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Commissario Pebbli
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Re: My First Sinclair QL

Postby vanpeebles » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:32 pm

You will be all set with that lot :)

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