New (to me) Q40!

The Thor, Aurora, Q40, Q60 & Q68 etc. are discussed here.
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Chr$
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New (to me) Q40!

Postby Chr$ » Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:54 pm

I have a Q40 to play with!
20201212_192401_resized_1.jpg

I will pop it in a new case eventually and perhaps make some changes to the hardware configuration. A few questions that come to mind (Peter and Derek will know the answers, but no doubt others will do too).

1. Apart from the CPU, what are the actual physical differences between the Q40, Q40i and Q60 motherboards?
2. What is the power requirement of the mainboard with 2 ISA cards for HDD/serial fitted, and out of interest does it actually use the +12v on it's molex input connector - all the board is no doubt 5v but I wonder if ISA/serial connections are what require the 12v?
(I'm wondering about potentially doing away with the wheezy old style PSU with fan, but I suspect with drives added it will require 5+ amps - or not, with just a CF)
3. Is it possible to attach a Q40 to an old fashioned QNET, i.e. for connectivity with an original QL/QXLII and Q68?
4. I understand that normally the 2nd ISA slot was an Ethernet card. What make/model was this? (so I can potentially source one).

Lots to explore and like with most technical things, I'll probably never get my head round it sufficiently, but I do have fun trying.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

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Artificer
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Artificer » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:04 pm

Hi,

Congratulations on getting a rare these days, Q40. If you get the answer to your questions I too would be interested as I have an ancient Q60 and would also like to modify it.

Cheers


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Chr$
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Chr$ » Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:08 pm

Artificer wrote:Hi,

Congratulations on getting a rare these days, Q40. If you get the answer to your questions I too would be interested as I have an ancient Q60 and would also like to modify it.

Cheers

They are all rocking-horse poo - in terms of rareness, not as a reflection of the quality/capabilities, obviously. ;)


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
martyn_hill
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby martyn_hill » Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:55 pm

Hi Chr$

Well done :-)

Chr$ wrote: 3. Is it possible to attach a Q40 to an old fashioned QNET, i.e. for connectivity with an original QL/QXLII and Q68?


Peter and I spoke about this once - there is nothing already available as a 'direct' solution to the problem, but it's not especially tricky to design the hardware (tapping-off a bit from the LPT port, for example), but porting the NET/FSERVE driver would take a bit of work, similar to what was needed to port to the Q68. One of the challenges will be determining the relevant Timing Constants needed to suit the platform.

I promised myself that, if one day I could get my hands on a Qx0, I'd design such a solution...

That said, if you have a Q68 in the mix as well, you can go the classic route of using SERNET between the Qx0 and Q68, and 'bridge' between the Q68 and the 'native' QL network...

Enjoy...


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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:03 pm

Hi Chr$,

The Q40 and Q60 was designed by Peter Graf.

Can run, SMSQ/E, QDOS Classic, Linux.

The Q40 is fitted with a 40Mhz 68040 CPU, the first Q40 boards were built by Qbranch, which started off okay, but they had production issues which were later discovered to be bad soldering techniques.

The Q60 is an upgraded Q40 board with a 68060 CPU fitted.

The Q60 was built by D&D Systems, is myself and a friend who I knew . We had a local computer business, and I wanted a fast QL with a 68060 CPU, so I built a Q60.

This was a starter board to the production Q60 boards and cased systems.

The Q40i is an upgraded Q40 board, that can access 128mb ram. It was built to differentiate from the badly made Qbranch Q40.

Only one Q40i board was officially built and sold.

All the Q60 boards built never failed, unlike the Qbranch effort.

The Q60 suffered slot of targeted bad press by established QL traders.

I was accused of pirating the SMSQ/E operating system, when all Royality fees were paid.

The Q40/60 wa designed to fit into an PC AT case, with a AT power supply, though an ATX power supply can be used with slight mod. to the PC Main power connector.

The Q40/60 I/O is by an ISA bus, with existing ISA I/O Cards with IDE, FLP,IDE,PAR,SER Ports and Ethernet card can be fitted.

But due to the lack of QDOS/SMSQ/E drivers for the Ethernet card, it will only work with Linux.

There is no official interface to connect the Q40/60 to the QLNET.

There are documentation on QL Homepage with the information you require.


Regards,

Derek
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Chr$
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Chr$ » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:29 pm

martyn_hill wrote:
That said, if you have a Q68 in the mix as well, you can go the classic route of using SERNET between the Qx0 and Q68, and 'bridge' between the Q68 and the 'native' QL network...

Enjoy...

Got it, ok, if I get around to it I will investigate SERNET. I mean it's not like I'm trying to go for the world record of having as many BBQL's, QXLII, Q40 and Q68 all talking to each other. It's just fun to do isn't it.

Derek_Stewart wrote:Hi Chr$,

The Q60 is an upgraded Q40 board with a 68060 CPU fitted.


How is the board upgraded exactly? In the pictures I can find they all seem to at least look the same in terms of the chips present, layout etc. e.g. is it possible to simply fit a 68060 to turn it into a Q60, or not? If so, I doubt that I would though, I prefer it to stay original.

Derek_Stewart wrote:Only one Q40i board was officially built and sold.


Only 1! Is its whereabouts still known?

Derek_Stewart wrote:But due to the lack of QDOS/SMSQ/E drivers for the Ethernet card, it will only work with Linux.


Understood. I'd still like to know the make/model to have one as part of the setup even if never used. I read that the ethernet card was an optional extra at the time, is that right?

Derek_Stewart wrote:There are documentation on QL Homepage with the information you require.


I couldn't find any info on the amps it draws. These days you can get a small PSU with a single molex connector rated at 2A. I wondered if that may be enough to power the board and just one CF card (and an FDD at a push, but that would probably take it over 2A). I do try to find the info before asking here, in fact I'm proud to say that I already knew most of what you have written (that's not a criticism at all, it's wise to always start with and repeat the basics).

Thank-you both.


Collector of QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't really understand how they work.
Original QL's: many (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 140+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
QXLII card installed in a PC
Q40 and Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
Derek_Stewart
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:32 pm

Hi Chr$,

Looking the photograph of your Q40 board, it looks like a Qbranch board.

The difference between a Q40 and Q60 is the CPU, ram and lower voltage for the 68060.

Conversion from Q40 to Q60 is possible, but the Qbranch made Q40 boards used low tolerance parts and caused problems.

I have some Q40 and Q60 boards, which have user introduced faults.

There was an article in QL Today, about 68060 CPU Mask codes, so a few expert Q60 users removed the heat sink to read CPU mask code. But they did not refit the heat sink correctly, damaging the CPU.

I might find time to fix these boards some time.

Why are you bothered about the minium power consumptio n, a PC power supply will power the Q60 no problem at all.


Regards,

Derek
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Peter
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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Peter » Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:45 pm

Chr$ wrote:4. I understand that normally the 2nd ISA slot was an Ethernet card. What make/model was this? (so I can potentially source one).

Non plug&play NE2000 compatible ISA cards, typically RTL8019AS chipset.


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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Peter » Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:50 pm

Chr$ wrote:out of interest does it actually use the +12v on it's molex input connector - all the board is no doubt 5v but I wonder if ISA/serial connections are what require the 12v?

The +12V is required for the ISA bus, the Q40/Q60 generates -12V from it, also.


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Re: New (to me) Q40!

Postby Peter » Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:59 pm

Chr$ wrote:These days you can get a small PSU with a single molex connector rated at 2A.

The 68040 alone can draw almost 8W, so 2A is not sufficient. I'm not going to specify the supply current, as I don't know the ISA cards and peripherals used.
Why not measure the actuall current for your configuration and add a little safety margin? Also, don't forget the 12V.



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