Treasure re-discovered

Introduce yourself here!
Mekon Delta
ROM Dongle
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:11 pm

Treasure re-discovered

Postby Mekon Delta » Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:21 pm

Hello everybody.I have just found my loved QL in the loft, still in the box! I would like it looked at before I try it out but I'm reluctant to send it via a delivery company. Is there anybody recommended in the East Midlands I could take to personally?


User avatar
Ruptor
Gold Card
Posts: 271
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:23 pm
Location: London

Re: Treasure re-discovered

Postby Ruptor » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:53 am

I plugged mine in after 35 years and it was exactly as I left it. What would someone do to check? Perhaps open the box look at it and say yes that is a QL then plug it in. :lol: Be brave and plug it in it is a lot less bother. The component quality is a lot better than the Cheap capacitors of today that blow their tops after a couple of years.


User avatar
vanpeebles
Commissario Pebbli
Posts: 2641
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:13 pm
Location: North East UK

Re: Treasure re-discovered

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:12 pm

Yeah, go for it! Usually the worst thing it will need is a new membrane.


User avatar
dilwyn
Mr QL
Posts: 2071
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: Treasure re-discovered

Postby dilwyn » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:17 pm

Ruptor wrote:I plugged mine in after 35 years and it was exactly as I left it. What would someone do to check? Perhaps open the box look at it and say yes that is a QL then plug it in. :lol: Be brave and plug it in it is a lot less bother. The component quality is a lot better than the Cheap capacitors of today that blow their tops after a couple of years.

Yes, most of the time just plug it in. If you get the standard QL "tweed" display and that clears, press F1 or F2 for the startup screen modes and if that works, it'll generally be OK.

Getting to that point and no further (doesn't respond to startup keypresses) usually means a broken keyboard membrane, as vanpeebles said. You can get those from RWAP, on sellmyretro.com . If need be, if the keyboard is not working, open up the QL, take a look at the tails of the membrane where they plug into the circuit board. Sometimes, if the failure is visibly where the membrane leads bend into the connector, you can snip off a bit just above the crease or break, reinsert gently and it might work for a bit while you wait for a new membrane.

If it doesn't get that far and stops, e.g. with a white or other colour screen, it might mean something such as unreliable memory. It's been discussed plenty of times on here, the sorts of things which can go wrong at startup - use the search function on this forum to find those discussions. One of my QLs has a weird habit of not starting up properly after it's been switched off for more than a few days. But leaving it on for a while, then pressing reset usually clears the issue (sometimes need to do this two or three times).

There is a copy of the QL Service Manual on the web which may prove useful in troubleshooting some of the simpler issues - http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/docs/manuals/QL%20Service%20Manual.pdf (as a PDF file) or http://www.sinclairql.net/srv/index.html (online HTML version).

Don't expect too good a quality on the UHF/RF or composite video output, best to use the RGB connection if you have a suitable monitor or TV. For TV sets, a SCART lead is usually OK in terms of picture quality, although you may lose bits of the video at the screen edges because of the QL's video overscan. You can get QL SCART leads on eBay, or it's fairly easy to wire one up yourself if you can solder. If you need to connect to a TV or monitor with a VGA connector, look for one of Marcel Kilgus's QL-VGA video adaptors. For a TV or monitor with HDMI, there are devices such as SCART to HDMI converters out there on eBay which will usually do the job, although results vary (again, see past discussions on this Forum).

Like Ruptor said, usually no need to do fancy jobs such as "recapping" (capacitor replacements). The QL doesn't suffer that problem generally, unlike some other computers from the period.


--
All things QL - http://www.dilwyn.me.uk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests