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Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:43 pm
by ngcard
Thanks for putting together such a great Forum. I have lived in the USA for 30 years, but grew up in the UK. In 1982 I entered the world of computing with a Sinclair ZX81 which introduced me to BASIC programming and of course a network of friends with tapes to swap. I had actually held on to that ZX81 over the years, and recently read about how to perform a composite mod, so that combined with purchasing a SCART / Composite to HDMI scaler, I had my old ZX81 running on my modern monitor.

In 1984 my parents bought me a Sinclair QL as a Christmas gift. I initially wasn't sure what to make of it, because I was hoping for a ZX Spectrum. However, I soon realized what a great machine is was and didn't regret it one bit. I learned a lot from SuperBasic and had quite a collection of programs and games. I sold it all in 1989 when I moved to the USA - thinking it wouldn't work.

Recently, after my success getting the ZX81 to work, I thought I would take a risk and expand my "Retro" computer collection. So I looked around eBay and found a good deal on a complete QL in the original box with manual, power supply, Psion suite, and 4 additional blank microdrive cartidges. It survived the trip from the UK, and is in great shape. It has the JM ROM which strangely is what my old QL had. I've opened it up and given it a good clean, looks fine on the inside too, both Microdrives work. The power supply is putting out the right voltages, and looks OK inside, but it buzzes. I seem to remember they always did.

After reading the recommendations on this forum, I purchased a QL RGB to SCART cable from Retro Computer Products. That produces a great picture! Better than I ever got on my old QL connected to a TV. I also learned the art of re-felting Microdrive Cartridges - I found my local Target store sells adhesive backed felt which I could cut to size - works great.

Next up, I have a vDrive QL on the way from New Zealand, so I'll see if I can figure out how to download some more QL software to SD card. Looks like a neat device.


Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:32 pm
by retro_collector
Welcome from your neighbor in Chicago!

glad to hear your are back to the QL!

I just got mine today and I also am waiting for my vDriveQL to arrive!

My keyboard is not working nor is reset. So I have to ask Rich to send me a new membrane and see if it fixes my keyboard.

We can share since we are close!


Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:19 am
by ngcard
Hi Bill,

Sorry to hear your keyboard isn't working. Those membranes can be fun. I held my breath when I opened mine for cleaning. Glad you are also getting a vdrive. We'll figure this one out together!

Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:26 am
by swensont
Glad to see more US QLers after many years of seeing them disappear. I'm on the West Coast (SF Bay Area) and have been active in the US QL community since I got my QL in April 1986.

Tim Swenson

Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:13 am
by vanpeebles
A warm welcome to the forum! We seem to be collecting US QL’ers at the moment :lol:

Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:50 pm
by ngcard
Thanks Tim and Vanpeebles.

Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:26 pm
by NormanDunbar
Evening "ngcard". (That's not your real name, is it? ;) )

Welcome to the forum.

You mentioned that you enjoy it and think it's great? Don't forget our Wiki too - - lots and lots of great stuff, and contributions are welcome from all and sundry - except spammers of course! (We've had a spot of trouble with one posting rubbish.)

If you decide to register for the Wiki - which you don't have to to read it - you will only be given read access initially. Just give us a shout on here, or PM me here too, and you'll get promoted to a "writer" - should you wish to contribute.

Once again, welcome.


Re: Hello from Venice, Florida

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:31 am
by ngcard
Thanks Norm!