Kitting out a Sinclair QL with Toolkit 2

Here is another short story just to document retro/vintage activities.

Not long ago I decided to give up on the QL's flaky microdrives and make the switch to floppy disk. This went just fine but in the process I discovered that any QL owner worth his stripes had ROM with Toolkit 2.x at their fingertips. My disk expansion kit only gave me version 1.16. Even worse, Toolkit 2.x was so common amongst active QL users that there was QL disk software that simply assumed you had it!

Googling around revealed Toolkit 2.x could live happily alongside the 1.16 already in my disk expansion card so I took the plunge and ordered a ROM expansion card from QL guru Rich Mellor. I had an image of Toolkit 2.12 from the web and I owned a ROM programmer so I figured burning my own 27128 EPROM once the ROM expansion card arrived would be no problem.

QL Rom expander

Figure 1. The QL ROM expansion unit closed and opened

Arrive it duly did (Figure 1) . Rich had thrown in a spare 27128 he had lying around at no charge, but said he wasn't sure if the IC was ok. As it was, it refused to take code even after blanking. Not to worry though. I hadn't paid for it, and I had a handful of 27C128s lying around. One of these accepted the code no problem.

Within no time at all the ROM IC was installed, the ROM expansion case screwed together and installed.

QL with ROM expansion

Figure 3. Sinclair QL with toolkit fitted.

Booting up revealed both versions of the Toolkit installed. In short, the boot screen said:

CARE / QJUMP Toolkit V2.12 @ 1985
PCML Disk/RAM System V1.16 @ 1984

Trying some of the new Toolkit 2 commands showed everything was fine.


16th March, 2012

comments powered by Disqus