vDrive QL now on Tindie

As well as the vDrive ZX, I now sell the vDrive QL on Tindie. You can check out all I have available here:

Although not featured directly in products, I also have available Microdrive cables and the vMap (if you’re buying a vDrive QL) which can be selected as options while making a purchase.

Products are still available through SellMyRetro if you prefer.


vLA-1 update

Some months ago (it’s been more than three I know) I mentioned that the Interface 1 replacement (vLA-1) that I had been working on would be available in limited numbers.

I’ve received valuable feedback from testers (thanks in particular to Brendan Alford) and finally everything looks ready to go.

The vLA-1 is a pin-for-pin functional equivalent of the Interface 1 ULA and is suitable for both V1 and V2 versions of the Interface.  As most know, the original ULA is prone to overheating spectacularly, melting an unsightly crater in the plastic casing. Note that due to the lack of space in the original Interface 1 case, the original ULA will need to be removed and the vLA-1 soldered in its place.

The vLA-1 will be sold on SellMyRetro in a choice of the following deals:

  1.  One  vLA-1 –  £24.50 each + £5 shipping
  2.  Two vLA-1  –  £22.50 each + £5 shipping
  3.  Three or more (up a maximum of five)  vLA-1 – £20.00 each + £5 shipping.

To keep the cost down the shipping option is untracked. This has proved reliable in the past but if you have other shipping requirements then please contact me directly on and I’ll provide a quote.

To get alerts when the vLA-1 is available just set a keyword watch in SellMyRetro for ‘vLA-1’. I’ll also let you know through this website, some of the FB sites, and twitter (Charlie@vdrivezx).

The vLA-1 will also be available to preorder but there may be a short wait as I’m set up to supply in batches rather than making to order.

And, of course, I’ll continue to make vDrives.



Some breaking (Microdrive) News…

For several months now I’ve been working through how to reverse engineer the IF1 ULA. I’m pleased to say that the design work is now complete and the prototype works as expected. Early indications are that it performs slightly better than the original in reading cartridges (to be confirmed with further testing). The best I’ve managed so far is 122K off a real cartridge (there is a bit a a trick to this – the motor was at its slowest setting). Using the original IF1 I could only manage 114K with the same IF1 v2 rom, Microdrive and cartridge. On standard settings I consistently get about a 5% improvement but I’d be happy with the same as the original TBH.

The vLA-1 (as it will be called) will be a drop in service replacement for the 40-pin IF1 ULA. IF1 ULA functionality is replicated 100% including Shadow ROM switching, Microdrive, RS232 and NET functionality. The real item should be available in about 3 months after I’ve completed field testing, corrected any defects, and move to a limited production run.

Will keep you posted on further developments.