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.
I have 2 x Ql and 7 x ZX vDrives ready to purchase on SellMyRetro. They tend to sell quickly so don’t hesitate 🙂
I’ve just finished the first (small) batch for the year so on sale they go!
All ZX and QL vDrives have now been sold.
But I will consider preorders until I gear up for the next SMR batch. Just drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
Have added an updated hardware installation guide for both the ZX and QL. These are now available from the downloads section along with the latest user guides.
And now getting ready for the next. Thanks to all those who bought one (ot two) – they should be in your hands before Christmas.
I’ll be concentrating on ZX units this time (there will still be a few vDrive QLs for sale) and hoping to put together about 25 (let’s hope my 3D printer holds up!).
After that I’ll be taking a break over the holidays and will resume in the New Year.
12 x vDrive QLs will be auctioned on SellMyRetro in a day or so.
11 vDrive QLs are now available for sale on SellMyRetro
The ZX units have already sold out (there were only 2) but another 25 (ZX) will be on sale next week (I’ll post a notication beforehand).
Firmware version 001 is now available for download. This update provides several improvements and bug fixes including some resulting from user feedback (thanks Rich and Martin).
Full patch notes are available here
The zip file containing the binary update file can be found in the downloads section.