Spectrum Interface 1 Replacment by vRetro

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Spectrum Interface 1 Replacment by vRetro

Post by bwinkel67 »

Looks like Charlie Ingley has been busy creating more awesome stuff. He posted this on facebook (I'll include the link but I think you must be part of the group to see it).

https://www.facebook.com/groups/spectru ... 8943680565

Here are a some images:
...and below is his description on the Facebook post. He will also look to see if the network driver can be made more compatible with the QL by reaching out to Martyn Hill on his ROM upgrades for it. I think it looks pretty cool. Oh, and the DB9 is actually a joystick port, not serial. So that and a floppy interface on the other side is about as complete an upgrade for the Spectrum as I'd personally want. I think it also may have a direct SD card interface (aside from vDrive of course). Really cool IMHO.

I wonder with all the work Charlie has done on this interface (as well as his IF1 ULA replacement), how far it would be to re-create the other ULA on the QL (i.e. the ZX8302) that controls microdrives, etc. Maybe with Lliont and Charlie's work we could eventually have a complete set of replacement chips for the BBQL -- not saying they would be the ones to create it.
Some may remember a concept proposed several years ago for an IF1 replacement - the Interface 3. A case design was made and a prototype created which provided IF1 functionality. When I've had the time, a floppy interface was added (with support for MGT Disciple/PlusD/Opus Discovery)and SD support via divMMC compatible hardware.
The design synthesizes a complete IF1 ULA and a WD1770/2 floppy controller in a single FPGA. Other resources available are 512k of flash rom along with 512k of ram. The various supported interfaces can currently be switched in and out via an I/O port scheme similar to the Next. The plan is to create some tools to allow such magic as moving files from Microdrive to floppy (or SD) and vice versa.The interface API will be made public to encourage third party applications.
The interface is called (rather unimaginatively) the Interface 1V (IF1V) and is the same form factor as the original IF1 (so should fit nicely into Tom's case design-as long as the floppy interface and switch/SD assembly isn't needed 🙂 - the hardware can be configured to be just an 1F1 if these components are ommitted)
The attached photo is of the latest version of the hardware. The 34-pin floppy connector positioned on the right side of the PCB was not installed at the time of the photo but is now. The extraneous wires are connected to where the WiFi interface would normally be as I'm using these connections for additional FPGA debug.

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Re: Spectrum Interface 1 Replacment by vRetro

Post by vanpeebles »

Bit of a beast that :mrgreen:

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Re: Spectrum Interface 1 Replacment by vRetro

Post by aalea »

For my, the keypoint of this is that he was able to sintetize the wd1772, this means that is posible to do new (cheap) interface disk for the QL.

Nowdays the WD1772 is more than 50$ and you alwais risk about counterfield chips.

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