vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

A place to discuss the ZX80's and ZX81's younger brother - the Sinclair ZX Spectrum
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Bloodnok
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vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by Bloodnok »

vDrive Update

I've just finished development on three projects, all related to the Sinclair Microdrive.

The first two are variants of the MIcrodrive, one for the Spectrum and Interlace 1, and one for the QL. These emulate the Microdrive hardware with an SD Card used for storage. They are both designed to fit inside an existing Microdrive case. The last project is a Microdrive address translator called the vMap. This allows mapping of internal drives to external addresses and vice versa. It's a tiny interface that sits inside the QL case.

Further details, including full user manuals, and installation instructions can be found at https://vdrivezx.com

Both the QL and ZX versions will be offered at the same price as the original Microdrive, £49.95. The vMap QL will be at £15.95.
I'll be making them in batches of 5-10 and they'll be available to buy from SellMyRetro. The first batch of 5, of each type, is done and I'll be making them available this weekend. The vMap will be provided in similar quantities.

Cheers,

Charles
Bloodnok
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:57 pm
Location: New Zealand
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Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by Bloodnok »

vDrive progress report:

Awaiting the final parts to build about 20 units (will be more ZX than QL this time). Fingers crossed, they'll be available in about 10 days time. Same deal as before - All up on SellMyRetro, no change in price.

Cheers,

Charles
nollkolltroll
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:02 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by nollkolltroll »

A very impressive implementation, and good looking as well!
/Adam
redgatemodels
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 11:56 am

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by redgatemodels »

Sorry to resurrect an old topic, but how do I convert tzx files to mdr so that they can be copied to the SD card?
UKRetroGamer
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by UKRetroGamer »

I’ve personally found the best way is to use skoolkid’s “skoolkit” (cross-platform as it requires Python to be installed), along with his t2sfile “recipes”.

These convert tap and tzx files into .z80 files, (downloading from online repositories where available or locally stored files if not), which you can then use Tom Dalby’s Z80onMDR utility to add 1 or more of the resulting .z80 files onto an mdr file.

Tom’s brilliant Z80onMDR tool will automatically create a Spectrum 128-style menu if more than one .z80 file is added. If you have the files in .z80 format already, you can skip the tap2sna.py step.

Plus, the resulting .mdr file is pre-optimised to load quickly.

I regularly use the above tools to make .mdr files for use on vDriveZX, Tom Dalby’s ZXPicoMD and OqtaDrive. Both ZXPicoMD and OqtaDtive will load .z80 files and convert them to .mdr on the fly. Manual intervention is required only for the vDriveZX.

If you’d like guidance, DM me and I’ll assist as best I can.
redgatemodels
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 11:56 am

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by redgatemodels »

Many thanks, I'll let you know how I get on
UKRetroGamer
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by UKRetroGamer »

I guess giving you some links to the referenced programs might help to get you started.

Tom Dalby’s Z80onMDR:
http://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

Skoolkit (v9.1 at time of posting):
https://github.com/skoolkid/skoolkit

A better way to install skoolkit, once you have Python installed, is simply to run the following command “pip install skoolkit”.

t2sfiles: (requires skoolkit to be installed)
Creates “pristine” Z80 snapshots which include a loading screen and start the games as though they’d just loaded from tape. Much neater than trying to pause an emulator to create a snapshot.
https://github.com/skoolkid/t2sfiles
redgatemodels
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2023 11:56 am

Re: vDrive - Microdrive hardware emulator for the ZX and QL

Post by redgatemodels »

Many thanks, sounds daunting but I guess once I get the hang of it it will be okay.

I am surprised that there is no large repository of mdr files out there to download. At least I have not found one.
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