UKSaabs

THE site for UK Saab people!
It is currently Sun Aug 14, 2022 1:15 am

All times are UTC



Forum rules


The place for you to start a thread about and show us your car.

(Please stick to one thread, rather than starting several threads for the same vehicle).

Your Cars is the place for telling us about your new cars, minor upgrades and mini projects.
Full on restorations & major rebuilds should be posted in Restorations & Major Projects.



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1674 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 80, 81, 82, 83, 84
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 12:06 pm 
Offline
UKSaabs Trader
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 18717
Location: Devon
Nice one on getting a QL. I have two of them in the loft, both with keyboard issues. I recently bought a couple of membranes and one day I'll get round to fitting them, although I'll need to find a way to connect them to a monitor. I believe there are RGB->VGA adapters available.
I bought the first one in 1984, as soon as it came out, and waited patiently in the queue as the usual Sinclair delivery date slippage occurred. The wait meant I did manage to miss the first bodged ROM, which - off the top of my head - used up the entire 32KB of EPROM on the main board and had to have an extra 16KB plugged into the ROM expansion slot at the back. Leaving, of course, no room for a ROM cartridge for anything else. Famously known as the "Kludge". I can't remember which ROM version that was. I think mine was "AH", the first to be fitted entirely on the board (with two EPROMS piggy-backed on top of each other, I seem to remember), although I have an inkling I managed to return it to Sinclair for a swap to a "JM" machine.

The second one I believe I got as a swap for my Spectrum 128, around 1989 or 1990. A friend was given the QL for her daughters and I suggested the Spectrum would be of more use. That one had the last version of ROM, "JS" I think. There are open-source versions available now with things like true multi-tasking for SuperBASIC programmes, which was never achieved in the production versions. All multi-tasking had to be done in assembled or compiled code.

The AMP connectors used for the serial ports and keyboard ports were not RJ45 but rather were part of the same AMP family as the BT telephone connector. They had different keying to prevent the wrong type of equipment (e.g. a phone) from being plugged in. Remember your comment about the ZX81 power connector? That comment must have been transported back in time to a Sinclair engineer working on the QL who thought, "OK, but be careful what you wish for..."
Those connectors were never replaced during the lifetime of the QL but of course there were QL derivatives created by others and it is likely they changed the connectors to something more conventional.

When the QL came out, floppy drives were still pretty expensive, although they started to come down in price soon afterwards. Sinclair had developed the Microdrive as a much cheaper alternative and was still pushing it. Sinclair was always pushing lower prices to get technology into the hands of the masses. I had (probably still have) a 3.5" (80-track, DSDD) floppy drive and interface card for the QL and also an EPROM programmer. I used the latter, along with the QL C compiler (which used the ROM cartridge port as well as a programme in RAM loaded from Microdrive) to cross-compile the firmware for a 68K board I designed for the first business venture I was involved in. I also managed to adapt it to programme an 8748 microcontroller, which I used to build various projects. I seem to remember there is an 8049 in the QL to scan the keyboard and handle some other I/O tasks. As far as I can remember, the 8x48 had 64 bytes of RAM and 1KB of ROM while the 8x49 had 128 byutes of RAM and 2KB ROM.

I built my own memory expansion board (maybe 256K?) using static RAM chips I was able to source through work at the time. All wire-wrapped.

I've noticed I've been talking about "programmes", which of course is what we had in the UK in those days, before we imported "programs" from the US (ugh!)

_________________
www.SAABits.com - helping to keep Saabs on the road
Discount for UKS members: enter code UKS2021


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:38 pm 
Offline
Active user

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 4:17 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Stirling
Car Models: 9000, 9-5 Aero
Another QL owner here. I really must unearth it and see what state it is in, though was working just fine when last used approx 30 years ago. I have the Microvitec monitor for it, but will have to test that as well. Goodness only knows if the microdrives will work after such a long retirement. I remember having some game for the QL that had a 'boss' key facility (ref the thread with keyboard shortcuts for PCs) with this giving a rapidly re-calculating screen full of spreadsheet cells.

Other items include Psion 3, Psion MC400, a hybrid Atari ST (with grayscale Atari monitor) that can also boot off an 80286 to run DOS. Oh, there is an Oric somewhere at the back of a cupboard. Think it is an Atmos and I gave away the Oric 1, but may be other way around.

Neil


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:02 pm 
Offline
UKSaabs Trader
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 18717
Location: Devon
Buzz wrote:
I have the Microvitec monitor for it

I was a student when I bought mine and just managed to scrape up the dosh for the QL with nothing left over for a monitor. I initially used a portable B&W TV as a display, via the modulator output. Then I adapted the TV to add a jack-socket for composite input, which gave a noticeably clearer display. In those days, TVs used to come with a full schematic in the manual so it wasn't too hard to figure out where to inject the composite input (at the wiper of the "contrast" pot, I think). I do remember later on having a colour display but I can't remember what I used for it.

_________________
www.SAABits.com - helping to keep Saabs on the road
Discount for UKS members: enter code UKS2021


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:11 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Posts: 7958
Location: Wigan, Lancashire
Car Models: 99Ls, 9000cse, Panda, Octavia estate and far too many 9-5s.
Buzz wrote:
I have the Microvitec monitor for it

I used to the internal IT department for Microvitec in Standish (Wigan) where the service engineers were based. Bradford was the monitor place. And was 25 years ago.

_________________
Underskatta aldrig en gammal man med en gammal SAAB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:19 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Models: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T & Several Others...
I really need to get one of those monitors, preferably one with the switchable TTL/Analogue input option. Then with a handful of different adapter cables I'd be all set for pretty much all the vintage machines.

One of the old metal cased ones is obviously an absolute must to go with the BBC anyway as you really can't separate the two.

They were really well made those monitors as I recall. Both physically and electrically.

_________________
02 VW Caddy 1.9SDi, 90 Merc 208D Camper, 85 Sinclair C5, 83 Citroen BX14RE, 73 AC Model 70.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 6:06 pm 
Offline
UKSaabs Trader
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 18717
Location: Devon
Zelandeth wrote:
I really need to get one of those monitors, preferably one with the switchable TTL/Analogue input option.

I think it was a Cub? The only time I ever saw one in real life with a QL connected to it was at the Computer Science department at University where I went one day to borrow the QL Assembler. By great good fortune I happened to find a blank microdrive in my pocket while I was using it and what a handy thing for Sinclair to have given the QL two microdrives ;)
That saved a lot of dosh as well as a lot of hard work. The first really useful bit of QL software I ever wrote - a routine to print text in near-letter-quality on an Epson-compatible dot-matrix printer, subsequently published in "QL User" magazine - I wrote in 68K assembly language and hand-assembled into binary :shock:
I think the printer, a Brother, cost me half as much as the QL.
A few years down the line, I was working in my first business venture and I bought the QL C compiler from Metacomco (based on Lattice C) to cross-compile code for the project mentioned in my post above. I remember Metacomco very helpfully agreeing to provide the source code for the startup routines so I could rewrite them to get compiled C code running on a non-QL hardware platform.

_________________
www.SAABits.com - helping to keep Saabs on the road
Discount for UKS members: enter code UKS2021


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:58 am 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Models: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T & Several Others...
Hoping to get the Trevi dropped back with its owner tomorrow. So I gave it a bit of a once over this afternoon planning to take it for a bit of a longer test run.

It still wasn't running great, especially at idle but was a lot better that we started with. Though I discovered something rather interesting when I was doing a "what works, what doesn't" test this afternoon.

https://youtu.be/obVlyO2zhSA

I was manually holding the revs at about 3,000 rpm there, the switch I'm messing with was the switch for the heater blower. When it was turned on the engine ran worse. Like way, way worse.

Yeeeeahhh...it appears that in addition to a dead coil (the cause of the original breakdown), an intermittent ignition amplifier, utterly ruined distributor cap, some awful modern HT leads that weren't made properly, an intermittent connector between the distributor pickup and the wiring loom and an incorrectly sized third party rotor arm, that we also have been fighting a high resistance issue somewhere on the supply to the coil.

I did try jumping straight to the positive of the coil a while ago - but it made no obvious difference. However I've fixed a bunch of other issues since then so there is less to mask it!

Having had plenty of experience with Lada electrics this to be honest doesn't really surprise me. With the greatest of respect to Lancia, the Lada fuse box and wiring connectors actually seem better quality than the Lancia ones. I'm guessing we probably have slight issues in the fuse box itself *and* ignition switch. It's just resulting in excessive volt drop. It's worth noting that the dash volt meter basically drops to nothing when the heater blower is turned on, though the actual battery voltage doesn't droop excessively at all.

Simple enough to work around here for now - I've hooked up a (properly fused) direct feed to the battery from the coil ballast resistor via a relay. The relay is triggered by the original 12V feed to the coil, so all that is now having to do is energise the relay coil. That's taken around 5A of draw off the ignition switch etc and has ensured we have a nice solid 12V to the coil (well...the correct voltage after the ballast resistor). I couldn't get a solid reading on what we had there with the engine running as my digital meter had a fit because of the electrical noise there.

I've hooked up this wiring and just need to label things and to trim some cable ties then I'm going to call that done. The car sat idling quite happily for a good hour I reckon while I was tidying other things up. It's very obvious that the throttle response seems sharper from idle...so we might have improved things a lot.

Idle is still very lumpy, but I'm not at all convinced that's not entirely carb related. You can't hear spark dropping out now which you originally could

Turning on every electrical device on the car now has no effect on the running of the engine, which is an obvious improvement. It's noticeable that the voltmeter in the dash now just reads low then rather than basically nothing like before.

I will have a quick look and see if I can easily find where the 12V feed to the ignition amplifier itself is. If I can I will tap that into the same relay feed as that not getting a solid 12V could cause all sorts of nonsense as well. I'm not going to go hacking things about too much, but I'd like to get a solid power feed to there if I can as it would eliminate a lot of question marks over that side of things. If we have a weak point in there any "weight" I can take off the ignition switch etc has to be a good thing too.

Hopefully get it home tomorrow though... I'm slightly nervous to take it out of the neighborhood though as I don't really trust it yet on account of having had to push this car more times than any car I've ever actually owned!

_________________
02 VW Caddy 1.9SDi, 90 Merc 208D Camper, 85 Sinclair C5, 83 Citroen BX14RE, 73 AC Model 70.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:15 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Models: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T & Several Others...
Moderately busy day today. It started out helping a friend carry some parts for a car they were having delivered today. The Caddy is supremely useful at times like this.

Image

With that car deposited it made sense to also pick up something I've been waiting to have delivered for quite a while now as it was dropped off at the same location.

Image

Which magically materialised at my driveway 15 minutes later.

Image

Image

My original plan had been for the BX to move on first, but transport for that is still pending a confirmation date so we now have an excess of beige.

Image

This means I now have the car somewhere where I can start working on improving it.

Image

Image

The missing tailpipe will be a simple enough fix for now. I had this bit of pipe still sitting around from when I was messing around with the system on the Jag.

Image

Which happens to be exactly the right diameter, length and even has a swadged end so I can clamp it straight on the existing pipework. All I need to do is add a hanger and then this can stay as it is until I track down the correct silencer. It does actually sound quite pleasing at idle but I suspect it will be boomy when actually driving.

Sadly with the weather forecast this week being in the 30s for the rest of the week I can't see me getting much done.

While I was out and about a couple of packages arrived for me.

The first contained this.

Image

That is an original Sinclair QL power supply. I had been looking at coming up with a modern solution, however this popped up on eBay cheaply enough it just wasn't worth the hassle.

The second was also for the QL, but this time a modern replacement keyboard membrane.

Image

You can clearly enough see where the original one has cracked where the cable flexed.

Image

With the new membrane fitted and the power supply hooked up we do now have a working QL.

Image

Image

Will need to take some time to get to know the machine when I get a chance. It's probably the single one I'm the most actively curious about that I've come across for a long while.

_________________
02 VW Caddy 1.9SDi, 90 Merc 208D Camper, 85 Sinclair C5, 83 Citroen BX14RE, 73 AC Model 70.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:14 pm 
Offline
UKSaabs Trader
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 9:53 pm
Posts: 18717
Location: Devon
Well done!
That looks like the 40-character display mode. There is an 80-character mode too, although that might not be very clear on that monitor. Thinking about it now, that might be the reason I modified my TV to accept a composite input - to make the 80-character display mode usable.

Did it come with the SuperBASIC manual? It would be an A4 ring-binder. I think the command to change display modes was simply "mode x", where x is a number. That's casting my mind back over 30 years now, of course.

_________________
www.SAABits.com - helping to keep Saabs on the road
Discount for UKS members: enter code UKS2021


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:20 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Models: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T & Several Others...
BillJ wrote:
Well done!
That looks like the 40-character display mode. There is an 80-character mode too, although that might not be very clear on that monitor. Thinking about it now, that might be the reason I modified my TV to accept a composite input - to make the 80-character display mode usable.

Did it come with the SuperBASIC manual? It would be an A4 ring-binder. I think the command to change display modes was simply "mode x", where x is a number. That's casting my mind back over 30 years now, of course.


Correct, it prompts you to chose a TV or monitor output at start up and switches to 40/80 column mode respectively. The ability to switch that on the fly would be handy though.

I do have the stock manual I believe which is rather substantial!

Image

-- -- --

Time to take a little look at the Cavalier.

First up, I of course have my priorities right and had to fix this.

Before:

Image

After:

Image

Doesn't that look so much less neglected now?

Some further observations.

[] Stereo wiring. This is going to require some immediate attention before it makes me tear my hair out.

Image

Especially as I've ascertained that several of those wires are live.

[] Those tape holders need to go.

Image

They just look wrong in a 70s car to me. Likewise the 80s gear knob and gaiter. The gaiter I can probably live with, but the gear knob is just wrong and looks totally out of place.

[] Heater fan is non functional. We knew this going in. It is drawing power so is probably just seized up from sitting. Access is okay it looks like we it's all in the engine bay.

Also on the subject of heating, the temperature slider is seized.

[] Dash lighting looks to be 3/5ths working. We have 50% of the instrument panel and the heater controls. Half the dash, rear window defroster switch and the clock are currently not working.

Image

Speaking of the rear window demister switch, I was kind of surprised to find that the indicator tab on the switch to show it's on is purple...I was expecting white, maybe orange or green...but not...purple.

Image

Random detail, but it pleases me.

While on the topic of colour, my camera really can't pick it up but the main beam light on the dash is a really nice ultra saturated deep blue. In fact all of the lights on the dash are very, very vibrant (in a way that sends CCD based cameras running screaming in terror). It's pretty much useless trying to photograph the red ones, they just turn out magenta.

Image

Yes I'm going to geek out over the dash... it's an aspect of automotive design I've always had a big interest in and I greatly enjoy seeing examples like this where a designer has managed to inject a little flair into what is actually a very basic panel that could have been utterly boring and still worked just as well.

[] Ignition light is intermittent. Just a poor lamp holder contact it seems as tapping the dash gentky always wakes it up.

[] Windscreen washers don't, and the wiper blades are precisely as wrecked as you'd expect.

[] Clutch release bearing (or throw out bearing to our American readers) is really rather noisy. Yes, this is how easy this car starts.

https://youtu.be/2GVH6mRdBt0

[] Rear parcel shelf. Some very 1980s carpet covering the speaker holes. I will be wanting to put some decent speakers in there anyway...so the fact someone has already hacked some holes in there in my mind is a really good thing given it means I can do that guilt free.

Image

[] Door dents. I've had a couple of suggestions for folks who might be able to improve this situation so will see where that goes.

Image

I've picked up oil and an oil filter for it...that amounts to the grand total of what my local factors can get for this car in terms of service items, so I'll need to do some online shopping it seems.

_________________
02 VW Caddy 1.9SDi, 90 Merc 208D Camper, 85 Sinclair C5, 83 Citroen BX14RE, 73 AC Model 70.


Last edited by Zelandeth on Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:44 am 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Posts: 7958
Location: Wigan, Lancashire
Car Models: 99Ls, 9000cse, Panda, Octavia estate and far too many 9-5s.
The purple on the switch looks to me like it was originally red back in the mists of time. Pun intended. :D

_________________
Underskatta aldrig en gammal man med en gammal SAAB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:20 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Milton Keynes
Car Models: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa 2.0T & Several Others...
DeeDub8 wrote:
The purple on the switch looks to me like it was originally red back in the mists of time. Pun intended. :D


Possibly, just odd for it to have happened on something which will have been in the shade 99.999% of the time.

-- -- --

Quick job today was to bridge the broken bit of the vent line from the fuel tank. Oddly just one bit had gone crispy and shattered, the rest of the tube is perfectly pliable. So just stuffed a bit of fuel line to replace that little part.

Image

Apparently this worked as the boot (and by extension the entire interior) no longer stink of fuel.

I have also got into the back of the heater blower and drowned it in penetrating oil. I suspect I need to pull it to bits and clean up the bearings directly, but will see if this helps tomorrow.

I notice that I'm missing the cover from the back of both headlights. Anyone still got any of these floating around in a box somewhere?

Image

I noticed something...or rather noticed the absence of something in the cabin. Not actually missing, rather something the car just has never had.

Here are the grand total of your driver controls.

Image

Image

Nothing down here aside from the radio if it was still there.

Image

Figured it out yet?

No rear fog lights! Welcome to 1978 I guess!

While they are all holding air, the tyres definitely won't be going anywhere near the road beyond possibly a walking pace trundle round our block.

Image

Changing these was already on my plan, immediately below "make the brakes work" anyhow so no surprises finding that perishing.

-- -- --

Cleanup of the QL is underway.

Keycaps and latterly plungers all removed.

Fun fact, keyboards are gross.

Image

Was surprised to find that the key caps are reverse moulded rather than just being black plastic with a silk screened legend on. Given Sinclair's usual approach to cost savings I hadn't expected this.

Image

Soon enough we had a pile of bits ready to carry downstairs to get a good old scrub up.

Image

Before:

Image

After:

Image

Likewise over the other side.

Before:

Image

After:

Image

All just waiting to be thoroughly dried out now before it gets reassembled.

Image

Should look like new once it goes back together.

_________________
02 VW Caddy 1.9SDi, 90 Merc 208D Camper, 85 Sinclair C5, 83 Citroen BX14RE, 73 AC Model 70.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 11:42 pm 
Offline
UKS Addict
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Posts: 7958
Location: Wigan, Lancashire
Car Models: 99Ls, 9000cse, Panda, Octavia estate and far too many 9-5s.
Zelandeth wrote:
DeeDub8 wrote:
The purple on the switch looks to me like it was originally red back in the mists of time. Pun intended. :D


Possibly, just odd for it to have happened on something which will have been in the shade 99.999% of the time.

-- -- --

I did think that too but but was the only explanation I could think of that fitted.
But as it's a rocker switch maybe it was never switched off. There's enough people with strange ideas out there...

_________________
Underskatta aldrig en gammal man med en gammal SAAB


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:05 am 
Offline
Active user

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 4:17 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Stirling
Car Models: 9000, 9-5 Aero
Zelandeth wrote:
Should look like new once it goes back together.


You could add extra ventilation, against the possible overheating problem. I recall reading (apocryphal?) of one person who drilled some holes through from the top of the case. They were slow to realise when it no longer worked at all, that drilling through the circuitry generally doesn't end well!

Probably best to leave as standard....

How are you for software?

Neil


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1674 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 80, 81, 82, 83, 84

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

follow UKSaabs on Twitter



UKSaabs silhouette logo images by Mark Green www.greenphotos.com
"subsilver2" slightly bodged by UKSaabs for our own use.

:: Disclaimer ::
Comments posted here are the views of their individual authors and are not necessarily shared by the owners of this Web site.
Authors assume all responsibility for comments posted here.

UKSaabs The biggest and best privately owned UK based independent Saab forum for all SAAB enthusiasts.
Whilst we encourage our users to support our advertisers the site wishes to remain independent and therefore does not endorse any particular advertiser(s)
UKSaabs is not affiliated with Saab Cars UK or Saab Automobile AB