Setname:  ql   
Year: 1984
Manufacturer: Sinclair Research Ltd
Status: good  works
Type: Home Computer
Clones: QL (Germany),
QL (Denmark),
QL (Spain),
QL (France),
QL (Greece),
QL (Italy),
QL (Sweden),
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  supported   

Tech info
 Base hardware: (available in all slot configurations)
M68008 ("ic18")cpu 7500000 Hz
I8749 ("ic24")cpu 11000000 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
Filtered 1-bit DAC ("speaker")audio
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 512 x 256 @ 50.080000
Media devices
cassette ("mdv1") cassette1 cass1 mdv
cassette ("mdv2") cassette2 cass2 mdv
cartridge ("rom") cartridge cart rom, bin
BIOS options
fb v1.00 (FB)
pm v1.01 (PM)
ah v1.02 (AH)
jm v1.03 (JM)
tb v1.0? (TB)
js v1.10 (JS)
tyche v2.05 (Tyche)
min189 Minerva v1.89
RAM options
128K 131072
Software lists

 Optional hardware: (available with specific slot configurations)

 Configure the slot options for ql:
 Slot Value

Show detailed info about 'Configurations' of this system

QL Internal Mouse Interface (QIMI) Off

Show detailed info about 'Slot Options' of this system
Slot options

NameValueCompatible device(s)
exp cumanafdiql_cumanafdi
rom mhdql_mhd
ser1 keyboardserial_keyboard
ser2 keyboardserial_keyboard

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
bql010-sqpp16384 07834797ba94bdad2303a263008b6ea744669a19938d9998good
hal16l8.ic381024 nodump
ipc8049.ic242048 6a0d1f20fcb1c97ee7c66e5b6d8fbb57c06fd2f6509f2e1bgood
ah.ic33.116384 a9b4d2df142d6f01a9621aff5e0ad678bd3cbf5cde0db801baddumpah
ah.ic33.216384 36488e4eff6f597b30ea03ce480a3d6728fd1d858da34d6abaddumpah
ah.ic3416384 61259d4cbdd10d111e7ba488551a27c8d3b2743917ff1307baddumpah
fb.ic3332768 nodumpfb
fb.ic3416384 nodumpfb
ql.jm 0000.ic3332768 1f8e840a7929e716dfe88318bbe99e34f47d039957fe3cc0goodjm
ql.jm 8000.ic3416384 9168a2e91e7c47a59fc40bd96dfefc2f4d86827c15f0199egoodjm
ql.js 8000.ic3416384 c970800eb8c9203026a7de6a44bd0942ec9343e8b222cb41goodjs
ql.js 0000.ic3332768 1bbad3b859fd4372771a630967ee102760f4652904d7d5fagoodjs
minerva.rom49152 930befe384a99c4df13b97f90baf1ec8cb6c2e52e3e1bb4dbaddumpmin189
pm.ic3332768 nodumppm
pm.ic3416384 nodumppm
tb.ic3416384 de7f96699d6bc0b794541a4cec2203256ae92c7e68d1011dbaddumptb
tb.ic3332768 1c86d6887df8028e6671afc4ebd5f65bf6c2d6019181f239baddumptb
tyche.rom65536 8724b4955f33a1bc3f23fd09c31844b65bc3aca7616f180agoodtyche


* CPU: Motorola MC 68008 7.5 MHz
* Co-Processor: Intel 8049 IPC (RS232, speaker, joysticks, keyboard), Sinclair ZX8301 (Peripheral Control), Sinclair ZX8302 (Peripheral Chip)
* RAM: 128 kb (up to 728 kb without additional CPU), 85 kb free under Super Basic
* VRAM: 32 kb
* ROM: 48 kb (up to 64 kb)
* Text Modes: 40 x 25, 64 x 25, 85 x 25
* Graphic Modes: 256 x 256 (8 colors), 512 x 256 (4 colors)
* Colors: 256 color effects
* Sound: Beeper
* I/O Ports: 2 x Serial sockets (RS232), 2 x Sinclair Network sockets, 2 x Controllers sockets, ROM connector, Expansion bus, External microdrives bus, RGB video output, RF video output,
* Keyboard: QWERTY / AZERTY pseudo full-stroke keyboard, 5 function keys
* Built In Media: 2 x microdrives (100 kb each)
* Built In Language: Sinclair Super Basic


MESS emulates the following computers

* ql [Sinclair QL (UK)]
* ql_us [Sinclair QL (USA)]
* ql_es [Sinclair QL (Spain)]
* ql_fr [Sinclair QL (France)]
* ql_de [Sinclair QL (Germany)]
* ql_it [Sinclair QL (Italy)]
* ql_se [Sinclair QL (Sweden)]
* ql_dk [Sinclair QL (Denmark)]
* ql_gr [Sinclair QL (Greece)]

For each system, MESS supports the emulation with

* two cassette devices, "cassette1" (cass1) and "cassette2" (cass2), for .mdv files
* a cart slot, "cartridge" (cart), for .bin files

Also notice that the two serial ports, "serial1" (serl1) and "serial2" (serl2), are emulated as well.


These systems require full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).

Original Keyboard:

F1 ESC © 1! 2@ 3# 4$ 5% 6^ 7& 8* 9( 0) -_ =+ £~ \|

F2 TABULATE Q W E R T Y U I O P [{ ]} | |
| |
-- |
F3 CAPS LOCK A S D F G H J K L ;: '" |Enter |

F4 SHIFT Z X C V B N M ,< .> /? SHIFT


BIOS options

MESS supports several different QL (UK) revisions: v1.10 (JS), v1.0? (TB), v1.03 (JM), v1.02 (AH), v2.05 (Tyche), Minerva v1.89. You can switch between them, changing the -bios parameter. At command line,

"-bios 0" or "-bios default" = v1.10 (JS)

"-bios 1" or "-bios tb" = v1.0? (TB)

"-bios 2" or "-bios jm" = v1.03 (JM)

"-bios 3" or "-bios ah" = v1.02 (AH)

"-bios 6" or "-bios tyche" = v2.05 (Tyche)

"-bios 7" or "-bios min189" = Minerva v1.89

MESS also supports three different QL (Germany) revisions: v1.10 (MG), v1.14 (MF), Ultrasoft. You can switch between them, changing the -bios parameter. At command line,

"-bios 0" or "-bios default" = v1.10 (MG)

"-bios 1" or "-bios mf" = v1.14 (MF)

"-bios 2" or "-bios ultramg" = Ultrasoft

RAM options

Different RAM configurations are possible for these systems in MESS. You can switch between them, changing the -ramsize parameter. At command line, you simply have to add ''-ramsize ram_value'', where //ram_value// can assume one of the following values

128k (default)

Known Issues

ql_dk emulation is still Preliminary due to an undumped BIOS rom.

History and Trivia

The Sinclair QL (which stands for Quantum Leap) was the first attempt for Clive Sinclair to produce a computer for business. But after the success of the ZX-81 and ZX Spectrum, the QL can also be regarded as the first failure of Sinclair. In January 1984, Clive Sinclair presents the QL to the press, unveiling a very promising and inventive machine, based on the 68008 processor from Motorola. Indeed it was the first home computer based on a 32 bits CPU, just a few days before the Apple Macintosh. It was important for Clive Sinclair to unveil the QL before the Macintosh, but that was also one of the main reasons for the QL's failure...

The British ICL company conceived a desktop information system based on the QL mainboard. It was sold in the U.K. under the names One Per Desk and Merlin Tonto. The same model was also sold in Australia, with the name Telecom Computerphone.

(info from old-computers.com)


* Club QL International -- http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Vista/4807/
* Thierry Godefroy's Page -- http://qdos.dyns.net/
* Planet Sinclair -- http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/computers/ql/ql.htm
* QL at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=199

Other Emulators

* QLAY -- http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/A.Jaw.Venema/
* QPC2 -- http://www.kilgus.net/qpc/

Edit the History info for this game.


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