qlwiki:q40

Q40

The Q40 was a complete replacement for the Sinclair QL home computer.

Based around a Motorola 68040 processor (as used in the Super Gold Card), the Q40 was designed by Peter Graf in Germany and used a custom designed motherboard, with a standard PC I/O daughterboard for handling communications with the hard disk, floppy disk drives and serial ports.

Although supplied with SMSQ/e on EPROM, the Q40 could also run QDOS Classic or even its own version of Linux. Unfortunately, versions of SMSQ/e later than v3.10 are now too large to fit on EPROM and have to be loaded from the hard disk.

The Q40 was designed to fit into a PC-style AT case, using standard PC parts such as floppy disk drives, hard disks, keyboards, PC power supply, monitors and so on. The computer could have from 16MB to 128MB of RAM and came with 256K of ROM.

The Q40 not only supports the standard Sinclair QL screen mode (512x256 pixels in 4 or 8 colours), but thanks to the latest SMSQ/e, it supports up to 65536 colours at a screen resolution of 1024x512 pixels. Along with that, came support for sampled sound playback, up to 20kHz using the Unsigned Byte (.ub) sound file format; up to 2 floppy disk drives and 2 hard disks (or a hard disk and CD-ROM); up to 2 serial ports and a parallel printer port. It had a slot for PC-style ISA add-on cards, although most fo these would have required QL drivers of course.

Initially only available as a motherboard for building into a system of your choice, it was later made available as a complete ready built computer by Derek Stewart and Dennis Smith of D&D Systems in England.

More details appear on the Q40 / Q60 website

  • qlwiki/q40.txt
  • Last modified: 2017/09/04 09:53
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