After a short hiatus today saw me back on the soldering iron with the practice Spectrum board. A quick recap, we did a recap (fitted new capacitors) and the power supply circuitry then used the Retroleum Smart card to diagnose a memory fault. After getting it fired up and displaying correctly with new lower ram chip and an upper ram chip the diagnostic program said we have a ram fault on ic15. Today that chip was removed and a socket fitted in its place with a new chip in place.


The above video shows the Retroleum Smart card in action as a diagnostic tool, it also shows it showing that ic15 is still faulty despite it being new. So I tried another Spectrum and that also shows ic15 faulty, and a 3rd one, the same. Aah, a faulty diagnosis for some reason I guessed, I tried one more and that passed all tests so it’s a little odd. Back to the Spectrum 4 ever Facebook group for more input I guess.

Whilst I had the good Speccy hooked up it was a good time to test the joystick port on the Smart card, which acts as a Kempston interface. I am glad to report it works just fine on Jetpac, and Chase HQ.

Sticking with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum I also got another one recently, along with a joystick interface and 2 joysticks, a Speedking and a Quickshot. All but the Spectrum work fine, but the Retroleum Smart card says its an upper ram fault on ic15 and 16.

I have actually bought this to fit in one of Piotr Bugaj Just Speccy 128k boards which come with sd card interface built in along with some other great upgrades. More on this when it happens, but it should be great looking at the videos from Piotr, and they will be available from

Finally for the Spectrum updates my 128k +2 had a little use too, as I bought a scart cable for it a while back but got no display on my CRT tv with it. While everyone was out I hooked up the Speccy to our other tv, and it worked just great using one of Piotr PicoDivSD interfaces from sell my retro.

Today also saw a little Raspberry Pi action with a Retro Pie installation on an 8 gb SD card. Mixed results really, it worked on my cheap usb joypad for the main emulator picking screen, but wouldn’t retain the joypad settings in individual emulators. I have some reading up to do I fear.

Enough from me for now then, byee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.