Make this my favourite Sinclair QL Microdrive Cartridge (single), Virt. new, Best quality, ZX Spectrum

Retro Computers >> Sinclair >> Sinclair QL >> Components
Listing type:
Fixed Price Multiple Items
Item Condition:
Seller location:
Burkhardtsdorf, Sachsen, Germany
Ending in:
23 days, 18h:17m:08s
Quantity Available
Latest buyer:
f***s (4)
Fixed price:
£3.70 Buy now!
Shipping Costs:
Free delivery available
Payment methods:
Paypal, Bank transfer
Number Sold:
47 (View history)
Buyer Value Date and hour Quantity bought
f***s (4) £7.40 22/10/2020  21:15:55 2
E***t (17) £37.00 11/10/2020  13:54:01 10
H***e (1) £39.50 03/08/2020  13:42:07 10
t***r (2) £110.00 25/03/2020  13:53:30 25

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Item Number : 42566

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Antonowsky (30) User Offline

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Fixed price: £3.70
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As new-as-you'll ever find, Sinclair QL/ZX Spectrum Microdrive cartridges. Discounts available for 2 or more (and postage works out cheaper per unit, too) - contact me.
Lots sold already (elsewhere)... I always take extreme care and time to check that these are all in fully working order with very low (max 7, sometimes 0) bad sectors and I believe that these are the best Sinclair Microdrive cartridges you can find anywhere. 
What are they:
These Sinclair Microdrive cartridges appear to have originally been the property of Psion and/or Sinclair. They were only ever written to once and then stored since 1986. The cartridges are physically in excellent as-new condition - as good as you'll find. Psion v1.0 software (Quill, Abacus, Archive and Easel) was on all of them that I've checked so far (about 80 out of many). They were never sold/bundled and have never had labels stuck on them. 
Where do they come from:
Perhaps their total lack of use was due to the QL launch debacle, and by the time it went to market newer software versions may have already been finished. Who knows? What I do know for sure is that the original owner bought thousands of cartridges in 1986 - I know that because I've seen his original Quill document correspondence, that was also stored on cartridges! He appears to have created some kind of database program for cataloguing vinyl records and it's likely that he intended to retail it on these. He may have been too late, as also in 1986 the QL was taken off the market and people were also moving over to disk storage by then.
The only slight disadvantage with these, is that the write protect tab has been removed and that means to write new data onto them that you have to stick something over the hole, write to it, then, if needed, remove the tape/sticker. I can only guess, but perhaps the fact that the write protect tabs were removed after the V1.0 software was written meant that it was too much work to write newer versions of software onto them and Psion simply used new cartridges (or got them free from Sinclair) with intact write-protect tabs to save having the labour intensive work.
So, to write to these cartridges you have to stick someone over the write protect hole - not a problem to do for a few, but you wouldn't want to do it for thousands of them!
The biggest advantage with these and their unique selling point and that they are as close to new as you'll ever find. The original owner passed away recently, and these had been in storage for 34 years. That means that the tape has very little, if any, wear and the ones that I've tested with my own writing/reading of data seem to be very reliable with low numbers of unusable sectors. Obviously, as always, the little pieces of 'felt' that push the tape against the read head have disintegrated and for that reason I have re-felted them all. I've also formatted them 6 times for the QL (which is also time consuming) in order to stretch the tape to a healthy length, which was recommended in contemporary literature and at the same time it makes sure each cartridge is in good order. 
  • This listing is for 1 cartridges in 'as new as it gets' condition.
  • To write data to them you need to cover the write-protect hole.
  • All have been re-felted with quality tested material.
  • They have all been formatted 6 times on a Sinclair QL with no failures (any that fail get turned into keyrings!)
  • They can also be used in the ZX Spectrum Microdrive but you'll need to re-format them first.
n.b. Yes I know that the demand for Sinclair Microdrive cartridges is pretty low and the fact that I've just waffled on extensively either shows that I'm a few bits short of the full byte, or that I'm a bit too enthusiastic about Sinclair stuff (or both?!). I have already sold lots of these Microdrive cartridges to all over Europe over the past year or so and none are known to me to have failed. There cannot be anyone in 2020 that still actually uses these to save data to, but these are virtually new museum quality. Everyone that is interested in retro computers should have some at home ;) and even if they are never used, these are cult 100kb relics and erm, they look cool. Note that the last two pictures show how they were originally boxed and transported in quantities of 200 when new.
Postage is free within Germany and is at cost to all other places. I will wrap well and often send on the same day.


Picture gallery

  • Sinclair QL Microdrive Cartridge (single), Virt. new, Best quality, ZX Spectrum
  • Sinclair QL Microdrive Cartridge (single), Virt. new, Best quality, ZX Spectrum
  • Sinclair QL Microdrive Cartridge (single), Virt. new, Best quality, ZX Spectrum
  • Sinclair QL Microdrive Cartridge (single), Virt. new, Best quality, ZX Spectrum

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Shipping and Payment

Item Location:
Burkhardtsdorf, Sachsen, Germany
Shipping conditions:
Buyer pays shipping expenses
Shipment fee:
  • To Germany :
  • First Class Post : FREE
  • To EU :
  • Airmail Post : £3.00 For initial item, £0.10 Per additional item
  • To Europe (Non EU) :
  • Airmail Post : £3.00 For initial item, £0.10 Per additional item
Shipment terms:
Not specified
Payment methods:
Paypal, Bank transfer

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