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The Memotech MTX Series

 

Memofest 2013  2014  2015  2016

 

There has been a surge in the popularity of the Memotech MTX in the last 2 or 3 years, to such an extent that consideration was given to hosting a MTX User Meeting in the UK in 2013. Initially, it was hoped that there would be enough interest to merit booking a venue and holding a quite structured event. Unfortunately, despite quite a lot of interest, not enough people were able to commit to attending to justify an event of this nature.

However, there were a number of people keen to meet up, reminisce about the "good old days" and discuss the latest developments in the Memotech world. Jim Wills, an ex-Memotech employee and co-owner of Megastar games, generously hosted a smaller event at his home.

Held in Witney on 22nd September, "Memofest" was a very well attended event, with people coming from near (Jim) and far (Claus) – Certain individuals deciding against the intended themed attire in favour of sporting some shameless advertising merchandise - you know who you are!

Despite the seemingly never ending stream of coke, coffee, pizza and home-bakes, the attendees did manage to squeeze in some Memotech related activities during the course of the day. The participants included some of the most active participants in the Memotech MTX500 Facebook group, with a good range of Memotech equipment, working and non-working, on show, including :-

As well as Jim's "treasure trove" of Memotech "bits & pieces" - a big plastic crate, seemingly overflowing with Memotech "stuff". Watching from afar, I did cringe somewhat seeing and hearing what resembled a hoard of toddlers at a Santa's Lucky Dip - Christmas comes early in Witney

Although the only anti-static precautions seemed to be making sure that they did not stay still for too long

Jim generously donated quite a few of his Memotech "goodies" to the attendees, including a number of games ROMs and tapes and an MTX motherboard that will allow Claus to test things on a real MTX and, hopefully, continue with his game conversions. Paul picked up some additional .wav files for conversion to .mtx that we should see before too long.

A great deal of Memotech and general 1980's technical expertise was present - although the same individuals seemed to struggle with 21st Century technology such as a ‘not so’ SMART LCD TV - a symptom of their age perhaps? A repair station, manned by Andy and Mark, was setup to look at some of the ailing Memotech equipment.

Notable successes  :

  • Paul's MTX repaired

  • Claus's MTX board power problem was repaired, but sadly, the board did not make it off the operating table despite the best attempts of the top two MTX Dr's in the land (Mark has taken it back for additional research).

  • One of Jim's faulty MTX boards got working with Claus's "special" ROM - donated to Claus as noted earlier

  • Jim's HxC (floppy disc emulator) firmware upgraded and now able to write (rather than just read) Memotech formatted images (thanks to Dave's support)

As with most events of this nature, much of the value was in the "networking" of information, with many technical and historical discussions going on throughout the day.

Big thanks must be given also to Jim’s friend Noel, who is not really an MTX nut like the rest of us (he is into retro in a big way though), who provided another table and other items, plus without him, we would not have been able to get the Speculator up and running on the MTX - which has not been seen running for almost 27 years.

So, a big "thank you" to Jim for hosting the event, and to those who made the effort to attend - hopefully, this is the first of many more. Special thanks as well to Jim's partner, Sarah, for providing, what I'm led to believe, were lovely cakes - I really enjoyed watching folks eating them

 More photos coming soon - if you were at the event, and have some to share, please send me a copy and I'll add them here . . .

Memofest 2013

Click on the images to open the full size photo
"A mug shot of some of those that came to Memofest 2013 and made it such a great day. Just want to say a very big thank you to everyone that turned up, I had a great time and there were moments when with the MTX sounds going on in the background that I felt almost like being back in the offices of Memotech"

Text & Photo : Jim Wills

Another "mug shot" - including our host, Jim

Photo : Andy Key

And another combination !

Photo : Paul Daniels

Jim's fake "Russian" red MTX 512

Photo : Andy Key

Some of the contents of Jim's "treasure trove" . . .

Including lots of ROM, RAM and Game ROM cards, sorry about the "corruption" in the picture - I'm led to believe that they are Memotech expansion cards for some Sinclair rubbish - probably the ZX81.

Photo : Andy Key

Jim's two FDX units, sadly, both not working due to faulty PSUs.

Photo : Andy Key

Close up of number 1

Photo : Andy Key

Close up of number 2

Photo : Andy Key

Bill's Raspberry Pi - as well as the standard connections -  power, USB, video and sound, you can see Bill's custom joystick connection to the RPi GPIO connector.

Photo : Andy Key

Bill's Raspberry Pi running MEMU

Photo : Andy Key

Tony Brewer's Speculator, running at Memofest

Photo : Andy Key

Bill's EPROM programmer board - designed to interface to the MTX

Photo : Andy Key

In a similar vein, Bill's PIC programmer board

Photo : Andy Key

The "Repair Station"

- Andy Key fixing Paul's broken MTX512.

The machine was dead, displaying only a black screen - caused by a short on the A7 address line, close to the memory decoder PAL, spotted by Mark "Eagle Eye" Kinsey.

 

Photo : Tony Butterfield

A picture taken of Andy in the MTX hospital resuscitating another MTX. Not sure where Mark Kinsey had gone.

Text & Photo : Paul Daniels

 

The evening was brought to a close when a couple of familiar faces from the past dropped in to say hello . . . . . .

 

 

 

 

Although, as you can see, the years have not treated Lisa too kindly !

 

 

 

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