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
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
Although the only anti-static precautions
seemed to be making sure that they did not stay still for
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
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
One of Jim's faulty MTX boards got
working with Claus's "special" ROM - donated to Claus as
Jim's HxC (floppy disc emulator)
firmware upgraded and now able to write (rather than
just read) Memotech formatted images (thanks to Dave's
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
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
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 . . .
|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
Text & Photo :
|Another "mug shot" - including our host, Jim
|And another combination !
|Jim's fake "Russian" red
|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
|Jim's two FDX units, sadly,
both not working due to faulty PSUs.
|Close up of number 1
|Close up of number 2
|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.
|Bill's Raspberry Pi running MEMU
Speculator, running at Memofest
|Bill's EPROM programmer
board - designed to interface to the MTX
|In a similar vein, Bill's PIC programmer board
|The "Repair Station"
- Andy Key fixing
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.
|A picture taken of Andy in the MTX hospital
resuscitating another MTX. Not sure where Mark
Kinsey had gone.
Text & Photo :
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 !