Rotronics Wafadrive (2)

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The Rotronics Wafadrive was a peripheral for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer, intended to compete with Sinclair's ZX Interface 1 and ZX Microdrive. 1984

The Wafadrive comprised two continuous loop "stringy floppy" tape drives, an RS-232 interface and Centronics parallel port.

The drives could run at two speeds, high speed for seeking and low speed for reading/writing, which was significantly slower than that of Microdrives. The cartridges (or "wafers"), the same as those used in Entrepo stringy floppy devices for other microcomputers, were physically larger than Microdrive cartridges. They were available in three different capacities, nominally 16 kB, 64 kB or 128 kB.

The same drive mechanism, manufactured by BSR, and cartridges were used in a similar device known as the Quick Data Drive (QDD), designed to connect to the serial port of the Commodore 64 home computer..

The unit is more compact than Sinclair's, containing both RS-232 and Centronics printer interfaces as standard.

The power for the drives is taken from the Spectrum user port and fed through a ribbon connector which is fitted onto the base of the Wafadrive. That connection could be a disadvantage as it limits the range of other peripherals that can be put onto the user port at the rear of the drive unit.

A manual is available at

Date : 1984

Manufacturer : Rotronics

Physical Description : Cardboard box x2 polystyrene packaging ends Rotronics Wafadrive unit x2 tapes original packaging bag for unit

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH30273. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

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