RetroClinic DataCentre

The RetroClinic DataCentre is a rather marvelous piece of modern hardware that interfaces with the BBC Micro and Master series of computers via the 1MHz bus. Amongst other things, the Datacentre provides USB ports, a full 16-bit IDE interface and 1MB of RAM which is configured as four virtual floppy discs of 200KB each.

As a device to assist in archiving old floppy discs and enabling the transfer of data quickly and easily to any number of computers that support USB flash devices, the RetroClinic DataCentre is invaluable. The fact that it also offers a full 16-bit IDE interface that provides support for Compact Flash storage solutions and more is simply and added bonus that cannot be ignored!

Every serious 8-bit Acorn enthusiast should own one of these devices.

The RetroClinic Datacentre Issue 2 board

image copyright RetroClinic

The DataCentre fitted to my BBC Micro

I purchased a RetroClinic DataCentre kit and fitted the thing myself drilling holes, gluing LED's in place and generally having fun tinkering with the BBC Micro's hardware. The photo below shows the finished article as fitted internally and gives you an idea of just how expanded this Beeb really is.

The RetroClinic DataCentre as fitted to my BBC Micro Model B

In this shot, you can see the Econet interface top left of the circuit board, the speech upgrade bottom left, the RetroClinic 1770 disc controller bottom left, covering part of the speech upgrade, the ATPL Sidewise ROM board central, the Video ULA with custom fan to keep it cool and finally connected to the 1MHz port via the ribbon cable and fixed to the top of the BBC Micro case, the RetroClinic DataCentre with IDE-CF Adapter, 2GB of Compact Flash and a USB extender cable providing a nice USB socket connection at the back of the machine. There's also a headphone socket with cabling running up the left of the circuit board mounted on the rear panel of the machine.

Video of the DataCentre in action

You can see the RetroClinic DataCentre in action in the YouTube video below which demonstrates just how easy it makes importing BBC Micro SSD and DSD disc images.


The RetroClinic DataCentre is available from

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Datacentre resources

The Datacentre manual appears here by kind permission of Retroclinic.