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-   -   ACA500 plus? (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=79303)

Robbie 13 December 2016 12:21

I noticed that too. He may as well have put it on for a grand - doesn't mean it's worth that to anyone though.

Schoenfeld 13 December 2016 12:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Signman (Post 1128033)
No, I meant my star trek reference.

We have that all the time here - I sometimes don't even notice myself: A few months ago I got new windows in the roof, and when they called me upstairs for making a decision, I finished with "make it so!". Put a big smile on four guy's faces. Treckies don't always work for IT companies ;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkat (Post 1128097)
Can I ask if this is going to be well stocked? I'm keen to get one but with no (I believe) pre-order opportunities or signup for email notifications I just hope I hear about it going on sale and don't want to miss out :)

You can sign up for notifications if you register on icomp.de. If you're logged in, you see an extra box that you can tick for every product (at the top of each product description). If you tick that, you'll get notifications about stock changes, pre-orders, and other product-related news like follow-up products. This may mean that you get two notifications if you tick the box on both the ACA500 and the ACA500plus page.

Jens

Schoenfeld 14 December 2016 11:44

Another update to the product description: Included software also includes Thor's 040/060 libraries. These are made available as residents, so you don't have to copy them to a WB installation manually.

This is following the idea of supporting A500 computers that have a defective or even missing floppy drive. Without such a drive, you may not be able to copy the library from the original floppy to your CF card. With the libraries in Flash, a plain vanilla 3.1 installation will run fine if the B1260 is attached.

Jens

demolition 14 December 2016 12:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schoenfeld (Post 1128249)
This is following the idea of supporting A500 computers that have a defective or even missing floppy drive. Without such a drive, you may not be able to copy the library from the original floppy to your CF card. With the libraries in Flash, a plain vanilla 3.1 installation will run fine if the B1260 is attached.

I guess more people have the lib available on their PCs, rather than the original floppies but if it doesn't break anything else, then it should be nice. So does this mean the B1260 is officially supported? :)

Schoenfeld 14 December 2016 13:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by demolition (Post 1128259)
So does this mean the B1260 is officially supported? :)

Kind of - it's part of the effort "we do our best to make it work", but if some detail doesn't work at the customer's site, I can't guarantee it to be fixed. So far, we've only tested it with the B1260, but not yet with the (quite rare) B1240.

Jens

Toni Wilen 14 December 2016 18:47

Bigger problem is that Blizzard 1260 (and 1240, PPC most likely too) need customized libraries that inhibit all caching to lower 16M of RAM, only Blizzard onboard RAM can be cached. Apparently CPU or Blizzard's memory controller does not like doing instruction burst accesses to 16-bit RAM. A1200 is full 32-bit, A500 is 16-bit.

Having them built-in fixes this problem automatically, even if LIBS: has wrong or incompatible version or setpatch is too old. (It was far too annoying with original ACA500)

Quote:

so far, we've only tested it with the B1260
My crystal ball says.. it is my Blizzard 1260!?

spudje 14 December 2016 21:07

Will the ACA500plus have the same size/form as the original ACA500? So will it fit (with an attached accelerator) in the existing cases that are for sale?

Schoenfeld 15 December 2016 10:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toni Wilen (Post 1128311)
My crystal ball says.. it is my Blizzard 1260!?

Your crystal ball is right ;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by spudje (Post 1128333)
Will the ACA500plus have the same size/form as the original ACA500? So will it fit (with an attached accelerator) in the existing cases that are for sale?

The form factor of the card is identical to the ACA500 with few exceptions. There is one hole less near the AUX CF card slot, and the DisMo stands a little higher. The missing hole is not a mechanical issue, as the Standoff is still there, and can be used as mechanical mount.

If you already have a case, you will most likely be able to modify it without too much effort: DisMo only has one button and the display isn't too big. However, I recommend not to buy a case yet, as none of the existing designs allows installing the network/USB module. Naturally - it's not yet available.

Jens

spudje 15 December 2016 15:56

Thanks again for clearly answering my questions! I see some ICs in the shop but no 8372a Agnus :( You don't have some of these to allow me/us rev5 owners a one stop shop experience :)

Schoenfeld 15 December 2016 22:56

Good point - I'll add them to the shop before pre-orders start. My internal stock list shows enough 318069-16 units. These may be labelled "8375" and I don't know off the top of my head what datecode they have, but I'll find out.

Jens

idrougge 15 December 2016 23:09

They're labeled 8375 but are 8372A?

Schoenfeld 16 December 2016 10:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by idrougge (Post 1128602)
They're labeled 8375 but are 8372A?

That's what "popular documentation" says (including Amigawiki.de, which refers a lot to a restored Commodore backup tape). My chips are C=CSG (not MOS), Commodore spare part number 318069-16, chip number 8375, datecode 1493 (yep, fairly late) and "20VBB" after the datecode. My guess is that Commodore wanted only one chip wafer for all Agnus versions and used different bonding options to produce all Agnus spare parts that they would ever need.

I have just tried to drop one into a Rev.6 A500: It comes up, identifies as ECS Agnus, PAL/NTSC switching works, but there are GFX errors on the workbench. Since the chip is labelled "VBB", there may be a pin that needs to be connected with a capacitor to GND for the negative bias voltage (maybe the PAL/NTSC pin). I'll investigate that before offering these for sale. If the PAL/NTSC pin is really a VBB pin on this chip version, then it won't be that easy to drop them into a Rev.5 A500, because it has the "Test" pin grounded. On a 8372a, this just causes the thing to start in NTSC mode, which can be changed to PAL by the ACA500plus menu, but if you connect VBB to GND, the whole chip will not work, may even break.

Jens

Edit 11:53am: Confirmed. The 318069-16 has it's negative bias voltage on pin#41 and requires a 100nF or higher capacitor to GND. Measuring the voltage on the open pin gives about -2.9V (mind the "minus"!), and adding the capacitor between this pin and GND fixes the GFX errors. The chip always starts in PAL mode. For NTSC video, software needs to switch it. For Rev.5 owners, this means quite some trace cutting and soldering, as that board revision is geared towards Agnus chips that have Pin#41 the "test" pin, which has to be grounded. It may even be beyond standard soldering, as the pin may be grounded on both sides of the circuit board - I need to remove a socket from a Rev.5 in order to find out. If that's the case, it's just not worth it.

idrougge 16 December 2016 17:21

Fascinating that they still produced ECS Agnuses in March 1993. Was the A2000 still in production then?

Schoenfeld 20 December 2016 16:29

Added some pictures to the product description that show a little extra info about the ACA500plus (like a DisMo closeup, a Sysinfo screenshot and CF card performance).

idrougge: I'm pretty sure that the A2000 was not in production any more. Wikipedia says that it went out of production in 1991. Also, this spare part is really only useful to A2000 and A500 users who have a board revision that does not always ground the "test" pin. However, these boards were always shipped with an ECS Agnus, so why produce a part that's so specific, but not really useful? Given the low quantity that I've found (just a few hundred), these must have been meant for repair only, definitely not for upgrades.

Jens

bubbob42 20 December 2016 17:11

I did put a 8375 into a Rev.5 A500 in 1991 AFAIR and still have that board (it's my first A500). It was sold specifically for upgrading A500s to 1 MB chip.

One pin has indeed to be grounded on Rev5 boards and one or two jumpers have to be cut/soldered to get 1 MB chip mem.

Schoenfeld 20 December 2016 17:24

The "express" shipment with the laser-cut plexi glass parts arrived a few minutes ago (DHL calls "friday to tuesday" express - wow!).

Taking orders now.

Jens

dirkies 20 December 2016 17:55

ordered :)

veper 20 December 2016 18:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirkies (Post 1129418)
ordered :)

Me too [emoji1]

Sent from my Amiga 500

majikeyric 20 December 2016 19:43

Ordered here too :D

steveclifforduk 21 December 2016 11:46

Ordered yesterday!!

Looking forward to it!!


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