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Old 27 July 2012, 03:58   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kilmacolm
Age: 40
Posts: 619
Nice plan, I'm considering something similar myself but frankly I don't think I'm up to doing it. I think the A600 motherboard could be a fantastic platform for a custom electronic instrument. Here's a few thoughts to consider.

About the system floppy workbench thing you mention. A600 mainboard has onboard IDE. Stick a 44pin IDE flash module on it and it will boot in seconds, either to workbench with your startupsequence loading up your program/s or straight into your own program if you want. Using the OS you get a lot of stuff for free like file handling plus the possibilities of using existing software such as samplers and sequencers.

I'd consider using the video output for the control panel screen. Get one of those 4.3" car headrest LCDs or similar and work into the rack panel.Since you'll be writing the software you can make it visually appropriate for the small screen. For controls you can get an adaptor to use a PS2 controller as mouse/joystick and/or wire switches into the keyboard controller.

I reckon the A600 keyboard interface could be adapted for use as drum pad triggers. You have something like a 12*6 column row grid plus some special lines. You can then write your program to respond to ordinary keypresses. Lots of possibilities for control layout with this, even more if you added a MC between your controls and the keyboard controller.

The amiga serial port is a couple of transistors and an optoisolator chip away from being a midi interface, (midi software also required of course).

Depending on how much money you want to spend, I'd look at getting at least a trapdoor chip RAM expansion, (more sample memory), and possibly some fast ram or even one of the new ACA620s. I' be a bit a bit concerned having one of the PLCC socket clip type expansions in a luggable instrument though.

Enough of my blabbering for now, I hope you are able to make progress with this, I'd really like to see how you get on.

Here's a few links for C stuff related to amiga. You'll get a compiler from the link in this thread -

If you want a cross compiler so you can develop on a PC take a look at VBCC -

Amiga operating system and hardware manuals for developers are available here -

That page mentions the developer CD which contains the system include files, they are available elsewhere but I'm not sure exactly where.

Bunch of amiga C books available here -

And A600 schematics here -
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