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Old 06 July 2010, 17:27   #1
brett71
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Question Some questions about the A3000

I recently bought a used A3000 and got back into the Amiga scene. My memory about all things Amiga is a bit rusty from 15 years ago when I used to have an A3000, so I would appreciate if some people could jog my memory on a few issues:

1. The A3000 ROM tower: I have been doing a lot of research on this and think I've been getting conflicting information. 15 years ago when I had an A3000 with 2.04 ROMs, I don't recall it having a ROM tower. This A3000 I just bought, on the other hand, does have the ROM tower with 3.1 ROMs. The mainboard is revision 7.3 and has the 4 ROM sockets on it. Is it possible to just plug the 3.1 ROMs into the front sockets and eliminate the tower, or is the tower required for these ROMs to work properly?

2. Using an LCD monitor: What is the best resolution I can get on the A3000 just from the stock ECS chipset (no add-in video boards)? The hires-laced NTSC isn't bad, working with the overscan helps a bit, but I see it has a VGAOnly monitor type. How can I utilize that monitor type? Has anyone gotten a widescreen LCD to work and configured a 16:9 screenmode in Workbench?

3. Real-time clock issues: The A3000 I bought looks like it may have had a leaky battery at one time or another. I see some very light corrosion in the neighborhood of the battery, but the battery itself looks pristine. I can't tell if it's been replaced at some point or not. Anyway, the clock is not keeping accurate time when the machine is off, it is extremely slow. One day when I was working on it, in the morning I set the clock, saved it, worked on the machine a while, shut it off, came back later in the afternoon, and just in the span of 5-6 hours, the clock had lost nearly one hour. I know there is a little component on the board for adjusting the clock. I gave it a little twist and then the next day, tried to determine if the adjustment was making the clock run slower or faster when the machine was off. I set the clock early in the morning and shut the machine off. Every 30 or 60 minutes throughout the day, I powered the machine up and checked the clock and it was always accurate. I gave up on it for the day and when I came back in the next day, the clock was off by a huge amount again. Does anyone have some advice on how I can get the clock to be a little more accurate or explain why on the day I was testing the clock, that it was always showing the correct time?
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Old 06 July 2010, 17:32   #2
alexh
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Originally Posted by brett71 View Post
Is it possible to just plug the 3.1 ROMs into the front sockets and eliminate the tower, or is the tower required for these ROMs to work properly?
The tower is 100% necessary unless you get a different set of ROMs with a different pinout.

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I see it has a VGAOnly monitor type. How can I utilize that monitor type?
AFAIK, it is not used on A3000 with hardware scandoubler.

It tweaks the pixel clock for monitor drivers which already are VGA compatible (DblPAL, DblNTSC, Multiscan). It is for stubborn monitors which won't sync with the Amiga's software scandoubler.

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Has anyone gotten a widescreen LCD to work and configured a 16:9 screenmode in Workbench?
I don't believe it is possible without an RTG graphics card. I look forward to being proved wrong.

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Does anyone have some advice on how I can get the clock to be a little more accurate or explain why on the day I was testing the clock, that it was always showing the correct time?
Unsure, if the battery is dead or not holding charge well. The longer it is off the more likely it is to drift or completely loose all settings??

Last edited by alexh; 06 July 2010 at 17:41.
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Old 06 July 2010, 20:08   #3
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The tower is 100% necessary unless you get a different set of ROMs with a different pinout.
Did the official 3.1 ROMs come out in both pinouts? I'm OK with using the ROM tower, but I was just wondering what someone would do if they had the 1.4 Kickstart ROMs, no tower, and wanted to upgrade ROMs.



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Unsure, if the battery is dead or not holding charge well. The longer it is off the more likely it is to drift or completely loose all settings??
The clock isn't resetting to some default date in the distant past like 1/1/1980 or something like that. It is also the case that the memory used for the clock also stores some SCSI settings on the A3000. Those settings appear to remain intact. It almost seems like the clock just stops ticking or is just ticking extraordinarily slow. Does anyone know which ways to twist that adjustment doohickey for the clock to speed it up or slow it down?
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Old 06 July 2010, 20:16   #4
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Originally Posted by brett71 View Post
Did the official 3.1 ROMs come out in both pinouts? I'm OK with using the ROM tower, but I was just wondering what someone would do if they had the 1.4 Kickstart ROMs, no tower, and wanted to upgrade ROMs.
Depends who burned the ROMs. The tower is tied to the motherboard revision, not the kickstart version. Either the motherboard shipped with the tower or it didn't, thus "normal" 27c400 compatible ROMs are always suitable, as long as the tower is used if the motherboard requires it.
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Old 06 July 2010, 22:11   #5
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It is also the case that the memory used for the clock also stores some SCSI settings on the A3000. Those settings appear to remain intact.
Are you sure they remain intact? I used an A3000D with SCSI for years and years with no battery and never noticed any SCSI problems. It wasn't until many years into using it that I discovered BatMEM at all.

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Did the official 3.1 ROMs come out in both pinouts?
You have to realise that 3.1 ROMs didn't really come out officially at all. Most (all?) A3000 KS3.1 are EPROMs and depending on which EPROM you use and the motherboard revisions determines if you need to use ROM tower or not.

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I was just wondering what someone would do if they had the 1.4 Kickstart ROMs, no tower, and wanted to upgrade ROMs.
They would get the right pinout EPROMs to use without a tower on their revision motherboard. Programmed with the A3000 version of KS3.1
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