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Old 18 February 2017, 03:10   #1
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Check and Mate


OK a little bit of history first. Back in the days of the Amiga 2000 and before the Amiga 1500 an enterprising company took an Amiga 500 and stuck it into a metal desktop case. The machine has external metal keyboard with disk light and power light. It has front port connectors for keyboard, joystick and mouse. To the rear are the usual A500 connectors. It was recommended that you get a better power supply and that is what my machine has.

So back in 2005 I guess there was an Ebay auction for this Amiga A1500 Checkmate collect only. The picture was a very blurred image of a strange looking computer with an array of drives and connectors. The seller insisted that it be collect only and the entire contents of the area be removed. My problem was it was for sale in St Helens to the north of the country and I live on the extreme South Coast. Anyway, I put a bid in for £50 and won the auction for £42 if I recall.

I had a day off work and spent the day driving to Manchester and St Helens. I was greeted by a guy in a white van with a big smile on his face asking if I was ready for this. I was a touch puzzled. Anyway, turns out the guy just bought the house and the previous owner had not emptied the attic. We climbed the ladder to find a room completely filled with electronic gadgets, computers, software and books and I had to take it all. We spent the early evening cramming everything into the Picasso and I drove away with a very large smile on my face.

Took me weeks to actually go through everything. The guy was a keen computer enthusiast and ran a Kennel Club from the attic area.

The Checkmate was fired up if I recall and happy it was working was split into two with the machine and its monitor stored under a table, and the drives cables etc stored in boxes.

Tonight for the first time in probably 12 years I connected it all back up together, and guess what , it worked first time. What we have is this. The base 1500 Checkmate with Commodore 1084S monitor. The main power is a 200W switched power supply unit the type you find in old PCs. There is separate power brick for SCSI hard drive and A590 external sidecar drive. The computer has 5.25” external drive and Amiga 3.5” external drive. When you fire the computer up its a joy to behold as lights start flashing all over the place. Lights on the drives, keyboard and red lights even on the floppy drives with illuminated numbers.

The OS Kickstart 37.175 and Workbench 37.67 1985-1991. The memory is 1.5 and 2.0 24Bit DMA. SysInfo gives the machine as a 68000 CPU/MHz though it is faster than an A600 by some distance. Boards are 2 x ZorroII A590 SCSI/XT 64K and Fast Memory 2048K. Drives are DF0 DF1 5.25 and DF2 3.5. Hard is DH0 xt.device A590 20MB and DH1 scsi. device 50MB. There is also a KCS disk which is not a DOS disk and not recognised. The computer has a PC emulator so some work needed here. The computer is fitted with a Megachip 2000/500 and Multistart II giving Workbench 2.0 with the compatibility of Workbench 1.3.

The computer is literally filled with utilities, software etc and will take a very long time to work through. I really just cannot get over how the computer just fired up and worked. There is a Teletext box which obviously no longer works and a scanner/printer switch which has no purpose now. The wires for the sound for the Teletext have been disconnected. The mouse sits in its own little house mounted on the side of the monitor. All very clean and looks brand new. lovely piece of history. Its great that I was able to keep the whole thing together in one piece. Even the software and disks have been kept in their own disk box.

Happy days.

PS I have two of these units and one is in its original box. So heavy.

That was today. Tomorrow its time to have a play with the SX32 customised CD32 and a converted CDTV player with some very strange external port devices.


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Old 18 February 2017, 05:19   #2
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