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Old 30 October 2016, 18:39   #1
AndNN
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Advice on upgrading an A600.

Not sure if this is the right place in the forum for this post... If it's not then move it.

I've just bought myself an unexpanded a600 off eBay for the use of testing code on real hardware.

I have not really used an Amiga since the mid 90s... so I'm not sure what my options are now for upgrading.

What I want the system to have is 8megs of fast memory and a nice way to get code onto it for testing - maybe using SD cards for that purpose... not sure if that is the best way.

Not really interested in acceleration at the moment because I want to target the original chipset with fast men.

Thanks for any help

I almost forgot. What options do I have to connect to flatscreen monitors as well?
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Old 30 October 2016, 18:52   #2
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Hello and welcome

All A600s are equipped with an IDE port and a PCMCIA slot, both of which can accept flash cards. Installing one in the internal IDE port is akin to a hard drive replacement, while the external PCMCIA option is more appropriate for file transfers between systems. You can also use a serial or parallel link if you don't expect to move large amounts of data.

You can expand the A600 to 2MB of Chip RAM easily, it has an expansion port specifically for that. The PCMCIA slot can also accept RAM cards, so an additional 4 megs is possible that way. To go beyond those, you will need some sort of RAM expansion or accelerator board which clips onto the 68000 CPU itself.

Certain models of LCD monitors are happy to accept the Amiga RGB signal as is. These include at least selected Dell and BenQ models, but you'll need to be careful in picking one out. Also any TV with a SCART input should be able to display the Amiga nicely, although as I understand, that connection is not a common option in Australia. You can also get something called Indivision ECS which will provide proper VGA output, and then practically any monitor will work. And of course if you are happy with composite, rather than RGB output, most any display will do the job.

All of these are fairly common questions for newbies, so have a look at some of the recent threads here on the forum for further inspiration and answers
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Old 30 October 2016, 19:37   #3
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Stay away from Indivision ECS or ACA 620 as they are not worth it. Indi ECS has a bug where it will not remember 1:1 50Hz setting after cold boots. This will probably never get fixed. ACA 620 is an accelerator for Amiga 600 if you want a whdload setup. however it has timing issues and many games and demos will not work. And it runs hot.

I have pretty much upgraded all my Amigas with alot of the indivision products and various other stuff. Looking back I would probably not have bought scandoublers as I now have BenQ BL 702A and BL 912 screens which will work perfectly on the Amiga RGB directly. Will give much better results than any scandoubler can do. Unless you're looking for flicker free hi-res laced workbench of course.

If I were you I would settle with a BenQ BL 702A. You could either get a RGB to VGA adapter or get RGB to VGA cable from this guy, which I highly recommend. Will look much nicer.

I would also get a floppy emulator. Gotek with HXC firmware will work just fine. when I look back on all the stuff I have invested in I think I should have just skipped the whole whdload thing and just used floppy emulators. But that is just my opinion.
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Old 30 October 2016, 20:05   #4
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Thanks for the advice so far. That video cable looks ideal

After searching around the forum I'm thinking of getting one of those 8meg expansion boards from Kipper2k. I presume the boards are pretty solid and people seem to be happy with them?
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Old 30 October 2016, 20:38   #5
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Be aware that kipper2k is busy with the Vampire accelerator project, so getting any of his other products may be difficult (second hand is of course always an option).
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Old 30 October 2016, 22:53   #6
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Does your A600 have a socketed Kickstart, and have you considered upgrading to Kickstart 3.1?
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Old 30 October 2016, 23:05   #7
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If he wants to use it for floppy/floppy emulator gaming then I would suggest Kickstart 1.3. Maybe used with a kickstart switcher to select kickstart
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Old 31 October 2016, 05:51   #8
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Originally Posted by TroyWilkins View Post
Does your A600 have a socketed Kickstart, and have you considered upgrading to Kickstart 3.1?
I'm really not sure what's in the A600. I'm still waiting for the delivery but my guess according to the description is that it is an unexpanded A600 and probably on Kickstart 2.0 or about there.

Once I get it I definitely only want to upgrade to 8meg fast RAM for testing code on a project I have in mind that will relay on the code been in fast.

The Kipper2k boards look good but I expect the Vampire stuff will keep him busy but I guess there is no harm in asking once I get the machine here. If he is busy are there any other types of internal RAM expansion by other companies?

There's something exciting about buying an Amiga again... it takes me back to my childhood. With all the PCs and Macs I've owned after I left the Amiga behind in the mid 90s does not come close to this excitement
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Old 31 October 2016, 06:27   #9
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I know exactly what you mean, I only got my A600 this year after not owning one for years, and it felt like 'coming home again' - at least that's the best way I can describe it. The reason I ask if your Kickstart is socketed is because I was surprised to find that my late revision A600 had its Kickstart 37.350 soldered on, making it a little more difficult to upgrade (or downgrade, or add a switcher), but it's something I want to upgrade in mine. Yes, being a stock A600 it's probably got 37.299, 37.300 or 37.350, so yes, Kickstart 2.0

If you're going to be using it for programming, yes you'll want a faster CPU and Fast RAM, this is for the proof of concept Wolf3D on A1000 program, correct? Is the plan to cross compile, or will you be using the A600 to actually code? What else will you be intending to use the machine for?

I notice you're in Australia too, cool, which state?

With regards to adding fast RAM, I'm interested in the Furia 020 personally, as that adds fast ram and a faster cpu, and has MapROM functionality, so I could soft-kick a later Kickstart, rather then unsoldering the one I have in it now.
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Old 31 October 2016, 11:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyWilkins View Post
I know exactly what you mean, I only got my A600 this year after not owning one for years, and it felt like 'coming home again' - at least that's the best way I can describe it. The reason I ask if your Kickstart is socketed is because I was surprised to find that my late revision A600 had its Kickstart 37.350 soldered on, making it a little more difficult to upgrade (or downgrade, or add a switcher), but it's something I want to upgrade in mine. Yes, being a stock A600 it's probably got 37.299, 37.300 or 37.350, so yes, Kickstart 2.0

If you're going to be using it for programming, yes you'll want a faster CPU and Fast RAM, this is for the proof of concept Wolf3D on A1000 program, correct? Is the plan to cross compile, or will you be using the A600 to actually code? What else will you be intending to use the machine for?

I notice you're in Australia too, cool, which state?

With regards to adding fast RAM, I'm interested in the Furia 020 personally, as that adds fast ram and a faster cpu, and has MapROM functionality, so I could soft-kick a later Kickstart, rather then unsoldering the one I have in it now.
After re-looking at the listing on eBay it looks like it has kickstart 2.1

Yes, it's for that proof of concept Wolf3D, so I'm trying to keep the system pretty much as is, barring a fast memory upgrade. I'm cross compiling so the A600 will only be used for testing compatibility. Later I'll probably expand it with a Vampire 2.

I'm based in Melbourne.
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Old 31 October 2016, 19:11   #11
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There's no such thing as Kickstart 2.1. Which means your A600 has the bog-standard Kickstart 2.05.

However, seeing how A600 RAM expansions are much more scarce than accelerators, you've probably bought the wrong machine for your purposes. You can go up to 4 MB of fast RAM using the PCMCIA connector, though.
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Old 31 October 2016, 19:34   #12
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I'm still hoping kipper will resume caring about his older products like the 4/8MB RAM expansions, those things were top stuff.

If you are gonna play stuff from floppies, just get a 1MB Chip RAM expansion and a Kickstart switcher, to put 1.3 and your 2.05 in it. If you want to transfer stuff with modern hardware, get a CF or Multicard PCMCIA reader, I have a Multicard reader which takes SD cards, best way to transfer stuff around (you will need compactflash.device and fat95 from Aminet to run those)
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Old 31 October 2016, 20:45   #13
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Just buy a A604n chip ram expansion from Jens and then a Furia 020 accelerator and you are all good to go. Unless you insist having 68000 only of course.

Why? Both are available, A604n can take RapidRoad USB adapter should you later want USB and Furia has plenty of fast mem and power while ACA620 seems to be sold out and kipper2k is busy with Vampire boards. Unless you have very early version of Kickstart (2.04 or so), you can boot from IDE and use maprom feature to softkick any Kickstart in. No point upgrading Kickstart as you need to reboot anyways in order to enable all the features of Furia.

Yeah, I have all those including RapidRoad and it's amazing. For display problem I am waiting for OSSC and/or AMIV external HDMI converters.

Last edited by jarp; 31 October 2016 at 20:50.
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Old 01 November 2016, 04:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
There's no such thing as Kickstart 2.1. Which means your A600 has the bog-standard Kickstart 2.05.

However, seeing how A600 RAM expansions are much more scarce than accelerators, you've probably bought the wrong machine for your purposes. You can go up to 4 MB of fast RAM using the PCMCIA connector, though.
Sorry, I meant to say Workbench 2.1.
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Old 01 November 2016, 04:32   #15
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This is the actual machine I purchased:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/COMMODORE...p2047675.l2557

It does have an SD card reader in. I did not realise upgrading to fast will be a pain with the A600. I presumed after seeing kipper2k's website that it would be pretty easy to do. The reason why I got the 600 was that it's more easily expandable than the A500.
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Old 01 November 2016, 05:10   #16
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Ahh, I was looking at that ebay listing myself the other day. Looks like a good score to me, although I'd get it recapped ASAP, for your own piece of mind. I can pass on the details of the person who recapped mine, who is near Ballarat from memory.

Regarding adding fast RAM, I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that adding fast RAM via the PCMCIA slot makes it slow fast ram, because it's on a 16-bit bus. But I could very well be wrong there. Thus, adding fast RAM via the PCMCIA slot wouldn't see it give the performance of adding fast RAM to other models in other ways - once again, I could be wrong, but I believe that would be the slowest fast ram available, other than A500 'trapdoor' when configured to not be chip ram. Given your plans for this with regards to Wolf3D, I think this could be a problem.
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Old 01 November 2016, 05:43   #17
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Ahh, I was looking at that ebay listing myself the other day. Looks like a good score to me, although I'd get it recapped ASAP, for your own piece of mind. I can pass on the details of the person who recapped mine, who is near Ballarat from memory.

Regarding adding fast RAM, I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that adding fast RAM via the PCMCIA slot makes it slow fast ram, because it's on a 16-bit bus. But I could very well be wrong there. Thus, adding fast RAM via the PCMCIA slot wouldn't see it give the performance of adding fast RAM to other models in other ways - once again, I could be wrong, but I believe that would be the slowest fast ram available, other than A500 'trapdoor' when configured to not be chip ram. Given your plans for this with regards to Wolf3D, I think this could be a problem.
That would be great if you pass along the details of the person that can recap the A600

I've just posted in the market place asking if anyone wants to sell one of kippers2k boards. If I have no luck there I'm sure he will build one once all those Vampire 2 orders get out the way - fingers crossed.
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Old 01 November 2016, 05:50   #18
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Paul De Piazza
13 Newlyn Reservoir Road
Newlyn North
Victoria 3364

e. pdepiazza@gmail.com
m. 0408 607096
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Old 01 November 2016, 05:53   #19
AndNN
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Thanks
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Old 01 November 2016, 08:41   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyWilkins View Post
Regarding adding fast RAM, I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that adding fast RAM via the PCMCIA slot makes it slow fast ram, because it's on a 16-bit bus.
The A600 is a 16-bit computer so it has no penalties vs 1200 which is a 32-bit computer
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