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Old 05 June 2019, 15:43   #1
sean_sk
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Can putting RAM expansion wrong way around damage A600 motherboard?

As the title suggests, I just wanted to find out if there is a risk.

The other day I ordered a 1MB chip ram expansion and I hadn't received any instructions for it nor was there any info from where I bought it. I examined the black connector and noticed that one end had a '1' imprinted and the other end '80'. There was nothing else printed on the board itself to mark which end was pin 1 and pin 80.

So with the way the connector was marked this suggested that the board should be fitted with the components facing down. So when turning the A600 on I was greeted with just a black screen. I tried the expansion on another A600 mobo with the same result.

I eventually found out from the seller that the board should be fitted with the components facing up, which is opposite to what was marked on the black connector. So I did that and now I get a yellow screen. I suspect that one of the RAM chips on the expansion card got fried. The seller will be sending another one out, which is very nice of him.

What I am more concerned about is the A600 motherboards themselves. Both still start up fine and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with them. Can fitting the RAM expansion board the other way around cause any damage to the motherboards?

Thanks guys.

Last edited by sean_sk; 05 June 2019 at 16:11.
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Old 05 June 2019, 16:17   #2
amigakit.com
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This is always the risk from ordering from hobbyist resellers with part time websites or selling from auction sites. Unfortunately, it is something we are seeing more and more of late.

Our A600 1MB Expansion is supplied with full colour instructions to avoid these types of situations. Most often these hobby boards are more expensive than commercial boards such as ours and the quality level is low.
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Old 05 June 2019, 16:53   #3
sean_sk
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Yep fair enough. But after this experience, can I be confident that my A600 motherboards are fine? They seem to be and all visible checks appear to indicate this. I guess I'm just looking for a little reassurance.
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Old 05 June 2019, 17:28   #4
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Looking at the pinout for the expansion card, you have sent +12v down the +5v pin for the expansion card, so that's what fried it. It's possible, but unlikely anything made it back into the A600 to do more damage.

Last edited by Monkey; 05 June 2019 at 17:30. Reason: typo
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Old 06 June 2019, 01:13   #5
sean_sk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
Looking at the pinout for the expansion card, you have sent +12v down the +5v pin for the expansion card, so that's what fried it. It's possible, but unlikely anything made it back into the A600 to do more damage.

Thanks for that mate.
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Old 06 June 2019, 16:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amigakit.com View Post
This is always the risk from ordering from hobbyist resellers with part time websites or selling from auction sites. Unfortunately, it is something we are seeing more and more of late.
I find it despicable that you would talk down independent makers and developers of Amiga stuff this way. You only have a chip on your shoulder because it takes sales away from you.
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Old 06 June 2019, 16:38   #7
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I find it despicable that you would talk down independent makers and developers of Amiga stuff this way. You only have a chip on your shoulder because it takes sales away from you.

There is a difference between buying from other hobbyists and a professional business, and I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out. In this case it is obvious that the error could have been avoided had the user been given proper instructions. I'm sure the seller will replace it under warranty, no?
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Old 06 June 2019, 19:43   #8
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Quote:
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I find it despicable that you would talk down independent makers and developers of Amiga stuff this way. You only have a chip on your shoulder because it takes sales away from you.
This. 100% this. They had the nerve to comment on one of Kai's open hardware projects with a similar anti-hobbyist sentiment. The project in question had absolutely nothing to do with a simple trapdoor expansion - he wasn't even selling anything. It was merely a thinly veiled advert.

It's just baseless undermining and an excuse to advertise products.
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Old 06 June 2019, 20:01   #9
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@project23 @Puggsy

There is absolutely nothing wrong with hobbyist projects and it is most welcome in our community. It is indeed an Amiga tradition over the years.

When these projects are taken and resold on auction sites at prices greater than in professional Amiga shops, that does the community a disservice. Noobies to the Amiga market do not know the sensible market rates of Amiga hardware and can fall into the trap of buying inflated priced hardware which is a remake of someone's open source work. The original author probably had the sentiment of giving a project back to the community and not envisaging it being assembled in small batches and put on Ebay for a quick profit.

We have been paying Amiga developers and supplying the community with quality hardware at fair pricing for 15 years and re-invest revenue back into more Amiga ventures every year.
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Old 06 June 2019, 20:02   #10
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Wind neck in please

Quote:
Originally Posted by amigakit.com View Post
This is always the risk from ordering from hobbyist resellers with part time websites or selling from auction sites. Unfortunately, it is something we are seeing more and more of late.

Our A600 1MB Expansion is supplied with full colour instructions to avoid these types of situations. Most often these hobby boards are more expensive than commercial boards such as ours and the quality level is low.
Like you have developed everything you sell! Being a middle man doesn`t make you an innovator and angers me as others. So called Hobbyists constantly innovate and make this community what it is unlike the vermin who have the tenacity to charge for kickstart chips they have cloned and turn up at every possible event charging unreasonable prices for EVERYTHING they can on the back of the community, hold your head in shame and don`t even look at us! LOOK AWAY!
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Old 06 June 2019, 21:07   #11
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Look, i've got nothing against AmigaKit personally, and I wish you the best of luck with these memory boards you've been advertising - but can you honestly criticise sellers flipping items for a quick profit when you sell a
68882 for 70GBP?

If you're that concerned about new Amiga users falling victim to inflated prices, then presumably you mention somewhere that the MC68882RP40 you sell for about 50 pounds less will happily run at 50mhz all day long?

Putting our opinions on the subject of hobbyist vs professional to one side though, the only thing that actually really bothers me is the underhand advertising tactics. What good does it do to try to drum up negative sentiment about boards made and sold in small quantities by hobbyists? There are plenty of items built and sold by what might be termed 'amateurs' over at AmiBay without complaint. Many of them have close ties to, or are themselves, the designers/developers of the product.

If the product is good, the price fair, and perhaps more importantly the service good - then what does it matter who sells it/builds it? I'm curious as to what you feel constitutes 'professional' in this sense?

EDIT: I realise the PGA 68882's are thinner on the ground than the PLCC ones, and that would obviously influence price. But the reason I found this so alarming is that I was literally (a couple days ago) offered a 68882RC50 for FREE on an atari forum by a kind forum member. Rare or not, that's how 'cheap' the 68882's are. If it really is 70GBP because it is 'rare' and/or a PGA chip, then again my point stands about whether or not the customer is informed. About 20 pounds will get you an RC40 on ebay - the only difference presumably being 'testing'.

Last edited by project23; 06 June 2019 at 21:21.
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Old 08 June 2019, 00:44   #12
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Yeah I mean maybe Amigakit is being a little tone deaf saying hey, you should have just bought it from us rather than some some seller on ebay.
I mean is anyone disputing that if he bought from a vendor that actually supplied him documentation he wouldn't have broken the expansion he just bought?

I think we are better for having Amigakit around. In some cases it's actually cheaper for me to buy from them than from the actual manufacturer, at least that's what the price list showed compared to Icomp and Elbox the last time I was shopping, though this is only anecdotal, probably not true all of the time.

Though Amigakit you are NOT saving my patience at being able to just buy a Ratte Monitor switch kit from you instead of hoping someone on Amibay does another run, or having to build the damn thing myself.

Also, pay the $10,000 for the Deneb design and pay off the Poseidon author so I can buy a Deneb at a reasonable price. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by grelbfarlk; 11 June 2019 at 00:26.
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Old 08 June 2019, 01:33   #13
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Meh, I am still waiting for my Prisma and X5000 sound card after two years...
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Old 25 June 2019, 00:49   #14
sean_sk
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I ended up getting a refund on the RAM expansion which the seller kindly offered.

I decided to get another one from another seller. The thing I have noticed is that when they are fitted they hang a little low so that when putting the trapdoor back, it seems to push the card up a bit and therefore bends the motherboard slightly. The part where the motherboard bends slightly is where the RAM chips are. So is that an issue and should I just leave the trapdoor off? I wanted to put the door back just to seal up the unit.

I would have though it would be better to design these boards with the connector underneath the card instead of on top of it.
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Old 25 June 2019, 08:35   #15
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The card interfering with the trapdoor doesn't sound good. Flexing PCBs is never ideal and edge connectors are not designed to take sideload.

I bought a 90s A600 chip RAM expansion recently with a switch (enable/disable) on the bottom. Not sure if that was factory or as a result of previous mod/repair. It clashed with the trapdoor cover so I moved the switch to the top where there was plenty of room - still easily accessible if required without removing the expansion. Now the card completely clears the trapdoor cover.

So from my point of view I disliked this poor fit so much I modded my card...

You'll probably get away with it... or file/dremel your cover... or 3d print new cover with clearance?

Photo?
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Old 27 June 2019, 12:13   #16
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Unfortunately, that interference seems to be common, and not limited to homebrew boards either. The A604 from IComp seems to do the same thing, and they're at the high end when it comes to current Amiga hardware designers. I suspect it's down to the connectors that are available being a little taller than they were back in the day...

Putting the board at the top of the space rather than the bottom potentially causes other issues due to the proximity of the keyboard.
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