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Old 15 March 2019, 23:07   #1
adam_s
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Building a Brand New Amiga

Hi everybody!

So I've been wondering (well kind of obsessing) about something and I'd be very grateful to get the opinions of some people on this board.

Is it possible to build a brand new Amiga, from scratch?

To be clear, what's I'm not talking about is putting something like a Raspberry Pi or some kind of standalone Vampire into an Amiga case. I'm talking about something that is recognizably an Amiga that is built with Amiga hardware but that uses new or NOS parts only. So while some modern stuff like a GoTek or an HDMI output is fine, we're using a Motorola CPU, Amiga custom chips and an Amiga case. No Amigas can be harmed in the making of this, so what we can't do is ransack an old Amiga for parts. In effect, this would be the first time that the number of Amigas in the world has gone up by 1 in something like 25 years.

Here's what I've managed to track down so far that makes me think this might be possible.

What got me started thinking about this was seeing new Amiga mainboards for sale on ebay. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...6/113476231785. You can find tales on the internet of people who have built these into working systems by gutting an old A1200, so presumably they do work.

New A1200 cases.
https://amigastore.eu/468-brand-new-...new-molds.html

NOS keyboard.
https://www.vesalia.de/e_a1200keyboard.htm


NOS Lisa
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...frcectupt=true

NOS Alice
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tested-W...frcectupt=true

NOS Paula
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...frcectupt=true

NOS Gayle
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...frcectupt=true

NOS Budgie chip
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...frcectupt=true

NOS CIA chips
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Amig...frcectupt=true

68ec020 chips
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Motorola...frcectupt=true

Kickstart ROM chips
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-Lice...frcectupt=true

RAM (maybe)
https://octopart.com/tms45160-70dz-t...uments-2804612

That's pretty much the guts of the thing as far as I can see. Obviously the next problem is in trying to recreate the video system so that we could get as far as a Kickstart screen. Would it be possible to just bypass the whole subsystem though by installing one of these?
https://amitopia.com/dvi-i-upgrade-f...on-aga-review/

A Gotek seems like an obvious solution to the problem of trying to find a compatible floppy drive.

That leaves the sound system and peripherals. We've got a keyboard, and presumably there's not that much involved in hooking up a joystick port.

USB adapter for mice and whatever.
https://amitopia.com/usb-option-for-amiga-1200-rev2b/

Would an aftermarket sound card of some sort be an option? They're pretty rare but there do seem to be some about?

What else would you need to make it work?

If you've got this far, thanks for reading and I look forward to your replies with interest.
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Old 16 March 2019, 00:16   #2
idrougge
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I'm building one such Amiga right now: an Amy-ITX. It's a newly-designed Amiga motherboard in ITX form factor, based on reused or NOS Amiga chips. It supports PC mice and keyboards out of the box and doesn't need a floppy drive.

Unfortunately, this endeavour is becoming more difficult day by day. When I first bought my (unpopulated) Amy motherboard, you could buy a fitting NOS Agnus chip for 15 €. Now they are hard to come by because there are so many new Amiga motherboards being constructed.
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Old 16 March 2019, 00:32   #3
adam_s
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That's part of what got me thinking about this too. Obviously, as people build things like new motherboards, this increases demand for chips and will encourage suppliers to go digging around at the back of warehouses and whatnot looking for NOS chips. These are of course finite in supply, so at some point there simply won't be any more to go around.

Did you run into any issues with trying to find obscure things like oscillators or smaller, non-custom chips that needed to go onto the motherboard?
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Old 16 March 2019, 03:23   #4
grelbfarlk
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The other thing that can be done, since there are so many trashed Amigas out there, you use one or two as donor boards. Of course stock is going to run out of these too someday.
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Old 16 March 2019, 04:09   #5
adam_s
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Unfortunately there's not too many beater Amigas available up here in Tropical North Queensland and by the time you've paid to have a couple shipped from God knows where, the cost starts to add up pretty quickly.
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Old 16 March 2019, 14:04   #6
Niklas
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Something I think would be exciting is if someone would reverse engineer the Amiga custom chips by photographing the silicon die and then using computer algorithms to reconstruct the chip at the transistor level, as described here: http://visual6502.org/wiki/index.php...eering_process (also described in this video [ Show youtube player ]).

After that it should be straight forward to recreate those chips (e.g. using CPLDs) that are guaranteed to be 100% compatible.
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Old 18 March 2019, 06:49   #7
NovaCoder
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Well the chipset has already been reverse engineered but unfortunately you can't buy them (CloneA)
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