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Old 14 January 2021, 11:12   #1
hitm4n
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Modding Amiga - advice please

Hi all. Dug out my Amiga, its up and running via RF (ouch) on a 65" TV. Played a little Deluxe Galaga, watched Hit Fido demo and loaded Tetren and Ruff N Tumble (only real disks i have left).



I'm going to sell it and build a MiSTer instead but i want to upgrade and pimp the A1200 a bit and make it less of a hackjob to sell. I don't mind putting some money into it to make it a more viable purchase and will likely put it on ebay. Reasonable offers accepted, i'm in Lincoln if anyones close and wants/needs another one. I get the sense that no-one here is prepared to pay the prices i could likely get on ebay though so the offers there. Looking at what has sold recently, and what mine has with it, i'm thinking £500 or so. The Turbo1230LC card i have is going for over £300 alone. Mine is like brand new and has more memory than the ebay one currently (need to check it with sysinfo, later today).



So, the internal 3.5" IDE harddrive has failed, it chatters away and never boots so i think my best bet here is to replace with a IDE CF Flash drive.
This one is £19.99 - http://amigakit.amiga.store/product_...ducts_id=12645 In our current UK climate, am i going to get a delivery from these guys? This stores quite well liked isn't it? Are they UK based or do we know some good sellers who are?



However, maybe putting a slight stop on the above purchase, i also have a CDRom drive, full size, sits externally on top of the PC PSU which also sits externally. I would like to get my hands on a laptop cdrom and get that fitted internally, probably sticking out the back, so i would need an alternative IDE adapter to take both. Anyone got a good suggestion for one? Or the best board layout that lends itself well to fitting an internal low profile cd drive and a cf flash card.


I've ordered a goex already, looking forward to playing with that, nabbed the little oled screen for it too. And i think i might just order the DE10Nano today as well and get the ball rolling on that.


I digress a little.


I also would like to replace the mouse port for one that just works with any generic usb mouse. My old amiga mouse is sh1t, it needs replacing. I see there are a many boards and extensions available and i really don't know which are tried and tested and offer the best features. I don't think i need fancy lights, i would prefer a neat internal fit, maybe there is one with 2 ports that could support a usb joystick too?


Oh, i need a cheap joystick as well. up/down/left/right/fire. A simple ZipStick type. This is just to provide a shortterm way to play and get going with the intention of letting the buyer use whatever they may have. So it needs to be cheap and functional only.


Any reliable UK based seller who can be a one stop shop for this stuff, that would be great, but any advice, links to parts maybe you've used and insights greatly appreciated, i know you guys have been into this stuff for years like me. Sadly i've been out the game for at least 15 years, i'm loving all the homebrew development and addons you can now get but its a minefield to choose which is right. I think maybe divorce is making me want to go back to my youth and eradicate the last 30 years Thanks.
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Old 14 January 2021, 11:32   #2
Jope
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Amigakit is UK based.

If you're building it to sell, then my recommendation:
- get the CF card + adapter and install WB onto it
- get the machine recapped, this increases its desirability
- don't buy anything else new for something you will sell - the buyer might want something else
- don't modify the case any further, this will limit your audience
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Old 14 January 2021, 12:39   #3
hitm4n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
Amigakit is UK based.

If you're building it to sell, then my recommendation:
- get the CF card + adapter and install WB onto it
- get the machine recapped, this increases its desirability
- don't buy anything else new for something you will sell - the buyer might want something else
- don't modify the case any further, this will limit your audience

Thanks for reading my ramblings.
I think i will advise that it is not recapped and discuss recapping solutions they can follow if it becomes a requirement. I don't want the cost of sending it away to have it done for me, nor can i do it myself, so i won't be getting it re-capped. There will be full disclosure on my listing. I note the suggestion though, i am always rethinking my conclusions based on the advice here. Money isn't the issue, i'ts more impatience i guess


CF Card is a must as the drive is dead and the Goex drive is already ordered. I think a drive replacement is a nice change, 4000 ADFs in the drive at once? Who can't like that! I have an external 2nd floppy drive too but i may just bin it, i guess the goex makes it redundant. Maybe sell that seperately, but i don't think anyone will want it.



Anything i take out and replace, i can keep and sell with it. I'm going to take the RF shielding plate out, but will keep it. When i replace the floppy, i will keep it, although its already a replacement so the wiring is using connectors, its not pretty, another reason to swap it out.


And i'm hoping that the USB replacement doesn't require any case modding, and i will keep the original port again to send along with it.


I do need to know which USB port solution is best, and i've come up with some more questions. Here goes.


Is a PCMCIA-CF adapter an alternative to the IDE based one, can the Amiga boot from it or is it more just a data transfer method? Like an SD card slot.


What about the IDE to SDCard solutions as well? Are they better than CFlash? Will using a PCMCIA solution then leave the 44 pin port for me to use for the CDRom, or does a CDRom have to piggy back with a hardrive for the driver loading?


And is there a CDRom addin solution that doesn't require a big external power supply?


Thanks all.
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Old 14 January 2021, 12:43   #4
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Never quite sure about a gotek on an a1200 - as you have an expansion card with extra memory I would kind of expect most things to be run via WHDLOAD of the CF card. Some might like the option of an old school floppy drive alongside WHDLOAD.
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Old 14 January 2021, 15:16   #5
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Absolutely, general feeling i get here is most people use a hd setup with whdload. But aren't there some memory overheads still? On a stock 2mb Amiga, do all games work over WHDload ? And not all games have a whdload installer do they? I've been out the game a long time, i guess a fallback to floppies is still needed or am i wrong?
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Old 14 January 2021, 15:20   #6
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A stock 2MB Chip A1200 is not really enough for general WHDLoad use, even though many slaves run on that amount.
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Old 14 January 2021, 15:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
A stock 2MB Chip A1200 is not really enough for general WHDLoad use, even though many slaves run on that amount.
I assumed he was selling the turbocard with it, if not then yeah whdload really needs the extra memory of some kind.
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Old 14 January 2021, 15:32   #8
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I assumed he was selling the turbocard with it, if not then yeah whdload really needs the extra memory of some kind.
Yeps. I also assumed that the 030 would be included in the sale.
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Old 14 January 2021, 18:06   #9
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Guys, it might be. If an A1200 sells/fares better with the card included, i'll sell it with it, but at the prices i'm seeing for a stock 1200 and the card seperately, although i'm rubbing my hands together like Scrooge before xmas, people are not going to like 600 or 700 or even 800 price points are they? Certainly not on this forum anyhow

Nothings decided yet other than i AM selling it. I've now removed the top shielding, bent and crimped all the tabs down, stripped the board out, brushed it off and its in amazing condition. The plastic layer has been cleaned (but barely needed it), and its all been re-fitted. I'm looking at the bottom half now with an exposed motherboard and awaiting the goex drive to come. This week i need to get a harddrive solution put in but no-ones really answered me on the questions i have yet other than get one. But which one?? The more i look the more questions it raises.

Is a working cdrom a desirable inclusion? Internal or external. Hwo would i include that along with the CFlash adapter. Do i get a 2 port IDE doobery, or can i use a PCMCIA flash card thingummy, boot workbench there and have only the CDRom on the IDE port? If the PCMCIA route does work, which is best, that or IDE?

This? http://amigakit.amiga.store/product_...roducts_id=883
or this? http://amigakit.amiga.store/product_...ducts_id=12645 (difference?)
or this? https://retroready.one/products/bran...ide-40pin-port
this? https://retroready.one/collections/a...w-design-black
and this? https://amigastore.eu/en/132-cf-hard-disk-kit-25.html
and finally this... https://centuriontech.eu/?s=compactflash

I'm looking for as plug and play as possible, so i like the idea of it coming with a flash card pre-installed with OS, WHDLoad and DOpus (always loved DOpus). Is there an option that gives CDRom connectivity and comes with a pre-installed flash card?

I have so many questions.
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Old 14 January 2021, 19:29   #10
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Personally, I'd get an IDE-SD card adapter.

Good CF cards are damn near impossible to get these days.
And 99% of the cards that are being sold, are just generic £5 chinese pos cards.

And a good quality SD card is going to be as fast as a good quality CF card (which you won't have) and better than the cheap Chinese tat by a long shot.

Also, if anyone does want to mess around with the card in a PC, I imagine more people will have an SD card slot than a CF one.
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Old 14 January 2021, 20:01   #11
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Thanks Mikerochip - that sounds like great advice. I assumed the CF cards with these pre-installed ones were brand new, i suppose i assumed they were decent quality coming from Amiga sites rather than cheapie rubbish. I did think CF was a bit outdated, hell we have some at work ready to throw out from old cameras.

OK, so i'll look at an IDE to SD solution then, i think i saw one on my web travels. Does anyone do a preinstalled version? WB3.1 card ready?
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Old 14 January 2021, 20:13   #12
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Quote:
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Does anyone do a preinstalled version?

Legally? No, I don't think so.
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Old 14 January 2021, 22:16   #13
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I'll see what i can find, thought maybe something official was out there much like the pre-installed CF ones. They mostly have a Cloanto WB3.1 ready to rock if it comes with a card ready fitted, with whdload (trial version) and dopus 4.16. Some offer PPaint installed too.

Right, off hunting.
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Old 15 January 2021, 02:22   #14
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http://amigakit.amiga.store/product_info.php?products_id=12672{80}260{99}256

Going for this with the A1200 branded SD Card with OS3.1 preinstalled. Having a few difficulties ordering it though, claims i must make an account, then tells me my email is already registered when i do (maybe, a very long time ago), so i do a password reset, feed it that same email address, it claims to have sent me one but no email has come through as yet. Will check in morning.

On the plus side, i have just ordered my DE10 Nano. Gonna order the rest of the parts tomorrow from misterfpga
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Old 15 January 2021, 10:26   #15
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Well i never got an email, but i ordered via Chrome this morning, paid with paypal, and the SD-IDE adpater is on its way.

DE10Nano is also on the way, and today is the "spend mo money on misterfpga" day
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Old 15 January 2021, 15:54   #16
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OK, so with all the mister stuff on the way now (exciting), i am back to the Amiga and sorting it out. I've decided, the mouse port works, why change it. It'll be cheaper to just get a new amiga mouse. So does anyone know where i can get a cheapie 9pin D mouse (amiga compliant) from? New would be nice.

I also believe my keyboard is not behaving correctly, need to do more testing, but i think some keys don't work and theres some stuttery buiness going on with the arrow keys. Probably going to need a new membrane. Anyone know a source for these?

Last thing to get this machine back up to scratch is cleaning the key caps. I've washed them, got the grime off, but the lighter keys are still very much age yellowed. Any homebrew way of cleaning these up a bit?

Thanks chaps.
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Old 15 January 2021, 19:21   #17
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Haven't sourced a mouse yet. Anyone know of more recent mouse projects in the works, where it replaces the port with USB internally?

Keyboard membranes, well they aren't cheap are they! I found these two, there must be others...?

Keyboard membrane, single sheet - 29.95 euro
https://amigastore.eu/682-keyboard-m...00-1200.html#/
Keyboard membrane, hard with ribbon - £34.99
https://retroready.one/collections/a...500-amiga-1200

Cheers.
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Old 15 January 2021, 21:08   #18
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Old 15 January 2021, 21:22   #19
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8 images of my cleaning so far...

Tested keyboard fully now, space bar, both shifts, all keypad, every key is fine. Used CygnusEd to test, tested all alts, tab and special keys, Fn keys too by activating editor shortcuts. All god bar 1. CTRL. Are there any tips/tricks to get a single key back to working? Anything i can try with the membrane or spring/key itself? Is the CTRL key on a line of its own in the membrane, so maybe the membrane is still the issue? I'm happy to tinker a little, maybe find a break and bridge it?

Anyway, got some sysinfo pics too about the accelerator card, so they are in next post.
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Old 15 January 2021, 21:27   #20
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So, pics are...
1. Stock 1200, no clock, didn't speedtest it.
2. 1200 + Turbo 1230LC. FPU included
3. Well waddya know, its 4mb Fastram Nice
4. Dunno if knowing its a Zorro II is useful, but it shows the 4mb again and a Manufacturer number.

Is this a sought after card? Seems rare on ebay with only one on there now at silly money (not that i'm complaining).
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