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Old 12 April 2011, 16:56   #1
CU_AMiGA
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CU_AMiGA'S Amiga 4000/PC/3DO Hybrid Tower Project

Hey Yo!

As some people may remember, i built an Amiga 4000 tower with a single board PC running inside it. If you havent seen it already here is the thread link for a recap:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=45941

I m not gonna explain the project again, look in the previous link for that. This thread is merely an update on this project. And it has moved on quite a lot! Any here are the updated specs:


---

-:Amiga 4000/PC/3DO Hybrid Tower:-
------------------------------------

Amiga:-
--------
Amiga 4000 (Commodore Rev B)
Kickstart 3.1
Cyberstorm MK3 060@66mhz
128MB RAM (CSMK3)
Picasso IV
Paloma IV
SunRize AD516
Catweasel MK3
160GB 3.5" SCSI Hard Drive
32x IDE CD ROM Drive
2x HD Floppy Drive
Amiga OS 3.9

Micronik A4000 ISA/PCI Tower
Micronik 6960 A4000 ISA Busboard

---

PC:-
-----
ISA SBC PentiumMMX@233mhz
64MB RAM
ISA Soundblaster 16 CT1740
Yamaha DB50XG Midi Daughter Board
ATI Mach 64 (2MB VRAM)
Creative 3DO Blaster
20GB IDE Hard Drive (only 500-odd MB seen)
2x IDE Creative CR-563 CD ROM Drive
1xHD Floppy Drive
DOS 6.2/Win 3.1

---

Micronik 6960 A4000 ISA Busboard Layout:-
------------------------------------------
Inline Slot 1: Picasso IV (Video)
Inline Slot 2: SunRize AD516 (Zorro)
Inline Slot 3: ATI Mach 64 (ISA) / Catweasel MK3 (Zorro)
Inline Slot 4: Creative 3DO Blaster
Inline Slot 5: Soundblaster 16 (ISA)
Inline Slot 6: None
Inline Slot 7: SBC (ISA)

(Refer to attached pic)

---

Other Hardware:-
-----------------
Monitor Switcher (to flip between Amiga/PC Screens - also to another computer i am working on!)
Yamaha Amplifier (forgot model, will input later!)
A pair of Sony speakers
Sony PlayStation 1 (connected to the Paloma IV TV RF in!)

---


Thats the specs of the machine right now. So now i will talk in depth about the updates on each computer side (aka Amiga and PC)


---

Amiga:
-------

OK main changes are that i have taken off the RAM on the Amiga motherboard - seemed pointless as i never used beyond what was already on the Cyberstorm. Also taken out the SCSI CD RW that was present before as it seemed pointless having 2 CD ROM drives. I have since installed a bigger SCSI hard drive that is 160GB (shouldnt need to change that again). I have also installed a Catweasel MK3 with installed SID chip (although i am far from impressed with the sound out - anyone got any pointers?). I have also a Sony Playstation 1 connected to the RF in on the Paloma IV which i believe i didnt have connected to in the previous update on this project - this maybe changed to an Atari VCS in the near future!. Other noteworthy changes are various changes in my Amiga Workbench ie appearance and patches - see attached pics!

---

PC:
---

By far the side that has had the most changes! OK first things first! I managed to snag this beauty off ebay!

Creative 3DO Blaster

Yep! You read that right! I decided to have a crack at getting this to work on my Amiga setup! And lo and behold it seems to work like a charm! I was lucky as the package i managed to win had all the required hardware and software that was needed (apart from CD ROM drive!). Including also the box and manuals! Also included was the pretty rare CD ROM drive that is required to work with this thing (no other drive will work). It even had the rediculous (although not as bad as people make out) creative 3DO controller. Now getting the hardware and software of the 3DO was A PAIN IN THE ASS! I had to find the correct CD ROM drivers software for the CD ROM drive i had (eventually i found it on the internet somewhere). But eventually i managed to get it up and running (PC memory issues made it take longer than what it shouldve). Another issue with the 3DO Blaster is that it requires Windows 3.1 (no higher). Not really a problem for me as i wanted to play mainly DOS games anyway. Anyway the whole 3DO Blaster part has run reliably since installed. See the attached pics to see it in action! I believe i am the first person to have tried a Amiga/PC AND 3DO setup!

Other changes on the PC side: I have swapped my previous model Soundblaster 16 card for a model CT1740. This one of the models keropi recommended as it is an old style one with jumpers (before Plug n Play) and allows a MIDI interface. Also installed on the Soundblaster is a Yamaha MIDI interface (a pretty decent one i think). Still present is the ATI Mach64 VGA card. Although VGA output is now from the 3DO Blaster - the ATI Mach64 VGA output is looped to the 3DO Blaster card via the feature connecters on both the 3DO Blaster and Mach64 as well as VGA out on the Mach64 to VGA in on the 3DO Blaster. Also worth noting i now seem to have got the Soundblaster properly installed/configured this time software wise, i now seem to get audio output in very game i try! Compared with the previous update where i barely got any sound output at all!!! The single board computer itself has changed a little. I had to ditch the 256MB RAM and install a 64MB RAM simm as the 3DO Blaster will not work with anything above 64MB! I also ditch the SCSI interface of the SBC, as it was usless to me as i never used it!

As mentioned i had to downgrade to DOS 6.2 with Windows 3.1. Not much of a problem really as i only really need it for DOS games (although having Window 95+ for some stuff would be nice). The only problem i have is that my hard drive installed is only recognised as having around 500MB in size! Is this a limitation in DOS? DOS gaming on this is excellent! This setup seems to work with every game i throw at it from early ones to Quake! (surprising runs well!). It seems that even Commander Keen games seems to work ok(?) As i apparently has video scrolling problems with my card!

---

Other:
------

Another thing i had to do with this tower setup is that had to rearrange the Zorro/ISA cards compared to last time as i was a little concerned about heating issues. I also ditched my crappy sound mixing cable and connect both Amiga and PC side to a pretty decent Yamaha audio amplifier and speakers, so i get better quality audio (with no conflicts).

Anyway, i have blabbed on enough! lol I will wrap this up by saying current and future issues/ideas!

Current problems:
-----------------

Catweasel MK3 - SID audio output is rubbish at times! Why?!
PC Hard Drive - Only 500MB (around) is recognised! Any solutions?!

-

Future Ideas:
-------------

Possibly put into a better tower case?!
On the look out for a busboard that has a power in connecter
Looking into the possiblity of using a passive PCI/ISA busboard and maybe debating about whether a PCI/ISA PC setup would work with my PC setup (and fully working with the 3DO Blaster as the latter is fussy with the hardware it works with - the crapper the better it seems!)

Anyway enough of me talking. Here comes the pics you guys have been crying out for (sorry for quality on some, i m not much of a camera man!)

Laters
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Last edited by CU_AMiGA; 12 April 2011 at 17:11.
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Old 12 April 2011, 16:59   #2
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More pics!
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Old 12 April 2011, 17:00   #3
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Even more pics!
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Old 12 April 2011, 17:03   #4
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YAY! more pics!
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Old 12 April 2011, 17:06   #5
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also side note. the 3DO isnt a bad gaming system that everyone makes out it to be. there are a lot of good games out on it (including really good ports of street fighter 2 and samurai shodown), but of course there is a lot of crap released on it! if anyone has any queries do ask i probs forgot to include something! lol

-EDIT-

Corrected 3DO Blaster info link in first post!
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Old 12 April 2011, 17:34   #6
Zetr0
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WOW

This is AWESOME!

my friend, you have taken a conceptual idea and made it your own with all the extra trimming one can thing of!!!

I am both humbled and very pleased with your efforts my friend!

I am currently working on a SBC Hybrid A2000 at the moment, its destined to be the other end of the spectrum, able to play Quake 3 and run DOSbox etc.

but this project of yours is just awesome!

btw, remember them MegaPC's with the Megadrive Card from Amstrad



well the Megadrive part is infact an ISA 1 (8bit ISA) card with a 15 pin video connector so with a little work you could also fit this.... I do fear for your power-supply LOL, so keep an eye on it my friend



the bottom end of this connects to the joy ports and cartridge port - you could combine this with an everdrive



This allows you to play megadrive games from 4gb SD card... so thats atleast EUR / US TOSEC's then .... Although if you were insane enough you could also modify a 32x into the bargin, that would be awesome, and awesomely difficult - but you could also play 32x games on your computer setup.

You could look at a dual booting system for the x86 PC side, allowing you to do a little more than Win3.1, Win 95 and Win 98 should be good with 64MB of RAM, although might I ask what happens with Win3.1 and 256MB of ram?

Anyway there's some great inspirational work and its truly great to see it here! long let it continue.


if you get time and you are so inclined would you post this project over on AmiBay, there's a lot there that would love to see this level of integration!
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Old 12 April 2011, 17:50   #7
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@Zetr0

lol i thought you d like it! yeah i forgot to mention my PSU! it is a 250W one! i tried to strip the system as much as possible! but managed to include other stuff! as for the mega pc isa thingy i think i looked into that but i m not sure if its possible! i think it needs the pc to output as well! i will post this amibay too my friend! you must post about your A2000 SBC!

edit

forgot to mention i think Win3.1 is ok with 256MB RAM it is the 3DO Blaster that hates anything too high (some type of error or something!)
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Old 13 April 2011, 11:52   #8
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Nice work - I enjoyed the thread
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