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Old 26 January 2019, 14:12   #1
fatboy
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Amiga Computer - Life Span?

Probably asked a ton of times but, realistically, how long is an Amiga machine (all models) likely to function before the electronics break down beyond repair? I only ask as I have an original 1992 A1200 still going strong... and running off an even older A500 PSU (which does get warm and smell a bit 'hot'). I've got an ACA 1221 happily running inside and don't really have any stability issues! I'm sure a re-cap will be on the card's at some point and PSU refurb (or replacement ?), but for now this 'old girl' is still working fine
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Old 26 January 2019, 15:53   #2
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Interesting question ..... i have no idea ..... waiting for replies from other eab members
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Old 26 January 2019, 16:58   #3
duga
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If you take care of batteries and capacitors; longer than you'll live.
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Old 26 January 2019, 17:17   #4
Amicol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duga View Post
If you take care of batteries and capacitors; longer than you'll live.
Yep, my Atari 2600 (bought 1978) is still going strong. The thing that killed my C64 was a dodgy PSU

So I'd say get a new PSU straight away when using old hardware, and change the aged caps. And, as duga says, it will outlive you
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Old 26 January 2019, 18:10   #5
Daedalus
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C64 PSUs are a terrible design that has a tendency to allow the output voltage to increase as they fail, so when they go they tend to take the C64 with them, starting with the RAM chips. Amiga PSUs, while still not great, are much, much better than this. When they fail, it's usually just increased ripple due to bad capacitors, which leads to crashes long before it will cause any permanent damage, or else they simply stop working altogether. So a lot less to worry about in that regard for Amigas.

Keeping the capacitors in the machine and the PSU fresh and taking care of batteries will let it last a long, long time, but all electronics will get slightly more susceptible to failure the older it gets. Use and heat ages parts, but the alternative is not using them, which defeats the purpose really.
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Old 26 January 2019, 19:32   #6
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I think it depend on million factors, including moisture in the air.
(my Amiga 500 is in the kitchen.... so... Alas!)

If the conditions are almost ideal (stable electricity voltage in the house, clean and cold room, no moisture, no 3D renderings that lasts for weeks, regular cleaning... etc), I think it could last for 100 years, or even longer (and used everyday for several hours).

@Daedalus
That's interesting info about C64 and Amiga.
Never knew that.
Thanks.
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Old 26 January 2019, 20:08   #7
4pLaY
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There is really no answer to this as no one really knows for sure. With that said, the better you take care of it the longer it will last, sooner or later a chip here or there might die but those can be replaced.

I would personally stock up on a few spare parts or machines while they are easy to come by.

The worst thing that can happen is custom chips breaking down as these are no longer made, hopefully someone can reverse engineer them at some point.
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Old 26 January 2019, 21:18   #8
Pyromania
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I don’t know how long they last but I’m hopeful that it’s eternity plus one day.
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Old 27 January 2019, 00:03   #9
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so many possible factors, can't imagine any definite time frame would necessarily be realistic

but, rather broadly speaking, battery and/or capacitor leakage are major concerns -- also, dust and/or moisture could be damaging

I have an Amiga 600 from circa 1992 - it's in fine shape (albeit had its capacitors swapped out roughly a year ago) - can reasonably expect to get another quarter century out of it
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Old 27 January 2019, 01:35   #10
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My A2000 from 1988 died after 20 years (living twice as long as all my PCs). There was a lot of moisture (75-80%) in my room at that time, because the heating pipe under the floor had a leakage for some years and that has probably damaged many electronical devices. One day when I switched my A2000 on I just heard a loud bang from an exploding component inside and noticed some bad smell, unplugged it from the power supply system and said "good bye my good old friend, rest in peace". I already had WinUAE installed on my PC for a long time and the A2000 was most of the time out of service anyway.
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Old 27 January 2019, 05:50   #11
AmigaEd
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It's difficult to imagine that any of the classic machines could be damaged beyond repair. There are parts out there if one looks hard enough and now with some of the PCBs being re-spun even some of the worst scenarios could be recovered from.
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Old 27 January 2019, 06:10   #12
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The worst scenario is that it makes no sense, since I did not even see any use for it when it was still working (please don't ask now if you could get it, no).
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Old 27 January 2019, 11:07   #13
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One day when I switched my A2000 on I just heard a loud bang from an exploding component inside and noticed some bad smell, unplugged it from the power supply system and said "good bye my good old friend, rest in peace". I already had WinUAE installed on my PC for a long time and the A2000 was most of the time out of service anyway.
Did you hold a funeral service and bury it in the back garden?
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Old 27 January 2019, 11:58   #14
PeterK
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No, just didn't touch it anymore and never opened it to see what has happened. It still stands 1/2 m away from me now, full of dust and spider webs. My funeral comes first.
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Old 27 January 2019, 12:29   #15
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I've heard it say that one of the unavoidable system killers is the glue that holds both halves of the chip packages together eventually failing, allowing air and dust into the chips (which will kill them). No idea how long that stuff will last on average, but it gets worse with thermal expansion.

Perhaps I ought to consider getting some heat sinks for the custom chips (supposing that would even fit with the keyboard back on!).
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Old 27 January 2019, 12:49   #16
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Chips package are not sealed. Most of the time there is a little gap at least where the pins come out. Air and moisture can already penetrate into the package.
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Old 29 January 2019, 14:54   #17
gimbal
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"beyond repair" is a vague term, I've seen people on youtube perform miracles on hardware that's been left to rot outside in a barn for a decade.
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Old 29 January 2019, 15:11   #18
Anubis
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Yes, there were multiple videos here on EAB.

[ Show youtube player ]

[ Show youtube player ]

[ Show youtube player ]

We had topic about restoration from trash to treasure...

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=94802
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