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Old 27 August 2011, 17:49   #1
Photon
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Photon's A1700

After testing many approaches and experiencing life-angst several times, I can confirm that nobody will ever be able to fit a 64MB Apollo 1260 in an Amiga 1200 case. Even if you somehow "fold" the top RAM stick or replace its holder. You could manage if you move the turbo card to the back of the machine with some huge flatcable...but...

Figuring I'd have more space if I put the A1200 in an A500 case, I decided to do Jope's A1700 mod. I spent an evening getting out my other (heavily moborevision-patched and with 3.0 roms with busted socket) A1200 mobo and a dirty A500 case full of stickers, to be able to mod my heart out, and started measuring and getting out all the stuff I would need.

In two more evenings the mod was done and ready for painting.

Progress pics gallery >>here<<.


-~-

At 3:30AM, CLOSED & All Screws Accounted For:



Inside, there's an A1200 kick 3.1, Apollo 1260 @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM, an IDE-Fix Express, and a PicoPSU (120W).

-~-


Here are some conclusions during the process:

  • On Jope's request I tried connecting the A500 keyboard to CIA without lifting CLK and DAT on the keyboard controller. I can confirm that it works fine.
  • I replaced the PSU with a PicoPSU to get 3.3V so I could remove the Apollo power converter. Then I didn't have to cut out for the Amiga power port at the back, just drilled a small hole (had to Dremel around the hole inside the case carefully in order to get the PicoPSU power connector to line up flush with the back wall of the case, so I could fasten it with the nut). Was a bit of work, but I didn't want the PicoPSU PCB outside the case and pull a separate 3.3V cable...
  • You have to Dremel the A500 case "screw hole plastic feet" AND an entire side of the "trapdoor frame" flush with the base of the case, and even then, with the mobo at the very back of the case, the Apollo barely fits under the keyboard. There are NO margins if you need to fit the top memory. In fact, it's still about 1.5mm too high but the case snaps together without pushing, so I'm OK with it.
  • lots of cables all over the place, but I'm happy with this - it will allow re-placement if I want to put in some extras later.
  • the CF adapter fits perfectly next to the PCMCIA, and you just pull out the cards and snap on the side flap for transport or such.
  • I fastened the mobo with 3 screws, and it's solid. I put a "ring" under the screw nearest the Apollo to put the expansion port at the perfect height for ejecting/inserting the turbo card.
  • If you have an A500 floppy in the case, one corner of it overlaps the CPU on the Apollo, about 4mm over the soldered-on CPU. Maybe there are shorter floppies I can use, but right now it was an easy decision to have decent cooling and lose the floppy.
  • Watch out when you cut out for the back ports. It's hard to make the saw blade go exactly straight. I made 2 mistakes as you can see.
  • I soldered the PicoPSU directly onto the power connector and the -12V with a thinner wire to the mobo (sucked the hole clean first and stuck it through.)

All cables are isolated and not fastened in any way, except the thin wires to CIA/keyboard controller. Some stuff I fastened with Velcro pads. Ide-Fix Express was tricky as it sprang up from the chip easily. I hotglued it properly while the computer was on and harddisk was working, making sure I had glue between the metal nozzle and the mobo

CF adapter was tricky. But since the aperture left right of the mobo shield was perfect for a CF card I like this better than more Dremeling of the case!

I hotglued a thin plastic plate under the part of the adapter that overlapped the mobo, to isolate the two. Then Velcro pad under the rest of the adapter, and a screw to the plastic case. Had to put 2 nuts under the CF adapter to make it flush with the mobo. Small dab on the mobo, push it flush, hotglue to PCMCIA adapter, fiddle two nuts under the screw hole, wait for glue to cool while holding, screw it to the case, just until the screw head meets adapter PCB.


Apart from some tough decision-making (if I put that there then that doesn't fit there or that is impossible... what if...) it was just a matter of soldering and fastening each item in place one after another, and (apart from the power-connector and the CF-adapter) I would say it was a sinch! No real trouble any step of the way. I even fixed the ROM socket and put in 3.1 ROMs while I was at it

-~-

That's all I can think of for the moment... if you have questions after watching the pics feel free to ask

This one will get a nice paint job on Monday, I'll check back with pics after that

I will also see if my 12" LCD car TV likes the A1200 output better than the A600's. Still thinking about making it a portable.

Last edited by Photon; 27 August 2011 at 18:29.
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Old 27 August 2011, 19:55   #2
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looks a nice bit of hackery there mate
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Old 27 August 2011, 23:29   #3
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Thanks johnim was more case modding than anything else though, and not even a big job at that. Apollo owners who chose a tower to go 64MB should know it's dead easy, really

Oh no I defied The Manual

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Old 30 August 2011, 22:46   #4
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It was quite intoxicating sitting in front of my freshly painted A1700-060 tonight. Especially with a hot soldering station and glue gun next to me and a glass of red (what else?) wine in me to celebrate



-~-

Gallery pics >>here<<

-~-

There are some things I could have done better, but I'm happy I converted a grimy A500 case with stickers everywhere into something nice that holds a fully expanded Apollo 060 anyway It was a job to remove them all and get all the dirt but mostly the glue residue off...

Quick Poll: Does the "Warning!" 50x25 silver sticker on the back go back on?

Last edited by Photon; 30 August 2011 at 22:54.
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Old 31 August 2011, 10:58   #5
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i like this alot it gives it a personal touch that makes it different from the others.
it looks like a sports car vroooom.very nice photon.
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Old 31 August 2011, 11:14   #6
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Nice one looks like a Manchester United A500! ( That may or may not be a good thing )

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Old 31 August 2011, 19:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roy bates View Post
i like this alot it gives it a personal touch that makes it different from the others.
it looks like a sports car vroooom.very nice photon.
Well I was thinking Lotus/Ferrari, might not be everyones cup of tea but I like it Who knows, maybe that 100 MHz problem will be solved and then I can vroom while I vroom...
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Old 31 August 2011, 21:23   #8
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Very nice! Congratulations on your souped up Amiga!
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Old 31 August 2011, 21:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photon View Post
Well I was thinking Lotus/Ferrari, might not be everyones cup of tea but I like it Who knows, maybe that 100 MHz problem will be solved and then I can vroom while I vroom...
took the words right out of my mouth.even has a racing stripe!
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Old 31 August 2011, 23:00   #10
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Thanks, well next is finding thin chrome stripe(s), might make a chrome grille of the plastic grille or it may look overkill and tacky, I dunno. Original plan was to have just one thin one across near or over the black stripe. (Chrome paint is way too easy to smudge and covering it with laquer makes it matte.) We'll see.

There's a small mod I want to do, so I'll open it up when I've used it for a while and also replace the round harddrive led with a level 7 button and use the floppy led as harddrive led (and use a red led in its place, red power led looks really good with the red paint right now).
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Old 02 September 2011, 10:53   #11
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Thanks, well next is finding thin chrome stripe(s), might make a chrome grille of the plastic grille or it may look overkill and tacky, I dunno. Original plan was to have just one thin one across near or over the black stripe. (Chrome paint is way too easy to smudge and covering it with laquer makes it matte.) We'll see.

There's a small mod I want to do, so I'll open it up when I've used it for a while and also replace the round harddrive led with a level 7 button and use the floppy led as harddrive led (and use a red led in its place, red power led looks really good with the red paint right now).

dont worry about what other peaple think,as what you do cosmeticly will only matter to you(i think it looks great).
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Old 03 September 2011, 20:31   #12
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Not feeling comfortable about the A500 keyboard pushing on the Apollo's RAM, I nipped off every pin on the keyboard PCB, carefully filed the shart points of the cutoff pins, and used two thin vinyl sheets in place of the plastic sheet that was screwed on it before. I also Dremeled the topmost edge of the RAM stick PCB saving perhaps 0.3 mm... :P

I swapped HDD/Floppy led signals and replaced the green floppy LED on the keyboard with a nice red LED from a spare broken A500 keyboard, and connected a brand spanking new Thai black Level 7 pushbutton to the pins on the Apollo that I measured were connected to R953A,B,C on the underside of the mobo. (I hate thin wires on the underside, if they break loose, um, all hell can break loose )

These red LEDs look abso-lutely gorge-ous with this red paint, I can tell you I can also share that choosing red makes slight yellowing on white keys much less noticable. Highly recommended

Decided to protect it better, so I took the innards out and put 4 thin layers of clear coat on. Big discovery was that it actually doesn't change the matteness of the paint much! (I thought it would look all glossy.) Also highly recommended.

(All products were from the plastic car bumper stuff shop, brand is 'MOTIP'. A bit of warning tho - remove the plastic ring under the nozzle, and eco-friendly/non-gas spray action is a bit uneven, so there are a few imperfections in the paint job. 3x400ml will only just cover 3x4 thin layers of primer/paint/laquer for the A500 case, so don't waste any of it!)

Tried to make the plastic grille chrome with superthin alu tape (for ventilation pipes) and chrome bookcover adhesive, but it just didn't look good on. Just a thin car chrome stripe on the black stripe will probably look better, I'll try to find one on Monday.

So now I have made perfect use of resources - A500 case and keyboard that can handle superfast typing with patched old mobo+fast Apollo inside. I even made use of the extra CF adapter with lame 3,5" socket - since IDE-Fix Express has a 3.5" version of Port 0. And nice white A1200 keyboard is in a complete white A1200 case with latest revision motherboard looking class

And a 1084S (strange how dreamy graphics look on it!) with a decent sound system on a nice 'computer-table' behind the desk makes ample room for the A500 case to spread out its lovely body...



(Stickers on keys are because I never seem to get hold of keyboards with US layout ;] Will order another sheet of these to put on number keys, already used up 3 of these nice sticker sheets from ebay.)
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Old 07 September 2011, 07:44   #13
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I demand to see how's done from the inside!
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Old 07 September 2011, 19:30   #14
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Hey rkauer Check the gallery link in the first post. Nothing really special inside, just Dremel and cut and fasten loose things. Lots of Y-power-cables instead of soldering. Messy, but allows easy changes. It doesn't look much different inside now, biggest change is the fan-pot sticking out of the floppy slit (Velcro there too) :P and as mentioned I modded the keyboard to not press on the Apollo memory.

Last edited by Photon; 07 September 2011 at 21:10.
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Old 07 September 2011, 20:42   #15
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Very cool mod Photon !!
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Old 08 September 2011, 20:35   #16
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love the colour
like the mod
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Old 08 September 2011, 22:11   #17
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Thanks guys \o/

Spent some time trying to get the Apollo 1260 to run at 100MHz but arrived at the conclusion that my 120W PicoPSU doesn't deliver enough current on 3.3V, and I want to keep the PicoPSU for movability and style and quietness. The 160W PicoPSU could just barely do it, maybe I will get one of those.

Right now I'm thinking about modding a spare A600 case aluminium-label to read "C= A1700"

Idea is to cover the C= metal with hotglue or play-doh or similar, spraypaint the label black, let it dry, put on rub-on letters, spraypaint it red, remove letters, clear coat. Ie. black letters on red and put it on the black stripe.

But I'm not at all sure, it could be one C= logo too many and might not look good.

Edit: Just tested the crappy 12" car LCD TV with it, hoping that somehow it would like the A1200's composite signal more than the A600's. No such thing, blurflicker city. Crappy Hong Kong crap is crappy. Oh well

Last edited by Photon; 08 September 2011 at 23:46.
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Old 09 September 2011, 09:46   #18
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i see you like the demo scene,have you had a look at "starstruck","rain",magia",perfectcircle".etc very nice in aga.
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Old 09 September 2011, 10:34   #19
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awezome! Yeah demosceners all around here - Who went to evoke? Who's going to Revision?
Oh and a big fat +1 for the mod.. looks great!
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Old 21 September 2011, 19:50   #20
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oh before i forget,if your really bothered about the slight yellowing you can always pop the keys off and leave them to bathe in a tub of H202 for a couple of days.(not that it matters).

i use it here at 35 percent neat.works great.
just dont get any on your hands.

regards roy.
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