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Old 20 May 2018, 02:53   #1
Fluffy
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Reunited With My A4000/040

Hi all!

I was an avid Amiga fan throughout my teens and put my trusty Amiga 4000/040 in my dad's loft back in the late 90s. Unfortunately, my dad passed away two months ago so I found my old Amiga stuff whilst sorting out the house.

I found my A4000/040 desktop complete with a Picasso IV board, original keyboard, mouse and a load of old games, disks and magazines. Oh, an old Microvitec monitor that looks like a goldfish bowl..

I briefly checked the motherboard/Picasso board and it all looked pretty good so I decided to try powering it up. It partially worked in that it booted and I heard the hard drive going and got a corrupted image on-screen. After powering down I noticed a few issues and figured that perhaps all of this is interesting for some of you so thought I'd share a few pics:








I'm the worst guy in the world to tackle electronics so I can't do anything with it but I feel it'd be a real shame not to get it fixed. I'm wondering if there are any UK based guys out there that reckon they could repair it?

Many thanks!

John
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Old 20 May 2018, 08:10   #2
amiga1260
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On Amibay you could ask Bebek to repair your Amiga 4000 mainboard and the 3640 CPU card.

You could also ask AmigaKit to repair them.
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Old 20 May 2018, 08:44   #3
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Awesome find and yes do repair her. I am sure you can fix it somehow...
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Old 20 May 2018, 15:34   #4
trixster
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Great find fluffy!

The first thing to do is remove the motherboard and use some snips to remove that dead barrel battery.

Then you can use something like white vinegar on a soft brush to neutralise some of the battery alkali, then rinse it with isopropyl alcohol then rinse again with distilled water. Leave it for several days in an airing cupboard to completely dry. That should stop any further damage occurring to the mobo.

If you chose to repair further then as the guys say, someone like bebek (send him a pm on here or Amibay) might be able to repair it. It is likely that the battery leak has affected areas around it like the ram sockets. People further afield from the uk who might do it are hese and tbtorro on Amibay.

The accelerator card is an A3640. It looks to me like it might have suffered from a capacitor leak. It can probably be saved too if the damage isn't too bad.

Have a thorough check of the Picasso 4. It might have escaped the battery damage if the machine was stored the correct way up (i.e. nothing leaked onto it). If you decide to sell that then assuming it works it should be worth several hundred pounds! I for one would be very keen to take that off your hands!

Great find! The A4000 is a highly sought after machine, and if you can get it running again it's an amazing way to get back into your old Amiga hobby! Have a search for whdload - it's an easy way to give you an instant gaming collection on your A4000 (replace that hd if it's dead with a cf card or similar).

Good luck!
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Old 20 May 2018, 18:01   #5
Fluffy
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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to write a quick message to thank you all for your kind words, recommendations and help. I did just try to remove the Picasso IV board so that I can see what's going on underneath and perhaps try to sort out the battery but it feels like it'd need a lot of force to take out. Probably not surprising given the time it's all been in storage! I'll probably leave it because I don't want to break anything or do any further damage (I'm terrible when it comes to electronics/hardware).

With regards to leaks and whatnot - I don't believe anything leaked whilst in storage, I think the damage happened after powering it up because I did have a look for bloated/leaking capacitors/batteries before trying it. From what I can tell, it doesn't look like the ram sockets have been affected but I could be wrong of course. The Picasso IV looks to be spotless from what I can see in daylight.

I'll check out the repair guys you kindly mentioned and message one when I get the chance! I would like to get it all repaired and keep it for my young son as I think it'd be a great pass-time for us both. If I do decide it's worth getting rid of at some point, I'll post everything here and keep Trixster in mind for the Picasso IV..

I have at least a couple of hundred magazines too, inc Amiga Power, Amiga Format, CU Amiga, One Amiga and many others. I need to have a look through and sort them out but I don't have much space so I'll probably get rid of those at some point. Got loads to sort out but thanks again!

John
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Old 20 May 2018, 22:17   #6
golem
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That Picasso board looks like it has just come out the shop. A work of art.
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Old 20 May 2018, 22:20   #7
ElectroBlaster
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Excellent stuff
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Old 21 May 2018, 18:29   #8
trixster
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Hi again Fluffy.

Whilst it's possible damage occurred during power-up, the discharge from the battery is indicative of long-term leakage. It's a known issue with old varta and varta-style batteries, and blights lots of old computers from the 80s and 90s. I think this is something that started 'bubbling' away whilst in storage, not when you fired it up. I am unsure about the photo of the accelerator card. Again, I'd say capacitor leakage as some revisions of the A3640 were known to come from the factory with capacitors installed the wrong way round!

This link gives info on leaky Amiga batteries:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~davem2/overclock/batt.html

This link talks about capacitors and mentions ones on the A3640 being the wrong way, and the problems with that!

http://joj.home.texas.net/amiga/amiga03.html

I am zero expert on this, but I would say getting a corrupted image is better than no image at all If the accelerator were dead you would get zero picture.

Regarding getting the Picasso IV out - you could try removing the vertical zorro daughterboard with the PIV still in place, if you're careful. This might require unscrewing the rear card bracket first such that this lifts out along with the daughterboard/PIV. Once that's out you can lay the daughterboard flat and carefully prise-out the PIV a mm at a time, on the left and then the right side of the connectors. This is what I have to do to get the CyberVision 64 out of my A3000 - the CV64 is in too tight to remove with the daughter-board in place! However, if the PIV card sits in the guide-rails at the front of the machine then this method might not be possible. You will then have to try and remove the PIV by itself - this is done by incrementally tweaking it out one side at a time, a mm at a time.

If you manage to get the motherboard free from the case, post up some high-resolution photos of the battery area as the clever people on here might be able to assess how much/how little the leakage has affected.

I'm sure you'll be able to get things working again. This forum and others like it (the startdot Acorn forum is a good example) have lots of examples of people treating and fixing battery damaged PCBs.

Good luck!

[1000 posts... well, would you look at that! )

Last edited by trixster; 21 May 2018 at 18:50.
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Old 21 May 2018, 18:33   #9
trixster
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Another option is you could see which of us UK-based owners are close to you and see if we can take a look at the machine in person?

I'm in York, so if you're near me I'd be happy to lend a hand. I can't fix stuff but I could give some help in getting stuff out of the case for a closer inspection. I could also test your accelerator card in one of my machines, and try a known-working card in your machine as well etc etc...

If one of the repair folks on here and/or Amibay can't help then my advice would be to give AmigaKit a call/email. They would be well equipped to fix the machine up nicely.
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Old 25 May 2018, 00:50   #10
Fluffy
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Hi Trixter,

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I've just been snowed under with all sorts of tedious stuff.

Anyhow! Thank you very much for shedding some light on the battery discharge issues. I'm a bit annoyed that I didn't initially spot it as I wouldn't have switched it on - not sure if I damaged it further.

Appreciate your tips regarding the removal of the Picasso IV. I'll probably give it a go tomorrow if I get a chance and will post pics here if I'm successful.

I'm based in Tettenhall, Wolverhampton. Not too close to York, unfortunately! However, I sincerely appreciate your kind offer and would be willing to travel myself if only I had some spare time. Since my dad passed away, I have very little time (or energy) to spare but I hope that things will eventually get a little easier on all fronts.

Thanks again for your help! Oh, and congrats on the 1K..

Last edited by Fluffy; 25 May 2018 at 00:52. Reason: Typos
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Old 25 May 2018, 20:32   #11
Fluffy
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Hi guys, with a lot of patience I managed to get the Picasso IV out today so here are some new pics of it and the mobo. Re the mobo - can anyone spot any other problems in addition to the leaking battery? Cheers!




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Old 25 May 2018, 21:38   #12
trixster
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The Picasso IV looks perfect to me, I can't see any contamination on that.

The battery residue looks quite wide-spread on the motherboard, out to U701 and possibly U216. You can also see it clearly beyond U891 too. I think there's likely to be some corrosion under the simm sockets as well. I would remove the ram, desolder or snip off that battery immediately and then look to treat the affected areas with white vinegar, then IPA (not the beer!) and then distilled water.

U208 and U209 on the accelerator card dont look too clever to me, but i'm not certain what capacitor leakage look like.

The capacitors on both the motherboard and the accelerator appear to be the originals so I would recommend having them replaced if/when you send the parts to someone to fix.
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Old 02 June 2018, 15:20   #13
Fluffy
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Hi Trixster,

Thanks so much for your help! I have taken your advice and messaged Bebek. I believe he is happy to try and fix her up so I'll keep my fingers crossed. I'll report back here one way or another when he's managed to take a look.

I sincerely appreciate your kind welcome and for taking the time to guide me in the right direction.

All the best,
John
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Old 02 June 2018, 16:18   #14
trixster
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Great news! I think your a4000 will be in safe hands with bebek
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Old 21 July 2018, 12:29   #15
trixster
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Any update on your machine, Fluffy?
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Old 21 July 2018, 14:13   #16
Methanoid
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This thread has so much ... Come on Fluffy share the results. I can't believe you just left the machine there all these years. I would have either sold it or used it!
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Old 24 July 2018, 17:16   #17
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I hope she recovers after the vartaectomy.
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Old 25 July 2018, 07:23   #18
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If they can't get it fixed, new open source motherboards will be available soon! Stay tuned!
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