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Old 12 June 2019, 12:54   #1
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Apollo 1230 Accelerator: What did Siren Software sell me?

Hi guys,

((TLDR at bottom))

So I was thinking back to my fond Amiga days and thought I would look to see what is happening in 2019 on the Amiga scene, and I remembered that I still had an Amiga part, it took all day but I found it: Apollo "Turbo 1230-MK2 / 50".

I'm from the UK and about 13 years ago I moved to Australia (Brisbane Nthside for you ozzies on the forums).

Back then and before moving I sold heaps of stuff on ebay, one thing was my beloved A1200 which I have always regretted, some lucky buyer got it for next to nothing; single bidder. I also sold seperately my accelerator board as it was small enough to post. The buyer made contact with me some days after letting me know his angry feelings/thoughts because it didn't work at all for him!

I do remember him telling me it had ~3 wrong chips installed, he was kind enough to highlight on a photo what would have been required to 'fix' it. Now I can't remember the details, nor do I have that photo anymore however I do remember that the silver chip which reads "7100A JPN 40.0000 SCC 9336" was not supposed to be '40'. Until attempting to sell it years ago, and as it was in storage for years before that, I had even completely forgotten that I had trouble with my Amiga after the Apollo board, but it triggered some memories.

Going back again, many more years early 90's? Amiga Power / Amiga Format always had interesting adverts showing lots of mysterious hardware, one advert caught my eye as it was local-ish to me. Siren Software I believe it was, took me as a kid a long time to save up for an accelerator board, and when I did I took a day trip to Manchester and made my way to the shop. (To me, back then, it was too much money to risk ordering through the mail)
Silly to say but I remember being nervous about entering because it was like upstairs in a house rather than a shop.

I ran the Apollo 1230 in my Amiga for sometime without any FastRAM installed so I didn't see any problems initially, it just wasn't as fast as I expected. When I finally installed RAM the Amiga would randomly crash so I figured I installed the wrong type of RAM or something. For me the Apollo sort-of worked, crashes = I must be doing wrong. I somehow just put up with it.

Getting back to today, and my actual questions.

If I was to one day get an Amiga A1200, what would it require to fix this Apollo 1230?

Does anyone know which chips need replacing and .. with what?

Why would have Siren Software sold me this accelerator board with all the wrong stuff on it?

* Many years ago I bought an Apollo 1230
* Thought any issues were my own fault / wrong type of ram etc
* Many years after tried to sell it
* By selling: Found out it had issues with incorrect chips installed
* Wondering what Siren Software sold me all those years ago
* Curious to know what is required to make it work as intended
* Sorry for long winded post

Photos of it included.

Thanks for any interest in this case

Edit: ah crap I think I posted in the wrong forum sorry
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Last edited by quiet1; 12 June 2019 at 13:02.
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Old 12 June 2019, 19:41   #2
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I don't actually see any chips that are wrong, other than the card being mislabelled at 50MHz when it is actually a 40MHz card. The Apollo MKII came in 3 types 33Mhz, 40MHz, and 50MHz. The crystal (the silver chip) is a 40MHz part. It would have a 50.0000 (or the like) on it, if it were a 50MHz card. Though your card does have the optional second SIMM connector to give up to 64MB of RAM.
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Old 13 June 2019, 01:23   #3
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For my two cents worth.....

I'd say the board originally had just a 50Mhz CPU fitted looking at the Blank check-boxes for the card's options on the main box....

Someone appears to have chucked a 33Mhz PLCC FPU into it & changed the Xtal from a 50Mhz part to a 40Mhz so the FPU will run over-clocked, at the expense of 10Mhz lost on the CPU.

If it was my card, I'd ditch the 33Mhz PLCC 68882, remove the 40Mhz Xtal & replace it with a 50Mhz Xtal to run the CPU @ 50Mhz. - It is a 50Mhz part as the box suggests.

Put a Jumper on the RAM pins & make sure it's 60ns if possible.
Leaver SCSI jumper off.
The WAIT Jumper is a bit trick-ier.....
With 33Mhz Xtal & 70ns Ram, leave jumper open but with 80ns Ram, put a jumper on.
With 40 or 50Mhz Xtal & 60ns Ram, leave jumper open but with 70ns Ram, put a jumper on. - Hopefully you can see 80ns Ram is no good with 40Mhz or 50Mhz Xtal.

Also, try & find a 60ns Double sided 4, 8, 16 or 32Mb SIMM if possible. - Single sided ones can have issues.

& if you wanted to really pimp her up, (if she's a runner) get a PGA socket soldered to the board & plug in a 50Mhz PGA 68882.

Not liking the sublime scorching of the PCB where the PGA Socket would go.... Could just be the pic....

Last edited by Kin Hell; 13 June 2019 at 01:42.
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Old 13 June 2019, 08:42   #4
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It could have been a PSU problem. Were you still using the origional A1200 PSU when you brought the Accelerator or were you using a A500 PSU??
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Old 15 June 2019, 11:13   #5
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Thanks for the responses, really helpful, had to read a few times over but I do believe that I understand completely.

A great point about the PSU also, something I wouldn't have thought could have caused the issue. TBH I really don't know which PSU I had, because I also had a A500 I think I was using it on the A1200.

There isn't any burning on the board, although it looks a bit funny in the photo it really looks fine in person.

So the best option would be to swap this 40mhz chip for a 50mhz and remove the "33MHz" 68882 chip. Because leaving in the 68882 would make it attempt to run at 50mhz and probably cause issues.

In order to install a "50mhz" 68882 I need to utilise the 'missing' PGA socket

I've noted that RAM speed is also important, I have some sticks somewhere - not sure what speed they are though.

Thanks a ton guys, no idea if I will ever get around to this as I don't have an A1200 but I may try to obtain the parts and leave it all ready so that one day it could be a project.
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