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Old 25 January 2018, 14:19   #41
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Cool Although it looks like he is out of the shells, so it'll be a bare connector only. Still, it should work at least for now.

There are lots of wiring diagram floating about if you google it - this one should be pretty clear: https://www.ikod.se/rgb-to-vga/

All the ground connections can be combined, so it's really only six wires that are needed.
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Old 25 January 2018, 14:56   #42
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Cool Although it looks like he is out of the shells, so it'll be a bare connector only. Still, it should work at least for now.

There are lots of wiring diagram floating about if you google it - this one should be pretty clear: https://www.ikod.se/rgb-to-vga/

All the ground connections can be combined, so it's really only six wires that are needed.
Perfect, thanks.

Ah! I didn't read the listing properly. Oh well, I'll do it "ghetto style" for now... Or maybe I could butcher an old parallel cable, or something.
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Old 25 January 2018, 15:01   #43
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Yes, if you can't find a 23 pin shell, a 25 pin one will also fit, just the thumb screw holes won't line up (well, not both at the same time anyway).
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Old 25 January 2018, 15:13   #44
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@marm Thanks for the link on the BenQ, I had a look at those in the past and that is a steal of a price. I have a monitor that works already but its widescreen and I've always found the aspect ratio annoys me.
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Old 25 January 2018, 16:14   #45
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@marm Thanks for the link on the BenQ, I had a look at those in the past and that is a steal of a price. I have a monitor that works already but its widescreen and I've always found the aspect ratio annoys me.
Nice one. Grab one now while they're available!
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Old 30 January 2018, 02:45   #46
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Cool Although it looks like he is out of the shells, so it'll be a bare connector only. Still, it should work at least for now.

There are lots of wiring diagram floating about if you google it - this one should be pretty clear: https://www.ikod.se/rgb-to-vga/

All the ground connections can be combined, so it's really only six wires that are needed.
Got all the bits sorted out today. The 23 way connector arrived. Found an old VGA cable and a parallel cable in the recycling pile at work and started hacking them apart.

Having stripped one end of the VGA cable I got my meter out to check which wires went to which pins. Weirdly there is no wire from the horizontal sync pin, although there are 3 or 4 "spare" wires going to various other connectors which are supposed to be "not connected" according to all the diagrams I've found online.

Wondering if it will work anyway... but am guessing that the best answer at this stage is to hack apart another cable. I think I have one stashed in the attic...

No panic as the monitor is currently still waiting for me to pick it up from the post office, but it's a surprising one...

Last edited by marm; 30 January 2018 at 02:55.
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Old 30 January 2018, 08:17   #47
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That's odd... I would imagine that horizontal sync is always needed. Are you sure you are not looking at the diagram backwards or something? Sometimes it's not clear if it's from the solder side or pin side.
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Old 30 January 2018, 21:05   #48
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That's odd... I would imagine that horizontal sync is always needed. Are you sure you are not looking at the diagram backwards or something? Sometimes it's not clear if it's from the solder side or pin side.
I don't think so - I checked lots of times and the VGA connector isn't symmetrical, so it's a bit easier to get it the right way round. Also the RGB wires were in the right place.

It's an old cable, maybe it's damaged, who knows?

Anyway...I'll get there in the end!
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Old 01 February 2018, 18:52   #49
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Monitor arrived this morning so I got a new cable and made up a lead. No problems this time but I'd forgotten what fiddly sods those connectors are to solder... Anyway well pleased with the result. Nice clear crisp display on the BenQ - it's almost like using a modern computer!

Predictably one problem solved has led to another one to solve... I haven't managed to get the Gotek to do anything useful yet. I flashed it with Cortex previously with apparently no issues.

With a USB drive installed (containing a few ADFs including "SELECTOR.ADF"), first of all it showed up as "Cortex Floppy Emulator", but when I tried to select a disk image by pressing the little buttons the display blinked but stayed on "000". The Gotek is in an external case and I have not yet installed the switch to allow booting from it, but I was hoping to be able to access the ADFs (and run Octamed from Workbench).

I tried another USB drive with just 2 ADFs on it (and not SELECTOR.ADF) and it just displayed "DF1:BAD"

I'd welcome advice on how to solve this. Perhaps I should have gone for FlashFloppy...
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Old 01 February 2018, 19:37   #50
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Ah, hold on, I think I may have cracked it...
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Old 01 February 2018, 23:42   #51
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Glad you got it sorted marm
Nice pictures of your setup. I too had the BenQ arrive yesterday and impressed with image quality.
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Old 02 February 2018, 01:39   #52
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Thanks MikeyG. Glad you like your BenQ too. Out of interest I did find that a magazine cover demo of Dyna Blaster (which is obviously in a weird screen mode, as it plays with a wonky border and flickers on a TV) didn't display at all on the monitor (black screen only), but Workbench stuff seems super cool. I haven't tried any other games.

Re getting it working, basically it was a case of going to the command line in Workbench and running SELECTOR.ADF from the command prompt to set things up. Touch wood it seems to be working fine now although I haven't tested it extensively. I did mess it up once by not including SELECTOR.ADF in the cortex boot list but hopefully I'm back on track now.

Looking forward to having a good play with it. I'd like the Amiga to replace the PC in the studio but I need to get to grips with it first. On the wish list is a copy of MasterSound to accompany the sampler. I managed to download a DMS file but didn't manage to convert it to an ADF successfully. I'm going to go have a play with it now and see if Octamed recognises the sampler. Might plug in my MIDI interface and see if anything happens, too.

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Old 02 February 2018, 07:21   #53
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Nice, good to hear that you got both the monitor and floppy drive sorted out Having just those two things makes an A500 so much nicer to use in a modern environment and the investment is not big (especially as you found the monitor at such a good price!)
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Old 02 February 2018, 19:03   #54
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Now I've started hunting for ADFs I've discovered that lots of stuff is in LHA or DMS format. What's the easiest way to get this stuff on to my Amiga?

Also, what's the best method for backing stuff up. e.g. I'm still booting from original Workbench disks... Would be totally stuck if the kids got the magnets out again.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02 February 2018, 19:14   #55
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.dms files are similar to .adf files in that they represent a floppy disk image. You can unpack them to a floppy disk.

.lha files are simply archives, like you would commonly have .zip on a PC. They need to be unpacked after which the individual files can be copied whereever you need them.

As your A500 doesn't have all that much RAM, these operations will involve a lot of disk swapping if attempted on that system. It would probably be easiest to go through all the files on an emulator and prepare .adf images with the contents you wish to use.

As for Workbench or any other ordinary floppies, you can just make backups using Workbench itself since they have no copy protection (usually only games do). You shouldn't be using original Workbench floppies for daily operation, they belong in a safe box far from magnets
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Old 03 February 2018, 00:32   #56
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.dms files are similar to .adf files in that they represent a floppy disk image. You can unpack them to a floppy disk.

.lha files are simply archives, like you would commonly have .zip on a PC. They need to be unpacked after which the individual files can be copied whereever you need them.

As your A500 doesn't have all that much RAM, these operations will involve a lot of disk swapping if attempted on that system. It would probably be easiest to go through all the files on an emulator and prepare .adf images with the contents you wish to use.

As for Workbench or any other ordinary floppies, you can just make backups using Workbench itself since they have no copy protection (usually only games do). You shouldn't be using original Workbench floppies for daily operation, they belong in a safe box far from magnets
Thanks!

I started installing WinUAE but haven't managed to get it to work so far... I also attempted to use ADF opus to convert DMS to ADF but that didn't work either... I'm sure I can get my head round it, but...

What about copying the LHA and DMS files to 720K PC floppies? Will my A500 be able to read them?
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Old 03 February 2018, 07:37   #57
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You can read 720k PC formatted floppies with the help of CrossDos (Google will help you out with this), but it's still going to be a hassle with just 1MB of RAM, disks will need to be swapped constantly At least with larger things, small files that you can easily extract to the RAM disk will be alright.

Within WinUAE you could crank up the RAM to 8 megs or set up a virtual hard drive which would make all of this much simpler. Getting it to work should really only be a matter of copying over a Kickstart ROM image (which you could extract from your A500, but again, Google can provide) and loading up a suitable quickstart configuration which you can then customize to taste.

There are plenty of tutorials regarding WinUAE around the interwebs so try following one of those, and of course ask if there is something specific you are having trouble with
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Old 03 February 2018, 12:39   #58
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Well, I think I got my head around ADFOpus. It's actually perfect for this sort of thing, allows you to create a blank ADF and copy downloaded files to it. I think it can also convert DMS to ADF although I haven't managed to confirm that it works. So far I have been putting LHAs on ADFs but actually with hindsight it's probably more sensible to unpack them with WinRar first. Again I can't confirm how well this works but WinRar seems to open them fine.

So I think I'm OK for getting downloaded archives to the A500!

However, as ever it's one step forward, two steps back.

My attempts to back up my Workbench disk have hit a brick wall...and led me to believe I may have a problem with my machine...or maybe my workbench disk?

Basically every time I attempt to duplicate the Workbench disk I get an error while verifying the written disk. I tried probably 5 discs. Following these attempts to copy the discs had apparently sustained damage - I was then unable to format them, getting a message that the disk was corrupt and a DFO: BAD label on the Workbench screen.

At this stage my assumption was that either all my discs were already bad (although many had been previously formatted and written to successfully) or that (more likely) the internal floppy drive was on its last legs.

So I then attempted to duplicate the Workbench disk to a blank ADF via the Gotek. The process started up fine, but then I got the same issue. Error verifying, and then guess what? Not able to format the ADF - disk corrupt, DF1: BAD

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Old 04 February 2018, 15:30   #59
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Have finally managed to make a working copy of Workbench from a downloaded ADF. I seem to be having a little more luck formatting disks (and images) now but we'll see...

I think I'm going to have a go at installing my boot selector switch now. So far I'm booting from floppys only.
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Old 05 February 2018, 09:54   #60
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I think I'm going to have a go at installing my boot selector switch now. So far I'm booting from floppys only.
Well... I decided to stop tinkering and start using the thing! The boot selector switch will have to wait.

I spent an hour or two transferring samples from my PC to the Amiga. Processed (resampled and converted to 8 bit) and saved as .SVX / .IFF using SoundForge 4.5 and then transferred them using ADF Opus. Worked perfectly!

Then I spent another few hours getting acquainted with Octamed and making a couple of little tunes. Brilliant fun, this is what I bought the Amiga for. I'm already amazed at what a fantastic piece of software Octamed is, and I can't believe I failed to get my head around it in the late 90s, the last time I tried. Once you've got past the basics it's really fast and intuitive. Although it probably is a good job I read (half of) the manual this time.

Looking forward to reading the rest of the manual, going deeper and making some more music. Although I can see that the memory limitations of my machine are going to make themselves noticed soon, it seems that with a Gotek and a decent monitor the A500 still has the potential to be useful and relevant today. Once I've got MIDI up and running I see no reason why this can't replace the PC in my studio... So far it seems to be a better machine for what I want to do.

Thanks guys for all your help and support in getting me to this stage. I wasn't sure I'd ever actually make it!
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