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Old 20 June 2016, 14:00   #1
lubaki
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How to deal with the age of our Amigas

Hi everybody!

I am thinking to use an Amiga for my daily word processing work. But, I think that because our systems have some years (more than 20-25) we need to take care of them. How people take care of their systems? Mine will be as this:

1.- I will use a SAI for the complete system (Screen and Amiga 1200)

2.- I will recap in few months all the capacitors in my system and also clean up all the dust that my system has acumulated in 25 years.

3.- Always that is not in use I will cover the miggy for avoid the dust.

Anything more?
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Old 20 June 2016, 14:03   #2
meynaf
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4.- Have several Amigas so when one dies, you're not stuck.
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Old 20 June 2016, 14:09   #3
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Old 20 June 2016, 14:11   #4
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I totally agree with all four, although the fourth one is not that cost efficient.
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Old 20 June 2016, 16:11   #5
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I pretty much expect my Amiga to die any moment now. Thats just how it is.

It helps that i don't do anything serious that depends on its functioning.
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Old 20 June 2016, 16:14   #6
lubaki
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Like all the electronic devices our Amiga, PCs or other gadgets will die. But I am asking how to delay this on our loved miggy. Does anyone has experience in this?

I will keep all my text in rtf and with a copy in a PC (using Amiga Explorer) to avoid losing them.

Thank you!
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Old 20 June 2016, 16:27   #7
Zetr0
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In terms of electronics, wetware (electrolytic capacitors) will always need replacing at some point.

Power cycling (powering up and running) every couple of months will improve the life expectancy of these components as the electrolyte will react with the capacitor plates if not.

But by far and wide it is heat that is the main culprit of all failures - reducing the system operating temperature will grant a longer life span. While sitting inside a meat locker may improve longevity of the system - its not conducive to comfortable gaming - heat sinks on IC's will help - however you will need to consider airflow or they will just retain the heat instead of dissipating it.

Sadly though no matter what you do there are so many variables in play that your mileage will vary.
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Old 20 June 2016, 16:29   #8
lubaki
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Good answer!

Thanks!
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Old 21 June 2016, 01:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0 View Post
Power cycling (powering up and running) every couple of months will improve the life expectancy of these components as the electrolyte will react with the capacitor plates if not.

But by far and wide it is heat that is the main culprit of all failures - reducing the system operating temperature will grant a longer life span. While sitting inside a meat locker may improve longevity of the system - its not conducive to comfortable gaming - heat sinks on IC's will help - however you will need to consider airflow or they will just retain the heat instead of dissipating it.

Sadly though no matter what you do there are so many variables in play that your mileage will vary.
So there are two ways which are helpful in preventing/delaying capacitor decay:
improve airflow or add fans to reduce temperature, which can be done through technical improvements or mods.
And make sure to turn on and use the machine regularly, which is something a dedicated app could help with.
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Old 21 June 2016, 09:02   #10
glenn
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I would say the really big enemy is the batteries in some models, it have destroyed many motherboards..

Personally I say there is NO REASON to replace fully working capacitors, sure, it is a problem, replace it, if it is a polarity swapped one, replace it, I can even stretch to that you can replace known "problem caps", but recapping everything "just because" is plain stupid if you ask me. I even seen people replacing ceramic caps.

I have hifi equipment from the 70's with electrolytic capacitors that still works fine and still have the correct value.

..And to anyone that "recap" anything they get their hands on.. have you ever tried to measure the replaced capacitors after ?
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Old 21 June 2016, 09:12   #11
ajk
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@glenn

It's not everything, it's specifically the A600/A1200/A4000/CD32 models. They use early generation surface mounted electrolytic capacitors, which have proven to leak and dry out not only in Amigas, but oscilloscopes, camcorders and many other things from the same era (late 80s to early 90s).

Large HiFi equipment from the 70s does not use surface mounted capacitors, so those have nothing to do with this.
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Old 21 June 2016, 10:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn View Post
I would say the really big enemy is the batteries in some models, it have destroyed many motherboards..
This is true, the damage is far more devastating from a battery than a capacitor, however there is still a lot of damage that can be done by capacitors leaking given the density of traces on an SMT Amiga's board. I've had to rebuild many traces on boards that at a quick glance look perfectly fine, only to find that traces beneath the capacitors were corroded through.

Quote:
Personally I say there is NO REASON to replace fully working capacitors, sure, it is a problem, replace it, if it is a polarity swapped one, replace it, I can even stretch to that you can replace known "problem caps", but recapping everything "just because" is plain stupid if you ask me. I even seen people replacing ceramic caps.
Ceramic caps sometimes fail too. It's not the gradual and inevitable failure you get with the electrolytics, but it happens. They don't need preventative replacement however, as when they do fail they don't tend to cause any other damage.

Quote:
I have hifi equipment from the 70's with electrolytic capacitors that still works fine and still have the correct value.
Indeed, through hole caps don't suffer the same issues. Nevertheless I have had to repair old video equipment and power supplies from the '90s that had failed due to old-style through-hole capacitor failure, but it's far more rare and isn't as inevitable as the early SMT caps.

Quote:
..And to anyone that "recap" anything they get their hands on.. have you ever tried to measure the replaced capacitors after ?
Yes, I always measure the removed components, and from all the A600s and A1200s I've done I would estimate 70-80% were a fraction of their nominal value and had a huge ESR, or couldn't even be measured at all. Because many of those capacitors are simply power rail decoupling, you often don't get symptoms, or subtle symptoms such as increased noise. This means it's easy to presume they're still working without doing proper measurements.
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Old 21 June 2016, 15:17   #13
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Having a known good quality power supply with the Amiga? A PS going faulty can cause further damage.
And also using good quality surge protection on the power - granted i've never known to have a surge but you just never know!
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Old 21 June 2016, 17:20   #14
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Individual Computers
Amiga Reloaded.

With any luck, this will also spur the development of the A-Clone project, to get FPGA chips that replace the actual Amiga chips.

Or, worst case scenario... http://www.fpgaarcade.com/.
It won't be compatible with all your add on toys, but will keep any productivity you're doing on your current Amiga.
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Old 21 June 2016, 18:36   #15
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I thought that the reloaded was rather a result of the development of the a-clone??
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Old 23 June 2016, 11:44   #16
spannernick
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I cover my Amiga with,what's it called,the stuff thats in packaging,thats it Bubble Rap,that way I can still see the Amiga..,just need one for my A1200 and CD32,have my A600 and C64cm covered with it.

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Old 23 June 2016, 12:12   #17
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Amiga's last longer than the PCs and laptops that are made today,I got my laptop in 2011 and it already stopped working 5 years down the line,Dam Acer. They are made as cheap as possible.I will never buy another laptop,now I am using a laptop from 1999,they were made better then,its a Advent PIII,I use it for old programs and remote desktop to this PC I am using now and yep its a Acer too. Acer make cheap sh@t and give bad support.

Last edited by spannernick; 23 June 2016 at 14:28.
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Old 23 June 2016, 13:09   #18
Total Eclipse
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Originally Posted by spannernick View Post
I cover my Amiga with,what's it called,the stuff thats in packaging,thats it Bubble Rap
Great idea, especially if you fancy a game of POPulous



Or Mike Read's POP quiz







I'll get my coat.
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Old 23 June 2016, 13:10   #19
Steve T
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Amiga's last longer than the PCs and laptops that are made today,I got my laptop in 2011 and it already stopped working 5 years down the line,Dam Acer. They are made as cheap and possible.I will never buy another laptop,now I am using a laptop from 1999,they were made better then,its a Advent PIII,I use it for old programs and remote desktop to this PC I am using now and yep its a Acer too. Acer make cheap sh@t and give bad support.
the days before lead-free solder and BGA's
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Old 23 June 2016, 13:17   #20
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Yep, Acer are by and large pretty terrible when it comes to quality, one of the front runners in the race to the bottom with PC laptops. Older tech (larger traces and joints and leaded solder) will help too, but there's no reason things can't be designed to compensate for the changed characteristics. Such ideas are counterproductive however when you're selling essentially disposable technology.
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