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Old 15 February 2012, 15:17   #1
Akira
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My A600 20th year revamp!

I'll make the story as short as possible so bear with me.
By the end of this year, my Amiga 600 will have been with me for 20 years.
It was my first Amiga and I learned a lot of very important things with it. I have great affection for it as it was the single most important thing I have ever owned so far. I work thanks to what I learned with it!

It managed to salvage itself from at least 4 deaths and it's still kicking!
Lately it developed a bit of a problem after some asshole electronic repairman did a shitty cap replacement job on it.

Anyway, I decided I want to revamp it this year to put new life in it and being able to use it a lot more. The first step was to fix that fucking hack job that was done on the poor motherboard.,

I asked on these boards about people who could repair my poor thing. I wanted an individual rather than a company, I needed personal 1:1 treatment, since this item is very valuable to me. I wanted someone I could talk to and who would understand the specific repair needs and my attachment to the machine.

d0pefish's name was recommended and I set forth to write to him and see how it went. I was delighted by the exchange and I sent my motherboard to him. When he received the motherboard, he was appalled at the butchery that has been done to my motherboard. Things looked scary.

A weekend later, I receive another mail from him with pictures of the "before and after" type. I will let them speak for themselves.

This is how it looked like.





The image was screwed up, it seems, because of corrosion on the RGB encoder chip:



After d0pefish's cleaning, track fixing, solder pad replacement, etc:


After he installed the components back, with replaced caps:

It looks like fricking new!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The image now works great!



KEyboard's working fine, it seems it's almost done


So he has managed to revive my Amiga one more time!
He has been super nice with me, we exchanged great emails and he kept me updated with written and photo reports as he progressed with the repair. He has all the equipment and know how, as you can see, to treat your Amiga right. I was not expecting a surface mount cap replacement to be done and what he did makes it look like right out of the factory! I extremely recommend him in case you have ANY sort of Amiga hardware problem. Drop him a line!

My greatest gratitude to you, man



So now that the motherboard is fixed, what is next?

I want to keep the original case. I don't care if it is yellowed, it is the sign of the times we spent together, so that will stay. But I did break every hinge it has to close it shut, so I gotta fix that with some screw-able fixings.

On the upgrade front, I want to put an 030 in it, and perhaps the Indivision ECS, but I am not sure about that yet.

I am also considering getting an HxC floppy emulator, but I don't use floppies much anyway, so maybe I don't. My CD-32 has me covered now for gaming needs.

Since I will mainly use this for music, I may put the MIDI interface inside the case just for kicks, and maybe a sampler.

The motherboard is already modified to take in a picoPSU and I have one spare so that's the next mod I will put in it.

In all, I am really excited and I am looking forward to December when the project should be finished. This will be coupled, hopefully, with a demo production I have in the works in my mind, to be released at tUM 2012, but I am not 100% sure of that yet.

I'll keep posting as I progress!
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Old 15 February 2012, 15:37   #2
seuden
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Nice recovery!
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Old 15 February 2012, 15:50   #3
Mad-Matt
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You sure its working great ? The Kickstart screen should be purple not blue !

Good its going agin though, it certainly looks like its had a rough time over the years and it can finaly come off dialysis.
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Old 16 February 2012, 00:44   #4
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Wooohoo!

Thanks very much for the compliments Akira, really pleased with the outcome of this one

Sorry about the camera making the monitor look blue. My only camera is my phone and it's a bit awkward getting the colours to look right sometimes! :P

I promise you it's purple in real life.

I should be able to get it dispatched for you tomorrow, with any luck it'll be back in your hands for the weekend

Looking forward to seeing your project progress.

Cheers!
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Old 16 February 2012, 01:13   #5
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There is something about a bare PCB that screams pr0n......
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Old 16 February 2012, 01:59   #6
Akira
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There is something about a bare PCB that screams pr0n......
Hey, don't be having dirty thoughts about MY Amiga :P

d0pefish: That's great man! I have a disk drive here that might be working, otherwise I will spend the weekend reconfiguring Workbench for proper use again!
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Old 16 February 2012, 02:25   #7
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I can only try my friend
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Old 16 February 2012, 03:05   #8
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Just.... WOW!
That's the best repair job I have ever seen. The "before" pictures made it look almost impossible to fix it in a good way, but d0pefish proves elsewise.

What did you use to remove the corrosion all over the board? If you used rubbing alcohol, how come the board looks so shiny? For me, using rubbing alcohol results in a dry/rough surface with (sometimes) a white color.
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Old 16 February 2012, 03:20   #9
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Thanks 8bitbubsy

I do actually use isopropyl alcohol - that and q-tips. The alcohol can leave a white residue behind, I think it depends on its purity - but a careful wipe/"buff" with a soft cloth or dry q-tips polishes it off for me usually

The pad repair was tricky. I have a collection of scrap PCBs that I harvest parts from occasionally. I find some areas with SMD caps or components with similar lands, and warm up a pad with the soldering iron (to break down the adhesive underneath - this how people mess them up in the first place, too much heat!) whilst using a scalpel to lift it away. I then cut it away from the board, and Araldite/epoxy it down onto the damaged board.

Once hardened (overnight) I used a fibreglass pen to rub excess hard glue off the top of the pad and polish the new metal surface, then solder small wire to wherever it needs to be joined. The cap can then be soldered on top.

You have to be very quick and careful as Araldite seems far easier to melt with a soldering iron than the original PCB adhesive. I use my iron at a lower temperature here, and of course use leaded solder which melts at the lower temperature to help with this.
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Old 16 February 2012, 05:32   #10
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Yikes, I hope you paid the guy who did that first job with the old flaming bag of turd on the doorstep, that was ugly!

Nice recue d0pefish, looks like new.

I had a decent result replacing some lifted pads using adhesive copper tape. Its a bit thicker that regular pad material I think but quite easy to work with. The adhesive on it isn't really up to the job though, I used superglue rather than epoxy. It is tricky like you say, the pad can kinda float around when the glue melts, I expect vapourised superglue is not something you wanna get in your eyes either!
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Old 16 February 2012, 10:41   #11
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Yikes, I hope you paid the guy who did that first job with the old flaming bag of turd on the doorstep, that was ugly!
As soon as I saw the job I was fucking angry. I was tempted to go and shove a bag of shit into the guy's face. He also took like a bloody month and a half to do it!!!!!!! But when I did this, I needed the machine running and so it did... for a while and with shitty video... but as soon as the audio got fucked, I was in a rage.

I am so glad d0pefish managed to save my machine! Everyone with an Amiga hardware issue should deal with d0pefish!
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Old 16 February 2012, 17:34   #12
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As soon as I saw the job I was fucking angry. I was tempted to go and shove a bag of shit into the guy's face.
I just spent about 10 minutes trying to hold back the tears from laughing so hard at this.

I want this as a signature quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
I am so glad d0pefish managed to save my machine! Everyone with an Amiga hardware issue should deal with d0pefish!
Awwwh, man. Seriously, it's a pleasure - you're welcome.
Make no mistake, I'm by no means a professional or anything, just a hobbyist handy with a soldering iron who happens to love Amigas. I hope to be able to help more people in a few months' time as I will have left my job to become a student, so I should have more time to put aside for repair work
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Old 16 February 2012, 17:59   #13
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As soon as I saw the job I was fucking angry. I was tempted to go and shove a bag of shit into the guy's face.


Great work by dopefish!
Besides, i can also recommend Cosmos, he did 3 boards for me, very nice and proffesionally done.
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Old 16 February 2012, 18:45   #14
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I'm by no means a professional or anything, just a hobbyist handy with a soldering iron who happens to love Amigas.
This guy is too humble! Don't listen to him! :P

Cosmos lives in France, right? I guess it would work better for continental Europe folks. I think I bought a MIDI interface from him, he sent it all the way to Argentina when I was there. Nice chap!
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Old 16 February 2012, 18:49   #15
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I did end up posting it today by the way
1st class recorded.
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Old 16 February 2012, 20:34   #16
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Quote:
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[...] I'm by no means a professional or anything [...]
We know, you're more than that!
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Old 16 February 2012, 21:16   #17
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We know, you're more than that!
!!! <3 <3 <3
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Old 17 February 2012, 08:47   #18
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Great looking work there!
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Old 18 February 2012, 01:56   #19
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The A600 motherboard arrived today! Thank you d0pefish
So here are some pics of the A600 in assembly progress and running:


Here's a pic of the mainboard installed in the lower case:



You can see the picoPSU with Stedy's adapter, the CF-IDE adapter with a 256MB CF card, the PCMCIA Multicard reader with a 256MB SD card, the A601 RAM expansion with fresh new battery for the RTC, a SCART RGB cable and a disk drive that I got with the A500 I got weeks ago. It wasnęt working, not even powering up, and I thought it would be a problem of the board it had and I was right. It was a Roctec with a Citizen drive, and the drive works fine when connected to the Amiga! I need a proper cable to connect it though, this is too short. I also had to remove the top lid and the drive lid, as well as sawing the button, otherwise the case wouldn't close.

Here's the disk drive:




As you can see, it's powering up and reading:




And here's the miggy running Protracker. Sound works perfectly:




And running Snow Bros off the external SD card!



I'm really happy to have my old buddy back in shape and operational.

Next step would be to fix the case, which is a mess. Gotta get me some metal hinges and proper nuts and bolts.

Then I will start saving up for some upgrades and do mods here and there along the way.
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Old 18 February 2012, 02:53   #20
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That's brilliant Akira, I'm so glad everything's working and back in your hands safely!

The picture looks great on your telly.

Sundown 2012; we could totally be A600 buddies. ?
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