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Old 23 December 2015, 01:46   #1
caiusfabricius
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Advice on how to enhance an Amiga 500

Hi all,
after some years I decided to dust off my beloved Amiga 500 (bought in the far 1987) in order to enhance it.Here is how it's currently equipped:

-1MB of chip RAM (512KB installed in the trapdoor with the 'trace cut' mod to set this as chip RAM)
-Alfapower 500 ATA controller with 1.8GB IDE HDD (with Workbench 3.1) and 4MB of RAM
-1.3/3.1 kickstart switch selector

Inside it has a FAT AGNUS (8372A 318069-02) and a OCS DENISE (8362R8).

What can I do to improve it?I'm thinking to install a Gotek emulator instead of the FDD as well replace the loud IDE HDD with a IDE to CF adapter.Or replace entirely the Alfa Data controller with a newer device like the A508IDE or other expansion boards (if any).What do you think about?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

P.S.
I have also an Amiga 600.Is perhaps this a better candidate for an enhancement?

Last edited by caiusfabricius; 23 December 2015 at 10:12.
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Old 23 December 2015, 02:14   #2
mech
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Originally Posted by caiusfabricius View Post
Hi all,
after some years I decided to dust off my beloved Amiga 500 (bought in the far 1987) in order to enhance it.Here is how it's currently equipped:

-1MB of chip RAM (512KB installed in the trapdoor with the 'trace cut' mod to set this as chip RAM)
-Alfa Data external ATA controller with 1.8GB IDE HDD with Workbench 3.1
-1.3/3.1 kickstart switch selector

Inside it has a FAT AGNUS (8372A 318069-02) and a OCS DENISE (8362R8).

What can I do to improve it?I'm thinking to install a Gotek emulator instead of the FDD as well replace the loud IDE HDD with a IDE to CF adapter.Or replace entirely the Alfa Data controller with a newer device like the A508IDE or other expansion boards (if any).What do you think about?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

P.S.
I have also an Amiga 600.Is perhaps this a better candidate for an enhancement?
The 500 has many options, i have a alfapower with 8MBram and sandisk cf card installed, it works well with decent speed..its also got a csa derringer 030/50mhz accelerator with 128Mb ram inside.

http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.co...ct.aspx?id=522

if you want internal you could add kippers stuff.

Gvp A530 turbo is a option.

a ECS denise 8373 would give more screen modes and is a direct swap or add a indivision ecs scan doubler.

I would always keep my floppy drive, but have added a gotek external.

you could add a megachip for 2MB chip ram if the need arises.

Plipbox for ethernet on the 500 if you feel like ethernet via parallel.

The 600 is a plus with pcmcia(ethernet or use it to move files),has 2Mb chip ram already,and a hard drive(add a cf).

No reason you couldn't do both million options
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Old 23 December 2015, 04:17   #3
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Gotek is a ues for sure. Flash it with the HxC firmware (10 euro). I added a third button and an LCD display (total cost for the display was under $5.00).
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Old 23 December 2015, 11:13   #4
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The typical internal Gotek solution is a monstrosity imo. Only a few of the implementations out there look good and doesn't molest the chassis by cutting large holes in it. I'd say that if you run from HDD, then you won't really need the Gotek anyway since everything can run from HDD. Replace the HDD with a CF/SD card and enjoy the silence. 1MB chip + 4MB fast RAM should be enough for most stuff if you run a basic WB. For WB+WHDload stuff, I'd prefer a 500+ though so you can get 2MB chip since 1MB could be problematic with some games. You can also get 2MB chip in the 500 with MegAChip and similar expansions, but they are quite expensive (cheaper to get a 500+ I think). Combined with Kipper2k's 8MB+IDE expansion and an 010 CPU, it is also a decent solution.

The 600 is also a good candidate for upgrades and the PCMCIA port is really useful for transferring files. For the 600, I'd recommend a CF/SD card with IDE adapter, an accelerator like the ACA620 and a CF card with PCMCIA adapter for file exchange.

There is also the option of the Vampire II and it should launch very soon for the 600 and will come for the 500 next. It will provide 060 like performance, SD card interface and 128MB memory and perhaps even an HDMI interface, however compatibility with WHDload is still not proven, so for now it should be considered as a beta version. The ACA620 has genuine 020 so compatibility is very good.
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Old 23 December 2015, 11:33   #5
caiusfabricius
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OK, thanks for all your advices.I think I will get a Gotek.I've spotted the Kypper2k one that should not required drastic changes to the case :

http://kipper2k.com/intlgotek.html

P.S.
The GVP A530 turbo or any A500 accelerator card seem to be rare and expensive nowadays.

Last edited by caiusfabricius; 23 December 2015 at 14:46.
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Old 23 December 2015, 18:53   #6
Lord Aga
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The 600 ... has 2Mb chip ram already...
Well it does if you put it. If you didn't then it doesn't
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Old 23 December 2015, 19:27   #7
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Originally Posted by caiusfabricius View Post
OK, thanks for all your advices.I think I will get a Gotek.I've spotted the Kypper2k one that should not required drastic changes to the case :

http://kipper2k.com/intlgotek.html

P.S.
The GVP A530 turbo or any A500 accelerator card seem to be rare and expensive nowadays.
You do not necessarily need to go for these monsters. Kipper2k also provides IDE boards which allow for a hard drive or CF card and are reasonably priced.

Personally I would go for that rather than mangling the poor Amiga and dealing with the cumbersome floppy swapping of Gotek "drives".

WHDLoad is software and thus can always be improved. That is what I would go for, moreover the additional storage space will be useful for plenty of other things. Gotek drives can only serve one purpose.
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Old 23 December 2015, 19:45   #8
caiusfabricius
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You do not necessarily need to go for these monsters. Kipper2k also provides IDE boards which allow for a hard drive or CF card and are reasonably priced.

Personally I would go for that rather than mangling the poor Amiga and dealing with the cumbersome floppy swapping of Gotek "drives".

WHDLoad is software and thus can always be improved. That is what I would go for, moreover the additional storage space will be useful for plenty of other things. Gotek drives can only serve one purpose.
Yes, the A508IDE:

http://kipper2k.com/a500fastmem.html

Sure, WHDLOAd is a great piece of software but not all games have their own install, like the cracked or tje freeware/PD ones.
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Old 23 December 2015, 21:23   #9
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Yes, the A508IDE:

http://kipper2k.com/a500fastmem.html

Sure, WHDLOAd is a great piece of software but not all games have their own install, like the cracked or tje freeware/PD ones.
Problem easily solved: learn to code and contribute.
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Old 23 December 2015, 22:30   #10
caiusfabricius
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Problem easily solved: learn to code and contribute.
Wish I learn to code!But I'm first of all an hardware guy specialized in arcade PCBs, here the site where I contribute:

http://www.jammarcade.net/

Last edited by caiusfabricius; 23 December 2015 at 23:11.
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Old 28 December 2015, 04:49   #11
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Originally Posted by caiusfabricius View Post
Hi all,
after some years I decided to dust off my beloved Amiga 500 (bought in the far 1987) in order to enhance it.Here is how it's currently equipped:

-1MB of chip RAM (512KB installed in the trapdoor with the 'trace cut' mod to set this as chip RAM)
-Alfapower 500 ATA controller with 1.8GB IDE HDD (with Workbench 3.1) and 4MB of RAM
-1.3/3.1 kickstart switch selector

Inside it has a FAT AGNUS (8372A 318069-02) and a OCS DENISE (8362R8).

What can I do to improve it?I'm thinking to install a Gotek emulator instead of the FDD as well replace the loud IDE HDD with a IDE to CF adapter.Or replace entirely the Alfa Data controller with a newer device like the A508IDE or other expansion boards (if any).What do you think about?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

P.S.
I have also an Amiga 600.Is perhaps this a better candidate for an enhancement?
I'm doing a similar mod to one of my A500s. Got the Fatter Agnus for the 1MB ChipRam mod. I also have a Blizzard Turbo Memory board which actually replaces the 68000 CPU for another one that can be clocked at double speed and it has 8MB RAM which should give a decent boost to most old games (68k speed is switchable). Storage-wise I went for the GoTek opttion, mostly because I already have various other solutions on my other Amigas (The A1200 has a 060 +64MB RAM, CF card, CD ROM etc, The A600 has a CF and is currently waiting for the Vampire 2, the other A500 is "vanilla" and I want to keep it that way ;-) ...and the fact that it's a bit of a hassle to add a CF solution to the A500, especially when you already have a Blizzard Turbo Mem board hogging the CPU socket ;-)


I do have a problem though, and its about the ROMs. Ye I could upgrade to 3.1 but I have a 2.05 sitting at home that comes from the A600.
(As I understand it, I need to make a "jumper hack" by soldering a wire between socket pins 1 and 31, then bend pin 31 of the chip up, then solder another wire from socket pin 21 to romchip pin 31)?
However, I don't understand what this hack does except "making it work" ;-) and I'm having trouble finding examples of rev 5 a500s running with 2.05 (and not the more common 2.04).
So could someone (if you read this far) explain the ROM "hack" a bit? What does it do exactly, and is 2.05 a good idea for a rev5 A500?

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Old 01 January 2016, 10:24   #12
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I do have a problem though, and its about the ROMs. Ye I could upgrade to 3.1 but I have a 2.05 sitting at home that comes from the A600.
[I](As I understand it, I need to make a "jumper hack" by soldering a wire between socket pins 1 and 31, then bend pin 31 of the chip up, then solder another wire from socket pin 21 to romchip pin 31)?

However, I don't understand what this hack does except "making it work" ;-)
Wire between 1-31 = the top address line is on the wrong pin on the rev5 motherboard. This fixes that.

Bend 31 up + solder to 21 = force the EPROM chip to 16 bit mode.

Quote:
and I'm having trouble finding examples of rev 5 a500s running with 2.05 (and not the more common 2.04).
So could someone (if you read this far) explain the ROM "hack" a bit? What does it do exactly, and is 2.05 a good idea for a rev5 A500?
If you have a mask rom 2.05, you only need to solder a wire between 1 and 31 on the chip itself, then plug it in.

If you have a Kipper2k or MKL IDE board in your Amiga, then 2.05 rev 37.300/37.350 gives you the driver for that board making it a great idea. Otherwise it just upgrades your A500 to 2.05, which might be useful depending on your use case.
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Old 01 January 2016, 10:47   #13
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The easiest solution to quickly upgrade is to just buy an ACA500 together with an ACA1233, and add an Indivision ECS.
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Old 01 January 2016, 15:09   #14
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The easiest solution to quickly upgrade is to just buy an ACA500 together with an ACA1233, and add an Indivision ECS.
but that's a ~€350 upgrade, isn't it?
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Old 01 January 2016, 15:12   #15
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but that's a ~€350 upgrade, isn't it?
Yes, but it's worth the money imo.
I'm using this combo on my A500 and I'm very happy with it.
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Old 01 January 2016, 15:49   #16
Lord Aga
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but that's a ~€350 upgrade, isn't it?
Well he could get an ACA1221 instead of 1233. That would make the sum significantly lower. And it would be just as good for WHDload.
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