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Old 02 November 2011, 03:47   #1
clownstyle
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Just bought an A600HD

Hi

I've been looking on ebay last few days for a real amiga for me to play with. Found this 600HD on ebay just about to end so I snapped it up... pretty much without thinking about it (that money was burning a hole in my pocket)

EDIT - I will post in the Ebay links thread.

Now I have a few questions for you guys.. Although the seller on the ad says 4Gb IDE HDD could this be possible or is there a chance its a CF? What would be the disadvantages between the two?

What can I do to upgrade the machine.. Would it be worth me getting a new romset to use WB3.1? Or a memory expansion?

I already own the licence to WHDLOAD, bought it a while ago to use with my winuae setup so would like to use that if possible in install some games.


Tips welcomed Oh and let me know what you think of the auction hopefully its not a total waste. Was kinda spur of the moment purchase

Last edited by clownstyle; 02 November 2011 at 04:00.
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Old 02 November 2011, 05:13   #2
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Hi, congratulations on your impulse purchase! I think if you care for and upgrade her she'll bring you years of happiness, as mine has. It would be good if the A600 comes with a CF, because they draw a lot less power than a hard drive, make no noise, have no spin-up lag and are more mechanically reliable. I'd recommend grabbing one anyway if it turns out your A600 has a regular old hard drive, but it's not essential, just handy if you plan on further expanding the Amiga because you have to keep an eye on how much power each expansion is draining from the weak PSU.

I think Kickstart/Workbench 3.1 is the best choice for an A600. There's no point in sticking with Kickstart 2.x because it's slower and more limited than 3.x, buggy and less refined. But before you rush out and buy a 3.1 Kickstart, remember you have a couple of other options. One is using an EPROM and burning a custom Kickstart which includes updated devices and handlers which are usually patched in on moderately expanded Amiga Startup-Sequences. Another choice is a Kickstart ROM switcher and both 3.1 and 1.3 ROMs (or EPROMs) so you can have better backwards-compatibility with older floppy disk-based games. The final option is to leave the old Kickstart in there and buy yourself the most awesome expansion which all the girls will love you for, the ACA630! It not only gives you the power to take advantage of the latest Workbench revisions and high-end software, but it also provides a handy Map-ROM feature which lets you load in a (custom) Kickstart file into the ACA's memory and boot from it from that point onwards. So you could load in a regular 3.1 ROM file or a super custom one, without having to spend extra on burning an EPROM.

You should probably upgrade to 2MB ChipRAM too, and I'd recommend the new A604 from Individual Computers, unless you can pick up an older 1MB ChipRAM expansion card really cheap. Once you have an A604 though, you can add an Indivision ECS scandoubler so you can use regular VGA monitors and LCD screens in perfect detail on your Amiga, as well as using higher resolutions for Workbench like 800x600 in 16 colours, or even playing DOOM, SCUMMVM games or using Shapeshifter in 256 colours, something previously impossible to do with an OCS-ECS Amiga without a Zorro graphics card. As well as adding an Indivision ECS, you can also attach two Clockport expansions to your A604, such as a Subway USB card (on the special double-speed Subway-only second Clockport), a Delfina 16bit sound card (with DSP, MP3-playback and MIDI-In/Out), high speed serial and parallel port cards, 4-way Clockport Expander cards, Real-Time Clocks (in case you want two, since there's already one on the A604), and more. 2MB of ChipRAM will help to open more applications and screens with more colours from Workbench, as well as give WHDLoad and games a bit more memory to work with.

If you don't opt for an ACA630, you should upgrade your FastRAM somehow. You can sometimes find second hand and home-made 4-8MB RAM cards that attach to the CPU the same way the ACA630 does, but these aren't very easy to find on eBay or Amibay even though they do sometimes pop up. A cleaner and more resellable option would be to find a 2-4MB PCMCIA SRAM card, which will not only boost the speed of your A600 a bit, but also give it the essential extra memory needed for those larger WHDLoad games and bigger productivity applications.

Also if you haven't already, get yourself a couple of control pads to play games with. You can get really cheap Sega-style 6-button pads on Deal Extreme or other online shops, and these work as 2-button pads on the Amiga (B is Fire1 and C is Fire2), or you could get yourself a Playstation-CD32 adapter and use any Playstation/PS2 controller, joystick, guitar or dance mat on your Amiga, utilizing up to seven buttons if the game supports a CD32 pad, with options to reprogram the extra buttons for turbo-fire and combinations, including replacing Up with a button for jumping and accelerating in old games that only supported a single fire button joystick.

If you can't afford or don't think you'll need an Indivision ECS or other scandoubler hardware, perhaps you could consider an RGB-S-Video adapter. These plug into your RGB port and provide you with a sharper Composite output as well as a super-crisp S-Video output which you can use with a LCD TV to get a crystal-clear, flicker-free display from your Amiga. This means you can run Workbench in High Res Interlace and it won't flicker like it would on a CRT.

Your PCMCIA port is very useful, and there are a few expansions worth considering for it. When you're not using your SRAM you might want to transfer files from a PC or something to your Amiga. The old way might have been to use a Squirrel SCSI interface plugged into the PCMCIA slot, connected to a SCSI CD ROM, which you could read burned discs from, or now by using a SCSI card reader, which lets you mount up to five cards (SD, CF, PCMCIA...) at once, and swap them whenever you like. Squirrels aren't that hard to come by second hand, but many of them might be slightly faulty and require simple repairs. More modern and cheaper options include PCMCIA CF and SD card readers, which let you insert a single card and swap it any time. CF card readers for the PCMCIA slot don't seem to have a limit to the capacity of the card you use, but SD card readers are limited to 2GB cards. The card readers which support larger-capacity SDHC cards don't work on the Amiga, even though they apparently auto-switch between 3.3v and 5v PCMCIA and CardBus, so avoid those. The other really cool things you can stick in your PCMCIA slot are network cards, both Ethernet and Wireless cards. Always make sure you check that they're compatible first, they must be 16bit PCMCIA cards and not 32bit CardBus (which usually have bumps on the edge of the connector) and that the Amiga drivers support them. But once you find a compatible card they're usually only a few bob on eBay or from second hand parts dealers. With these you can connect to another computer and transfer files, or even go on the internet and chat on IRC, MSN, play MUDs (the original MMORPGs), read your email, download files or even connect to some online BBSs.

Another way to get your Amiga online is to use a null-modem cable connected to your Amiga and PC's serial ports. Using this method lets you keep an SRAM card in your PCMCIA slot, which really helps out if you're going online. You'll be limited to roughly dialup speeds, which is about all the 68000 can handle anyway, so it ends up not being much slower than using a proper Ethernet or Wireless connection on a plain A600. These cables are also handy for transferring files or disk images from a PC to the Amiga to be written to floppy.

I haven't even started talking about all the awesome software you can install on there yet, but you couldn't go wrong by installing ClassicWorkbench on a partition to start with and check out some of the programs and tools it comes with. Of course filling your drive with WHDLoad games goes without saying, I'm sure you already planned on that.

I hope you have fun with your A600, ask any questions about it and we'll try to help out.

Last edited by Cammy; 02 November 2011 at 06:31. Reason: Typo
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Old 02 November 2011, 21:05   #3
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Cammy that's an amazing response. I didn't expect a reply of that size!!

Lots of good info there though. Hopefully the Amiga arrives to me safely.

I think first thing is first.

1. I'll make sure the HDD is CF and if not I'll upgrade that first.
2. Ill grab an A604, don't think that will break the bank and the extra memory will be needed I'm sure.

Then I'll have to decide if I should update the Rom or an ACA630

Must admit the ACA630 looks very impressive and would be great to own one with an updated workbench anlthough maybe a little pricey for what I actually want the amiga for. I hadn't even seen this bit of hardware before and after seeing it running I am very tempted..

Just games really, but I also want to checkout octamed which I used to use years ago when making music.



SCSI card reader sounds like a really good idea. I remember using a serial cable years ago and it being painfully slow!!
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Old 03 November 2011, 01:04   #4
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Ok I have just realised by looking at the auction that the seller has removed the RF modulator..

He has had the caps replaced on the board and removed the RF at the same time as I guess there is not much point having one these days. Has kinda forced my to buy a scan doubler which may not be a bad thing in the long run If there anything else I should know about this unit (will it be easy to fit?)

I would like to keep the floppy drive if at all possible (due to its dulcet tones)

Will there be a problem doing this if I decide to add both the scan doubler and the A604?

4MB PCMCIA SRAM cards seem to be very expensive!! So it might be an ACA630 after all..

This cheap Amiga is turning into an expensive Amiga very quickly!! LOL

Last edited by clownstyle; 03 November 2011 at 01:14.
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Old 03 November 2011, 01:09   #5
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Yes, I think the scandoubler and floppy drive can coexist. The scandoubler fits below the floppy, IIRC, so it shouldn't get in the way of the A604 either.
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Old 03 November 2011, 01:16   #6
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Thanks for confirming that prowler!

Hope I am not getting in over my head - I have never even opened an amiga!!

Have opened plenty of other computers and consoles though and I'm quite handy with a soldering iron
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Old 03 November 2011, 01:21   #7
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Heheh, Good Luck!

And remember: If in doubt, ask questions first before you start hacking.
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Old 03 November 2011, 04:12   #8
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Only problem I'm having is the a604 seems to be out of stock at the moment on Amigakit so until then I wait have to wait to make my purchase

Last edited by clownstyle; 03 November 2011 at 05:01.
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Old 03 November 2011, 06:08   #9
prowler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler View Post
Yes, I think the scandoubler and floppy drive can coexist. The scandoubler fits below the floppy, IIRC, so it shouldn't get in the way of the A604 either.
I've just had a thought. Although the scandoubler fits below the floppy drive in an A1200, that area is more cramped in an A600 since the motherboard extends to the entire width of the case.

So the best place to fit it could well be in the gap left by the removal of the RF modulator. I seem to remember a thread here which described how that space had been used for this purpose. I'll see if I can find it.

Edit: Found it!

My New A600 Project =D

And this post in particular.

PS. I might have known it would be one of Fitzsteve's modding threads!

Last edited by prowler; 03 November 2011 at 06:28.
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Old 03 November 2011, 11:23   #10
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I thought if you fit an Indivision ECS you had to remove the Floppy Drive in the A600...?

Steve fitted a SD Card Reader in it's place.

A600 Projects always turn out to be a bit more complicated not to mention costly than first imagined!

I think you need to think, just what is it that I actually want to do with my Amiga? - if the answer is to just play games it should reduce your shopping list considerably.

Why not just get a SCART Lead for starters.
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Old 03 November 2011, 13:50   #11
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wow nice write up cammy, even more respect
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Old 03 November 2011, 16:17   #12
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Hi. Even if the RF Modulator has been removed you should still be able to use the Composite-output, which should still be on the board. Also, the A604 was redesigned so that an IndivisionECS could be fitted without the removal of the floppy drive, I guess you'll have to shop around to find an A604 now though. And although the Indivision is a brilliant bit of hardware, a much cheaper option could be to use a LCD TV and either a RGB-Scart cable (if your TV has Scart-input) or a RGB-S-Video adapter.

Here's a video I just made showing the difference between the built-in Composite and S-Video from my A1200: [ Show youtube player ] They're available at http://amigamaniac.com
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Old 03 November 2011, 21:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clownstyle View Post
Only problem I'm having is the a604 seems to be out of stock at the moment on Amigakit so until then I wait have to wait to make my purchase
If you want one now, Vesalia has some in stock.
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Old 03 November 2011, 21:52   #14
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you can pre-order, back in stock on the 8th http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...oducts_id=1038
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Old 05 November 2011, 00:13   #15
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Ok so Amiga has arrived! Condition seems good no yellowing only on the powerpack

Its a 4Gb laptop drive and not a CF!!

Oh well he did say it was IDE. Doesnt look too bad on my old tv with composite / scart and I have pre-ordered an a604.

There is no fastmem at the moment so how viable is it to run whdload games?

The PCMCIA ram seems to be really expensive?? Maybe I am looking in the wrong place. Any links welcome.

EDIT--- Have found a 2Mb one on ebay. Would this be ok for most whdload games or should I be looking for a 4Mb, Is 30 quid ok or a bit steep?

Kickstart version 37.350
WB version 38.35

Would it be worth me upgrading to the 3.1rom as cammy suggested and where is the best place to get one from?

Cheers for the help all !

Last edited by clownstyle; 05 November 2011 at 00:30.
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Old 05 November 2011, 00:36   #16
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PCMCIA Fast RAM is expensive and to be honest from my experience a 2MB PCMCIA RAM card was still not enough to run some games and Demos via WHDLOAD - getting a 4MB version is going to take a lot of hunting down and be big bucks.

You are best to try and get an A630 or something similar on the second hand market - sorry but it isn't cheap to upgrade an A600 to a decent spec.
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Old 05 November 2011, 01:29   #17
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you can get the 3.1 rom from Vesalia

http://www.vesalia.de/e_kickstart.htm
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Old 08 November 2011, 03:18   #18
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Well I have ordered a 4gb CF card from amigakit, a PCMCIA transfer card and a a604.

Should keep me going until I can either get the ACA630 or expand the Fastram some other way.

Main mission has been completed though, scan through 150 odd floppies to save mods created by me and a couple of mates years ago, what memories!! Wait until I show them the tracks on cd

Should hopefully have all the goodies by this Friday
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Old 10 November 2011, 00:22   #19
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I have installed WHDLoad but havent got anything to run on it yet. This must be to do with the ammount of fastram (none!)

I have heard of people disabling preload to get some old games working.. How do I actually do this? Had a butchers in the prefs files but can see no mention of preload setting..
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Old 10 January 2013, 19:12   #20
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Sorry for bumping this old thread but I was looking to buy a 4MB fast RAM from Kipper2K instead of the ACA630.

If I will be mainly using a launcher to lead WHDLoad games I was wondering what the benefit of the 3.1 rom would be exactly?

Trying to keep costs to a minimum!
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