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Old 13 March 2010, 00:00   #1
mfilos
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My custom A1200D PPC :)

I thought of posting here also my 1200D PPC mod since I've been working it for quite some time and just recently thought of finishing it since all hardware was on a drawer waiting to be modded
My first will was putting as much as I can inside the desktop shell being as much beautiful, functional and securely I could!
Fitting inside A1200 Desktop shell the following...
- Blizzard PPC, 060@60MHz/603+@330MHz (thanks to Stanislaw),
- Blizzard Vision RTG Card,
- Elbox FastATA mkIII IDE controller,
- Subway USB controller,
- Indivision 1200 SD/FF
- UMON monitor AGA/RTG monitor switcher,
- PicoPSU 120W,
- Hard Drive
...clearly isn't an easy job, especially if you got similar experience (due to different clip-on pcb layers, much cabling and inefficient air flow for cooling)
Of course many people have done that in the past, but wanted to be able to have a more stable system with as much airflow as I could without sacrificing all the hardware I wanted to put inside in the first place
Since I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I asked the help of one close friend of mine that happens to be an electronic type of guy (Chris) who likes modding like me, but never used to have nor known much stuff about Amigas...

Let's cut to the chase then...

We started from the hard stuff, which meant putting PicoPSU (including Ian Stedman's ATX connector) inside the case. Since there aren't many spots available of putting them, I chose the place where the normal Power connector, TV Modulator and Composite connector exist as the best option. These connectors had to leave so away they went quickly!
Our only issue, was a capacitor that existed behind the Composite connector...


No harm done! Away he went carefully (with heat shrink tube) behind the 23pin RGB connector when it was attached with hot glue.

That way we were very comfortable in attaching Ian's connector (with some insulation base underneath pcb not to have connection with mobo parts)... Some low quality photos shot from my Blackberry that night follow:


You must have seen the blue connectors hehe. There are just 6 triple connectors which were soldered in a pcb to power supply anything needed (floppy, mobo in the floppy connector for extra power supply, fans for BVision, fans for the case etc). The first triple connector holds the Output that comes from PicoPSU. The other 5 triple connectors are Inputs (for devices) with +5V,GND and +12V to be able to get whatever power supply we want. The PCB of course was insulated with another PCB underneath and hot glue, and the whole PCB with connectors was hot glued in the case without disturbing the upper shell in closing.

For information, we putted it that way (along with the strapped cables) so that it doesn't disturb not even by mistake, keyboard's flat ribbon cable since I wanted to be totally free.

I discovered that after connecting PicoPSU's power cables underneath mobo (in old power connectors place)... that it was leaving me a really nice empty spot!!! Time for more hackery... and what a hackery! Kinda difficult to find exactly what I want for the job ... Well, after many hours of research... EUREKA!!!


Of course I removed the metal frame and also cut the plastic brackets. Dremel was used to trim it enough for my taste. One problem was that since the insulation was pretty thick, I couldn't bend the cable as much as I wanted... That's why I removed some insulation at specific spots that I wanted, moved the cable where I wanted, and glued it with Hot glue :O Some photos presented bellow:


Nice huh? Clearly, the connector sits ONLY to mobo's pcb and not to the rest shell (making that way, the removal of the mobo easily in case some hackeries will be needed lol).

to be continued...
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Old 13 March 2010, 00:02   #2
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...continued...

If you were observing, you should have saw 2 more stuff in the pictures.

1. One black thick heat shrink tube strapped to the wires of PicoPSU... through it, some cables go to U12 chip soldered and safely glued with hot glue... Looks familiar?
Yep, it's DJBase's S-VHS adaptor that I simply insulated with some heat shrink tube for safety

And just for the external satisfactory...

(I haven't figured it out yet what I'll put in old's TV Modulator hole but I'll find something, or I'll close it beautifully in the future)

2. Ok, the first connector goes where the old Power Connector was... the second one where does it head to???

Time for the next hackery...
Right from BPPC I made a square hole to host the second double USB header along with a hole to host the button that will make the switching of between RTG/AGA through UMON! I have to confess that this was the most time consuming and hard hack in this project for it to be exactly in the size needed for the USB header. Crazy cutting with Dremel and lot of patience. In the end... It was awesome!!!


As the previous header, some insulation was cut to be able to bend the wire since being thick. Don't worry I'll insulate it later on. The black button in the right side is the Power switch (Push-on switch).

Since you saw UMON's switch... that just gives +5V to UMON (bypassing the horrible default switch with the double color LED of UMON) you ought to see the hacked and naked UMON into the expansion slot


Yep, it resides along with the power connector and the push-on Power button.
Note: You can't see it clearly, but if you look carefully, you'll see the necessary cutting in the metal plate that holds the floppy drive into position, so non of the wires that pass underneath the floppy will interfere

Continuing, i present one picture of UMON connected with the Indivision through the total custom connection inside the heat shrink tube. The truth was that the selected mod pretty time consuming since the VGA connectors of Indivision and UMON were huge and horrible inside the case so they had to be removed! Thats why we checked with a multimeter which cable goes to where carefully... cutted the connectors and connected one-by-one the ribbon cables with heatgun and heat shrink tube per connection! In the end, we tested the cabling with multimeter again and once we were sure of our work... we also included a small pcb just to hold the connections inside the external heat shrink tube. That's what the result was...

It also made it more easy to sit on mobo with hot glue!


Next, I added BVision it's own ribbon that followed Indivision's ribbon path (Yeah I know I'm a fan of Zorro LOL)...


Let's see if the floppy with the rest cabling fits???

Oh yeah, they fit like a glove

You can get a panoramic view with everything on (except of my CF to IDE 44pin female angled adaptor that will sit on top of FastATA, and the upper shell with the fans).


Also one more photo (although a little blurry) with the back side of the case with all the custom mods.



to be continued
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Old 13 March 2010, 00:03   #3
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...continued...

The only thing that's left, is to cut with the Dremel the metal frame of the keyboard which touches 3 spots without being able to sit firmly in the predefined place...
1. Kickstart ROM (the lower one) sine it got lot higher with the double Kickstart sockets to be able to fit with BVision and Indivision.
Note: I already changed the sockets with better/more expensive ones which instead of flat pinned, they're round pinned with gold sockets, that apart from quality are half milimeter thiner that the old ones... something that fitted just fine for my use!
2. Lower Part of Subway USB (some capacitors)
3. One mini heatsing that resided on one chip that gets really hot on BPPC.

I'll update you with extra information, and some last photos and videos once I got the case closed and Boot in 3.9, 4.0 and MOS that already run just fine in my 16GB CF card :P

Just for info, I present 3 updated Photos from miggy in use...

16GB CF Card in CF2IDE 44pin angled adapter (on top of FastATA):


Cybergraphx4 Boot Pic :P


OS 3.9 + AfAOS 4.6...


For those who wonder how on earth the upper shell gonna close...

As I said earlier... keyboard touches kickstart roms and the lower part of Subway (some capacitors) making unable to sit firmly in the prefefined position. Not to mention... that also touches one mini heatsink that I've putted on top of a chip that gets really hot on BPPC.
Today was Dremel's day... (Ι gave it a first spin also since I got a new original one hehe)
Here are the results:




I thought it was fine and fits perfectly and securely
One thing that always bothered me was the floppy holster which always made my Memory Simms not being able to fit (excpet from one hyper slim that I got). So we also cut here to be just fine:



At last!!! lower shell is ready (changed also the 2 fans in BVision with 2x4cm, 14db which simply are totally silent), also both Memory Simms are mounted without any issues, and of course my beloved mini heatsink mounted as it should be (persistence huh?) lol.



Lastly, here's the keyboard mounted and connected without absolutely no problem!!! Upper shell was tested and everything close perfectly. I must supply it though with 2 more silent fans which you'll see in a next update... That's all for now



I'm waiting for your comments... Especially yours, my friend Zetr0! I hope the pr0n was ok for your taste
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Old 13 March 2010, 00:53   #4
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The most sophisticated modded A1200 I've ever seen... This is amazing work, I can't imagine fitting those parts better.

Just... TOO GOOD!!
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Old 13 March 2010, 02:21   #5
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This is the best mod I have seen ever, Zetr0 will be proud
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Old 13 March 2010, 06:11   #6
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This is the best mod I have seen ever, Zetr0 will be proud
Actually I think Zetr0 will make a mess in his pants......
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Old 13 March 2010, 07:04   #7
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I just have to say it again.. This is the finest A1200 upgrade I've ever seen! Also, I've not seen an Amiga 1200 as beastly as this one.. Grr
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Old 13 March 2010, 21:37   #8
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Thanks for the kind words peepz :P
Tbh it I couldn't believe how much time, just writing all this stuff, would require!
I really want to thank Stedy and DJBase for the neat hardware they produce for many of us and the help from many folks and especially my friend Keropi for the advise and support
I have in mind some more changes I wanna do (like probably trying my BPPC's SCSI via ACard to CF solution) but I'll keep ya posted when i'll have news and more sexy pics...

Cheers
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Old 14 March 2010, 07:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfilos View Post
<SNIP>
And just for the external satisfactory...

(I haven't figured it out yet what I'll put in old's TV Modulator hole but I'll find something, or I'll close it beautifully in the future)BIG <SNIP>
A suggestion? Catch a small vertical fan from a laptop and install it there to blow air away from the case.
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Old 14 March 2010, 08:42   #10
mfilos
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Hmmm haven't saw how these are tbh, but since I have a dead laptop for parts, I might as well check it out my friend, thanks!

Atm, where you see the copper mini heatsinks (which were putted extra) I have putted verticaly, a 2,5cm fan blowing air to the heatsinks since they get ULTRA hot.
I wonder if it's such a normal issue for these 2 parts (dunno how they're called) to get so extremely hot, but since I didn't like the idea of having parts that get too hot, I figured this solution.

I really want to achieve the quiter the better, that's why I putted 2x4cm fans on BVision that are only 14db doing a 4CFM which is more than ok.
Next step is removing the annoying BPPC's mini fan. I need suggestions though...
1. Keep the black default heatsink and just put a 4cm fan on it... or,
2. Remove the black default heatsink and put a new one only for PPC with it's own fan. (Like the latest DCE BPPC models)

Keep in mind that PPC CPU is clocked at 330MHz (thanks to Stanislaw), so I really DON'T want to fry him :P


What do u think it's the best scenario for cooling down the PPC? Of course, Dremeling the trapdoor etc etc etc... it's a next job that will be well thought for aesthetic reasons

Cheers
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Old 14 March 2010, 20:37   #11
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A guy used a video card fan installed at the side of the card and used a plastic tunnel to force air into the Apollo 040 CPU.

May be a good idea?
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Old 17 March 2010, 06:43   #12
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This is completely amazing. The "perfect" A1200 mod? I guess the only thing I would have done differently myself is making the CF slot accessible from the side of the Amiga.

Tell me mfilos, how does it work with the keyboard and case on? Any stability issues? Have you really pushed the PPC and 060 to the max to check?

Also can someone tell me how that SVIDEO mod works? Does it output whatever is going through UMON to both?
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Old 17 March 2010, 09:58   #13
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This is completely amazing. The "perfect" A1200 mod? I guess the only thing I would have done differently myself is making the CF slot accessible from the side of the Amiga.
I thought of doing that don't worry. The CF slot is not in a permanent place :P I have many CD to IDE adapters (40, 44, Female, Male etc) and will use the best when I'll figure out 100% what I'm gonna do - since I have in mind the replacement of FastATA with ACard-->CF2IDE-->CF... so we'll have to wait and see

Quote:
Originally Posted by wXR View Post
Tell me mfilos, how does it work with the keyboard and case on? Any stability issues? Have you really pushed the PPC and 060 to the max to check?
Also can someone tell me how that SVIDEO mod works? Does it output whatever is going through UMON to both?
I haven't closed the keyboard operating for much time since I haven't finished with the cooling of the case and the PPC CPU yet. Everything closes and works like a charm, but by the end of the week I'll have all the cooling issues sorted out
So far, I putted an 3cm fan into blowing air to the mini copper Heatsinks of PicoPSU and they are soooooo cool now!

About the S-Video adapter... It works like a charm in every TV, LCD/TV that I tried, and just works on the Native modes. Don't expect RTG graphics through S-Video
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Old 17 March 2010, 11:13   #14
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I thought of doing that don't worry. The CF slot is not in a permanent place :P I have many CD to IDE adapters (40, 44, Female, Male etc) and will use the best when I'll figure out 100% what I'm gonna do - since I have in mind the replacement of FastATA with ACard-->CF2IDE-->CF... so we'll have to wait and see
Awesome! SD seems to be gaining ground against CF in the marketplace (thanks to Apple and other adoptions), and from what I understand from another EAB thread that I can't find, the advantage of using SD is that it doesn't have hardware in the card itself to act as a drive natively, so it's up to the bridge... Presumably more testing goes into the bridges than into using the CF cards as IDE devices, so maybe that's a better way to go, for compatibility's sake?

SCSI -> ACard -> SD bridge

Man, this stuff is so cool. :-)

Quote:
I haven't closed the keyboard operating for much time since I haven't finished with the cooling of the case and the PPC CPU yet. Everything closes and works like a charm, but by the end of the week I'll have all the cooling issues sorted out
So far, I putted an 3cm fan into blowing air to the mini copper Heatsinks of PicoPSU and they are soooooo cool now!
Really, so there was a lot of heat generated by the PicoPSU itself... I would have been more worried about the BPPC

Quote:
About the S-Video adapter... It works like a charm in every TV, LCD/TV that I tried, and just works on the Native modes. Don't expect RTG graphics through S-Video
Ah okay -- so through the VGA port you can get RTG *or* native modes with the UMON switch, but with the SVIDEO port only native? I've seen super hires modes being filtered through SVIDEO on certain laptops, so that's why I ask.
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Old 17 March 2010, 11:18   #15
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Presumably more testing goes into the bridges than into using the CF cards as IDE devices, so maybe that's a better way to go, for compatibility's sake?
Perhaps, otoh if you manage to find a bridge that doesn't work with the Amiga, it'll be a bit more expensive.

Also: most of these SD -> CF bridges don't support SDHC so you're limited to 2GB cards and sometimes if you're lucky, you can find a 4GB non-HC SD card that also happens to work with the bridge.

The 4GB regular SDs are a bit of a special case, they don't always work with every device.
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Old 17 March 2010, 12:42   #16
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I prefer CF over SD due to the fact that it's exactly the same interface as normal HD's so the conversion is almost minimal to none. On SD interface, conversion is needed (not that it's bad but I prefer the 1st method).

From VGA I get RTG (via BVision) and Natives (via Indivision) through UMON switch and I only implemented the S-Video adapter in case I need to mount my 1200 to my 42" LCD/TV that only has HDMI (and not VGA input) and Scart/SVHS inputs for gaming sessions. Sadly the RGB to Scart doesn't work in some LCD's I tried (green lines scrolling) so I went with the S-Video solution that works like a charm

Edit: Yeah PicoPSU gets REALLY hot without some cooling! Probably normal, but I didn't like it so... Cool it went just for safety :P

Cheers and thanks for the good words
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Old 22 March 2010, 11:53   #17
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Today I received from AmigaKit the BPPC to Internal 50pin cable. After some discussion I had with Matthew, he also sent me a mini 50pin Female to Female cable in order for me to connect it to the ACard!




Thanks a lot Matthew u rock!

Damn I can't wait to go home to check it out! I so much hope for it to work
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Old 22 March 2010, 22:14   #18
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Woohoo! It works like a charm!

Although I didn't know much about SCSI and stuff, I configured the ID on ACard via jumpers, set the terminator active and set in BPPC's Menu, the SCSI ID that corresponded to ACard's ID and voila!

... Well results don't show such of a difference since I only get 4,6MB/s (Read/Write) -despite the CF is 16GB 133x, but in general the system is so much faster (maybe due to the fact that SCSI doesn't occupy CPU). So far so good...

I also very carefully split the wires of the SCSI ribbon and made it a round for better manipulation and airflow. Of course I inserted an plastic insulation tube that I got from another round IDE cable I had....

Now, I honestly need to remove the IDE connectors on the ACard and the CF2IDE adapter and connect them via cable soldered :S
Won't be so much easy for me, but it's the only way to fit like a glove inside without issues!

So long FastATA...

This is a quick lousy photo of the possition I'm thinking of putting the ACard and CF2IDE without having issues with the keyboard etc. (Power cables of course won't be in the way hehe):
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Old 22 March 2010, 23:50   #19
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awesome job. makes all my hacks look so amateur!. Genius sir!..

*jealous*

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Old 23 March 2010, 02:36   #20
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@Mfilos: why not a simple short IDE cable?

You can use a regular with the near two connectors used and cut out the long cable and remaining connector.

I did this to hook a CF on the Amiga IDE for a friend and it works like a charm.
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