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Old 03 August 2010, 22:26   #1
amigakit.com
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Next A1200 hardware project...

As some of you will have seen, we have released ZorRAM for the A4000 and A3000 and for the next investment, the A1200 has been selected for a new expansion.

As a question for A1200 users: what hardware would you like to see available? Please keep suggestions realistic and please don't suggest Indivision 1200 ;-)
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Old 03 August 2010, 23:00   #2
cosmicfrog
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cheap 68060 with PPC pref if not without
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Old 03 August 2010, 23:06   #3
DDNI
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Shark!

But seriously...

A new run of MAS players?

A trapdoor 8mb card that is PCMCIA aware and can adjust it's RAM capacity if a PCMCIA card is present on boot?

A simple to fit reliable A1200 PicoPSU?

A new pair of A1200 OS3.9 ROMS that support ROM updates/WarpUP/Idefix/Shapshifter etc?
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Old 03 August 2010, 23:09   #4
Franko
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A board that can support SATA DVD/HD Drives...

And A USB 2 interface would be cool..

I could even write you a DVD burner prog to go with it (might help you sell some more DVD drives !!!)...

Last edited by Franko; 03 August 2010 at 23:17. Reason: Added an extra item...
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Old 03 August 2010, 23:11   #5
desiv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amigakit.com View Post
Please keep suggestions realistic and please don't suggest Indivision 1200 ;-)
Phased plamsa rifle in the 40 watt range...

er..
Oh, I know.. an Indivision 1200..

:-) I really am bad.. And I actually laugh at these.. Wow! Sad really..

Honestly, it HAS to be some type of memory/CPU expansion...

What I see people asking about on the forums more than anything are memory expanders for their 1200's...
I ended up getting a 2M SRAM card for my 1200 for now (Yes, I know it slows things down) just so I could use WHDLOAD better and not spend too much on a RAM/CPU card, but I plan on upgrading to ???.

Yes, a CPU/Memory expander would also fit the bill, but those are usually much too expensive... The problem with the RAM cards is that they cost almost as much as the CPU cards...

If it would be feasible to come out with a sub $100 new 8M RAM card (the more sub, the better :-) that doesn't conflict with the PCMCIA range, that would be great.

Now, a CPU/RAM card would also be great, but they are fairly readily available used for $160-$200 (USD). So, it might be tricky to compete. Also, getting faster CPUs new is tricky from what I hear. Some type of card with RAM and CPU all in FPGA or ??? would be interesting, but I'm not sure cost effective..

Now, getting LESS believable, a CPU/RAM card with USB on it (with a cable that takes the USB to the back panel of the 1200 and a USB stack, all for under $200.. Now we're cooking with GAS.. :-)

Just thinking out loud.

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Old 04 August 2010, 00:03   #6
Fabie
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I want to see some kind of A1200 accelerator.....040 or 060 which fits in the A1200 desktop with built in GFX card with scandoubler/flicker fixer
all in one--turboboard+gfxcard
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:03   #7
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IT's hard to define for the A1200.
Yes, the chance for having USB can have high priority. Equally with a well supported soundcard. Also netaccess is a keypoint (honestly don't know anything about wireless networking, so a good tutorial maybe, although it doesn't really a hw to be built)
And still, withount any CPU and/or RAM expansion the A1200 is a giant with one arm.
I also think that the most important thing recently for any A1200 owners to not timber the case into pieces in their shed, more preferred anything which is at least looks like a factory default upgrade.
In short: I don't know
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:04   #8
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  • A 68060 card which takes SDRAM and can run at 90-100MHz target price 150 without 060 (so people can upgrade what they got)
  • High Quality automon monitor switcher. Preferably internal design for A1200T (perhaps even A3000/A4000 too) possibly A1200D. Designed and tested with Indivision AGA, Flicker/Scan Magic & BVision/CVision, Voodoo3, 5, Radeon 9600 etc.
  • A replacement internal HDD cradle with screw holes in the right place for modern 2.5" hard drive. Made in quality steel with rounded edges. I'd like to get rid of the elastic band in my A600!
  • Professional paint spraying service for A1200 cases (all Amigas?) in different colours (or just black?) Send in your old case and get a painted one back.
  • Replacement key caps in different colours to match above (or just black) with screen printed lettering in original font (save butchering CDTV Keyboards!)
  • Retr0bright kits including chemicals, a tray, UV bulb and some mechanism to keep the keys etc under the solution
  • Replacement C= Commodore A1200 badges for Amiga Technologies A1200's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko View Post
A board that can support SATA DVD/HD Drives...
Already exists. Google for 2.5" PATA to SATA adapters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko View Post
A USB 2 interface would be cool..
Not practical. There are no A1200 external interfaces capable of USB2 speeds. It would need to clip to the CPU and there are too many different turbo boards. Not to mention screwing the height of most of them.

Only possibility would be for Amiga Kit to find a source of alternate USB2 PCI cards (different to Spider USB to avoid any complications with Elbox) and to sponsor the development of drivers for Poseidon (perhaps pay Chris Hodges?).

What would be adventurous would be for AmigaKit to develop (or approach an ODM to develop) a PCI USB3 card. I could name all the chips required, the hardware design would be simple (no FPGAs). It would just need lots of software development. But they could perhaps sell outside Amiga market, for systems without PCI Express.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko View Post
I could even write you a DVD burner prog to go with it (might help you sell some more DVD drives !!!)...
Can you not write DVD's with MakeCD or other Amiga burning software in ISO9660 bridge mode?

Last edited by alexh; 04 August 2010 at 00:47.
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:28   #9
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Can you still get 68020's? A fast 68020 (not EC!) with 8 or 16 mb would sell very well I feel.
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:32   #10
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Can you still get 68020's?
They are labelled "End of Life". Which I think means they are not making them but have back stock. They are still listed in Digikey (crazy prices though!)
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:42   #11
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68060 (maybe with PPC) and some RAM thrown in for good measure.
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:47   #12
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[list][*]A 68060 card which takes SDRAM and can run at 90-100MHz target price 150 without 060 (so people can upgrade what they got)
I like this a lot.
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:52   #13
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a) A proper retail channel for selling 'HxC floppy emulator' so people are not paying high prices for them (will cover all Amiga's this too and lots of other floppy type devices = big bucks for FOL's pent house )

b) Amnesty of all RF modulators on every Amiga model for a big bonfire on the 5th November (can include those pesky barrel batteries which should add some more excitement to the flames)

c) Amiga Keyboard/computer dust cover made from 100% Egyptian cotton embossed with original Amiga logo.

d) A 8MB RAM card for the CD32 (hey, the port is almost identical to the 1200's )

e) A 'bridge' so I can mount a 1200 board in my A500 for it to become the ultimate Amiga (someone made a prototype yonks ago, so can AmigaKit )

f) Selling me your stash of 'Individual Computer - Access's' (money, woman, cheque book, cute dog waiting) (actually dunno if I could part with the dog)...

g) A 2MB SRAM card (gotta fill those holes up!)

h) Can't think of anything else.
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Old 04 August 2010, 00:56   #14
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My suggestions:

1. Kickflash 1200 (a rewritable kickstart flashrom for A1200)
2. An 8MB or less configurable ram expansion with RTC and fpu socket
3. An A1200 RTG GFX card
4. A 68040/60 accelerator that comes with only the cpu socket, but no actual microprocessor (to save on costs and retail price) and has a fastmem interface and a custom expansion port for cool add-ons

Last edited by gulliver; 04 August 2010 at 02:44. Reason: Spelling
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Old 04 August 2010, 01:01   #15
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Can not think of anything besides a new modern 68k turbo, I dont know how realistic that is though.
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Old 04 August 2010, 02:15   #16
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A1200 wish list.

hmmmm

I think the 8MB FAST RAM ugrader would be a good seller if you can bring it in on a low price target - and thats where the difficulty might be to be honest - MOQ's for the connector alone could seriously bring this project to its knees before it begins.

perhaps a way to offset this would be to add features to the card, alas this would add complexity - hense design and manufactoring costs, but some nice features would be

1. Auto PCMCIA recognizable (if a card is detetect only 5.5.MB of the 8MB is allocated)
2. PLCC / PGA FPU option (with external clock)

you could reduce the costs by using a simple 5volt tollerant CPLD with about 80 Macrocells - this would provide the memory arbitration as well run the startup-autoconfig code from either an EPROM or Flash CHIP.

This leads to another feature that could be added bearing on the size of the flash and complexity of the board, but you could offer the addition of shaddow kickrom in Flash RAM thats user updateable and can be either jumpered OFF or have it ignore "kick from flash" on a right or left mouse button sense

all these designs have been implemented and documented in one form or another, so it would really need a few months developement stitching it all together and prototyping it - run out the bugs etc. to be honest with a good developer you could have a workable product in about 9 months.


Other ideas for low-cost upgrades for the A1200
  • 3 Slot Zorro2 BusBoard adapter (could be bundled with tower kits)
  • clockport sound card
  • clockport network card (this could then be used on any Amiga with a Clockport)
  • clockport to MIDI adapter
  • a HcX SD/CF type device in an external floppy drive chassis (it would look awesome)
  • Infrared Adapter (clips to keyboard mpu) comes with Amiga Remote (can be user programed)
  • PSX/XBOX joypad converter to Amiga Joy
  • PCMCIA to USB 1.1 (compatible with both the sirlion and analise USB stacks)

Most of these ideas have some ground work and theory available via aminet or through an open linux community - this should help you ascertain if any of these projects would be viable.
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Old 04 August 2010, 02:24   #17
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More compatible USB devices for use with the Subway.
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Old 04 August 2010, 02:25   #18
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I got one thing: a second PCMCIA port, as I always wished to use a network card and a CF adapter at the same time. And/or an USB adapter as it was told previously.
Of course it has to worth it, if it isn't cheap enough (I mean the USB) it makes no sense.
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Old 04 August 2010, 02:50   #19
Franko
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Quote:
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Already exists. Google for 2.5" PATA to SATA adapters.

Can you not write DVD's with MakeCD or other Amiga burning software in ISO9660 bridge mode?
Bought 2 of these SATA adapters and the read/write transfer rates were way too slow.

I have read that some folk have managed to burn DVD's using MakeCD but I can't get it to work and MakeCD ISO creating routine is limited to less than 1Gb of data. Tried FryingPan but never managed to get it to burn a disk without errors, also its limited to 4GB ISO files, AmiDVD works fine but it's OS4 only and I don't like using OS4 on my set up. That why I wrote my own DVD Burning/ Ripping software. Runs on OS3.1 to 3.9, no 4GB limit (ie:can burn full disk, approx 4.34Gb or 8.3GB DL), can burn DVD +/- R & RW and can burn and Rip Dual Layer disks.

A proper working SATA board for the Amiga would and will be needed as most HD/DVD manufacturers are phasing out IDE/ATAPI production and in the next couple of years the only new drives produced will be SATA.

I don't want an external USB 2 interface, I use an internal SUBWAY USB board on my A1200 but that hasn't been upgraded in years from USB1.1, I think its only a matter of the controller chips needing updated as I am sure Elbox are selling new USB2 board for the A4000

Last edited by Franko; 04 August 2010 at 03:06.
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Old 04 August 2010, 05:21   #20
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Hey guys, the Subway is already USB 2.0 compatible, it just doesn't have High Speed mode. And the Subway performs better when plugged into a Zorro board with a Clockport on it, like the X-Surf, so I think the lack of High Speed mode may be because the A1200's Clockport just couldn't handle it.

I agree with a lot of people here that there needs to be a new 8MB RAM card for the A1200 with FPU socket, Real-Time Clock, and auto-configuring to 5.5MB when the PCMCIA slot is in use. Then the design should be modified and used to make a similar CD32 expansion (obviously without the PCMCIA/5.5MB thing) which should at least include a Clockport on it.

I'd also love to see new Clockport expansions to go on my new 4-Port Clockport expander! A new MP3 player or sound card, or sound card with built-in MP3 decoding would be perfect, as would an Amiga-compatible Ethernet or Wireless card.

It's already been pointed out in this thread, and is complained about endlessly everywhere else, that we need another way of accessing CF/SD cards while still being online, so a Clockport network card would be excellent, especially considering that compatible PCMCIA network cards can only be bought second hand, but PCMCIA card readers are available brand new.
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