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Old 07 January 2013, 11:04   #441
dJOS
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
Yes, that's a misunderstanding: Fastmem on the ACA500 cannot be removed. The Blizzard 1230-IV will boot if the SIMM on that card is removed. That is: If you have a B1230-IV with 16M SIMM, you must remove the 16M in order to not execute the ROM code that bugs with the A500.

The 2M Fastmem of the ACA500 come in handy at that point, but the 50MHz 68030 is hardly any faster than the 14MHz 68000 due to it's memory speed.

Further, the ACA500 ROM is not visible to the Blizzard at all, so key functions of the card won't be available until some software is booted. One of these key functions is to boot from CF even if you only have Kick1.2.

Jens
Aaaaah right, I understand now.
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Old 07 January 2013, 11:20   #442
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Hi Jens,

Thanks for the updates on the ACA500, it's appreciated.

I might be inheriting an ACA1232 so it would be a nice companion for my A500+ along side the ACA500 should I end up getting that

My A500+ is waiting patiently

Steve.
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Old 07 January 2013, 15:21   #443
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
I'm sorry to report that I have removed the IDE port from the current concept. CF cards grow at Moore's law, and you can already fit all the Aminet CDs on one CF-card.
Have you considered having a SD-card (slot) instead?
Since SD-cards have replaced CF-cards in all but a few professional applications both price and availability favors SD-cards, and it will get even more pronounced in the future.
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Old 07 January 2013, 16:26   #444
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Thanks for the updates Jens
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Old 07 January 2013, 17:16   #445
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
The ACA1230 doesn't work due to syncronisation problems (that I probably won't be able to resolve)
... which is my only 1200 ACA accelerator. :S
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Old 07 January 2013, 21:22   #446
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Sad news for 2013
If ACA500 does not work with Blizzard (including PPC i guess) and Apollo boards, it means no 68060 beastie for the A500. If even cheap old accelerators like the MTEC 1230 don't work, it leaves us only with the ACA12xx boards: why not build directly a 520 or 530 accelerator, or even better 540 or 560?
I guess i won't be the only one to be disappointed by the replacement of the IDE port by a CF port.
Not sure that, as such, the ACA500 would be more interesting than older A500 expansions (except for people with nothing so far).
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Old 07 January 2013, 22:15   #447
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Originally Posted by Calabazam View Post
If ACA500 does not work with Blizzard (including PPC i guess) and Apollo boards, it means no 68060 beastie for the A500. If even cheap old accelerators like the MTEC 1230 don't work, it leaves us only with the ACA12xx boards:
I have to partly agree with you. It's sort of a shame that the ACA1230 will not work. Anything but the ACA12xx was never promised to work, but we were sort of promised that the ACA1230 would. However, the 1230 was sold out long before the ACA500 was presented, so only second hand buyers would be stuck with one, and have had bought it in the hope of combining it with a ACA500. And honestly, Jens doesn't have to, cant pay attention to what everyone and their second hand hardware does. If anything it's great that he managed to run a fairly complete list of tests telling us what can and cant be combined. It's to bad it's mostly bad news all around, but at this point, at least we know.

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Originally Posted by Calabazam View Post
why not build directly a 520 or 530 accelerator, or even better 540 or 560?
This has already been gone over, inside out. Providing a interface that lets the A500 use A1200 CPU upgrades present and future, if only a select few, makes for a much smarter solution from a development perspective. Right now there is 3 different accelerators certain to work, rather then one single, and with the inclusion of later accelerators it may still be possible to run 68060 & PPC's in a A500. I suspect that it's more likely to be a FPGA softcore then a real 68060 / PPC, but either way it leaves the door open for the future. Developing a ACA520 now, (instead of the ACA1220) ACA530 in 6 months, and in 18 months develop both a ACA1240/1260 & ACA540/560 just isn't cost effective, which in turn would be reflected in the price of the final products.

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Originally Posted by Calabazam View Post
I guess i won't be the only one to be disappointed by the replacement of the IDE port by a CF port.
I'm not sure this is the right spot for this. But, why? What difference does it make? What did you intend to run over the IDE that you cant run of the CF? Larger drive? What in gods name are you planing on running of a 68030/42 (Since the ACA1230/56 wont run on the ACA500, i believe a 42MHz 1231 is as fast as it gets at this point?) that cant be fit on to a 128GB CF? A CF, that will provide faster access then any HD/CD/DVD hooked to the IDE. Of course. You could be thinking of the limited lifespan of your average CF of today, which is about a million writes to a single block. With my current write rate to my CF thats going to be about 15-25 generations from now. The only thing the Amiga writes to my CF seams to be game saves tho, so you might be doing things differently. Just a thought tho. If you intend to use a Amiga for a webserver with lots of random data writes, base the system on something else then a A500. I'm not saying it cant be done, i'm just saying its a bad idea.

Oh yeah. If you still really really want to stick a harddrive in the A500, i guess you could. Get a Microdrive. It's a CF type II package. You might need to modify the connector slightly as type 2 cards are 5mm thick rather then 3.3mm. But most the time it's a straight fit. They are a lot smaller storage, but has all the advantages, and drawbacks of a harddrive. Higher energy consumption, slower seektime, more heat. Did i mention they contain a lot less storage?

Last edited by Mr B; 07 January 2013 at 22:24.
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Old 07 January 2013, 22:43   #448
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Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
I'm not sure this is the right spot for this. But, why? What difference does it make? What did you intend to run over the IDE that you cant run of the CF? Larger drive? What in gods name are you planing on running of a 68030/42 (Since the ACA1230/56 wont run on the ACA500, i believe a 42MHz 1231 is as fast as it gets at this point?) that cant be fit on to a 128GB CF? A CF, that will provide faster access then any HD/CD/DVD hooked to the IDE. Of course. You could be thinking of the limited lifespan of your average CF of today, which is about a million writes to a single block. With my current write rate to my CF thats going to be about 15-25 generations from now. The only thing the Amiga writes to my CF seams to be game saves tho, so you might be doing things differently. Just a thought tho. If you intend to use a Amiga for a webserver with lots of random data writes, base the system on something else then a A500. I'm not saying it cant be done, i'm just saying its a bad idea.

Oh yeah. If you still really really want to stick a harddrive in the A500, i guess you could. Get a Microdrive. It's a CF type II package. You might need to modify the connector slightly as type 2 cards are 5mm thick rather then 3.3mm. But most the time it's a straight fit. They are a lot smaller storage, but has all the advantages, and drawbacks of a harddrive. Higher energy consumption, slower seektime, more heat. Did i mention they contain a lot less storage?
About that IDE/CF port:
* actually, CF are not as reliable as they say. I have here a drawer full of dead CF because they always fail at some point and become unreadable, even if you don't do much with them. I want a real hard drive. A MicroDrive could be good but they are quite rare and limited to about 5/6 GB as far as i know.
* an IDE port also permits to use a CD/DVD/Burner. It would still be possible to use a SCSI external one from a side slot expansion but the port is supposed to be physically closed by the ACA500.

After all, perhaps an ACA500 connected to the side slot expansion would open more options than an internal one.
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Old 08 January 2013, 00:38   #449
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Originally Posted by Calabazam View Post
actually, CF are not as reliable as they say. I have here a drawer full of dead CF because they always fail at some point and become unreadable, even if you don't do much with them.
I've never had a CF go dead on me, except a 16Mb one i've managed to mechanically damage enough. If you got loads of dead ones, i'd look for a faulty device, or handling issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calabazam View Post
I want a real hard drive. A MicroDrive could be good but they are quite rare and limited to about 5/6 GB as far as i know.
Ebay. Cheap to. But yeah, your pretty much limited to 6GB, unless you find one of the more rare 8GB ones. But then again. What do you suppose your going to put on this amount of space that means you need more?
(Side note, a shop in sweden still has 4 4Gb Magicstore microdrives. Well, they claim to, at least. I'm guessing these are "left overs" from before Hitachi sued the living crap out of GS Magic. It is/was a flat out copy of the IBM drive, which hitatchi bought, and later sued GS Magic over patent infringement... Meaning even as brand new these drives come with pretty much no warranties, other then what the store is willing to front for. At about a 4'th of the price for a new Hitachi it might still be worth it...)
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Old 08 January 2013, 02:05   #450
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The new kipper2k RAM/IDE that is coming out soon is a CF Card only one I think (correct me if I'm wrong?), and I'd really like a real large capacity fast HDD to go with my turbocard. Besides, you can always turn a 2.5" IDE port into CF if the user desires it, so the ACA would be a better choice in that regard.
.
I have been thinking about the IDE addon for the A500. MKL sent me his board files for the IDE 4.03. I'm just contemplating on the best way to implement this.

I do not want to add this to a fastmem board as some people may already have a IDE68K board on their machines. Other options that i have been thinking about is whether to include a 40 pin/44pin header or a simple CF adapter so people can use a CF card instead of an old mechanical drive. (I don't think it worthwhile for a mechanical drive to be used nowadays but i'm open to other peoples thoughts)

What i am currently leaning towards is to use the A500 CPU adapter and see if i can implement the IDE functions and CF card slot on there and maybe... maybe a header for SD card board which are freely available and cheap.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old 08 January 2013, 02:21   #451
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Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
What i am currently leaning towards is to use the A500 CPU adapter and see if i can implement the IDE functions and CF card slot on there and maybe... maybe a header for SD card board which are freely available and cheap.

Thoughts anyone?
Great idea!

I'd like to see 44pin IDE + CF adapter (even if a 3.5" floppy power connector was needed) - if you are really clever you could work it so one of your a600/a1200 CF adapters could drop onto the 44pin connector so the CF card will poke out the back of the a500 case (for those that want to mod their case like me).

and those that want fast-mem can just drop a 4/8mb module onto the adapter too!

btw, could you supply a CPU socket to raise the a500 adapter up a little more please? I find that my adapter isnt level in the cpu socket due to the chip heights on the mobo - even with my big cap removed and flattened out.
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Old 08 January 2013, 09:46   #452
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Originally Posted by NMI View Post
Have you considered having a SD-card (slot) instead?
Since SD-cards have replaced CF-cards in all but a few professional applications both price and availability favors SD-cards, and it will get even more pronounced in the future.
I know that SD-cards have pretty much "made the race", but they don't have the ability to "speak IDE" and use existing drivers. Data transfer from/to SD-cards is serial, and therefore not as fast as with CF. Further, new software would have to be developed in order to operate the SD-card interface. I do have the technology (see Chameleon), but I prefer to use a known-good piece of software.

CF is still there, and widely used in professional digital cameras. You spend a few bucks more on a card, but that card is way bigger than anything you could have dreamed of in the days of the A500. Heck, you even have trouble formatting the huge size because the Amiga only supports 4GB without patches.

My first Amiga harddrive was 40MBytes. It lasted forever, and cost me about 800,- DM (about 400,- EUR, not looking at inflation). Today you get the fastest SanDisk 8GB CF card for under 30,- EUR (first Google hit to Amazon, 60MB/sec type). That's 200 times the capacity for a 13th of the price, AKA 2666 (twothousandsixhundred!) times the value. The stack of 9530 floppy disks that fits on that CF card would be almost 32 meters high; that's a 12-story house.

CDs were almost non-existent in A500 times, but when the first CD drives came out, you had a hard time collecting more than 10 CDs of useful data. Today, a large-capacity CF card is cheaper than the average CD title we got back in the days (I remember those walnut creek CD-ROMs that had to be imported to Germany at extreme prices...). CD-ROM drives are bulky, and they require more power than the average A500 PSU can supply. On top of that, a setup with external power supply, external drive and lots of cables and stuff dangling around the computer has a very low "WAF" (the "Wife Acceptance Factor").

Granted, there's never such a thing as "best choice", but surely something like a "best compromise", and I think that CF is just that.

Jens
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Old 08 January 2013, 11:16   #453
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Jens,

CF is not bad, but a simply 44 pin connector widely use, like CF, CD or anything else ... not to mention the modding opportunities ... (and smaller a board)

Last edited by Mohican; 08 January 2013 at 11:21.
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Old 08 January 2013, 12:26   #454
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Originally Posted by kipper2k View Post
I do not want to add this to a fastmem board as some people may already have a IDE68K board on their machines. Other options that i have been thinking about is whether to include a 40 pin/44pin header or a simple CF adapter so people can use a CF card instead of an old mechanical drive. (I don't think it worthwhile for a mechanical drive to be used nowadays but i'm open to other peoples thoughts).
What i am currently leaning towards is to use the A500 CPU adapter and see if i can implement the IDE functions and CF card slot on there and maybe... maybe a header for SD card board which are freely available and cheap.
Thoughts anyone?
I think the most compatible solution would be a 44pin IDE connector. A CF adapter to go on this is widely available and costs almost nothing. The user would then have the choice to attach adapters for CF, SD etc. or use DOMs directly with 44pin interface. You are right that probably not many would use mechanical drives on it.
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Old 08 January 2013, 13:27   #455
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I'm with Demolition on this one, the 44-pin IDE connector gives you a lot more options as well as being cheaper to implement on the board.
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Old 08 January 2013, 14:01   #456
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I'm with Demolition on this one, the 44-pin IDE connector gives you a lot more options as well as being cheaper to implement on the board.
I would prefer 44pin IDE. I have SDHC-IDE adapters, SATA-IDE adapters, big IDE HDs, but no CF devices. I guess I'll be forced to search some SDHC to CF adapter.

@Jens
About accelerators: wouldn't be possible to put the rom of ACA500 in ZorroII space acting as a ZorroII device so the user has the possibility of using more accelerators?

Micronik ZorroII/III boards included SCSI-II controller and allowed using many accelerators. You could put "buddha" IDE rom part in ZorroII space as I/O card and leave the rest free for accelerators, that way users could use ACA1230 and perhaps some Blizzards.

You could put the 2MB of ram in the ZorroII zone as a ZorroII "card" to increase compatibility too. If compatibility is a problem add a jumper to disable ram if you want. I could live without onboard IDE too if cpu compatibility was higher as I would use SCSI.


I don't want to sound negative but forcing users to use CF and just a few of the latest ACAs sounds much less appealing than an IDE+1200 cpu adapter.

If you are still redesigning the card you could keep IDE and ram in ZorroII space as ZorroII "cards" so they don't collide with cpu accelerators.
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Old 08 January 2013, 15:35   #457
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I think the most compatible solution would be a 44pin IDE connector. A CF adapter to go on this is widely available and costs almost nothing. The user would then have the choice to attach adapters for CF, SD etc. or use DOMs directly with 44pin interface. You are right that probably not many would use mechanical drives on it.
The initial concept with stacked PCBs already had a compromise with it's 40-pin IDE: I don't want to offer 44-pin, as that one carries power that would overload the PSU of 90% of the A500s out there.

Experience from clockport expansions has shown that the vast majority of customers either doesn't read manuals, or mis-interprets it. A Plain "don't use with harddrives" note doesn't do the trick; people would try it anyway.

A key feature of the ACA500 shall be that it's compatible with *any* A500 that's out there, and that includes the units with 2.5A heavy-transformer-type PSU. Most of the laptop harddrives require up to 1A on startup and easily 0.5A in normal operation. A CF card takes an order of magnitude less than that. That's a no-brainer.

Crumb:
I do need the very early execution of $f0 ROMs in order to boot from CF even under Kick1.2. Autoconfig ROM is not an option (and it would break compatibility with even more A1200 accelerators, because there is no config in/out lines on the 150-pin slot). The 2M Fastmem is available to the A1200 accelerator through Z2 mem space, just not using the autoconfig mechanism in order not to collide with possible autoconfig use on the A1200 accel. Your assumption that "only adapter+IDE" makes it easier is not in line with reality; that would have no means of dealing with the Kick1.2 issue.

Jens
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Old 08 January 2013, 15:55   #458
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So from what i have read, it's possible that apollo boards could run. Seems that maybe i could be using my apollo 1230 .
Although a ppc equipped a500 would be the real killer!!!!
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Old 08 January 2013, 16:07   #459
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I don't want to offer 44-pin, as that one carries power that would overload the PSU of 90% of the A500s out there.

A key feature of the ACA500 shall be that it's compatible with *any* A500 that's out there, and that includes the units with 2.5A heavy-transformer-type PSU. Most of the laptop harddrives require up to 1A on startup and easily 0.5A in normal operation.
Hi Jens

Is there a chance you would design a new Amiga PSU ? The old ones are weakening and failing slowly, and PC PSUs are not always 100% Amiga friendly. Also, a new PSU built to Amiga specs would drastically reduce the number of problems with expansions.
What do you think ?

MFG !
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Old 08 January 2013, 16:10   #460
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A key feature of the ACA500 shall be that it's compatible with *any* A500 that's out there, and that includes the units with 2.5A heavy-transformer-type PSU. Most of the laptop harddrives require up to 1A on startup and easily 0.5A in normal operation. A CF card takes an order of magnitude less than that. That's a no-brainer.
Rats. Microdrives are typically rated for run at 500mA at start, 230/280 mA write 13/15 mA standby. Guess a buyer could try it, but there would be no warranties for a Type II card to work?
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