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Old 26 June 2014, 09:23   #1
ajk
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My A500 project (many photos)

Hi. I thought I would post a bit about an A500 project I've more or less managed to finish now.

The A500 was the first Amiga I got when I was young, and it was such a great machine after the C64 I have since collected a bunch of other A500s over the years, and I don't really even know which one is the original one. Anyway, I thought I'd put this stuff to use and build one perfect A500 setup "to keep".

First I had needed to think about what I want from the setup. I'll probably keep a separate floppy-only A500 as a spare, but I wanted this one to be a bit more upgraded. Back in the day we eventually had an A590 hard drive, which made playing multi-disk adventure games so much better. So also with this project a hard drive and some extra memory was a minimum requirement.

However, I also want to keep the system easy to set up and storage, so this ruled out the A590 or any other external hard drive. I'd also want some extra RAM, but probably not really any other extras. The system should look totally plain and original.

So, which motherboard to use? I happened to find a rev 8A board which belonged to an A500, not A500+. This meant that the clock circuitry and therefore the battery was never installed, and the board was in pristine condition in that regard.



No leakage here.



However since this was an A500, it also only had the 512kB of chip RAM installed. This would not do, so I added a few sockets, tweaked a few jumpers, and upgraded the memory to 1MB.



But since the board did have a 2MB Agnus, why stop there. I put together Yulquen74's RAM board and expanded the memory to the full 2 megs.



While I was doing this, I also cleaned the board, changed all the electrolytic caps (they weren't leaking but I want this board to be good for a long time to come, and not have to repair it). While there was no battery corrosion, several of the IC sockets were otherwise oxidised. I replaced all of them with good quality turned-pin ones, also the big 68000 socket and the PLCC Agnus socket. Some other connectors were also replaced with fresh ones.



For the hard drive and extra RAM I chose the DCE Viper 520CD board. This provides 8 megs of fast RAM, IDE ports and a 33MHz 68020 (also Kickstart 3.0 but I already have 3.1 installed on the motherboard itself).



I needed some way to access the hard drive, or in this case CF card, but I didn't want to cut any holes in the side of the case. However, as the trapdoor memory expansion is so small, there is plenty of space on the other side of the bay. I installed a CF card reader there. I did have to make two holes for the M3 standoffs, but they are small, tidy and in the bottom so it's OK by me.



I left the original floppy drive in (after some cleaning), since the system will have a hard drive and plenty of capacity for running games via WHDLoad. I still occasionally play with actual floppies so the drive is nice to have.

Now everything was basically wired in.



Second part coming right up...
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Last edited by ajk; 16 August 2016 at 15:47.
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Old 26 June 2014, 09:26   #2
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I chose a keyboard with the proper layout and also one which was relatively unyellowed. I could of course retrobright any keyboard, but the results don't necessarily last. A keyboard that has lasted (more or less) white this long, should do so in the future. I also chose the case the same way - it is slightly yellowed but probably will never get worse than it is now.



I wanted a way to see when the hard drive was accessed. The accelerator board has a header for an LED, and also the CF adapter has a tiny LED of its own. I didn't want a nasty 5mm LED just botched onto the case, so what I did was separate the two LEDs that comprise the floppy indicator light. One still indicates the floppy activity, and the other hard drive activity. Here is how it works.



At this point the system was pretty much complete. Doesn't look like much on the outside does it



I did a quick Workbench install and tried the system out with a little test display I have. WHDLoad and other goodies to follow.



And here is the obligatory Sysinfo shot.



Pretty nice for an A500, I'm happy with the end result
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Old 26 June 2014, 10:01   #3
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Great System! Congratulations!

Thanks for the well done pictures.
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Old 26 June 2014, 10:28   #4
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cool pics thx
now post sysinfo drive speed results
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Old 26 June 2014, 10:34   #5
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Thanks! I'll post some more screenshots and results once I've set up a nicer Workbench
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Old 26 June 2014, 12:51   #6
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hey ajk!
That looks amazingly clean! Was the case/keyboard that good to begin? Mines totally yellow but do plan on doing similar to you soon.
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Old 26 June 2014, 13:00   #7
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Hey Oli

The keyboard and case were pretty grimy, caked with dust and dirt, so I did clean them well, but I didn't do any sort of bleaching. I think the factories just used all kinds of batches of plastic over the years, and these particular items simply aren't prone to yellowing.
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Old 26 June 2014, 13:38   #8
Anemos
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Looks good your A500, clean and no cut,s and holes..
stay originaly looks
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Old 26 June 2014, 17:24   #9
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Very nice and an inspiration!
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Old 26 June 2014, 18:13   #10
Foul
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hey ! nice work !

i recently bought the same Board, A500 with A500+ REV 8.1A inside, and upgraded the memory to 1 Mb like you i also added the missing clock... for fun...

Where did you buy this little lcd screen ??? i'm looking for one... to be able to use my Amiga anywhere

Last edited by Foul; 26 June 2014 at 18:19.
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Old 26 June 2014, 18:19   #11
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@Foul

From DealExtreme It's got composite and VGA input, and little speakers for audio.
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Old 26 June 2014, 18:22   #12
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ok thx
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Old 26 June 2014, 18:37   #13
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What a good clean a500 with a Turbo charger :-)

Very nice !
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Old 29 June 2014, 20:30   #14
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Can i haz wallpaper, please?
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Old 29 June 2014, 21:12   #15
ajk
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@arti040

Sure, it's this one here
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Old 29 June 2014, 23:14   #16
Mrs Beanbag
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oh nice
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