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Old 03 December 2014, 22:34   #1
dave4shmups
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Would it be possible to mod a PAL Amiga 500 so that it's region free?...

I know of someone who can mod consoles, like a PS2, to be region free, and I'm wondering if it would be possible to do with an PAL Amiga 500? Or any PAL Amiga, or Commodore 64, for that matter.
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Old 03 December 2014, 22:40   #2
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There is no need to do that, the Amiga doesn't have a concept of regions. The difference between PAL and NTSC is simply a difference in the TV standard used (which in turn stems from the difference in mains frequency). As long as your monitor doesn't mind, you can switch between PAL and NTSC as you wish.
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Old 03 December 2014, 22:43   #3
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Not entirely correct. Some games have indeed NTSC protection. And some NTSC games won't work without glitches/gurus on PAL Amigas.
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Old 03 December 2014, 22:52   #4
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Originally Posted by ajk View Post
There is no need to do that, the Amiga doesn't have a concept of regions. The difference between PAL and NTSC is simply a difference in the TV standard used (which in turn stems from the difference in mains frequency). As long as your monitor doesn't mind, you can switch between PAL and NTSC as you wish.

Agreed.

However, if you are using real hardware you need the correct sort of power supply. As you are talking about a PAL Amiga and you are in the USA, then you should look into a stepup convertor.


UK power supply = 230V, 15AMPS @ 50Hz
US power supply = 110V, (don't know ampage) @ 60Hz

Power supply frequencies, on Wikipedia here.
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Old 03 December 2014, 23:16   #5
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NTSC CPU = 7,16 MHz
PAL CPU = 7,09 MHz

EAB experts can problems tell this is a problem for some NTSC games on PAL Amiga though.

I remember The Lost Patrol (IPF original tested). The NTSC version triggers a nasty ingame protection on PAL Amigas, where the morals of the soldiers drops pretty fast. Just like in the not working cracks back then.

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 03 December 2014 at 23:25.
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Old 03 December 2014, 23:26   #6
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PAL CPU = 7,16 MHz
NTSC CPU = 7,09 MHz
Swap those numbers, Mr. Retro.
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Old 04 December 2014, 02:39   #7
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OK, so I suppose that the C64 has no concept of regions either?
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Old 04 December 2014, 02:42   #8
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It even worse on C64. Most games needs to be PAL/NTSC fixed, like the most decent cracks in the good old time.

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OK, so I suppose that the C64 has no concept of regions either?
Not in the sense you know it from console games, but as i said the written software isn't always 100% compatible on the wrong hardware region.

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Old 04 December 2014, 05:22   #9
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It even worse on C64. Most games needs to be PAL/NTSC fixed, like the most decent cracks in the good old time.



Not in the sense you know it from console games, but as i said the written software isn't always 100% compatible on the wrong hardware region.
OK, I understand now. Is this the case with all PAL retro computers? I'm thinking about Amstrad computers and the ZX Spectrum computers.
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Old 04 December 2014, 13:56   #10
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The CPC and ZX Spectrum computers nearly didn't exist outside Europe. I assume they were imported into NTSC countries. Don't think there was any true NTSC software for both.
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Old 04 December 2014, 14:13   #11
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To "region-free" an Amiga 500 (incorrect term, I know) wouldn't it just be possible to have 2x the number of region-specific chips (Oscillators, Agnus, etc) and switch them all at the same time with a kinda-complicated switch system?

Obviously with the system turned off You should then be able to fire the Amiga up again, this time in the other "region" using the other chips
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Old 04 December 2014, 14:19   #12
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Theoretically, perhaps, but at that point it's easier to just have a second A500.

There are so few noteworthy games that would need this kind of treatment. Zool maybe? Usually you'll find an alternate version of the game, a patch, or a degrader that you can run instead of altering any hardware.
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Old 04 December 2014, 14:49   #13
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i used a game with a500 pal but with agnus ntsc and music go fast
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Old 04 December 2014, 15:09   #14
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Indeed, it's more about how much time you have per screenful than any actual region protection.

PAL games have more CPU time (raster lines) per frame to play with.

On the C-64 this is important because there is not a lot of time to begin with, so the more advanced PAL games just don't have enough time per frame to do their calculations on an NTSC machine. Also stuff is syncronized to the raster beam position, and so on.

Get a PAL Amiga and be happy, NTSC only software is rather non-existent.
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Old 05 December 2014, 21:49   #15
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The CPC and ZX Spectrum computers nearly didn't exist outside Europe. I assume they were imported into NTSC countries. Don't think there was any true NTSC software for both.
I can't speak about the CPC, but the Spectrum did make it to the USA under the name Timex Sinclair.
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Old 06 December 2014, 03:00   #16
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I can't speak about the CPC, but the Spectrum did make it to the USA under the name Timex Sinclair.
It did, but if you look up Timex Sinclair games on YouTube, they are very simple black and white games. Nothing like ZX Spectrum games, which the Timex Sinclair is not compatible with.

The CPC never came over here in any form.
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Old 06 December 2014, 15:19   #17
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I don't believe the Rectum or the CPC made it over here. If they did, they were very rare.
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Old 06 December 2014, 16:50   #18
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I don't believe the Rectum or the CPC made it over here. If they did, they were very rare.

I knew two people, one had a speccy the other a cpc. In Cairns Australia of all places. Who knows where they got them from as they are the only people i knew with them. Who knows where they got software as I dont remember the stores stocking games for them. I remember playing ghost n goblins and wonderboy when it was new on the cpc.

The speccy i remember hating, but the cpc was ok gfx but not as good scrolling or sound as the c64.
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Old 06 December 2014, 17:09   #19
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It did, but if you look up Timex Sinclair games on YouTube, they are very simple black and white games. Nothing like ZX Spectrum games, which the Timex Sinclair is not compatible with.
Oh, didn't know that. I heard they were released in the USA under that name and assumed they were simply rebadged/remarketed by a different company (Timex?). I didn't realise it was different hardware altogether.
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Old 07 December 2014, 03:24   #20
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Oh, didn't know that. I heard they were released in the USA under that name and assumed they were simply rebadged/remarketed by a different company (Timex?). I didn't realise it was different hardware altogether.
I don't know how different it is, I just know that it won't run Spectrum games. I used an emulator-a legal one-called Speculator a few years ago. I couldn't play any Capcom games on it, but I could play Flying Shark, and that's THE second best version of Flying Shark that I've ever played. The first being the arcade original. So I wish we'd gotten the Spectrum over here!
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