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Old 27 July 2015, 21:03   #1
Kurasiu
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HDD/WHDLoad on A500

Hello there!
Lately I was thinking about adding a HDD (via a CF) support to my Amiga 500, and start using WHDLoad. However, while doing some internet research, several questions popped up, which weren't fully answered:

I'm aware that WHDLoad requires a bit more RAM than the Amiga 500 offers (512 KB + 512 KB slow in trapdoor). I was thinking about getting the kipper2k's A508IDE fastmem board (8MB) with IDE (CF). I never used any accelerator/fastmem board before, so my question is - is that card compatible with the WHDLoad? Will the software be able to use the 8MB of fastram on the board, to run more hefty games like Monkey Island II with no problems? Or should I think about something else for the WHDLoad? I'd love to know!

Cheers!
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Old 27 July 2015, 21:23   #2
Arnie
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I always get an error trying to use WHDLoad with KS1.3. What KS are you using?
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Old 27 July 2015, 21:32   #3
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WHDLoad needs KS 2.0x as minimum.
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Old 27 July 2015, 21:41   #4
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Thanks for replies! I have the 4-in-1 KS ROM from retroami (1.3, 2.0 (37.175), 2.0 (37.350), 3.1 (40.063)), so I guess that won't be any problem.
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Old 27 July 2015, 22:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurasiu View Post
Thanks for replies! I have the 4-in-1 KS ROM from retroami (1.3, 2.0 (37.175), 2.0 (37.350), 3.1 (40.063)), so I guess that won't be any problem.
Is that an 'under the counter kickstart'
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Old 27 July 2015, 22:58   #6
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It was bought from retroami store a while ago, can't even remember the exact year. But yeah, back to the original question, as I'm quite curious and kipper2k awaits for my answer.
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Old 28 July 2015, 01:58   #7
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I am wondering about something similar and thinking about an aca500 or the plus version that is due soon.
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Old 28 July 2015, 19:26   #8
Kurasiu
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From what I heard, the ACA500 does work fine with WHDLoad, but in some cases there might be not enough RAM to run things... but I'm just a beginner in the vast world of Amiga, so I might be wrong.

Here are several photos from my Amiga (from what I researched, it's the A500+ model, with 512K of ChipRAM, Super Denise, and Fat Agnus, allowing to map more than 512K of trapdoor slow RAM?) Would that setup, along with the kipper's 8MB board, be enough for the WHDLoad to work normally, or should I add something/think of something else? Help a begginer out!





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Old 28 July 2015, 19:57   #9
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An A500+ has 1mb of chipram expandable to 2mb of chipram with an A501+ trapdoor RAM expansion

2mb chipram is not enough to run a lot of slaves.

A kipper2k A508 IDE will allow you to run all the 68000 compatible slaves (that is a good few)

If you want to run more slaves then youll need an 020 CPU, the next cheapest upgrade is a second hand A1200 + ACA1221

You could get an ACA500 for your A500+ (instead of kipper2k's board) and an ACA1221 but you won't have AGA and an ACA500 is probably more than an old A1200

The absolute cheapest upgrade is nothing, no RAM, no CPU, no HDD, just a Gotek Floppy emulator. You'll be able to play all 68000 Amiga ECS/OCS games (which is 99% of them)

Last edited by alexh; 29 July 2015 at 12:18.
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Old 28 July 2015, 21:17   #10
Kurasiu
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Thanks for the reply! Even more questions incoming:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Your A500+ has 1mb of chipram expandable to 2mb of chipram with an A501+ trapdoor RAM expansion
So, the onboard and trapdoor RAM combined forms a total capacity of Chip RAM? Or is there some mod required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh
A kipper2k A508 IDE will allow you to run all the 68000 compatible slaves (that is a good few)
In other words all OCS compatible Amiga 500 games?

Quote:
The absolute cheapest upgrade is nothing, no RAM, no CPU, no HDD, just a Gotek Floppy emulator. You'll be able to play all 68000 Amiga ECS/OCS games (which is 99% of them)
I actually tested a Gotek device, flashed with HxC firmware, which belongs to my friend. While it is a mighty fine device, it was kinda a shame it had several save/write issues (and that's quite important for me). Quoting Jeff, "this happen when you trying to make something "low cost" at any price and miss some important designs problems... "

Last edited by Kurasiu; 28 July 2015 at 21:18. Reason: Minor edits
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Old 29 July 2015, 01:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurasiu View Post
So, the onboard and trapdoor RAM combined forms a total capacity of Chip RAM?
On A500+ yes. No mods.

Quote:
In other words all OCS compatible Amiga 500 games?
No. In fixing some games for faster processor, emulating OS, etc. not all A500 OCS/ECS WHDload slaves run well on a 7MHz 68000

Quote:
I actually tested a Gotek device, flashed with HxC firmware, which belongs to my friend. While it is a mighty fine device, it was kinda a shame it had several save/write issues (and that's quite important for me).
HxC firmware for Gotek is in beta. Most floppy disk games don't save. HFE write support is supposed to be good. ADF write support is new but improving.

Try the other Gotek firmware, CortexAmiga? Mature ADF write support
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Old 29 July 2015, 09:38   #12
Kurasiu
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Thanks again for the reply! Man, what a helpful bunch you are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
On A500+ yes. No mods.
Wow, this is great! I thought getting a 1 MB of ChipRAM on this model would require some mods (as the avail command, as seen above, showed separate "chip" and "fast" values of 512K), I never knew A500+ could use slow RAM like that without any modifications! If I add a 1 MB trapdoor expansion, that would make 1.5 MB of ChipRAM?

Quote:
HxC firmware for Gotek is in beta. Most floppy disk games don't save. HFE write support is supposed to be good. ADF write support is new but improving.

Try the other Gotek firmware, CortexAmiga? Mature ADF write support
I tried creating a save disk in Ultima 4, as well as saving in Eye of the Beholder, Ultima 5 and Ultima 6, using both HFEs and ADFs. It crashed during the file copy in U4, and supposedly saved "something", while saving in U5/U6/EotB, however trying to load the game resulted in the last save being restored, as if it didn't save anything. I might try telling my friend to return to CortexAmiga firmware!
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Old 29 July 2015, 10:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurasiu View Post
If I add a 1 MB trapdoor expansion, that would make 1.5 MB of ChipRAM?
Yes. If you add an A501 (512k) upgrade you'll get 1.5mb of ChipRAM

Kipper2k sells new A501+ boards (getting you the max 2mb chipRAM) pretty cheap

http://kipper2k.com/a500chip.html
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Old 29 July 2015, 10:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Yes. If you add an A501 (512k) upgrade you'll get 1.5mb of ChipRAM
I currently have the 512k trapdoor expansion inserted. In that case why does the 'avail' command shows it as separate "chip" and "fast" values? Is that normal?
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Old 29 July 2015, 12:13   #15
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Hmmm... I didn't read the post correctly you don't have an A500+ but an A500 rev8A. Which you knew.

Here is a guide to convert a rev8A into an A500+

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=77705

Yes, as you suspected you will have to do a small amount of soldering.

Last edited by alexh; 29 July 2015 at 12:19.
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Old 29 July 2015, 12:58   #16
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I see, no problem. The link you supplied involves soldering the chips to the Amiga's mobo. I recall reading, that you can convert the slow trapdoor RAM into the Chip RAM, and it's as easy as cutting/soldering several JPs, and bending one of the connectors on a certain chip, though I can't seem to find it anymore. Anybody knows about it? Would that be appliable to my rev8A mainboard?

The trapdoor slow RAM features an ON/OFF switch, if that helps anything.

EDIT: nevermind, I found it! Earlier, I was just looking with wrong keywords.

Last edited by Kurasiu; 29 July 2015 at 15:38. Reason: found the method!
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Old 29 July 2015, 15:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexh View Post
2mb chipram is not enough to run a lot of slaves.
But 2MB of chipram works fine in the A1200s case? I haven't had any slaves crash on me yet due to lack of chipram.
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Old 29 July 2015, 15:46   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurasiu View Post
I recall reading, that you can convert the slow trapdoor RAM into the Chip RAM, and it's as easy as cutting/soldering several JPs
That is the information for a Rev5.

But all is not lost. If you combine Kipper2k's post (see the high rez photo) with this post below :

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=919735&postcount=4

You get this :

Code:
Original
JP2: 
O
  <- Open
O
| <- Connected
O
                                               
JP7A: 
  Open Connected
  |    |
  ∨   ∨
O   O---O
                                               
Modified: 

JP2: 
O
| <- Connected
O
  <- Open
O
                                                      
JP7A: 
  Open Open
  |    |
  ∨   ∨
O   O   O
This should make your machine into 1Mbyte ChipRAM.

Last edited by alexh; 29 July 2015 at 15:58.
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Old 29 July 2015, 21:43   #19
Kurasiu
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This is great, thank you! Followed your clues, and now I have a blazing 1 MB of ChipRAM.



There's one last thing I totally forgot to ask about - anybody used kipper2k's cards? Because this 4-in-1 Kickstart ROM does stick out quite a bit - and I'm concerned if the board will fit into the CPU socket - are the pins long enough, or will that KS ROM make a problem with inserting the board (implying I choose the kipper's board)? Here's a photo of how it looks like:



Direct link: https://41.media.tumblr.com/d688531b...s2ko1_1280.png
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Old 31 July 2015, 17:36   #20
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It looks okay actually, but I think you can ask Kipper2k to include another riser for the CPU socket. And yes, 8MB should play all multidisk games without any problems
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