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Old 13 August 2016, 14:20   #1
Silwuff
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Unhappy Modern Trapdoor RAM killed my A500

Hi guys,

I'm new here so thanks for having me! I recently acquired a regular Amiga 500 from ebay - it's a B52 Rock Lobster and REV 5 motherboard.

After a lot of work I managed to reflash a Gotek virtual floppy drive, latterly deciding to splash out on a modern trapdoor RAM expansion to get me up to 1mb - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Commod...gAAOSwB4NW0B1q

AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS. Stick to the traditional A501.

My Amiga was working like a charm until I plugged this in. At first it was the dreaded green screen (apparently a sign of faulty Chip RAM) which has now become simply a black screen with a buzzing noise. I'm absolutely gutted.

I wish I'd never bought it, and would warn others to stick to the traditional A501. To all extents it seems this modern trapdoor RAM has killed my board or chips. Is it possible it's in conflict with other parts of the board? I've tried removing the offending RAM and it makes no difference, my Amiga now only shows a black screen. Just this second I've tried starting it again and it's not even green screening or buzzing anymore. No signal, it just sounds dead.

Any help would be great, but it really feels like it's beyond repair.
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Old 13 August 2016, 15:04   #2
liviux76
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Hello,
are you sure you plugged it the right way?

I am asking that because from the picture it seems that it is possible to plug the expansion card with the top of the card down faced as well.

In the ad they say:

Should be installed in the trapdoor in the way that shows the following image:


Obviously if you plug it the wrong way you can cause a severe damage to the pcb and the expansion card.
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Old 13 August 2016, 15:06   #3
dirkies
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Can you check each pin on the expansion to check for shorts? Would be a good start. And was that mobo ever modded in some way? Finally check your psu voltages or try with a different one.
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Old 13 August 2016, 19:00   #4
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Also it might have nothing to do with the card, maybe just a coincidence something failed when you connected it. Years ago I loaded WinUAE and my PC died on me at the exact same time and I wanted to blame WinUAE at the time (didn't use it again for months). It turned out to be the PSU failed just at the same time I was trying Amiga emulation out.
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Old 13 August 2016, 20:04   #5
Silwuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liviux76 View Post
Hello,
are you sure you plugged it the right way?

I am asking that because from the picture it seems that it is possible to plug the expansion card with the top of the card down faced as well.

In the ad they say:

Should be installed in the trapdoor in the way that shows the following image:


Obviously if you plug it the wrong way you can cause a severe damage to the pcb and the expansion card.

Hi Liviux, thanks for your reply... I installed it as the diagram shows, but when it didn't work I DID try it the other way round to see if it made any difference >.< probably a very bad move on my part. I've had other components connected wrongly and they never caused this much damage. I guess you learn these things the hard way.
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Old 13 August 2016, 20:08   #6
Silwuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirkies View Post
Can you check each pin on the expansion to check for shorts? Would be a good start. And was that mobo ever modded in some way? Finally check your psu voltages or try with a different one.
Hi Dirkies, thanks for your reply... I'm a bit of a beginner but the seller assures me these units are all thoroughly tested; it looks brand new. The board hasn't been modded other than switching the floppy disk drive DF0 to the new Gotek drive. The seller has refunded the item on ebay so I'll be sending it back ASAP. Time for a new board by the looks of it.
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Old 13 August 2016, 20:30   #7
Silwuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Acid- View Post
Also it might have nothing to do with the card, maybe just a coincidence something failed when you connected it. Years ago I loaded WinUAE and my PC died on me at the exact same time and I wanted to blame WinUAE at the time (didn't use it again for months). It turned out to be the PSU failed just at the same time I was trying Amiga emulation out.
Hi Acid, another Tynesider! good lad thanks for your suggestion, it could have been a coincidence, it was just a shame it was working perfectly well before I decided to try and install this new RAM. The seller has been very reasonable and rfunded me for the item and recommended a repair company, so you can't say fairer than that. It'll be hard to check every possible error so I'm looking for a new board as of now. I hope you're right!
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Old 14 August 2016, 08:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silwuff View Post
Hi Liviux, thanks for your reply... I installed it as the diagram shows, but when it didn't work I DID try it the other way round to see if it made any difference >.< probably a very bad move on my part. I've had other components connected wrongly and they never caused this much damage. I guess you learn these things the hard way.
Hello mate, I can understand your "move", it's "quite normal" to try the other way since it didn't work in the right position but, "with hindsight", it has certainly been a bad move... however they should have made the expansion in a shape that it is possible to plug it only in the right way...

It is also true that when you plug something the wrong way sometimes nothing bad happens (it just doesn't work). That is what happens when the plugs are only for data but consider that some voltage goes from the mainboard to the expansion card and probably when you switched on the computer a short has burned some components.

I am sure you will be able to have a new working A500 (with expansion) soon. Good luck!

Last edited by liviux76; 15 August 2016 at 09:53.
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Old 14 August 2016, 10:13   #9
PortuguesePilot
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I have two of these on two of my A500s and they work flawlessly. I am quite happy with them for they were reasonably cheap and do the job well (plus no battery, so no leaking hazard). Admittedly, though, if they do that much damage just because someone inadvertently installs them the wrong way, they should come with a flashy, very visible warning to prevent people from doing it.

Last edited by PortuguesePilot; 14 August 2016 at 11:53. Reason: typos fixed
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Old 14 August 2016, 21:39   #10
dirkies
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A simple sticker on the back saying TRAPDOOR THIS SIDE should avoid such horror stories IMHO.
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Old 15 August 2016, 09:29   #11
Zetr0
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simple diode decoupling would solve ALL issues - tis a poor design because of it.
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