English Amiga Board Amiga Lore


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 23 March 2017, 10:54   #1
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
Setting up Amiga 1200

Hi I acquired a very cheap Amiga 1200 from local car boot (for 15!) and I'm trying to get it set up. I can get it to Amiga workbench screen but I'm not sure what to do after that? Its on 3.0 if this helps.

I do apologise but I am rather new to Amiga's and how they work but I've been following games consoles since the 90s. I did have a 500 but it was fully set up and ready to go.
GNRfan79 is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
Old 23 March 2017, 12:08   #2
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 2,147
Nice deal! Well, getting it to Workbench is a good sign, the machine seems to be working, and depending on what you want to do with it, that's as fully set up as you might need. Did you boot Workbench from floppy disk, or did the Workbench screen show up without any disks in the drive? If it didn't need the floppy, it has some sort of internal storage that you can explore on the Workbench screen. If you booted from floppy, all you'll have is the basic desktop. You can fit an internal CF card that makes it boot very quickly and can contain hundreds of games if that's what you want to do with it, though it'll probably require some extra RAM if that's the case. You could also replace the floppy drive with a floppy drive emulator that reads disk images from a USB flash drive and lets the machine run as if you'd inserted the floppies yourself.
Daedalus is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 12:42   #3
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
It would only go as far as the dos screen so I found the workbench discs and tried to set them up and it read the workbench disc itself ok but not the others. I am all up for upgrading and improving it considering I didn't pay much for it so I am open to suggestions like usb and internal cf card. If I load a game it hangs on the dos screen?

Last edited by GNRfan79; 23 March 2017 at 12:51.
GNRfan79 is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 13:07   #4
JonSick
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: London UK
Posts: 240
Well it really depends what you mean by read the disk OK.

If you're talking about the other workbench disks, then these aren't bootable. As in you put them in, they won't "boot", they're only readable from within workbench.

So throw the workbench disk back in and when it loads up, put another disk in and see if it reads.

Have you tried a game disk by any chance? How did that go? As long as the disk actually works, then it should be OK. If it only went to the DOS screen, I'd sooner blame the game itself.

Next step I would try is getting hold of a known-good set of game disks of some description. If I still had my Amiga set up, I would happily send you a copy of something to try out, maybe another forum member can help out? But the fact it's physically loading workbench is a good thing! It means it likely works. Alternatively, see what you can do in terms of downloading an ADF and transferring it to the Amiga and writing it off.

If you can test a game and all is OK, I would next look at taking it apart and checking the board over for leaking caps or batteries. Given it's on 3.0 and was only 15, I'd wager it's probably been in a loft, garage or shed for some time and may need cleaning up or even recapping. Worth checking to ensure longevity of the machine.
JonSick is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 15:22   #5
Akira
Registered User

Akira's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 17,921
Disks bit-rot, so it could be possible the disks are ruined. If Workbench disks work OK, I would guess the others are just ruined.

You need to try and get a bunch of known working disks.
Akira is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 15:58   #6
Anakirob
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tasmania
Age: 35
Posts: 858
Quote:
Originally Posted by GNRfan79 View Post
I am all up for upgrading and improving it considering I didn't pay much for it so I am open to suggestions like usb and internal cf card.
I will leave your other questions for another user, as I cannot really give you an answer to all your questions, such as setting up a decent OS without writing a short novel. but I can answer this one easily.

An internal HD is something that many A1200's did not have fitted as standard because they were quite expensive back in the early 90's. But now that some time has passed they are very cheap and you definitely want to install one using the A1200's internal IDE port.

A 4GB CF card via an IDE adaptor seems to be the favourite choice of many A1200 users, myself included.

You could buy the adaptor and a blank CF card separately for quite a cheap price, but as you are an Amiga novice I might recommend that you purchase a pre-installed one.

Either a legitimate one from AmigaKit which will require you to have your Workbench disks handy as it needs them for the operating system files which may still be covered by copyright.

Or alternatively you could purchase one of the many legally dubious ones from eBay which are filled with a bunch of pre-installed games and are ready to go.

Also some kind of PCMCIA removable media adaptor can be the best way of transferring data to and from your more modern PC. Again the CF adaptors seem to be the best supported by the Amiga's OS. Once again AmigaKit sell a 'noob friendly' package which includes driver installation script and a CF card which is garunteed to work with the Amiga. But if you're getting more comfortable with the Amiga's OS by this point then eBay has many cheap ones available from China.

But a suitable PCMCIA wi-fi card will work too, just be sure that it's Amiga compatible. There was a user on this very board who had around 2 dozen of these that he was selling, I think he may still have a few available, look in the Marketplace section of EAB.

USB is definitely a desirable feature, but unless you have fitted a processor upgrade, or "accelerator" as we Amiga users call them then you won't really be able to use one of the A1200 USB adaptors anyway. Forget about PCMCIA USB adaptors as I'm fairly sure that they are all unsupported.

Now that I have mentioned processor upgrades I might also point out that you will definitely be needing some more RAM with your accelerator, what computer does not benefit from more RAM? You want at least an additional 8MB of "fast memory", but the more the merrier. 128MB should be able to handle anything you can throw at it, even running the CD32 version of Beneath A Steel Sky from HD.

You could pay a premium price for a second-hand one from ebay, but I would advise against this and instead point you towards Individual computers Who are making brand new accelerator boards to this very day and into the future and will obviously be able to offer much better customer support than some random dude on eBay as well as a competitive price.

There is also a slightly updated "Kickstart ROM", this is kind of like a BIOS on a PC, but that's a crude comparison. Anyway you could upgrade this from version 3.0 to 3.1 if you wanted, it does make things a little easier and more efficient. But on an AGA Amiga such as the A1200 it can be somewhat unnecessary really as 3.0 should suit your gaming needs just fine.

So I believe that covers your queries around what upgrades you want to place a priority on.

You will also be wanting a better OS than the one which comes as standard, but there are numerous packages available and I will allow another user to assist you with this.

I might just add that there is a piece of software called WHDLoad which you will be wanting to use to run all your games from your newly installed hard disk. I totally recommend paying the shareware registration fee as this really is the "killer app" of Amiga gaming. Many pre-installed Amiga HD's will feature this software anyway.

And one last thing. Fifteen quid for a new Amiga 1200 is exactly one tenth of what I paid for my current system. Although mine was in it's original packaging and virtually unused. So you did indeed get your A1200 for a bargain price.
Anakirob is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 18:20   #7
Signman
Registered User

Signman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 178
A1200s sell for much more here in the states, Anakirob. Check ebay over here.
I will be testing the waters shortly.
Signman is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 20:19   #8
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
Right I tested 2 games - Art of Chess which loaded fine and Thundercats which just went to DOS and hung (but it worked ok on my old Amiga 500). You're probably right Jon, its probably been stored for many a year and not seen the light of day and needs a little TLC to get it running correctly and back to its best. And the guy who sold it was a property clearance chap who just wanted it gone on the cheap to create more space.

I have looked at recapping it (sadly my soldering skills are rather bad) but I just wanted to make sure it was working before committing to any other repairs/upgrades.

Signman, 1200s over here in Blighty regularly go for around 150 to 300 for working ones so they are not a cheap console and I was rather gobsmacked when he said he was selling it for 15 but I thought 'hell yeah lets go for it'

Last edited by GNRfan79; 23 March 2017 at 20:26.
GNRfan79 is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 22:15   #9
Superman
Registered User

Superman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Wakefield
Age: 42
Posts: 621
Its worth noting that many older games won't run on the A1200 as they are not compatible with kickstart 3.0/3.1. I think Thundercats is one of those so your disks may be fine. The cheapest way to run the older games is to obtain a relokick disk which downgrades to kickstart 1.3 like the A500 had. The other way to run the older games is via WHDload but then you will need more memory and a CF drive which will cost you at least another 150.

Where about in the UK are you? If someone is local to you they could take a look at your machine and maybe assist with testing etc.
Superman is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 23:18   #10
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superman View Post
Its worth noting that many older games won't run on the A1200 as they are not compatible with kickstart 3.0/3.1. I think Thundercats is one of those so your disks may be fine. The cheapest way to run the older games is to obtain a relokick disk which downgrades to kickstart 1.3 like the A500 had. The other way to run the older games is via WHDload but then you will need more memory and a CF drive which will cost you at least another 150.

Where about in the UK are you? If someone is local to you they could take a look at your machine and maybe assist with testing etc.
Darn it, oh well Thundercats is not a very good game anyway so hey ho... I live in North Essex if anyone is local to me? One of my old mates had an Amiga 600 many moons ago and the games he had were pretty cool so I wonder which games will play on the 600 but not the 1200?

Last edited by GNRfan79; 23 March 2017 at 23:24.
GNRfan79 is offline  
Old 23 March 2017, 23:45   #11
Nobby_UK
Registered User
Nobby_UK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 828
Tried to run ThunderCats as an Emulated 1200 = NO GO
using early start-up options then ReloKick1.41 and S-Kick3.21

Obviously just incompatible.
Nobby_UK is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 00:45   #12
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 2,147
Yep, a lot of older games won't run. As Nobby suggests, you can use Relokick to trick your Amiga into thinking it's an A500. Another option is that the vast majority of games can be installed on a hard drive / CF card internally with patches that allow them to run on the A1200 using WHDLoad. One of the most wonderful pieces of software that there is IMHO This approach will need an expanded A1200 however...
Daedalus is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 01:16   #13
scuzz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: New Forest
Posts: 78
Can I suggest you don't do very much to the 1200 but first check what you have and start from there.

You should have a set of disks with the machine ....

Does the disk insert screen look like this...

http://www.gregdonner.org/workbench/images/wb_30k.gif

The disks should be Workbench, Extras, Local, Storage, Fonts and hopefully an Install disk. You will need all these disks if you want to install the software.

You tend only need Workbench to get into the OS.

Hopefully the floppy disk is clicking after you switch on to receive a disk. It will take a while to get to the boot screen without the hard drive. Do not hot shoe and connect mouse and the like whilst the machine is on. The ports at the back are a touch sensitive. Do not lose the mouse port, furthest on the right looking from the side of the keyboard.

The PCMCIA port is on the left of the machine and looks like a small post box slot. Ignore this for now.

If you are keen to look inside be careful of the cables to the LED which are often trapped behind the keyboard. There are three screws at the base and two at the sides. Be very carful not to break off the plastic clips at the back.

The keyboard slots in at the bottom and is held in place with a green ribbon and a white connector to the motherboard.

I assume there are no expansion boards in the trapdoor slot.

Just check over to make sure the shielding is complete and there are no old 2.5" drives inside or old ribbons. There should also be a cradle for a hard drive.

I would do very little else at this stage but close up and make sure the machine boots to workbench.

If you have power light active and disk activity light active, have the disk entry boot screen and can load to Workbench with a RAM disk and Workbench disk icon on a grey screen then your rockin and a rollin. Check mouse control to see that you have full movement. Touch one of the disk icons and and see what it says at the top about memory. Also check the menu option for about.

You can take out the Workbench disk while in the OS and if you put a disk in and it gives say a DF0:???? that simply means its one of your games disks that boots from the floppy without the Workbench.

Try and get a book on how to use the Workbench or read one online.

Here are some hints and tips from my site

http://www.scuzzscink.com/amiga/scuzzblog1608.htm

Not all games worked on the 1200 though you can use what is called a degrader to take the machine back to a 500 status so you can play. Disks like Relokick is what you are looking for.

I would avoid considering all the various suggestions about upgrading and bogus repairs. I have over 26 Amiga 1200s and have had machines running here since 1993 and they all still work. The most important factor is to get the basics working. Give the machine a clean and lay flat, and do not keep plugging and unplugging. Get a good set of disks and a few games. And then think about some kind of hd storage or I guess a CF card so you can boot without the floppies. I only use physical 2.5 and 3.5" hard rdrives, but then I always use SCSI either through a KIT off a Blizzard accelerator or Squirrel from the PCMCIA post box slot. Hard driving is the only way forward in truth. Disk swapping is a pain.

Then you need some extra memory in the form of a RAM card. If possible get some acceleration. Both can fit on a trapdoor card which slots into the bottom of the machine. You will have zero extra RAM at the moment and some application software runs pretty slow without an accelerator.

Make sure your power supply is working fine. If its the smaller lightweight power supply maybe try getting an A500 heavier brick. They come on the Bay quite often. Helps if you are serious about upgrading the machine.

You obviously are able to see the machine through a TV I assume. The video on the A1200 was designed for Amiga monitors on the whole, though my Microvitecs were the alternative when Commodore went pop. Multiscan can be an issue as the screen resolutions pop about from low res to high res etc with certain software. There are ways of fitting display options these days... never used them as I have many Commodore monitors.

I cannot stress the importance of checking to first establish if the machine is functioning. Personally I always get a hard drive in as quickly as possible and load in a text editor and DOpus. I also carry around a disk with SysInfo on it at all times. Basically tells you everything you need to know about your computer.

The Amiga tree grows slowly. Start slowly. Get the basic machine first and make sure its functioning. Leave running for a while. Switch on ' EVERY ' day. Play a couple of games and keep the floppy drive active. Use that mouse and keep the ports plugged in and avoid swapping out. Try and get hold of a disk drive head cleaning kit. These come on the Bay. The ones where you simply insert a disk and clean the heads.

I love the Amiga 1200. I set up another behind me this week and have already external SCSI hard drives, internal hard drive, ZIP drive, Microvitec monitor and Apollo accelerator. I am lucky I have all the kit at my disposal. Plus every game ever publshed. But I started with just what you had... was 25 years ago, granted, but I have enjoyed having a machine just as yours and starting over.

Avoid joysticks, get a CD32 style PS gamepad. Just check Ebay. Once again plug in and leave plugged in. Get a second disk drive. If your lucky get an XL High density drive for the bigger capacity disks. Later you can set up CrossDOS so you can see PC disks, though I doubt anyone has a PC with a floppy. I do cus I download files from Aminet on a PC and then use a dms writer or ADFBlitzer to create Amiga boot disks. Did this today for AsimCDFS to get a CD working on an A4000d. Disks are still quite an important tool for the Amiga so try and get a few. Get some labels, disk box and keep your disks upright and dust free.

The art of the Amiga. Never gets old.

Last thing.... The Label on your Amiga . Does it have the word Commodore on it? Or does it just say Amiga A 1200. If the latter I would get it capped.

I have 26 Amiga 1200's... but then I'm a nutter. I have hundreds of computers. Surprisingly they all seem to work... well nearly all. And not a new cap to be seen anywhere.

http://www.scuzzscink.com/amiga/amiga_scuzz30.htm

Just time for a bit more Flight of the Amazon Queen before bed. As you do !

Get Cannon Fodder, Sensi Soccer, Settlers, Arcade Snooker, Worms and an Amiga 500 to play Space Invaders and all those other disks and start mucking around with demos.

scuzz
http://www.scuzzscink.com/amiga/car_001.htm
scuzz is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 02:32   #14
Anakirob
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tasmania
Age: 35
Posts: 858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Signman View Post
A1200s sell for much more here in the states, Anakirob. Check ebay over here.
I will be testing the waters shortly.
heh, they are also expensive in Australia, that's why I bought mine from the UK. The UK or maybe Germany or France were by far the largest markets for the Amiga, so looking in those regions should yield the cheapest and/or most upgraded second-hand machines.

My advice to all my American cousins who may be seeking to purchase a second hand A1200 would be to include all international sellers in your search, as you may find that obtaining a European model of A1200 to be far cheaper than obtaining a local model.

The keyboard will have the wrong graphics on the keys for the US keymap, which as an Australian I also use. But the Amiga has pretty much the standard US PC keyboard layout so you shouldn't have too much trouble locating characters like "$" and "@".

And a EU power supply will not have the same voltage as a US power supply, and I'm not real sure how well they would work with 120V, as we use 240V here in AU. But then there are numerous tutorials on converting a standard PSU into an Amiga PSU, although be warned you may have to cannibalise the official power brick for the connector.

Sorry for going off-topic, but I had to relate my experiences finding second-hand Amigas on eBay as it was relevant to the quoted statement.
Anakirob is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 08:14   #15
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
I think at the moment I'll just buy some more games, enjoy it and then do some repairs and, after that, upgrades later on this year. I agree I'm not keen on joysticks either though I do own one - Amiga CD32 (and even Megadrive controllers) work fine. Thanks for the advice Scuzz that really has opened my eyes on helping with my next move.
GNRfan79 is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 12:15   #16
Daedalus
Registered User

Daedalus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
Posts: 2,147
Another thing to think about is that there are lots of other Amiga users all over the country, so keep an eye out for users locally who could help you out setting things up, trying out different expansions and software to be sure you like them before committing, and so on. There are even a number of different user groups that have regular meetups here and there, perhaps one is near you.
Daedalus is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 14:00   #17
zardoz
Zone Friend
zardoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wales
Age: 46
Posts: 128
Having been gifted an A500 recently I can recommend getting a Gotek USB floppy drive replacement.

I ordered mine from ebay and it was on my desk inside 18 hours

Set it up last night and it works great! Beats messing around with floppies for sure.

The purists on here would not be happy with hacking your case to get access to the digital readout or selector buttons, I'll leave that problem with you.
zardoz is offline  
Old 24 March 2017, 15:07   #18
Signman
Registered User

Signman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 178
Amakirob, both of my 1200s are PAL and work well with my US power supply.
Don't even notice much with keyboard layout.
Signman is offline  
Old 25 March 2017, 09:48   #19
GNRfan79
Registered User

 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 9
The games I'm going to aim for are lemmings, lotus 1, 2 and 3, sim city, power moves, zool and a few select others. I'm hoping the amiga 1200 will run these without any issues?
GNRfan79 is offline  
Old 25 March 2017, 22:19   #20
Nobby_UK
Registered User
Nobby_UK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 828
Power Moves ?
Nobby_UK is offline  
AdSense AdSense  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FOR SALE: Amiga 1200 Job Lot 200+ games, 2x Amiga 1200 lots of accessories and spares erniet5 MarketPlace 0 28 April 2015 13:34
Completely stuck setting up large CF / SD hard drive on Amiga 1200 Dragon support.Hardware 4 03 March 2013 09:12
Setting up HD for a real Amiga Dijerydack support.Amiga Forever 2 20 September 2012 07:41
Setting up Amiga 3000 amiganer support.Hardware 18 04 May 2010 22:03
Setting up a Scandy 1200? Smiley support.Hardware 25 03 July 2009 23:45

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:30.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Page generated in 0.41782 seconds with 11 queries