English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Support > New to Emulation or Amiga scene

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07 November 2021, 15:36   #1
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Question Need advice: After 30 years, I want to own an Amiga again

Hello everyone,


a bit of background (feel free to skip down below to "Which brought me here"): I was born in 1983 and grew up playing the Atari 2600, then C64 and Amiga, with the latter 2 systems still being big favourites of mine to this day (for different reasons, respectively).



I played emulated Amiga games for a very long time, and often heard in the (general) retro gaming scene the statement that it's still best to play on the original hardware to get the full experience -- which for the longest time I thought was just an arrogant hipster point of view ... until I got the brief chance to sit down with an Amiga again after 30 years.


Emulators obviously have a lot of advantages (cost, space required, save states, super flexible, easy to record video footage, ...) but since I grew up with the Amiga, there is a strong subjective and nostalgic factor for me, so when I was reunited with an Amiga after 30 years, it completely changed my previous opinion. The hardware, the controllers, it's to me all part of the experience.


Which brought me here: I am now considering to buy myself an Amiga again. The thing is, I was very young and ignorant back then (I'm still clueless on many aspects on the Amiga to this day, more on that later), meaning that I just knew that there are a few different models of the Amiga (1200, 500), that its hardware could be upgraded ... but that's it. I also vaguely remembered that some models were for gamers less desireable, as many games didn't work on them (Amiga 500+...?).



So when I started looking for opportunities to buy an Amiga, I quickly realised that I just have to do my homework and dedicate a good amount of time to doing research and finding the right the right deal online.


I watched several Amiga buying guides online:


[ Show youtube player ]


[ Show youtube player ]


[ Show youtube player ]


I would still appreciate veteran advice from the community.



? Which one would you recommend for gaming purposes ?
? How should I approach the issue of leaking battery packs ? Side note: I'm not used to tinkering with hardware.

? What are good places to buy an Amiga (besides usual places like eBay, ect.) ?
? Anything else I should consider ?


Thanks a lot !

Last edited by Kyur; 07 November 2021 at 15:43.
Kyur is offline  
Old 07 November 2021, 15:57   #2
dreadnought
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Ur, Atlantis
Posts: 1,043
This is a really vast subject and it'd really simplify things if you could roughly say what kind of budget you're on.

In a nutshell:

1) A500 + Gotek floppy emulator: cheapest option, will play all A500 games, but you will have to deal with Gotek disk swapping and loading times. Cost: ~30-50E +A500 cost (100-180E?)

2) A500+HDD solution: you load games from a SD card set up to emulate Amiga HDD. Fast and convenient (no disk swapping). Here prices can vary wildly, from cheap-but-still-experimental PiStorm (~60E) to rock solid solutions such as ACA 500+ (~150E)

3) A1200 + some accelerators: this is the high shelf option and prices for A1200 have skyrocketed recently: you'll need to spend at least 400-500E on the Amiga itself, and then some more to make it work with WHDLoad (I think 8MB RAm extension is minimum needed for that). or you can also get Gotek for that, but when you spend that much you might as well go for the best solution.
dreadnought is online now  
Old 07 November 2021, 18:29   #3
ajk
Registered User
ajk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 1,338
The options explained by dreadnought are the main three options indeed. Other Amiga models you might come across are the A600 or A2000, which are similar to the A500 specs-wise. The A3000 and A4000 are rare (and expensive). The A1000, CDTV or CD32 are also uncommon and somewhat difficult to deal with expansion-wise.

Neither the A500 or A1200 have a battery which could leak, so both are safe options in that sense. The A500+ however does have a battery, and unless someone has intervened, it will have leaked at this point.

An A1200 (or A600/A4000/CD32) will likely need to have its capacitors replaced. Capacitor leaks are not usually very destructive (compared with a battery, anyway) and can be dealt with.

Amibay is a popular buy/sell site for Amiga and other retro stuff, although it can be difficult to register a user account (severe anti-spam/bot measures).

The main thing that dictates what you should buy is how you want to get software across to the machine. The Gotek floppy emulator is a cheap and easy option, but failing that, some kind of hard drive that can interface with modern systems is a must. Most commonly this is some sort of memory card (CompactFlash, SD) adapter that acts as a hard drive on the Amiga.
ajk is offline  
Old 07 November 2021, 19:48   #4
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Thanks for the replies so far !

I think I will go for the A500 and Gotek floppy emulator solution.

Thanks for verifying that the A500 and A1200 are safe regarding leaked batteries.

I saw different offers for A500s, with different revision numbers, any specific version I should go for/avoid ?

Another nooby question: I see many Amigas with expanded RAM ... This can not potentially make the Amiga incompatible with certain games...?

Last edited by Kyur; 07 November 2021 at 19:54.
Kyur is offline  
Old 07 November 2021, 20:09   #5
dreadnought
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Ur, Atlantis
Posts: 1,043
For Gotek use the different boards don't really make much difference. Just go for the cheapest Amiga from the most trusted seller. It's the same regarding RAM, the basic 512Kb trapdoor expansion should really be enough for this setup.

When buying Gotek don't skimp and go for the basic version, like I did at first. The OLED display and the dial really make life easier.

And now you have to start worrying how to connect it all to your modern TV, if you don't have a CRT around
dreadnought is online now  
Old 07 November 2021, 21:29   #6
Overdoc
Commodore Collector
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Austria
Age: 51
Posts: 929
Yeah, a simple Amiga 500 set with a 512k memory expansion is all you need.

A GOTEK drive is a very cool thing, as you can play every Amiga game ever made very easily, just by sticking in a USB stick with all the .ADF files on it.
However, since you want to get a real Amiga to get the 'real' feeling from back then again, then you might also want to insert a real disk and hear the drive loading the game?!

Although there even exist GOTEK drives with mini speakers, which make you hear the drive sounds when it is booting an ADF from the stick, it is still is not the same feeling, imho.

So, I would suggest you to get a nice set with Amiga 500, power supply, mouse, 512k expansion, joystick and some disks for a start.
You can then always get a GOTEK drive later, preferably also with a bootselector, which makes it possible to attach the GOTEK externally, and then switch between booting a disk from the Amiga 500 original built-in 3,5" drive, or boot and ADF from the GOTEK; just how you prefer.
It is then also easily possible to copy ADF files to real disks via X-Copy.

ps: I currently have a complete Amiga 500 set for sale, if you are interested?! (without GOTEK drive, though)
Overdoc is offline  
Old 07 November 2021, 23:27   #7
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
[...]


However, since you want to get a real Amiga to get the 'real' feeling from back then again, then you might also want to insert a real disk and hear the drive loading the game?!


[...]


So, I would suggest you to get a nice set with Amiga 500, power supply, mouse, 512k expansion, joystick and some disks for a start.
You can then always get a GOTEK drive later, preferably also with a bootselector, which makes it possible to attach the GOTEK externally, and then switch between booting a disk from the Amiga 500 original built-in 3,5" drive, or boot and ADF from the GOTEK; just how you prefer.

That's exactly what was going through my mind after having watched a few videos on a Gotek drive ... I think for me the golden solution would be to still have the internal drive working and in place and having the Gotek still a different option ... Because I have to admit that the drive's sounds and the heavy clicking of inserting a disk into the drive is very nostalgic and charming to me, and indeed part of the experience. It will probably boil down to me still using the disk drive for games with 1-4 disks, and for games with 5+ disks the Gotek will do the heavy lifting.


I have no clue how to make the necessary modifications to the Amiga though. Based on the Gotek videos that I saw, it seems the problem is that the Amiga by default can't boot disks from anything that isn't drive 0.


But one step after the other ... First I want to get a "vanilla" A500, then I will have to take care of figuring out how to connect it to a screen (as dreadnought) pointed out, and then will be the time to tackle the topic of using a Gotek ...
Kyur is offline  
Old 08 November 2021, 00:18   #8
Overdoc
Commodore Collector
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Austria
Age: 51
Posts: 929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyur View Post
If you I have no clue how to make the necessary modifications to the Amiga though. Based on the Gotek videos that I saw, it seems the problem is that the Amiga by default can't boot disks from anything that isn't drive 0.
Yes, that's correct.
I would suggest to connect the GOTEK externally (which also has the advantage that yu would not need to modify your Amiga's case ). For this you can for instance use en external drive and swap the drive inside for the GOTEK.

Then the only additional thing you need is a boot-selector, which will be placed in between one of the chips inside and it's socket. It has a switch for selecting whether the internal or external drive should be the one to boot from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyur View Post
But one step after the other ... First I want to get a "vanilla" A500, then I will have to take care of figuring out how to connect it to a screen (as dreadnought) pointed out, and then will be the time to tackle the topic of using a Gotek ...
If your TV can still accept a CVBS and audio signal (analog video signal, either SCART, or yellow/red/white cinch input), then you can use a A-520 modulator, which has a CVBS output.
Overdoc is offline  
Old 08 November 2021, 01:34   #9
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
Yes, that's correct.
I would suggest to connect the GOTEK externally (which also has the advantage that yu would not need to modify your Amiga's case ). For this you can for instance use en external drive and swap the drive inside for the GOTEK.

Then the only additional thing you need is a boot-selector, which will be placed in between one of the chips inside and it's socket. It has a switch for selecting whether the internal or external drive should be the one to boot from.
This would indeed be the perfect solution for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
If your TV can still accept a CVBS and audio signal (analog video signal, either SCART, or yellow/red/white cinch input), then you can use a A-520 modulator, which has a CVBS output.
Alright then !




Thanks a lot !
Kyur is offline  
Old 23 November 2021, 02:01   #10
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
[...]

ps: I currently have a complete Amiga 500 set for sale, if you are interested?! (without GOTEK drive, though)

Here I am, 2 weeks later, outfitted with an Amiga 500 again !


Thanks a lot, Overdoc, for being such a big help, not only in terms of offering me the hardware at a very fair price, but also checking everything before shipping, exchanging some parts, doing a great job at packing it all together so it would arrive safely, and of course for patiently providing a lot of advice and answers to my many questions !
Kyur is offline  
Old 24 November 2021, 15:51   #11
SunSpire
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 30
Kyur: Happy to hear that you got yourself a real Amiga machine again, have lots of fun with it!


slightly offtopic, in reply to dreadnought: 4 megs on an 030 accelerator card will be sufficient for the majority of WHDLoad titles. Above 4 megs will disable the PCMCIA slot on Kick 3.1 A1200 machines.
SunSpire is offline  
Old 24 November 2021, 20:57   #12
eXeler0
Registered User

eXeler0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sweden
Age: 47
Posts: 2,070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyur View Post
Here I am, 2 weeks later, outfitted with an Amiga 500 again !


Thanks a lot, Overdoc, for being such a big help, not only in terms of offering me the hardware at a very fair price, but also checking everything before shipping, exchanging some parts, doing a great job at packing it all together so it would arrive safely, and of course for patiently providing a lot of advice and answers to my many questions !
At some point you might wanna have a look at the ACA500+ it would be a nice upgrade and give plenty of power to run all those filled 3d-polygon games that usually run at poor frame rates on vanilla A500.
eXeler0 is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 00:24   #13
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by eXeler0 View Post
At some point you might wanna have a look at the ACA500+ it would be a nice upgrade and give plenty of power to run all those filled 3d-polygon games that usually run at poor frame rates on vanilla A500.
I started up Frontier: Elite 2 briefly and indeed, this was the one game that didn't run quite so smoothly ...


I appreciate the tip, but investing 150 bucks to have just a handful of other games run smoothly isn't worth it to me ... It's also a bit meh to me that it isn't delivered in a protective casing -- for 150, I would expect as much.


But again, thanks a lot, I do appreciate your tip !
Kyur is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 14:50   #14
d4rk3lf
Registered User

d4rk3lf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Posts: 1,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyur View Post
I appreciate the tip, but investing 150 bucks to have just a handful of other games run smoothly isn't worth it to me
Well, it's not just that.
You'll get an HD A500 - and that's a huge.

With Gotek, there's no Workbench, and with ACA500+ you boot into the Workbench 3.1 (or any Workbench you like), and play WHDLOAD games, and you can also run all various softwares (Deluxe Paint, Real3D, Octamed... etc).
The whole experience is similar to A1200 with HD drive (only you don't have Aga).

I am a very happy owner of Aca500+ , I think I have it 3+ years... it's really great.. and really full Amiga experience!
d4rk3lf is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 14:58   #15
Paul_s
Stuck in the 80s

Paul_s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Amigaville
Age: 43
Posts: 3,303
What's this? No love for A500 + 1/2MB ram in the trapdoor with standard floppy?

Can't beat the nostalgic disk motor/head music
Paul_s is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 15:34   #16
dreadnought
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Ur, Atlantis
Posts: 1,043
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
Well, it's not just that.
You'll get an HD A500 - and that's a huge.

With Gotek, there's no Workbench, and with ACA500+ you boot into the Workbench 3.1 (or any Workbench you like), and play WHDLOAD games, and you can also run all various softwares (Deluxe Paint, Real3D, Octamed... etc).
The whole experience is similar to A1200 with HD drive (only you don't have Aga).

I am a very happy owner of Aca500+ , I think I have it 3+ years... it's really great.. and really full Amiga experience!



Same here. Gotek is OK for starters and generally casual use, but ACA500+ is a real swiss army knife for A500. 150E might seem a lot, but you really get a lot of bang for your buck, and it's actually a fair price when compared to other retro-devices (eg Oled Gotek itself costs ~50E and it's a really simple device, though still great of course).
dreadnought is online now  
Old 25 November 2021, 16:47   #17
Lord Aga
MI clan prevails

Lord Aga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Posts: 1,266
I'm guessing he'll get there eventually

Right now he just needs a basic nostalgia fix. But later, he'll slowly begin to want more.

And that's OK. No need to cough out a large sum of money right away. Incremental upgrades are actually a sweeter way to go
Lord Aga is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 18:42   #18
d4rk3lf
Registered User

d4rk3lf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Posts: 1,290
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_s View Post
What's this? No love for A500 + 1/2MB ram in the trapdoor with standard floppy?
To tell you the truth, I LOVE that setup.
But let's say I find unused 50-100 floppies, how would I copy games and apps to them without big headache?
I'd need another A1200 with CF card to do that fairly simple, other methods are way too complicated, or time consuming.

It's not like the times when I could go to my friend, or dealer, and get some games.
d4rk3lf is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 18:47   #19
deimos
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 655
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
let's say I find unused 50-100 floppies, how would I copy games and apps to them without big headache?
You build one of these https://amiga.robsmithdev.co.uk/slimline ?
deimos is offline  
Old 25 November 2021, 23:23   #20
Kyur
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Germany
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf View Post
Well, it's not just that.
You'll get an HD A500 - and that's a huge.

With Gotek, there's no Workbench, and with ACA500+ you boot into the Workbench 3.1 (or any Workbench you like), and play WHDLOAD games, and you can also run all various softwares (Deluxe Paint, Real3D, Octamed... etc).
The whole experience is similar to A1200 with HD drive (only you don't have Aga).

I am a very happy owner of Aca500+ , I think I have it 3+ years... it's really great.. and really full Amiga experience!
Thanks for clarifying ! I indeed wasn't aware of the full list of featues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Aga View Post
I'm guessing he'll get there eventually

Right now he just needs a basic nostalgia fix. But later, he'll slowly begin to want more.

And that's OK. No need to cough out a large sum of money right away. Incremental upgrades are actually a sweeter way to go
You summed it up pretty well. I'm just glad to have one back now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_s View Post
What's this? No love for A500 + 1/2MB ram in the trapdoor with standard floppy?

Can't beat the nostalgic disk motor/head music
Oh, I love the drive's purring loading sound. I was very happy when WinUAE added the emulated drive sounds. My Gotek emulates the sound too, not in a very good way, but still ...
Kyur is offline  
 


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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MTV (40 years today) - the Amiga years.. eXeler0 Nostalgia & memories 11 02 August 2021 00:40
What else were you into in your Amiga years? 005AGIMA Nostalgia & memories 24 20 August 2019 05:11
Returning to Amiga after 25 years ... hedders New to Emulation or Amiga scene 17 08 May 2015 00:00
My first Amiga in 12 years! GarethPW Hardware pics 29 15 July 2011 16:40

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 23:15.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09971 seconds with 15 queries