User avatar
kerobaros

Posted Sun May 17, 2020 3:12 pm

Yesterday, I did a foolish thing and drove four hours, each way, to pick up an Amiga 2000. The previous owner was a lovely fellow, threw in a whole bunch of stuff with it, some Amiga related, some not.

The final haul:
-Amiga 2000
This has the 3.9 motherboard in it, the rare dealer demo board Dave Haynie spoke about; it's mostly a 4.0, but the CPU upgrade slot is kind of useless, so I understand. This has already been upgraded to ECS (I even got the original OCS chips in a couple of little IC carriers!) but it still has Kickstart/Workbench 1.3 on it.

-1084 monitor
This had some demons at first, the tube would stop displaying a picture after a few minutes of warming up. With some help from a gentleman on the Facebook group, I managed to open it up, discharge it, and resolder the flyback transformer, and it's been all good since then. First time I ever discharged a CRT, and it scared the bejeezus out of me.

-8MB SupraRAM card

-GVP SCSI card, with external hard drive

-SuperGen 2000 genlock, minus external control box, lost by previous owner it seems. I'll be looking for one of those eventually.

So, it boots to the external hard drive, and that's phenomenal. Now I need to figure out how to get things on to it, and what I should/need to upgrade. Already planning to put a Gotek in the front of it, and have one ordered from AmigaKit.

Should I ask for help here, or elsewhere?

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 12:06 am

Welcome Kerobaros!

With such a great find it definitely was not a bad idea to drive all these hours.

See aso here:
http://amiga.resource.cx/mod/a2000.html

As it is a really rare machine, I would be eager for pics of you take it apart :).

The biggest issue in any case is the battery. if you are familiar with electronics and the modification thereof by yourself, please disassemble the machine and check the greater area around the battery.

Of course, pics are welcome :D .

We recently had an interesting discussion on how to expand an A2000.
Please be aware that you will probably need an accelerator that uses the 68k expansion slot, so it would be rather cards designed for the Amiga 500. Thats the price of a rev 3.9 board :D. It "may have problems with processor cards as there is no additional buffering on the clocks that drive the CPU slot".

See here for a first impression on the discussion of expanding an A2000
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1442

I'd probably keep the GVP SCSI. Could you find out whoch one it is?
Check here under "GVP":
http://amiga.resource.cx/dir/scsi
That would make it easier to give any tips.

Make sure to make a backup, often there are quie some nice gems to be found on these old disks.
Its a timetravel for me if I get one ;) .

Generally, it'd help if you would make up your mind what you want to achieve with any expansion / what you want to do with your Amiga :) .

Cheers,
McT

User avatar
kerobaros

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 2:32 am

The battery was the first thing I took care of when I got home with it, haha. It had started to leak, but it looks like no great damage was done. I cleaned the acid up and ordered one of the battery boards from AmigaKit.

The SCSI card is one of these https://bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboa ... px?id=1187, with no RAM in the slots.

What I would like to do is:
a) run WHDLoad games,
b) connect to BBS's with terminal emulators,
c) play with programming it, (probably Blitz Basic, maybe asm?)
d) y'know, whatever. Enjoy exploring an alternate history of personal computing.

I'm assuming that step one is to get a new Kickstart in this machine. Is there any reason not to jump straight to 3.1? It sounds like 3.1.4 is pretty much off the market right now due to legal drama. Sigh. What's the best route here?

My next step after that (I assume) would be a more modern mass storage solution, and it seems like a scsi2sd would be my best bet, assuming it's compatible with the GVP card I have.

The problem with both of those (Kickstart and storage) is that some of the accelerators on the market seem to include those as part of their feature list, and I'm not sure I really want to buy some of these things twice? My head spins with all the options.

I've found this apccomm utility http://www.boomerangsworld.de/cms/apccomm/index.html, so I've ordered a laplink cable and a parallel PCI card for my desktop. Hopefully those will be here this week and I'll be able to start backing up the hard drive.

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 4:52 am

Hi,

I'll compile some ideas for expansion here if you like.

The GVPs are usually nice expansions, with some caveats.
For a starter, it's a great thing to have a HDD solution available.
Regarding the GVP SCSI controller, you could check how much RAM is installed and max this out to 8MB.
This would save you the use of the second RAM card. The bonus is that the GVP can access its own RAM a bit faster.
Please check: is the SCSI terminator soldered on?
Or does it even have an internal HDD?
If you want to use the SCSI2SD, you need to make sure you have a cable for internal use and that there is no terminator internally.

TBH, if you can add the SCSI2SD, you can back up anything directly to the SD. No need for the parallel-port-solution. Its waaaaay slower anyways.

If you are into WHDLoad and programming, I'd recommend a Kickstart switcher.
That could give you 1.3 and 3.1.4 via a switch.

For ROMs you may have these options:
Amiga on the lake sells (sold?) 3.1.4 ROMs.
Hyperion sells 3.1.4 as a direct download.
If you can by yourself or have someone to write an EPROM, you could use this thing here or similar variants from Amibay:
ROM-Switcher for EPROM

And I would highly recommend to get an accelerator with at least an 68010.
This will allow the use of the WHDLoad "Quit"-key. On a plain 68000, you'd have to switch off the machine.
A nice start could be this one

Generally, I would highly recommend getting a 2-MB ChipRAM expansion such as these:
Version 1 Amibay
Version 2 Amibay
Version 3 Amibay
iComp Version

If later on the GVP is not appropriate any more, for mass storage / IDE, you could either get an accelerator with built-in ports or get this new Buddha.

In order to attach a newer VGA monitor to your beloved Amiga, I can recommend this nice expansion "Indivision"

You could then later upgrade to a Graphics card ("RTG in Amiga-Land"), passing through the picture of the Indivision, like this one.
The additional graphics are added via a driver.

If you want Networking, here is a great option.

The XSurf has the great option to be expandable with USB.

Have fun,
McT

User avatar
kerobaros

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 2:43 pm

Wow, what a lot of useful info. Here we go.
McTrinsic wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 4:52 am
Hi,

I'll compile some ideas for expansion here if you like.

The GVPs are usually nice expansions, with some caveats.
For a starter, it's a great thing to have a HDD solution available.
Regarding the GVP SCSI controller, you could check how much RAM is installed and max this out to 8MB.
This would save you the use of the second RAM card. The bonus is that the GVP can access its own RAM a bit faster.
Okay. Is this https://www.ebay.com/itm/4x-1MB-30-Pin- ... 2814739559 the RAM I need? Eight of those, obviously.
Please check: is the SCSI terminator soldered on?
Or does it even have an internal HDD?
If you want to use the SCSI2SD, you need to make sure you have a cable for internal use and that there is no terminator internally.

TBH, if you can add the SCSI2SD, you can back up anything directly to the SD. No need for the parallel-port-solution. Its waaaaay slower anyways.
I'm looking at the card, and I'm not sure where the SCSI terminator would be. Does that refer to the two little yellow resistor packs behind the internal SCSI connector? There's no internal drive installed, I've just been using the external it comes with. This https://amiga.resource.cx/photos/impact2000hc8,2 is exactly the card I have.
If you are into WHDLoad and programming, I'd recommend a Kickstart switcher.
That could give you 1.3 and 3.1.4 via a switch.

Amiga on the lake still sells 3.1.4 ROMs.

Or you ask Sordan to include a switch in the purchase of both switcher and 3.1.4 ROM.
Sadly, both Amiga on the Lake and Sordan both say that those products are currently unavailable.
And I would highly recommend to get an accelerator with at least an 68010.
This will allow the use of the WHDLoad "Quit"-key. On a plain 68000, you'd have to switch off the machine.
A nice start .htm]could be this one.
That TF534 has 4MB of RAM and IDE on board. That would remove the need for the SCSI card altogether, right?
Generally, I would highly recommend getting a 2-MB ChipRAM expansion such as these:
http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?10 ... ct-Poland)
iComp Version
The Amibay link got eaten somehow, and the iComp one shows out of stock.
If later on the GVP is not appropriate any more, for mass storage / IDE, you could either get an accelerator with built-in ports or get this new Buddha.

In order to attach a newer VGA monitor to your beloved Amiga, I can recommend this nice expansion "Indivision"

You could then later upgrade to a Graphics card ("RTG in Amiga-Land"), passing through the picture of the Indivision, like this one.
The additional graphics are added via a driver.
For now, I plan to stick with the 1084 I have, with plans to recap it at some point, but maybe one day I'll explore alternate display solutions.
If you want Networking, here is a great option.

The XSurf has the great option to be expandable with USB.
If the parallel solution doesn't meet my needs, I'll look into networking it. Probably will by the end of the year regardless.
Have fun,
McT
Oh, I am. :D

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 2:49 pm

Welcome!

In terms of "out of stock" or other post issues, that's the world we're all in right now until things creep back towards normalcy, which depending on what you read could be a few months or over a year from now.

For example, I tried to purchase a bigRAM card for my A3000 over a month ago. The retailer (based in Germany) said they wouldn't ship it, and didn't know when that might change. They encouraged me to cancel my order.

I decided to let them hold onto it, but then after a month officially cancelled my order and bought one from Jens at iComp instead (also based in Germany). When you buy from there - if the product you want is in-stock - you are given warnings that the delivery could take a lot longer than normal. I figure if I'd ordered from Jens originally I'd already have it by now.

If you're in the US and ordering from Europe, it's just going to require a lot of patience.

I also ordered ZIP RAM from China and it took nearly a month to get here, too. At the end of the day, I'm not exactly in a rush for these items. YMMV

User avatar
kerobaros

Posted Mon May 18, 2020 11:03 pm

I had tried several times, in the last couple days, to format and put Workbench on one of my Zip disks, as that's the newest, most reliable SCSI media I have around the house. Also, I have a USB Zip 100 drive, meaning I could theoretically use that as data transfer. I was using the GVP FaaastPrep disk I got with the system, and I could never get it to finish the installation process to a point that left it able to boot.

Tonight, I used a copy of the GVP disk I found on amiga.resource.cx with my Gotek, and what do you know, everything worked perfectly. I used FaaastPrep to copy both Workbench 1.3 floppies to my Zip disk, and have installed lha, jst, and a WHDLoad slave of Secret of Monkey Island, and it's WORKING. I guess I need to get speakers for this now, haha.

EDIT: maybe not working. Trying to save right at the start of the game caused it to lock up the system. Oh well. Still progress.

Further EDIT, three hours later: okay, that was a silly way to go about things. Just used the hard drive installer on the original Monkey Island disks. Works just fine. Same for Civilization. Hurrah!

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Tue May 19, 2020 3:28 am

OK, I corrected the links.
Some things are currently really only available through Amibay.

The TF534 indeed does offer a mass storage.
Personally, I'd keep the GVP.
That gives you much more flexibility if later on you would prefer to use a different accelerator.

The TF534 does have one major disadvantage: no fallback to 68000 processor.
So if you decide to play a game old-fashioned from floppy, switch to Kickstart 1.3 the 68030 might casue issues.

Only homebrew adapters are know (to me ;) )to address this:
German discussion with link to files

Cheers,
McT

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Tue May 19, 2020 4:51 pm

I think another thing to consider with the TF534 is that it (like the vampire) messes up the autoconfig of any other boards inside the machine in Zorro slots. The Amiga 2000 won't recognize there is a card present in those slots when using those accelerators, from what I remember reading a while back.

User avatar
kerobaros

Posted Tue May 19, 2020 6:20 pm

obitus1990 wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 4:51 pm
I think another thing to consider with the TF534 is that it (like the vampire) messes up the autoconfig of any other boards inside the machine in Zorro slots. The Amiga 2000 won't recognize there is a card present in those slots when using those accelerators, from what I remember reading a while back.
oh my, that's a dealbreaker. So if the TF and Vampire cards are both guilty of that, are there any accelerators I can use that won't effectively disable half the chassis? Keep in mind that (I'm pretty sure) I can't use my CPU slot, thanks to it being a 3.9 board.





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