Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by pgovotsos Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:11 am

LambdaCalculus wrote:The SIMM sockets are all in good condition; no broken clips at all and all sitting firmly in place. The Chip RAM SIMM is a 2MB SIMM; the rest of the SIMMs are 4MB each. If I need to get new SIMMs, I have a friend in California with tons of vintage hardware parts I can ask him for.

All of the socketed chips feel firmly seated, but there's not many that are socketed; only the Buster is (and I'm replacing it anyway with a Rev. 11 Buster) AFAIK. The rest of the machine is pretty much stock; the CPU card is a 68040 at 25 MHz, the HDD is 340MB, and there's only the one floppy drive.


You can try one of the 4MB SIMMs in the chip slot. It will only see 2MB of it.

Before replacing the Buster, think about what expansions you are thinking about installing. The Buster 11 still has some DMA issues. A good explanation is at the e3b website (maker of Deneb) where they talk about the different revisions and how it effects what will work together. If you're not going to be using more than one DMA device you should be fine. Just be aware that sometimes the higher revision of chips isn't necessarily better. It may fix some problems but may introduce some new ones of its own. The best example is probably Agnus or the way only certain combinations of Ramsey and DMAC revisions will work together.
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LambdaCalculus
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by LambdaCalculus Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:55 am

I'll try out the other SIMMs in the Chip RAM socket, then.

As for expansions for the A4000, I intended to get a BigRAMPlus memory expansion, the X-Surf 100 network card (with RapidRoad USB add-on), a Prisma Megamix audio decoder card, and an MNT VA2000 graphics card. I'm going to use a CompactFlash card for storage for the time being, but I'll be upgrading that to solid state with an mSATA-to-PATA adapter with a 64GB mSATA SSD installed (I'll use PFS3 as the filesystem for everything in this case), and a large HDD that will act as a media drive, along with keeping an offline mirror of Aminet on it.

I've made sure to do my homework on the selected expansions to see that they will operate well with the Buster 11 chip. As far as I can see, the X-Surf 100 basically mandates that you have a Buster 11 chip for it to work in Zorro III-based machines.
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by pgovotsos Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:47 pm

That's a nice set of hardware planned! Were you thinking about getting the video slot addon card for the MNT? That will let you pass through the MNT the native Amiga screen modes. It's not a flicker fixer but at least you would be able to just use one monitor for RTG and native. The MNT is a very nice card and is only getting better as the developer releases new firmwares for it. The last one was a fantastic upgrade. The only thing that is a bit of a pain is that you have to take it out of the Amiga to update it. So if you have the video slot adapter, the MNT is going to be on the bottom slot under everything else which can be a pain. May want to consider putting the X-Surf in the next slot since it is so short to make it easier to remove the MNT or the BigRam which is easy to remove and get out of the way since it's not screwed in.

One thing to be aware of is a problem that some RapidRoads have with hot plugging. Several people have had their RapidRoads die after hot plugging thumb drives - removing one and inserting another while the machine is on. Most of them have been attached to the clockport but some have also been on an X-Surf. Apparently there's no way to tell if you have an affected one or not except by trial by fire unfortunately. When it was first reported Jens replaced some under warranty but now he's blaming the user. Doesn't necessarily mean that your card will be one of the "lucky" ones though.

One solution seems to have a powered USB hub plugged into the RapidRoad or X-Surf USB ports and do your hot swapping on the hub. It's certainly not an elegant solution but it works. As much as this stuff costs, I tend to take the perhaps overly cautious route :)

Were you thinking of getting an accelerator some time? If so, you may want to consider saving the cost of the BigRam and put it towards an accelerator that has memory on it, maybe with SCSI on it for the fastest drive transfers? Memory on an accelerator will always be the fastest memory because it is not going through the Zorro III bus or to the motherboard memory which is also slower.

The BigRam DOES work and works well. The memory speed may not be an issue for you. For most things I really don't see it being that big of an issue, just something that is. If you are thinking of installing OS4 the BigRam is not officially supported. It works for some, doesn't work for others. Sometimes putting it in a different slot helps. If you're going to install OS4 you will already have an accelerator with local memory slots available so that would eliminate the issue :) Of course buying an A4000 accelerator can be a bit pricey these days. That's an understatement :)
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LambdaCalculus
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by LambdaCalculus Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:50 am

I'm also getting the add-on card for the VA2000 as well. It does make sense to pass everything through one card and one monitor. :)

If I can find a good accelerator on the cheap, that's also on my list as well. It doesn't even need to have PPC on board; I don't intend on running OS4 on the 4000. I want to keep it 68K based, but a juicy 68060 upgrade is on my wishlist. :)

If there's a modern day accelerator card for the 4000 that'll give me some powerful performance out there, this will be me finding it:

Image
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by pgovotsos Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:24 pm

There's a few on AmiBay now. Both 040 and 060. Prices aren't TOO bad :)
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LambdaCalculus
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by LambdaCalculus Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:45 pm

I did find a guy selling 040-to-060 adapters, but of course I have to hang onto money for Thanksgiving. :P
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by pgovotsos Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:56 pm

Acill is selling brand new 3640s that can use the 040 to 060 adapter without ever having to have an 040. They are a new run of cards with all the fixes applied. Very reasonable price.

Of course the downside is no memory of the board which means slower performance.

I have a Cyberstorm MkII that I may be ready to let go of in the near future if that's something you would be interested in. I'm not definite that I am (if it can be avoided I hate giving up spare parts) or what kind of price to ask.
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LambdaCalculus
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by LambdaCalculus Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:13 am

A Cyberstorm MkII? Hmmm, sounds tempting. :)

I wouldn't know what kind of price to put on it either, but I'm not exactly rolling in dough myself. I'm even having to piecemeal purchases for the A4000 so I don't blow all the money I need for rent, food, bills, etc. all at once.

But if you are willing to unload the MkII at a reasonable price, I'm definitely interested.
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intric8
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by intric8 Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:48 am

There's an 060 Cyberstorm MKIII on Ebay right now with 128MB RAM. Wow - did they only make a handful of these? "Crown jewel" is right. :shock:
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LambdaCalculus
 
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Re: Amiga 4000 restoration progress

by LambdaCalculus Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:09 am

DAT PRICE TAG THO :shock:

That's more than my monthly rent!! :o

cyberstorm-too-pricey.png
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