Discuss your latest vintage Amiga finds!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

The Phoenix has risen again

by intric8 Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:34 am

One of my most ambitious and exciting hardware conquests arrived yesterday in the post: an original Phoenix board for the Amiga 1000. I have no intention of disassembling my current mint 1000, but during the course of putting it together I have an extra case and PSU I can use for the new addition.

For those that don't know, as the original Phoenix board is very rare, I believe it was the original first-ever crowd funded hardware project for the Amiga. It was based out of Australia, and essentially was a complete redesign of the Amiga 1000 motherboard. Here's why that's so cool:
  • It uses all original chips and has all of the original ports, but it includes a Zorro II slot and a video slot.
  • Agnus gets replaced by Fat Agnus - all of the other chips get transferred over
  • KS 1.3 is pre-installed
  • It can hold up to 4 Kickstarts, which is nuts, and there is a physical switch that is installed to the plastic back panel to flip between two
  • It has an internal RS232 serial header just like the 2000
  • PGA FPU socket and oscillator socket
  • battery backed up clock and it is of the coin variety (no idea if mine is functional or not yet)
  • SCSI port for an internal hard drive. I don't have any extra mechanical ones at the moment (I think) but I do have an extra SCSI2SD card that needs a home. Hm...
  • And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Read more about it here.
In my mind, it fixes a lot of the deficiencies that the 2000 later rectified, but you get to do it within the confines of the 1000's gorgeous design.

Now, alongside this massively awesome piece of historically important hardware is also a mild accelerator board, the Blizzard Turbo Memory Board. Using a CPU off-setter, this machine should get to 14Mhz with 4MB RAM (upgradable to 8, but I'll probably just leave it at 4MB, which is plenty).

Very cool to be a new-comer to this very small club.

This is my winter hardware project. <3
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Front case sticker. I may create a new set based off the original design, as this is looking rather old. I bet there are 100 or so people out there that might like a new one, too.
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The motherboard pulled fresh from it's box from Australia.
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The original Phoenix board is covered in poetry. Talk about a labor of love.
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Original Phoenix motherboard manual. I should probably scan this at some stage.
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Signature on the board by Andrew Wilson, the designer of the Phoenix.

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Phase 5 Blizzard Turbo Memory Card, to likely be paired with the Phoenix
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by LambdaCalculus Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:46 pm

Rise, ye mighty Amiga, and take thy place in the universe! :D

phoenix.jpg
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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mattsoft

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by mattsoft Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:16 pm

Woo-hoo! Glad she made it safely from the other side of the planet!
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pgovotsos

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by pgovotsos Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:55 pm

I always go back and forth about which I like better - the Phoenix or the Rejuvenator. Sure in many ways the Phoenix gave you a more flexible system but keeping the original 1000 motherboard with the Rejuvenator always seemed more true to Amiga itself. The Rejuvenator was an upgrade no different (sort of) than any other. The Phoenix was great but at the cost of all of the original hardware.

Like I said, I never get a final decision for myself which is the best. Both were cool. So why try and decide - get both :)
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by intric8 Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:34 pm

I finally got a chance to sit down tonight and work on this project. I'll write and lot more about it all in the near future, as it is not close to being done. But I can say this:

THE PHOENIX ROCKS!
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It's alive!

It took me about two hours of hair pulling, but I got it to open its sleepy eyes and blink in its new home. Heck, on its new continent!

What an impressive little machine.

I still have some minor video issues to figure out. Currently it's not using the entire 4:3 of my 1084S monitor. And it wouldn't behave at all with my 1080; if I maxed out the vertical hold I could get it to stop flipping vertically, but then it would jiggle. Unusable on the 1080.

But it is completely usable on the 1084S, and I'm going to give it a shot with my professional Amiga CRT in the next day or two.

I have to say that watching this Amiga 1000 boot Kickstart without the need for a floppy is a stunning sight for me to behold. And if I can get the minor video issue figured out + utilize the internal SCSI with a new hard drive? Holy crap! What an amazing little machine this would be.
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Bulletdust

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by Bulletdust Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:05 am

I can't believe I live in Australia and I can't find one of these!

So envious. ;)
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A10001986

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by A10001986 Wed May 30, 2018 12:03 am

Late but anyway, congrats!

I overhauled mine last year, too. In the process the board got MKLs IDE+8MB, and I kicked out the internal SCSI, for two reasons:

1) It is dead slow (MUCH slower than the newly added IDE, despite both polling; the used controller is at fault here)

2) It only works with HDs smaller than 1GB. Note that not the partition size matters here, but the entire HD must NOT be larger than 1GB.

Back in the day, I worked with Michael Warner of Phoenix with the SCSI driver to make it RDB compliant and to speed it up, but drive size was not an issue then. The reason for the size limit is the SCSI command set used for reading and writing [Read/Write(6) instead of Read/Write(10) in SCSI terminology].

In case anyone wants to work on the code, the source can be obtained here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1koz3khnz43xt ... a.zip?dl=0 or here: https://www.a1k.org/forum/showthread.php?t=64712 (link in posting #4)
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A10001986

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by A10001986 Wed May 30, 2018 12:12 am

In completely unrelated news, I walked by St. Paul's Church in Baltimore two years ago without remembering that the text on the board originated from there.
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McTrinsic

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by McTrinsic Wed May 30, 2018 1:36 am

Please remember that the original driver is _old_.
It can use drives larger than 1GB if set up on another Amiga - to certain limits, of course. Don't ask me what the detailed limits are.
The real boost for the SCSI is the combination of new driver with hardware-mod.
I reach up to 1MB/sec with an 030 on the internal SCSI.
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A10001986

Re: The Phoenix has risen again

by A10001986 Wed May 30, 2018 2:06 am

That driver is the newest one (from Phoenix) available. On an un-accelerated machine without fast RAM it would not pass 130k/sec (using a modern SSD, that easily does 3.9MB/sek on my A3000s).

Also, as regards the size limit, the details are that the SCSI standards knows various read and write commands, which differ in range of "logical block address". Read(6) has IIRC only 21 bits for the "logical block address". For larger HDs you would need at least the Read(10) command, featuring IIRC 32bit for the "logical block address". Block numbers would wrap around and start from 0 when higher numbers are requested. (Frankly I don't remember why the limit is in fact 1GB while 21 bits would provide room for 2GB, but perhaps there is another restriction involved or my memory fails me in bit numbers).

Maybe the pseudo-DMA driver used other SCSI commands, but for the polling original driver, 1GB drive size is it. (Yes, you could prepare a larger drive using another controller/driver combination, but whatever you do, you must never ever pass the 1GB limit on the HD because the driver cannot address blocks with numbers >1GB.)

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