Discuss your latest vintage Amiga finds!
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primitivefunction

Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by primitivefunction Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:50 am

I thought I’d share this recent pick-up.

This beauty arrived on my door step yesterday. This is in fact my third A1000 (yes, I have a problem!) but I decided to pull the trigger on this one since it came with the original 1.1 disks and looked to be in fantastic shape. The main unit is as close to mint as I’ve seen. Normally you would at least see a scratch or two where someone’s dragged a monitor across the lid but this one is happily perfect. The sidecar door is still attached and the 256k front RAM expansion is installed.

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The keyboard is a little dirty but should clean up nicely. No yellowing. Strangely it’s missing two of its square feet. If anyone knows where I can find replacements please let me know. The clear plastic screw protectors are still intact so it doesn’t look like anyone’s been in there before. One other nice surprise was that this machine came with a large-coiled keyboard cord. I believe these were only included with early NTSC models before they switched to the more common small-coiled cord - but I could be wrong.

Unfortunately the mouse is broken. I opened it up to find the little plastic post that holds the x-axis wheel had snapped off and is long gone. Pity. Perhaps I’ll keep it around for parts.

So the next step was to fired her up.

The first thing I noticed was that the fan is on this machine is gloriously quiet, definitely the quietest 1000 I’ve had so far. The disk drive is also very quiet, but still has that lovely A1000 crunch! All of the included disks worked apart from Workbench which looks to have gone bad. The first thing I tried was booting into Kickstart 1.1 (for that authentic 1985 experience). It displays the usual Workbench hand but there is no version info like you have with 1.2 or 1.3. I soon discovered that of the software I had at hand, very little was happy about running under 1.1. Oh well.

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I was happy to finally have an original copy of Graphicraft, and I hope to delve a bit deeper with that soon.

The next step is to open up the machine and check out its innards, and give everything a light clean, hopefully tomorrow. I’ll probably add some fast RAM at a later date. Should be fun!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by intric8 Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:06 am

That machine's case looks glorious. Nice find.

The clear plastic screw protectors are still intact so it doesn’t look like anyone’s been in there before.


I've got several A1000s (five - I'm done, I swear!). Out of all of them, I've only had one machine where the keyboard still had the clear screw protectors on the bottom of the keyboard. I think for machines that got a lot of use, they simply slid off at some stage as people moved their keyboards in and out of the garage for years. I did have to remove mine, though, as the keyboard needed a deep clean. And man, it was nasty in there. But the keyboards are really stout. My clear stickers had strong enough glue that I was able to reapply them after the clean.

Another thing I've noticed with the keyboards as I compare them all side-by-side: some of the keyboard keys can fade slightly - meaning the letters and numbers. Sometimes a key might be less black and almost blue. Hard to explain. It did take me a little while to figure out how to open the dang thing the first time as it wasn't obvious to me, too.

One other nice surprise was that this machine came with a large-coiled keyboard cord. I believe these were only included with early NTSC models before they switched to the more common small-coiled cord - but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure I follow this entirely, but think I may know what you're talking about. You don't mean the actual length of the cable - just the size of the coiled loops? So...

One of my keyboard cables I acquired was really nasty. I took some Krud Kutter on a wad of paper towels and, holding one end, grabbed the (telephone) cable and pulled down the cable to clean it. As such, this made the coils un-coil and stretch a little bit. It made some of them try to reverse their normal coil rotation, so I had to go in there and undo some of that afterwards. Reminded me in a wave of nostalgia the old handsets my mom STILL uses at home, and eventually twist.

But yeah, I made one of mine have slightly larger coils as a result, but it looks new now as a result. (The paper towel turned brown, no lie).

But there very well could be a difference in the cable. I'd be interested in seeing a pic of it next to a "normal" one to really understand what you're talking about.

I can't believe how low that serial number is. I know Dave Needle had 0000001, which he got right off the Japanese production line and held onto until the very end.

Gorgeous pickup, man. Congrats!
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EzdineG
Springfield, MO

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by EzdineG Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:38 am

Really nice find. Was this off of eBay?

Amiga 1000's have recently gone up in price there. There seems to be a renaissance of sorts with them; I'd certainly never let mine go!
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McTrinsic

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by McTrinsic Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:14 am

For a broken mouse you might want to consider the optical upgrade sold by amigakit.

Otherwise - awesome find!!
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primitivefunction

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by primitivefunction Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:23 am

Thanks guys. :)

EzdineG -

Yes, this was eBay. I never seem to have much success finding Amigas locally.

I think people are starting to realise how special the 1000 is hence the prices are climbing. I have a 500 and a 1200 but the 1000 is a different creature entirely - definitely my favourite Amiga. :)

intric8 -

Yes - I’m fastidious about cleaning keyboards so tomorrow I’m going to take this thing apart and clean it keycap by keycap. I’ll do my best to scrape the screw protectors off without destroying them - do you have any tips?

Re the keyboard cord, I think you’re probably right! Perhaps excessive cleaning of the cord by the previous owner caused the coils to enlarge over time - that makes sense now that I think about it. I still hold that this kb cord is a little different to the other A1000 cords I have - its definitely a different colour. I’ll try to take a photo. :)

I’ve actually noticed there are two types of A1000 keyboards - one of mine has a very satisfying ‘clicky’ feel whereas the other two are quieter and ‘spongier’. It seems they used two types of switches but I haven’t found any concrete info on this. Have you noticed a difference with yours?
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primitivefunction

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by primitivefunction Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:27 am

McTrinsic -

Great idea! I hadn't even thought of that but that will work nicely.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by intric8 Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:30 am

I’ll do my best to scrape the screw protectors off without destroying them - do you have any tips?
I have a fairly large set of dental tools which I use for sculpting. I used one with a 90-degree angle pick to slide under each and pry them off gently. Had to do it very slowly and carefully so as not to scrape the plastic.

As for the clickiness - I have noticed that with Commodore 64's before. And, frankly, I don't think it had anything to do with the switch and more how worn out the switches/springs were. You could sit there and press them and notice that with this board, the key felt spongey like you say, and this other machine would have more resistance (and actually felt better) to a finger press. I swapped a shell with a keyboard to get me the good keys before.

But, who knows? There are definitely small differences between the 1080 monitors - I've found out the hard way. Things you'd never know until you cracked one open. So there could be with the 1000's keyboard, too.
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A10001986

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by A10001986 Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:18 am

McTrinsic wrote:For a broken mouse you might want to consider the optical upgrade sold by amigakit.

Otherwise - awesome find!!


Last time I checked (mid 2017) that "upgrade" did not fit into the A1000 mouse.

Also, I have two of those, one for a version of the tank, the other for the A1200-mouse, and both work soso... well, the work, but they are not perfect. Pointer keeps moving although I am not touching the mouse. Mouse too light, had to add considerable weight inside to keep the feeling.

IMHO a waste of money.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by intric8 Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:30 am

It is true that the laser upgrade won’t fit the A1000 tank with the L-connector, which is unfortunate.

And since upgrading 10 months ago, I also have experienced the pointer drift, which is a nuisance. As soon as you touch the mouse it stops, but can return in the same session.

And I added a lot of weight inside my mouse case which also helped tamper down the noise from the button switches.

It’s not the worst mouse, but it could be far better if they fixed the drift.
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primitivefunction

Re: Minty Amiga 1000 - Recent Acquisition

by primitivefunction Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:43 am

Ah, thanks for the heads up re the laser mouse. It’s okay as I have a spare (L-connector) tank mouse that I can use with this machine.

A quick update: I pulled the lid off the 1000 this afternoon and wow is it clean inside, almost like its been hermetically sealed. The fan is virtually spotless as is the floppy drive (normally both are magnets for dust and filth). So I decided to not even take the shielding off, as everything looked pristine as far as I could tell (this is in stark contrast to my last 1000 that looked like it had been stored in a chimney stack!)

After that I loaded up some podcasts and got to work on cleaning the keyboard but really it didn’t need a whole lot of attention. I noticed under my work light a slight yellowing of the front side of the space bar (a common place for yellowing to occur when the kb is tucked away in its garage) so I decided to swap it out with the spacebar from my ‘spare’ A1000 keyboard. The spare also kindly donated two of its feet to its new brother. So bottom line this keyboard is now as close to perfect as its likely to get! (I even managed to reapply the little screw protectors - thanks for the advice intric8!)

One last thing I just want to point out for anyone taking apart their A1000 keyboard: those four screws that hold the two halves together are NOT all the same - one is a little shorter than the rest (the silver one that goes in the top right corner. If you try to use one of the longer screws in its place it will likely damage the plastic and cause a bulge on the front of your kb (I learnt my lesson the hard way when I was reassembling a previous kb - thankfully I didn’t make the same mistake this time!)
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