Discuss your latest vintage Amiga finds!
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Dynamic_Computing

Breathing new life into my old A500

by Dynamic_Computing Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:15 pm

My original A500 from 1987 has not seen much use. She was mostly retired in 1992 when I got my A3000, and only turned on every few years to verify it worked. Well, I was going to do a 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast a few months back about my A570 CD drive, hooked everything up, and no keyboard response! After some testing, I found that 3 keys still worked... Of course I checked chips, connectors, etc... And finally took the keyboard apart and found three or four breaks in the membrane. I tried a patch job to no avail. Vesalia.de had new membranes, so I ordered one and put that little guy in - yippee! Keyboard worked again! A few months back I found a spare MegAChip in my Amiga stash - I did not even know I had one... So out goes the old 1 MB Agnus and in goes the new one! I thought I might have to do a little soldering, but to my surprise the mods were already done when I had the 1 MB Agnus installed in the early nineties. Literally pop or the old, pop in the new, and now I have two MB of CHIP RAM! Now she is a useful girl again ... And now I am ordering an ACA500 card from Individual Computers to install in her.
I have no idea why. I have plenty of working Amiga's!
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obitus1990
Louisiana

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by obitus1990 Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:24 pm

One can never truly have too many Amigas :)

Now, fix up that case and retro brite that keyboard!
User avatar
Dynamic_Computing

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by Dynamic_Computing Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:12 pm

Yep. The case is broken in two places. Probably in one of my many moves over the years. I may just get a new case, I think someone still produces new ones. Or was that A1200 cases?
Not sure about the retro bright thing. It bothers me very little.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by intric8 Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:17 am

Really cool to see you got it working again. Success stories are the bestest. :)
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Mr.Toast

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by Mr.Toast Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:02 pm

Hi Doug. I messaged you in that evil mega social media platform on the A500 membrane replacement. I'm glad you mentioned where you got it from as I quickly ordered one for myself. I have an intermittent membrane due largely to embrittlement at where the membrane connects to the keyboard PCB. I have done repairs on it already-but every disconnect cycle it keeps opening up new cracks. Resistance readings between the pads and the flex connector are borderline-explaining why it works temperamentally. All keys work fine except the Amiga keys at this point.

Thanks for the tip on that vendor.

I've been thinking it would be a fun project to DIY a TerribleFire card since the price point is pretty reasonable and if it explodes into blue smoke, no major loss. There's also a few other modern diy boards that might be fun to build for the a500. Any suggestions?

Chris "Toast"
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obitus1990
Louisiana

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by obitus1990 Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:19 pm

Dynamic_Computing wrote:Yep. The case is broken in two places. Probably in one of my many moves over the years. I may just get a new case, I think someone still produces new ones. Or was that A1200 cases?
Not sure about the retro bright thing. It bothers me very little.


THe 1200 cases are available, but the new 500 cases are still in the development stage.
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obitus1990
Louisiana

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by obitus1990 Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:21 pm

Mr.Toast wrote:I've been thinking it would be a fun project to DIY a TerribleFire card since the price point is pretty reasonable and if it explodes into blue smoke, no major loss. There's also a few other modern diy boards that might be fun to build for the a500. Any suggestions?

Chris "Toast"


There is also Matze's 68030-TK DIY Turbo card....look for Matthias Heinrich's github and he has all sorts of amiga projects there.
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EzdineG
Springfield, MO

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by EzdineG Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:13 am

obitus1990 wrote:
Mr.Toast wrote:I've been thinking it would be a fun project to DIY a TerribleFire card since the price point is pretty reasonable and if it explodes into blue smoke, no major loss. There's also a few other modern diy boards that might be fun to build for the a500. Any suggestions?

Chris "Toast"


There is also Matze's 68030-TK DIY Turbo card....look for Matthias Heinrich's github and he has all sorts of amiga projects there.

Better yet, wait for the TF534... It should be released any day now.

Matze's TK card is far more difficult to build and more expensive (~$190 vs $130) . It also appears, on the A1k forum at least, that Matze hasn't been able to stabilize the 64MB board and has mostly given up trying.

I've built several of the aforementioned cards, and the only real benefit to the TK is the buffered IDE. The included Oktagon can push over 10MB/sec on an Amiga 500, which is far beyond the Gayle emulated 2-3MB/sec controller on the TF cards. As you can imagine, it makes for a tremendous difference in machine boot speed.
User avatar
Dynamic_Computing

Re: Breathing new life into my old A500

by Dynamic_Computing Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:28 pm

Mr.Toast wrote:Hi Doug. I messaged you in that evil mega social media platform on the A500 membrane replacement. I'm glad you mentioned where you got it from as I quickly ordered one for myself. I have an intermittent membrane due largely to embrittlement at where the membrane connects to the keyboard PCB. I have done repairs on it already-but every disconnect cycle it keeps opening up new cracks. Resistance readings between the pads and the flex connector are borderline-explaini get why it works temperamentally. All keys work fine except the Amiga keys at this point.

Thanks for the tip on that vendor.

I've been thinking it would be a fun project to DIY a TerribleFire card since the price point is pretty reasonable and if it explodes into blue smoke, no major loss. There's also a few other modern diy boards that might be fun to build for the a500. Any suggestions?

Chris "Toast"


That is great! Glad I could help. The guys at Vesalia are great. I like the DIY idea - you just gave me a great idea for a new "10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast"! I will try to collect info on the current DIY projects available and put out a video on them.

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