Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:48 am

Found this today on Amiga Retro Brisbane Facebook Group's page. It's a awesome hack for the A1000 and the ACA500+.

The ACA500+ is a very cool external bit of kit designed for the Amiga 500. It gives machines a plethora of modern updates, all through the expansion port.

And, you can use it with the Amiga 1000, too, except it wasn't designed for it. So you have to install it essentially backwards, which is just hideous. And all of the enclosures folks have made for the ACA500 are designed for the 500, so the simply don't work well if you try to use the ACA500/+ with your 1000.

But check this out. Now I know some purists out there will scream bloody murder for cutting the case of a (presumably dead) A1010 external drive, but this is easily the coolest looking hack I've seen for 1000 fans wanting the ACA's features.

Photos via Amiga Retro Brisbane, on Facebook.
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Looks like a regular old A1000.
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The ACA500's expansion port, sticking out the side of an A1010 case.
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The CF cards are popping out the back of the A1000 drive case, for easy access (and you don't have to look at them, which is quite nice IMO).
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A platform to hold the ACA stable and level was created and put inside the case. Voila!
I love this hack.
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dansalvato
Boise, ID

by dansalvato posted Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:53 pm

This is a very cute hack - I think I remember seeing it come up somewhere as well when I was researching ACA500plus compatibility with the A1000. Mine is still left bare with nothing but a small prop to prevent it from sagging, and I've been thinking about what I want to do about it. The main disadvantage of this hack is that the LCD display and button on the ACA500plus aren't accessible while enclosed in the floppy drive chassis. Otherwise I definitely would have tried this for myself too!

On a related note, Jens at Individual Computers has mentioned several times since last year that he has an "ACA1000" sidecar expansion in the works for A1000, which would include a socket for newer Agnus chips. But it sounds like it's a lower priority project of his. Thankfully the ACA500plus is already fantastic.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:21 pm

@dansalvato, I wouldn't hold my breath on an ACA1000 hitting the market any time soon. I've chatted with Jens on multiple occasions about it and it sounds great, but it's just a design on a hard drive somewhere (and has been for years from the sound of it). Jens has a ton of respect and love for the 1000, but I don't think the ACA1000 is a current focus. Just my opinion, though.

By the way - do you ever experience instability with the ACA500 and your 1000? I just picked up the ACA500 myself but haven't installed it on any of my machines yet. A buddy of mine had one, and said once every 4 or 5 boot-ups, the ACA500 wouldn't activate. That instability had him sell it off.

He put his machine on a Rejuvenator he found and a Wicher, and it rocks.
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dansalvato
Boise, ID

by dansalvato posted Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:15 pm

I haven't had any instability whatsoever, it works flawlessly for me. I even keep it running at 21MHz with zero issues. Easily the best thing to ever happen to my A1000, since before this I was stuck on KS/WB 1.3 with no HDDs. I have the older ACA500plus - there was a late 2018 refresh that gave it an improved CPU and some minor aesthetic changes.

I did have to very thoroughly clean the side expansion slot on my A1000 considering it's been exposed to open air and who knows what else for 30 years. Before I did that, the system wouldn't boot from it.
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rmookhram

by rmookhram posted Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:19 pm

Been toying with the ACA500+ and an ACA1233n for a day now. I even hooked up an Microbotics expansion sidecar thing.
I did not clean my expansion bus pins yet though.

a) First run with ACA500+ (made sure the card is installed with the ´Ïndividual´logo/tekst inverted, and the CF-card slots facing the rear side of the A1000): boots, but no Índividual´ boot-screen, just some flashing coulours and eventually a green or purple screen.
b) Took the Microbotics and hooked it up; inserted the ACA500+ : no cigar, black screen (inspired by another A1000 user using several daisy chained side-expansion bus expansion boxes)
c) Removed the ACA500+ (off course after powering off everything): and with Kickstart 1.3 it boots and with workbench I have instant extra memory! (courtesy of the Microbotics)
d) Now hooked up just the ACA500+: boots into Índividual bootscreen!
e) Installed WB3.1 on 16 GB CF card; it crashes during the installation (green and black striped screens)
f) Did a new clean install on another 16 Gb CF card: works like a charm, no crashes. Just 4 GB of card-capacity (is there a limit?)
g) Now hooked up the ACA1233n onto the ACA500+; it boots, it is fast, but alas quite unstable, black and green flickering after a few minutes.

Preliminary conclusions:
-maybe I should clean those pins with a pencil eraser, I guess the sidecar ´cleaned the A1000 expansion bus pins´the first time
-the ACA500+ seems stable without the ACA1233n
-could one get more capacity out of the CF cards larger than 4 GB?

Further questions: what about an internal memory expansion like the Insider expansion, combined with the ACA500+? I read it is not possible to combine these two.

Cheers,

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