About a year ago I had this idea of completely revamping an old Amiga 500+ that originally belonged to Zelest.
He gave it to me like 15 years ago as he didn't have any use for it. For about 14 years it collected dust in my
self-storage unit. When I eventually went to get it, amazingly the battery had not been running out over the entire
motherboard as in so many other cases. It seems that when I put it away I didn't store it vertically, but
horizontally - just pure luck there.
I know some people think some of this is a sacrelige, modding an Amiga this much. However, there's a whole
load of original untouched Amiga's out there, and this one is mine so I'll just do what I want with it ;D
When it comes to soldering, hardware recapping, broken hardware troubleshooting etc, I'm completely shit.
My thing is OS'es, tweaks, fixing with software problems and, most importantly, Protracker (since 1992).
Doing things like this on my own is a complete no-no;
So, I went on to the Facebook group Retrodatorer säljes/köpes/bytes (C64, ZX, MSX, ATARI, AMIGA mfl) and called
out for help. Here's what happened:
Magnus Carlsson offered to recap the whole thing. Motherboard cleaning, new capacitors, the whole shebang.
Amazing job there!
Magnus also recapped the power supply. Actually more like replaced the whole thing with newer parts, which are
also more reliable.
While he had it there, I bought a kickstart switch-chip made by Jonny Hylander, which Magnus also attached.
Basically you can switch between kickstart 1.3 and 3.1 by holding down the right mouse button when booting.
I went on to ask in the group about GoTEK's. Bought a GoTEK with Coretex firmware from Martin Lumsby.
This is a replacement for the diskdrive, basically you get the ability to read USB-drives with .ADF images on it.
It's the same size as the original diskdrive and has the same power/data interface, which makes it easy to connect.
Magnus also rebuilt the mouse. You know how the buttons feel and sound on an original Amiga mouse?
This one has the feel and sound of any modern day mouse! So much easier to work with Protracker etc now! :D
Andreas Svensson, a co-worker of mine, pointed me to which RGB LED-strips to buy, and he also did all the
soldering work, aswell as making the power connector to it. It's connected to the original disk drive power.
Magnus Carlsson, Tommie Eng and Jonas Axman all pointed me towards the ACA500+ when I was asking about
external harddrives. Taken from the ACA500+ webpage:
"The ACA500plus features an MC68EC000 processor, 8MBytes RAM, 8MBytes Flash, two CF card slots, an Action
Replay-compatible freezer and a stylish 7-segment display called "DisMo". Several expansion ports let you add
even more functionality. If you already have a memory expansion inside your A500, you can continue to use
that in most cases. The MC68EC000-10 processor is clocked at 14MHz as standard.This guaranteed frequency
will give your computer more than a double-speed boost. If that's not enough, you can choose overclocking
to 21, 28 or even 42MHz. By attaching an ACA12xx or Blizzard 12xx accelerator, you make your A500 faster
than a stock A3000."
Yes, having the kickstart-switch chip and the ACA500+ might seem redundant, but here's 2 things about that:
1) I had no idea what an ACA500+ was when I bought the kickstart switch.
2) It's f-ing cool having several things in the same box just because you can. If you can overdrive shit, you should ;D
Benny Norman from NDesign Sweden did the hydrodipping on the chassi. I chose a blue/orange fractal
design for it, inspired by many scene demos (obviously). There's also a video of the actual process.
The Amiga logo on the chassi needed to be re-painted after the hydrodipping was done.
I'm not a painter or a hobbyist painting miniature airplanes and shit, so it'll have to do :P
And ofcourse, gotta show your scene group affiliation on your stuff, right!
The logo is drawn by Bluebird, and is from the demo "Brilliance" from 1995.
I went onto Ebay and bought a Dell 2001FP monitor (from Germany). It's one of the few that can handle 15khz input.
A list of monitors for retro computers can be found here: http://retropedia.ribit.se/wiki/Plattskärmar
Also, a converter from the Amiga graphics RGB interface to VGA had to be bought.
I ordered this one: http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=42&products_id=183
Had no trouble with it at all, just plug and go.
Thanks to everyone who's been involved and helping out, and Zelest for the Amiga! However as I said, I know everyone
won't agree with doing this to an Amiga, but it's what I wanted to do, so sue me ;D
I think it turned out great. Going to Datastorm, Birdie and Edison with this puppy is gonna be great fun.
To contact me, use this link.