Saturday, April 17, 2010

A600: Apollo 630 stability mod (2)

One little update (and since I told "temporarily" in a previous post)...

The mini PCB that I putted to just test the stability is now removed, and the 2xCapacitors+Power header is attached on the Apollo without extension.
It took a bit of patience but I think it's just fine and very steady (it doesn't move at all).

A600: Apollo 630 stability mod (1)

Ok, one more update since AT LAST it's Saturday and I got time for some hackery!

First of all, I made a quick PCB for stabilizing the Apollo plus putting a mini 2pin socket for the external power when it arrives (PicoPSU+Adapter on the way! lol) along with the 100μF Electrolytic capacitor + 100nf Ceramic capacitor.
Since Mika's adapter is very close on the left, I couldn't make a left "attached to PCB" solution with all the components soldered since it would interfere with the adapter. So, I just made a 2-wire extension from the Apollo to the mini PCB and attached it (temporarily) with some drops of hotglue on the Apollo until I find a better spot to put it
(Don't scream, it's very easy to remove - I tested it lol)

Next step was putting at last the VGA connector to a better spot. Hmmm what should we remove... Oh I know! The sh**y unwanted TV-Modulator!
Ok away it went and after some Dremeling on the metal backplate plus the A600's case ready it was.

Pretty neat huh? I couldn't believe how neat also would have been, putting the rest of the cable under Mika's adapter! Man it rox!

And one last photo of the complete and ready setup (...for now...) that was tested and works like a charm!

--------- Picture Missing. Will be added soon! ---------

Stay tuned...

Friday, April 16, 2010

A600: Mika's CF to adapter installation

Mika's custom angled CF to IDE adapter arrived 2 days ago so I had to get some more photos.

I just love how nice is aligned with the Apollo! Since I won't need any CD-ROM solution to this Amiga (at least for now lol) I thought that this was a clean and nice solution.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A600: It has began :)

Hi guys, I thought of sharing my A600 project as I did with my A1200D PPC one.
The A600 was my favorite (my means of appearence and size) Amiga in my childhood but I was never able to get one with my pocketmoney... After many many years I got one and was able to get even an M-Tec 630 with 4MB RAM. Was a true beast but sadly the lack of more RAM was always an issue plus with a hungry A1200D PPC project eager to continue, I sold it

Some years after and kinda feeling bad for giving my baby, I decided to get one more A600 (part by part to be less expensive) just for the fun part of it.
I managed to get an 1.5rev mobo for 15euro, one pretty neat case for 7euro and a clean keyboard with 7euro also. As a summary was 29euro for complete A600 without PSU and Floppy (which I already had) so I thought it was ok
I spend a large amount of time into cleaning the case since it was pretty dirty but almost white. Keyboard was perfect but also dirty. Dismantled all keys and washed them one by one! (What a sh*ty proccedure lol). In the end, it was well worth it! (pics soon).

For the hardware part I really wanted an Apollo since 2005, but being unable to find I thought of waiting for a 2nd or 3rd batch of A608... so I just ordered an A603+Indivision ECS for feeling a bit l33t
When I was in easter vacation (and because one colleague wake me early in the morning to support him in a harware issue) I couldn't sleep so I thought of checking the forums+eBay for my casual searches...
...THEN SUDDENLY it hit me!
An Apollo 630@40MHz+FPU+Original Box+Manual tested and working for 160euro BIN??? WTF?
I made a 15second check on seller+feedback and bought it faster than a speeding bullet!

Ofc I contacted seller for some pics and Tracking ID... and everything was just fine...

After a long waiting week (shippment from Spain to Greece) it arrived yesterday! W00h00!

Ok... enough for long talk (sorry for keep ya waiting lol). Time for teh hackery!
First of all I'd like to thank Christian Krenner for the inspiration and wonderfull how-to's on his so many years website

Ok first of all... A603 doesn't fit right with Apollo 630 not to mention Indivision ECS = NOT AT ALL

Image taken from Christian's website since I forgot to shoot mine

Only way to fit without bending the Apollo's right side... is by cutting A603's top left pin from the 48pin socket, putting another 48pin socket on top, and bridging the pin under the A603 with the pin from the upper socket.

Since I couldn't find localy an 48pin socket but only 40pin ones (round gold ones) I cut the remaining 8pins from another 40pin socket LOL (sorry but it was the best I could do)

Ok, 1st step done... On the Apollo now... :S
The jumpers that Apollo has for WAIT state and Enabling/Disabling the RAM had to be removed since they can't fit with Indivision ECS (VGA header is on the way), so carefully the left:

...and YES! Now it fits like a glove!

Image taken from Christian's website since I forgot to shoot mine

Some more photos from different angles:

Pretty awesome stuff!
Powering on and testing was 100% succesfull so I went with installing OS3.9 with help of my A1200's 4way buffered interface+CF Adapter+Slim DVD-RW... Thanks sistah. Of course I also putted the usual outstanding copper VGA heatsinks I always use and some other temporary heatsink to the 030 (he will get a fan also don't worry)

Everything went smoothly without even much heat (odd), and now I installed OS3.9 BB3@640x512@8 colors. It's pretty fast and neat
Tried for fun HighGfx 1024x768 as shown in Christian's website... but 4colors seem ugly, but the worst part... is that they whole experience SUX bigtime. Everything is so slow that I thought of starting smoking... hahahah!

That's about it for now...

I'm waiting some more parts like Mika's custom angled CF adapter for everything to fit just fine, and some other things