Upgrading the Amiga 1200 Part 1
Today is the first part of my Amiga 1200 upgrade. As you may remember, earlier this week I took delivery of a recapped Amiga 1200, with the promise of more to come on the weekend. Well the weekend is now here so let's get started!
First order of business was removing the A1200 case to see the condition of things internally - as you can see it is in good condition:
The previous owner has installed a AmigaKit IDE to CF card, with a Amigakit prepped 4GB SD card. The owner also installed the AmigaOS 3.1 ROMS - the CF converter had been stuck to the Alice chip to stop it moving around. I removed this as I need access to the Lisa Chip:
Specifically I need access to the Lisa chip to install an Indivision AGA MK2 scan doubler with DVI output - these are available in MK2CR form from Amigastore.eu, Individual Computers, Vesalia and AmigaKit:
The Indivision AGA MK2 comes with a long cable to connect the DVI output portion to the expansion port on the Amiga 1200 including the screw needed to connect it to the A1200 case and an earth connection as well.
Here is the Indivision AGA MK2 now installed in the Amiga 1200:
The IDE to CF converter fits nicely on the top of it:
As you may be aware, Amiga 1200 cases suck to work inside, so it is easier to leave the casing off while testing things - here it is ready to try out:
The Indivision AGA Mk2 works well, and the Workbench appears almost instantly thanks to the CF card installed.
As covered in my previous blog entry, this Amiga 1200 has a MBX 1200z expansion card installed in it, with 8MB fast memory, real time clock and 68881 FPU:
It is enough to play whdload games and demos:
But...I want it to do more, so first I installed my Apollo 060, which runs at 66Mhz with 32MB fast memory:
Alongside this I also installed an older IDE expander I have that gives the A1200 2x3.5 inch IDE ports and one 2.5 IDE port. And my 60GB hard disk from my Amiga 600/1200 systems in the past:
This hard disk has AmigaOS 3.9 installed on it, and quickly boots up:
Having confirmed that the Apollo 060 works, I then removed it to try out an 030 accelerator I bought recently for the A500 ACA500 expansion (which takes A1200 accelerators):
Specifically this is the 2016 released ACA1233n 030-25Mhz accelerator from Individual Computers. I purchased mine recently from Amigastore.eu:
This accelerator has 128MB memory and optional Real Time Clock expansion installed!
If you choose not to use the clock port for this, you can also use it to connect the Rapid Road USB expansion, and put the Real Time clock expansion on the internal Clock port on the A1200 instead.
The clock port on the accelerator apparently offers 50% better performance of the Rapid Road USB when installed on it - will have to try that later!
Here is the ACA1233n installed in the A1200 - it is quite small and fits easily in the expansion slot underneath:
The boot up is a little too quick for my IDE hard disk so I get the insert disk prompt:
One reboot later and we boot up as normal and I now have 128MB fast memory and an 030 25Mhz Amiga 1200:
Performance is nothing to write home about - the Apollo 060 would of course be much faster.
However I have this Amiga 1200 because I wanted 030 compatibility with AGA demos. Lots of AGA demos released from 1994-1998 period were specifically written for 030 50Mhz Amiga 1200 systems, and don't work on 040 and 060 accelerator cards, such as in my Amiga 4000t.
Hence why I bought this system. However the 25Mhz CPU speed is not fast enough, so I have organised to buy a 55Mhz version of the 030 accelerator which should give me what I need to run all demos from that era on the Amiga 1200! More to come on that when I get it :-)
In the meantime I need to package the Indivision AGA mk2 into the Amiga 1200 case so I can finish this part of the work. I first needed to remove the floppy drive to gain access to the small expansion slot on the rear of the Amiga 1200:
Here is the slot before and after removing the plastic cover:
I then connected the DVI connector module to the expansion bay using the available screw hole to hold it in place:
Here is the view of the DVI port at the back of the Amiga 1200 as I put it back together partially:
Just before I put the case back on, with the floppy drive now back in place, with the ribbon cable from the Indivision AGA Mk2 to the DVI port module running underneath the floppy drive:
All connected up and ready to try out:
Of course I had to test a suitable 030 demo to start with - and what better than Essence's Makaveli demo from 1996:
Running nicely, even with only 25Mhz at my disposal:
Hunting around the CF card I found some modules to play back with Hippoplayer as well!
There is a lot more work to do on this Amiga 1200 - stay tuned for the next part soon!