The awesomeness: Amiga hardware news - galore! (1/2)
It sounds too good to be true, but in these cases it isn't a hoax. There is a lot, and may I repeat, A LOT going on in Amiga hardware world... In fact it's so much I've split this into two parts.
7-bit's SPI controller for the clockport
On April 24th 2018, 7-bit Retro Electronics announced a new product: The "SPI MasterBus CP" controller for the clockport.
SPI is a simple, flexible, fast serial data interface that allows multiple devices to be connected. It's used by numerous types of devices across all computer platforms, e.g. as an interface to memory card readers (SD, SDHC, CompactFlash, ...), ethernet controllers, flash memory, for CPLD programming, and many more applications.
That makes a fantastic addition to the Amiga's capabilities!
Here are some "SPI MasterBus CP" specifications:
Designed for Amiga A1200’s clock port
SPI bus clock speed: 25 to 195 kHz
Full-duplex data transmission
Up to 4 devices with Slave Select lines
Built-in software will allow you to manage several characteristics of the controller.
Here's an early video showing SD-card access in action:
Keep an eye on their website for full specifications, project progress, and availability:
Jeroen Vandezande's Amiga 1200+ mainboard
With increasing age, Amiga 1200 mainboards (among others) run the risk of taking damage from leaking capacitors, and of course over a timespan of about 30 years there are a lot of other factors that may shorten - or quickly end - a mainboards life.
Wouldn't it be nice to just have the opportunity to purchase or make a new one?
This is one of two projects (see below for the other one) recreating the Amiga 1200 mainboard, Jeroen's "Amiga 1200+" is an updated version with some changes.
The project is covered by Creative Commons license, and you are free to build your own mainboard!
Here's a list of changes compared to the original Amiga 1200 1D4 mainboard, taken from the project website:
- Gayle, Budgie and the DRAM have been removed and the functionality has been moved to a daughterboard. This board can also contain a CPU.
- Video output has been moved to a seperate output board. This board get all Lisa output signals and also all the typical Zorro signals. This means that an RTG card can be developed.
- The PCMCIA slot has been removed and in the free space a power switch, boot selector switch (DF0:/DF1:) and a uSD card slot have been added.
- A single supply universal power input has been added. (15V - 36V)
From this the following voltages are created:
* 5 Volts: main power rail 5 Amp capable
* 12 Volts: 1 Amp capable
* 3.3 Volts: 0.5 Amp capable (for daughter boards)* 1.2 Volts: 0.5 Amp capable (for daughter boards)
- Two PC standard 3 Pin fan headers are added to the board.
- Terrible Fire compatible SPI port for network chip
- Extension board connector for mouse/joystick. (One is in development that has USB Mouse and two classic DB-9 connectors and autoswitches when fire button is pressed.)
The "Terrible Fire compatible SPI port" is an especially nice addition: it shows that Amigans work together - way to go!
Now head over to Jeroen's website, and start building your enhanced Amiga 1200:
John Hertell's Amiga 1200 replica and ReAmiga 1200 mainboards
The other project recreating the Amiga 1200 mainboard comes from John "Chucky" Hertell, well known Amiga hardware guru.
He had already created the A3660 Amiga 4000 replacement CPU module (see http://wordpress.hertell.nu/?p=537 and http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=89200 if you want to know more), and asked the community for his next reverse-engineering project, which turned out to be the Amiga 1200 mainboard.
Well, about two months later, and with the help of other members of the Amiga community, Mr. Hertell had a clone of the original 1D4 version mainboard in Gerber file format!
But he didn't stop there, adding some modifications to the board - here's a list of changes:
- Supports round and square powerconnector
- New reworked composite video logic, with additional S-Video support
- RF-Modulator removed and replaced with optional buffered VGA connector
- Selectable SEL signals for floppy
- Optional NMI (IRQ7) possibility
- A500 compatible keyboard connector (currently untested)
- Support for the Ratteswitch with solderoles for required signals so no need of a socket on CIA
- Extra powerconnectors for +12 and +5V fans, and extra powerconnector close to CPU slot
- PCMCIA reset fix
- Optional onboard LEDs where LED and +5V are separated also optional “opt” led, with jumperwire for PCMCIA activity LED
Well, what can you say - another awesome job by Mr. Hertell.
Check his website for complete first-hand information, and files required to build your own Amiga 1200 or ReAmiga 1200 mainboard:
Commodore Amiga AA3000 / A3000+ recreated
Both Matthias 'Matze' Heinrichs' and Christian 'Scrat' Euler have recreated a legend: an AGA-chipset equipped Amiga 3000!
Sadly, there's no open source re-creation (yet?) of the mainboard, probably due to technical difficulties (8-layer board) - but nontheless, this is another great example of the capabilities of the Amiga community. Who would've thought we'd see these ultra-rare machines outside of Commodore's laboratories one day?
Read the full story with pictures and files over at amiga-news.de: