Perth Amiga group meeting May 2023
I found out recently about the Perth Amiga User Group (you can find them on Facebook here), and decided to go to one of their meetings in late May 2023 and make a weekend getaway out of it!
However, I couldn't go there empty-handed, so I decided to work some more on my Amiga 600 build, as it is the smallest Amiga and therefore the easiest to bring in my luggage on the 3 hour flight to Perth.
Before I get into the upgrade work, I cranked up the nearby Amiga 500 I have built recently (links here to Part 1 Part 2 Part 3), to play some modules in the updated Hippoplayer while I work on the A600. I also use it to help with copying files I need along the way thanks to the hot swap CF card port on the ACA500 plus.
First things first, I want to upgrade the Kickstart 3.2 rom to the latest 3.2.2 rom released in 2023.
The reason for this (yes I know I can soft kick 3.2.2) is because I want native support in the rom for booting earlier OS3.x version hard disks, which is a new feature in 3.2.2. So, I am changing them all over.
I fired up the Amiga 600 without a hard disk to confirm that the kickstart rom 3.2.2 is working correctly, which I am pleased to say it does!
With that done, I can now install the furia.
I got it from Amigastore.eu, and it came with the floppy disk (which I optioned), and some screws to help prevent it moving once installed on the 68000 cpu.
Here is a look at the underside, you can see the socket that you need to push onto the 68000 cpu which is surface mounted on the A600 boards.
There are no instructions included with the Furia. For such an expensive expansion with complex setup requirements, this doesn't make any sense to me at all.
With that, I could then attach the screws to the Furia board correctly. Well, I assume it is correct as there are no instructions...I checked the Czech support page on the Furia board, but it didn't mention about the screws.
It did talk about the commands for tuning the Furia configuration, called Furiatune. I used the Amiga 500 next to my A600 to copy the required files to the CF card I use in the A600, so I can use it.
The ACA500 plus is so useful at times like this. I could copy over a bunch of newer games, demos and mods to the A600 CF card too while it was inserted in the Aux card slot :-)
With the copy being done, I mounted the Furia on the 68000 cpu on the A600. I can see straight away I need a solution for the IDE cable/CF converter as it is obviously not a good idea to rest it on top of the heat sinks of the Furia!
Close up of the screws resting on the A600 board. On the ACA630 it came with securing screws to screw it down using the IDE cage holes. No chance of that here. It is clear that any major movement on the A600 is likely to cause the Furia to pop off the 68000 cpu.
Now I need to do something about the CF card/ide cable issue. The Furia board is too close to the connector to use the current setup.
In my A1200 system, I have a neater solution that sits on the IDE connector horizontally, and repositions the CF converter 90 degrees so it is cable free. The Indivision AGA board gets hot too, so I needed a solution for that.
This machine is also due for an AmigaOS 3.2.2 rom upgrade as it is using Workbench 3.1 ROMS at the moment still. All in good time.
I put the old A600 ide converter and cable into the A1200, and bent it back 90 degrees so it doesn't sit over the Indivision AGA.
I then decided to relocate the ide converter from the A1200 to the A600 to resolve the issue with the Furia.
This is much better - I'll need to get another one of these ide converter boards for the A1200 now I think, so I can keep this one in here.
The A600 is very busy internally now. IDE to CF converter, Furia 020 accelerator with Fast memory, Indivision 604n chip memory upgrade board with Indivision ECS scan doubler on it, Gotek floppy drive emulator with LED display, with space in between to add the clockport Rapid road or subway usb in the future into the clockport on the A604n. Whew!
Using the Amiga 500, I edited the s:startup-sequence on the A600 CF card to run the Furiatune section, as per the recommended setup.
The system however fails to boot up using the CF Card into AmigaOS 3.2 with the Furia installed! I booted using a AmigaOS 3.2 Install disk and can not see the drive on the workbench.
I ran the HD toolbox and confirmed it didn't see the IDE CF device at all. Since it works fine when the Furia is not installed, I know the culprit.
I tried it in two different ways - one way with the CF to SD card converter, and one with the IDE to SD converter.
I then read that most people who have tried have been flat out unable to get the Furia to work with AmigaOS 3.2 AT ALL. Including me it seems. Apparently it works fine with AmigaOS 3.1...
I removed the Furia and confined it to a spare parts bin (let me know if you want one as I will never use it again!). I then installed the ACA630 in it's place.
It recognises and boots my A600 from the ide converter no problem. I tested SD and CF and both worked fine.
I set to work installing software I wanted on the A600 for the Perth Amiga group meeting. The time wasting with the Furia reduced the time I had to prepare the machine...
I wanted to get the networking happening with a PCMCIA card, but ran out of time before I needed to pack the A600 for the trip to Perth for the meeting.
I used to live in Perth before, it is a beautiful city. Coming back again in 2023 just reminded me how beautiful it is.
I then took a taxi to the meeting in the afternoon, excited to meet everyone! I couldn't fit a screen into my luggage, so I had arranged for one of the helpful attendees to bring a spare TFT screen with them so I could borrow it for the night. Thanks Ian for that - you are a star!
I got it setup eventually, along with the new wireless Tank mouse, Arcade R joystick, and the latest Amiga Addict magazine I received only a day before I went to Perth.
Next up was an Amiga 1000 with the PC sidecar and external gotek:
On the raffle table was three prizes with tickets purchased and raffled on the night - Amiga 500, C64 and a Megadrive. I bought a few tickets as I really wanted the Amiga 500 for another project - fingers crossed!
Next up was an Amiga 500 with Pistorm installed, running CaffeineOS RTG Workbench, with CRT for the standard resolution gaming needs!
The meeting was extremely well organised and organisers kept attendees well informed about everything throughout the night, when raffle would be drawn, the quiz night timing, and auctions for Amiga and other hardware.
Here is a closer look at the full on Amiga 1200 setup, not in a case yet, presumably due to the cooling needs of the attached expansion board!
Closer look at that expansion board - spotting a Blizzard PPC board with something else in the socket...Raspberry pi emulator perhaps? Didn't get to ask the guy who brought it in!
Close up of the remade A1200 motherboard with clockport expander installed - interesting white colour with purple Indivision AGA mk3 scan doubler board - no idea you could get them in different colours!
As our only local Amiga dealer in Australia, I try to support them and have bought my A1200 blue case, and multiple power supplies from them in recent times. If you are in Australia, please consider them the next time you want Amiga parts and avoid all those horrible overseas shipping charges!
As mentioned earlier, there was an auction on the the night - someone got a very cheap re-capped Amiga 600!
With huge amount of Pizza then arriving and the Quiz night portion of the event underway, I managed to prove I know Amiga trivia quite well, but WA local politics not so much. So sadly I didn't get any of the prizes for the Quiz!