Vintage & Retro Computer Project
Rescue, Repair & Relive Yesterdays Technology

Todays Date: April 23, 2024

RETRO DATE: Late 80’s Early 90’s

AMIGA 500+

The Commodore Amiga 500 was a personal computer released in 1987 by Commodore International. It was the successor to the Amiga 1000 and was designed to be more affordable and accessible to the average consumer.

The Amiga 500 was powered by a Motorola 68000 processor and featured 512KB of RAM, which was expandable to 1MB. It had a graphics and sound chip called the Denise and Paula, which allowed for high-quality graphics and sound capabilities. The Amiga 500 was popular among gamers and was known for its ability to run smooth, fast-paced games with colorful graphics.

History

The Commodore Amiga has to be my favourite home computer. This computer looked light years ahead of any other home computer on the market at the time, and even today, still looks fantastic.

I have had several Amiga 500’s over my lifetime but sadly none of them survived, and I even swaped one of an PC Clone (386) as that was the next evolution in home computing at the time.

In terms of hours, I probably spent more time on the Amiga 500 than any other computer I have owned. Continuting from the commodore 64, the same skills were used to upgrade, and acquire software without instructions.

X-Copy was the favourite disc backup solution, and very soon I had discs into the 1000’s. Although in the early days I played alot of games on my Commodore Amiga, I also spent alot of time looking into other software and solutions.

I spent a bit of time looking into programming and did a bit of coding in AREXX and COBOL. Later on, I also worked abit with a genlock to add titles and overlay graphics to video.

EBAY LISTING:

Amiga 500+ in really nice order & Boxed

Board has virtually no battery damage and has had a full recap with quality caps from RS (Nichicon, Panasonic etc) a new battery has also been fitted (and tested with setclock) (Kickstart ROM is Version 2.04)

Floppy Drive has had heads cleaned and is in full working order – it is a Chinon Unit
Case is nice and white and in really nice order – no cracks/splits etc – all port covers present
Keyboard is really nice and white and works PERFECTLY !
Red Power & Caps LED…a really nice addition
A 0.5Mb RAM expansion is included to bring RAM to 1.5Mb and has been fully tested and working.

An Amiga tank mouse is included and has been fully refurbished, stripped down, cleaned, new silicon grease and 2 brand new micro-switches soldered in – works REALLY smooth – cosmetically it is average – but not overly yellowed

Comes Boxed with polys (Middle Poly missing) and insert / 2 manuals all in fair condition and Power Supply (Light Version) Is also Included

An A520 Modulator with RF lead and “Y” Audio Lead included – but for optimal picture Quality it is recommended to buy an Amiga->SCART lead.

After my Ebay purchase arrived, I took the computer apart to check the components and clean the case as much as possible.

As described in the listing, the item was in overall good condition and was clean and look in original condition in terms of colour.

ACCESSORIES & UPGRADES

PHILIPS 17″ TFT MONITOR

Philips 17 Flat Screen PC VGA Computer Monitor and cables Tilt Swivel

I started off with the included modulator, and quickly upgraded to a scart lead. This was very good, but wanted to get as close as possible to my original setup which included a Philips CM8833 monitor.

They are available on Ebay, but very expensive and mostly collection only as CRT’s are known to damage during courier delivery.

I looked overy Ebay and found a flat screen Philips VGA monitor. The problem is that the Amiga outputs video at 15htz and most VGA screens are around 50 to 60htz so it would not just plug in and work. I purchased a scandoubler/flickerfixer to resolve this issue.

SCANDOUBLER / FLICKERFIXER

Indivision ECS V2 is designed for Amiga models with OCS or ECS and a socketed Denise chip (i.e. Amiga 2000). 

All screenmodes are converted to frequencies of 60Hz or more (output optionally at 50Hz for compatible monitors), and the S-Hires mode of the ECS chipset is displayed in full resolution. Indivision ECS V2 can display ECS screenmodes even on systems that previously had an OCS Denise chip; the only requirement is an ECS Agnus chip.

The scaler of Indivision ECS V2 is geared towards preserving the pixel-art appearance of low-res graphics, but can carefully be tuned to blur just enough to make it easy for the eye to believe that the flat screen you’re looking at shows exactly what the vintage 1081 monitor would have shown.

REPLACEMENT MODERN PSU

Amiga 500 PSU OLED Digital Gray UK
Replacement Amiga 500 Power Supply, UK Plug

High-quality Amiga 500/500+/600/1200 replacement power supply unit (PSU). Designed specifically for Amiga systems to preserve them in a pristine condition for years to come.

Stabilized +5V/4.0A, +12V/2.0A, and -12V/0.5A DC ensure continued error-free operation of your Amiga. Robust and sturdy chassis with an OLED digital display, touch sensor, and different styles and colors to chose from. Fully fused and electrically protected, with square DIN5 plug matching the original Amiga PSU pinout.

The original Amiga PSU was tested for voltages and at time of testing, all the correct voltages were displayed. The downside is that the PSU is over 30 years old and they are known to cause issues without warning and sending over voltages in to the Amiga.

The first you know about it is when your Amiga start behaving odly and this may be a damaged chip. Due to the shortage of spares and the cost of the ones that are available, the cost of a replacement PSU is cheaper than fixing any potential damage that may be caused by an old original PSU.

FLOPPY BOOT SELECTOR

Floppy Disk Drive Boot Selector Switch A500+ DF0 DF1 NEW AMIGA KIT 12673

DF0: / DF1: Floppy Drive Boot Selector Switch A500+
DF0: / DF1: Floppy Disk Drive Boot Selector Switch A500+

Use the switch to enable the external floppy disk drive (DF1:) as the boot device. The DF1: device drive is then used as if it were the internal floppy disk drive (DF0:) and the internal drive is disabled.

Switching back restores the internal drive as the DF0: boot device and the external disk drive as DF1:

Compatible with Amiga Gotek drives.

Installation is straight forward: simply remove the floppy CIA chip (marked 8520A) from it’s socket and instead plug it into the boot selector. Plug the boot selector into the empty socket of the CIA chip.

GOTEK FLOPPY ADAPTER

Gotek Floppy External Drive Adapter for Commodore Amiga 500+

Easy to install, just plug the adapter to “Floppy” port of your Amiga, connect cables and Floppy to it. 

Connect Gotek or real Floppy Drive, use this adapter to connect Gotek or Floppy drive as external device – set proper multiswitch function.

Use it as DF1, DF2 or DF3, you can setup one of visible drive in your system – set proper multiswitch function.

Two cables included, power and data cable included, both ~20cm long.

GOTEK FLOPPY EMULATOR

Flash Floppy v2.13 /Oled Display and Rotary Encoder

Flash floppy by Keir Fraser open sourced no licence required.
Directly supports a wide range of image formats:
ADF (Commodore Amiga)

No configuration required! Just dump images into the root of an empty USB stick.
Compatible with the HxC ecosystem: Autoboot and Indexed modes supported, and HFE image files.
FlashFloppy is Free and Open-Source Software.

ACA500+
The ACA500plus features an MC68SEC000 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.

The MC68SEC000 processor is clocked at 14.1MHz as standard,and is guaranteed to run at up to 21.2MHz. This will give your computer more than a double-speed boost. CF cards are handled like harddisks on the Amiga-side.

ACA500plus is an external expansion which is plugged to the left expansion port of your A500 or A500+. 

Package includes:

  • ACA500plus with DisMo, 68ec000, 8MB RAM, 8MB Flash
  • short instruction manual German/English

Software included in the flash ROM:

  • Kickstart V1.2, V1.3, V3.1
  • Full OS3.1 disk set with fully automatic installer
  • Action Replay 3 (patched for ACA500plus)
  • HRTmon
  • Thor’s 040/060 libraries as resident modules
  • Thor’s mmu and memory libraries
  • Network software, TCP/IP Stack for X-Surf-500

 

ACA 500 PLUS CASE

ACA500Plus housing printed in white 3D!

The housing consists of 3 parts.

– The top shell. It offers space for the VGA output of the Indivision ECS V2 as well as 2 recordings for the CF cards. In addition, the activity of the LEDs is shown on the top of the housing.

– The mounting plate for the ACA500 + including 3 M3 fastening screws and 4 M3 countersunk screws (TX9 (Torx)) for screwing the base plate to the upper shell. There is also space for a turbo card (as an example in the pictures a 1230 / IV).

– A button for ActionReplay

If you have an existing ECS ​​v2, we recommend installing it in the A500 only after assembly. It is also the other way around, but is then a bit fiddly;)

The housing parts are screwed together. 

The Amiga Diag Rom is used so I can run tests and diagnose any faults that may occur over time.

SystemInfo
Audio Tests
Memory Tests
IRQ/CIA Tests
Graphics Tests
Port Tests
Drive Tests
Keyboard Tests
Other Tests
Setup

Summary

The Amiga 500+ has been future proofed as much as possible by replacing the 30 year old PSU and adding hardware to move to SD Card media instead of using very old floppy drives and discs.

Adding the ACA500+ has provided a huge benefit in performance and provides the facility to boot from CF card as a hard drive.

17" TFT VGA Monitor

ACA500+

Gotek Floppy

Scandoubler / Flickerfixer

Replacement PSU