User avatar
Overmann

Posted Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:07 am

About two years ago I bought an A500 with embossed logo, red LED and a very early prod number hoping it was a hi-tek machine but alas it was not. Now I JUST bought an A500 with Hi-Tek keyboard but it does not have the embossed logo. Strange stuff! I'll post some pictures when I've picked it up :)

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rpiguy9907

Posted Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:02 pm

Overmann wrote:
Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:07 am
About two years ago I bought an A500 with embossed logo, red LED and a very early prod number hoping it was a hi-tek machine but alas it was not. Now I JUST bought an A500 with Hi-Tek keyboard but it does not have the embossed logo. Strange stuff! I'll post some pictures when I've picked it up :)
I just got a second Chicken Lips since my first one is currently, ahem, resting with a fault.

The new Chicken Lips has the embossed logo and Commodore Key, but it has a Rev6 motherboard - so definitely not an original motherboard.

At least I can say the rumors of the Hi-Tek Keyboard not working with newer motherboards is false (although I do not have a Rev8 A500+ motherboard to test it on).

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Overmann

Posted Sun Jun 21, 2020 10:18 am

I just got the Hi-Tek A500. The keyboard is the filthyest I've ever seen. This is how its looking after I've tried cleaning it with damp cloth and with alkohol. Its a lot better but I have to pull these caps. So far so good :)
Keyboard

I have to pull some of the tops of the switches to clean them. Some of them are SO sticky with some sort of gunk.

It also has an older motherboard then my other A500. And very different cables to the floppy drive :)

EDIT:
Ok, so this is quite nerve-racking. I've found a method that appears to work quite well. I'm using a keycap puller and I have to pull equally from both sides, and at an angle. So I'm pulling up and away from myself. This usually just releases the cap, but sometimes also the top of the switch itself.
When the top of the switch comes off I use a tiny flat tip screwdriver to lever the cap away from the top of the switch. It has worked so far. Many of the switches themselves are dirty on this keyboard. Sticky with gunk. So I might have to clean several of them.. Im quite tense right now :P

Edit 2:
All caps removed:
some switch-tops for cleaning, with springs resting close by.
I'm hoping none of those switch-forks suffer for this. I'm doing my best to be carefull. :)

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:50 pm

@Overmann

This is how I learned how to remove the low-profile keycaps from the Hi-Tek "Space Invader" switches.


I only use this tool with this type of keyboard. A gentle side-to-side rocking and most of them just pop right off. Before I learned how to do this I would pull up on the keycaps and it was a total disaster, springs flying, etc. This keeps the Space Invader intact.

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Overmann

Posted Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:05 pm

intric8 wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:50 pm
@Overmann

This is how I learned how to remove the low-profile keycaps from the Hi-Tek "Space Invader" switches.

I only use this tool with this type of keyboard. A gentle side-to-side rocking and most of them just pop right off. Before I learned how to do this I would pull up on the keycaps and it was a total disaster, springs flying, etc. This keeps the Space Invader intact.
Thanks for the video! That tool looks right for the job allright! :) The one I've been using is the opposite! I'll have to get my hands on one of those. But for now I actually managed to clean this thing, and ALL the switches still work perfectly. I'm extremely excited about this machine. I managed to score this one AND an A4000 in one week, so all things are coming up *ME* right now :)

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Overmann

Posted Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:20 pm

I don't know if this is the right place for it, but I'm having all sorts of strange surprises from my A500 now. First off I had issues with the machine freezing up when trying to open programs. I got to the bottom of it, there was an error with CIAB. With a new CIAB it was working perfectly, so I thought I'd put some 1.3 roms in it but then the machine wouldn't boot at all. Put the 1.2 roms back in and the machine starts but now it won't read disks. It'll take the disk and prod at it a bit but then just kick the kickstart screen back up. I tried the drive in my other A500 and it's perfectly fine. I then tried changing the other CIA as well. No difference.

What could be the issue, and why wouldn't it boot with 1.3 roms? The roms are fine, they've been living in my other A500 for decades.

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jackphlash
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:41 am

I just acquired an NTSC “chicken lips” Amiga 500 with a Hi-tek keyboard, very similar to the one shown in the video. It still had an intact warranty seal and definitely looked like it had never been opened before once I got into it. There wasn’t really anything surprising about what I found inside - it had a green revision 5 board very similar to my other less remarkable NTSC revision 5 Amiga 500. The one interesting thing is that it has a Kickstart 1.3 ROM which seems to be a bit anachronistic, but does make sense from a technical standpoint as the machine came with a sidecar hard drive which I think would require 1.3 to boot from. The only other big difference I’ve spotted so far is that it has a Matsushita (Panasonic) JU-363 floppy drive, while my later rev 5 has a Epson SMD-400, and these two drives feel and sound very different. Both machines have the same serial number labels, the same style hex screws, and red power/green drive lights. The chicken lips does have those weird cylindrical feet, but 3 or the 4 are missing on mine. The chicken lips also came with an encased Microbotics A501 clone installed with the typically leaky VARTA battery which I intend to attempt to repair and clean up later, but for now it’s been pulled. The machine’s serial number is 11404 while my later rev 5 is 110866 - quite a bit later.

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jackphlash
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:21 am

A quick update. I just acquired a 2nd NTSC “chicken lips” with a Hi-tek keyboard that I think will become my daily driver - I just prefer the keyboard so much more. Anyway, this one is almost identical to the first, with the same green revision 5 motherboard though maybe a slightly different iteration of it as it seems like some of the little bodge fixes are gone or different on this one. I also immediately noticed that the mask and printing on the board is a lot more faded, resembling a lot of revision 3s I’ve seen, though whether that relates to aging differently or if it was produced differently, I have no idea. There’s also no serial number sticker on this board, though it's easy to imagine it might have just fallen off over the years. This one has a Commodore branded Kickstart 1.3 ROM although I suspect that was aftermarket. The floppy drive in this one is a Chinon F-354E. Unfortunately none of its iconic cylindrical feet are intact but have been replaced with some aftermarket ones. It came with a genuine A501 in the trapdoor (battery previously removed with almost zero damage) along with the original mouse, power supply, and the matching box. Serial number on this one is even lower than my other one, 3912.

Condition wise, it’s largely in great condition although there are some oddities about it - first, the top of the case is pretty yellowed. I may do something about that one of these days. There’s also a small round hold cut in the back behind the floppy drive where a drive selector switch was once installed. I noticed the leg that holds the floppy drive’s right side looks like it might have been super glued back in place at some point, although it’s hard to see. There’s a bit of tape on the part of the top RF shield to keep it from contacting the top of the trapdoor expansion header. Likewise, the A501 itself has some of the same tape in place to keep the bottom of its case from contacting the edge of the board. I’m not sure if there were actual issues, someone was just overly paranoid about shorts, or if it might have even came like that - I've seen that style of tape on other A501s before, though never on the shield.

Hope this information is helpful (or at least interesting) to someone!

User avatar
TommyE

Posted Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:52 pm

I have a space invaders keyboard with yellow switches. It has a Swedish layout, machine manufactured in W.Germany.
Low serial in the 30000 range with embossed logo.

/TommyE





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