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Olem
Norway

Posted Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:40 am

Hi guys, just wanted to share this here since it was grshaws original post about his A2000 build that got me thinking about it in the first place.

My whole "retro journey" started a few years back when I found out that people still made games for the Commodore 64. I decided I wanted one, and got an old machine from ebay. It turned out to have a few issues, of course. Then I bought another mobo for parts to repair it, then I decided I could make them both work, and you get the picture. It kind of took off from there.

Since I was an Amiga owner back in the day as well, I got quite excited when I found out that this british gentleman named Rob had done a remake of the Rock Lobster rev. 8, the A500+ motherboard. With the 2mbs of chipram and the updated original chipset that was my dream machine in the age when I first got hooked. I decided to try my hand building one. Long story short, it wasn't hitch free, but I got there in the end - with a lot of help from the knowledgeable and friendly people on the A500++ discord group.
InkedA500.jpg
It's a great project and one that I really recommend, get the board from Rob's Tindie store: https://www.tindie.com/stores/bobsbits/

With that one working I needed a new project, and that's when I remembered reading grshaws post about the A2000 and the Floppie209 remake. So I got this:
A2000remake.jpg
...and yet again, big thanks to Rob and the discord guys. He got a batch of the Floppie209 boards made, and a group of the guys on the discord got started making their own A2000s, including myself. And of course thanks to Floppie209 himself, if he's on here! Reeeally nice board, with some great thouches.

This one got done a lot faster than the A500++, I guess a bit of training helps:
A2000-done.jpg
But the soldering isn't all, of course. This weekend I eventually got around to trying the newly built board out. Yet again, not hitch free :D .

At first I just got a black screen. One of the things Floppie209 added to the original design, was a power LED and LEDs for the 5V and the 12V lines right on the board. They lit up nicely, so I knew at least something was going on in there.
My first thought was to change out the CPU. No change. Then I remembered: I had a dead oscillator lying around from my A500++ build. I had somehow forgotten about that and tried to plug that one in on my new board. I desoldered an old one from an old A500 board I had lying around, and plugged that one in the A2000 (it's a socket in there). Flipped the swith, hey presto, it worked!
almost.jpg
...almost :(

Ok. I got the kickstart screen - for a while. Then it would flicker and go out. Diagrom would run - for a while, before the screen would fill with artifacts and the thing would freak out on me. Dang. What to do? What not to do! I swapped out and tested every single chip I had spares for. Agnus, Gary, Paula, the CIAs, Denise, the vidiot, the RAM, some of the logic chips, even Buster. No change. Then I decided that the PLCC socket for Agnus was not thrustworthy. Late saturday night I broke out my desoldering gun, doused the board in flux gel, crancked the heat up to 420C and desoldered all the 84 pins.

Woke up on sunday with the slight feeling I might have overdone things again. So I placed the kids in front of the Playstation and had a cup of coffee while i quitely soldered in a new PLCC socket.

Flipped the switch. EGGSACTLY the same behaviour.

Then I sat thinking for a while. I had switched out everything, right? Something wrong with the caps? A partly cold solder joint? Then it dawned on me. The CPU had sat in there since BEFORE I swapped out the dead oscillator. I pulled out my old, beatiful ceramic 68000 and placed a 68010 I got as a spare for the project in there. Oh well :oops:
working.jpg
It runs like an eager little puppy now. And it was great fun! Now I'll do some work to make the old case I bought look a little better, I've gotten a lot of inspiration from your posts on that, intric8! Here's a few more pictures of my newly built machine:
working6.jpg
working1.jpg
working3.jpg
working5.jpg
Too bad this guy wasn't healthy, I really wanted this one to work:
68000.jpg
Cheers everybody,
Olem.

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EzdineG
Springfield, MO

Posted Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:46 am

Excellent work! Thanks for sharing.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:55 pm

Amazing work - congrats, Olem! Truly inspirational effort and results. Really love what looks to be a 100% socketed approach.

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grshaw

Posted Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:08 am

Great work. Looks absolutely beautiful. :D

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McTrinsic

Posted Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:09 am

Impressive pics - great work 👍.

Keep us updated on the progress.

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Olem
Norway

Posted Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:00 pm

intric8 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:55 pm
Amazing work - congrats, Olem! Truly inspirational effort and results. Really love what looks to be a 100% socketed approach.
Thanks! Yes, socketed everything, it feels a bit more future-proof like that. Admittedly, the sockets themselves can be a source of contact problems. Went for standard dual-wipes here, and the ones I bought turned out to have a really, really thight grip on the chips. No contact problems, but I was a bit afraid to damage frail and rare old chippery as I was swapping things out. Also choose to go with aluminium polymer capacitors, mostly because they look damn good! :D
But I guess there's a bit of future-proofing in that as well, since they can't leak.

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Olem
Norway

Posted Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:02 pm

McTrinsic wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:09 am

Keep us updated on the progress.
Thanks for the kind words, sure will! My case is definitly no looker at the moment, but that can be fixed :D

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Olem
Norway

Posted Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:16 pm

grshaw wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:08 am
Great work. Looks absolutely beautiful. :D
Thanks! The black one you built doesn't look to bad either...and that blue one of yours also looks damn good :D

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Olem
Norway

Posted Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:36 am

Hi guys, a little update on this. The machine looks like this now, put a gotek in and it works like a dream. No accellerator at the moment, I'll just enjoy it as it is for a while:
a2000.jpg
The CD-drive is not connected, but eventually I'll get IDE in there, somehow.

Now, this is not going into storage anytime soon, but when it happens it's good to have a box. The one that my donor machine came in is long lost, so I thought I might as well get a proper new one. It's a remake, after all - figured I'd go all in :D
This box was made by Plakativ Druck & Schrift in Switzerland, they got a nice selection of remade boxes for Amiga gear on their site, cool stuff! Couldn't resist it after all the soldering, take a look:
a2000-box1.jpg
a2000-box2.jpg
Instead of the original styrofoam the machine is held in place by cardboard profiles. Quite sturdy, but if I was to actually ship it I would pack styrofoam peanuts all around it in addition to the profiles. For keeping on a shelf it's plenty good enough:
a2000-box3.jpg
a2000-box4.jpg
I might eventually respray the metal part of the case and get a mount for the gotek that actually fits the front. But since it's still summer I think I'll put the project on pause and focus on playing games for a little while. :D





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