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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:08 pm

This guide is for those that want to upgrade an ACA 1221 expansion card for their Amiga computers. If you want to just run it at 9MB RAM, then this isn't for you. If you want more (and, frankly, some games and programs demand it) then read on. The following commands will unlock your RAM to 64MB, overclock your CPU (to 21 or 28 MHz, depending on what you want) and unlocking your Maprom to 1MB.

1. First, install the card if you haven’t already done so. In my case, I needed to loosen the metal shielding to get the card to slot in without too much hassle. The main thing is to be sure the jumper is on the “unprotect” setting.

2. Go to the German online shop for Individual Computers and look for the upgrade option for the ACA1221. Most of the shop is in English, and what isn't you can translate easily enough to purchase your license. The receipts and emails are mostly in English, too, by the way. (A few PDFs you may receive are not but you won't need them.)

3. Purchase the upgrade options you want. In my case, I got the “Around the world” option which unlocks everything with very little fuss, and only cost an additional $40 at the time of this writing (a real bargain). After you pay you’ll get a license code in an email which you will use later. I used the PayPal option to speed things up.

4. Once you have your license code, boot up your Amiga. I personally installed the ACA tools via null modem cable to my C: root. Your card also shipped with a floppy with ACA Tune and an install program, so hopefully you know enough about your Amiga so far you can figure out where these programs get installed to. But I went the direct route.

To see some of the options available, go to a Shell and run

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ACATune -help
You can also type

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ACATune -status
and see how "happy" your card is.

5. In the shell, you’ll type

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ACAControl A [and the 15-digit-license-code you received in an email, which is case sensitive]
That unlocks the card and, after a reboot (not obvious after you run it) your Workbench screen at the top should show a whopping 64MB of RAM! But what about the CPU's clock speed?

6. This is a little complicated, but for concerns around potential instability and heat issues I decided to go for the 21MHz instead of the 28MHz. What you decide to do is your choice.

You can manually set your clock speed in the shell whenever you want to boost it. Or, to get the overclocking to hold indefinitely, you will have to modify your WBStartup Sequence. To edit it, open a shell and type

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ED SYS:s/startup-sequence
Find a safe and empty line that isn’t in the middle of some code, and type:

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Acacontrol s 2 >NIL: 
Note: if you want to crank it to 28MHz you’ll type Acacontrol s 3 instead of 2. Before I changed this setting as described above, I was getting a very annoying error window stating "Intuition is attempting to reset the workbench screen". Now everything runs just fine.

7. Next - activate and enable the Maprom feature (I enabled mine to 1MB). to do so, type on a new line:

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Acatune -maprom ** -cache on >NIL:
The two stars represent 1MB. Type one star for 512MB. If you leave this line out of your startup, your maprom will stay disabled. This particular feature gave me all kinds of fits until I figured out exactly what to type here.

8. Hit the Esc key, type x, then press Enter. That should close everything and save it to the startup sequence when you reboot.

Now if you so desire you can go back to a Shell and check out status of your card. Good times!

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