User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:21 am

IMG_6557.jpg

A little over a week ago, to my astonishment I found a Phase 5 Cyberstorm MK2 accelerator available on Ebay here in Washington state. I figured it was a total long shot, but I placed a bid well below what I knew these went for. (They usually seem to go for around $1,000 these days if not a bit more.)

The auction was set for a week. I kept an eye on things and noticed only a measly 7 other folks were watching the auction as the week dragged on. After a few days I realized most Amigans weren't alerted to this auction, and a tickle of hope emerged. I think the fact that "Amiga" was missing from the item's title played a big role. All it said was, "Phase 5 Digital Products CyberStorm Mk2 060 version."

SEO matters.

As the week began to come to a close someone else passed my low bid. Not surprised, I set up a sniper bot. I put in another bid but I honestly had no real belief I had a chance in hell. On the last day someone put in their max bid in the final seconds of $200. My max bid (528.33 USD) pushed the final bid to only $202... and I won for $202!

I. Still. Can't. Believe. It.

It makes no sense how this flew so low under the radar to where I had only 1 competitor in the final seconds. That kind of thing just doesn't seem to happen on Ebay anymore. Maybe 10 years ago, sure, but not in 2022.

Anyway, as a friend said after the auction was over: even if the card doesn't work the 060 alone is worth at least my purchase price. I'll find out in the next 1-2 weeks if the card fires up or not.

I plan on putting it in my Bonkers A3000.
a3k-bonkers.jpg
Future home of the Cyberstorm MK2.


Then that machine will have the zz9000, bigRAM of 128MB, upgraded RTC with coin battery, SCSI2SD, Noctua fan for quieter operation, OS 3.1ROMs and glorious (modern, metal housing) 15" LCD with native resolution of 1024x768. It makes the visuals crisper and sharper than makes sense.

IMG_6558.jpg
IMG_6561.jpg
IMG_6562.jpg
IMG_6564.jpg
To be honest I don't even know how much RAM is on this card, nor it it will even get used in conjunction with all of the other RAM in the machine (bigRAM + 16mb ZIP RAM on the motherboard, iirc). It's crazy!


User avatar
dalek
Australia

Posted Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:06 pm

What a score!

The seller didn't help themselves by not specifying postage either and/or restricting it to U.S. only. I couldn't find this completed listing via ebay.com.au even with "Worldwide" results, only via ebay.com.

So I assume only U.S. folk would have been able to find the listing and only if they were looking out for it with a search term that didn't include "Amiga".

I can only dream of something like this happening to me!

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:36 pm

Awesome...make sure you set the jumpers correctly for it. It's the opposite of what you'd use for a 3640. There's some other random issue I ran into when I first installed mine, with a graphics card, and when using the "grail" combo of the updated super DMAC and RAMSEY on my 16 MHz model. I can't remember exactly what it was, but, I seem to remember that Cybergraphix drivers wouldn't load correctly.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:40 pm

@obitus1990 I'm a total newb with this card. I've read through the manual and the only advice it gave was to install the necessary libraries into 3.1 before even installing the card. My guess is if the 060 libraries are missing it'll totally hard lock your machine if you put the card in first, which kinda makes sense.

It looks like the A3000 doesn't even need to worry about jumpers if I didn't have a previous accelerator card in there, which I do not:
Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 5.35.15 PM.png

Honestly I haven't even been able to even find a visual digram that explains what the two expansion slots on the board are for. I assume one is the SCSI module (which I don't have) and the other... a graphics card? And they can all somehow get mashed together into one massive Cyber upgrade? Maybe if I had one of those other 2 cards it would make more sense. Totally crazy. I also am guessing a triple-card combo like that probably only works easily in a large tower config. I'm just going to try and cram it into the A3K's CPU slot and hope the other cards I have in there right now aren't in the way. I'm almost afraid to look!

But, the machine I'm going to put it in uses P96 drivers. So, I think I'm OK in the software department.

What's really nuts is over on the big book of hardware there are 10 disks! 5 for the accelerator, and 5 for the scsi card. The original manual only references 1 single install disk. Talk about a stranger in a strange land - that be me!

User avatar
A10001986
1986
Website

Posted Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:23 am

Congrats, what a catch!

Jumpers indeed need to be in the default position.

SuperDMAC-04 does not work, according to my experiences. SCSI errors all over.

For me, one out of ca. three SuperDMAC-02s also refused to provide stable SCSI. So do yourself a favor and test with a scratch partition, just copy a few hundred MBs within that scratch partition and see if you get r/w or checksum errors.

Otherwise these cards work very reliably.

PS: Works great with the mmulib package.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:37 am

For me, one out of ca. three SuperDMAC-02s also refused to provide stable SCSI.
What is the default chip that shipped with the early A3000s?

The machine I was going to put the card in hasn't been fully upgraded like the one I have in the shop right now. So whatever they put in there at the factory would be how it is. I should be able to crack it open next week to try this thing out and see what's what.

User avatar
A10001986
1986
Website

Posted Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:14 pm

SuperDMAC is the worst chip Commodore ever came up with, and to make matters worse, there are obviously some production "tolerances". You need to try out if the one you got works reliably. I have some that work perfectly in the stock setup, but produce SCSI errors with the MK2.

Edit: To answer your question: All A3000s were shipped with the same SuperDMAC, revision 2.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:33 pm

SuperDMAC is the worst chip Commodore ever came up with, and to make matters worse, there are obviously some production "tolerances". You need to try out if the one you got works reliably. I have some that work perfectly in the stock setup, but produce SCSI errors with the MK2.
Oh, yikes! That's totally terrifying. Really appreciate the heads-up, you guys.

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:05 pm

intric8 wrote:
Thu Jan 13, 2022 6:40 pm

Honestly I haven't even been able to even find a visual digram that explains what the two expansion slots on the board are for. I assume one is the SCSI module (which I don't have) and the other... a graphics card? And they can all somehow get mashed together into one massive Cyber upgrade? Maybe if I had one of those other 2 cards it would make more sense. Totally crazy. I also am guessing a triple-card combo like that probably only works easily in a large tower config. I'm just going to try and cram it into the A3K's CPU slot and hope the other cards I have in there right now aren't in the way. I'm almost afraid to look!

There's only one expansion slot -- it's for the SCSI controller module. You can't use it on an A3000 desktop model anyway, because it will not fit under the drive sled of the A3000. The other slot that's open behind the RAM is an empty SIMM slot, and I'm probably telling you something you already know with that.

Max that thing out with the RAM because it's directly linked to the processor and much faster than your Zorro3 BigRam memory.

I modified my A3000's drive sled for mine, which was originally an 040 version that had a heat sink on it. I cut a nice, neat hole for the heatsink to fit though, which worked fine because I don't have a second floppy in the system. I upgraded it to an 060 and even though the 060 doesn't need the heatsink, I added a Pentium sized heatsink and fan, because the A3000D's airflow isn't that great.

Great find, and so lucky!

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Tue Jan 18, 2022 12:44 pm

Max that thing out with the RAM because it's directly linked to the processor and much faster than your Zorro3 BigRam memory.
Should I remove the BigRam from this system? I assume the ZIP RAM on the motherboard is still good to go. And, when you say max it out, that means 4 sticks of 32MB, right? Or, can it be a single stick of 128?

Off-hand do you know the specs I would search for?

e.g.
72-Pin 60ns (?) EDO (?) Non-Parity (?) 5V (?)
I honestly don't know how much is in there atm. If I were to guess based on some preliminary Ebay searches, I think 2 of the 3 sticks I have are 8MB each (1mb per chip on at least 2 of the SIMMs). Then there's the extra 3rd SIMM, with only 6 chips. I think that one might be 16MB.

So, potentially 32 total. A far cry from the potential 128 maximum.





Return to “Conquests”