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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:32 pm

The Setup:
Amiga 1000 :check:
Rejuvenator with 2MB Chip & 1.3 ROM :check:
AdSpeed 14Mhz Accelerator :check:
Starboard R2 or Parceiro 2, to deliver modern storage, RAM and RTC :check:

The only thing really "missing" from this list is video. And that's honestly not something I've ever felt the need to change, but I've always been on the lookout for uber-rare solutions for the A1K mainly out of curiosity. So, a few years ago I began to search for a flicker fixer that was designed with the A1K in mind. There were really only two. One was a no-name thing my friend Chris Brenner told me about that had been sold by Software Hut back in the day. As I recall, it was an external solution.

The other option was the ICD Flicker Free Video. This was internal, and was produced in the early 90s. As such, it was made to work with the A1000, 500 and 2000. You pop the little board in and transplant your Denise chip off the motherboard (or rejuvenator) and plug it into this thing.

In the past week, someone not too far away from me in Washington state put one up on Ebay with a "Buy it Now" and I guess I saw it first (or, I'm the only person looking for such a thing by name, which wouldn't surprise me).
The cable is a 9-pin port that comes with a case bracket in case you've got an A2000. For A1K folks this would have to be snaked out the back in some unseemly way, but a lot of folks probably wouldn't care about that.

I need to read the manual, but that yellow thing looks like a way to produce fine adjustments when needed.

And this is where Denise would sit her pretty little... self.

Some of you are probably asking, why the BLEEP would you want this thing in an A1000? Well, for one it would let you use programs like Pagestream right out of the box and not have your eyes bleed from a flickering white screen with black details.

And, some sacrilegious folk might actually prefer no scanlines even when using a CRT, which this would eliminate. But more than anything it would allow the ability to hook up a VGA monitor to the Amiga.

From the manual:
Flicker Free Video 2 is a display enhancer for all Amiga computers' (except the 3000. which has its own, and the Amiga 600, which has a Denise chip surface mounted on its motherboard). With Flicker Free Video 2 and a standard multi-sync or VGA monitor, you can have a clear, solid display, free of interlace flicker and visible scan lines. Flicker Free Video 2 can operate in either NTSC or PAL mode (the latter may not work with some VGA monitors).
A bit more:
Productivity and SuperhiRes Modes
The Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) and Workbench 2 provide two new graphics modes: Productivity Mode and SuperHiRes Mode. both available interlaced and non-interlaced. Since these modes differ substantially from the normal modes, they require special consideration.

Productivity mode already has a 31.5 KHz. horizontal scan rate. Flicker Free Video 2 automatically detects when the computer is displaying in Productivity mode and allows the video signal to pass straight through to the monitor.

Productivity mode is not processed by Flicker Free Video 2.

SuperHiRes mode uses "half-width" pixels to gain its increased resolution.

This method only works with a horizontal scan rate of 15.75 KHz and cannot be processed by any available display enhancer. It may appear to be a full display, but it will be missing every other pixel.
By disabling Flicker Free Video 2 with the optional bypass switch you can display SuperHiRes through the Flicker Free Video 2 port (it is always available from the computer's GB port). Your monitor must be capable of a 15.75 KHz horizontal scan rate to do this.
Thankfully, there is a way to build a physical switch (which I guess would also dangle out the butt of the machine's case) that would allow you to use the Amiga's native modes. Ideally this would also be controllable via their software, just like the AdSpeed can be, but I've not installed the software yet to check.

This is definitely not a hair-on-fire upcoming project I can't wait to try out. But it's definitely a quest for some hardware that feels really good to have finally sourced.

:bruce: :check:

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2023 11:50 pm

I had a best offer pending... If, if only, I had done "buy it now", I would have beaten you by 4 minutes :-)

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