View Full Version : A500 upgrade or ???

18th October 2009, 04:28
OK, I used to have an A500 back in the day. Loved it. Had 1 MB total, 1084s and eventually a Dataflyer with 50M (Pretty sure, I remember thinking it was HUGE and never filled it..).

Eventually, I sold the 500 and hard drive and got a 1200 with HD. (Can't remember how big)

Loved that more...

So, I decide to get back into the Amiga recently...

Let me preface the next bit by stating I'm somewhat cheap. :nod:

So, I start looking and apparently there aren't many 1200's for sale in the US. When they come up, they seam to be pretty pricey still... Hmmmm...

So, I'm waiting.. and finally get impatient and find an Amiga 500 with 1M and 2nd drive.
The guy even handed me the battery as I bought it. He stored it separately! Nice...
After playing with the disk inserted buttons (I guess they were sticky), I get everything working!

Yeah, Amiga!!!

in monochrome... er...

OK, I forgot that the output was monochrome. :shrug:

But I get lucky and get an A520 pretty cheap. So, now (actually, just plugged it in 15 minutes ago) I have color! :thumbsup2:

Before you say anything, I did check with amigamaniac, and he's not making the RGB - s-video adapters anymore. I noticed that there are some hacks for the A520 to do that, so I might try that.

I'm leaning against a monitor because they are rare local (and shipping makes them crazy) and they are old and I'm not sure it's worth it. And a scan doubler seems to be a lot of money and I'm cheap, remember.. :-)

Anyway, I need to know where to go next.

I'd consider a HD, but those are very rare here, and even the IDE addons (which also aren't available now apparently) are spendy. Now, it's not crazy spendy, but it seams like I can get (missed out on one here) an Amiga 600 with and IDE interface for less than the A500 IDE interface, and I'd need to upgrade my A500 kickstart to support the IDE? (at least for boot)

So, do I just keep looking for a 600?
Should I hold put and wait for a 1200?
Should I keep looking for an A500 HD?
Is our president more deserving of the Nobel peace prize than Gandhi, who never got one?
(Oh sorry, that's something else.. ;-) )

Thanx for any advice.

p.s. I didn't do much with my HD, just OS stuff, some basic utils like WP (which I probably wouldn't need now, as it wouldn't be my main machine) and whatever games would install. I realize that many more games will install nowadays tho.. I also had D.I.C.E. installed and did some C programming. I wrote a solitaire game for Asha DeVelder and found out she was still using it when I chatted with her last (10 years ago ?). (Sorry to hear she passed away. A great Amiga fan there..)

18th October 2009, 09:22
a lot of this is personal preference, but having said that i'm a huge A1200 fan, very expandable/modable which can be done in trips and drabs as you can afford it. pretty compatible (not perfect but not far off). being "cheap" isn't going to help though if your thinking about putting an accelerator in there, which you will need to do if your going to play any WHDLoad games, for which you can just use a memory upgrade but an 030 is perfect, but you will also need a hard drive or a CF card, which cost money.
the A500 is a fantastic machine but even more expensive to get up to spec, the big box stuff A2000, A3000, A4000 and the A1000 again can be expensive in there basic forms and then can be expensive to upgrade and take a lot of space, as for the A600...... do a search of this site for the A600 thread, i'm not a fan myself but others are.
Oh yeah, most important thing!? Have fun with it, check the battery and the caps as we seem to have reached the time where caps are becoming a real problem.

well there's some food for thought for you....

cheers, JuvUK

18th October 2009, 10:15
I would consider getting a 2000 if I were you, they aren't hard to find or expensive in the US, and theres plenty of upgrades also avaliable for decent prices. You can get a SCSI card for very little, theres also a very good IDE card called the Buddha which is still around to buy new, and with the 2000 you have room for several drives inside.

The other best option would be a 1200, as you can chuck a 2.5" hard drive on its internal IDE port, and you get 2mb of RAM, Kickstart 3.0 and AGA graphics as standard.

18th October 2009, 12:48
I'd say go with the A1200. What you get (over the A500) is:

14MHz 68020 CPU (rather than the 7MHz 68000)[/*:m:3cv8sh1y]
2MB ChipRAM (Rather than 0.5 or 1 from an A500) -- You can upgrade the A500, but it means finding the ChipRAM upgrade in the first place.[/*:m:3cv8sh1y]
AGA Chipset. (Over the ECS or OCS from A500 models) -- I think AGA is overrated, but it's still a 'nice-to-have' -- Allows you the ability to play the A1200/A4000-only games that are out there and gives you a few more modes in Deluxe Paint, if that's your thing. :)[/*:m:3cv8sh1y]
Internal IDE interface -- The ribbon cable you need shouldn't cost more than $5, and you can pick up old peecee laptop drives for practically nothing. My A1200 has a 1.4GB disk that I had lying around. Useless in a PC, but more space that I'll ever need on the Amiga![/*:m:3cv8sh1y]

As for upgrading it (Once you get the Amiga bug, and find some spare cash for extras) you'll find the A1200 is more upgradeable, and probably the cheapest to upgrade, too. I believe the A1200 has the largest range of CPU cards, so they're more-prevalent. I've been keeping an eye on Amiga accelerators on the Other Bay for the last couple of months, and there's ALWAYS at least one Blizzard IV up for grabs, usually more. They aren't nearly as rare as people like to pretend.

If you decide to network your miggy, you can get cheap compatible PC PCMCIA Ethernet cards, probably for under $15. Again, if you want a CD-ROM, you can usually find old SCSI external ones for peanuts, and a Squirrel SCSI to connect it won't cost you too much. (Admittedly, you can't use both at once, but such is life)

If you want to stick with the A500, you'd be best-off trying to find one of those GVP A530 combo-upgrade things with a CPU, FastRAM and SCSI hard disk. http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/gvp530 and hang a CD-ROM drive off that. As far as I can tell, a 68030 is as far as you can go with an A500. 040 and 060s are only available for A1200s and big-box Amigas.

18th October 2009, 20:40
@Andy / desiv

Firstly there is an 040 upgrade for the A500

please meet The Progressive 500/040 (http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/search.pl?product=&company=&amiga=500&intf=68k&cat=cpu&ic=68040&mid=&base=dec&pid=)

Gorgeous eh?

now... you might as well forget about owning one.... there are UBER RARE and cost of these monsters will likely need atleast 2 mortgages!

And although the GVP Combi0 30 (A500 030@40mhz) upgrade is a little less rare, it usually commands a very VERY high premium.

If you want to take the A500 upto the Full - On Top Level OCS/ECS Gamming level you need

8MB Fast
2MB Chip
IDE/SCSI Controller
SCSI/IDE Optical Drive
4 Joysticks
1 Paralell Joystick Expander
1 Joy/Mouse Robo Shifter
1 Cocolino Amiga - PS Mouse adapter

Now I cannot give prices as that would be "Price Guiding" and thats not allowed here (have a lookie at the rules you will see why) lets just say I have seen A1200 060 cards go cheaper, but to be fair, a reasonable portion of that you would need for any amiga solution anyway.

Ironically enough, my A500 has all that, and just needs to be put together LOL!

18th October 2009, 21:35
now... you might as well forget about owning one.... there are UBER RARE and cost of these monsters will likely need atleast 2 mortgages!

From Hell's heart, I spit my last breath, at thee!!!! :censored:

OK, so that's what I WON'T be getting... :-)

I'm not sure that's all required tho, for me anyway... (As much as I admire that stuff)..

I mean, what Amiga games need 8/2 MB RAM???

I seem to remember with my 2M A1200, never having thought that I needed more RAM for games.
Of course, I didn't play a lot of them. I was in college at the time, and for some reason, I was studying a lot.. :shrug:

I have read on Lemon that there are some non-Doomalike games that feel slow on the A500.
But I do have a PC (albeit oldish, it's a 2Ghz 1G RAM box running Linux that is still doing what I need it to, so I haven't upgraded..) so I can run some doomish stuff on that if need be...

The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking a 1200 might be my next step, if/when I can find one that's not exhorbitant.
(Speaking of 2 mortgages, that's what I have right now. :( It's a long story, but hopefully that will change, but there's not a HUGE amount of spending money...)

I was thinking of getting rid of some of the things I don't use much.
The two that come to mind are my 520ST (no E and no M, which I've never got to work because of the video issue but I will probably make a VGA adapter and see what it looks like in hires) and my SegaCD (only has SonicCD, but it works..).

Both of which I never use, but I was browsing around e-bait, and there doesn't seem to be much interest for either right now... Not that I would get too much for them, but it would be a good show of faith to the wife that I'm not just obsessively collecting.. :(

And I looked at my other stuff and can't see getting rid of them. :-) Well, maybe one of the MacIIs..

Oh well...

I did order some (OK, it was 500.. I get them for $0.10 a disk!!) floppies, so that should keep me busy for a while. Maybe, as things open up, I'll find my 1200...

I swear, it seams like it would be cheaper to buy one from the UK, except that whole PAL thing..


18th October 2009, 22:15
I swear, it seams like it would be cheaper to buy one from the UK, except that whole PAL thing.

A1200s are configurable NTSC/PAL via the early startup menu. I don't know if they have a 'default' as such, and whether that's different on UK/US Amigas. Alternatively, if you snag a suitable monitor, it won't matter either way.

P.S. @Zetr0 -- Don't show me things like that, you only make me wish I still had my A500+ *sobs*

19th October 2009, 00:34
@AndyLandi: unfortunately, the A1200 (as the 500 & 600, for that matter) are region-sensitive.

They have the main oscillator crystal slightly different for NTSC or PAL units and in A600/1200 the internal encoder adds another problem as they are tied up to NTSC or PAL.

Some A500 (rev 5 or lesser) have a PAL or NTSC Agnus and the later ECS Agnus 8375 is tied up to either PAL or NTSC, too.

Big box Amigas are PAL/NTSC "agnostic" since they don't have composite inside. On the A2000 (Agnus 8372A, rev 6.xx) it is a simple matter of changing the main crystal (28.8375MHz, IIRC) to a compatible 28.6363MHz "NTSC" unit and move a solder pad. On A3000(T) & 4000(T) it's just a matter of changing a jumper.


Pending on what you think pocket money is, the A500 is very expandable. Mine have a SCSI controller (that I was gifted from a very good friend) and a Zorro hack (in progress) to add 4Mb Fast RAM. As it is now is a lovely retro machine and match what my first machine was (A500 1Mb + SCSI + RAM), except the ECS Denise chip. :mrgreen:

Knowing about electronics and soldering will ease the upgrading task, of course.

The IDE68k from mrmkl (here or in Amiga.org) costs 30 Euro in a "kit" form (60 for a full assembled unit), postage included! For me is pretty cheap. Linky :readit: (http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=49480)

19th October 2009, 00:56
The IDE68k from mrmkl (here or in Amiga.org) costs 30 Euro in a "kit" form (60 for a full assembled unit), postage included! For me is pretty cheap.

Yeah, I've seen that. And I can use a soldering iron, although I might find a friend for some of the tighter solders...

But that's about $45 US + shipping. So, $50. And, if I'm not mistaken, I need new ROMs (A600 ROMs) to get it to boot off of the IDE... Let's say I can get the ROMs for $10-$15 shipped.

That's a great deal for a 500 IDE controller for an Amiga 500... But...
That's some work (and fun, but) for me and About $65+ dollars.

I just missed an Amiga 600 (with IDE) for $60 here.. (obviously, more with shipping...)

Not that it's not a bad deal, but....

I'll have to research the 600 a bit. To me, it looks like an Amiga 500 without the keypad, with the IDE AND PCMCIA...
(Although from what Wikipedia says, it might need a KS upgrade, but that's it..)

So, in that vein, the 600 looks nicer...
Then again, if I could get a working NTSC 1200 for a decent price (I have no idea what that would be. I haven't seen any for sale on e-bait recently), that might be the best option...

Of course, as cheap as I am, I am also pretty impulsive (how I got the 500 I have :-) ), so who knows if something pops up...

As for the PAL thing, that's a bummer. When I try switching to PAL on my 500, my TV says NO! (Well, it says something like "incompatible signal" or ??) Does the same whether it's monochrome or through the A520. So to play PAL games, I'd need a monitor.

I used to do that with Simon the Sorcerer (I don't know how I bought a PAL version, but it was) on my Amiga 1200, but I had the 1084s then. I've been keeping my eye out for TRUE multisyncs, but haven't seen one locally... (Is there a list somewhere online? I haven't found one yet?)

Hmmmm... It's so confusing! :-) :-)


19th October 2009, 14:01
The C= 1084(S) is a sturdy low-res monitor made for last and probably dirty cheap to grab (~50USD or a bit more). Multi-sync monitors are very rare nowadays. I have one but few months ago have two, not counting my multi-sync LCD monitor/TV. :mrgreen:

What leaves you a hint: some few LCD TV can accept Amiga screens through the VGA connector. IIRC, Toshiba units and some Samsung can be used. Not for all resolutions, remember.

Better take the Amiga with you to test "in situ" prior to buy a new LCD TV.

19th October 2009, 16:23
A530 accelerators pop up now and then.

But the best upgrade you can get for any Amiga model is a CF card and an IDE adapter. For A500 that means you have to get an IDE-expansion.

An A1200 is a pretty "easy" solution. Pretty fast out of the box and built in IDE. Buy a CF card for $25 and an adapter for $3 from Hong Kong and you have a very usable computer.

I have an A1200 motherboard that I can sell if you want to try THIS (http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=30723&highlight=a1700) ! :) (Jope's A1700 - how to put an A1200 mobo in an A500 case)

Whatever Amiga you choose, a C1081/1084 is the perfect companion, unless you spend all day word processing in Workbench, in which case an LCD might do. If you get an Indivision ECS or AGA scandoubler, be sure to hook it up to a VGA CRT and not an LCD, as the combo LCD+scandoubler will make any moving lo-res graphics (demos, games) look crap.

19th October 2009, 17:01
Actually, I've thought about that...
I missed out on a 1200 Motherboard on e-bait while I was considering it.

I wasn't sure about the keyboard, since it requires soldering to chips (which I haven't done before; I've soldered lots of wires and even some resistors and diodes, but not to chips mounted on a board...)....

So I wimped out..

But it's worth considering...

I was kind of thinking of not getting a monitor (I just don't think $150+ for a decent scan doubler is worth it for this (for me..)), but the PAL issue is making me re-think that.

My A520 is OK for games, and there's a hack to get s-video out of it that looks in my ability range for sharper picture.. But I still wouldn't be able to do PAL.... :(

I'm not sure about buying a 20 year monitor.. Computers, yeah.. But a monitor??

How long will I be able to get repair/replacements for a flyback transformers for a 1084?

I did love my 1084S tho. Great monitor.....


So... I still have no idea what to do..

Thanx alot!!! :woot: :ROTFLOL2:

I think for now, I'll stay where I am, unless I find a 1200 for a decent price (or I decide to trade some of my other stuff... I do have a Sharp Projector that I don't use with 90% life left on the bulb that might/should be worth a 1200 plus I think (haven't priced them..) that I probably should trade, since I just don't use it like I thought (OK, I got it when single, and my wife just doesn't watch movies...)....).

I'll keep my eyes open for a 1084, but I'm still not sure about that....

Oh well...


Dangit!! Now you have me looking at e-bait for 1084's!!! I hope you're happy!!!
There's one now up there I could get for about $60 shipped.. But is that worth it for something that ..er.. finely aged....????
(Not that I will, shipping is terrible on those, but still....)

19th October 2009, 18:41
I know, replying to my own post? Jeesh!! :nuts:

Anyway, I have a question along these lines.

Specifically monitor vs scan doubler.

I know with my RF modulator, if I "tell" my A500 to go into PAL, it will, but my TV says "No way"!

Has anyone taken an NTSC Amiga with a scan doubler attached to a monitor and run it in PAL mode? Was it still happy?

I'm thinking a scan doubler will probably be too spendy (for my cheap self :-) ), but if I can get one "cheap", might it be a better option than an older monitor???


19th October 2009, 22:18
I know, replying to my own post? Jeesh!! :nuts:

Anyway, I have a question along these lines.

Specifically monitor vs scan doubler.

Listen to the voices, they are right! :blink:

I know with my RF modulator, if I "tell" my A500 to go into PAL, it will, but my TV says "No way"!

Has anyone taken an NTSC Amiga with a scan doubler attached to a monitor and run it in PAL mode? Was it still happy?

Yes, monitors are PAL/NTSC agnostic. What matter for a monitor is the number of lines and columns it can manage. Amigas normally are way down the curve.

I'm thinking a scan doubler will probably be too spendy (for my cheap self :-) ), but if I can get one "cheap", might it be a better option than an older monitor???

You think right. There is a guy on USA who makes cheap external scandoublers (60~65USD, plus shipping). Too bad the orders he have will impend he to sell more units until Christmas 2010... :|

Also, even having one of those cheap units you'll need a monitor capable of synchronizing in 50Hz vertical refresh. Most CRT units are OK. :) Most LCD ones don't go any further low than 56Hz. :banghead:

20th October 2009, 05:06
DAMN YOU PAL!!!!!! :censored:

In the "old days", friends came over and we copied games and they almost all worked fine.

They were games we had bought or our friends had bought or their friends, etc...

Some DLs, but at 2400 max, not many.. :-)

So, fast forward to today.

Zophar... Tosec.. Lots available...

Almost NONE OF WHICH seems to run on my 500 hooked to a TV.

And this wouldn't be so bad IF I COULD TELL, but none of the filenames mention PAL or NTSC!!!

So, it's DL, test in WinUAE, transwarp over, and try it..
Nope, get the next file. Repeat process.
Nope, get the next file. Repeat process!
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


OK, so is this the world's way of telling me I need to get a monitor or scan doubler?
(Ok, it could be the world's way of telling me to only use games I buy and know are NTSC... :ROTFLOL2: Sorry.)


I'm on my 4th version of Pinball Dreams...

Actually, I bought a lot of games in the past (and now, except there aren't many Linux games, but I buy them when I can; Neverwinter, most of the Introversion stuff, etc..) and have one original now and will get more....

But this PAL/NTSC thing is just annoying... Am I the ONLY user running my Amiga on a TV????


OK, 4th time mostly worked. It looks like a PAL version, but it didn't try to pop my Amiga into PAL mode automatically, so the game is running, with the bottom cut off. BUT I can see it!!!
Whew! (For some reason, I never played this series of games before.. Not sure how I missed them. Was there a TRUE NTSC version?)

20th October 2009, 18:30

The problem you have is due the vast majority of games are preserved in Europe (PAL land), and pretty much abandoned in USA. :banghead: :sigh:

20th October 2009, 19:40

for around $30 buy it now I think I can solve your problem

Firstly lets define the issue

1. You have a PAL amiga but NTSC Video Equipment
2. You have a Standard PC Monitor
3. You dont want to spend over 100$ to to be able to use it.

well if the answer is YES, then this is what I can recommend the following (click image to goto Buy it Now eBay)

For $27.99 External VGA TV Box Tuner CRT LCD TV Monitor
http://i.ebayimg.com/06/!BY377k!BWk~$(KGrHgoH-EQEjlLluvvMBKj5kLUVew~~_12.JPG (http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-External-VGA-TV-Box-Tuner-CRT-LCD-TV-Monitor-T-6_W0QQitemZ260493774718QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCC_Video_TV_Cards?hash=item3ca6a38f7e)
(please contact the seller to make sure they handle a PAL input signal)

So what can this device do? well I should say that I have two of these units and I am enthrawled by them.

You set the device to an output screen mode (say 1024x768) you then connect you Amiga via Composite or SVideo and what ever screen you use on the Amiga is Deinterlaced (no flicker!!!) and then Scaled (up or down) to fit the screen. It truly is great stuff.

It also has other great features

1. VGA pass through: so you can use you PC with it as well (the PC signal is just passed through)
2. 100 Channel RF input: great for other *older* consoles and computers
3. PIP: Picture in Picture - Yes you can watch your porn downloads while playing Cannon Fodder (if thats your thing)

All in all, its an amazing bit of kit at a very affordable price!!!

I use mine in conjunction with AmigaMainiacs Svideo converter for my A2000 / A4000 and even the A1200 has I am too lazy to hack Svideo on it!

Now Limmitations

Initially you will be stuck to composite, but for playing games this is certainly good enough, if you were floating A LOT in workbench then I would re-consider this option, however when you get an SVideo source on it, its fantastic and hardly any noticable difference to RGB!!

Again, please contact the seller to make sure they handle a PAL input signal, or you will be back at square one =(

... see....job done.... didn't need 2 pages... I am just too good to you =D

20th October 2009, 19:45
Zetr0, thanx for that.

I don't have a PAL Amiga, but it's the PAL games that are giving me a problem.

Not the ones I view in NTSC (just cuts off the bottom), but the ones that "flip" my A500 to PAL for output, so I think it's the same thing.

I'll check it out.



(I typed all the below before I saw your reply)

The problem you have is due the vast majority of games are preserved in Europe (PAL land), and pretty much abandoned in USA.

Why do I feel like Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes.

"Damn you all to hell, we did it to ourselves!!!"

Seriously. That's pretty sad.... I still think we need to start saving NTSC images as well.
I can at least do that for the game(s) I have and will be getting...

At least I decided.

I'll get a monitor...


Then I decided I'd go for a scan doubler... So that's it...


Of course, the 108x series were great monitors... So.. Monitor...


Then again..


This has been my weekend. Thanx!!!! :blink:

Like most things, I'll make some great decisions, and then I'll impulsively buy something and settle it that way.. :-)


20th October 2009, 19:50
Thanx Zetr0, but I don't think it will handle PAL. I found this online:

Monitor doesn't Show Pal PS2 Game, throught TV box (GADMEI TV3820E)?
is there a way to let ps2 pal games work on the montior through my tv box, everytime i insert one it just goes black and the our of range message appears, i

And the TV8230E is what the link is for. So it looks like it won't handle the PAL output...

I'll keep checking tho, for that or something similar...


20th October 2009, 20:03

I really want to help you get the most outa your amiga, I hate seeing people struggle so.

However there are many ways to skin a cat and as you see there are also plenty of ways to spend cash as well =)

For the moment I would continue looking for PAL CRT/TFT Tuner, they all come from Hong Kong so they must be on ebay somewhere =D

I will have a look into either helping you modify the motherboard to accept a PAL Agnus (i have a compatible spare I can send you)

Worse case scenario, I think I might have a spare PAL A500 motherboard I can spot you for 10, including shipping that will be about $30

20th October 2009, 20:06
So what can this device do? well I should say that I have two of these units and I am enthrawled by them.

Actually, if you have a NTSC Amiga and these guys, could you test it?
Just to make sure the PS2 thing isn't a different issue.

So, we'd be talking NTSC Amiga to this box to a Computer Monitor. (Standard SVGA type, not a multisync)

And then try to run a game that flips to PAL.

If you have access to tosec or Zophar or ??? I was trying this one and my TV would go "Out of Range"...

Pinball Dreams (1992)(21st Century)(Disk 1 of 2)[cr FLT].zip
Pinball Dreams (1992)(21st Century)(Disk 2 of 2)[cr FLT].zip
(I didn't need Disk 2, it went out of range before asking..)

(Yeah, it's on Zophar as: pinball-dreams-1992-21st-century-disk-1-of-2-cr-flt-.adf )

There was another one that was nice because the crack intro screen let me left click to enter PAL (and an "out of range"), but I can't remember what that was now.

If you can get that to come up through that combo, that should give me what I need.
(Well, OK, need isn't probably the right word.. :-) )


update: Found this one: http://www.tomtop.com/vt521-av-to-vga-c ... p2487.html (http://www.tomtop.com/vt521-av-to-vga-converter_p2487.html) that looks similar and mentions NTSC/PAL autodetection.. Very possible...

Also interesting, the above also has VGA in. I'm sure it wouldn't take an Amiga to VGA in and convert it... but.. probably not.. but.. Hmm.. Might be fun to play with this guy... And I could use it for my other systems on a monitor if the Amiga doesn't pan out...
(See what I mentioned about my being impulsive.. :nod: )

Dammit! I ordered one! I'm so weak!!! :-(


20th October 2009, 20:41

LOL reading you in this thread is like watching a leaf blow around in a storm!!! LOL

Congrats on the box, I believe its NTSC AV Inputs, as you mention the VGA is Throughput only (and wont upscan a 15Khz source)

The unit might allow for the larger screen. remember PAL output on an NTSC amiga is just a 50hz frequency not a Colour burst frquency that still is NTSC so yu may get lucky =)

best of luck =)

20th October 2009, 22:03
I agree! :(

I have no self control!!! :woot:

But, it's all your fault! You are all ENABLERS!!!! You should be ashamed of yourselves!! :nono:

The best thing about this is that even if it only works for some of my other consoles, that will help keep the house a bit cleaner and I'll be much less likely to keep dragging the systems out to the front room to plug into the TV...

:roll: :roll:

What do you think? That's the phrasing I was planning on using to tell the wife I ordered it.

She has already banned me from auctions. I don't know why. I think they are great. And I ALWAYS WIN!!!! :whistle:


31st October 2009, 20:13
OK, quick update.
I got the video converter in the mail. Not bad for shipping from a China ebay company...

First impressions:
It's smaller and lighter than I thought it would be.
The power connector is "weird" (as in not NORMAL!!) Why the rest of the world can't use NORMAL American 110 standard plugs, I don't get it! :-) :-) Ok, I need another adapter.. ;-)
The adapter is a 5V 500ma plug.. I have a 6 volt 200.. Nope.. doesn't work. I find a 6 volt 300, that works!
(But I'll get a 5V 500 (or more, the manual says it comes with a 1000, but it came with a 500) to be safe)

Ok, I plug in the VGA from a PC and the monitor, and it works. Looks fine...
There is a "select" button, so basically, it's also a switchbox. That's nice..
I hook up the A500 with composite color (A520) and flip over to it. Works!

Ok, a little dark, but there's a "menu" button, and I can adjust brightness, contrast, etc..).

Not bad. It is a little warm, and so is the adapter.. So, I shut it off for now. I'll find the correct voltage adapter for it before I do too much else...

All in all, it does what it says. And as a 3-way switchbox, it's kind of nice. I can have my C64 connected composite, my Amiga with SVideo (if I do the s-video mod on the A520), and my PC.
Or, some other combination.

Also, I get to choose the resolution it outputs. I was running it at 1280x1024, but I saw some "sparklies" scrolling up the screen. (With the Amiga/composite) So, I drop it down to 800x600 and it looks better.
I'll try hooking up my 3D0 (S-video) and see what that looks like.

The VGA passthru only works if it's plugged in. Makes sense, but would be kind of nice if i could leave it unlpugged for my PC.

I think the big question will be, how long will it last. I'm not sure about the quality at this point, but it seems to do what it says...

Now, I have to find that disk that let me flip my Amiga to PAL for the game (which blanked out my TV on composite, "out of range") and see what it does with that..


p.s. It came with an RCA cable, a BNC to RCA adapter, an SVideo cable, and a VGA cable.
Also, the AC adapter has 2 screws holding it together, so if I can find a dead AC adapter I can take apart, I should be able to pop the insides from this on to there to get it to work with USA power. It said it's good for 100-240volts. (If I don't have the right adapter somewhere else..)

1st November 2009, 20:06
OK, well, I loaded up an ADF convert to disk of Speedball 2, which had an NTSC PAL toggle on the cracktro screen...

When I selected PAL, the screen started rolling, but I could see stuff... Hmmm...
OK, so I flipped over to other inputs (SVideo, VGA, and back to composite) and it was there, but no scrolling. Apparently, this device didn't detect that the computer had "flipped' to PAL.

But I had PAL going now (and the info text said it recognized it as PAL, it hovers the mode/resolution in the top right for a few seconds as I flip through them).
Hmm.. Speedball 2 looks even more monochrome than I remember... checking...
No, it is monichrome...

So, I can do PAL, but apparently in monochrome.

Not sure if that's my NTSC Amiga 500, or the A520 I'm using or the adapter or which.
But apparently, I can do PAL, but in monochrome.

If I get a 1200, it will be interesting what he outputs from his composite for PAL through this adapter...

I swear I think the picture quality seems a bit better on my CRT through this adapter than on my LCD TV straight composite.. I'll do some more tests... and comparisons.

It's a fun box, and not bad so far. Remains to be seen how useful it will be, but so far so good.


2nd November 2009, 03:17
Your problem is the NTSC-only A520. Hook the device to the Amiga via the RGB port directly (if the device have an "analog CGA" input), then you'll have an "agnostic" colour monitor. :thumbsup:

2nd November 2009, 03:40
Your problem is the NTSC-only A520. Hook the device to the Amiga via the RGB port directly (if the device have an "analog CGA" input), then you'll have an "agnostic" colour monitor. :thumbsup:

OK, so it'll be interesting to see what happens with an A520 s-video mod, and whether it's also NTSC only.
I don't know enough about s-video (or the A520) to have any idea what will happen.

I know Amigamaniac's Amiga-svideo adapter (which uses a totally different chip than the A520) is jumper selectable for NTSC/PAL, but probably not a good idea to change the jumper while it's running. :-) Anyway, I missed that one and he has no near future plans for another run...

I haven't opened the device yet to see what I might be able to add to it, if anything.

Also, at some point, I'll try hooking the RGB directly to the VGA in port on the device. I don't expect it to upsample the RGB through that port, but I have to try.. I mean, that's what my wire stipper is for! ;-)