Advice sought re A500 and HXC/Gotek/options

CrazyC

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Hi All,

I recently got a yellowed basic a500 (rev6a) with no expansions, to go in the man cave. Although I can use my a1200 to write adfs back to disk this has proved a less than ideal solution, especially since I seem to have corrupted my CF hard drive in the process :censored:, but thank heavens for backups.

I don't really want to spend too much dosh on this one, as it will just be for playing a few games with some mates (say Dyna Blaster, supercars 2, lemmings, Bubble Bobble etc) on the odd occasions, and from a little bit of reading it seems a Gotek/Hxc setup would be ideal.
Previously (as I have only had a1200s) I have pretty much ignored all the talk of Goteks etc as hey I use WHDLOAD and have never seen the attraction.

This leaves me a bit out of the loop now however. I see that you can get Gotek's with original firmware, HxC firmware (?) internal and external?
It doesn't need to be terribly pretty, and I just would like to simply be able to load adfs from a usb stick from a list (saw what looked like a good one on youtube). I am in this case actually probably OK with cutting the case to fit it internally if needs be.

Is there an idiots guide wiki type page/thread that covers this? pro's and cons etc. Would I be OK with one of these and a simple trapdoor expansion to give me the 1mb some games seem to need?

Cheers
C.

Sorry about all the questions -
 

ElectroBlaster

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I am currently kind of in this situation with an old A500+. I have:

HxC2001
HxC2001 Slim
Gotek

The HxC Slim is pita imho! Yes it works but the lack of disk change/swap buttons is annoying. So now it is a toss up between the Gotek and the HxC2001. Both need some creative work to make fit internally. The Gotek does seem alot easier to get sorted imho. All you need to do is either re-drill some screw holes so the gotek sits back a bit to allow the Amiga's top case back on, or you cut some of the Gotek's front to achieve the same thing... if you understand me. You can pick up pre-flashed goteks that have had the mounting holes pre-done but then you're talking more money.

As for the 1mb ram expansion. As your board is a Rev6A that means you can perform the 1mb Chip ram mod. If you make that one switchable then it would make old stuff run.

Fitsteve on these very forums has lots of info about this! I did a Rev6A mod way way way back in the mists of time (1993 probably) and it does work pretty good. Also think long and hard about cutting the amiga's case... having it reversable is a good idea.
 
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CrazyC

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Cheers, I may drop Steve a line over on EAB as he is no longer on Amibay as far as I am aware :sad:.

With regards to the 1mb mod thing - that involves soldering right? Not my strong point. I wonder if I use the Gotek if I can get away with either just the memory it has, or with a 1/2meg fast ram expansion? As I said, I think I would only really be looking to play things like Dyna Blaster, supercars 2, lemmings, Bubble Bobble etc on this. I know supercars 2 works as I have played it on the machine off floppy, and I think lemmings as well.

What firmware do you use on the Gotek - did I read correctly that the original Gotek one doesn't support saving games ? (Not a huge deal breaker being honest)?
Cheers
C


 

ElectroBlaster

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Steve no longer on Amibay? eh I did not know that... something bad happen?

Regards the chipram mod. It involves cutting and also moving of solder blobs if you want it permanent. Switchable involves wires etc.

Firmware on the Gotek, tbh I really do not know 100% and as for saving! If it cannot save then I may give up on it. I do know the HxC firmware can be put on them which I may look into when I get around to it. I have to solder and flash my Goteks as they were bought in when the first cortex stuff came out. Just never got around to doing them.
 
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Olav_nordmann

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If your trapdoor RAM has an enable/disable switch, you only need to cut and change one jumper (JP2) just above the Kickstart ROM socket. I've soldered a switch on mine as well to have it easily reversible.

For 1M chip, set the RAM expansion to disable and the JP2 switch to the "changed" position.

If the RAM expansion does not have a switch, you need to cut JP7A by the RAM expansion connector as well (and maybe put a switch on it).
 
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CrazyC

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And have ordered one of kippers units.....
 

CrazyC

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OK, whilst waiting for the Gotek from kipper, an a501 has arrived from the other bay. It was sold as working and I shall test it tonight when I get home.
On the assumption it is working, I presume i will need to remove the shield post haste to get to the battery and remove it before it does damage.

Removing the shield seems to involve a little bit of soldering - is the shield actually required on this, or once off should I just leave it off?
cheers
C
 

ElectroBlaster

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It is really easy to do with a bit of solder braid. Soon as the solder is gone the sheilding should come off easily. Tbh not sure about whether it is really needed or not. If you wanted the complete original look then its easy to put back on.

I picked up an unknown a501 that was a lucky catch! The battery had leaked but not enough to start eating the board up.
 
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CrazyC

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Cool. Tested the a501 and it works including the rtc. Will try and dig out the soldering iron later to open it up and check out the battery.
 

CrazyC

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Ok, still cannot find my soldering iron much to my annoyance but kippers gotek arrived in double quick time and is now fitted. Had some fun initially and doesn't like either of the first two usb sticks, including the one I got specifically for it....? but then worked with the most awkward one I tried after that. I seem to have some very dodgy adfs however.
 
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ElectroBlaster

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Be interesting to see your setup with Kipper's solution fitted. How long did it take to get here? uk I mean. I have long pondered buying a few of Kippers excellent upgrades, but our border customs and their habit of holding anything to ransom puts me off. I have a pair of Lotharek HxC's. I finally got around to mounting the HxC2001 into the A500+ but I still need to fit the screen and buttons.
 

CrazyC

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From payment to in my hands took just over a week I think. Really quick as Brian had it in stock and pretty much ready to go.
Will add pics later.
 

CrazyC

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Just to say I have ordered stuff from kipper2k before and its been quick and easy. Would thoroughly recommend.
 

Arnie

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Yeah, agree with crazyc, stuff from Kipper arrives no problem. Stuff from the States however always gets held up in Customs :(
 

CrazyC

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591dfc7c0cad7b2e6d1cc9ecdddc03b6.jpg
 

Arnie

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You need to spray it to match the A500. Anybody do custard patchy yellow? :D
 

CrazyC

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That's the less tanned bit of the a500! Gonna spray the lot when I get a moment. Still trying to sort the adfs I want.
 

CrazyC

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Grrrrrrr - what the hell am I doing wrong? I just want SuperCars 2 to work. I have tried a number of adf files, I have even made my own from my working supercars 2 real disks using adf blitzer on my a1200 - and that doesnt seem to want to work either!!!!!!
 
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