Return to the Amiga 1200 - My Journey - Part 2

Part #2: Recapping & Initial Repairs.

We left my last post with me getting my new purchase home and showing pictures of it. Now, obviously the first thing I did was test it some more as soon as I walked through the door. Unfortunately the lack of software and disks available to me at the time prohibited me from doing as an extensive a test as I would like (eg. testing the Techno Turbo adapter)- so I set about checking what I could and researching on the internet for what I knew I was going to need (and start making a list of my wants).

Following on from a fuller inspection, the only fault I could find mirrored that from when I purchased it - the CTRL+AMIGA+AMIGA keys didn't work. I did note when output through the composite port the initial Kickstart screen had a slight flicker but that didn't persist when loading into a game. A quick internet search later showed this was a common issue when connecting to newer screens and that using an RGB > SCART Adapter was a great solution here. One item for my shopping list already.

I'd toyed with how to approach repairs and recapping on the drive home. Now whilst it's not something I would be averse from doing myself in time and with a lot more research and re-familiarisation with the Amiga there's no arguing the fact that a recap is a major job for a beginner. With me myself being new back to the Amiga scene I decided that I'd rather not risk breaking it, so decided the best approach was to get a seasoned professional to do it for me. I'd be fixing the joystick in anycase - an easy enough beginner-repair I thought - so would leave the first major rework to a pro.

So - now I was armed with my initial requirements to get my base Amiga 1200 operational and ready for upgrades, I set about researching the best way to tackle this.

After reading a few forum posts on the topic around and about the world wide web with a few mouse clicks later I had a short list of potential repairers and recappers - but from my research one name seemed to stand out from the rest - Steve Clifford from Amiga Passion. This is in by no means a slur on anyone else who provides recapping and repairs, only that from my limited research, his was the most promiment name which kept popping up. Anyway, I found his website and after reviewing his prices and services decided to drop him a message to inquire further.

At the time of sending my initial inquiry I didn't really want to touch the Amiga. I'd wanted to just package it up and send it off for recap and keyboard repair and outlined that in my message to Steve. To Steve's credit, he responded within 24 hours however, as I'm sure most of you can appreciate having the Amiga sitting around was just too much temptation for me not to crack open the case and have a look. My initial thoughts were that the CTRL+AMIGA+AMIGA keyboard reset issue could be down to a loose cable or a dirty connection - so before Steve had opportunity to respond, I'd had the case open and armed with some IPA had set about giving it a darn good clean. Unfortunately despite my best efforts the keyboard issue remained so I knew I was going to leave this in the hands of a professional.

When Steve's message got back to me, he articulated the basic recapping service to me and increased shipping costs associated for sending the whole Amiga back rather than just removing the motherboard and shipping that. He also said that he would take a look at the keyboard and it might be a quick fix but worst case would be a new membrane - but he would take a look at it if I did go ahead with the recapping with him and get back to me with costs of the repair. If he couldn't fix it cheaply, he'd just go with the replacement and not charge me for the fix attempt so I wouldn't be out of pocket. Another result - an honest repairer who wouldn't charge for unnecessary repairs. His reputation had indeed preceded him ! (At the time of writing, Steve still has both keyboard & motherboard, so I can't comment on the quality of his work - but his reputation in the community certainly suggests it will be to a high standard. I'm sure once it's back in a subsequent update post I can provide more info there for any people looking for a recapper or repairer).

With me essentially having the Amiga 1200 now lying in bits around me following on from my cleaning frenzy, I knew I could remove the additional shipping costs from sending the whole unit as they were no longer required. The good news there was that as I would be saving on shipping, I could now spend a little extra and opt for the Premium Recapping service. This fit with my budget and because return shipping costs were included, it was a no brainer.

A few further e-mails backwards and forwards and I'd purchased the recapping service on his website, packaged up my motherboard (in its heat shield for extra protection) & keyboard in a ridiculous amount of bubble wrap and got it out in the post with Royal Mail for him to work his magic on once received.

Now that the base Amiga restoration was in hand, I set about finding the RGB > SCART cable I'd need to connect it to a modern TV (I've since re-imagined how/what I'll be connecting my Amiga 1200 too, but I'll follow up on that in a later post once I have all the bits in hand and tested my solution). Again an internet trundle later and I settled upon an adapter supplied by AmigaKit. (I also purchased a PCMCIA CF Adapter from them, as I knew I'd need to transfer files on and off of the Amiga and this seemed like a good quick solution).

So - there you have it. Initial repairs in hand and first couple of minor mods. I have a more extensive list of things I've researched and placed orders for, but I'll save that for future updates :)

I'll leave you with a picture of my Amiga shell in bits, awaiting return of its keyboard and motherboard:


Best regards,


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