ACA500+ - I may have damaged the Boot CF slot .. questions

Caution: Non registered users only see threads and messages in the currently selected language, which is determined by their browser. Please create an account and log in to see all content by default. This is a limitation of the forum software.


Also users that are not logged in can not create new threads. This is a, unfortunately needed, counter measure against spam. Please create an account and log in to start new threads.

Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Hello!


    I received my ACA500+ to install on my A500. A500 is stock except for commodore 512k trap expansion, and Indivision ECS.


    I (stupidly) managed to partially push in two pins (and bend one) on the Boot slot. I've since straightened the bent pin out and pushed that and the other 'pushed in' pin back into place, so I *think* I'm getting good contact. However, I cannot get Workbench to install on any of my CF cards via the F7 menu. (F1 or F3).


    Questions I have are:

    - Is there any way from the ACA500+ menu system to tell if it's seeing the Boot CF card properly? The LED does flash when I try to install but it fails to AmigaDOS.

    - Is it correct to prepare a CF card by inserting into a windows system, running diskpart and using the "clean" command to clean the CF card before use in the ACA500+?

    - Is there any way to use the "Aux" CF slot for HDD boot / OS usage instead? or boot from AUX?


    I tried 3 different CF cards - a 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB. One is a Sandisk, another DaneElec, and 3rd generic.


    Thanks!

    John

  • - Is there any way from the ACA500+ menu system to tell if it's seeing the Boot CF card properly? The LED does flash when I try to install but it fails to AmigaDOS.

    You can do a "positive test" on the Aux slot. The installer will also see and install a card in that slot, and the ACA500plus will boot from it if the Boot slot is empty.


    - Is it correct to prepare a CF card by inserting into a windows system, running diskpart and using the "clean" command to clean the CF card before use in the ACA500+?

    No. All partitioning is done by our installer. No need for preparation with a different computer.

    - Is there any way to use the "Aux" CF slot for HDD boot / OS usage instead? or boot from AUX?

    Yes, that's fully transparent, no special actions required. Just keep the boot slot empty, and both the menu system and the installer will also check the other card.

  • Thank you Jens - I appreciate the help!


    I have tried all 3 different cards in the AUX slot only; and after unpacking the ROMs (5 lines of text), it goes to a black screen for a few seconds. Then I receive:


    System Request -- Not a DOS disk in device CFAUX


    If I try the same install with the card in the "Boot" slot I just get the insert Workbench animation.


    I've disabled the trapdoor RAM in configurations just to reduce the change that the expansion RAM is flaky (I haven't used this machine in a very long time). I also disconnected the HxC floppy emulator temporarily just to make sure that wasn't conflicting somehow.


    Thanks..

  • Follow-up - I think my problem is the power supply. I have one of those "C64 PSUs" referred to in threads like this that don't work well with the ACA500plus: https://forum.icomp.de/index.p…0kMe5juLrg1Wbit0#post1832


    The symptoms are: Amiga works flawlessly without the ACA500plus. With the ACA500plus I get some screen corruption over time (mouse cursor always corrupted, main graphics occasionally corrupt). If I add a ACA1221 to the ACA500plus the system won't even power on. I'm assuming the ACA500plus is good and the power supply is the culprit.


    Jens - is there any way to order a 120V version of your CA-PSU? Or is the only real option for a North American Amiga to use your CA-PSU and a 120V to 240V transformer?


    Thanks!

  • That 240V transformder would be a way, but if you have an outlet for a washer/dryer (which many people in America are installing because you can charge an EV much better with them), you could route a line from that.


    Another option would be to take a 12V/5A DC supply and wire that to the DC-DC converter of the CA-PSU. The DC-DC converter box has a plug internally; a rather big one, so it can handle the relatively high current of up to 5A. You'll break the warranty seal, though.

  • Thanks Jens! Really appreciate the responses and the great products you produce for us. I will order a CA PSU and go from there.


    (Ironically I do have an EV and have increased my use of 240V in the house, but no 'close' options for the Amiga unfortunately).


    From a wiring perspective - is the switch box the DC-DC converter, while the bigger box is the AC-DC conversion? or are both pieces contained in the bigger box?


    Thanks!

  • It's separated: The box with the 240V connection converts from 240VAC to 12V DC with a 5A rating. All other conversion is done in the black cartridge case that has the short connection to the Amiga.


    Thumbs up for the EV - I still need to convince my wife. And wait for used Model X prices to come down (we're a good bit taller than average).

  • Thanks Jens! One last silly question - does 60 hz / 240V power vs 50 hz / 240V power matter for this power supply if I go the transformer route?


    Good luck on the EV with the Wife! I think once she starts driving it she'll love it. If you can charge at home, always having 'a full tank' is great, and I think that one pedal driving is safer since braking starts more quickly than two pedal driving.


    It is interesting you're looking at the X -- although all Tesla's have great front headroom (there are even 6'8+/ 2.0M tall people driving the Model 3 with no problem), the rear headroom in the X I found to be less than both the 3 and the Y because of the bump downs from the wing doors. The other limitation on the X (but not 3/Y/S) is that you can't put roof racks on it because of the rear doors. We like to go kayaking and canoeing - and the 3 is great for carrying those on top..


    Sorry for a bit of a sales pitch - but test drive the 3 and Y if you haven't. They're fun and surprisingly roomy :).


    Enjoy!

  • does 60 hz / 240V power vs 50 hz / 240V power matter for this power supply if I go the transformer route?

    It shouldn't - it's a simple rectifier design where grid frequency is not used for anything.


    If you can charge at home, always having 'a full tank' is great,

    Yep - especially with 17.4kWp solar on the roof. We can't feed all that power into the grid, so it would be way smarter to use it for driving.


    Haven't driven any Tesla yet. The main concern is to get three child seats and luggage in there - I already had to do modifications on the safety belts of our two Volvo V70 in order to fit two re-boarders and an infant seat. From the technical data, the X is the widest on the back row - plus the luggage space, it can really compete with the V70. Still, from station wagon to "trunk" with a high lift barrier is a step back, and my wife likes the interior of the Mercedes V. However, since I'm totally against buying anything ICE, only the EQV would be an option, which is in a price range that I'm not willing to spend for a car. So I guess it's repairing the V70s for a few more years :-)


    (hmmm.. and maybe look at an Aptera... comes closest to the "LoReMo" concept that was ahead of it's time and would surely get funding these days)

    [/OT] :-)

  • LOL - ok that's much better than my 5.9kW (+Powerwall) of Solar :)


    Got it! - X is the right vehicle for 3 car seats and lots of storage/kid stuff :) I would recommend sitting in a 5-seat version of the Y just to see.. and LOL re: EQV, agreed there buddy!


    lolol Aptera. I guess you could buy 3 of those -- one for you, one for the wife, and one for the kids and have them follow you? :)


    End topic :)


    Have a great day!

  • Hi Jens - an update - I'm still having problems with the ACA500+,. Here's what I've done/tried:


    - Bought the CA_PSU and use a 120V to 240V transformer to power the PSU (I live in North America).

    - Without the accelerator, the Amiga works OK. - No corruption with mouse cursor, can play software without screen corruption over time.

    - I removed the Commodore 512KB expansion (A504?) from the trap door area, and that didn't make a difference.

    - I cleaned the edge connector that the ACA500+ plugs into and it made no difference. (quick cleaning - q-tip and rubbing alcohol)

    - Forced the ACA500+ to 7 MHz CPU

    - Disabled all RAM options on ACA500+

    - Switching between NTSC and PAL makes no difference


    Symptoms:

    - The Amiga+ACA500+ will never boot off of CF card or start the install of workbench (i.e. F1 or F2)

    - The only configuration I can get the ACA500+ to boot off of a floppy is via the F1 or F2 keys

    - However, once in workbench, there is graphics corruption -- a 'tall' set of corruption follows the mouse cursor around, and games will start (i.e. Starflight) but slowly add corruption over time.

    - If I try other combos via the F10 menu - i.e. manually set kickstart ROM to 'motherboard' (motherboard = 2.0), or manually 1.2, 1.3, or 3.1 -- I'll get the insert workbench screen but it will *not* boot off of the floppy.

    - If I add my ACA1221 to the ACA500+ the ACA500+ will flash the LED before shutting off/down.


    In these tests the Amiga is completely stock except for the Indivision ECS (w/ 1.01 firmware).


    Does this sound like some kind of power delivery issue on the A500 to you? maybe a capacitor out of spec or similar? something else?


    I can try to find a local Amiga enthusiast to mail the ACA500+ to and double check it's operation on their Amiga 500. I'm just curious what you think I should try next --


    The only other thing I'm thinking is - does it matter where I ground the Indivision ECS? it's grounded near the edge connector that the ACA500+ plugs into.


    Thank you for your time Jens!

  • I'd like to see a few pictures - of the gfx corruption and the possibly-damaged CF slots. Maybe I can spot something - the gfx corruption points to a contact problem on Denise and/or Agnus, but since you wrote that everything works fine without the ACA500plus installed, and you've confirmed that you have a known-bad PSU, I was pretty convinced that a good PSU can solve the problem here.


    The ACA1221 is a very old and known-good card (2015). Except if you're talking about the latest ACA1221lc, which will require you to make a flash update to the ACA500plus. A picture of this unit will also help clarifying if we're talking about the same thing.


    While you're at taking pictures, it might be an idea to check if the Indivision ECS V1 unit requires a patch around the PLL circuit: Please remove the Denise chip and take a picture of the components under the chip, possibly a close-up of the center part of that socket.

  • Thanks Jens -


    Hopefully this link works: https://imgur.com/a/NG97Wbn


    Screenshot 1 and 2 are with ACA500+ installed and booted to workbench 3.1; #3 is trying to boot with a CF card in CFAUX and doing the sequence for installing WB/KS.


    The ACA1221 is the 'original flavor' -- I purchased in August 2015. Unfortunately right before the option came to try to overclock to 42 MHz, so 28 MHz only :).


    EDIT - I've updated the above album to also include the 'under Denise' pics, hopefully good enough. I've also added a pic of the workbench working without ACA500+ installed (#7).


    The ground cable coming from Indivision ECS was a bit loose on the motherboard side so I tightened that, but no change in behavior.


    P.S. I'm glad I spent the money on the power supply - after seeing the issues with the 'cheap' power supplies I'd rather have a quality unit for these old computers anyway..

  • You've removed the flicker fixer, but not the Denise chip to take pics of the flicker fixer parts under the Denise chip. Also, please use the picture upload function of this forum, so we can be sure that the pictures remain here, even when that external hoster decides to delete your picture(s). This forum shall become an archive for others to search, and it shall not become a link collection to dead picture hoster pages with too many ads on it.


    I can see that the gfx problems are all with the mouse pointer only. The first thing we should do is to update Indivision ECS V1 - you wrote that you have firmware 1.01 installed - please download the latest 1.15 update, it's the 2012 (yep, 9 years old) re-compiled version of the 1.10 changes with improved power settings . Not that I'd expect any power problems, but I know that V1.10 did contain some improvements for register-write timing compared to the version you're using. Here's hope that you have enough memory to install that, and that it already fixes the mouse pointer problems.


    The ACA1221 is the 'original flavor' -- I purchased in August 2015. Unfortunately right before the option came to try to overclock to 42 MHz, so 28 MHz only :).

    I only returned to the ACA1221 logic when I developed the ACA1221ec, so the 42MHz feature was developed later - the latest MCU code is dated June 2016 for the ACA1221. If you return the ACA500plus for service, we could do the update as well. However, it may be more cost effective if you purchase the CF card slot in our shop and find someone locally to do the change, as shipping across the pond will make it much more expensive.

  • The good news is that this Indivision ECS V1 is fully patched on the PLL side - no problems to expect there.

    Thanks Jens! Good News - I've updated the ECS flash (it says 1.10 for some reason upon boot not 1.15) - but the corruption is gone with the ACA500+!. I also loaded a game (Starflight 2) successfully and it works great!


    I'm still unable to use any CF cards:

    These cards will give an error "Error no DOS disk in CFAUX": Transcend 133x 8GB, Dane-Elec 2GB, and a generic 4GB.

    These cards will do more LED flashing, but then drop to an AmigaDOS prompt (where I can't run any commands like INFO or even DIR): Canon 8MB (yes MB), Sandisk Extreme III 4GB.


    I've tried multiple combos of cards - cards in both slots, and each card separately in each slot (Boot, then AUX).


    I've tried installs via F7 -- F1 and F3, and no differences there as well.


    The ACA1221 not powering on when plugged into ACA500+ issue remains as well.


    I've attached a pic of the ACA1221 to show it's the original 2015 version, and the ACA500+ CF slots as asked above. What was damaged was some of the pins were pushed 'in', and folded back slightly on the left side. I was able to straighten them out without breaking any pins.


    EDIT: It may not matter, but the primary 'Enter' key on my A500 keyboard doesn't work, so I'm always using the numeric keypad 'enter' when starting the flash process via F7. I don't think that'll make a difference but just FYI.

  • (it says 1.10 for some reason upon boot not 1.15)

    That's my bad - I did not go through the whole "apply new version number" procedure when I did that quick re-compile with improved power settings. On the logic side, it's true that it's a V1.10. Good to hear that this problem is resolved - two more to go.

    I'm still unable to use any CF cards:

    I don't spot anything on the CF slot, but Q2 has a pretty dark shadow on it - this may mean that it got very hot at some point. Q2 is a BC850C, switching a bleed resistor (R12, 220R) when power to the CF card is off. Q1 is the MOSFET, in the CF power path, an IRLML5203 - this may also break if it gets a short, and if it melts internally, Q2 and/or R12 may break as a result of that.


    However, before spending money on parts and labour, I'd do a thorough inspection of the AUX slot; if pins were folded back, one or more of them may not have contact to the solder pad any more. Try moving each pin with a needle to see if it has safe contact. For every pin you can move, apply some flux and heat it up for a second with a soldering iron.


    The ACA1221 not powering on when plugged into ACA500+ issue remains as well.

    I need to wait until employees show up and the database server is switched on (in just under 2 hours). The only thing I can see from the warranty ID is that the ACA1221 is indeed one of the very first ones that was delivered, probably even _the_ very first shipment to AmigaKit. The sticker indicates that it has been serviced at some point?


    You might want to check if the menu system of your ACA500plus is the recent one. If you press TAB on the power-up menu screen, you'll see lots of system information, including the menu system version number.

  • Thanks Jens - I will re-inspect / address the pads/pins on the CF slots this evening. Is there any way to download a pre-made image of a working workbench that I can apply to one the CF cards from another computer to see if the system can at least boot into Workbench via CF card (vs a problem with the auto installation process)?


    Re: Good news is the ACA1221 works fine in my A1200. At one point I did have Amiga Kit recap and repair my A1200, which was around the time I ordered the ACA1221. That may be why it has a service sticker on it.


    I am hoping to get the 1221 working with the 500+ as I'm thinking of buying the 1234 when it comes out for my A1200.


    Thanks!


    P.S. I really appreciate your time here and also the work you put into designing these boards and upgrades. It's fun using "real" hardware ..