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

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.
  • Once again, please check the menu version of the ACA500plus. This may be the reason why the ACA1221 does not start.


    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)?

    I can't offer that, but the automatic installer will only see a CF card in the boot slot if you insert an empty card before power-up. This is because the boot slot is not hot-plug compatible - only the aux slot is. With an empty card in the boot slot at power-up, you should be able to launch the automatic installer and make a bootable WB that way.


    Checking oyur earlier post, you seem to attempt to launch the installer with F1 or F2 options. The installer is in the Installer sub-menu: Press F7, then F1 - this will launch the automatic installer. Once again, the card must be inserted into the boot slot before powering up, otherwise it will not work.

  • Once again, please check the menu version of the ACA500plus. This may be the reason why the ACA1221 does not start.


    I can't offer that, but the automatic installer will only see a CF card in the boot slot if you insert an empty card before power-up. This is because the boot slot is not hot-plug compatible - only the aux slot is. With an empty card in the boot slot at power-up, you should be able to launch the automatic installer and make a bootable WB that way.


    Checking oyur earlier post, you seem to attempt to launch the installer with F1 or F2 options. The installer is in the Installer sub-menu: Press F7, then F1 - this will launch the automatic installer. Once again, the card must be inserted into the boot slot before powering up, otherwise it will not work.

    Thanks --


    Yes when trying to install to BOOT, I put the CF card in before powering on the computer. I've avoided hot plugging the CF cards in either slot when trying both (or either) slots just to reduce risk.


    And for getting WB 3.1 installed I do use the F7 menu to initiate the install and get the 'not a DOS disk' or AmigaDOS errors/boot as mentioned regardless of which slot and which card I use.


    ACA500+ says: ACA500p ROM: v0.129, $1C/$16 Flash ROM ID. MCU Big Dismo v1.9 (Oct 2018). HW ID $08. Physical ROM 37.175.

    I don't see a Menu version specifically?


    Can I create my own CF card via WinUAE in some fashion that's compatible with the ACA500+?

  • And for getting WB 3.1 installed I do use the F7 menu to initiate the install and get the 'not a DOS disk' or AmigaDOS errors/boot as mentioned regardless of which slot and which card I use.

    That shouldn't happen - the automatic installer re-formats the card (if you let it). So whatever has been on the card before will be overwritten, and new partitions and file systems are installed, so you don't have to go through the larger-than-4G-patch-hell. Not sure when you see that error message, but you should try to click that away and get back to the installer screen where you can select one of these options.

    ACA500+ says: ACA500p ROM: v0.129, $1C/$16 Flash ROM ID. MCU Big Dismo v1.9 (Oct 2018). HW ID $08. Physical ROM 37.175.

    I don't see a Menu version specifically?

    "ROM" is the version I was looking for, and although 0.129 is not the latest, it will work with the ACA1221 for sure.


    Can I create my own CF card via WinUAE in some fashion that's compatible with the ACA500+?

    Yes, the CF card format that the ACA500plus wants to see (and will create) is 100% compatible with the format that any other Amiga will also take, so if you have a way to generate a WB-installed CF card for an A1200, that card will also work in an ACA500plus.

  • LOL - I think all issues are resolved!


    I was able to boot off my A1200+ACA1221 Workbench 3.1 CF card without a problem in either the CFAUX or BOOT slots.


    I then decided to swap my A1200 keyboard with my A500 keyboard, because if you remember I mentioned the Return key didn't work, but the Enter key works on my A500 keyboard.


    Apparently if you F7 --> F1 and hit Enter, it won't install.

    If you F7 --> F1 but hit Return -- it is now installing!


    I used some air to clean out the ACA1221 card female card edge, and plugged it in and now everything is magically working! - I am booting off the BOOT slot, using a 68020 @ 28 MHz and all RAMs are showing. Now I just need to install the 8372A Agnus and get 1MB ChipRAM, and repair the return key..


    Sorry for all of this trouble, it looks like it was all due to enter vs return on the keyboard, and maybe a combo of dirty ACA1221 slot+weak power supply.


    Do you accept Paypal donations for your Model X fund? :)


    EDIT : Last question, if I did want to have the ACA1221 flashed with the ROM that allows the 42 MHz divider, what would the cost for that be?

  • Do you accept Paypal donations for your Model X fund? :)

    Money isn't really the problem - it's more a "do the other pending things first" thing. Such as finally turning the garden from a dirt desert into something that can be considered a garden - that would help me to convince my wife. Finding someone (individual or company) to do all that work is the hard part out here in the country. We've already paid a fortune for equipment rental (excavators, wheel loaders - the land is somewhat bigger than usual), so I ended up buying an old Bobcat 610 skid steer, which has served us well in the past 18 months. Currently fighting to get a new drive belt on, as the old one failed catastrophically and ripped away practically all the electrical harness. I already fixed that, but the belt is giving me a hard time. Such large mechanical things aren't really my strong point, but I'm taking them as a distraction from the tiny computer hardware stuff :-)


    Last question, if I did want to have the ACA1221 flashed with the ROM that allows the 42 MHz divider, what would the cost for that be?

    That would be a flat 20,- EUR (for Europeans that's "plus tax", but that doesn't apply to you). However, you should check the mask of the CPU first before you spend that money - international shipping would go on top (in both directions), and I can see that you only have 33MByte licensed for that card - 42MHz operation is only enabled if the card is fully licensed, so you need to consider that as well. I'd only try it for an E30G mask, and you may even have to add a heat sink on the CPU (which is easily done on the ACA500plus, as the CPU faces up).

    I think all issues are resolved!

    Does that include the Aux CF card problem?

  • Yep - all problems fixed including the Aux CF slot.


    Apparently the issue was some combination of:


    1. Both CF slots had slightly pushed in pins that I've fixed by straightening (AUX) or pushing back out (BOOT)

    2. Keyboard problem - "Return" is the only key that properly kicks off the F7 --> F1/F3 installation menu. "Enter" just boots.

    3. Power supply *and* slightly dirty 1221 edge connector causing ACA1221 to not play nicely with the ACA500+.


    I also took apart my 512KB expansion and removed the leaky old clock battery.


    I offered for the X fund since you wasted personal time helping me here with idiot stuff - I appreciate your help Jens!!


    Certainly good luck with the old equipment! I was lucky enough to grow up where my grandparents had a farm (though mainly later raised Apaloosa horses for racing), and I helped Dad repair some old "Divco" home milk delivery trucks - though later in life for restoration purposes. It's always fun to get your hands dirty and see something large "work" after some foul language helps fix it.. :)


    ..


    Looks like my 68020-16 on this 1221 is the 0C10H mask (AUEB09130) so I'm assuming not likely suitable for 42 MHz OC. Oh well :). Looking forward to ACA1234 in the future.

  • Wasted time? It's Amiga/Retro time, so that can never be considered wasted!


    It's always fun to get your hands dirty and see something large "work" after some foul language helps fix it..

    The "getting hands dirty" part is what I like to avoid (at least the greasy part). The alternator on the Bobcat was broken when I bought it, but I only found out when I had to recharge the battery on a weekly basis. My solution was not to fiddle with the alternator at all - I installed a solar panel and a charge controller: Cheaper, faster to install and didn't get my hands dirty. And I probably own the world's first solar Bobcat :-) Took out the broken alternator when I worked on the axle last week.


    Looks like my 68020-16 on this 1221 is the 0C10H mask

    C10H has it's upper limit at 28MHz (technically 33MHz, but that's not available on the ACA1221 design). That's a 1.2µm mask, exclusively produced at the Tohoku fab for extended temperature products only. So while you may not be happy that you can't crank it up to 42, you will most likely never have any temperature problems. I'd say "never change a running system".


    Only E30G and C54S are 1.0µm masks, but the C54S is somewhat rare, as it was intended for military use.


    Back to ACA1234 developement - that's what this long weekend was planned for!