ACA500Plus + A500 Rev 5 E5 Error

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  • Hello Jens,


    I've had the ACA500Plus for about two weeks now and have had a wonderful experience with it up until a couple of days ago. I'm experiencing the exact same E5 error as described on post ACA500+ stopped working (E5)


    I was simply working with my files using the stock 3.1 WB that came with the ACA when the screen suddenly went black, and the power indicator on my A500 flashed a couple of times and then went totally out. When I did a soft reset the ACA came up with the E5 error and I got the same green grid on a black background on my monitor. When I did a complete power down/up I received the same error/screen. This went on several times.


    When I removed the ACA the system booted up fine with my old WB 1.3 floppy and I've been able to boot up that way since. I have a non-modified A500 with a rev 5 motherboard and a Supra Card 512k trapdoor memory expansion (I tried removing that and the re-installed the ACA but unfortunately the E5 error came back). I cleaned the contacts on the A500 and the ACA with no luck. By the way, I have your RTC module installed on the ACA and I tried booting with it installed and not installed. I've never installed the ACA upside down either.


    What is a E5 error and what do I need to do to get it fixed? I really got to love the ACA500Plus in the short time that I had it working and would really love to get it back. My order number is 55937


    Thanks for all you do!

  • I've never installed the ACA upside down either.

    If that's the case, we'll be able to verify that on the "resistors of shame" - if they are fine, you're not at fault. Just send the card, and please include a short letter, so my employees know what to do with the card.

  • Thanks Jens.


    I'll get it in the mail next week.


    I just realized that I discarded the original shipping box with your address on it. I've never sent anything out of the USA and I'm not sure how to format your address.


    Your about page has the following.. I assume that I would just add "Germany" as the country?


    individual computer Jens Schönfeld GmbH
    In the Zemmer 6
    52152 Simmerath

  • Shipping from the US means that you need to pass through customs. Please have all paperwork accessible from the outside in one of these stick-on-transparent-envelopes:


    - copy of the original invoice

    - declaratiion of actual value

    - declaration of "return goods"


    If this documentation is not accessibly without opening the parcel, it will be held in customs, and I have to take a 45-minute drive (one way!) to the customs office. Please help me avoid that!

  • Hi Jens,


    I've created the shipping label and finished the required customs forms through the U.S. Postal Service an will be dropping it off tomorrow. They say it should take 6-10 business days for delivery.


    I've included a copy of this thread and a copy of the original invoice for your people to review upon receipt. I've also included a copy of the invoice along with the customs documents as you suggested.

  • Only the incoming-returns procedure has been done so far, which includes opening with witnesses, photos, measuring the "resistors of shame", but no functional tests or repair have been done yet. I can see that the resistors have been measured OK, so it has not been plugged in the wrong way round. Please give a few days until the A500 setup is on the desk again, as the shop is currently busy testing/packing Buddha controllers.

  • We've tested this card on multiple computers now, attempting to reproduce the issue. We have multiple Rev.5 A500s here, one even an NTSC machine with original 8370 Agnus (512k chip) which I assume is what you have. Since you're in FL, USA, we've also tried increasing the temperature of the card with a heat gun, assuming that temperatures in Florida are higher than in Germany right now. Another attempt was done with cooling spray, assuming that you have set your A/C to a very low temperature.


    Bottom line is that there is no problem with this card. It even works stable at 42MHz, which is of course not guaranteed.


    The best explanation I have is that you have a power supply problem, or there was a contact problem between the ACA500plus and your A500. In any case, I fear that you'll experience the same problem again if I ship this back without any modification, as the error is very likely to be in your system (so even sending a new card would not improve probabilities).


    Please take a few pictures of the parts you have, maybe we find something obvious. Or just let me know if you want to give up trying, and we'll make this a simple revocation (AKA refund of your money).

  • Hello Jens,


    I appreciate all that you and your team have done to try to resolve this issue. You are correct in that I do have an NTSC machine with the 8370 Angus 512k chip. It has been quite warm in Florida as of late (averaging around 37c) and the room I have my machines setup in is only partially air conditioned so the temperature can range between 26c - 29c on the hottest of days.


    My power supply (which is original) was something that I though may have been an issue so I have since purchased a remanufactured one just in case. I have also swapped out my Supra Card 512k card with an actual A501 thinking that have been memory related (green screen on boot up). My chip ram checks out okay as have the CIA chips. I have continued to boot up with out issues since.


    That all being said, I would like to get the ACA500Plus reconnected and see what happens. I'm going to start from scratch with a freshly formatted CF card and reinstall 3.1 from the ACA. For all I know it may have been software related from something I installed.


    I would ask (and you can say no) if it would be possible to get a new ACA500Plus as opposed to mine which sounds like it has been pretty much "stress tested". I would make me feel better if you could, but I'll leave that up to you. Please let me know if there will be any costs incurred for your benchwork and I look forward to trying again as it is an amazing piece of hardware and I've missed it's capabilities.


    Thank you so much!

  • You're the first customer to ask for a different card, as that's usually only happening if a card "only" does the guaranteed speed of 21MHz :-) Rest assured that the tests we're performing here do not cause wear or ageing to the products. There's a part of the standard QC procedure (aka every card has to go through that) that may look destructive: We bend the card while it's running, and if it crashes, it needs service before it can be released into the field. In the end, this is revealing any problems that a customer may have due to normal flexing of the card when inserting, so it can't be called "destructive" at all.


    I'll contact you via eMail, as there's some cost involved to handle restocking the known-good one.