Resurecting Amiga 1200. Fight!

Get back to my parents-in-law house and my little, yellow and somewhat decomposed Amiga 1200. Not yet rotting, but not booming either. I mentioned non-so-responsive keyboard (I recall it has stopped working 10 years ago…), the mouse with no ball and a broken hard drive. Enough to be disheartened, but not now. Fight!

The thing I was certain about was the power supply. My brother did a great job in renovating it and I was sure the current is fine. I plugged the power cables, attached the keyboard (even though I knew it’s useless) and mount the floppy drive. As for the video output, I connected an old SVGA CRT monitor via the scan-doubler. The deficient mouse was also in place. Deficient but faithful :) Time to power on the stuff. With no fear.

Hard stuff...

Hard stuff…

Scandex scan-doubler

Bummer. No famous fdd ‘click’, no video output, LEDs dark as hell. Not a good sign at all. Time to handle issues like a support engineer shall do.

I started with video. I searched vigorously for a tv cable, and luckily found one inside a box under closet. I connected an old tv to the modulator port and…

Sometime you need to reach for a cable...

Sometime you need to reach for a cable…

Hooray! Beautiful animation appeared on the screen. Scandex is dead apparently. And LEDs as well. Now what is wrong with the floppy drive… No ‘click’? How come? I’ve inserted a disk anyway, but nothing happened. Another dead horse?

Or maybe something wrong with the ribbon cable? I took a closer look but with no conclusion. Let’s try to invert connector then. Power off, power on… And it clicked again! What a relief.

A1200 running a real thing!

A1200 running a real thing!

One more episode to come…

Resurecting Amiga 1200. A prologue.

This blog is suppose to be dedicated to programming. To little bits and pieces of things I do professionally or to stuff I would like to do in a near future. Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I wrote a post about Amiga however. Sounds like a different kind of stories, doesn’t it?

Not so different. Since Amiga was my third computer, I was not so in games anymore, like when got my first Atari XE. Instead, I was in a total love in all the demo-scene stuff. Back then I could watch demos, intros and cractros for hours. Like hundreds other Amiga folks, I wanted to be a coder. A 68k assembler hero.

Long story short, it did not happen. At least not to an extent I could recognize as a success. Soon I switched to C and the system stuff. It was fun too, but not the dream I wished to come true. Hold on for a second. Where were I? Ah, yes, resurecting Amiga 1200.

Yes, I did it! :) I powered my Amiga 1200 on again. I could not say it is fully functional (it is far away from that point actually), but it works! I loaded some stuff from floppies (looks like they are more reliable then cd…), watched a demo or two, and listened to fantastic music… Not much, huh? There are reasons for that, unfortunately.

Lets start with what I have on the stock. The body parts are as follows:

  • Amiga 1200 with broken keyboard
  • M-Tec 1230 68030/28MHz with 10MB Fast RAM
  • a dead hard drive
  • a mouse without ball (more close to a real mouse then…)
  • Scandex scandoubler
  • a customized PC power supply
  • lot of floppy disks

Two complementary items are a standard SVGA monitor and an old-fashioned TV. Rather priceless when comes to making use of any computer, including Amiga.

Almost entire A1200...

Where are the chips?

A1200 keyboard. Almost functional...

A1200 keyboard. Almost functional. I hate that green tape…

A black Amiga mouse.

Amiga mouse. Looks like a working one.

Mouse with no ball. Whatever it may sound.

Something is badly missing…

It does not look impressive, I know. Broken or dead items are not of particular use, nor interest. But do not lose faith. My story of a pile of old hardware pieces becoming a working Amiga 1200 is a long one, however has a happy-end. I wished a happier one (all these not working things, especially the keyboard…) but it is good to have what I’ve managed to (re)assemble.

More to come.