Commodore Amiga Retro

So you bought an A1200

What next ?

Day Five

Fitting an accelerator

Remember to earth yourself... very important
And never work with the power connected to the Amiga..doh !

There are a variety of accelerators and RAM cards out
there. Its important that you understand that all cards
are not the same. Some are accelerators and some just add
RAM. Further, some have the extra memory attached to the
card, and others allow you to add SIMMs to the card.
There is the added problem of limitations on RAM, and this
can mean as little as 4Mb. Always check exactly what the
card can do

The high spec cards can also give problems with heat, and the
very high spec PPC cards need to have fans attached and the
A1200 placed in a tower

In addition to RAM there is also the maths co-processor
and the battery backed clock. I found that without the FPU
jpegs load very slowly. You need this to do the maths.

And so which card do I prefer... Easy, the Blizzard 1230IV
This has a 68030 CPU@50MHz CPU
72-pin SIMM sockets allowing up to 128Mb upgrade
MAP-ROM function for copying the OS into fast memory
Allows the fitting of the maths co-processor 68882
Allows you to connect the SCSI kit to the card
Full genlock compatibility
Integral real time clock

By fitting the card I can free up the PCMCIA slot for
the addition of a CDRom and Squirrel interface. These
RAM cards are useful for getting you started but limit
you later. So its back in the box for the Amitek

Having removed the PCMCIA card and all other connectors
lay down a sheet of protection and proceed to open the
A1200s trap door. Keep this in a safe place.

Check the bay to see that no wires have dropped down from
the LED display, and also check that the shielding isn`t
obscuring the pin connector.

Make reference to the manual if you have one for the card
to see how they suggest you insert it.

Having had many experiences of struggling with the card
installation, I generally open the A1200 up and insert
from the other side. This way you can carefully unscrew
the shielding to the motherboard and ensure that the card
is not touching any metal component. I have seen strips of
insulating tape across ends of cards where they have
obviously touched the shielding.

Having done this simply fasten the A1200 back together
and replace the trap door. There are some that leave the
door off to give extra ventilation. Trouble with this is that
the accelerator can hang down and place tension on the card
I do have the trap off my main A1200, but I have the computer
on raising pieces and the end of the card is also supported.

With the Blizzard you don`t need any clever software and the
difference should be noticeable straight away. Some cards
do need software, like the Apollo and the GVP Turbo. If you
buy the card without software, do try and track it down

Having checked that all was fine I set the clock on the
A1200 and had a quick play of Settlers. One other thing
you can do is fire up a jpeg and see how fast it loads

Do remember that this is an acclerator, not a graphics
card. You will see a vast improvement on processing power
but there will be no upgrade on the graphics side. The GVP
that I have warns you about having too many colours displayed
and having a big picture as a backdrop.

So you`ve bought an A1200

Wanna know what to do with it ?
Here`s what I did with an 11 Amiga A1200 from Ebay
Days 1 to 3 ~ She`s alive !

Day 4 ~ A case of the DDs
Fitting a replacement floppy drive

Day 5 ~ The Blizzard Cometh
Fitting an accelerator

Day 6 ~ Feed the Squirrel
Fitting a CDRom drive

Day 7 ~ Hard drivin` the A1200
Fitting an external and internal hard drive

Day 8 ~ ZIP-it` the A1200
Fitting an Iomega ZIP drive

Day 9 ~ A brighter Outlook ` the modem and the A1200
Modem at the Ready A step by step guide to getting on-line

Day 10 ~ Back to the Future ` ... in need of a new heart
Not just a new OS But new ROMS also

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Last updated 07/10/06