Date: December 4th 2006

Subject 01: Collection Advent Calendar : Amiga 590
Subject 02: Incoming
Subject 03: This Way Up
Subject 04: Amiga Schematics

Entry 0004: Blogs: 4


OK Day 4 and it's the humble A590. This is one of my
most favoured expansions for the 500. Annoying that
it needs a brick as big as the 500  to run and
can be a touch on the noisy side. Nothing happens
with power on till the Amiga is fired and it has a circular
power connector.. off the very same brick as a 500..
Why they did this.. I know not. However, it still is a
lovely bit of kit and I have several... And this is the
story of one such beast. I give you the A590.

scuzz log... The A590.

I received a mail from a guy from one of the other groups
about a guy wanting to rid himself of some old kit. All was
broken and wondered if I would collect. No charge. Save
him going down the tip. He had an old 500, 2 A2000s
a Macintosh and IBM plus the A590. And a box full of
connectors. Anyway I travelled north and met late one
dark winters night. The guy was moving and there were
boxes everywhere. He showed me the Mac a Quadra 650
which had red writing all over it. He had no idea if it was

Next was the IBM. He thought that the hard drive in the
box was to this and if I could install may just get the
thing working... Anyway I wasn`t too interested but
agreed to take it.

Next up was the 2 2000s. Niether worked for one reason
or another and the boxes were without screws and the
motherboards all over the place. The one power unit
was also loose.

The A590 was without hard drive and hadn't been powered
up cus he had no supply nor had the 500. He honestly
thought the stuff was junk, so I took them off his hands.

1st to the Macintosh... I bought some cleaner off Ebay
which had a real powerful smell and I even had a
complaint from the post office. This package has
never been opened and is in the boot of my old car.
In the end I got some scrubbing things from Tesco
and removed all the red markings. I hooked up to
my Apple monitor and worked just fine...

2nd to the A2000s. Between the two I managed to
make a perfectly good A2000. Turned out one had
a faulty motherboard but working power unit and the
other a working motherboard and a faulty power
unit... So just swapped things over.

3rd to the IBM... I did laugh. I opened up the case
and there was no motherboard... nothing empty.
And from the evidence it never had a motherboard,
it had always been empty. Found out that sometimes
the floppy drive was used as an expansion and they
just shipped it in an extra case with power... So I
got to thinking about the hard drive... Which was
a brick...

My search on Google revealed it to be the same drive
as originally shipped with none other than the
A590... Thinks... And so I slotted this in the A590
and connected a spare power plus the A500 and
to my surprise all worked fine... Magic. And the
500 had the 3.1 ROM. Amazing really.

Some weeks later I was in Tesco in town and this
voice shouted across the isle. It was the guy I had
got the stuff from. You should have seen his face
when I told him I had restored all but the IBM and
one A2000.... Since then I have even repaired the
other A2000.

So if you want an expansion that looks very much
like a Star Trek shuttle then get an A590, they really
are magic for making any 500 very very special. I
really love them...

[ info ]

DMA SCSI and ST-506 controller
Western Digital 33C93
the SCSI and ST-506 modes can be toggled by jumper
autoboot ROM - autobooting requires at least Kickstart 1.3
autoboot disable switch
time-out switch for drives which spin up slower than 30 seconds
RDB compatible
50 pin internal SCSI header
internal ST-506 header (2×40 pin)
DB25 external SCSI connector
supported by Linux
A-Max II driver (scsi.amhd)
sixteen DIP sockets accept 0.5, 1 or 2 MB RAM
needs 256k×4 DIPs, 120 ns or faster
place for a 3.5" hard disk inside the case
hard disk activity LED
connects to the side expansion port, no passthrough connector
external power supply - turns on automatically when the A500 is powered up

Now what is also interesting about  the images above is that
they were taken by none other than Michael Rubisch . And who
is Michael. Well he happens to have sold me many items from
Germany including an A3000, A4000, A2000HD, Picasso, GVP
etc etc. A magic guy. And possibly in one of my other advent
calendar boxes. We will have to wait and see.

Just for you Michael...

Der A590 ist ein Festplattencontroller für den Expansionsport
des Amiga 500. Er beinhaltet sowohl einen SCSI- als auch
einen XT-Festplattencontroller. Ein XT-Controller ist für den
sehr alten 8-Bit IDE-Standard (moderne Laufwerke verwenden
16 Bit zur Datenübertragung). Die ROMs der Version 6 verkraften
nur Laufwerke mit bis zu 512 MByte Kapazität, aber die neueren
6.6 und 7.0 laufen mit bis zu 9 GByte großen Laufwerken.

[ From the Big Book ]

The A590 is a hard drive controller which connects to the
side expansion slot of the A500(+). It provides both a
SCSI controller, and an XT controller. An XT Controller is
the very old 8 bit IDE standard (not to be confused with
ST506). Whilst it uses the same 40pin IDE cable that
modern IDE controllers use, you cannot use modern
IDE drives with the XT controller because they are 16 bit.
You must use XT hard drives. These were only ever made
up to about 80MB in size. The A590 was usually shipped
with a 20MB Seagate SCSI drive by default or a 20MB
Western Digial XT drive but the drive specifications are
printed on the base of the unit.

[ end todays Advent entry ]

Well that was that... yet another retro adventure, and one
which turned out to be very very rewarding...



Was going to give you the full list of incoming items
to the collection, but I am still waiting on the following...
I will tick them all in before I ' go for retro update '

Sanyo computer plus monitor
Compaq luggable
Super Tetris
Cruise for a Corpse
Amstrad Laptop
3 Psygnosis games
IBM book plus reference guide
OpalVision card

I keep a small folded piece of paper in my
keyboard with my arrivals list on it and I 
update when I have crossed enough of
it. Very rare to see no list on the keyboard.
Only happened once or twice since 2003.

Quite a varied bunch there...  And I`m done.



Never seen this on a floppy before. Today arrived my
very thick RISC OS User Guide complete with disks
and tapes .. no less. And on the RISC OS Application
Disk 1 and 2 are the words ' INSERT THIS WAY UP '
1989 Acorn Computers Limited.

Now I can see if that other Acorn is working.. 



[ Follow up on post regarding A600 Schematics ]

Zipper posted the following link for A600 schematics:

[ scuzz reply having downloaded file ]

Now that is strange. I expected the pages to be the same
as mine. Dunno why. I have several more images and they are
all in PNG format. I have transferred yours to the Amiga
and compared the two side by side. The PNG file sizes
are much smaller, but the quality is the same as the JPEGs
from your link.

I`ll put the PNG images on the website. Yours are better
labelled however.

[ Source site found for schematics ]

Took me a while but I eventually found that site with
the Amiga schematics on it...


Commodore Amiga 590

a590 a590 a590 a590

a590 a590

Amiga 590 - Commodore-Amiga-Retro
Macintosh - Quadra 650
A590 - facts and Images
A590 Sidecar - From the Big Book
Amiga Schematics - Download Central

scuzz site

If you can only see this CONTENT window
then click the image above for the full site

Last updated 16th December 2006

Chandraise Kingdom