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ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2020

Entry 3rd February 2020: Post 01: Amiga - A surprising A-500.

Amiga - A surprising A-500.

Moving on from the A500 Plus it was my intention today to give a
guide on the buying of an Amiga 500. For the most part the tips
will be the same as for yesterday's review of the 500 Plus.

Regarding that mint in box comment. The first 500 shown here is
what I call a 'mint in box'. The computer has the warranty seal to
the base intact and is a very nice grey Amiga 500. As such it is
what I call 'glass cased' and never used and never out of the box.
Not my favourite kind of Amiga 500, I much prefer them a little
more weathered.

And so here we go again with an older Amiga 500 and what to look
out for when buying one.

Amiga - A surprising 500.

So if you get a mint in box A500 with
the warranty intact... I would glass case
it or just sell the thing.

I just can't break that seal... sorry.

The A-500 is pretty bullet proof so there
is little harm keeping her screwed up.

OK Let me pull another A-500 and take
the computer apart and show some of
the things to watch for when buying.

Most of what I wrote yesterday for the Plus
applies so I'll try not to repeat myself.

First thing to check is if she is working.

Is the floppy active and clicking nicely.

Check for damage to the case adjacent
the asterix key.

OK tell tale signs of someone opening
the case from the bottom and snapping
the plastic at the escape key.

With older Amigas the keyboard may
have the Commodore key. Not in this case.

Check for all port pins. See yesterday.

Sometimes the top edge can be broken
from aggressive opening by users.

A red light suggests an older Amiga 500.

The red Caps Light key confirms this.

With much older Amigas I always clean
the disk drives before using disks.

Warranty seal broken and Philips screws.

Serial showing an issue around the 45000
mark and made in Hong Kong.

This computer has the grounding clip
to the expansion port showing that it
was used with an A590 or GVP sidecar.

The plastic white feet have perished.

Always open the Amiga 500 from the top rear edge.

Avoid cracking the case by lifting from
the bottom front edge.

When you have a quiet moment just run
a piece of paper up and down your keyboard.
You will be amazed at the debris that comes out.

This keyboard has the ribbon connector.

Check the end connector and also check
the pins on the motherboard. Note that
one is always missing.

Lift the keyboard out from the bottom slots.

Check for expansion cards and remove.

Remove the four screws holding down the shielding.

Lift the metal tangs and remove the shielding.

NOT AN A500 THEN !!! Alarm bells.

The 2.04 ROM and an A-500 Plus motherboard.

So what do we check first ?


Components close to the battery can
continue to corrode even after the
battery is removed. I do check mine
regularly and as with this machine I
give a further clean up.

Tracks are still OK .

Just as an aside the battery here was
removed over 15 years ago.

The Gary chip pins are clean.

As is the connector in the trapdoor expansion.

I did know this computer was an A-500
on the PLUS side. She was my preferred
weapon of choice with the GVP in the
workshop till she was retired for a
well earned rest. I do rotate computers.

Note 44th week of 1991.

You can fit 3.1 ROMS to A500s so don't be
surprised with what may lurk inside an
Amiga 500.

I did use to monitor Ebay auctions for
strange descriptives for Amiga 500s.
Even broken ones are a great resource
for cards, ROM switchers etc. I just
loved cracking the cases to see what
was inside. You really can never lose
buying an Amiga 500.

I never doubted she was working.

Time for a bit of WALKER.

Gotta stop playing now.

In summary never fear the A500 as a
good buy when it comes to the Amiga.
You really never know what you are going
to get. With socketed chips they are a
breeze to repair. So having a spare is
never a bad thing.

See my full blog yesterday on a more
detailed review of what to watch out for.

Tomorrow will be an A500.. I promise.

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Last updated 3rd February 2020

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