ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2021

Entry 6th February 2021: Post 1: Amiga 1200 salvage - Lux like I solved it.

Amiga 1200 salvage - Lux like I solved it.

I slept on LUX over night and woke up feeling a little troubled
that I didn't get to the bottom of the problem. I also never put
her to bed properly and the case is still a mess. So I set too
stripping LUX one more time and giving her a good going over on
the bench... Whoo er !! That came out all wrong.

The good news is I solved my little dilemma. Having gone thorough
my records I am convinced now that the board that I am using in
this computer is the board that was in the EyeTech tower that I
purchased off Amibench  back in 2002. The clues are the 'Velcro'
by the expansion port and the mangled power connector. I know that
I removed the motherboard and used another.

In respect of why the keyboard isn't working the reason is a hack
to the internal keyboard chip to enable a keyboard adaptor so the
computer can use an external keyboard.

All will be revealed in the following images...

Comment: I have lived it seems through four eras of the Amiga
and each in their own way were very destructive. The first ended
in Commodore failing to stay in business and so a mass of Amiga
users just jumped ship and went over to PC and disposed and threw
away so much kit.

The second was the 1995-2000 era where disgruntled Amiga users
broke up their A1200 and A4000 computers and stuck them in towers.
Many original cases were either broken up or simply chucked away.

The third is the 2000 to 2010 era of Ebay mania where stuff was
being taken apart bit by bit and sold for parts. You would often
see a whole computer sold in individual parts. People were just
not making money from the whole thing due to auctions as opposed
to buy now, and so more could be made from selling in bits. I had
first hand experience of 'Bayers' and their activities having had
to pick up from a number of these places. They were just taking
the stuff apart with little or no knowledge of the computer.

The fourth era is the 2010 to 2020 or the social media, thumbs up
Tubers, self validation, mobile phone era. This is the period
where everyone and anyone has a voice. For some reason posters
on forums seems to seek self validation by becoming one of the
flock, and showing off what they have. It really is about getting
approval and praise from other social media community followers
than actually understanding, appreciating and 'USING' what they
have. It seems like it's a competition to see who has the least
known bit of kit. Further they all just follow Tubers religiously
and so Amiga 1200's get ' pimped ' out with Gotek, CF cards and
Retrobriting without the first idea why they do it. For the most
part they just want to play Amiga games. Seriously bonkers.

Here is the scoop.. 'The Amiga is a computer'. Google computer and
then come back. I just fear that there are not many more waves of
absurd case vandalising that the remaining stocks can take. I am
holding my breath with the Raspberry cus someone is going to put
these things and mobile phones into Amiga cases and call them
Amigas. I can just see a trend of mini computers in old cases and
working as the original, and folk will do it. They will gut all
of these wonderful machines and put their phones in them.

Nuff said. Just that this board was hacked to work in a tower and
I was never supportive of the process. I angered quite a lot over
the years for destroying Amigas. This board only works in a
tower for goodness sake and what happened to the rest of her. Most
likely rotting away on some Southampton landfill. So sad.

Anyhoo.. She is all nicely put back together and at some time I
can swap her out with the tower. Or not. Probably not. And so LUX
lives and I can credit her as a working Amiga. It's not her fault
that some idiot hacked her precious keyboard chip. There.. there.

Think before you throw 'anything' away.

U P D A T E Feb 8th 2021

I have updated the blog with new information. See at bottom of page.

Amiga 1200 salvage - Lux like I solved it.

Time to put this baby to bed.

I need to replace the top cover.

And get the port screws and shielding reinstated.

Nothing like a good screw.... STOP IT !

I went through my stock of bits and
put together the needed parts.

It really does pay to never throw any
computer bits and pieces away.

That ground cable needs isolating.

Maybe check over the broken keyboard.

Lightly abrading the ribbon connector helps.

Also check over the continuity on cables.

This ribbon adapts a 2.5" connector
to use a 3.5" hard drive.

I still have hope for the floppy and
will attempt some further work. She
is being recognised by the Amiga.

Remnants of a previous life me thinks.

That mangled power supply looks familiar.

Time to clean the motherboard.

The 'Velcro' did have a power flyer attached.

And this may have housed a buffered interface.

The power connector is missing the back plate.

Its top surface has been hacked or burnt.

The plastic top surface is cut and brown.


This a keyboard hack so that the
computer can use an external keyboard.
And that is why the keyboard isn't working.

No accident but deliberate.

This is an official Commodore mod.

This is an official mod. Without it
the computer will not boot. Trust me.

And these pins have been soldered
together by Commodore before shipping.

Checks for capacitor lurgy. None present.

The removal of pin 1 is to enable the
use of some drives like the Conner type.

Pin 1 is the RESET pin.

Interestingly on later boards these
clock pins were actually removed.. They
get in the way when using some cards.

Another official Commodore mod.

The rear of the power connector looks fine.

The absent pin from the floppy is as designed.

Time to replace the bottom shield and liner.

Use a bit of Vaseline on stubborn screws.

Replace all missing screws to motherboard.

This one screws from below.

And this also secures the floppy drive.

The lower ROM for 3.0 is 391523 and
the top one needs to be 391524 irrespective
of any other wording on the chips.

Always put the cradle back in. It
helps support the keyboard.

The screws to the floppy drive are not
of the self tapping type as the case screws.

Found an old battered floppy button that
suited the make and type of floppy. Cool.

Wires and ribbon check for faults.

Power connectors reinstated.

Time to freshen up the replacement
top case without the graffiti.

Isolate the LED ground till I can
find a new one or repair.

This case is the original top that I
found in the loft. Been up there since
2002. The guy had hacked a port into
the side ... Very badly. My heart sinks.

Keyboard reinstated.

Correct case screws used.

Make sure cables are showing in trap door.

That maybe a bit of an eye-sore but
it validates the computer and makes
me think about its history and life.

Floppy drive all back in one piece.

And she is all back together.

And still working albeit booting
from the external floppy drive.

She will work in the tower so at some
point I can simply swap the motherboards.

Images from the RF to a TV confirm
that she is truly working.

Although the keyboard does not work the
computer still responds to CTRL-Left/Right Amiga.
And DF0 although broken is still recognised.

Both drives are showing.

I also have spare boards with good chips.

Must have at least four boards in store
plus broken and salvaged keyboards.

This is a keyboard adaptor though
missing the end bit. It's around somewhere.

Not much use in this instance.

Picture of the original tower and the
Velcro gives away its identity. Plus the
the keyboard adaptor for the tower and
that keyboard hack that rendered LUX's
keyboard useless... Boo hoo !!

So watch LUX fire up under her own power.
Sadly no LED but you can hear her internal
floppy drive clicking at the end. So she is
alive and clicking.... as any Amiga should.

So what era are you from?

All done... Happy days.

And Finally

That bloody keyboard hack that rendered LUX useless.

I found the culprit and it has a detailed
guide on ...Amiga 1200 New Keyboard Hack

Thanks for nothing... Poor LUX.

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Last updated 6th February 2021

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