ScuzzBlog: Diaries May 2020

Entry 21st May 2020: Post 1: Amiga 500Plus - Health Check Part 5.

Amiga 500Plus - Health Check Part 5.
It's that time again when I painstakingly open up my A500Plus
computers and check the dreaded battery damage. I have eleven of
the Amiga 500Plus if you count this one. I say that cus the
computer I feature today isn't a 500Plus but an an early Rev 5
A500 inside an A500Plus case. I count this one though cus the
case is for the Plus in the Checkmate. So I could reinstate the
500Plus if I so desired.

So why am I checking these A500Plus machines. Well, all of them
have had the battery removed. Sadly it doesn't end there cus the
corrosion never really goes away. Well not unless you are happy
to scrape the top surface of the motherboard and rebuild half the
tracks, sockets and chips. For those that know the story of Ironman
you will appreciate his dilemma of living each day under pain of
death from shrapnel moving ever closer to his heart. Well it is
like that with the Plus computers. I simply watch the corrosion
and fight it with vinegar and brown paper.  [ like from the
nursery rhyme ].

I tentatively open the computers and through my cringed face I
gaze at the previous damage and simply comfort the computer. My
only joy is switching on and hoping she is working. I can do
nothing. There are those that try very hard to fight the problem
but with so much corrosion and damage to some of these computers
all I can do is live in hope.

In truth it was some silly idiot at Commodores fault. Deciding
to put the battery from the memory card onto the motherboard
pretty much signed the death certificate on any unsuspecting
computer. So many cherished machines were put in store only to
die a painful slow death without anyone ever knowing. That is
no way for any Amiga to die. And so I care for them while I
can and give words of comfort.

And so to the fifth of my A500Plus computers and this one
really brings home the helpless way I feel about the battery
problem. This computer on the face of it looks just fine but
if you study all the adjacent chips you will see evidence
of the green plague that dogs this machine. It has travelled
as far north as the Gary and to the west both smaller chips.
It even has tainted the expansion pins below.

I have troubled my mind thinking of just what causes the
problem and have just resigned myself to accepting that it is
the luck of the draw. Some A500Plus computers are luckier
than others. I don't think that there were any prevailing
conditions that protected one machine or damaged another.

I do feel helpless though. I have no skills that would allow
me to replace sockets, chips or tracks. I am unable to stop
the rot. If it chooses to prevail and eat at my beloved
computers I am powerless to do anything. And so I just stand
watch over them and beg that they withstand the ravages of
this particular plague. I guess I can be grateful that it
is not life threatening. They are only computers after all.

This computer does have one further issue. Many of the A500
range of machines can suffer from corrosion to the main
shielding. Doesn't help if someone drops fluids into the 
expansion port. I can only imaging that that is what happened
as not only is the shielding is rusty but so too the
expansion connector. Like the computer didn't have enough
challenges to cope with.

Please note that I am using an old black and white TV for the
images and so they are not the best.

Amiga 500Plus - Health Check Part 5.

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Last updated 21st May 2020

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