So, it’s been a good 6 months since i’ve done anything Amiga related. Back pain caused me to have a short break from computers in general and forced me into 9 weeks from work. I did go back to work a while ago but never got around to starting my little amiga projects back up, until now that is.
I’d bought quite a few bits of kit just before my back problems that were sat boxed in my bedroom so i’ve now taken a look at these new bits of hardware and started to play around with them a little.
The first thing I have been doing is compiling and burning my own set of custom kickstart ROMs with updated libraries and device drivers. I have briefly messed around with the EEPROM burner I bought last year but never got into making custom ROMs. The process is actually quite interesting (and fun if you are a bit of a geek). It’s also satisfying after you’ve spent a few hours of trial and error and then finally see your work come to fruition with a successful boot. I had one main driver for the custom ROMs which was building into them an updated scsi.device. This device is needed if you want to add a hard disk of CF card bigger than 4GB as the stock device built into the 3.1 ROMs can’t address anything bigger than that. I’d also included in my ROMs an updated trackdisk.device to get rid of that annoying and constant floppy drive clicking noise that any Amiga hardware owner will be familiar with.
USB ROM Burner:
I then decided to take a look at the FastATA MKIV controller that i’d bought which will give me a much faster IDE interface and also an additional channel so I can add a CDROM device as well as my 2 CF card HDDs. This is similar to the IndivisionAGA in that it has a chip socket that is pushed over the top of the Gayle chip sat on the Amigas motherboard and also into the ROM sockets on the motherboard. The ROMs as then inserted into the FastATA board and are passed through to the rest of the motherboard\chipsets. So far I have tested the board and everything seems to be working great but I now have an issue to solve due to there also being an IndivisionAGA board fitted. In order to fit both boards successfully 4 additional ROM spacer sockets have to be fitted (2 on each socket) to give the FastATA enough clearance to sit over the top of the Indivision board as they overlap, however, with these spacers installed the keyboard rests slightly higer than it should due to there not being enough clearance between it and the FastATA card. I have a few ideas on how to solve this though which i’ll discuss in a later post.
IndivisionAGA and FastATA fitted:
Gayle Socket Connector:
My next plan will be to remove the RF modulator from the motherboard as it is no longer needed and provides another useful space on the back of the case for additional connectors or extraction fans. Stay tuned….