Big Box Amiga Discoveries and Learning.

Below is a copy of my update I put into the comments of the original blog prior to becoming a contributor. I figured it’s better out here in the main blog.

Hi Everyone, I’ve been making progress with checking the computers’ status. Quite a few machines have minor battery leakage damage and batteries still installed! Removing the batteries and cleaning up the corrosion is my first priority. I’m not too familiar with these big box Amigas so this is proving to be a great learning experience.

One of the A3000s is now up and running. It was only getting to boot menu when I received it. If I tried to boot from floppy or the installed SCSI drive, I got a message “cannot get memory”. After flicking through the manual I found that there are two types of fast RAM, 20 pin DIP and 20 pin ZIP modules and if the DIPs are present the ZIPs in bank zero should not be populated, which they were. I removed the DIPS and fully populated the ZIP sockets with RAM from the other dead A3000 and attempted to boot the machine in it’s bare form. There was a different problem this time; a yellow screen and then black. I installed the daughter board and tried again. Bingo! It booted into Workbench from the SCSI drive. I tried some games from the floppy drive and all seems well.

There is one minor issue with the floppy drive in that I can’t use dual internal floppy drives. If I have a drive plugged into the last connector on the floppy ribbon cable it boots but I get the timer mouse cursor continuously and only the right mouse button is active. No manner of left clicking achieves any result. I found a jumper on the board to enable the second internal floppy but it made no difference. I cannot boot from any floppy drive but not sure if it’s a cable issue, drive issue or boot disk issue.

I tried cleaning up the second A3000 but I can’t get any life out of it, even after swapping out the ROM chips and Denise and Paula chips.

There is a guy in Christchurch, New Zealand who does repair work and I may send it to him to look at. I can do minor repairs but I’m not too keen on messing with these more rare computers. It sounds like the A3000 motherboards have several planes in them so it’s important not to damage the vias in the board.

My work today will include going through several A2000s and removing any batteries found and cleaning corrosion.

By the way, I checked the A2500 yesterday and when I lifted the CPU from it’s corroded socket, several of the socket pins disintegrated. I may have a go at resocketing the CPU.

My other half is now an Amiga widow…

Until the next update, thanks for the opportunity to rave about this stuff. There aren’t any other Amigan’s I know in my area so this is a great outlet.

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