Some Glue, Some Art

While I have made absolutely no real progress on my Microbee, I did make some progress on the Amiga 500 and the Amiga 1000.

Firstly, the Amiga 1000 is currently booting off Kickstart before dying in its tracks. It’ll boot Kickstart, reboot and then lose synchronization on the screen. Basically dead in the water. At this point I’m fairly sure it’s a memory fault on the “mezzanine” board that Kickstart loads into, but that’s a project for another day.

The mezzanine board his clearly visible here as the raised section central to the picture.

As part of my diagnostics, I removed the internal floppy disk and dropped in a Gotek. Did you know you have to remove twenty nine screws, in six different types to remove the floppy drive? I do now, and I am not looking forward to having to remove them all again later to work on that RAM board 😀

Dear Commodore. Did someone in upper management have shares in a fastener manufacturer?

While I had it apart, I cleaned and lubed the mechanism and carefully cleaned the drive heads. I use Inox grease on anything that touches plastic and white lithium grease on any metal-on-metal parts.

It now seems pretty happy to at least reliably boot the Kickstart, even if it crashes on completion/

The drive internals, during cleaning

Of course the next step was the Amiga 500. That led to a difficult moment where I had to cut a 30 year old “warranty void if removed” sticker. I tried removing it with hot air, but it’s so old, I don’t think there’s any plasticity in the glue any more. Eventually I just cut it as neatly as possible.

After that it was a much more reasonable 9 screws to get the floppy drive out and lube and service it. This one was pretty gummed up, but after some TLC and quite a lot of swearing I got it all cleaned up and it’s now working, albeit not 100% reliably. It seems to need cleaning every second disk. That may simply be old media or the drive may be on its way out. Long term I’ll probably fit a Gotek to the A500, simply because it will make it so much eaiser to use.

I’d worked out a “pipeline” to make new floppy disk images, which was both simple and effective.

  1. Get out an Amiga with a Gotek already installed. In this case that meant the Amiga 600.
  2. Connect the external Floppy Disk Drive to it.
  3. Boot it into a copying suite from the Gotek. I use XCopy Pro. An oldie but a goodie.
  4. Set your copier up to copy from internal to external. (The internal being the Gotek)
  5. Load up the image you want to copy across, make sure you’re set up for a suitable copying solution (I prefer Nibble+).
  6. Insert a blank Double Density disk in the external drive and start your copy.
  7. Once done, clean the external drive.
It works!

With this pipeline, I was able to make a bunch of copies of classic games. After that I decided they needed sprucing up, so I used CorelDRAW and a template to make some floppy disk artwork, suitable for the subject of each disk. I used a mix of cover art and screengrabs with each.

After that it was just a matter of printing them to glossy paper, cutting them out neatly, spraying some workable fixative to the back and et voilà! Disks that look nicer than the originals.

Every time I see that IK+ logo, I hear the theme music in my head.
Custom chips in the A1000
The venerable Motorola 68000 in the A1000

Published by ilike8bits

I collect old computers and consoles

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