Trying not to get discouraged

So it’s been a frustrating week of stuff not getting fixed. The kind of week where the hobby feels more like a “job” than “something fun”.

Firstly the Archimedes is still having problems with the floppy disk, despite me swapping out the 74HC574. I will need some time to put it on the bench and properly investigate the root cause. In the meantime, the Archie will have to sit in the naughty corner, or, in this case, the plastic tub of shame.

After that failure, I decided to recap the Amiga 600. This went surprisingly well. I recently got some more tips for my TS100. These were a KU tip and a JL-02 tip. The former is like a knife blade, and is great for drag soldering and anywhere where lots of heat is needed. The latter, on the other hand, may be one of the most useful soldering tips I have ever used. It’s a long, delicate tip with a curved end. It’s not great for heavy heat transfer, but for delicate work, it’s amazing!

There were four capacitors wedged hard up against plastic fixtures, that I had been unable to desolder. With a little foil and polyimide tape, and the long thin tip, I was able to successfully solder all four caps without any grief. In fact, those were probably the two capacitors I was most happy with.

The rest proceeded uneventfully, except for one cap being in backwards. (Always check your polarity before you turn on. I did, and spotted the offender before I turned on, thus avoiding blowing it up. I quickly removed it using the two iron “Chopstick” method and resoldered it.)

Once it was fully recapped, I powered it up and success! I had a system patiently waiting for a disk.

I had ordered a IDE to CF Adapter so I thought “Let’s see if I can get this installed?”.

This is where things started to go wrong.

I initially set up the CF on an USB to IDE adapter, connected to an Amiga emulator, and after some false starts, I was able to get this booting happily on the emulator. As soon as I tried to get it to boot on the real hardware it would simply be ignored.

In desperation, I cannibalised the Gotek out of my BBC Master system, and tried installing directly from Workbench images directly from the A600 itself. While I could recognise the CF card and partition it to my heart’s content, I could never get it to actually show the drive on my desktop so I could format / boot it.

I tried two different CF Cards. No luck. Eventually Matt on the PAUG forums pointed out there was a bug in the version of the Kickstart ROM I’m using that makes it incompatible with hard disks bigger than 40GB. Huh. The smallest CF I have is 64GB, and that one isn’t seen as a Hard Disk. I guess I’ll need a new Kickstart ROM.

All in all, a frustrating week, despite the success with the recapping.

The board, Sans capacitors. Amiga motherboards were named after songs by the B52s, this one is “June Bug”
First capacitor in. Note the lack of clearance.
Second capacitor in! They were NOT fun to solder in.
Third and fourth. After these four, it got a LOT easier.
Only two through hole capacitors left to go on this section.





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