My Amiga 500: Back from the Shadows Part 2

Hi everyone,

Some of you might have read my post called My Amiga 500: Back from the Shadows. If you haven’t, you can find it by clicking on this link. The article is basically about the fact that my Amiga 500 has lived in the shadows of my Amiga 1200 and not seen any use for a long time. I therefore got the idea to give this computer a nice make-over, which I believe it deserves.

This make-over has now officially started and in this post you’ll get to see the first “before and after” photos of the machine.

My Amiga 500 before the start of the make-over (photo by Old School Game Blog)
Before: My Amiga 500 before the start of the make-over. (photo by Old School Game Blog)
My Amiga 500 before the start of the make-over (photo by Old School Game Blog)
Before: Here’s another one.. (photo by Old School Game Blog)

The machine doesn’t look too bad on the photos. I’ve kept it clean and it hasn’t been exposed to much sunlight either. I’ve therefore managed to avoid the dreaded yellowing of the plastic.

Let’s open the lid and see what’s inside..

My Amiga 500 before the start of the make-over (photo by Old School Game Blog)
Before: The metal shielding has taken some hits and there was dust in some places. Removed the dust. See that floppy disk drive? It’s not working properly and has something that looks like rust-spots. (photo by Old School Game Blog)

I’m ready to remove the floppy disk drive and install the brand new one I ordered from Vesalia (thanks guys!).

My Amiga 500 before the start of the make-over (photo by Old School Game Blog)
There.. the disk drive has been removed. (photo by Old School Game Blog)

For those of you who are interested, here’s a quick snapshot of the old drive. It doesn’t look nice at all. This one has loaded its last game of Badlands, that’s for sure.

The old floppy disk drive (photo by Old School Game Blog)
Here’s the old bugger! (photo by Old School Game Blog)

Β Now I need to install the new drive. Here’s the result! πŸ™‚

The new floppy disk drive from Vesalia (photo by Old School Game Blog)
After: It’s a “winner”! πŸ˜‰ (photo by Old School Game Blog)

The disk drive is one of the most important things on the machine, as I can’t really do anything without it. I don’t have a hard drive for my Amiga 500 yet, so I’m stuck with floppies. Fortunately I’ve got a hard drive for Amiga 1200.

Now for a little surprise..

Remember that KCS PowerPC card I bought from Flip at AmiBay? Well, I popped that one in before the floppy disk drive..

512KB memory card (photo by Old School Game Blog)
Before: The card that’s already installed is a 512KB memory expansion. The KCS PowerPC board does include more memory, so I’ll still be able to play games requiring 1MB of RAM. (photo by Old School Game Blog)
The KCS card (photo by Old School Game Blog)
After: There.. the KCS is in place and ready to run old-school PC software. (photo by Old School Game Blog)

If the Amiga 500 could talk, I’m sure it would be satisfied with this make-over. πŸ˜‰ Not only has it received a brand new drive, but also a nice retro emulation card.

Want to see the machine after this little make-over? Here it is!

After the make-over! (photo by Old School Game Blog)
After: My Amiga 500 with the KCS diskette (photo by Old School Game Blog)

The make-over is not complete though, as I’ve got a Kickstart ROM switch waiting to be installed. πŸ™‚ I’m also on the prowl for some cool add-ons for the machine. Part three will be coming up in he near future! Then we’ll also get to see it in action on my TV!

10 comments

  1. Love it! Nice to see someone who knows their stuff popping open the A500 – I’ve had to swap out a dead keyboard and clean out grime and dust before, and in another machine I discovered one of those 3-way kickstart ROM switches under the hood, along with 512k of expansion RAM in my machine.

    I felt like I was poking in the dark, but I was chuffed with the outcome from each time I’ve popped the top off an A500 πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to part 3!

    • Thanks mate! Part three will be coming soon. πŸ˜‰

      A Kickstart ROM Switch must be considered a big bonus. With such a device the machine will be compatible with original software, but it will also make it possible to enjoy the more modern versions of the OS. Best of both worlds!

  2. Great one! I am curious how my A500 will behave once it is going to be fired up. I can’t wait to play all those classics again the proper way. One could talk hours and hours about stuff like this. A bit like my wife and shoes I guess. πŸ™‚

    • It’s cool that you’re going to fire up your old Amiga 500 again. Will you do an article about it on your blog? Would love to see some pictures. πŸ™‚ Which classics are you going to play? I’m guessing many of those from your top ten list.. πŸ˜‰

      I can talk for hours about such stuff as well. πŸ™‚ My favourite topic of conversation! πŸ˜€

  3. Hi Puni!

    Nice pictures of your A500 you have there. πŸ™‚ Cool that you’re bringing your A500 out of the shadows! Congratulations with a brand new floppy disk drive and 512k memory upgrade. πŸ™‚ Looking good! Do you know which year the machine is produced? Kick1.3 and green power led, I suppose?

    • Hi Jeano,

      Thanks for that! πŸ™‚ Good to hear that you liked it.

      My Amiga 500 was manufactured in West Germany. I think it was in 1989. It has the green power-LED and Kickstart 1.3. I remember some had the red power-LED and possibly Kickstart 1.2 back in the days. πŸ™‚

      Are you still using your Amiga 500?

      • Hi Puni,

        OK. πŸ™‚ My A500 is manufactured in West Germany too. Mine is a litte bit older than yours. It has the red power-LED and came with Kickstart 1.2. I later upgraded it to Kickstart 1.3 but I still have access to the old Kickstart via a switcher. I bought my Amiga in Aug’88 along with a Commodore 1084 monitor (which unfortunately broke a couple of years ago). For this “package” I paid 9600 Norwegian kroner. Converted to today’s exchange rate this is equivalent to about 2000 EUR! … so when I think back to what we had to pay at the time, current Amiga equipment isn’t actually expensive in comparison.

        I use my A500 from time to time. At the moment it’s stowed away. I plan to use it this winter to watch some old demos and play some games. I also plan to make some tunes in some old music trackers that don’t work on my A1200. πŸ™‚

        • That is a LOT of money! It certainly puts things in perspective. It’s rougly the same price as the estimate for an AmigaOne X1000 and more than an AmigaOne 500. Interesting information. Thanks.

          I don’t remember the price of my Amiga 500, but I didn’t get a monitor for it. Used a bog standard TV from the middle of the 1980’s. That’s probably why I must war glasses in many situations now. Hehe.. πŸ˜€

          I’m delighted to hear that you plan to use your Amiga machines more in the upcoming winter. When it’s dark outside and the snow is falling down at a steady pace.. a cup of hot chocolate on your desk.. the Amiga turned on, running a game, demo or perhaps a music tracker.. you can’t beat the feeling! πŸ˜‰

  4. Ah, the ol A500, such a wonderful machine but at Β£799 at release, was way out of league for a poor schoolboy. Two years later i’d turned 16, left school and by some stroke of luck had landed myself a junior position at IBM. I blew my first weeks wagt on a secondhand A500. Sadly i have the feeling that i was duped as it wasn’t long afterwards that it developed a fault (the keyboard would become unusable requiring a reboot to fix) – image not being able to press the relevant key to bring up the save menu after a few hours of intense gaming…very frustrating, yet still, was the best machine I’d ever used.

    I must say, yours is looking very nice. We’ve got quite a few at the museum and most range from a bit hint of yellow to…oh my! I’m planning a huge RetroBrite session in summer so i’ll soon have them ship shape.

    Look forward to your next post.

    StiGGy

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