ZZ9000AX

Join me for my installation journey as I delve into the realm of getting 16-bit audio into my Amiga 2000 and even managing to play MP3s from a ZIP disk. The star of the show? The MNT ZZ9000AX, an audio expansion that promises to elevate my Amiga experience.

First things first, unpacking the MNT ZZ 9000 AX reveals a meticulously packaged product including the card itself, a stainless steel slot bracket, and all necessary cables. MNT never fails to impress with their attention to detail.

Installation begins with the removal of the ZZ9000 from my Amiga 2000 case, its change in location from original installation, prompted by concerns about heat dissipation from the hard drive. The hardware installation proves straightforward, guided by comprehensive instructions and aided by full-colour illustrations.

The heart of the ZZ9000AX lies in its Analog Devices ADAU1701 SigmaDSP audio chip, promising high-quality digital audio processing. With everything connected, it’s time to put the Amiga back together, though I’ve learned not to seal the case until I’ve verified functionality.

Booting up reveals a successful installation, and with the ZZ 9000 AX recognized, installing drivers is a breeze. The package even includes hardware MP3 decoding, opening up new possibilities for media playback.

With the hardware sorted, it’s time to test the ZIP drive. Copying over some MPEG 3s, I encounter some initial noise issues attributed to interference from the internal audio cable. Disconnecting it resolves the problem, albeit with some sacrifice pass-thru PAULA audio.

A workaround involving auxiliary inputs maintains audio quality, albeit at the expense of convenience. Regardless, the Amiga is now capable of pristine MPEG 3 playback, a feat worth celebrating.

However, the installation journey is not without its challenges. Addressing heat issues caused by the hard drive leads to unexpected connectivity issues, hinting at future troubleshooting endeavors.

In conclusion, the journey to integrate 16-bit audio into my Amiga 2000 was both rewarding and educational, showcasing the ingenuity of the MNT ZZ 9000 AX while highlighting the quirks of vintage hardware.

IOAMIGA

In 1994, amidst the bankruptcy of Commodore, a groundbreaking technology emerged: the Iomega Zip drive. This innovation revolutionized storage by allowing users to store a whopping 100 Megabytes of data on a single disc, eliminating the need for juggling multiple floppy disks to transfer files between computers. With its high capacity and fast transfer speeds, the Zip drive quickly became the preferred solution for both professionals and home users, offering a convenient way to handle larger files.

For Amiga enthusiasts, the Zip drive presented an exciting prospect. Available in three versions – parallel port, SCSI, and eventually USB – it promised compatibility with nearly three decades worth of hardware. However, while the SCSI versions offered straightforward connectivity on big Amigas, the parallel port posed a challenge for owners of Amiga 500, 600, or 1200 models due to slight differences in the port’s specifications.

Enter Bruce Abbott, a visionary who in 1998 introduced the PPA Zip solution. This hardware and software package bridged the compatibility gap, enabling Amiga users to utilize a parallel port Zip drive by leveraging additional signals from the joystick port. Inspired by Abbott’s work, I embarked on my own project to build a similar solution.

My version of the solution involved designing a buffered circuit board that neatly integrated behind an Amiga 500 without obstructing other ports. After completing the construction and testing phase, I successfully connected the Amiga to the parallel Zip drive, demonstrating its functionality with ease.

Installing the PPA Zip solution on Amiga OS 3.2 proved relatively straightforward, involving the placement of relevant files in designated folders. With everything set up, I proceeded to test its capabilities by transferring files, starting with a simple text file and eventually copying a game from my Amiga archive on my PC.

The entire process went smoothly, showcasing the effectiveness of the PPA Zip solution and opening up new possibilities for Amiga enthusiasts.

Amiga 2000 ZZ9000

Join me on an exciting journey as I attempt to upgrade my Amiga 2000 with the stunning ZZ 9000 card. My goal was to enhance its capabilities, but as with any project, things didn’t go entirely as planned.

The ZZ 9000 card promised to bring modern features to my classic Amiga, including RTG graphics, Ethernet networking, and USB drive mounting. However, I quickly ran into a snag—the card didn’t fit properly in my system, and initially, it didn’t work at all.

After troubleshooting, I managed to get the ZZ 9000 up and running. But the fitting issue persisted, requiring me to strip down the entire case to address it properly. Along the way, I also fixed some other issues, like securing the crystal on my accelerator card.

Once the card was functioning, I decided to add more RAM. This process didn’t go smoothly at first, as I encountered what I thought where compatibility issues with the RAM chips. However, after some trial and error, I managed to get the RAM upgraded successfully.

With the ZZ 9000 installed and RAM upgraded, I tested the system’s capabilities, marveling at the flicker-fixing abilities and crisp graphics. I also took the opportunity to clean my keyboard, bringing it back to life.

Despite the challenges, I’m thrilled with the upgrades to my Amiga 2000. But the journey doesn’t end here—there’s still more to explore with the ZZ 9000’s networking and USB capabilities, which I plan to delve into in future videos.

Stay tuned for more exciting projects in 2024, including Zip drives on an Amiga 500 and 600, gaming content, and restoration projects.

SEGA for Christmas

My mission was to restore a Sega Mega Drive so my wife could enjoy playing Sonic the Hedgehog before Christmas. I acquired the cheapest Sega Mega Drive 2 I could find on eBay, though it had some issues. It rattled and didn’t work properly, so the first step was disassembly.

Upon disassembling the console, I discovered that someone had previously tinkered with it, evidenced by a loose screw. Additionally, the power barrel jack was poorly connected, almost as if it was secured with chewing gum. After some meticulous cleaning and soldering work, I managed to rectify these issues.

However, the problems didn’t end there. Despite fixing the power connection and reflowing the cartridge connector, I encountered difficulties with game cartridges. Some required jiggling to work, indicating a tired cartridge socket that needed replacement. This meant more disassembly and careful soldering work to install a new cartridge socket.

After successfully replacing the cartridge socket and ensuring everything was properly aligned and secured, I tested the console, and to my relief, it showed signs of life. With the console now working, I turned my attention to cleaning the controllers, which were sticky and in need of some TLC. I even borrowed a spring from an Amiga 1200 keyboard to repair the power button.

Following a thorough cleaning process, including the outer casings and buttons, I polished them to give them a factory-fresh look and feel. With everything cleaned and restored, it was time to package it all up for my wife to open on Christmas day.

Despite the challenges and setbacks along the way, I’m proud to have restored the Sega Mega Drive, making it ready for some nostalgic gaming sessions. It’s moments like these that remind me of the joy of tinkering and the satisfaction of bringing old technology back to life.

Unboxing A Surprise Parcel and More!

As I dive into some exciting unboxing. With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the goodies I’ve received in the mail. Some of these items are purchases I’ve made, while others are surprises from generous folks out there. Let’s see what we’ve got!

First up, we have some ICs for the Commodore Amiga RS232. These will come in handy for fixing the serial on a couple of boards I’ll be featuring in upcoming videos. Then, there’s an IDE port for the Amiga 1200 or 600, teasing some content on the horizon.

Next, we dive into a mystery package containing an Amiga 500 keyboard, CIA, and Agnus chips. Alongside, there are 44-pin disk-on-modules, a great find for Amiga installations. And there’s an Archimedes A4000/A5000 PS2 keyboard adapter, perfect for testing some machines in the pipeline.

But the highlight of today’s unboxing is a massive parcel from Casual Retro Gamer. Inside, I find an Iomega SCSI Zip Drive, an Amiga 600 keyboard, and various other surprises. It’s like Christmas came early!

As I delve deeper, I uncover an 8-bit modem with a speaker, bringing back memories of my late teens tinkering with similar tech. There’s also a motherboard, possibly a 286, complete with a mysterious RAM expansion card that leaves me puzzled.

Despite some battery damage, the tech inside seems salvageable. With careful examination and a bit of tinkering, I’m excited to see what I can resurrect from these vintage pieces.

I’m grateful for the generosity of Casual Retro Gamer and the thrill of uncovering retro treasures.

Amiga 2000 2MB Chip RAM

I’ve been on quite the journey with my Amiga 2000 lately, and let me tell you, it’s been a rollercoaster of challenges and triumphs. From the moment I got it, slightly dusty and with a few signs of wear, I knew this project was going to be something special.

In my last video, I shared the hurdles I faced in getting the Amiga up and running smoothly. Despite some setbacks, including major surgery to install the upgrades I had in mind, I was determined to see this through.

The first hurdle was installing AmigaOS 3.2 from CD-ROM. While the setup seemed straightforward, it took some troubleshooting to ensure everything worked seamlessly. I opted to use SCSI spinning rust for storage, adding a nostalgic touch to the system. Sometimes, the sound of a magnetic hard drive spinning brings back fond memories.

Next up was expanding the chip RAM to 2MB using the Ram expansion kit. This seemingly simple task turned into a soldering marathon as I had to swap out the Agnus and Gary sockets. With 132 pins to solder, it was no easy feat, but I persevered.

Adding a coin cell battery adapter and upgrading the 16-bit ISA slots were also on the agenda, promising exciting possibilities for future projects.

To image the old SCSI disk that came with the accelerator card, it took multiple attempts, but I finally got the SCSI drive to spin up and register on the controller, allowing me to image the drive successfully. It was a moment of triumph after much trial and error.

As I wrap up this phase of the project, I’m already planning more upgrades and improvements for my beloved Amiga 2000.

If you’re interested, let me know if you’d like to see a dedicated video on physical disk imaging—I’d be happy to share my process!

Restoration of a Generous Gift

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to dive into the restoration of a classic Amiga 2000, all thanks to the exceptionally generous donation from Chris Scott. This vintage computing gem came complete with an Amiga 2000 motherboard, a Zorro 2 accelerator card, and additional Zorro 2 cards, setting the stage for a unique and exciting restoration project.

Upon receiving Chris’s generous donation, I eagerly delved into the Amiga 2000, examining its components and potential. The machine boasted an MFM hard drive, an A2090A SCSI controller, and a somewhat battered Zorro 2 slot. Further inspection unveiled a hidden gem—a 68030 accelerator card running at an impressive 40 MHz, sparking my interest in potential upgrades.

The initial phase of the restoration involved dismantling the Amiga 2000, revealing layers of grime and signs of battery damage on the motherboard. With meticulous care, I undertook the task of cleaning and preparing the system for the next steps. Notably, the Zorro slot required special attention, with plans to replace the worn-out socket with a gleaming gold-plated 100-pin Zorro 2 connector.

With the cleaning process complete, a mixture of excitement and nervousness filled the air as I powered on the Amiga 2000 for the very first time. To my delight, the familiar Amiga Kickstart 1.3 screen graced the composite video output, signaling a promising start to the restoration journey. Successful booting from the floppy drive revealed the presence of a 68030 accelerator card and a hard drive yearning for Kickstart 2.0.

The restoration adventure didn’t conclude with the initial success. I hinted at future upgrades and endeavors for the Amiga 2000. Plans include imaging the hard drives, and executing an upgrade to a full ECS chipset with a generous 2 Meg of Chip RAM. The journey will also involve integrating a CD-ROM drive and navigating potential challenges that may arise.

The exciting restoration of an Amiga 2000, made possible by the generosity of Chris Scott. As I share my progress and future plans, viewers are invited to join me on this captivating journey, witnessing the classic Amiga 2000 undergo a transformative preservation and modernization process. Stay tuned for upcoming videos chronicling the stages of this thrilling restoration project!

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