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View Full Version : Getting an Amiga 500 off Craigslist, what should I need to know?



HyperDuel
08-09-2010, 08:45 PM
http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/sys/1886129675.html

After decided not to get the SX-64 locally I always wanted an Amiga. This ad was posted up and I offer the guy $50, he just email me to say that he accepted the offer and all the Amiga stuff is now mine. I need to know what the hell should I know and check on the system before I hand the guy over $50. Any ideas would be great!

Edit: I choose the 500 because well it's common and honestly it's the games.

Arkhan
08-09-2010, 08:52 PM
You'll be pretty disappointed with an A500 without some upgrading.

You'll need a HDD of some sort, probably an accelerator for WHDLoad, RAM upgrades....

HyperDuel
08-09-2010, 09:08 PM
Really, well man it is only $50. Any other advice and how easy it is to upgrade ram?

phreakindee
08-09-2010, 10:11 PM
I sold my A500 because I was so disappointed with it. Really, unless you have the RAM upgraded to 1MB and have a PAL version, you'll run into some annoyances with lots of games.

I assume it's an American NTSC model? There aren't a ton of games for American Amigas, and those that were made aren't always the easiest to find. Most of the games are European, and many require a PAL machine to work properly. Fire & Ice is a good example of this, while others like the Euro version of SimCity work just fine.

And if you think you can just download the games and use some kind of transfer method, that's potentially even more annoying because almost all of the cracked games for download are PAL games. Even if they originally worked on an NTSC machine they now don't because of their crack/trainer, so finding working NTSC games to transfer is really not easy.

Because of all this, I'm holding out for a PAL Amiga 500 that's already upgraded, or an A1200 instead.

Good luck with yours! At the very least, get the 512k RAM upgrade to take it up to 1MB (it's super easy, it just installs into a slot underneath the system) and get a mouse, second disk drive (if you don't have one) and appropriate Workbench disks. Getting a nice video connection is a huge plus, too, as opposed to RF.

HyperDuel
08-09-2010, 11:42 PM
I sold my A500 because I was so disappointed with it. Really, unless you have the RAM upgraded to 1MB and have a PAL version, you'll run into some annoyances with lots of games.

I assume it's an American NTSC model? There aren't a ton of games for American Amigas, and those that were made aren't always the easiest to find. Most of the games are European, and many require a PAL machine to work properly. Fire & Ice is a good example of this, while others like the Euro version of SimCity work just fine.

And if you think you can just download the games and use some kind of transfer method, that's potentially even more annoying because almost all of the cracked games for download are PAL games. Even if they originally worked on an NTSC machine they now don't because of their crack/trainer, so finding working NTSC games to transfer is really not easy.

Because of all this, I'm holding out for a PAL Amiga 500 that's already upgraded, or an A1200 instead.

Good luck with yours! At the very least, get the 512k RAM upgrade to take it up to 1MB (it's super easy, it just installs into a slot underneath the system) and get a mouse, second disk drive (if you don't have one) and appropriate Workbench disks. Getting a nice video connection is a huge plus, too, as opposed to RF.

Really, christ I have to think about it then.

Arkhan
08-10-2010, 01:14 AM
If your plan is to play commercial disks that you own, you will be ok

but anything in the way of getting disk images and playing, will be a royal kick in the dick.

That being said, for 50$ what you are getting is worth it, seeing as you could probably hock the thing to another Amiga person for maybe double...

what you really want is an A1200, or this A4000 I just sold to someone, lol

Logicdustbin
08-10-2010, 08:21 AM
I just picked up an Amiga lot off kijiji, 3 500's and a 2000hd.

as well as a bunch of bins full of cables and accessories :D

I'm still going through everything to see what I got, unfortunately I don't think I got any games with the lot...


once I get up and running (and figure out how to use it again), I can try and remember the games I used to play in my youth.

staxx
08-10-2010, 09:16 AM
Converting the Amiga from NTSC to PAL is cake. All you have to do is put electrical tape or something to stop a connection on one of the chips pins. The chip is socketed and can be easily pulled out. As for games, there are tons of games that don't need the 1MB ram upgrade. Plus if you have an amiga explorer (PC Tool) and a null modem cable you can download Amiga disk images and transfer them over to the Amiga. That Amiga for $50 is a good buy if it works.

HyperDuel
08-10-2010, 09:25 AM
I have more info on it:

* Comes with the 520 adapter so I have ok composite for now.
* System is working with games according to the guy after 15 years.
* I don't know if it comes with the extra RAM. At this time I'm not expecting it to come with it.

Is this the RAM upgrade:

http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=767&osCsid=730958f5aeb120b940c88c69de88820b

Also I keep seeing how hard is a pain in the ass for games from the PC to the Amiga. Ok for the 500 how the whole process works and what do I need for it?

I need to decide by noon EST if I'm buying this or not since it is an one hour drive.

Edit: This will be in the US the system so no PAL, but if what the guy said about the PAL games is true then shit. I really want it for the games and I have no problem investing money to get the good stuff.

staxx
08-10-2010, 09:40 AM
Like I said in my post, the conversion to PAL is easy. If you are worried about modding the NTSC chip then buy the PAL chip. they are the same chip but with one pin disabled. The chip is the Agnes Chip

HyperDuel
08-10-2010, 09:42 AM
Like I said in my post, the conversion to PAL is easy. If you are worried about modding the NTSC chip then buy the PAL chip. they are the same chip but with one pin disabled.

Why would I need to convert to PAL when I'm in the US with no PAL TVs nearby?

staxx
08-10-2010, 09:50 AM
I guess if you are using a TV then it may not work unless you have a worldwide TV or are using an LCD TV that can switch regions. If you use a monitor/TV with RGB then it won't matter if it is NTSC or PAL.

HyperDuel
08-10-2010, 09:55 AM
I guess if you are using a TV then it may not work unless you have a worldwide TV or are using an LCD TV that can switch regions. If you use a monitor/TV with RGB then it won't matter if it is NTSC or PAL.

Yep, which I don't have a worldwide TV here in the US.

I still have about two hours to decide if I'm picking this up or not.

izarate
08-10-2010, 10:31 AM
What if you use this? http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=183 Seems like a solution. (disclaimer: I know nothing about Amigas)

Arkhan
08-10-2010, 05:39 PM
Why would I need to convert to PAL when I'm in the US with no PAL TVs nearby?

Sometimes if you get cracked games from WHDload, they wont work unless you run PAL mode.

The A520 is good to have until you figure out a better solution...

but the general process is:

1) get an HDD, painfully/slowly transfer stuff over nullmodem cable.
2) Use WhDLoad and play the games

You need to upgrade the ram though. Theres a ram expansion on the bottom, and a side attachment also. The side attachment is cool if you get the HDD/RAM upgrade unit. I think its called SupraRAM XP or something. It has been a few years.

If its a stock A500, you'll be playing commercial games. That's it. Downloading stuff off the net wont work. You won't even have cross-dos with a stock A500.


To get the full effect you're going to end up upgrading the kickstart roms and adding a switch so you can go back/forth, maxing out the ram, getting an HDD attachment thats special to the A500..................

and then realizing that its a giant waste of time/money to upgrade the fucker, and get an A1200 instead.

You could get an A2000 cheap probably. Its an A500 in a regular giant case. Its easier to upgrade everything. You can get a megachip for 100$ or so, and have maxed out chipram, and then put in some more ram, and an IDE HDD, or it might be a SCSI hdd...

Way easier to upgrade/deal with for sure......

Soviet Conscript
08-10-2010, 07:16 PM
i had a completely stock 512k A500 for years and had a ton of fun with it, then again i was useing commercial disks and not downloading anything or useing whdload.

about a year ago i bought a accelerated A1200T what your being told about PAL is 100% true. almost everything you tend to find amiga wise on the net is PAL stuff includeing the whdload stuff for games. some games work fine, other act like there on crack. lots of little annoying things like music being speed up and intros/cutscreen just skipping by. i've tried everything to correct this. i've used cpu degraders, software that engages PAL modes and still never helped.

HyperDuel
08-10-2010, 09:19 PM
Just came home with the system and here are the updates:

* System is 1 MB (it appears so, there's extra RAM at the ram slot with a battery on it??????).
* The joysticks suck, I need some Genesis controllers.
* A520 composite is not bad at all, will be good for me for now.
* Got two music software with it so I can use the Amiga for music (sweet).
* I only paid $40 for it (the guy said it was ok so I got the whole thing for $40).
* At least it came with Shadow of the Beast.
* Workbench is 1.3.3

The music software will keep me busy for awhile and the extra ram is nice.

I am planning to pimp out the A500 sooner or later.

Pictures coming.

kedawa
08-11-2010, 08:13 PM
So you have 1MB RAM and Kickstart 1.3 at least.
That's the most common configuration, so I would say use it as is and enjoy it.
If you want something better, don't bother upgrading it, because it will cost you far more than the $40 you've spent on it.
If the novelty of the A500 wears off, just get an AGA Amiga of some kind. PAL A1200's can still be bought new for a few hundred, and they're far cheaper to upgrade than an A500, especially if you want a hard drive.

Arkhan
08-11-2010, 10:11 PM
Just came home with the system and here are the updates:

* System is 1 MB (it appears so, there's extra RAM at the ram slot with a battery on it??????).
* The joysticks suck, I need some Genesis controllers.
* A520 composite is not bad at all, will be good for me for now.
* Got two music software with it so I can use the Amiga for music (sweet).
* I only paid $40 for it (the guy said it was ok so I got the whole thing for $40).
* At least it came with Shadow of the Beast.
* Workbench is 1.3.3

The music software will keep me busy for awhile and the extra ram is nice.

I am planning to pimp out the A500 sooner or later.

Pictures coming.

what joysticks? Tac-3? Those blow weener. :D. Find an Amiga CD-32 pad!

Shadow of the Beast is a good start for games. What other games did you get??

I had that ram upgrade with the battery in it. I forget wtf the battery did. For some reason I think it had a clock.

Anyway, if you can find it, theres this

http://www.amiga-hardware.com/showhardware.cgi?HARDID=1246

It's about the best you can do as far as side-car add-ons for the Amiga 500. There is another HDD but it has no ram (A590 i think), and another thing that is just RAM.

You can get that Supra fully loaded, and load up the ram on the bottom part too..

but its still going to suck a huge one if you dont want to buy commercial games and hope they still work. :-/

PAL games from WHDLoad may flatout refuse to work without PAL mode being in use.

So if you dig the A500, cool. Enjoy it while you can and don't spend another penny on it unless you have money falling out of your ass or you are batshit insane and want to upgrade it.

IMHO, If you want an upgrade, do a real upgrade.

Get an A1200,3000 or 4000. 1200's are the easiest to come by, and aren't too bad to upgrade. I had one with a HDD and workbench+whdload installed.

HyperDuel
08-11-2010, 11:44 PM
I remove the battery from the RAM board since the clock is useless and I don't want the battery to leak on it.

I'm happy with the A500 for now and I'm not planning to get an upgrade Amiga at this time. I'm going to stick to NTSC games at this time because I have no TV that supports PAL.

Call me nuts but I would like to upgrade the A500 with at least a hard drive.

Pictures are here:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/167396-getting-an-amiga-500-off-craigslist-what-should-i-need-to-know/page__view__findpost__p__2070158

Soviet Conscript
08-12-2010, 12:12 AM
tac-3 YUK. i think i would prefer useing a half functioning 5200 controller to a tac-3

if you do go the upgrade path you may want to look into a kickstart switch as well

not to sidetrack the thread much but what everyone is saying in order for me to get these pal games running through whdload to run at the correct speed i'm going to have to switch my system over to PAL since the degrader program isn't fixing it? i end up useing whdload even when i have the origional disks and since all of the amiga disk images out there seem to be pal anyways....

Ze_ro
08-12-2010, 02:32 PM
I am planning to pimp out the A500 sooner or later.
Honestly, it's probably not worth while. As long as you've got 1MB of RAM in there and a second floppy drive, you've already got pretty much the perfect A500 setup for playing games off disk.

If you really want to get a better system going (say, to run WHDLoad), you're better off starting with an Amiga 1200. It's far more practical, being that most of the things you'll want to get for the A500 already come as standard options on the 1200 ('020 processor, hard drive controller, 2MB chip RAM, etc), as well as some options that simply aren't possible on the 500 (AGA graphics, PCMCIA, etc)

--Zero

HyperDuel
08-12-2010, 03:21 PM
Yet 1200s are going for stupid money on ebay. If I can find one locally for cheap then I'll get it. It took me awhile to find anything Amiga-related on Craigslist. I just lucked out on the A500 lot for $40.

For me it would be easier to get the HD for this and just make it more useful.

Tempest
08-12-2010, 04:08 PM
Is there an easy way to rig a switch for NTSC/PAL mode? I have a 1200 with WHDLoad, but I never knew that there was a region issue with the Amiga (I must not have hit any PAL only games). If I'm using a monitor is there any reason to run in NTSC mode at all? If not, which pin do I have to tape?

Tempest

98PaceCar
08-13-2010, 03:39 PM
Is there an easy way to rig a switch for NTSC/PAL mode? I have a 1200 with WHDLoad, but I never knew that there was a region issue with the Amiga (I must not have hit any PAL only games). If I'm using a monitor is there any reason to run in NTSC mode at all? If not, which pin do I have to tape?

Tempest

Just hold down the right mouse button when you boot up and a menu will come up that lets you select NTSC or PAL. Some games only run in PAL, some only in NTSC. I used to always run PAL just because of the slightly bigger workbench.

On the 500, you have to do an Agnus upgrade which involves a few trace mods. Not necessary on the 1200 though.

Depending on which version of the OS you have, you can also set the video mode from Workbench, but it may or may not work in games.

Tempest
08-13-2010, 04:25 PM
Wow I never knew that before. Good to know.

I'm using ClassicWB and Workbench 3.1.

Tempest

HyperDuel
08-13-2010, 05:00 PM
I check the mobo (besides the dead ant) and the version is 6a.

Soviet Conscript
08-13-2010, 07:17 PM
I check the mobo (besides the dead ant) and the version is 6a.

be glad an ant is all you found. i found several dead roaches in an amiga 500 once.

Soviet Conscript
08-20-2010, 02:29 PM
Just hold down the right mouse button when you boot up and a menu will come up that lets you select NTSC or PAL. Some games only run in PAL, some only in NTSC. I used to always run PAL just because of the slightly bigger workbench.

On the 500, you have to do an Agnus upgrade which involves a few trace mods. Not necessary on the 1200 though.

Depending on which version of the OS you have, you can also set the video mode from Workbench, but it may or may not work in games.

hmmmm, the menu didn't come up for me and i have a 1200T

Ze_ro
08-22-2010, 01:22 PM
You have to hold BOTH mouse buttons while booting to get to the boot menu.

Keep in mind that games can still force the computer into whatever video mode they want. Some of them will try to play nice, but others will just blindly choose a PAL video mode and run with it.

--Zero