I was planning my new shack for when I move into the new house and thought it would be nice to have a little A600 for IRC and other Lo-Fi Internet tasks, so I can chat whilst doing various tasks on the A1200 which can involve rebooting if in a game or demo or something I am trying out crashes. So I bought a few A600′s from eBay and picked out the best condition case and latest version motherboard from the ones I acquired and added some modest upgrades. Here is a quick storyboard of the upgrade process. You can click on an image if you want to make it bigger.
Chose this revision 1.5 motherboard, and added the 3.1 ROM so we can run Workbench 3.1.
The A600 motherboard is sitting in the case and floppy drive is now added.
No Wait! I am a radio ham, let’s put the often omitted top RF shield on – keep RF interference to a minimum.
Now the shielding is on, we can replace the motherboard in the bottom case and attach the floppy disk drive once more.
We now add a 512MB Solid State HDD known as a Disk on Module or DoM. This is an industrial model with a wide operating temperature. It attaches to the IDE pins directly but we replace the HDD caddy to give the A600 keyboard extra stability.
Here we add the extra 1MB CHIP RAM expansion to give us a total of 2MB. This is a modern board made by Individual Computers – A604n. It also has the optional RTC board which plugs into a clockport on the expansion board.
Just sizing up the keyboard… The A600 doesn’t lay on top like the A1200, instead it clips into the top case. But I thought I would show it in position anyway.
All done! Keyboard and LEDs are attached to top case and we close our patient up. Notice I managed to source an A600HD labelled case.
Looking good! Its hard to get hold of Amiga machines this white nowadays. If you have a yellow one, you can try making a cleaning solution known as Retrobrite which can remove a lot of yellowing. Luckily I don’t have to for this machine.
Rear ports – Disk Drive, Parallel, Serial, Audio, RGB, Composite Video, RF, and power. Toby the cat, who up to this point had been helping me, decided to take a nap.
The other side of the case clearly shows the A600HD label and the PCMCIA port which will be the host to a 10Mbit Network card.
The underside shows the Commodre installed 64MB hard drive and some QC check from Commodore UK. It was checked by L Robinson on the 15th May 1992. I wonder what he/she is doing now?
Time of truth. And it works! Result. I have connected the A600 to the TV via SCART for a crisp image. Unfortunately, all my Workbench and other discs are in storage, so we will have to do some more when I get the keys to my house. Shouldn’t be too much longer.
There you go, all done. It is not the most ambitious A600 upgrade ever (this website used to be about a much more upgraded machine), but this machine should be stable and reliable and more than able to do what I have planned for it. I did not replace the capacitors that have been known to fail on some of these machines but if I notice any instability issues moving forward, I will perform the exercise.
I am hoping that one day I can do some ham radio things with this A600 or with my 68030 powered A1200. That would be cool. I would also like to write a book on one, as in Word Processing a book using the Amiga – not writing about an Amiga (or maybe I will). Thanks for looking at my little project, that took just as long to chronicle as it did to perform the upgrade procedure!