Rack mount Amiga 1200

Six weeks ago I bought an Amiga 1200 on ebay.  It had been fitted into a custom cut rack mount case (it even exposes the PCMCIA slot) and had been used by the seller as a graphics server of some kind.

It came with nothing but the case, floppy drive and the motherboard.  Also there was a heatsink on Alice (an update to Agnes for the AGA graphics chipset present on the A4000, A1200 and CD32.)  The heat-sink on Alice was not well attached and small.  I knew I would be adding an Individual Computers AGA MK2 flicker fixer which would only put more load on Alice (even Individual Computers says so) so I took a photo of it (her?) and  then used thermally conductive epoxy to attach a nice gold HS that had been a South bridge heatsink on a Pentium4.  I will probably print the photo and stick a picture of the installed Alice inside the case should the model number matter one day.

I added the flicker fixer and passed its DVI connector, having machined it down to fit between the power connector and the composite connector and around some capacitors, through an existing hole in the case that was for the analogue TV out (which I desoldered and removed).  Some RF shield trimming was also involved.  Double sided tape holds the connector to the motherboard.  It was just the right thickness as the pictures show.

I then added a PC-Key 1200 keyboard adapter (with an extension cable I soldered in).  I had to remove the plastic retaining clip from the top of the keyboard ribbon cable socket and it just pushed in.  I chose this part because it came with a standard chassis mount socket, goes into the keyboard slot instead of clipping over an IC and supports both PC and Amiga keyboards.  The Individual Computers part which I seriously considered (Lyra 2) does not support Amiga keyboards and has a PCI slot backplate instead of the chassis mount socket.  It does however support more than three simultaneous key presses which the PC-Key does not.

I also added a short IDE cable to a dual Compact Flash adapter from ebay, an original A1200 power, floppy and HDD light (I had to file the case behind the fascia for this, the original machining was not right and the original owner never put the LEDs in) and a nice A1200 label for the front (also from ebay).

Finally, after adding some nylon bolts to support the card up off the bottom of the case, I plugged in an ACA1233n with battery backed up clock (thanks Amiga Kit for fitting the RTC module prior to shipping).  It adds a 68030 and 130meg or so of RAM.  Considering the A1200 shipped with 2meg, this is quite a lot.

Lucky last, I installed classic workbench using a guide on YouTube (thanks dude) and set up some WHDLoad demos and stuff.  I must say though, having used the state-of-the-art Workbench I am thinking about going back to a more basic version that better suits my A2000 nostalgia.

There were a few hiccups installing the AGA flicker fixer drivers, I didn’t realise that ‘1.1’ software had to be installed first based on the available information.  For some reason too, the guides to installation say type ‘install’ to run the script that copies everything un-lha’ed (to a RAM disk when you have as much as me) to the right spots.  I somehow remembered, when it didn’t work, to enter ‘execute install’.  That did the trick.  The flicker fixer is an impressive piece of hardware.  I am always surprised by how much new Amiga gear is being made.

A bunch of pictures follow below.

The blue plastic on my milling machine is from the DVI connector.  Yes I sweated about it but remained clear of the wiring, I also clipped out some of the strain relief to help the cable clear the IDE ribbon.  The earth is still to be connected up on the flicker fixer, it can’t just float around in there with tape on it.  I was curious about whether I would have problems without it, no sign of any.

6 thoughts on “Rack mount Amiga 1200

  1. I’m doing the exact same thing with a rack also. I’m putting in
    a cd drive and hope to squeeze in a a1200 power supply.
    I have an external a2000 keyboard and a scan doubler that works well too.
    I’ll post pics when its done. Just waiting for more parts to arrive.

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    1. Nice. All in a 1 height case? I thought about an internal PSU but am happy with a high quality external unit, keeps it original and keeps the heat down in the case too. A CD Rom would be nice, I think I can manage most things I would use one for with CF cards and WHDLoad.

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      1. yes, I have an 8gig card. Just bought a ide cable to take the cf card and cdrom. I’ll be cutting a few new holes for everything though. Just have to take apart the power supply when it comes and cross my fingers. I am putting small legs under the box so i’m thinking of cutting a hole to drop it slightly down to gain some height. I was also considering mounting a second floppy inside. The cables along with the power lead would have to go out and reconnect at the rear.
        Bit messy I suppose, but should work. Just want everything inside like my cmd sx64.

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      1. I’m getting closer to finishing my box similar to the one above. Painted it black, put some legs on it so I can slide the black keyboard under (usb logitek). I ended up buying the
        Sum A1200 USB Keyboard Adapter which i’m very pleased with. EASYNET PCMCIA WIRELESS CARD connects me to the internet. Just waiting for my 4xEIDE’99 Buffered Interface card to connect up hard drive and cd slimline drive which are both working ok already.
        Buffered is better and faster, plus can connect 2 more drives. Still need to cut a hole in the case so my cd can be accessed externally. Post some pics when finished. I couldn’t put my
        slim ac adapter inside as I just ran out of room. I might swap the floppy with the gotek one day
        as soon as I can work out how to use it. Floppy just very convenient for the moment. Also changed the roms to 3.1, but the accelerator card didn’t work. Had to reflash it for 3.1.
        Man these things are such dramas right?

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