Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Getting back into the Amiga Scene, need advice
Vangar 05:33 8th May 2015
Hi guys,

Lately I've decided I want to head back into the Amiga scene, so I pulled out the hardware I have and wanted to get some advice on what other hardware I should get to make my transition smoother then 5-10 years ago.

I have an A500 with a 1.3 Kickstart. I have a bunch of floppies but no real way to transfer data to or from the Amiga enviornment. I've never been able to read an ADF or copy something to it.

Here are some questions:

- I've ordered an "Amiga GOTEK FD Drive Deluxe Edition ADF" - Hopefully these work well? I have around 650 floppies but most are backups and not originals, and I was trying to play a few and lately some of them don't boot anymore (Both my copies of Deluxe galaga show as EMPTY floppies with read errors)

- I've also heard about the ACA500. I'm mostly interested in this because of being able to boot between 1.3 and 3.1, but the extra memory would be nice. I couldn't find any online stores with this in stock however
- Aside from Deluxe Galaga is there any other reason to move from 1.3? Maybe its not worth the investment.

- What's a good controller for the Amiga? My old stick has microswitches however its really worn down. Something that has a defining 'up' push for games that use it for jump.

- I have a Panasonic CRT with SCART, and an Amiga > Scart cable, which is beautiful. I have an Amiga mouse. I have one external FDD. What other goodies should I look into getting?

Vangar 07:35 13th May 2015

Is there still an Amiga Scene to head back into ?
DonAmiga 09:25 13th May 2015

It may be that there's no ACA500's at the moment because I believe Jens working on a revision 2? Which he mentioned over at EAB which sounds like a good upgrade for yourself unless your thinking of getting other Amiga's like A1200?

Also Jens made a new competitions pro joystick suppose it comes down to personal preference!

You could have a look:

And there's Amibay for some community trading and you could check out there is a member on there "kipper2k" whose always developing for the Amiga like a new Gotek. Also there are others that are doing things for the Amiga.

Hope that helps
Harrison 11:23 13th May 2015
For the A500 I would personally keep it fairly standard. A Gotek drive is a great addition as it really opens up the ability to boot whatever you like without messing around with floppy disks and trying to get software onto them. Being able to just copy ADFs to a USB stick and boot it directly so the Amiga sees them as real disks is one of the best developments for any restro platform in years.

If you are only gaming you probably only need to stick with Kickstart 1.3 for most games. You could add a kickstart rom switcher and have 1.3 and 2.04 or 1.3 and 3.1, so you can load newer versions of Workbench and some newer games, although most newer games requiring Workbench 3 will also be AGA only so not possible to run.

Regarding image output. RGB scart is a very good connection, but to get the best you would need to spend a bit and get a scan doubler. The Indivision ECS allows you to connect the Amiga directly to any PC monitor for a crisp image and the best output you will see, but it depends if you want to spend that kind of money or not.

Rather than spending a huge amount on an A500 I would personally think about an A1200 for further expansion because you can then use a CF card as an SSD harddrive and setup WHDLoad to boot most games directly from HDD in seconds. An 030 accelerator is also very nice on the A1200 to speed it up enough to make the system really useable. The Indivision AGA is also a nice addition to output to a PC monitor and also add additional higher resolutions.

There are loads of hardware projects releasing new hardware in recent years and you can end up spending a lot of money expanding and Amiga a long way beyond what what ever possible back in the day.
Kin Hell 12:58 13th May 2015
I don't own a Gotek drive myself, but as H says, it's probably been one of the best things for the Amiga in years. If only to keep those classic games running, it replaces the now defunct Floppy interface.

There will of course still be those Die-Hard ones amongst us, even if it's only for pure nostalgia.
Stephen Coates 21:30 13th May 2015
I saw a demonstration of a Gotek or similar device being used in a piece of high end test equipment recently. Looked quite good, though I expect it would be more useful in a computer than in test equipment. Whilst I see no need to give up on floppies, they do look like they would be useful for times when you are short on blank disks, or have things that are failing .
Harrison 00:05 14th May 2015
Gotek and similar drive emulators do mean the end of floppy drives for many, me included. It is so much easier storing all your floppy disks as virtual digital ADFs and just copying them to a USB stick to load them on a real Amiga, and any other platform for that matter. No need to have a ton of disk boxes and worry about failing disks or read/write errors.

This will help to safeguard the ongoing future of retro hardware. We can already keep the motherboards working as those in the scene with enough electronics experience can resurrect even the worst Amiga motherboard these days with track repairs and cap replacements.. so our Amigas could go on for a long time still. Floppy drives and disks however just won't.

It does mean however that I have to finally get my finger out and continue going through my floppy disk collection and archiving them to ADF using my Kryoflux.
Vangar 02:52 18th May 2015
Originally Posted by Harrison:
It does mean however that I have to finally get my finger out and continue going through my floppy disk collection and archiving them to ADF using my Kryoflux.
Are you keeping your bought copies of software and games? I wasn't sure if I should keep mine anymore as they may become worthless when they stop reading?
Harrison 10:15 18th May 2015
Depends. I have hundreds of original boxed Amiga games stored away. What I will probably do is keep originals of my favourite games, especially ones with good extras, or ones with useful manuals, but slowly downsize the rest.
Aughie 00:07 12th June 2015
The above thread has a video on how to set up a gotek for amiga use
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