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Amiga 1200 - Repairs & Restoration (Part 1)

  • 03-07-2022 6:58am
    Registered Users Posts: 7,233 ✭✭✭

    The grand-daddy of the 'affordable' home Amiga range, and one that was so out of reach for me as a youngling - as was ANY Amiga! I always yearned for an Amiga, to replace my ageing C64, and compliment my Snes/Megadrive...but there was no hope of me ever owning one back then. Things like that obviously change over time, but any Amiga still retains that 'elusive and out of reach' feel for me, even though I now own them all! Anyway, next up is my 1200 for caps, and like my 600, this one has a floppy drive issue too - it's accepting and ejecting discs, it also tried to read them, but there's no familiar 'whirr' noise, so I'll need to look at that.

    ^^ This one is partially boxed (inner box only), and as can be seen, is absolutely piss yellow...some fo the worst yellowing I've ever seen. It was obviously sitting in the sunshine for a long time, because it's white in areas that were shadowed, like the shadows of the keycaps themselves have protected those areas and they're a bit whiter than the rest. This will be given the retrobrite treatment down the line, and if that doesn't work, I'll buy a replacement case for it. It's not a pretty sight to look at currently, and the camera is being very kind to it here!

    ^^ So a quick power on test before working on it, shows it works, and has some type of whdload system/cf card already set up. None of the games work, presumably because there's no ram expansion currently installed. I get various "missing errors". I'm not overly concerned about this at this stage because I do plan on buying the necessary upgrades for it, and setting up my own WHDload system at that stage too. I'm just glad to see it works at this stage.

    ^^ Tear down begins, and the 4GB compact flash drive is revealed.

    ^^ Cap removal begun. Like the 600, there's some parts & components that need to be protected and/or removed for this job. The keyboard connector needs to come out, and the audio jacks DO leave enough room to work around, but they needed to be protected from the heat gun also.

    ^^ Old caps in place, heat protection then in place, and old caps out. Pads are then braided to remove all old solder, and cleaned with IPA to remove any final contaminants.

    ^^ Decapped, and Recapped.

    ^^ Next up was the floppy drive. Again, it was attempting to read discs, but would fail every time. So I knew discs are being accepted and detected, maybe it was a head issue. I cleaned the heads with IPA, and reassembled for testing.

    ^^ Yus! It still works after recapping, it's always a relief! However it still wasn't reading discs. I noticed the drive itself wouldn't spin, despite the heads trying to read. I replaced a small capacitor on the drive's power board (forgot to take pic), but alas, it seems the motor in the drive itself is dead.

    ^^ From reading online, it seems you can mod several old PC floppy drives to be Amiga compatible. So I picked up a cheap working floppy drive, in the hopes of being able to mod it to be able to read Amiga discs.

    ^^ Floppy mod complete, and a thorough cleaning of the drive which was filthy too. Heads cleaned, and drive rails/gears cleaned and greased up also. Time for testing!

    ^^ Compact flash drive removed, and boom, the former PC floppy drive is now Amiga compatible, and loading discs away happily. Chuffed with that one!

    That's all I can do here for now, I need to plan/order some upgrades for this. It'll prob end up the most capable of my Amiga's, though I still prefer the form factor of the 600 over the 1200. Also, this will be getting a LONG bath in lovely warm peroxide at some stage to restore its colour, so I'll follow up with a second thread for subsequent work on it.

    Post edited by Inviere on