Below are the most frequently asked questions about our products, answered by shoe.
Q: Why aren’t the designs open source like similar projects?
A: You have to understand that an unbelievable amount of time has been invested in these boards. We don’t question the benefits of open source (software), but this is not such a project. It’s one thing to clone an existing design, or do a quick prototype with minimal effort, then ask others to contribute. Once you appreciate the level of detail and quality of MrA’s work you will understand what I mean.
However – I’d like to add that some of MrA’s designs are already freely available to download and produce. You just have to know where to look. A1k.org is a good start. We are working on gathering everything related at one place (this site).
Q: Will any of the mini-Zorro2 accessories like NIC and RTG be produced and sold?
A: Short answer, maybe. Long answer, it depends on a few things. Mainly interest and available resources. We’ve got quite a few requests on the NIC, so it’s not impossible that we’ll produce a batch of those later this year. Updated answer: A-NIC and some other stuff are now available on https://www.tindie.com/stores/enterlogic/
Q: How compatible is Amy and Denise with an original Amiga 500+ or Amiga 2000?
A: Very. A lot of time has been spent studying the inner workings on the Commodore custom logic to fully understand it’s uniqueness and special quirks. A few critical bugs has been corrected, other parts have undergone complete redesign to improve both sound and image quality. The latter especially true for Denise.
Q: Will my Zorro2 card or 68k-CPU-socket accessory work on Amy or Denise?
A: If the card works on an Amiga 500+ with a SideCar Zorro2 slot – yes, then it will work on Amy and Denise. Although to fully understand the expansion limits on A500+/Amy/Denise – please read the manual. We have tested and got positive reports on everything from serial modems, 8-bit samplers, SCSI HDD controllers, SANA-II network controllers, PiStorm, PiRGB and Apollo Vampire accelerators.
Q: Which Amiga model is closest to Amy and Denise?
A: That would be the A500+. With a Zorro2 SideCar adapter and RTC they would in fact be very similar in their core design.
Q: What are the main differences between an A500+ (with a Zorro2 SideCar and RTC) and Amy or Denise?
A: That’s a good question. Besides the optimizations mentioned above there are some new functionality added.
- Auto detect AMIGA and PS/2 Keyboard & Mouse with Scroll wheel support.
- Dual/BigROM using reset / ScrollLock for bank switching.
- Autosense floppy to speed up boot time (disables df0: if no floppy is attached).
- ATX Standby power used to charge super cap for RTC timekeeping.
- Again, please see the manual for a complete list of enhancements in the design.
Q: I’m having a hard time finding the DRAM IC for Denise 72-pin 2MB SIMM, what are the compatible alternatives?
A: The following DRAM ICs should work with the 2MB SIMM:
All DRAM listed on https://github.com/SukkoPera/OpenAmiga600RamExpansion#memory should also work.
Q: Would it be OK if I used 74HCT* instead of 74F* as logic ICs on …?
A: Another good question.
Short answer: No. Stick to the specs in the BOM and all will be good.
Long answer: All parts specified in the BOM has been selected very carefully and some are critical for stable operation. Having said that; many components are of course interchangeable with compatible alternatives. Although while other specs might “work” it can cause stability problems and in the long run shorten the life of your precious CBM chips.
Q: What direction should the protective SMD diodes be placed?
A: The SM_DO214AC_BIPOL diodes specified in the BOM are bidirectional and you can turn them any way you want.
Q: What’s the difference between the revisions of Amy & Denise?
A: Functionally so far all revisions of Amy and Denise respectively have been identical. Early Amy (<1.8) had it’s firmware PICs on SMD components, later revisions had DIL chips instead. For Denise the only modification between 2.0 and 2.1 is a few resistors that were hard to source at the time.
Q: Can I reserve a board by email or on Discord if I pay in advance?
A: We are thrilled that you are interested in our stuff! When we started this journey with batches of 10-25 boards for friends things were cool. Everything was kept in a spreadsheet. But now we’re shipping larger batches and more products – which of course is awesome! But totally unmanageable unless everything is done in one place.
So no, I’m sorry we just can’t take orders and reservations outside of our main shop which at the moment is Tindie.com. However this might change in the future as we too see the benefits of reservations and group orders, etc.
Q: Why is shipping taking up to four weeks? And why don’t you just add all available stock at once, why this “batch” nonsense?
A: As a hobbyist side gig there’s just not enough time and energy to fill all orders in time. As tindie.com has a static four week window for orders to be shipped before the money is refunded automatically to the customer. Another reason we’re looking for alternative sales channels.
Thanks to everyone who’s contributed to this FAQ! We love you!