• Tom Riley

Amiga 500+ Repair

A lot of the repairs that we can now do at Gotham Games started off with a trial by fire, learning by practicing and a lot of Google searches! This week we ended up with a Commodore Amiga 500+ model which didn't boot, and came up with a green screen.

Now based on past experience I knew that this model has an internal battery, that has a very bad habit of leaking and wreaking havoc over the whole motherboard but I set off in search of answers anyway.

The answer I received was that a Green screen is actually an error code, which means "An Error in the chip RAM was detected". This meant nothing to me so I decided to just take a look inside and see what was going on.


Oh that's a leaked battery alright

Before even so much as touching a screwdriver I popped off the expansion cover on the back to find the telltale green corrosion of a leaked battery! I next took off the top casing and removed the keyboard only to find:


Thankfully the damage was mostly superficial

More corrosion, this was very far away from where the battery is located on the motherboard, so as I took off the metal plating I feared the worst.


The Horror!

Yep, that's one heck of a battery leak! Thankfully most of the damage looked cosmetic and looked like it just needed a clean, except for one:


This chip is labelled as Gary on the board. So I will only call him by his name from here on!

The Gary chip itself appeared fine, however the 48 Pin connector was completely ruined! I hopped on eBay and found what I thought was the correct size, and in the meantime set to work removing this one.


The connector from the other size, labelled so I didn't accidentally unsolder the wrong thing!

To remove the connector, I pulled all of the plastic and corroded pins from the top, and then used a soldering iron on the top and a pump on the bottom, with the entire board stood vertically. I'd never done this before but YouTube hooked me up with a good tutorial!


All clear and ready for the arrival of the new connector

Thankfully I didn't have to wait long for a new connector (thanks Mr Postman) and immediately went to see if it was a good fit:


Perfect!

It was a lot easier to solder the new one in that take out the old one!


Not the neatest solder job I admit, but I'm still learning!

Now to slot Gary into his new home and see if it works!


Snug!

Looks like its working first time! A rare occurrence in my repairs!

I couldn't believe it worked first time to be honest, I was thinking there might be more than one fault but it appears to be fully working! Now I just had to put it back together and test the rest of it.


Put back together and loading a Disk


And its fully working and ready for a new home!

Well that's all for this blog folks, hope I didn't ramble too much and it was at least semi interesting to read what goes into some of the behind the scenes work at Gotham Games!

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