RAM for an Amiga 1200

by Greg Goodwin

Ever since I found out that the PCMCIA slot on the Amiga 1200 can be used with a static ram cards to be used for memory expansion, I have played with various 1 meg cards that my Dad and I happened to have from back in the day. I have found a great price on a 2 meg card which I will explain more in a moment. My Dad and I didn't have any cards higher than 1 meg, and the following is the reason why:

From our experience the Static Ram cards were good for data storage until the flash ram came out. You could store the information on static ram cards as long as you have a battery backup. When the battery goes dead, you loose all your information. That was acceptable till a means of storage came out that you didn't have to keep up with the battery. This is why I used the Newton Messagepad over the Atari Portfolio as much as I like the Atari name. Newton had flash ram and the Portfolio had static ram.

So when the 2 meg cards started coming out that was when the flash ram cards started becoming common. So naturally fewer and fewer static ram cards were made at that point. Actually as I have been hitting ebay it seems like the static ram cards became more about adding memory than data storage. For the Amiga 1200 (and 600 I believe) a lot of these cards work, though there are some proprietary cards that will not work on the Amiga PCMCIA port. It has been relayed to me that the Amiga will use up to 6 megs of memory from the PCMCIA port, and ignore the rest at that point.

While a 6 Meg Static ram card would be costly so is about any other static card ram out there. Most of the time even a 512K static ram card will run $40, and a 4 meg card about $80 to $100. These cards are crap for storage but gold to Amiga users, and probably part of the reason why they maintain the price.

This is where I am happy to say there is one card I tested out, the Fujisoku 2 meg PCMCICA card which I bought for $20

PCMCICA PCMCICA

and when tried out yielded these results:

PCMCICA

It is the "1,909,360 other mem" part that we are cheering for in this case. I have effectively doubled my ram with just $20 and by shoving a card in the PCMCIA slot. Not since the ram upgrades on the Atari 800 have I seen a more simple ram upgrade, and I didn't even have to open a hatch. Of course the static ram card sticks out the side a bit, so you have to watch that. These have been showing up from time to time lately so a batch of them must have been recently "unearthed". If interested the ebay auction number was 161549060146 with prof-dean as the seller. The price point has generally been the same for the auctions I have seen of this item.