Amiga Hardware Items of Note

by Chris Heisman
From the AmiTech Gazette, February 2016

It has been many, many years since I’ve bothered to look at eBay for Amiga items but I happened to do so recently just to see what was out there. I was immediately drawn to two items which I thought may be of interest to readers of this newsletter. The first item was a listing by GGLabs (eBay username of gorlik) offering a new hardware creation of the venerable old A520 TV Modulator. This GGLabs is an “open source electronics” site where hardware designs are posted with complete plans for making electronics devices on your own (providing one has the soldering skills). It seems to be relatively new as there are only about a dozen projects at the moment. The current projects are related to legacy Apple computers, Commodore 8-bit computers, one Amiga computer project and some “generic” projects as well (visit gglabs.us to see).

The one Amiga project has been termed the “A520HD.” This device plugs into the video port of any Amiga computer model and creates Component video (PrPbY) output for much higher quality video than one can get from composite video. This would be of great advantage to anyone that has a flat-screen TV with Component Video inputs. If one is not inclined to do their own soldering though, a completed unit can be bought from GGLabs via eBay for $70. I’ve looked into building my own, or perhaps several of them, thus have researched the component cost and found that the electronic components alone would amount to between $16–$19. That just leaves the phono jacks (easy and cheap to obtain), the DB23 connector (hard to find new but if one still has an A520 it could be removed and used) and lastly the printed circuit board (still looking into the cost for that). I noted that he also sells an A521HD unit on eBay which is a video card slot version but it is not listed on his web-site for some reason.

The second item I noted on eBay was from a guy (eBay username of morestuffuniwho) setting up his own business replacing capacitors on Apple computer motherboards, Amiga motherboards or even power supply boards (actually, it looks like he’ll do it for practically anything electronic). Now for the Amiga, he has listed that he’ll replace ALL of the capacitors on any Amiga motherboard for a fee of $69 (includes shipping back to you). This seems like it would be a convenient avenue of choice for anyone with a malfunctioning Amiga as long as you are certain that a capacitor is causing the problem. For us Ohioans, shipping to him wouldn’t be as bad as for other states as he is located in Michigan. The price listed is conditional upon you sending him just the motherboard though, if you don’t want to disassemble the Amiga yourself, he will accept “whole” units but there’ll be an extra fee for disassembly (plus the extra shipping cost to him). You can read more about this on his web-site at maccaps.com.