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AuthorTopic: Apollo 68040 how to properly install it on a 1200 and close the trapdoor ?  (Read 1546 times)

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Offline nikodr


    I have been using my Apollo 1240 card since the late 90s and it has a history of instability but I'll describe what's happened in the past and how it is set up now.

Originally in the wedge case, it was stable even with the original 29W power brick.
With the trapdoor cover on, it was unstable, so it ran with the cover off.
The first problem was the CPU fan, which started to get quite noisy. I cut that off and it was okay without cooling but I don't recommend it!
The case was "upgraded" to a tower so there was a lot more "airspace" - running without fan did not concern me that much.
In the tower, the card "flopped around" physically and unless it was in perfect alignment,  the Amiga would not boot.
So I ended up fabricating a bracket to hold the card in tight and perfectly parallel with the motherboard.
Next, replaced the RTC battery and the fan, which is a standard 5v 40MM fan I got from eBay.
Slightly OT - I did add the second SIMM socket to the reverse side of the card and upgraded to 64MB. Choosing SIMMS was tricky.

In summary, card alignment seems to be *really* important, maybe this is most relevant to tower users as there is no playroom in the A1200 trapdoor compartment. The stock PSU is probably not your problem, unless as previously said, it is damaged or worn out. Cooling could be an issue - I think the revision of 040 is important as some need fans at 25MHz and mine at 40MHZ seemed genuinely fine with no fan for years.

On the software side, I used Remapollo from Aminet. I had NO luck with MMULib and other stuff. I tried everything and RemApollo was the only patcher that worked. The 68040 lib used with RemApollo is one of the old Commodore ones which you patch using a command that comes with RemApollo. It's important to follow the instructions precisely! Remapollo is set up to remap the ROM to fast RAM, which speeds up Workbench in a very noticeable way.

I hope this helps - Apollo cards are very temperamental but it was in my budget at the time so I don't criticise the card as much as some Amigans as I could not afford a Cyberstorm. If it was not for the Apollo then I would be having a much less capable 030/25 card today.

I 3d printed a small stand to put near floppy to have the keyboard raised and never taouch the  fan or appolo.That seems to solve the case of the card being parallel with the trapdoor closed.That way i have to remove the plastic up part of the amiga.
The machine seems to work ok though without the apollo.
I noticed with stock psu that amiga with only 68020 the psu is really cold and barely gets warm,as soon as apollo comes to play it gets hot after a while,and then it starts getting really hot the 68040.

I hope that by plugging the supply incorecctly before -it didnt go all in and shorted the 12v line to --2v i read on muiltimeter- i hope i didnt kill the card or ram.
I am skeptical if a line that expects to get 12v gets minus voltage if it would die or have effects.
Now that i fixed the  connector the supplied voltage is correct 12.5 for 12v line and 4.9 for the 5v line.

My question is though if the psu stock is still good.It measures 11.7 without load but as soon as it is connected to motherboard it goes to 12.5.
Am i missing something here?i thought usually that psu give higher voltage readings when current is not being drawn and as soon as there is load it drops down the voltage a little.
here i have the opposite senario 11.7 when idle and 12.5 as soon as i connect it to amiga.

2) can someone tell me what kind of simm slot i could buy and use if i wanted to install the second simm slot on the back if i ever had a tower?are these for sale somehow?
i remember someone in an amiga forum posted a thread and sold a modification that allows for apollo cards to see more ram by connecting the missing lines.anyone know anything about this if i could order it from someone?is it still being made?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2021, 11:51:07 PM by nikodr »

Offline Pat the Cat

1. Whether the CPU has been damaged or not... compatibility with WHDLoad is often untested on a 68040 or 68060 as far as I can gather from their web page. They recommend 68K as "most compatible", and for deveopers creating new WHDLoad versions of games they recommend at least an 030. That is conjectural, perhaps they test recent slaves or not, you could try talking to them about the issue;-


2. Pin wisee the sockets  are all the same. Presumably a low profile one rather than a vertical one. Whether that lets  you plug in the trapdoor or not is  the key question. I don't know personaly the answer.
"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
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Offline D00kie

I have also heard the rumour about modifying the 1240 card to allow a 64MB SIMM in the primary SIMM slot. As far as I am aware, this makes the Workbench show 64MB is available, but it is not useable. Everywhere I found says this hack doesn't really work and the only approved way to get the full card's capacity of 64MB is to add the second SIMM slot and install two 32MB SIMMs.

I got the SIMM slot from an electronics supplier online I can't recall the name of. These are really difficult to find now, and I could not find the 90-degree (right-angle) socket; only the 45-degree one which is far more common.
Haiku is a joke
What a waste of freaking time
I have eggs to suck

Offline nikodr

I have been thinking ways to continue using my amiga.It seems the apollo is not so stable.All amiga forum posts i found clearly state in large percentage that it is a very problematic card to work correctly and setup with the problems of psu and cooling.
I thought about adding an 8mbyte expansion card from amigakit store.I know i will lose the 68040 but then i think for whdload should be ok.
I  searched also about those new aca 68030 cards that once came in the market but noone has them now for sale.Will there ever be a new batch?
I think the 68040 apollo is nice but too cumbersome to really setup and use with not problems.
Are there other cards like the aca around?

Offline Pat the Cat

Not in production currently. Could be lack of 030s or profit margin compared to selling 020 cards.

Only other ones I've heard of are Warp 1260 or Vampire, for the A1200.

Bearing in mind your unit is original, you could get most or maybe even all the cost of a Vampire for it.

Is the 68040 soldered in? Makes it harder to upgrade your card to a 1260 (another option).

You definitely want to shop around for lowest profile socket, mouser have a few (22.5 degrees) but there's probably lower angled simm sockets out there.
"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
A500, Vanilla, A570, Rev 5, KS 1.2/1.3 Testbench system
Rasp Pi, UAE4ARM, 3D laser scanner, experimental, hoping for AmigaOS4Arm, based on Watterott Fabscan Pi

Offline nikodr

It is soldered like it was when i bought it.it does not have a socket.Apollo seems like a mess to use.
I am glad though because once removed the amiga 1200 does not crash and works fine.I have no audio distortion and the caps on motherboard look good.
I wanted to byt an aca but it is unavailable.As for doing a 68060 conversion i think the biggest benefit would be if i had a mediator or something else.Under the os i think the only advantage of 68060 is to decode mp3,something which the 68040 struggles to do under ahi.
I though of getting a delfina clockport card but hese are also unavailable.
Would a mediator take advantage of 68060 ?

Offline scuzzb494


I am assuming we are talking about the 1240 Apollo Turbo, the sister of the 1260.

First up I have Typhoons, GVP Turbos, Blizzard Turbo, Apollo 1230s and Apollo 1260 and not one of my A1200s has the trapdoor fitted. It was the first thing I was advised and that was remove the trapdoor. Just don't move the Amiga.

Second, throw away your original A1200 PSU. They are useless. I learned this the hard way when I tried to fit a simple 3.5" drive that just never worked. I was told then that any expansion to the Amiga of a significant nature requires the better PSU. I use an A500 heavy brick on all my A1200s with accelerators.

The library is the standard 68040 that came with the Workbench disk.

The card must always be run with the fan. Only the 68060 doesn't need the fan as it has the power modulator.

The cards are a pig and I spent an age when I first had the 1260 tracking down an issue with the shielding. I would open the case and she worked. Shut the case and I'm getting the flshing green light. In the end I found a problem with the bottom left of the shielding. It will be the shielding thats an isse and you need to tape the top fo the board and fold or remove the metal cover next to the board.

I have the manual if you don't have it and I can link to my site if you need it. Apollo themselves say dump the PSU and provide the fan and the original 68040 library. Only the 68060 needs to replace the original 68040.

Also my Apollo wouldn't work with my PCMCIA and Squirrel. And  it wasn't size of memory. The Blizzard with 32MB worked just fine.

Also if you have the battery on the 1240 and its the original they leak.

Also I only change maxtransfer with IDE drives cus otherwise file transfers don't work.

Anyway probably got the complete wrong end of the stick and its another card you are talking about. If so sorry for that.

Question: Do you have the CPU command in C and if so does your startup-sequence have the line CPU CACHE ?

With CPU in C you can configure INSTCACHE, NO INSTCACHE, DATACACHE, NODATACACHE, CACHE or NOCACHE. The manual suggests CPU CACHE. This switches both caches on.

Memory: up to 32mb Standard PS/2 SIM modules. Require FastPageMode access time 70ns or less [ 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 ] More detail in the manual.

Jumpers RAM open OFF and closed ON
Jumpers SCSI Autoboot to scsi open OFF and closed ON
There is a jumper also for the 060 if installed. Jumper CLK should be in position 040.

PS I found this on my 1200 that was causing the shielding to short the Apollo. Very odd.


Offline Pat the Cat

Long shot - have you done any timing fixes to the A1200 motherboard?

"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
A500, Vanilla, A570, Rev 5, KS 1.2/1.3 Testbench system
Rasp Pi, UAE4ARM, 3D laser scanner, experimental, hoping for AmigaOS4Arm, based on Watterott Fabscan Pi
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Offline utri007

I have used Apollo 68040 accelerator for a years, without a big problems. It just needs a heatsink and fan. Heatsink fits under the keyboard, but fan needs to located to more towards rear of machine.

PS. Timing fixes are mandatory!!
ACube Sam 440ep Flex 800mhz, 1gb ram and 240gb hd and OS4.1FE
A1200 Micronic tower, OS3.9, Apollo 060 66mhz, xPert Merlin, Delfina Lite and Micronic Scandy, 500Gb hd, 66mb ram, DVD-burner and WLAN.
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Offline nikodr

I have not done any timing fixes ,it was an amiga 1200 from the magic pack of amiga technologies.I think revision e?
I can't use the apollo right now because i dont have a more powerful power supply.I could modify the one i have by cutting the cable and connecting it to an atx.
But i dont want to be aggresive .I removed the apollo right now and it is just with 2mbytes.And power supply is good now.
The think with heat sink what would you use as one?
Also what kind of glue should i use to glue the heatsink?The stock heatsing seems to have the glue it had dried and is not glued now.So if i have to glue it again what substance should i use?
I also check the cpu command and it says all caches are enabled.
Apollo seems a little bit more problematic to setup correctly.But it offers a good boost.
I am on hold right now as i want to purchase a good power supply for amiga.
Also can you help me which is the best device to use to make the amiga possible to use with a vga screen?
I can use it on my android tv with the vga to amiga scart cable that i bought some years ago from amikit but if i try to use a typical vga monitor it only works for workbench if i use high resolution vga but not the pal games (which is almost all whdload).

do you have a suggestion for the best and not too expensive device that can output and promote the pal screen for vga?

Offline Pat the Cat

It will do no real harm to use the old heat sink, but a square aluminium one would be better, and a copper one would be best. Weigh the cost. DO NOT BUY A HEATSINK THAT IS TALLER THAN THE ONE YOU HAVE - it must fit under the keyboard.

If the heatsink fell off - that would explain why it keeps overheating.

I would be happier replacing it with a copper or brass heatsink (better than aluminium one). A square one to cover the center of the chip, because that's where the die of the chip is. You can use more than one to cover the area, but a single one about 40mm X 40mm offers a fairly good fit.

As for glue to use, look for "thermal conductive adhesive". Germany makes some of the best you can get. There must be shops there selling the glue to overclock enthusiasts. Also, 3D printer shops often stock the products, (because they are used to glue heatsinks to motor controller boards in 3D printers to help keep them cool). Don't be in a hurry, shop around for the best thermal conductivity, low viscosity (most "dribbly"). You will have to make sure there are no air gaps in the join,

As for a "cheap" VGA connection - all the cheap ones rely on the monitor being able to handle Amiga sync rates, which most monitors do not. The expensive external solutions convert the slower signals to a true VGA standard, and the internal ones are even more expensive. A scan doubler works to a point, but will cause a "torn" display on a fast 50Hz game.

I got no answer for you on that one. I could well be wrong too, perhaps there is a cheap scart-VGA adapter on amazon or similar, that works in all Amiga screen modes,

EDIT: What might work is a cheap scart-HDMI converter, then a cheap HDMI-VGA converter. I have tried the latter, they do work, but generaly with high resolution VGA monitors, 17 inch display or larger (must have over 1,000 vertical lines, 1280 X 1024). I don't have any experience with cheap scart-HDMI converters.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 01:34:15 AM by Pat the Cat »
"To recurse is human. To iterate, divine."

A1200, Vanilla, Surf Squirrel, SD Card, KS 3.0/3.z, PCMCIA dev
A500, Vanilla, A570, Rev 5, KS 1.2/1.3 Testbench system
Rasp Pi, UAE4ARM, 3D laser scanner, experimental, hoping for AmigaOS4Arm, based on Watterott Fabscan Pi