The ACA500 takes your Amiga 500 into the 21st century and makes re-entry into the "hobby Amiga" extremely easy. We've looked at all potential problems that one might have when unboxing your beloved Amiga after 20 years, and put the solutions into one product.
The ACA500 features an MC68EC000 processor, 2MBytes of memory, Flash ROM and two CF card slots. Several expansion ports make further expansion possible, while maintaining compatibility to popular memory expansions that are installed inside of the A500: Chipram expansion(s) and internal fastmem/ranger-mem expansions can still be used together with the ACA500.
The MC68EC000-10 processor is clocked at 14MHz, and with the high-speed 0-waitstate memory, it gives your Amiga 500 more than a double-speed boost. If that's not enough, you can upgrade the ACA500 with an A1200 accelerator, also available in this online shop.
No matter what Kickstart ROM is installed in your A500, the ACA500 gives you a selection of Kickstart ROM 1.3 and Kickstart ROM 3.1 which are licensed for use in our accelerator. In addition to that, you can also use the Kickstart ROM that's physically installed in your computer. Using a Kickstart that's not physically installed in your computer will be 100% compatible with a real ROM, but it will use 512k of memory. Kickstart 1.3 allows you to run old programs from floppy disks that are not compatible with newer Kickstart versions, while Kickstart 3.1 is the best choice for more current, hard disk based software.
The Compact Flash slots allow booting from CF card or mounting PC-formatted cards for easy and convenient data transfer without the need for prior software installation. For example, you can boot the system from an Amiga-formatted CF card in one slot and then copy ADF images from a PC-formatted CF card in the other slot. The FAT95 file system to read/write PC-formatted cards is included in the Flash-ROM, and that even lets you boot from CF cards that have been formatted in a PC!
CF cards are handled like harddisks on the Amiga-side. You can use HDtoolbox or HDinsttools - whatever you prefer. Even the two popular 64-bit addressing modes are implemented: Both TD64 and NSD64 command sets are supported, so whatever your preferred filesystem requires, you can use it on your ACA500 setup to access flash cards that are larger than 4GBytes.
ACA500 is an external expansion which is plugged to the left expansion port of your A500. There is no need to open the computer at any time. This includes a new revolutionary method that can turn your 512k trapdoor memory expansion into chipram! If your Amiga is equipped with an ECS Agnus chip and said internal 512k memory expansion, you can turn your computer into a 1MByte-Chipram computer, just by selecting a menu item in the configuration menu of the ACA500! A lot of stock A500 computers with board revision 6 or higher have this exact configuration.
Many users will want to use the ACA500 with the popular WHDload software, which lets you install games on CF cards instead of swapping floppy disks if you want to play a different game. WHDload lists the 68010 processor as a minimum requirement for using the Quit-key and return to the Amiga's Workbench. The ACA500 has special circuitry that lets you use the WHDload quit-key at any time, although you "only" have a 68EC000 processor. This is supported by WHDload V17.2 and higher.
The ACA500 features three expansion ports:
- A1200-compatible clockport
- local 16-bit expansion port
- A1200 CPU card connector
The A1200-compatible clockport can be used for expansions that were initially designed for the clockport of the A1200, for example Catweasel MK2, Delfina or Subway. Please note that some drivers may require patching in order to work on a non-A1200 computer. Contact the vendor of your A1200 expansion to find out if they provide such a driver.
The 16-bit local expansion port is reserved for our forthcoming network/USB expansion.
The A1200 CPU card connector is meant for further CPU and RAM upgrades. It is guaranteed to work with our ACA1220, ACA1221, ACA1232 and ACA1233 models. Our older ACA1230 accelerators can also work properly, but we cannot guarantee proper operation due to their dependence on the signal quality coming from your A500 computer. The older models work fine under lab conditions, but this could potentially be different in your environment. We will therefore only answer support questions about ACA1220, ACA1221, ACA1232 and ACA1233 accelerators.
The same applies to old Blizzard accelerators by Phase 5: We've done our best to make them work, but there are limits to what we can do. Please keep in mind that the A500 is a 16-bit architecture, and the Blizzard accelerators have been developed for the 32-bit architecture of the A1200.
Note: The ACA500 is currently not compatible with the rare Amiga 500 mainboard Revision 3, and not with NTSC-A500 Rev.5. European Rev.5 boards and all higher revisions work fine.
- short installation instructions
Pictures vary. CF cards and the A500 computer are not included with the package.