Trackman Marble on the Amiga

trackman-marble-galleryI wanted to see if any new trackballs still work with the Amiga, finding the Trackman Marble‘s specs it does say USB/PS/2 protocols.

So today I picked up this nice trackball. I plugged it into my Jerry+ adapter which takes PS/2 protocol mice (and trackballs) it worked perfectly. It didn’t come with a USB to PS/2 adapter, but I don’t need that for the Jerry adapter.

The Trackman Marble runs at a nice speed, and if you get used to using trackballs it’s a good piece of hardware.

The Jerry/Jerry+ adapters are like other standard PS/2 to Amiga adapters, works perfectly. The Jerry adapters has USB interface instead of PS/2 so you don’t need to use the USB to PS/2 adapter to use this. I bought my Jerry adapters off a seller on ebay I believe it is this guy. He might also be found on Amibay as well.

The price is really becoming for ~$30 as referenced on the Logitech website.

Below in the video I show the trackman in use. Though a little handicapped with the camera in one hand and trying to show the trackball together with the monitor in the other hand.


GVP HD+/HD8 with Card reader

Recently I aquired a GVP HD+ without any shell. It works perfectly and has 8 megs of ram on board.

It came with a Quantum ProDrive LPS 50MB, unfortunately these old drives have a habit of getting bad blocks, I have 3-4 of these drives, all bad. The drives also “sing” while on. So it’s very noisy.

Quantum ProDrive LPSI found a very small Compact Flash card as a test to replace this drive.

32MB Compact Flash card

So here’s the setup with the SCSI Card Reader connected to the GVP HD+

A500 with GVP HD+ and SCSI Card reader

The SCSI Cardreader which I got off -the now dead- store (the link points to the wayback machines copy of the site).

SCSI Card Reader


And it works perfectly using the GVP FastPrep software.
Prepping a CF Card in SCSI Card reader

So the endresult is a silent GVP HD8+/HD+ with a card reader and easy access to the cards.

A note of the card reader is that each device is attached as LUN’s so If I have each type of card, I could have as many drives. The card reader takes Compact Flash, PCMCIA (the PCMCIA to CF works also), SD/MMC, Memory Disk and SmartMedia.


SCSI to SD adapter – Open Source

scsi2sd_4.2-500x500A guy on facebook posted a link to this device. It’s a SCSI2SD device, meaning that you can insert a micro SD into this, and attach the board to a SCSI bus.

This is great for a lot of Amiga systems as SCSI drives in 100% top shape are hard to come by. A lot still works, but the “singing” of the spindle is just annoying.

Adding this to a GVP HD+ and similar devices makes it possible to remove the internal fan wire, so that won’t make noise either.

Cheap Video converters?

I’ve made a video showing the video differences between Composite, GBS-8200 (can also be GBS-8220) and the SCART to HDMI converter.

Unfortunately it’s not as easy to record a TV so there are some stripes.

My conclusion is that the GBS-8200 and SCART to HDMI converter gives an even picture -qualitywise-.

Having a box for the converter is great though.


Improving cooling in an Amiga 4000D with CyberstormPPC and CybervisionPPC

After using my Amiga 4000D with CyberstormPPC and CyberVisionPPC for several hours, the enclosure got quite warm to the touch. This made me a quite anxius as I don’t want the hardware to die because of heating.

I found out that the PSU fan pulled air from the back into the enclosure, I wonder if that was by design or someone having flipped the fan in the wrong direction. This needed turning so it would transfer the hot air from inside through the PSU to the outside of the enclosure. While at it, I could improve the flow a little, and reduce the noise of the fan. I don’t want to use a lower voltage with a lower fan speed, this is due to I prefer to keep my hardware cool and in good order.

psu_cut_beforeTaking evertything apart is easy, so I find no need to explain how to do that. The before picture of the PSU. You can vaguely see my pencil marks where to cut.

psu_cuttingTime to get busy with a dremel and a cut-off wheel.

psu_cut_afterPretty good result.


The area where I can pull air from the front isn’t that large, I still want to keep the holes for the different parts, like to fasten the external drive bay, putting wires through the hole, and the front bezel in the middle top.casing_cut_afterThe dremel is a great tool for this, and mine isn’t even an original one, but something cheap bought in an Aldi store.

cvppcTime to add heatsinks to the CyberVision. I recieved this one with the GPU mounted heatsink, no need in changing that. But I added the heatsinks on the ram chips, these I got off eBay. I added the heatsinks long before this project, and eventually that was a mistake as they are mounted in the wrong direction for best cooling. Oh well, they work better than with no heatsinks.

csppcFor some reason I didn’t take a picture of mounting a heatsink on the 68060 cpu. I used an old heatsink from a 80486 cpu, added compound paste, wiped off the corners and used LocTite glue on those corners. I also added some paste to the PPC CPU before reattaching the heatsink and it’s fan.

airflow directionI had a stick of fans from some Corsair ram for my PC, these I soldered a molex connector and gave it 7v (using 5v as ground and 12v as reference). The flow of air is marked with the arrows. In through the front, down on the Cyberstorm ram (you might be able to spot the heatsink on the 68060 CPU if you click on the image to see the full size), and out through the PSU.

finishedThe (almost) finished project. It’s not perfect, but it works pretty well. I’m still looking for a better way to attach the ram coolers, acryllic glass comes to mind. After several hours of usage the enclosure is now still cool to the touch, only the area around the PSU is warm, but not as warm as it was before.




68000 vs. 68010 processor benchmark

Someone in the Danish amiga community asked if the 68010 is faster than the 68000.

The short answer is No, and the long one Yes.

There is a slight improvement which you might be able to feel for CPU intensive work. But for gaming? naaa.. you might see a slight smoother scrolling for vector based games.

For the tests, I’ve created a bootable floppy. It has Sysinfo, WhichAmiga and AIBB on it. And I’ve chosen AIBB as benchmark program for this test.

I’ve used the same A500 for both tests, with a 512KB ram upgrade getting up to 1MB. The A500 ran Kickstart 1.3. Nothing other than switching out the 68000 with the 68010 has been done with the 2 A500 systems

You’ll see 4 systems in the images

A600-NF – This system comes with AIBB, and I can guess it’s a stock A600 (68000)

A500_1M – A500 with 512kB ram upgrade (68000@7MHz)

A500-010 – A500 with 512kB ram upgrade (68010@7MHz)

A1200-030 – A1200 Blizzard1230 MK IV 030@50MHz, 64MB ram

EmuTest Writepixel Sieve Dhrystone Sort ElipseTest Matrix IMath MemTest TGTest LineTest Savage FMath FMatrix BeachBall InstTest Flops TranTest FTrace CplxTest

It is rumoured that there are quite a few applications that require a 68020 actually runs fine on the 68010 due to instructions needed are in the 68010. I haven’t seen any of these applications, but if you find any please report them here so I can add them to a list. If you run into issues using 68010, the Decigel software might help you out.

Otherwise I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves and make it up to you to decide if you want to upgrade your system.


You can download the diskette with the modules created here.

If you only want to preview the results without testing on your own system, you can go to the menu “Special” and activate “Preview mode”.

Cheap RGB to VGA converter – Amiga


Latest Update (18 Apr. 14):

  • Added a video showing High-res interlaced mode
  • Warning about the eBay seller, selling the GBS in a box – the items draws more power than the specs of the Amiga recommends

So my RGB to VGA converter arrived. I’ll write up on how to connect a VGA monitor to the Amiga.


  • 23 Pin D-SUB Female (preferable with a casing)
  • Solder iron + solder
  • 5V / 2A DC adapter. These can be aquired from ebay.
  • Some wire if you want the item to be further from the Amiga.
  • And the “RGB to VGA converter” (search sentence in quotes used for ebay)

Difficulty: Easy

  • Simple solder skills are required

Click on the images below for larger pictures


GBS 8200 with RGB wire

The item as aquired. It came with 2 sets of wires. One set for power (upper right corner of the pcb) and a set for video. A 5 1/4″ floppy has been placed behind it for reference of size.

GBS-8200-MarkedI’ve marked the 5 locations on the PCB that have interest for us.

  1. VGA output (connect the VGA monitor to this)
  2. 5V / 2A power input. The cable that comes with the converter can be plugged into the white socket.
  3. Menu buttons, change output resolution, adjust vertical/horizontal position etc. Change input source / auto detect input.
  4. B, G, R signal strength. Mine is set to max for all 3.
  5. RGB input from the amiga, using the cable shown on top of the picture.

The cable that came with my converter was properly colour coded, the RGB was proper red, green and blue, and gnd is black.

For this setup the V-Sync (yellow cable) is not needed.


23 pin connected to cable

On the picture above you can see how the cable needs to be connected to the solder side of the 23 Pin D-Sub female connector. Connect the finished wire to (5) and the amiga. Power on everything and you’re good to go.

upscaled-wbConverted 640×256 to 1024×768

Finished picture.

UPDATE: I made a movie for 640×512 (high-res interlaced) to show how it looks like


This converter has a menu which came in Chinese. This can be changed in the menu, step one up, and select English.

The rest of the menu speaks for itself. The settings I adjusted was Horizontal/Vertical stretch, and Positioning. Also changed from 640×480 to 1024×768 for the output resolution.

I must confess that the image output is really great compared to the price.

Update (2014-10-22):  Henrik Christensen made a nice box, see below

case_3 case_2 case_1 case_4RGB-VGA_CableWhy make a RGB cable when you can take an old RGB one and just solder one connector? Much better solution than creating a cable from scratch isn’t it?


Word of warning: Someone is selling this packed in a nice box on ebay, I don’t agree with the high price for the box, and if you are going to get it shipped, you might as well pick up the Indivision or ScanJuggler.

EDIT: I must recommend against this as it can burn/kill your amiga. the 5V power or the 12V powerline given by the Amiga is only 100mA, whereas the GBS draws around 300-350mA @ 5V, I haven’t checked how much it draws at 12V, this I have to test ofc.


This last item -sold on eBay- draws power from the output port of the Amiga, which output current only is designed for 100mA, this item draws 3x more current than what the Amiga is designed for, therefore it can destroy your amiga if you use this. The one without a box use an external power supply and doesn’t have this problem.


I originally wrote this article for the CiA website.

A PDF manual of the GBS-8200 can be found here