The ACA500 is an external accelerator for the Amiga 500.
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.
- 68EC000-10 processor, overclocked to 14MHz. Faster processors can be added by attaching an A1200 accelerator, such as the ACA1232 .
- The ACA500 comes with 2MBytes 0-waitstate fastmem and 512k flash ROM.
- The 512k flash ROM contain licensed versions of Kickstart 1.3 and Kickstart 3.1. In addition to that, options can be switched on/off in a BIOS-like environment that is launched on every cold start.
- The ACA500 offers two CF card slots which replace a harddisk. 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.
The ACA500 features three expansion ports:
- A1200-compatible clockport that 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.
- local 16-bit expansion port, reserved for our forthcoming network/USB expansion.
- A1200 CPU card connector which is meant for further CPU and RAM upgrades. It is guaranteed to work with our ACA1220 and ACA1232 models, and also with Vesalia's ACA1231 accelerator. 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 and ACA1232 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.
- File:Inside ACA500.pdf - Register-level documentation for the ACA500. Version from december 6th, 2013.
Updating the ACA500 is a very simple process: Just unpack the menu500.aca file to a FAT-formatted CF card and insert it into the "aux" slot. Go to the expert menu and press "F" for flash update. Everything else will be self-explanatory.
- File:Menu500V099.zip - ACA500 flash update
- File:Menu500beta.zip - ACA500 update with preliminary ACA1221 support. May require MapROM to be licensed before first use on ACA500.
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