BigRAM2630

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BigRAM2630 for standard A2630
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BigRAM2630 for reverse A2630
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BigRAM2630 for Vector 2030
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Isolation plate for second floppy drive (included with reverse version only)

This fastmem expansion is made for the Commodore accelerator A2630 - probably the most popular accelerator for the A2000 computer. As opposed to other expansions that have been available for this accelerator, this one does not require additional software installation.

When compared to the on-board memory of the accelerator, this memory expansion is much faster, adding more performance to your system.

The expansion is available in three different versions:

Contents

BigRAM2630 for standard A2630

This version of the memory expansion is meant for the most popular version of the accelerator. 112MByte of memory are added to the system free memory pool.

BigRAM2630 for reverse A2630

This version of the memory expansion is meant for the rare version of the A2630 where the expansion connectors have been mounted on the component side (see picture). Previously, these accelerators were considered "impossible to expand". With the small size of our expansion, it is now possible to install a memory expansion, and still be able to route the cables of the power supply.

Caution: This expansion may not be connected to any other accelerator!

If you have a second floppy drive installed in your computer, the pins of the expansion connector are very close to this floppy drive. Therefore, we have included an isolation plate and two screws that should be mounted on the side of the second floppy drive as shown in the picture on the right.

BigRAM2630 for Vector 2030

This version of the memory expansion is specifically designed for the Vector 2030 accelerator. While the accelerator features the same expansion connector as the A2630, this special version implements changes for keeping the SCSI controller of the accelerator active.

Note that with the BigRAM2630 mounted on the accelerator, a harddrive cannot be mounted on the accelerator any more. It's recommended to mount the harddrive in the drive bay of your A2000.

Modifying a Rev.6 A2630

BigRAM2630 has been developed for Rev.9 of the A2630 card. Revision 6 of the A2630 card has one signal in the wrong place, requiring a small modification on the card. The patch only involves cutting one trace, and making a wire link to a PAL chip:

The first picture shows a good place where you can cut the trace that routes the wrong signal to the expansion port pin. There's lots of room around it, so it should be pretty safe to cut the trace without damaging anything else near it. Solder a jumper wire to the expansion port pin and route it to the back of the card.

The second picture shows the back of the card: The blue jumper wire goes to pin#21 of U501. The green jumper wire is not part of this modification; it's been added by Commodore. Leave it unchanged.

After this modification has been made, BigRAM2630 will work normally with the A2630 Rev.6.

Software download

Download: Media:BR2630.lha

"Bigram" is the config and flash tool. Unpack this archive and copy to your C: directory. You may not need this tool at all if you have a stock configuration. However, if you have switched off the memory on your A2630 accelerator because it's not working reliably, then BigRAM2630 won't work either. Insert "Bigram" as the first line of your startup-sequence, and the tool will clean up. If your system does not boot with BigRAM2630 installed, please make sure that your HD controller is NOT the first card on the config chain. Put an IO or GFX card directly next to the accelerator, and you will be able to boot without problems.

Use "Bigram ?" for short usage hints and "bigram help" for all options. Note that Resident module support is largely untested. It will only support fully ROMable modules!

Programming the BigRAM2630 registers

This is low-level information that you will normally not need. It's available in a separate Wiki page: BigRAM2630_registers


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