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Should I get the (PAL) Amiga, live in the US and have always been intrigued by it


thomas3120
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Hello,

I love the Amiga (500?) especially the PAL variety.

There are soo many great games for it.

I live in the US and I do have a few Sinclair Spectrum computers that work on my LCD TV with my Scart to HDMI converter very nicely.

I really don't know much..well actually nothing on the Amiga 500.

Is it worth buying?  Could I buy a NTSC version and 'convert' it to a PAL version?

Does it have RGB/Scart output?

Is there a way to add modern HDD and add games and programs?

 

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

 

T

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I live in the US and specifically went for a PAL Amiga A1200 for the most compatibility with the most amount of games and software since it was way more popular in the UK then in the US. I have no issues hooking it up since RGB does not care about PAL or NTSC. I can only speak for my 1200 but hard drives they are easy to setup. But I am not as familiar with the 500 on HD compatibility. I am sure others will have good incites on this side of things. Good luck and getting into Amiga is very fun but expensive lol.

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I suppose the easiest way to get games onto an Amiga 500 is to use a Gotek with USB memory stick, that acts like a floppy drive simulator.

 

There are other aftermarket solutions like the ACA500Plus that will provide you with CF slots, RAM expansion and a 14 MHz 68000. There may be other, older HDD solutions too but not as easy to come by. Another alternative is to go for an Amiga 600 which has onboard IDE and PCMCIA slot for connecting a CF card reader. However the 600 is starting to become almost as expensive as the 1200 is, so count all the costs before making your mind up.

Edited by carlsson
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Yeah, RGB doesn't care about colour encoding, which is a key compatibility issue when using composite or S-Video connections. But the refresh rate will still be an issue, since PAL over RGB is 50Hz and NTSC is 60Hz. Almost all modern TVs will handle both however, so once your SCART adaptor supports 50Hz (and it sounds like it does if you've got UK Speccies working through it).

 

The Amiga has native RGB output (intended for connecting to a monitor), though it's a non-standard connector. RGB output is the best quality you can get from an Amiga without putting in additional hardware. You need an Amiga RGB-SCART cable. There are a few sources for these, some better quality than others, but I believe Retro Computer Shack cables are known good ones and are available on eBay. Or, if you wanted to go all out on the cable, RetroReady have high end ones with genuine 23-pin connectors. Both are shipping from the UK, so shipping costs might be high to the US.

 

Adding a hard drive is a little more complex for the Amiga 500 than it is for the A600 and A1200, which have built-in IDE ports. The simplest way of playing games that aren't on floppy disk is to replace the floppy drive with a Gotek or similar floppy emulator. You can put the floppy disk images on a USB flash drive and feed them to the machine that way. Adding a hard drive is possible though, and realistically would also need a RAM upgrade as running a hard drive and OS setup needs a bit more RAM than booting from floppy. There are various options available, the ACA500+ from Individual Computers is an excellent Swiss-Army device that adds CF cards as hard drives, as well as including updated OS, ROMs, RAM, faster CPU and other features. It fits externally to the side expansion port on the Amiga 500.

 

If you'd prefer an internal solution, there are various accelerators available. The TF536 for example gives you a massive boost in CPU power and RAM, and includes a laptop-style IDE port for hard drives or CF/SD cards. You'd likely also need to upgrade the ROM to 3.1 or newer. There are also simpler devices, such as the M508 which just includes extra RAM and IDE (so no CPU upgrade), though it appears to be out of stock everywhere...

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  • 4 months later...
On 8/11/2022 at 11:28 PM, Supervstech said:

Most amiga models will allow switching between palm and ntsc modes by holding down the two mouse buttons at startup. I think you need KS 2.08 or newer to do it

Kickstart 2.04 or above :) But you can use bootdisks, or even modified bootblocks to switch Kickstart 1 machines into PAL or NTSC modes if they have the required motherboard / Agnus revision. From memory, you need a rev 6 A500 motherboard and an 8372 Agnus for soft switching to work.

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Deals can still be found  on the amiga, as well as emulator choices, mini amiga, pi400, and the like.

Emulators like winuae etc. Allow any PC to act like an amiga for nearly free. Heck, I've got lemmings running on my android phone and I love it.

 

But the amiga 500 has no built in hard drive functionality. A plethora of upgrades exist though. Depends on your skill and money situation.

 

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