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The Amiga 500+

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

So, in my first post I mentioned that the Amiga had been my first computer as a kid. To be more specific it was an Amiga 500+ that I got for Christmas in 1991 when I was 7.

The bundle that I got was the Cartoon Classics pack, which included the Amiga 500+, power supply, A520 RF modulator (which allowed it to be plugged straight into a TV) and a few floppy disks. The software included were Bart vs the Space Mutants, Captain Planet, Lemmings, Duluxe Paint 3 and Workbench (which I only ever used for the ‘say’ application).

My Amiga 500+ was well used for a number of years and I like many others had an extensive collection of pirated games that came from friends, family and colleagues of my dad. A few that I remember fondly are Lotus Turbo Challenge, Push Over and Project X, amongst many others.

Given my history with the 500+ I had thought several times over the years that I would like to own one again. But it was a long time before I got round to that.

I bought my current A500+ back in late 2017. I was so excited to have a replacement for my childhood Amiga, I naively did no research and just snapped up the first 500+ that I saw for sale locally on Gumtree (looking back I think it was probably a mistake and that I've actually been reasonably lucky). It was from a guy about half hour from home and included the machine itself, an external hard drive, original power supply, tank mouse 3 joysticks and a box full of disks. I think I paid around £100.

When I went to collect the Amiga, the guy told me that he was working away and that I would have to meet his mum to pick it up. This meant that I was unable to see it working, although I had been sent some pictures showing the kickstart screen. Again looking back this was probably a mistake and I shouldn't have been as trusting as I was. I joyfully returned home and set up the Amiga, only to find that disks didn't seem to load at all from the internal disk drive and not much happened from the external drive either. When I did manage to get something to boot away from the kickstart screen and tried to do the classic Amiga, Ctrl, Amiga reset, nothing happened. I immediately then thought that the keyboard didn't work either!

Frustrated with the first 30 mins of my return to Amiga ownership I boxed it all back up and put it away in the loft, promising myself that once I had the time and space required I would get it back out and do the required repairs to get it working.

In the loft it sat for over 2 years! But now I finally have the time and space to start getting this machine back in working order.

My intention is to restore the A500+ and get it all working, but try to keep it as original as possible. I may decide to add a few small upgrades but anything that I do decide to add will have to be completely non-destructive (no cutting or drilling of the case!) and hidden inside, so that from the outside it looks and feels as much like as the original machine as possible.

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