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      /  Classic Upgrades for Silent Running
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Classic Upgrades for Silent Running
Posted on 2-Jun-2023 0:49:12
#1 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Dec-2004
Posts: 206
From: Mississauga, Canada

Over the last few years I have been turning my focus away from my OS4 based MicroA1 and back to my 2 Classic machines because the MicroA1 had become so unstable. Unfortunately, I then found that I just didn't seem to enjoy the Classic machines as much as I used to because they were just so noisy. I guess I had become accustomed to my modern PC hardware which I also own that is virtually silent.

I have been following the developments with the SCSI2SD and later the ZuluSCSi with some interest. Maybe I could finally replace my noisy SCSI HDs. Not only that, I thought sooner or later they were going to give up anyway. So, a few weeks ago I took the plunge and purchased 2 ZuluSCSI devices based on the RP2040; the first for my Amiga 2500 equipped with a Blizzard 2060 and the second for my A4000D equipped with a WarpEngine 4040.

At the same time I also purchased a 500W SFX power supply for each unit along with the ATX to Amiga cable adapters.

I am pleased to report that the Amiga2500 now runs in total silence. It actually seems weird to double click on an icon and hear nothing at all. The Amiga 4000D is much quieter than before, but not totally silent because the WarpEngine has a cpu heatsink/fan on top of the 68040. With the case fitted, it is more of a whisper though compared to what it was before.

Performance? With SysInfo I measured around 5.5MB/sec on the Blizzard2060. This was only in asynchronous mode. So far, I have been unable to get it to work in synchronous mode. The A4000D with WarpEngine was measured at 8.3MB/sec in synchronous mode. The log showed that synchronous mode was selected automatically during boot-up.

Some other observations:

1. Lots more room in the case - I purchased modular SFX power supplies so I would not have to plug in all of the cables that come with it. An SFX unit is also less than half of the size of an Amiga or ATX power supply. Lots of empty space now. Doesn't feel like an Amiga case any more!

2. The drivebay mounting bracket that you can purchase for the ZuluSCSI is for an A4000, not for a A2000/2500. I will have make my own bracket for the A2500 with my 3D CAD & Printer.

3. It will be relatively easy to design/print a mounting bracket for the A4000 SFX power supply as the cutouts on the A4000 chasis are aligned quite nicely with the SFX power supply. Not so neat & tidy with the A2500 but I have some ideas. I think that will be a project for later this year.

4. Total cost? About $250CDN for each computer. In Amiga land, a $250 upgrade is pretty cheap.

5. Heat - much less heat to dissipate. My SCSI HDs both ran quite hot. The new SFX power supplies run quite cool as well.

6. Initial setup went quite smoothly once I understood what needed to be done. I say this because I could not find instructions anywhere for initial first time set-up. It has been a long time since I set-up a new drive from scratch, but it all came back to me. I used the pfs3 all in one filesystem from Aminet.

7. Blizzard2060 - I will keep trying to see if I can get it to work in synchronous mode. Maybe someone has some pointers. I have also been unable to get my SCSI CDROM to work on the Blizzard2060 along with the ZuluSCSI. I have tried 3 different SCSI CDROMs that I have kicking around. A CD loads, the CD Drive light flashes for a few moments - then nothing. I will keep trying.

Summary - I think this was a very worthwhile investment. I am very much looking forward to re-discovering my Classic machines. After using them both for a few days I realize that I did miss using them.

I am hoping someone may find this useful.

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