Overview Features Instructions Performance Forum Downloads Products Reseller Contact

Welcome to the Apollo Forum

This forum is for people interested in the APOLLO CPU.
Please read the forum usage manual.
VISIT APOLLO IRC CHANNEL



All TopicsNewsPerformanceGamesDemosApolloVampireCoffinReleasesLogin
Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Still Cant Get My Vampire V2 A600 to Work? Frus

Tony Day

Posts 58
01 Jun 2019 18:56


Was one of the first backers of the vampire. when it finally arrived it was a frustrating experience to say the least. It would, with great regularity, disconnect form the mb and i was presented with black screens or title screens and no booting.

I have attached the card to the board with as much force that can be acceptably required.anymore and id need a sledge hammer (this doesnt mean ive applied too much force. Just enough to make sure that its connected as much as it possibly can be.

i spend months and months trying to fix this issue even sending the card back for replacement. i eventually sent it off to an amiga repair man to fix. after adding a better socket and upgrading the firmware ive got it back after a very long wait. The thing gets to boot mode on v2.10 but no further! i press it a bit.. i get nothing but black... i wiggle it a bit and i get a vampire title screen again and then nothing apart from a few flashing read pixels on the art work?

why is this thing such a royal pain in in the arXe?! Why wont the thing just work... ive spent HUNDREDS on this bloody thing.

please can someone help me as im at the end of my tether. thanks.

from Tony. a very frustrated user


Steve Ferrell

Posts 378
01 Jun 2019 19:23


Tony Day wrote:

Was one of the first backers of the vampire. when it finally arrived it was a frustrating experience to say the least. It would, with great regularity, disconnect form the mb and i was presented with black screens or title screens and no booting.
 
  I have attached the card to the board with as much force that can be acceptably required.anymore and id need a sledge hammer (this doesnt mean ive applied too much force. Just enough to make sure that its connected as much as it possibly can be.
 
  i spend months and months trying to fix this issue even sending the card back for replacement. i eventually sent it off to an amiga repair man to fix. after adding a better socket and upgrading the firmware ive got it back after a very long wait. The thing gets to boot mode on v2.10 but no further! i press it a bit.. i get nothing but black... i wiggle it a bit and i get a vampire title screen again and then nothing apart from a few flashing read pixels on the art work?
 
  why is this thing such a royal pain in in the arXe?! Why wont the thing just work... ive spent HUNDREDS on this bloody thing.
 
  please can someone help me as im at the end of my tether. thanks.
 
  from Tony. a very frustrated user

It seems that many of the problems Vampire users are experiencing are tied to the fact that they're using power supplies that are 30 years old that can't handle the stress that the added Vampire hardware places onto an ancient Amiga.  Even when new, those powers supplies were of poor quality and usually burned out quickly.  This is the primary reason why I've decided to wait for the standalone Vampire.  I just can't see the wisdom of shoe-horning modern hardware into my 26 year old A1200 and expecting an optimal result.  Even modern hardware seems to fail at about the 5 year mark.

I suggest getting a new  ATX power supply and adapting it to your Amiga using a custom cable available from AmigaKit.  If that fails to fix the problems, then I'd suggest recapping all the capacitors on your Amiga.  It's a bit much to expect 30 year old systems packed with electrolytic capacitors to perform reliably.  If the capacitors don't leak outright after so many years, they dry out and cause the problems you're having.  Same can be said for the caps in your power supply.

I'd get a new power supply in any case because you are literally playing with fire by continuing to use such an old supply.  It will probably go up in smoke soon and take your precious Amiga with it.



Jeremy Buza

Posts 8
02 Jun 2019 19:29


The power supply and board recapping are definitely something to look in to, but getting it mounted flush to the CPU (and not bending the Vamp card at all) is definitely something that would cause these issues.

I know I was having a lot of issues with my Vampire card where I would get the logo and nothing else, or the logo and then a reboot loop, and found the card was not staying connected properly to the motherboard, even after I had 3D Printed a A600 Vampire 2 mount for my 600.  I ended up ordering another mount off of Thingiverse, just installed it yesterday.
The mount screws to your motherboard, you put the Vampire card in, then screw the top piece of the mount down to hold the Vampire card in.  I made sure NOT to screw the Vampire card to the mount, as I noticed that the new mount was short just like the old one, and that it seemed to be on purpose (as they didn't add any holes to screw the vampire card down).
I think in total I've had to make maybe one adjustment since installing the new mount, and I did have to poke some screw holes into the bottom of the mount (their's were just a little too far to the right to line up with the motherboard).


Tony Day

Posts 58
05 Jun 2019 09:37


a600 was recapped recently and i had os3.9 installed on a 16cf running on my vampire for ages before that. i did have problems but mainly due to connection issues. it would cut out or crash about 50/50.
i was one of the first buyers of the vampire all those years ago and standalone versions weren't even a consideration back then. if i were to buy one now, which i doubt i would, then it would be stand alone.
i will try one of my a500 psus on it for now as i hear theyre a bit more robust. other than that ive got no idea what to do with this?


Nixus Minimax

Posts 341
05 Jun 2019 09:53


Things to try:

- power supply
- gently sand the pins of the 68000 the V2 connects to
- sand down the rim of the socket on the V2 until the pins inside the socket are almost flush with the rim
- use connector thingies to fix the vampire to the hdd cradle holes in the A600 motherboard
- apply capacitor fix to V2 if your V2 is one that needs it



Renaud Schweingruber
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 308
05 Jun 2019 10:55


- clean connectors with alcohol
- try another motherboard

Most of time we have seen that problems are not coming from the Vampire. Vampire just put some more pressure on already existing problems.


Ronnie Beck
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 106
05 Jun 2019 11:27


I feel your frustration.  Not only does it not work but you have gone to some more than reasonable lengths to resolve the issue yourself, to no avail.  But don't give up hope yet.  I have an A600 with a vampire.  I recapped the board, replaced the power supply (with an A500 PSU) and cleaned, thoroughly, the pins of the 68k CPU on the motherboard.  For me it works 100% stable but I also have a newer revision of the board from Majsta.  The A600 PSU is one of the weaker power supplies and they degrade with age (capacitors typically).  The A500 PSU might prove more successful.  But you should also check that you have the basics right as well.  That is:
 
  * The A500 PSU is really working correctly and that it itself isn't also suffering badly from old age.
  * If you have one of the older A600 Vampire cards from Kipper2k (it sounds like it), the newer cores require a capacitor mod to run stable (can be done easily enough yourself).  The newer cards have this by default.
  * That your mobo has been correctly capped.  Yes, don't assume it was done correctly because you paid a professional guy lots of money.  Everyone makes mistakes, even the pros.  You can check yourself that at least capacitors are correctly oriented and that there is no discolouraton on the board near the capacitors.
  * That your CF card and addapter is properly working.  I had to replace the IDE header on my A600.
  * You had your socket replace on the Vampire already.  I hope they really installed a good one and not just install an alternative crap one.
 
  Stable power is key.  The 7Mhz 68000 and ECS had very different power requirements to the 78Mhz 68080 with RTG.
 
 
Tony Day wrote:

  a600 was recapped recently and i had os3.9 installed on a 16cf running on my vampire for ages before that. i did have problems but mainly due to connection issues. it would cut out or crash about 50/50.
 

 
  For me, the terms "cut out" and "crash" are troublesome and hinder our understanding of your precise problem.  I interpret "cut out" to mean "Power gone" much like you would describe a combustion engine "cutting out" when it runs out of fuel.  And "crash" for me means that the program exited unexpectedly.  Maybe you mean the system froze.  In which case, this could be to lack of the capacitor mod and/or a less than optimal PSU.
 
 
 
Tony Day wrote:

  i will try one of my a500 psus on it for now as i hear theyre a bit more robust. other than that ive got no idea what to do with this?
 

 
  Some have suggested an ATX PSU but to be honest, you don't need to go to such a messy solution when there are some very inexpensive alternatives out there.  For example:
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  I use that PSU on my A500 with a vampire, ethernet and CDROM without any stability problems.  But try the A500 PSU first.  Best would be if you could measure the output from the PSU and double check that it is at least close to it's rating.  A dying A500 isn't going to help you.  Also it would be great if you had the opportunity to test it on an alternative A600 just to be sure.  But maybe none of your friends are cool enough to own an A600 ;-)
 
  Let us know how you go.

posts 7