Just bought A3000 and have some questions

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Nutter
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Just bought A3000 and have some questions

Post by Nutter » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:32 pm

Hello all,

I've just bought an A3000 and am awaiting delivery. I have no idea if it has been bitten by the leaking battery bug but I'll have to wait and see.

I know very little about these computers but have always wanted to own one. That naturally means I have loads of questions.

First is about the mouse... it doesn't come with a mouse and after some searching I realise they are like hen's teeth or very expensive. I found a site that mentions using an Amiga or ST mouse with an adapter cable. Is this the easiest (2 button) solution in the short term, to test that it's working? I don't mind soldering etc to put something together. Any other solutions?

Next is the display. I am not sure about how to connect this up. I have several monitors including a Philips CM8833 with a SCART and DIN (TTL RGB) connector. I also have a Commodore 1084S with Composite (phono), Separated Y/C (phono) and Analogue RGB (D9) inputs. Are any of these good? I also read about using a VGA 9-way to 15-way adapter and plugging into a VGA monitor; that sounds like the easiest solution but I'm guessing it's not as straightforward as it seems.

Thanks

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flaxcottage
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Re: Just bought A3000 and have some questions

Post by flaxcottage » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:30 pm

Welcome. :D

The A3000 mouse is a three button mouse. All three buttons are needed by the OS for correct working so a two button mouse will not do. It is possible to get a Smalley mouse converter to convert a three button PS2 mouse to the Archimedes format and that may be cheaper than buying a real Archimedes mouse. CJE micros could be a good place to look but they are a tad expensive though you do get a guarantee with their equipment.

It is possible to use a 9pin-15pin adapter to hook up the A3000 to a monitor. However, you will need a special low frequency LCD monitor to view the screen. I use a CRT monitor with mine (actually an AKF30) and it is great. Sometimes these monitors can be picked up quite cheaply as they are no longer considered desirable and are heavy.

I have tried a SCART lead but successful use depends on the TV. Again CRT TVs seem to be better than LCD ones.

Good luck anyway. The A3000 is a superb machine. :D
Last edited by flaxcottage on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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philb
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Re: Just bought A3000 and have some questions

Post by philb » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:39 pm

This is what you need for the mouse:

viewtopic.php?t=13180

For the monitor, the easiest way to get started would be to use the composite input on your Commodore monitor. The A3000 has a phono CVBS output which will plug straight in with a standard cable. But the video quality won't be that great.

CM8833 plus A3000 was a fairly common combination back in the day. I suspect original cables are hard to get, but it's fairly straightforward to solder a DE9-to-SCART that will do the job. The A3000 welcome guide has the pinout. Your machine presumably doesn't come with the welcome guide :) but you can find it online.

Anything significantly above TV resolution is probably going to be wasted on the A3000 because, although it can drive some higher resolution modes, the effect on performance of the extra video bandwidth is fairly crippling on the uncached ARM2. And without a VIDC enhancer it can't quite get to VGA resolution anyway so you might find that a modern monitor doesn't like any of the A3000's efforts.

Nutter
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Re: Just bought A3000 and have some questions

Post by Nutter » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:14 am

Thanks very much for your replies.

I might have managed to source an original mouse and monitor lead.

@flaxcottage I'd love an Acorn monitor but I've already got too many CRT monitors in my attic (3 x Commodore and 1 x Philips). I might need a low frequency LCD to fit on my desk. Any particular models preferred?

@philb some good info there about the video output. I didn't realise it would struggle with a VGA monitor #-o

When you say
the CM8833 plus A3000 was a fairly common combination back in the day
did they connect directly via the included video cable? No altering the wiring? Given the similarity between the Commodore 1084S and the CM8833, could the DB9 RGB socket on the 1084S be used to connect to the A3000? Just thinking of convenience as the 1084S is currently on my desk.

EDIT: the more I look at the rear panels of the 1084S, CM8833 and the AKF, the more I'm of the opinion they're the same / very similar monitor.
Last edited by Nutter on Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

philb
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Re: Just bought A3000 and have some questions

Post by philb » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:17 am

Nutter wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:14 am
could the DB9 RGB socket on the 1084S be used to connect to the A3000? Just thinking of convenience as the 1084S is currently on my desk.
Ah yes, I think that would work fine as well. Sorry, I didn't quite register the presence of that socket in your first post.

As you say, the AKF11 and AKF12 are essentially the same chassis as the CM8833 and were OEM'd by Philips on behalf of Acorn. It sounds like the same is probably true of the CBM1084 as well although I'm not familiar with those.

Edit, see also this application note: https://www.retro-kit.co.uk/user/custom ... te-249.pdf
Last edited by philb on Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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