A5000 - worth having?

discuss the archimedes & risc pc, peripherals and risc os/risc os on pi
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guddler
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A5000 - worth having?

Post by guddler » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi guys,

I know precious little about 32bit Acorns. My cousins son has inherited his grandfather’s A5000. I don’t know what if anything he’s likely to do with it. It’s unlikely to come my way though.

Where do they fit in the grand scheme of things? All I’ve ever had before was a 3020 and I have to say that it didn’t really do anything for me. Is there much you can get for them that isn’t educational? Is there a gaming scene at all?

It’s a 25-ALB12 model but I don’t know what that means. I was there yesterday and had a quick nose, the battery is fuzzy and there looks like there is some concern on that but I didn’t have time to take it apart properly. I can’t force them to let me do it but I will ask if he would like me to sort that for him. Beyond that, not much I can do about it!

Ta.

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danielj
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by danielj » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:16 pm

The A5000 is pretty much the best of the pre-RiscPC machines - (save for the rather rarer 260s/540s, and even then it has advantages over them). ARM3 processor, potentially up to 8MB RAM (depending on version), built in IDE, and high density floppy. Much faster than the A3020. Batteries can really destroy them though - it's right near quite a bit of sensitive stuff. PaulV did a good piece on fixing one up post battery death: https://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/co ... -an-A5000/

d.

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guddler
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by guddler » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:49 pm

Cool, thanks for the info. Apparently the machine was in regular use up until 2016 and it has never been in a loft or anything like that so although the battery has for sure started to go I'm quietly hopeful that it's not too bad and can be saved. Not sure yet when it will come to me for repair but it is going to.

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DutchAcorn
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:49 pm

From my experience I have seen that these batteries are more prone to leaking if they are not charged for a long time. So if it has been used until 2016 you have a fair chance of getting it up and running. Of course the battery needs to be removed asap. And the board should be cleaned with vinegar and water to prevent te already leaked alkali from slowly eating the tracks and components.

In terms of games a few were released. Very few when compared to an Amiga, but there are a few fun and high quality games.

The A5000 is really the top-end of the original RiscOS machines and is a very nice computer imo.
Paul

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flaxcottage
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by flaxcottage » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:08 am

The A5000 is a great machine which can do a great deal.

BITD I used one connected to a laser printer and to a scanner. It was the workhorse of the computing department, satisfying all our DTP needs, our programming development and it also was used to manage our very large Econet. Even when we went down the IBM PC road, the A5000 was still used for DTP and Econet management. It proved to be an excellent conduit between the PC and Acorn systems we had. I remember we bought some Oak software to have !Draw on Windows 3.1 and software to convert !Draw files to windows metafiles and vice versa because we had so much investment in our A5000.

Now I have two in my collection. They are pretty much maxed out 4Mb machines. Both have dual 3.5" floppy drives and multiple CF hard drives. They can also act as Level 4 fileservers. In fact all my Archimedes machines can be file servers. On an Econet of about a dozen machines, I have 6 fileservers. :lol:
- John

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vanpeebles
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by vanpeebles » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:22 am

Check out my youtube section for a ton of videos of Acorn games, mainly running on RO 3.

https://www.youtube.com/user/peetvanpeebles

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guddler
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Re: A5000 - worth having?

Post by guddler » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:58 pm

OK, so the machine is with me now and the PCB is on the bench. i've cleaned it up (with isopropyl alcohol only for now), removed the battery and also removed the PLCC FPA socket since some of the pins were obviously green. Also looks like pin discolouration on the CPU and some stuff around the cmos / x5

i should point out that the machine appeared to be fully working after an obvious reset to default settings to bring it up bu it would not surprise me if the CMOS itself has seen better days regardless of battery. i was able to load it up and play lemmings which was on the drive. Didn't realise until i opened it up this evening that there are actually 2 hard drives in it but i think two came up after i eventually remembered how to configure it.

BUT, i have far too much going on at the moment to be able to properly sort it out and as i said previously i'm not really familiar with these at all. Would anyone be interested in giving me a price to complete the clean up and replace anything that might be needed please? i notice it has SMT caps so my Amiga experience tells me they will need replacing as they're probably leaking or about to leak. i should have a new PLCC socket i can supply with the board.

Please let me know, thanks. Also have pictures once my phone has charged.

* Again, apologies for lack of capital 'i' in any posts from the workbench - i really should buy a new keyboard :D
Last edited by guddler on Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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