Acorn A3000 ARM 3

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Joka80
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Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Helo all,

Firstly a Merry Christmas to all users and fellow Acorn’ers.

I have owned my A3000 brand new since 1990. I am in the process of upgrading it and required an ARM 3 upgrade.

I prefer the Simtec/IFEL board which has provision for the FPA.

Will pay very good money for it. So anybody willing to sell please get in touch and we’ll do business. :D
Last edited by Joka80 on Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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danielj
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by danielj » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:04 pm

Hello, welcome to the forum.

If no one's got one knocking about, I'd be fairly confident that CJE will:
http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/indiv ... ARM3A3K-SH

You'd have to have a conversation with them though to see which varieties they actually have?

d.

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Multiwizard
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Multiwizard » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:09 pm

Hi,

welcome to this great Forum... :D


Greetings from my little Dutch Atom Attic, Wim... :-)

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:10 pm

Hello

Thank you for the reply.

I’ve tried CJE a few times and they don’t have any at this time.

I hope that somebody has one which they are willing to sell here [-o<

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:11 pm

Thank you Multiwizard..

I never knew such a forum existed. I’ve been an Acorn user for so many years. :D

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geraldholdsworth
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by geraldholdsworth » Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:32 pm

Have a look at your motherboard first - all the A3000s I've come across have the existing ARM2 processor soldered onto the board. In order to upgrade to an ARM3, you'll need to also source a socket to solder on once you've removed the ARM2 (I also had a spare ARM2 when I did it to make sure the socket was soldered on correctly).

Welcome to the forum, and enjoy yourself.

Gerald.
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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:20 am

Hi Gerald

Hope you had a good Christmas and getting ready to welcome in the New Year.

Thanks for the post. Yes, I believe I can source a socket. These are available from CJE or Farnell I believe. I will have to check but pretty sure they had them.

Do you have an ARM3 your willing to sell or know somebody who does? I will pay a very good amount for it.

If you do, could you install for me? Again money is no object here :)

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geraldholdsworth
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by geraldholdsworth » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:06 pm

Joka80 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:20 am
Do you have an ARM3 your willing to sell or know somebody who does? I will pay a very good amount for it.
No, sorry, I don't. I have often thought about upgrading my A3000 to an ARM3 but I considered that the extra cost is not worth it these days. Besides, I'm happy with it as an ARM2.
Joka80 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:20 am
If you do, could you install for me? Again money is no object here :)
I wish I could.
I've only ever upgraded one A3000, and that was about 25 years ago when I did some work placement at Atomwide. In their workshop, they had all the kit...OK, all you really need are a good set of eyes (which I no longer have), a good light source, very fine tip on your soldering iron, good pair of side cutters, a steady hand and lots of patience. Some people find using one of those magnifiers useful...I found it got in the way.

Cheers,

Gerald.
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RobC
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by RobC » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:24 pm

I upgraded my A3000 to an ARM3 a while back. The trick is to use lots of flux (credit to Dave Hitchins) - I found this helped both the desoldering and soldering process. I also hacked the socket so that I could see more of the pins.

I thought I had a spare ARM3 board but, unfortunately, it's not working :(

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:28 pm

Hi RobC

Hope you’ve had a nice Christmas & getting ready for a Happy New Year!

Which ARM3 board do you have in your A3000 and which spare ARM3 do you have that isn’t working?

:D

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by RobC » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:53 pm

Joka80 wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:28 pm
Hi RobC

Hope you’ve had a nice Christmas & getting ready for a Happy New Year!

Which ARM3 board do you have in your A3000 and which spare ARM3 do you have that isn’t working?
The broken one is an IFEL (non-FPA) and, thinking about it, was possibly sold as untested/not working when I bought it.

Not sure about the one in my A3000 and I'm not at home to check at the moment. However, I don't want to sell it.

I do wonder how hard it would be to recreate an ARM3 upgrade...

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:09 pm

Do you have a photo of the IFEL one which isn't working? Would be interesting to see which one you have in your A3000 - looking forward to it.

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Cutter » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:56 pm

Hi Joka80

If you're after an (original) ARM3 upgrade for an A3000, your options are basically:-

1. religiously check a certain well known auction site on the off-chance that a machine which already has an ARM3 upgrade fitted comes up for sale, which you can cannibalise (and provided it's not so physically high that it will foul the keyboard on the A3000 and prevent you closing the case);

2. hit every search engine you can think of to see if one shows up somewhere (I think someone else here got one I'd seen when looking for one myself - oddly enough held by someone in Norway I think it was who had advertised it for sale on some Amiga forum of all places); and

3. by far and away your best chance of getting one, keep checking back in with CJE Micros (was how I got one eventually - the upgrade board was one made by CJE Micros themselves (i.e. not Simtec/IFEL/etc) - not one I'd seen before, but works just fine). CJE also sell you the correct socket to do the upgrade.

Some things I realised when looking for / fitting an ARM3 upgrade:-

1. If people already have one, there's no chance they will sell one to you, no matter the price (because they'll be using it / about to use it in their own Arc). When I posted in this forum previously to see if anyone had one, the thread attracted 458 views and not one response.

2. Your chances of finding an FPA, even from CJE Micros, are basically nil, so it doesn't really matter if you get a board "provisioned for" the FPA or not, unless you're insanely lucky enough to find one already fitted (and if you find that, start buying lottery tickets because lady luck is clearly smiling on you! :lol: )

3. Physically, the upgrade is not that hard to do, provided you have a hot-air re-work station and take care. You'll want to set to 400 degrees C, and heat the surface mount points on the existing ARM2 for about 10 seconds (best way is to "circle" around the processor legs) - have a second pair of hands ready to lift the processor up - easiest way is with a pencil with a blob of blu-tac on the end (on my A3000 motherboard, I found that a temp less than 400 degrees C wasn't melting the existing solder fast enough - ironically, a higher temperature (but for a short period) is less likely to damage your board).

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by SarahWalker » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:04 pm

Cutter wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:56 pm
2. Your chances of finding an FPA, even from CJE Micros, are basically nil
Surprisingly, they do currently claim to have one, if you have £250 burning a hole in your pocket :shock:

They also list A3000 ARM3 upgrades, at a typical CJE price.

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Cutter » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:06 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:04 pm

Surprisingly, they do currently claim to have one, if you have £250 burning a hole in your pocket :shock:

They also list A3000 ARM3 upgrades, at a typical CJE price.
Typical! :lol:

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:03 pm

Hi Cutter

Thanks for the detailed reply. In a nutshell I am doing all of the above!!

I already have an FPA10 chip along with registration card (which you wouldn’t want to send back to the Acorn address!) and support disc too :D

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trixster
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by trixster » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:11 am

There are 2 FPA10 chips on sale on ebay right now. Just £250 each! That's a lot of money for a chip. What software takes advantage of an FPU?
A3020 | A3000 | A420/1 | BBC B | Master Turbo | ZX48K | NeoGeo
Atom | Amiga A4000 | A3000 | A1200 | A500 | PC Engine | Enterprise
Falcon | Saturn | PS1 | SNES | CPC6128 | C64 | 3DO | MD | Jaguar | X68000 | CD32

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SarahWalker
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by SarahWalker » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:52 am

Not a lot :) There's not much point writing FPU dependent software if no one owns one. I ended up using POVray to test Arculator's FPA emulation as there's so little else that exercises it.

eBay is up to three chips now. And two of them are £500!
Last edited by SarahWalker on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by markdryan » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:27 pm

> What software takes advantage of an FPU?

I don't have an FPU to test, but wouldn't programs written in BASIC take advantage of the FPU if they were run with BASIC64 or compiled with ABC?

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by trixster » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:25 pm

It’s the same in the Amiga world - only Ray tracing software, vistapro and quake make use of an fpu.
A3020 | A3000 | A420/1 | BBC B | Master Turbo | ZX48K | NeoGeo
Atom | Amiga A4000 | A3000 | A1200 | A500 | PC Engine | Enterprise
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by RobC » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:30 pm

I think RISCiX makes more use of an FPA - at least my R260 detects its FPA (or did when it was working :( ).

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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by sirbod » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:25 pm

trixster wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:11 am
What software takes advantage of an FPU?
I posted a list of games that use the FPA a while back, which I've updated as I've come across them.

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SarahWalker
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by SarahWalker » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:45 pm

I suspect if you'd spent £500 on an FPA, the question wouldn't be 'what software can use the FPA' but 'what software is actually noticeably improved by having an FPA'? Which owing to the chicken and egg situation regarding floating point on the Arc would be very little!

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Joka80
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Re: Acorn A3000 ARM 3

Post by Joka80 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:35 pm

I’ve seen those listings on eBay. They had been removed last week, and I thought they had been sold but now both have reappeared. I think one is a 2 pack FPA and one is a single package? They hadn’t ended or anything like that
perhaps the sale had fallen through? Not sure...

I was lucky enough to get an FPA10 by chance when I bought a large IKEA storage box load of Acorn stuff in the mid 2000’s for £20, yes 20 quid! from some guy who didn’t live too far away from me and had advertised in a yellow/pink classifieds newspaper called ‘Admag’. A lot of the stuff in there was trash but there was some valuable items in there. An 8Mb A5000 upgrade which I intend to install in my A3000, FPA, serial upgrade etc etc.

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