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Revised 2009-01-16

My AmigaOne G4-XE

OS: Amiga OS 4.1 beta
CPU: Motorola MPC7455 (G4 PPC) 933MHz
RAM: 2 x Kingston 1GB PC-133 ECC Reg'ed
HDD: 2 x Western Digital 80GB Ultra-DMA
DVD: Pioneer 106D DVD±RW / DL
GFX: ATI Radeon 7500 128MB
SND: Creative Audigy 2 & ESI Juli@

My AmigaOne XE
This is my current Amiga!

In 1985 I started with the first model, the Amiga 1000, then over the years switched to the 500, 2000, 600, 1200, and 4000.

Except for my original A1000 which I kept and is safely packed away at a secret location, I didn't keep my other Amigas. Having one machine is enough for me and besides, there aren't enough hours in a day for me to do everything I'd like to with it.

The motherboard and operating system inside are what really make it an Amiga, everything else was added using off-the-shelf components, roughly $1800 worth of hardware.

I'm quite happy with the result.

On the other hand, I used a cheap web cam and apologize (on behalf of logitech) for the poor quality of these pictures.
Amiga logo

Unlike with my previous Amigas, this time I had to make the logo myself, and thought that it would be nice if a standard design could be created and used by everyone else.

It took a lot of research to arrive to this design, which is based on the very first animation displayed by the "Lorraine" prototype, and the first incarnation of an Amiga logo, long before Commodore entered the picture and rejected both.

As 20 years have passed since, I ray-traced the vectorial boing ball and gave a more futuristic look to the electric letters. It is my tribute to the creators of the best computer system ever made.
Behind the logo there is a sheet of electro-luminescent plastic which can be on, off, or glow to the of beat of ambient music.

Lit Amiga logo and Power Flower Fan Master

Below is a Power Flower Fan Master which monitors the temperature of the cpu, gpu, hdd, psu, and lets me control the speed of all the fans. It has an alarm in case a fan stops or anything overheats.
:Amiga glowing in the dark
This is what the machine looks like in complete darkness.

I replaced the green LED on the case with a blue one and had to use a 3.3v connection instead of 5v otherwise it was way too bright.

The keyboard has purple keys but they look blue with the EL backlight. This one has a nice feel with a stiff short motion similar to laptops.

The LCD doesn't look right on the picture, the background isn't really a blue/purple gradient it's black but I had to boost the sensitivity of the camera or the case logo wouldn't have been visible.

The Fan Master is much too bright and I'll probably end up putting a resistor on the LEDs behind the four pots.
Amiga front case view  

Below the fan controller, in the bottom 3.5" slot is a custom version of the original ThermalTake XView controller for the EL light behind the logo.

It came in an ugly box that I really didn't want to stick on the outside of my case so I took the whole thing apart, drilled a few holes in the floppy cover and inserted the microphone, sensitivity pot and power switch through it. Much better :-)

I'm not really happy with the way the case switches and lights are positioned but it's not worth the trouble modifying it. It still is a decent case for $25 with a 300W ATX PSU so I can't complain.

AmigaOne XE

I turned the light in the room all the way up, but as you can see, the fan controller is still too bright, although the camera might be exaggerating it a bit:
The AmigaOne XE motherboard
Now we're talking... The guts of the beast! :-)

I waited a very long time to get my hands on that green slab burried inside the case!

Strangely I miss my Amiga 4000 though. There was some sense of fascination coming from all its custom chips that the deceiving simplicity of this discounted $3900 evaluation board doesn't quite recreate.

Oh well. Now I can ponder on the VIA southbridge instead, and try to figure out how to make good use of its poorly documented features.

My monitor used to be bigger than my computer, now it's the other way around as you can see on the far right.
AmigaOne XE and TT XView

The TT XView came with two light strips but I only needed one for the logo. I didn't really know what to do with the extra one and the light controller made a whinning sound when it wasn't connected so I ended up putting the second strip inside the case but it doesn't serve any purpose as there is no side window and I don't think I'll open the case again in the next six months.

I added two fans to force more air inside the case than can be sucked out by the power supply exhaust fan. This creates adds a little bit of air pressure inside of the computer.
 

The extra fans aren't needed for cooling purposes, for that matter all four fans are spinning at their lowest speed, making the system so quiet all you can hear is the HD.

I eventually added some foam padding on all sides except where the fans and slots are, further reducing the noise level to the point where I can't even hear the drives unless the room is completely quiet.

What about the air pressure then?

One thing I learned from my 4000 is that dust becomes a real problem when a machine stays on 24h all year round. Unless you can prevent dust from entering...

Normally air and dust come in through every hole and crack and some of the dust will get stuck around and inside the drives.

By forcing more air in through dust filters than is pulled out by the psu, the pressure difference causes the extra air which is clean to leave through the holes and cracks instead of letting dust in.


During summer 2006 it was getting so hot in my room that I had a hard time keeping the CPU cool enough without increasing the CPU fan to a really noisy speed so I replaced the aluminium heatsink and 40mm fan pictured above with a Zalmann VF900-cu from Guru Meditation which is made of pure copper with an 80mm fan:

As a result, the CPU temperature dropped from almost 60° Celsius down to around 35° in summer and around 30° in general.

Chances are, even if the fan stopped, this beast would have enough fins and surface to dissipate most of the heat anyway.

This concludes the tour of the "little machine that could".

Thanks for coming.

Now go away, I've got some programming to do! Don't you?


DIY Amiga Logo Files

amiboing.png - 1600x1200 Backdrop for your WB
amiboing1.png - Case logo front layer for printing on paper or transp. sheet
amiboing2.png - Case logo rear layer (b/w light mask) for printing on paper
TT Xview - Backlit 5.25" module for case logo (discontinued?)
Directron - Case mod supplies

Amiga-related Links

Amiga Inc. - The Amiga company, news, forums (focuses on Windblows applications :-( instead of the Amiga)
AmigaWorld - Amiga news, forums
Amigans - Amiga news, forums (OS4-centric)
Hyperion Entertainment - Amiga OS4
Eyetech - AmigaOne
Mai Logic - Teron PX PPC evaluation boards (gone)
ACube Systems - SAM440ep (new OS4-compatible hardware)
Aminet - Amiga software archive
OS4Depot - Amiga software archive (OS4 only)
Cloanto - Amiga emulators for Mac/PC

Copyrights 2004-2009 Alex Carmona - You can copy and distribute this page all you want, you just don't own it. (Muhaha)