Amiga 500 Wicher first test.

For lovers of RETRO tweaking, here is the first information tested in the field, I hope it will be useful to you ...
First of all, this accelerator card is INTERNAL, it is true that external ones allow you to change CF memories (used as hard disks) quickly, but the 500 is already not small, if we add more external material, everything becomes even more cumbersome.
The card is well built, equipped with slot for 72Pin memories, socket for CPU 68000 overclockable up to 50 Mhz, connector for CF (standard IDE A600) and a serial BUS (fast) for future accessories.
Having made this small overview of the basic features (which you can still learn more about on the manufacturer's website), let's get to the point of this article, or the first things to know to avoid some problems with the 500!
Let's start immediately by saying that this card should be used with KICKSTART 3.1, in fact if you use the KICK 2.05 37.300 / 350 (the minimum questionable to see the HD and RAM), you will see an incorrect amount of RAM compared to the one actually installed, this value among other things, it changes at each reboot. I also verified that only with 3.1 you will be able to correctly install the floppy containing the tools, vice versa there could be a BLOCK of the system during the installation phase and in subsequent reboots ..
Once the card is mounted (it requires you to fix two special cables to some integrated ones), you can mount both the CF and the RAM all internally and close the metal SHIELD almost perfectly, therefore you will not be forced to remove that part that many (me including) like to have. Useless a possible DUAL / QUAD Kickswitch, it would not fit, therefore you will have to give up this hardware (you can still use whdload for games or relokick programs if you want to go to floppy).

From the WORKBENCH point of view, to make a discreet and quick installation, I suggest you start with CLASSICWB in the 68000 GAAE version (the version for A600 to understand), if you use ClassicWB LITE (the version for A1200), you will also have a block of the machine. if you don't activate the components made for A1200.
In terms of performance I still have to deepen well, especially the optimization of the HD, in fact with the basic filesystem, the disk hardly reaches the MEGA transfer rate (however more than decent on this machine), therefore it is necessary to optimize with software type 4ide if you want more performance; the processor pulled at 50Mhz from sysinfo values ​​almost comparable to an Amiga 3000 with the 030!
Price / performance ratio for me this card is worth all the money spent, we are talking about 140 euros, as I see it it is useless to spend excessive amounts on these machines, but you do it, I'm going to Wicher!
Commands to be launched with the WICHER command (to be copied to C :)
Wicher list of options
VERSION - display version information
STATUS - display actual Wicher config
LOAD - load config from a file
SAVE - save config to a file
CLK - change CPU clock speed
FASTMEM - (on / off) enables / disables FAST RAM
CFGRAM - automatic configuration of memory controller
IDE - (on / off) enables / disables IDE controller
SPI - (on / off) enables / disables SPI controller
RAS13 - (on / off) enables / disables support for additional memory banks in the SIMM module (two-sided modules).
BIGRAM - (on / off) enables / disables support for SIMM module 16MB-128MB
SLOWRAM - (on / off) enables / disables support Trapdoor RAM - 1.5 MB ($ C00000)
OTHERRAM - (on / off) enables / disables support other ram - 1.5 MB ($ A00000)
KICKRAM - (on / off) enables / disables support memory - 1 MB ($ E00000 i $ F00000)
Example: wicher clk = 28 RAS13 = on
ATTENTION: this card requires a perfectly compatible RAM module. In the various tests it was difficult to find a perfect one, try the command from the CLI:
wicher RAS13 = on
and then launch the AGONY game (in WHDLOAD) which must also start with 1 MB CHIP (essential modification to be made on the 500 rev 6a to use whdload) and 4mb additional ram mounted on the wicher ...
If not, it means that the RAM is not perfectly compatible even if the rest of the programs seem to be perfect. At least this is proof that after hours of trying, it allowed my 500 to go PERFECT even with games like Agony, which reset the machine at the start with other ram modules ...
Visit the group and have a good retro tinkering!


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