Archives of Genesis8 Amstrad Page from 1999 to 2020 about hardware, page 2 / 15





Willy by PulkoMandy, an Amstrad CPC(+) adaptator for using parallel PC sound cards

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On Serdashop you can found audio and video cards to be used mostly on PC. For example there are two cards which are connected to the parallel port of a PC, especially those which can't use ISA/PCI sound cards such as old portables :

Pulkomandy has created a card for Amstrad CPC(+) : Willy which lets you use an OPL3LPT or S2P on it. He wrote two programs to use the OPL3LPT which you can found on his page :

Check the CPCWiki thread for more informations and short videos of the Willy + OPL3LPT being used.

By the way, there are other ways to use MIDI on an Amstrad CPC, but it will be for another day (hint, use serial, usifac, LambdaSpeak...).




Powergraph Light Rev 2 with built-in adapter for Amstrad CPC to connect with an Amsdap

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I am late as today is the last day to order a V9990 Powergraph Light Rev 2 with built-in adapter by Tecnobytes. It's a MSX cartridge for MSX or Amstrad CPC which you can connect with the Amsdap (a MX4 card with a MSX cartridge slot), see Prodatron's video in 2018.




An Amstrad PPC 512 operated by Noël Llopis (repairing, upgrading, screen changing) in 5 videos

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Noel Llopis did start 4 months ago a serie of videos about an Amstrad PPC 512 whose screen has suffered just a little bit... The videos are very interesting and my resume below cant show how interesting these videos are. Take the time to see them from start to end as I did.

  • first video in which he will open the beast and trying to replace the broken screen with another screen from a PPC donor. Then he will use the CGA2SCART PRO made by Retro Erik. The CGA2SCART Pro permits to replace a CGA/EGA screen with a television using a SCART cable (RGB signal). Then he is running two of his msdos programs he wrote mayn years ago : Return of Frankenstein (3D isometric game) and Bouncing Ball
  • second video where the screen will be repaired after many tests, a real work of a police investigagor but in electronics
  • third video, it's time for upgrading (adding and testing a Gotek, adding and testing more RAM to get 640 Kb) and some reparations (the handle and the protection hatch at the back) to finish by dumping the spanish ROM of the PPC which wasnt available on internet, to be used with an emulator (MAME or PCEM)
  • fourth video, the screen has been repaired but it's not perfect. So the original screen will be changed, two solutions being tested : MCE2VGA (which I use with my own PPC 640) and the GBS 8200
  • fifth video, it's the part two of the fourth video where he is using a third solution to replace the original screen with a Raspberry Pi zero and the HAT RGB to HDMI which allows the use the HDMI output of the Pi (bare metal emulation, no raspbian OS used)




Amstrad PPC 640 replica running RetroPie by Bill Kar

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You have a dead Amstrad PPC and you heart is too heave to throw it inside the bin ? Then why dont you use a magic wand to transform it into a retro console or better to use PCEM to emulate an Amstrad PPC ? It's what Bill Kar did with its PPC 640.




Amstrad Diagnostics ROM v1.10 by Noël Llopis

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Noel Llopis has written an Amstrad CPC diagnostic ROM which is already at version 1.10 and whose sources are available on Github.

Changes since v0.91 :

  • New main menu and summary screen
  • Checking for 464 vs 664 models
  • Fixed crash on DSK build
  • Fix: Upper RAM test on Plus and GX4000 working again
  • Improved keyboard layout in keyboard test
  • Support for 464/664, 6128, and matrix keyboard layout (use TAB to cycle through them)
  • Tries to autodetects Amstrad model and pick correct keyboard layout automatically
  • Tries to autodetect ROM language and picks Spanish or French keyboard layout if necessary
  • Fix: Upper RAM test doesn't trigger FDC


Four videos on several Amstrad CPC models by Rodrik Studio (french inside)

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Rodrik Studio which you can read on the System-CFG forum (french) (a good forum on older computers), has done four videos about 3 differents Amstrad CPC models (videos by the oldest to the more recent) :

He opens and cleans all machines, and also refresh the exterior of the computer with the retrobright method.




Changing the Real Time Clock of an Amstrad PPC 512 by Retro Theory

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After his video Amstrad PPC512 ISA Expansion Board XTIDE Network Sound PPC640, Retro Theory is showing how to replace the actual RTC chip with another compatible component with its own battery (good for 10 years). You will have some unsoldering work to solder the new Dallas DS12887 RTC inside the Amstrad PPC.




Amstrad Diagnostics ROM v0.91 by Noël Llopis (v1.0l WIP)

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Noel Llopis has written an Amstrad CPC diagnostic ROM which is already at version 0.91 and whose sources are available on Github.

The WIP version 1.0l will permit to test the keyboard, whatever the language (qwerty/azerty).

Changes since v0.8 :

  • Fixed ROM test hanging from upper ROM builds
  • Detecting and testing all upper RAM up to 4MB (it can take a LONG time to test the full 4MB!)
  • Esc aborts upper RAM test
  • C3 configuration test uses a pixel not visible on screen
  • Paging out M4 lower ROM to access system ROM
  • No need to press a key after low RAM tests
  • Holding ESC or Fire for 2 seconds exits keyboard test


USIfAC II:Convert a PC or USB stick to Amstrad HDD,access DSK and much more for 23 euros

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Universal Serial Interface for Amstrad CPC II (a.k.a. USIfAC II or... THE GOTEK KILLER FOR AMSTRAD CPC! :D) by Ikonsgr is an evolution of his previous Design USIfAC (with which is fully compatible), based on a modern and much more powerful 40pin 18F47Q10@64Mhz 8bit PIC microcontroller, which offers many new amazing features :

  • Completely "from the scratch" project,based on a modern 8bit PIC 16F1579@32Mhz MicroController! (all other serial interface projects, use the rather old, expensive and bulky 40pin 16C550 UART chip)
  • Very easy to use by only two BASIC commands, INP() and OUT!
  • Completely free DIY project, rather easy and cheap to make (total cost for the DIY kit +all extra parts, would be less than 6euros!)
  • SUPER FAST loading of many games/programs, DIRECTLY from the PC!(see "Direct Load" function in User's Guide, and here is a list of games already tested and working)
  • Easy and fast transfer of dsk images directly to Amstrad CPC disks!
  • Easy and fast individual file transfer (check link for 1000's of games extracted from dsk images)directly from/to Amstrad's Disks!
  • Equipped with a reset button and a pause switch for Amstrad CPC!

For more informations check the CPCWiki link and the video made by Crazy Piri (french inside).




Amstrad PPC512/640 ISA Expansion Board by Retro Theory

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Thanks to Youtube who proposed me a video by Retro Theory called Amstrad PPC512 ISA Expansion Board XTIDE Network Sound PPC640 where is he testing his ISA expansion board using the 2 connectors at the back of the Amstrad PPC 512 or 640.

Check the description of the video for the github page with the pcb files and the components list.

So in this video he is testing an XTIDE, memory card (to 640 Kb and some UMB), sound card using the unisound (universal sound driver) and a CGA/EGA card. So he launchs Prince of Persia with OPL2 (sound blaster) and EGA.

More Amstrad content should appear on his youtube channel later as states in the commentaries, so stay tuned and subscribe to his channel like I did.





New v2.0.7 of the firmware for the wifi card M4 Board by Duke

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The M4 Board which let you add wifi on your Amstrad CPC just got another firmware v2.0.7.

Changes since v2.0.6 :

  • Changed behaviour of RMR "ghost" register to support FutureOS and IMPdraw running from ROM on Amstrad PLUS
  • Added C_ROMLOW command to map in and out lowerrom(s) on the fly
  • NMIROM.BIN is now loaded from microSD card root by default, if present, otherwise internal HACK MENU is used

New HACK Menu improvements by Cebe74 (Thanks!) :

  • Reorganized displayed layout
  • Menu keyboard shortcuts
  • Improve memory dump feature




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