1 The Vampire 600 v2 has arrived. Found a 1 Euro coin and placed it next to it for size reference. The Vampire is tiny. The "empty socket" you see bottom right is where this board will connect ontop of the MC68000 CPU in an Amiga 600.
2 The more interesting side of the Vampire 600 v2 card. The big chip middle left is the Altera Cyclone III FPGA. Top left you have a micro SD reader, then below that is a HDMI port and bottom left is a port for hte USB Blaster used to program the FPGA chip. The board also has 128MB RAM.
3 This is where the magic happens. The Altera Cyclone III FPGA chip, tiny as it is, contains here a 68k compatible CPU faster even than a 100MHz 60060. But it does not end there, there is also a Picasso 96 compatible graphics "chip" which can display high def graphics from the Amiga 600 through a HDMI cable.
4 The chip above the Vampirte 600 v2 is a MC68010 CPU (Same size as a regular 68000). As you can see, the Altera Cyclone III is tiny compared to the good old 68000 CPU.
5 Ok in order to secure the Vampire onto the mobo I need to remove the back shielding from the mobo. I begin by removing stuff that will get in the way.. Like the floppy drive. Here is the floppy drive power connector on the A600.
6 And here is the floppy connector on an A600.
7 Just placing the Vampire where it will go onto the motherboard. It will sit ontop the MC68000 CPU. Here the metal shielding below the mobo is still on and needs to be removed.
8 Ok, lower shield removed from underside the A600 motherboard.
9 Yes you need to remove all the small screws sitting next to the ports in the back in order to remove the shield below the A600 mobo.
10 The underside of an A600 mobo with the shield removed.
11 This is what the lower shield looks like without the A600 mobo. Note the plastic sheet laying at the bottom, to provide insulation.
12 This is the socket on the Vampire 600 v2, according to rumors, you are advised to use a bit of sandpaper and grind away the 4 small round things that stick out a fraction of a milimeter just outside the 4 holes in the middle.
13 In order to secure the Vampire onto the mobo, you get 2 small plastic pieces and 4 screws in 2 sizes. The smaller screws go on the backside, and the slightly bigger screws are uised to secure the Vampire board itself onto the white plastic pieces. The Socket of the Vampire goes directly ontop of the 68000 CPU seen here just above the Blue ROM chip.
14 The hole on the Vampire 600 v2 board should align with the hole on the white plastic block.
15 Hmm.. what happened.. It looked good before, but that was before I pressed down the socket all the way down over the CPU. Suddenly the holes dont align. (see prtevious and next images or this taken out ofd context will make no sense).
16 (Check previous image before this one) Here we can see that the socket is as close to the white plastic block as it can get. I can not move the block further to the right to fix the alignemnt issue. I noticed however that the hole on the white plastic piece wasn't drilled exactly in the middle so I had to unscrew all and turn it around 180 degrees. Then it worked..
17 The Vampire 600 v2 is now secured onto the A600 motherboard. Start to put the pieces together now.
18 Side view towards the MicroSD slot of the Vampire 600 v2. Seems as if we might have a problem with the edge of the shield getting in the way. Oh well, thats an easy fix.
19 Putting the A600 mobo back into the lower case. next we will connect the CF card and the floppy drive.
20 There, the A600 starts to look usable again. Now we have the Vampire 600 v2 board in place, CF card and floppy back where they should be. As you can see, if you have a floppydrive like me, you better not get one of those bulky HDMI cables, it will be tight next to the floppy cable. And speaking of HDMI, where is this cable supposed to go out of the Amiga... Hmm.. RF modulator, I'm looking at you!
21 And next we put the A600 keyboard back. This will suffice for now, next we see if this thing boots.
22 First boot is a success. It's working! We are currently connected to a CRT TV (don't have an appropriately sized HDMI at t he time of writing). The first thing I fire up is SysInfo (old version) and do a speed test. It reports ~86 MIPS and ~60 MFLOPS. This is somewhat lower than some of the numbers I've seen out there so maybe this isnt the latest core. I will update the core and install Picasso 96 drivers soon.
23 MemTest in SysInfo reveals that the Vampire 600 v2 has 128MB FastMem.
24 Next natural step is probably to hook up your Vampire600 v2 with a HDMI cable and connect it to a modern monitor. Well, unfortunately, if you still have your floppy drive installed, a typical 'bulky' HDMI connector simply will not fit. [A600 mobo with Vampire V2 mounted]
25 As mentioned earlier, the RF modulator is of zero use thse days so it is a good option to lead your HDMI cable out of the Amiga this way. [A600 mobo]
26 If we look at the opening in the case where the RF/M output is, we can see its enough room to fit an HDMI connector in its place. [A600 case, backside]
27 A look from a low angle reveals there's plenty of space between the vampire and the keyboard to put a cable in there. [A600 mobo with Vampire V2 mounted]
28 However.. Your regular bulky HDMI cable is not the way to go. Its way to bulky and stiff. We need to find some alternative slim cables.. [A600 mobo with Vampire V2 mounted]
29 Here you can see that the RF modulator (Top Left) has been removed. Now there is room to put some sort of HDMI output there.
30 Here I tried a 1m long soft and flexible HDMI cable (shortest they had in stock, 0.5m would have been plenty). This particular cable has fairly compact connectors, which is useful when there's not a lot of space available.
31 Ad yuu can see here, the cable fits nicely between the Vampire card and the disk drive on the right.
32 For the back-side I bought a small HDMI extender connector. To hold it in place I used small plastic cable ties. Even though the HDMI cable has a compact connector, it comes very close to the capacitors (right behind it).
33 From behind, it looks a little something like this.
34 Updated the Vampire with the latest core (currently Silver3a) but SysInfo doesn't show too much improvement. I think I need another benchmark or at least a new build of the software.