I recently bought a boxed Amiga CD32 in excellent condition, and found out (a bit too late) that it wasn’t a PAL version, but a NTSC one. The CD32 was only briefly available in NTSC territory (Canada), and very few games were ever released for it. As I had already spent time and money on recapping it, as well as removed the protective plastic film from the CD32 label and CD reader window, returning it wasn’t much of an option.
Removal of plastic film
I tried connecting a mouse to it, and through the boot menu changing the video mode to PAL, but as that (obviously) doesn’t change the components on the PCB the frequency of the video output is still 60 Hz instead of the 50 Hz required for PAL, so the image is presented in black and white instead of color. More investigations were needed. Continue reading
A while back, while searching the web for PLA replacements and the theory behind them, I came across DodgyPLA by Upi Tamminen. It’s based around the Xilinx XC9536XL CPLD and is released as open source. His design is routed for home etching, and while I do have some chemicals at home that are up to the task I didn’t really feel like it. The Chinese PCB manufacturers have to eat as well, don’t they?
I added a capacitor that was omitted from Upis design due to space constraints, but otherwise my only contribution here is routing the board for manufacturing. So far DodgyPLA has been tested with ASSY 250407 (with and without _CASRAM RC filter), ASSY 250425, 586220+ Diagnostic with harness, EasyFlash 3 cartridge, 1541 Ultimate-II and Epyx Fastload Reloaded. There are most likely edge cases where the DodgyPLA is… well, dodgy, but for most day to day use it seems stable so far. Big kudos to Upi for releasing this!
My rerouted version is available on my GitLab page: https://gitlab.com/kludge/dodgypla.