Kickstart Switch (Part 1) What is it ?

What is a Kickstart Switch :

The kickstart switch allows you to use, for example, a kickstart 2.05 or 3.1 in addition to your kickstart 1.3.
The older amiga types still worked with Kickstart 1.2 and 1.3 , a lot of the Amiga software was written and tested during and on those kickstart versions.
Many programmers who wanted to get the most out of possibilities, use so-called undocumented features (Functionality that is kept outside the specifications for whatever reason)

Shop: Amiga Kickstart Switch top view

unfortunately, those choices turned out to be no guarantee for the future, where used features were changed, replaced, or removed from the Kickstart ROM.
So that means there's a range of software that doesn't kickstart that's newer than version 1.3.
On the other hand, kickstart versions 2.05 and 3.1 offer a lot of advantages if you want to do more than just play on your amiga.

I regularly get the question what exactly the buffer adds to the Kickstart Switch:
- The IC (The buffer) works as an electronic switch (mechanical contacts can cause sparks)
- The signal that is diverted makes its way to an unbuffered Kickstart switch the switch, through the switch and back to the motherboard, with a buffered switch the reroute is done within the IC.

Shop: Amiga Kickstart Switch top wider view

To make it possible to work with both kickstart 1.3 and a newer version (2.05 or 3.1) in a simple way, you can switch between 2, 3 or 4 kickstarts with a kickstart switch.
more than 2 kickstart versions is a bit nonsensical in my opinion, since there are really only 3 revisions that really count, 1.3, 2.05 and 3.1.
(I'm ignoring Kickstart 3.1.4, that's a new release (Paid) that I have no experience with)

The combination of 1.3 in combination with 2.05 or 1.3 in combination with 3.1 gives you more than enough to work properly with it.
Amiga 500, Amiga 500 Plus, and Amiga 2000 can work with Kickstart versions older than 2.0 without any problems.
(The Amiga 600 with kickstart 1.3 is not supported by Commodore, but works partially, eg Booting from harddisk and PCMCIA support will be lost if the Amiga 600 is provided with Kickstart 1.3)


Risk of all Kickstart switches are equal:

  • Switching ONLY when the Amiga is off, yes it is possible when it is on, until that one time when it couldn't...
  • Amiga 500 has a cover over the motherboard, in some cases the increase of the kickstart appears to ensure that the can no longer fits properly.
    (This can be solved by removing the can completely, or by cutting a recess so that the Kickstart ROM is no longer covered.) The amiga works fine without the cover, it's more of an aesthetic choice if you want tošŸ™‚
  • Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000 Revision 5 Revision 4.2 have a special adjustment is required to operate them with a kick switch,Ā aĀ ll by me delivered Kickstart switches are fully compatible with above types without further adjustments.

Finally, I would like to mention that the Kickstart switch can also be usedĀ to useĀ the DiagROM 1.21 1.21Ā inĀ addition to your current version of KickstartĀ , so you have the option to boot your amiga to Kickstart in addition to a test environment for your amiga. .

The advantage you create by installing a Kickstart Switch is that you can provide your amiga 100% hardware with the latest Kickstart version that is suitable for your type of Amiga and at the same time you can continue to use your old Kickstart ROM for your favorite games that not run under newer Kickstart versions.

Placing a Kickstart Switch is a minor intervention, it must be done accurately, which is an absolute necessity.

The installation of the Kickstart switch is covered inĀ Part 2

Shop: Amiga Diagnostic ROM V1.21

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