KickstartSwitch (Part 2) Installation of the

Great, you've seen part 1 of the KickstartSwitch story, and are now wondering what it takes to actually build  a Kickstartswitch into your Amiga 500 / 600 / 2000.

Note 1: This description is based on an Amiga 500, the Amiga 600 and 2000 are functionally similar, differences are in the way of disassembly, and the location of the kickstart.
Note 2 : The more modern amigas 1200 / 3000 / 4000 have a kickstart spread over 2 roms , this solution is not usable for that kind of machines.

You're thinking about building a KickstartSwitch into your Amiga 500, here's a quick step-by-step guide.

Remove all cables from the Amiga, turn the Amiga over (place a towel or the like under the Amiga to prevent damage.

Loosen the 6 screws that hold the Amiga together (pictures will follow) (If they are not the same lengths of screws, the short ones should be on the side of the space bar)

Hold the Amiga firmly and turn it back with the keyboard facing up.

Carefully remove (lift) the top and set it aside.

Remove the keyboard connector (it has a Key pin on it, but check it out anyway 🙂

If you are the lucky owner of an Amiga with the shielding still mounted, loosen the screws, and carefully bend the tabs up until you can lift the metal cover off.

Then find the Kickstart rom, this differs per type and revision of your Amiga, for example for the  A500, A600 and A2000

(the Kickstart chip is marked in yellow, the orientation is highlighted in red.)

(A very good tip: NEVER assume what you see, also check the orientation for yourself (3 times) 🙂, I came across a picture on the internet of an A2000 where the shown kickstart orientation was wrong)

Carefully place a flat object (voltage tester, knife) between the socket and the Kickstart ROM ( not between the foot and the motherboard!!!! ) and turn carefully, so that the Kickstart ROM comes loose and rises, if you lift it too rudely the Kickstart ROM is completely out of the foot on one side and your pins are bent.
If it comes loose, insert your voltage tester or blade on the other side under the Kickstart ROM and repeat the action as described above.
After 1 or 2 times the Kickstart ROM is out of its foot and you can take it off the board.

Take a good look at the Kickstart ROM and the foot, and see that both have a marking. (This is important)

You won't need the old Kickstart ROM (for now), unless you ever remove the Kickstartswitch and want to put your old Kickstart ROM back.
If you want to keep the Kickstart ROM well: match box, wrap a piece of tempex with aluminum foil and insert the Kickstart ROM there with the legs. it will last 100 years.

Now comes a very important piece of information:

The Amiga comes with 1 of 2 types of kickstart sockets, most of them have 40 pins and are therefore identical to the delivered Kickstart Roms that are placed in it, The Amiga 500 Plus, and the Amiga 600 sometimes have a 42 pin socket. (And who knows some new revisions of the 500 or 2000 too)
There are Kickstart switches with 42 pins and there are with 40 pins, all the things mentioned above have 1 thing in common, only 40 pins are used for the Amiga !!!
So if you have an unequal pin / foot combination, then there is nothing wrong, but you have to know how to put it together.

Contrary to what you might expect, you should NOT align the notch, but the other side of the base / switch / rom should always be aligned.

Now take the Kickstartswitch and place the Eprom in the Kickstartswitch (note the marking of the KickstartSwitch and the Eprom, that they are in the same direction, check if all pins are straight, when you press the chip in and there is a pin not straight then it will be folded in half and your system will not work until you (literally) straighten this
(If you order a Kickstartswitch with Eprom from me, the Eprom is already installed!)

If that went well, you can place the Kickstartswitch on the motherboard, in the foot where the Kickstart ROM was (again, pay attention to the marking so that the motherboard, Kickstartswitch and chip all point the right way)


You have to press the Kickstartswitch with Kickstart ROM just as well, it has precision feet, which are slightly thicker than an IC foot, but ensure that the contact is optimal.

If it doesn't work 1,2,3 don't hang it with your full weight, see if you can see why it doesn't work.


if that is all successful, press the keyboard on it and test the amiga if it starts, (if it doesn't, turn off the amiga, switch the switch and start again)

If the Amiga boots with the familiar kickstart screen, turn off the amiga, flip the jumper/switch of the Kickstartswitch and turn the Amiga on again.
If all goes well you will now get another boot screen, that can be a different Kickstart version or the DiagROM, depending on what you have placed / ordered next to your own kickstart)
If everything works then you can build your amiga back together, first the metal shield (Screws, tabs can only be bent a limited number of times)

check if the metal shield fits without touching the kickstart switch / ROM, otherwise you have the chance that the entire switch will be pushed out of the base when you screw everything shut.
I usually choose not to put the metal shield back, if you do this do not bend all the tabs, only a few at the most crucial points. If those break eventually, you'll have a number of others.

Put the keyboard connector back (note the Key, there is somewhere 5 volts on that connector, so wrong or shifted is generally not very good)

Carefully replace the top

When the top is in place, turn the amiga over (towel).

Screw the 6 screws back in place, not too tight because you will quickly lose / break it (and did I mention 🙂 the length , in case of different lengths the short screws on the side of the spacebar, otherwise you get your bumps on the top when the screws come out)

If all went well, you can rewire the Amiga, connect your external drive and enjoy your Gotek which can now function as a boot drive.

There are some tutorials on the internet, but they are long-winded, or incomplete, or they consist of plugging in certain products.

If you don't dare to do it yourself, send me a message, maybe I can help you somehow.



KickstartSwitch Close-Up

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