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"It is probably the best Amiga you can buy right now, at any price." - Donovan, V4+ Standalone owner


Frequently Asked Questions





Which core is installed on my V4+?
When you power-on your V4+, simultaneously please press both mouse buttons and keep them pressed until the Early Boot Menu shows up on the screen. You will find the core version in the second row....or better to say....since Release 2 the core version is listed in the menu. If there is no version number, then you run on Release Core 1.

How can I flash a new core release?
There are three ways to flash the latest core improvements, such as new features, speed or compatibility fixes:

1: The recommended way to install the new core release:

- Go with your V4+ to the Internet (using pre-installed AWeb).
- Download the ReleaseXXXX.EXE from www.apollo-core.com/downloads
- Open the 'RAM Disk' drawer by double-clicking on the 'RAM Disk' icon on the desktop
(located in the top-left corner of the screen).
- Run freshly downloaded ReleaseXXXX.EXE using double-click on its icon
(you might need to change the view using View As pop-up menu to see the file).
- The window will appear. It will ask you to confirm the operation.
- Confirm the operation by typing 'YES' (in UPPERCASE) and press return.
- Wait until flashing is finished. Do not power-off! Do not reboot!
- After flashing is finished, power Off your Vampire V4+ and wait 30 seconds.
- Power On your Vampire V4+.

2: Alternative way to install the new core release:

- Go with your V4+ to the Internet (using pre-installed AWeb).
- Download the ReleaseXXXX.JIC from: www.apollo-core.com/downloads
- Open a CLI at your V4+.
- Type: 'C:flashrom RAM:ReleaseXXXX.JIC'.
- Confirm the operation by typing 'YES' (in CAPS) and press return.
- Wait until flashing is finished. Do not power-off! Do not reboot!
- After flashing is finished, power Off your Vampire V4+ and wait 30 seconds.
- Power On your Vampire V4+.

3: Using the JTAG USB-Blaster (ONLY IF YOU HAVE REQUIRED TECHNICAL EXPERTISE!!!):

- Please mind that connecting USB-Blaster the wrong way might destroy your board!
When, for whatever reason, you have to use the USB-Blaster, please contact us first on Discord or via e-mail. We will guide you.

How can I switch my V4+ on and off? And how to reboot my V4+?
Like the original A500 or A1200, the V4+ turns on/off by using the power supply (PSU). There is no separate power switch on the V4+, just like there was no separate power switch on A600 or A1200.

We solve that with a 3-way socket with a switch on the desk.

To reboot your sytem: please press STRG + WIN + STRG (CTRL + WIN + CTRL) at the same time.

Can you please ship my V4+ with another OS than ApolloOS?
Due to ongoing legal issues regarding AmigaOS, we ship the V4+ exclusively with ApolloOS. If you want to use another operating system, you have to install it on your own. For multiple operating systems we recommend using an excellent Vampire Bootloader (VBL).

Where do I find the shipped distro?
Here is the link to the current distro:

ApolloOS download page.

When you have loaded it onto your PC, you need a USB card reader and an "image writing program".
On Windows, you can use this tool: Win32DiskImager.

Do you ship the V4+ with games (or WHDLoad)?
We ship the V4+ with ApolloOS and with several free games. Most of the installed WHDLoad games should work properly.

Which MicroSD cards are supported?
All MicroSD cards of SDHC type.

Which file system should I use to format my SD Card?
Please DO NOT format at all. The best way is to use the SD cards freshly picked right from the package without any extra formatting.

How do I mount my microSD card?
Please click on ApolloOS Start Menu/SD Card/Mount. Your SD card should mount and a new icon will appear on the desktop.

Can I buy a "barebone" V4+?
We are sorry, but we sell the V4+ as a complete system only with CompactFlash card, preinstalled operating system and aluminium metal case. A plug-and-play version:-)

We had some bad experiences selling barebones in the beginning. Therefore we decided not to make exceptions anymore. That is why we sell only the complete systems today. If someone remodels something at home and an accident happens or stuff breaks, we are no longer responsible. We hope you can see our point since we have decided, no matter who, not to do any exceptions. Thank you for your understanding.

Which keyboards, mouses and joypads work with te V4+?
On the DB9 port, you can use Amiga mouses and joysticks. On the USB port, we have already a big number of devices that work! Here you find a list with all working peripherals: Click here >>.

Why not every USB mouse and USB keyboard does work?
Not all USB peripherals work with the V4+ because we convert the drivers into hardware, as usual with Amiga. So we don't slow down the system with extra software for all keyboards in the world as a PC does :-)

My monitor does not work with the V4+
The V4+ already supports a lot of different monitors (Samsung, Acer, Asus, Viewsonic, Phillips, Dell... you can check the ever-growing list of certified monitors in here and even add your monitor too).

A very little amount of TV does not run yet. Unfortunately, changing the resolution is not solving your problem. We will try to fix that, but that can take some time. In the meantime grab a certified monitor that already works:)

What is a USB programming blaster and what will I need it for?
We improve, advance and debug the V4+ all the time. An FPGA can be re-written and that way we bring out new updates that are always a bit better than one before (most of the time;).

The USB blaster is required to update the FPGA, but it is only for qualified developer use! Regular users can update the core in an easy way. You can simply flash your board safely via Ethernet (see: "How can I flash a new core release?").

Can I buy a V2 accelerator in here and how long is the waiting list?
Currently, we only produce and sell V4+. Igor (aka Majsta), the well-known Apollo-Team member, produces and sells the V2 accelerators for the Amiga 500, A600, A1000, A1200 and A2000. You can be put on the waiting list here.

Igor is currently accelerating his production, so we hope that the waiting time will be significantly reduced shortly. In the meantime please check our shop (just in case..)

My IDE seems not to boot? I just see the ApolloOS sign..
We install and test each CompactFlash card before we ship the computer. If you just see the ApolloOS sign it says that no CompactFlash card is installed.

Sometimes it happens that the CompactFlash adapter or the CompactFlash card get loose during transport. To fix this you have to remove the PCB board from the case COMPLETELY and place it on a soft, antistatic surface (like cork).

Open both sides of the case, slide the board out and put it on a soft surface e.g. cork. Then you could try to GENTLY press the CompactFlash adapter in, BUT ONLY ON A SOFT SURFACE!

NEVER PRESS THE CARD WHILE IT SITS IN THE CASE!!! YOU WILL BREAK THE INTERNAL WIRES AND DESTROY THE COMPUTER!!!

If you need more help we can phone or chat on Discord.

How do use I Paypal?
If you want to use PayPal you need an account, you can create one at www.paypal.com. You can simply type in our email address in "Send money" (shop@apollo-computer.com) and schedule the payment.

Protip: If you want to avoid fees when PayPal asks if this is a business transfer or if you are transferring to family and friends, we recommend choosing 'Friends and family, obviously. At the end of the day, we are one, big Amiga family!

In the notification letter, you can note your invoice number. Then it is much quicker for us to process the order.

Why don't you use the new Competion Pro USB joypad with the fancy retro design?
Our problem with the new USB Competition Pro is that they have no good quality, unfortunately. We did check them carefully, as we wanted to bundle a more retro-looking USB Joystick at first. But we broke three of the competition Pro just by playing Bubble Bobble for a few hours!

We believe that Commodore would have avoided the USB- Competition Pro, because of it's bad quality. So we decided that quality is more important than cheap retro-style.

The USB- Joypad we now choose to bundle, is high quality, well made, very comfortable, usable and easy to play games with. The Team, Gunnar and his Son tested about 300 Joypads and that one did win the internal, rigorous testing competition!

The technical background is, that for us it is not possible to support many different joypads, because they all talk internal different "languages".

Like Commodore did in ancient times and to be Amiga compatible, the joypad is plug-and-play, without installing any extra software driver. So we implemented the USB driver in hardware, not with software like on a PC... That is the reason why we do not have so many pads which would work. We do it Amiga way!

How do I turn scanlines on/off?
Just press F11 key to toggle scanlines on and off.

Can I mount .hdf and .iso files In ApolloOS?
On AROS 68k / ApolloOS the standard "no RDB" HDFs can be mounted with ImageMount and DiskImageGui.

Also, ApolloOS includes ImageMountGUI - which can handle mounting ADF and ISO from either the internal Compact Flash or a MicroSD.


Can I boot from the MicroSD slot?
The current driver revision isn't able to boot from MicroSD. But you can use the MicroSD for data exchange like a "huge-floppy". However, we plan to include booting from a microSD card in our incoming Quarterly Release 6.

Do Vampires have an FPU?
Of course and that FPU is the ONLY 68K FPU that is fully pipelined, like all modern IBM or INTEL FPUs. Fully pipelined FPUs provide a major advantage for 3D as the can reach much higher floating-point performance. Just check the amazing Quake 2 gameplay on the V4: Quake 2 on Vampire Standalone.

This is emulating a 68060, right?
Not at all, as the 68080 is a legitimate, new 68000-series processor. The 68080 is the best of the family and much better than a 68060!

The 68060 many several instructions which 68000, 68020, 68030 and 68040 did support. this missing instruction can result in programs crashing on 68060. The 68080 is much better than 68060 does include all previous CPU instructions and doesn't suffer from 060 limitations.

FPGA technology recreates the hardware and has nothing to do with 'emulation'.

Can I use SATA in my V4+
Yes you can. With a simple SATA/ATA adapter you can use SATA devices.

Any compiler and assembler recommended for coding on Vampire?
You can use all the compilers that you are used to, including Devpac, Seka, ASMOne - all run just fine.
SASC, GCC - will also run.
Amige Oberon2 - works great.
Amos - sure, why not:)

You can also use a new Dev-environment for SAGA game development like e.g. VBCC which comprises the C compiler or Vasm in one nicely integrated package. Vasm supports most 68080/AMMX operations. Compiling can even be done on a PC. Please check the ApolloOS Developer drawer to find out more!

Why you don't use PowerPC processor in Vampires?
One of the strongpoints of the Amiga was using a 68k.
The 68k is maybe the most coder friendly, easy to program and most powerful CPU.
The PowerPC is so far not as coder friendly and simply doesn't have as powerful instructions and address modes as 68k.

What is FPGA?
It is a hardware chip that can change itself and modify its internal functions.
You can imagine it a bit like the Terminator T-1000 Quicksilver which could change its shape.

What is Super AGA (SAGA) then?
It is an enhanced version of the Amiga AGA (Advanced Graphics Architecture) chipset, sort of way better AAA/Hombre chipsets that were in development for the Amiga in the '90s.

SuperAGA is AGA compatible, which means you will be able to run OCS/ECS/AGA games.

Full SuperAGA implementation is currently featured only in V4+ Standalone. It consists of built-in RTG/Chunky mode, Amiga/Atari planar modes, Picture-in-Picture mode and Advanced Sprites.


What is AMMX?
AMMX is a 64 Bit SIMD extension to a 68k CPU. The concept we followed is geared more towards the SIMD extensions in RISC architectures (AltiVec, Wireless MMX).

Just by making better use of AMMX, the software can get several hundred percent performance increase. AMMX is only available in 68080.




Trivia


  • Did you know that the Apollo Team started as Natami Team in 2003?

  • Majsta, the constructor of the V2 accelerators, publicly demands his mental health condition should remain private.

  • Did you know that V4+ Standalone features the legendary chipset called SuperAGA from Natami?

  • We realized that the original AGA chipset was able to display full Truecolor 24-bit pictures back in the '90s. More colors could have been added simply with an extra EHB mode just like on the OCS chipset. They could have done this with an A1200 chipset originally and it would make a real difference back then.

  • Did you know that 68080 started as 68050 and was intended as the main processor for Natami?


 


 

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