Commodore A2386SX PC Bridgeboard

As a poor student back in the mid 90´ies I always thought about getting my hands on this card – simply because it would be awesome to show those PC-fanboys at school how my Amiga would be superior. Running PC-Task, even with an accelerated CPU, did not quite make that. Also not with an Emplant card 🙂

It should take years before I got one from EBAY, probably around 2002, before prices went insane there and before too many Varta´s had yet exploded 🙂 I got one in decent condition, removed the Varta after checking the card worked. My deal was including a VGA ISA card, 5 1/4″ floppydrive and all the needed internal cables and driver disks. I had this up and running with OS 3.1 and (although pretty slow) Windows 3.11. Later when I upgraded to OS 3.9 I only got to fiddle around with installing the driver disk, but never got the entire system up and running again. Real life took over 🙂

Well, now it is 2019, and I am re-installing my AmigaOS 3.1.4.1. Unfortunately the intaller of the latest Janus 2.1 driver which I found on Amiga Resource website online is the last work from Commodore. The installer does not work properly, since it does not like my 2GB SYS: partition. My pretty bad skills at modifying the installer script failed; I do know where things goes wrong, but I am simple not familiar with creating or editing those scripts to make it work…….

So, I copied the content of my OS 3.9 installation to my OS 3.1.4.1 partition – but the card constantly failed to be initiated when c:binddrivers was run in startup-sequence, and I even got a Workbench: read/write error when trying to start the Janus Prefs 🙁

It took me a while to figure, that I had copied the janus.library to libs: – the only working location is sys:expansion – AND – it is very important that you actually get the tooltypes included.. otherwise the board ID is not read by binddrivers, hence, the card won´t be found. So – finally I figured if I copyed the janus.library from the expansion folder on the install floppydisk to the workbench:expansion folder.. it worked! 🙂

Ofcourse I could have copied it in AmigaDOS adding “clone” at the end of my copy string, but I think the icon dropping is faster 🙂 – and I spend hours to figure out this stupid little thing.

There is alot of more work to do on this Bridgeboard to get it up and running at some point, but at least I can now run prefs and I can get a POST + enter the BIOS.

.. Probably to be continued one day if I get the time to play further around with this ..

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Henrik Matzen
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Henrik Matzen

Seems like my A2386SX bridgeboard is having issues in my Amiga 4000. I can only boot from the floppydrive when I disable the Janus Handler by setting the memory location to A000 in PC Prefs. D000 is needed for this to work. This problem also means that I am unable to boot from a virtual hardfile. I have been spending many evenings trying to sort this out, and so far, I have not found the solution 🙁 At some point I thought it was a hardware issue on my bridgeboard. Fortunately I also have a basic Amiga 3000 with a… Read more »