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Technical Details

About the Solas Board
Solas is a clockport device that adds addressable RGB LED strip support and a number of other features to a clockport-equipped Amiga. It started out as a simple adaptor to add LED strips to the inside of an A1200 case using power from the floppy power header, but has suffered perhaps the largest case of feature creep I've ever experienced, now using the clockport to allow software control of the LED strips and a host of other features. It's still in development, but coming along nicely.

Solas Logo

The Board
The Solas board is designed to fit directly on the clockport on an A1200, and will fit around the ROM sockets and over the chip RAM / RTC area. It should fit with an Indivision, but it won't fit with a FastATA or a Mediator. But that should be okay, because the board can be fitted with a male clockport header instead and mounted elsewhere, connecting to the motherboard via a cable. This means it can be used in Mediator tower setups, and other Amiga models with clockports.

Solas PCB Render

Current Feature List
Solas has grown from a simple floppy power adaptor into a fully-fledged, addressable RGB LED controller. Currently the feature list looks like this:
  • Clockport Device
    • Fits directly on A1200 motherboard clockport header
    • Option to attach by a cable instead for Mediator users or other cases where accessibility or mechanical compatibility dictates
    • Supports use on clockport splitters, Zorro card clockports etc.
  • Addressable RGB LED strip support
    • Support for one or two strips of 5V addressable LED strips (sometimes known as 5VDG or D-RGB strips), commonly found in gamer PC cases and under names like ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light Sync...
    • Up to 100 RGB LEDs are supported on each strip, though limitations on power supply, update frequency etc. will apply
    • Software control of individual LED colours, presettable light patterns can be configured via software
  • Configurable LED Responses
    • Independent LED profiles can be set to respond to different events
    • Responds to Amiga's audio output (e.g. VU meter or pulsing effects)
    • Responds to hard drive, floppy and PCMCIA activity LEDs
  • Fan Speed Controller
    • Variable voltage fan speed controller to allow speed control of most standard fans
    • Speed can be controlled via software or by the Solas board based on a temperature sensor
    • Automatic fan speed control implemented as a PID controller for smooth operation with minimum noise
    • Supports both 5V and 12V fans, one of each can be used simultaneously
  • Temperature Sensors
    • Up to three temperature sensors can be added - two LM-35 type digital sensors and one thermistor type sensor
    • Software readable via the clockport
    • Software calibration adjustments to allow for different sensors
    • Option to control the fan speed based on the input from any of the sensors
  • Clockport Splitter
    • Based on my original clockport splitter, but with added buffers and support for RTC modules
    • Provides three clockports for other devices (the Solas itself occupies the fourth device slot)
    • Can also be connected to an existing clockport splitter or non-A1200 clockport, but the splitter function is not supported in this case
  • Auxiliary 5V Header
    • Useful for powering additional peripherals such as Bifrost Heimdall without needing additional floppy cable power splitters
  • Additional Expansion Options
    • I2C port for additional expansion modules (firmware dependent). Currently supports Bosch BME/BMP280-style environment sensors, and LCD modules from Midas or Hitachi (with suitable I2C backpack).
    • Additional GPIO pins for further expansion in the future, e.g. JTAG master for updating firmware on other devices
    • Support for Bifrost Heimdall additional indicator inputs
It's still under development, so some features could change, but as it stands, that's the plan.
Here's a short video I've put together demonstrating some of the features of the Solas board and the software.

I also gave a presentation at the Amiga Ireland virtual meetup in January, which you can watch here. Be aware that I may have had a beer or two at that point ;)

Finally, I was a guest on AmigaBill's excellent Amiga stream, where we chatted about the Solas project and I demonstrated some of its features.


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