New Toys!

Seek advice, give advice or tell others about your repair and restoration projects

Re: New Toys!

Postby tezza on Wed May 23, 2012 12:01 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:I'm trying to keep the 5150/5160 boxes as original as possible - so CGA snow and crappy colour is part of that :)

Yes, that's my approach too. I have a CGA card in my 5150, a hercules-clone card in my 5160 and an EGA card in my 5170. If I ever display my 5150 I'd probably swap the CGA with an MDA one I have and use the mono IBM monitor also. This configuration was a lot more typical in New Zealand. Those units were extremely expensive when they first came out and colour (expecially CGA colour) was a questionable luxury few companies bought into :)
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Re: New Toys!

Postby caluser2000 on Sat May 26, 2012 4:35 pm

That 286 you won on TM would make a good edition to the collection SW. Any plans for it?
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat May 26, 2012 5:40 pm

Yeah I didn't really want to spend $50 but oh well :S
Actually just a nice tidy 286 to join the collection. Plan would be to use it as a 286 game box - having both types of floppy preinstalled is pretty handy - just have to see what condition it's in when it arrives on Tue - I think painterman might've actually let me pick it up but just paid for delivery since I"d probably spend that much in gas anyway.

I'm also curious to see what innovations NEC did with their 286 - is it just another clone or did they refine a few things (BIOS etc). I've made a spot for it.

In other news, friend sent me all her Apple IIc disks from when she was a kid, they're all mold free and the original Apple disks are in prestine condition - if they had been used more than once I'd be suprised. About 12 originals and 80ish fakes/data.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby caluser2000 on Sat May 26, 2012 6:08 pm

From what I can gather it's put together differently to your average clone. I was actually surprised I got the 486. Got it as backup for some ISA based systems that will be pressed into service at work. I've already donated a serial mouse and vga card to the project.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby Carcenomy on Sun May 27, 2012 1:33 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:I'm also curious to see what innovations NEC did with their 286 - is it just another clone or did they refine a few things (BIOS etc). I've made a spot for it.

Many, many, MANY changes. If the PowerMate 286 is anything like its 386 cousins (they do look the same...) then you can expect:
- CPU mounted on a daughterboard a la Amiga
- Hard disk controller that's locked to its original drive and integrated in the board
- Horizontally mounted cards on a daughterboard
- Locked BIOS... I believe there was a configuration partition a la Compaq, or a setup floppy required

I can have a dig around, there was a PowerMate SX+ hiding in my stash somewhere however I have a feeling it is gone.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed May 30, 2012 3:54 pm

Powered it up no problem, but got disk and harddrive failures and noticed a really burnt-electronics smell.
Opened it up and found a splat of solder had got on the Multi I/O card and was shorting pins, so removed that, reinstalled and it booted DOS 6.2 with no errors - drive was loaded with games, Win31, and your usual MS Works/Word apps. The smell still stayed, so I removed the card again and on inspection it had a cap that'd gone dark side, replaced IO card and it's happy as larry.

BIOS is a plain jane Phoenix 286 BIOS with no built in setup, I'm not sure what drive types are allowed yet as the Quantum 50Mb IDE drive is running quite happily. CMOS battery seems good too, I didn't need to run GSETUP to get it running. Has an ISA riser card/daughterboard which also doubles as a floppy drive controller (rather odd) and a special memory expansion board with 2Mb installed (1Mb onboard too). CPU is on the motherboard though.

I couldn't see a built in hard drive controller - maybe it's underneath the hard disc - I wonder because the "DISK" LED plugs in to the motherboard but I can't see any connector nor is their a switch to disable it (but there is for the floppy controller and every other onboard device). Like my IPC AT it boots with turbo off - speeds are 8,10 or 12Mhz (boot can be 8 or 10 but 12 must only be software accessible).

Anywho just need to configure my multi-IO card correctly so it doens't conflict with the onboard ports and she'll be good to go. Will also add a SoundBlaster clone while I'm at it.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:20 am

Finished the IPC AT this weekend, god it's tempremental, but this is what I've done:

- installed WD10006-SR2 RLL controller with BIOS
- ST238 RLL Seagate drive 30MB
- Gallant SC-6000 sound card + original software
- installed Multi-IO controller with IDE/FDD disabled (115.2Kbaud woo!)
- installed DOS 4 etc etc

Goes great except for a few quirks. Random errors on power up. 95% of the time it boots first go but sometimes:

- power up results in speaker clicking continously
- power up fails to initialise extension ROMs
- checksum invalid, then doesn't initialise extension ROM <-- reliably does this if you change ports e.g. add a COM
- last night it tested B drive, started beeping and hardware locked leaving the drive latched on.

But most of the time it's fine, and it almost always seems to be on cold starts, holding reset for a second and it'll boot perfectly.

California Games crashes, but most other games run fine (tested Larry 1-3, Keen 5, Testdrive).

Lots of video clips of the install, which I'm trying to arrange in a video, but I'm continually unhappy with the results. So might be a while with that. The BIOS in the WD10006SR2 is very impressive, and to think I was avoiding RLL because of the '26 SPT' vs '17 SPT' issue :/ Didn't even know those cards had a 27C64 hidden on them! Will even do custom drive types.

I did find though that this machine has probably the best mounting system that doesn't use rails for the case design, however some diddle has lost one of the plates :/

As for new additions, I've been a scrooge recently, but did just purchase PC-DOS 2.11 for my 5150 including the original binder and disks. On it's way to a vcf member before shipping to NZ, I have half a box to fill with goodies, so need to work out what else I should import.

Edit: been ages since I updated, also ran through my MFM drives recently - not a single failure! Also writing a software package to allow easy Win7 USB -> DOS serial. For the client I've loaded up Borland Turbo C++ 3 (last 8088 compat ver) on the 386/33 and have been progressing my way through that quite quick (internet is a godsend). Server side is written in C#.NET. It will never be as efficent as FastLynx 2 / LapLink but will get the job done and avoid the need for a tweener machine - assuming I finish the damn thing.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:14 pm

Found a genuine Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro CT1600 down at trash palace today for 3 bucks.
Haven't tested it yet, but none of the components look damaged.
I successfully resisted the urge to buy any more of the 'as is' laptops.

Have been rather lazy with my software project lately, should go do some of that now (learning Turbo C++ 3 - last 8088 compat version). As it is, it can transfer a binary file from Windows 7 via a USB serial adaptor to a DOS machine (with no client installed) - but it's quite nasty to use and slow, so need to finish the client.

Have also been doing lots of video filming and editing as well but I still keep getting frustrated, finding it very hard to say things that I'm happy about afterwards :/ Probably being too picky.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby Carcenomy on Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:56 pm

Probably :)

Hmmm, all this talk of 8088s and 286s etc has me wondering if I should take a look at the Imagineering machine in my shed. It's pretty much all there except for a couple of very vital parts... the BIOS and a couple of memory modules. Need to sort that business out and see if it still goes, has a nice 20MB MFM drive and the controller is rolled into the board - very elegant.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:15 am

Do you have an image of the ROM or hoping to get away with using generic?

You can still get chip memory off ebay, although unfortunately I don' thave enough spare to populate a machine. I ordered 10 41256 chips as backups. Unless it uses 30 pin SIMMs, in which case I have a tonne.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby Carcenomy on Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:28 pm

Yeah it uses chip memory. If I recall correctly (my memory is fuzzy about this long ago!) it had 2MB RAM total.

I'll get some shots, heck I don't even know what I'd use it for, if I can't find a use do you want it? :)
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:16 pm

I have a 386SX/16 board here with 2Mb chip ram, but they're a different model chip - 64256 or something - more than 1 bit wide, can't remember what happened with that board but something was wrong - memory was fine, so if it uses those chips (rather than 8 rows of 41256 chips) I might have something for you.

But if you don't use it then I'd be glad to absorb another little collectable :)
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:25 am

My PC DOS 2.10 arrived - Thanks to VCF member Stone.
This helps complete my 5150 collection (I perviously only had the guide to operations and basic binders). Now all I need is the original diagnostics disk and to repair it's keyboard. (A little retobright certainly would do the monitor some favours though)

The outer pink colour has faded a bit with age, but every page (even the registration cards and user feedback forms) is in perfect condition - only defect is that somebody has doodled DOS commands in a couple of places. Two original IBM discs in the back, DOS and Supplements, 180K SSDD disks, both work perfectly - not even one bad sector - I was suprised and quite stoked given how old they are.

The supplements disk is mostly the sample files and a few extra rarely used DOS utilities. It's the same as the 360KB PC DOS 2.10 image you see floating around, just split on two discs. Used the command diskcopy to duplicate some backups and put the originals back in their binder.

Edit: should add that before testing these, I used a known good disk in both my Tandon drives moments before, just to be absolutely sure the drive heads were clean and would not damage the originals. I always do this step when using valuable disks now.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:29 pm

Couple of quick photos from the new office setup, still not perfectly organised but I'm getting there. New bookshelf helped a lot.

Image
Image
Important items for me are the 5150 books (DOS/BASIC/GUIDE)

And a quick snap of the PC/XT/A2000
Image

To the left is my partners desktop, which is almost vintage :/
Opposite wall I have my laptop and Core i7, and on the right is my not-quite-tidy-enough-to-photo workbench which has the IPC AT permanently setup, and my 386 test/dev machine.
I also have the NEC Powermate 286 (with IBM VGA) on the dining room table, it's been there for a couple of weeks with no complaints (score). Not sure weither to pack it away or buy another desk.
Also not shown: Compaq 486 Portable, P3 laptop, Pentium laptop, 2 x Toshiba 386 laptops, two 486DX machines, C64C, Wang PC.

Just realised how much I have collected since I started this thread :/ I have boxes of parts as well.
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Re: New Toys!

Postby tezza on Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:59 am

Good to see the photos.

Ajax spray-and-wipe. An essential accessory when collecting old computers :)
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
Projects and Articles: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/index.htm
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