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Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by SpidersWeb » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:57 pm

With the SONY - I'm sure you can find a SVGA to 5 x BNC adapter. VGA is still RGB+V+H and they didn't use those as TVs :)

With the 386, test for resistance between +5 +12 -5 etc and ground. It just takes one orange tantalum capacitor to make the power supply lose it's mind. I had a 486 motherboard of similar vintage do this to me, until on one power up test the protection didn't kick in fast enough, the cap blew and took out surrounding traces! Worth looking in to if you haven't had a chance yet. I'd also de-solder that battery (actually I'd be lazy, rock it back and forward, until it snaps off), even if it doesn't appear to have leaked yet, it will and may have already started.

Just my attempt to be helpful, nice bunch of gear :D
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by glc » Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:22 am

If its of any help, the Sony looks identical to a SUN gdm-17e20 except the Sun uses a 13w3 input connector, otherwise the internals are probably not too different. they are very good monitors
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by SeanKennedy » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:39 pm

Just back from crawling over a pile here at work - I found a 5xBNC to DVI cable, with VGA adapter. Would that be useful to you? PM your address if so.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:50 pm

SeanKennedy wrote:Just back from crawling over a pile here at work - I found a 5xBNC to DVI cable, with VGA adapter. Would that be useful to you? PM your address if so.


Thanks for the offer! I'm in north america now though, don't think it would be worth shipping. :wink: I can make one up pretty easily. I've actually scored a nice PowerMac 7200; pretty sure the monitor was running on something like that originally. I'll try making up a quick Mac DB15->5BNC cable (I have lots of components lying around) and see how it looks. Agreed, as much as I loathe what sony stand for these days, the old Trinitron CRTs were the best there were. Will put it to good use.

I did get the 386 up and running just now, this deserves its own post though. With pictures. Coming shortly...
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:07 pm

Okay! First things first, yanked out the barrel battery.
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Yep, good call. A little CMOS amnesia never hurt anything.

So I plugged the Pentium PSU in and it seemed to work fine. I decided to swap it into the 386 and see if that would fire up. Easy job right? Well ... no, not really.

Firstly I forgot how AWFUL these old towers were to work on. THEY ARE TRULY HORRIBLE. I remember *hating* ATX cases when they first came around, but what was I thinking?! These are a billion times worse. There's no access anywhere, there's no clips or quick-releases, everything is screwed in or riveted or soldered from *all possible sides*, no sign of ergonomics... ugh. If you're used to any semi-modern swing-open design, even some proprietary thing like Dell or Lenovo, there may be some fiddly bits but YOU HAVE NOTHING on this crap. Wow.

Look at this for example - this is the switch for the power cable on the 386. I'm supposed to get my fingers in there to yank off 4 spade connectors. Somehow.
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WHERE DO THE FINGERS GO.

Eventually I got them off by prying the front of the case partway open (4 screws and some brittle plastic clips), and then discovered THIS. THIS EARTHING SCREW.
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Which is screwed in from the inside. SOMEHOW. There is no way to get ANY TOOL in there. I had to take it out by rotating the threaded end with PLYERS. WTF.

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Here is the case stripped down a little. You can see I took the 3.5" drive caddy out, which would have made room to undo ^^ THAT screw, except it was impossible to take out the OTHER screws that held in the caddy itself from the *front* WITHOUT taking the PSU switch off because there wasn't enough slack in the cable to pry the case front off enough to get a screwdriver on THOSE which meant - okay fine I'll stop.

You get the idea! I am completely baffled at how this thing was put together in the first place!

(BTW if you think that carpet looks like it's the perfect color and texture to invisibly camouflage dropped screws or washers... well, you're right, it totally is.)

The Pentium system was almost as bad to disassemble but at least the motherboard tray was removable which made access a lot easier. Incidentally as I was rolling the case around all axes removing screws, this chip FELL out:
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Okay... I don't know where that came from, I don't see an obvious spot where it is missing on the motherboard but who knows. Maybe it's from something else. Luckily I don't particularly care if that one works or not, but it would maybe be nice to have for backup.

ANYWAY...

Installed the good PSU in the 386. Hooked everything up, but the power switch is soldered on to this one instead of using connectors. I was FAR too lazy and tired at that point to get out my iron & heat shrink so I just left the second switch in, hanging. I put as much of the 386 back together as I needed to fire it up, plugged it into a monitor, dug out an AT keyboard adapter, connected everything, hit the switch, and ...

BANG. Sparks. Burning plastic smell. OFF. Unplug.

At this point I figured I blew a cap or something and was ready to call it quits. But (a) it seemed to stay on for a bit after the sparks flew, and (b) then I saw this:
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That's right, the uninsulated, unearthed power switch which I left dangling shorted itself on the side of the case. (See where the white wire is also blackened?) Whoops. My bad.

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Yeah, I'm not smart enough to give up after that. Now I *really* needed to know if it would work. A roll of electrical tape and a grounding screw later and I was ready for attempt two.

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...banished to the balcony this time, away from my flammable carpet and furnishings! NO, I don't have a fire extinguisher or anything, why would I???

Anyway, I fired it up and it miraculously seems to have suffered no ill effect. It made encouraging POST-y noises and I was able to bask in the gloriously awful green-purple-red of the oldschool BIOS.
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(Seriously, who picked these colours? Who looked at that and thought it was a good idea??)

I even got it to boot FreeDOS from a floppy, so looks like it works! For the first time in about 20 years I have a working 386. Now what? :P
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...and it only took me three times as long as I thought it would and left my living room a disaster to get going.

NEXT TIME on XJAS RESCUES SHIT FROM THE GARBAGE:
20 kilos of MINT rackmount NAS, charming the snakiest of KVMs, what the heck is a Logic Pattern Generator??, and not one but TWO of the very best PowerPC machines EVER BUILT. Don't touch that dial!
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by Clym5 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:52 pm

I'm really enjoying this thread. Looking forward to more! I'm picking up a Sony PVM-2054QM CRT from someone who was planning to bin it this week, and I'm sure it works. That's pretty much all I've found as of late!
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:19 pm

Clym5 wrote:I'm really enjoying this thread. Looking forward to more! I'm picking up a Sony PVM-2054QM CRT from someone who was planning to bin it this week, and I'm sure it works. That's pretty much all I've found as of late!


Glad you're enjoying it ... Gotta admit I'm having fun writing up stuff. It always annoys me when people post "I got this great thing!!" threads and don't include any pictures or details. So I decided to spam up as many photos as I want.

Those PVMs are amazing monitors, I assume you've seen all the dedication threads on just about every classic console forum. I passed on a free one a while back because the display was seriously dim but would love to get my hands on a fully running example. I have a Toshiba 20" CRT from ~2002 that I got out of the same scrap pile to run my gaming systems (just a Dreamcast & PS1 right now.) It's nice; it has component ins and is stereo, but nowhere near the same league as a PVM.

Speaking of CRTs, I forgot about this! ... I actually have a
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...wait, that's not right. It's DB9 to 4 BNC?! Any ideas what this is for? Arcade monitors? Datalogging? Interesting that the DB9 connector seems to be weatherproofed but the BNCs are anything but.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by Clym5 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:23 pm

It'll probably be video, not data related. I might have to start posting here soon. Got a few things coming in soon. My main PC monitor is a CRT now. I upgraded from an LCD, haha! And yes, I've seen the threads. Makes me feel a little better about having to move my ZX off the bench for it. I hope it can sync up to 90khz vertical.. That would be awesome. I could use it as my main PC monitor..
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:46 pm

Clym5 wrote:It'll probably be video, not data related. I might have to start posting here soon. Got a few things coming in soon. My main PC monitor is a CRT now. I upgraded from an LCD, haha! And yes, I've seen the threads. Makes me feel a little better about having to move my ZX off the bench for it. I hope it can sync up to 90khz vertical.. That would be awesome. I could use it as my main PC monitor..


I'm a *big* fan of the very last generation (2000+) of CRTs. Even TVs got pretty good but especially the VGA monitors were amazing, leaps and bounds over the LCDs that were available until pretty recently. It kills me these days that mountains of *excellent* CRTs are just going to the landfill, or worse, geting "recycled", i.e. dismantled for precious metals by children in horrendous conditions in Bangladesh. What a catastrophe of "upgrade culture."

My home workstation(s) are now running on a beautiful 19" Hansol through a rescue KVM (more on this later) - I got that one because someone was shockingly thoughtful enough to post a 'free to good home' advert on a local classified instead of just sending it straight to the bin. More recently in addition to the Sony, I've also rescued a very nice 19" Dell Trinitron which is now the 'third head' on my office setup, and two LG 15" for spares.

[ EDIT: pic removed... Probably shouldn't make it too obvious where this stuff is coming from. I do have official go-ahead to grab what I want though. ]
Last edited by xjas on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:28 pm

BTW here is the source of the mystery chip
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I don't even.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:10 pm

...and, seeing as why the hell not, here's my gaming setup:
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I don't plan on expanding this much more, I have the PS1 for racing & DC for fighting and shooting ... what more do you need?

That TV came from the same trash pile. I had to buy a remote for $2 at a pawn shop that has a huge rummage box of them (seriously) but it was otherwise perfect. A billion times better than the Commodore 1084S it replaced.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by acsi » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:56 pm

Do I spy a couple of G5 PowerMac's in amoungst that pile?
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:08 pm

^^ That was gonna be my next update. Actually three G5s, one blew its water cooling system and self-destructed. The other two are pretty much perfect and now belong to me. :mrgreen:
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:44 am

Well, as I said... I've been wanting to play around with a PPC system for a while. I have some older DAW software that does not support OSX-Intel and hey, they're just cool. Anyway when two of the last, best G5 systems ever built drop into my lap, who am I to say no?

These don't even count as 'vintage', they're practically modern by my standards.

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One for my office, one for my home studio. :) The left one is a slightly older 2.0 GHz dual processor system with PCI-X slots, AGP video and 4xDDR slots. The right one is a 2.3 GHz dual-core (one physical CPU) with PCI-e and 16(!) DDR2 slots.

(If you're wondering about the third, water damaged one, I parted it out for its optical drive & video card. The RAM was already gone. There's probably some serious scrap metal value in the aluminum case but I don't feel like getting into that. :P )

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Here's the inside of the 2.0 - nice and clean. It takes RAM in pairs, I upgraded it from 2x512MB to 4x1GB PC3200 and stuck in an old 200GB laptop drive I had lying around.

Unlike old PC towers, these things are *amazing* to work on, everything is so smooth and easy to do. Whoever designed these cases - well done!

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Threw Debian 8 on it which was a little fiddly to install. After figuring out the only bootloader around for G5s doesn't support booting from EXT4, and dealing with the wonky Radeon support (the Cinnamon menu bar is not supposed to be salmon pink, in case you were wondering), it works! Actually runs really well. Some sites make the included Iceweasel (Firefox) browser chug but other than that it works like a modern system. Nice!

I will try an AGP Nvidia card later, never been impressed with the xorg-Radeon driver in Linux. Not sure if PPC Linux needs a card with Apple firmware or if that's only an OSX issue though.

I also found a boxed copy of OSX Leopard online for $10, just waiting for it to be delivered. I don't think I've ever *bought* an OS standalone before. :P

Anyway, so that one works great! What about the 2.3DC? Well, it's just as tidy and clean as the 2.0 but I haven't tested it because
Image

...yeah.
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Re: Thrift store / garage sale / side-of-road find thread

by xjas » Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:48 pm

Here's some more non-vintage stuff. I hope you guys like server gear, because that's what we've got.

If you've read my 10TB thread, here's what those drives are going into:
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^^ It's about 10 years old but ... if this thing isn't brand new it's damn near it. It even came with a third power supply (dual PSUs installed) still in the plastic wrap. Takes SATA drives, has ethernet & SCSI and serial ports for administration. Yes, it was being thrown away.

Also grabbed these two 8-port KVMs with a ton of cables:
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Okay, I would have been fine with a single 4- or 6-port VGA switch, but free stuff >> stuff I have to pay money for.

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^^ My rack is getting a bit full. BTW the PC in there is that dual-P3/1000 system I posted about a while back. I've been using it with a nice Debian spinoff and it works well enough, but the distro I really want to use (tailored to audio production) needs SSE2.

Naturally I don't want to upgrade it to anything *boring* so here's what I picked up:
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Dual P4/2.4 on an Asus board w/optical & SPDIF audio i/o headers, 4GB PC3200 RAM, Antec 500W PSU, U320 SCSI & 4-channel IDE RAID cards (probably not gonna use that :P), and Nvidia Quadro FX AGP for video. I pulled most of this out of a junked server the size of a hotel mini-fridge. It was like a 60cm cube.
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