My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-6-10 @ 10:34

Cool, it's good to see another SuperEISA in action.
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V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby bbuchholtz » 2019-7-10 @ 14:22

So, I've finally overcome my learning curve with EISA. I've learned the ways of ECU :)

I have a question about bus mastering. Would you happen to know how many slots on this board support bus mastering? From my perspective, I'm getting conflicting information around slot #8.

In all of the related ECU CFG files, it would seem that only slots #1 - 6 support bus mastering:

Code: Select all
; Configuration file for MCCI EISA system board
; Revision: 1.0
;
;    10/30/92
;    Modified: (Changed ID to AMI68B1)

BOARD
   ID = "MCC0001"
   NAME = "MCCI-486 EISA System Board"
   MFR = "MCCI"
   CATEGORY = "SYS"
   SLOT = EMB(0)
   READID = YES

SYSTEM
   NONVOLATILE=8192
   AMPERAGE = 26500
   SLOT(1)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(2)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(3)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(4)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(5)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(6)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=YES
   SLOT(7)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=NO
   SLOT(8)=EISA
      BUSMASTER=NO


However, when I look at the motherboard itself, I get the impression that only slot #7 is slave:

Image

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

-Brian
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-7-10 @ 22:35

I don't think the SiS EISA chipset supports more than 6 slots as busmaster. The reality is most folks don't have that many busmastering EISA cards to begin with so its rarely a problem. Both my Micronics and Tyan (uses SiS chipset too) made the VLB slots non-busmaster since it was likely they would see VLBus cards anyway.
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby bbuchholtz » 2019-7-11 @ 13:24

Thank you for your reply :)

That does make sense. And I agree that having 6 bus mastering slots is probably enough.

This was just my wishful thinking. Most full-length cards take advantage of bus mastering. Slots #7 and 8 have plenty of clearance. Unfortunately, the CPU fan and heatsink prevents the use of full-length cards.

-Brian
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby bbuchholtz » 2019-7-14 @ 17:29

Hey Guys,

Which ECU are you using to manage EISA with this board? So far, I've had the most luck with this one:
http://files.mpoli.fi/unpacked/hardware ... -eisa.lzh/

However, it's not perfect. In particular, I'm trying to add this SCSI host adapter:
http://108.59.254.117/~mR_Slug/EISA/!CPQ4002.CFG/

I'm getting the impression that I should should be using a Compaq ECU with this peripheral. But so far, Compaq's ECU always seems to hang whenever I try saving the EISA settings.

-Brian
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-7-14 @ 18:28

The AMI EISA tool works fine with it. Drop the CFG file for the card you are installing, run the tool, done.
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby bbuchholtz » 2019-7-16 @ 16:52

Ok, I got the AMI EISA CFU working with my system. At first, I was greeted with this message, after saving EISA settings:
Image

Based on my Googling, it would seem that EISA has a limited amount of space for configuration. Long story short, I had too many EISA cards installed. When I pulled some cards out, the error went away and I was able to boot from the HBA.

Onto my second issue... All CFUs fail on parsing this CFG, except for Compaq's:
http://108.59.254.117/~mR_Slug/EISA/!CPQ4002.CFG/

Image

At first, I was getting complaints about lines 14 and 15:

Code: Select all
 VERSION=1.2AH
 REV=0


These seemed benign; so I commented them out. However, line 45 seems more crucial:

Code: Select all
 RESOURCE="ADDRESS",COMMON,LOCAL


Unfortunately, Compaq's CFU still hangs on my system...

-Brian
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-7-17 @ 23:21

How many cards/what cards are installed? The Shadow RAM error is likely something else. I know the CMOS setup has various shadowing options.
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby bbuchholtz » 2019-7-18 @ 01:57

Currently, I do not have any POST errors. Here is my current configuration:

[SLOT1] Adaptec AHA-2740W (EISA bus master)
[SLOT2] (Empty)
[SLOT3] Diamond Stealth64 4MB (VLB)
[SLOT4] Intel EtherExpress PRO/100 (EISA bus master)
[SLOT5] Adaptec AHA-1542CF/1540CF (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT6] Gravis UltraSound Plug'n'Play (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT7] SIIG High Speed IO-1809 16550 Serial (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT8] (Empty)

Are you suggesting I should try playing around with the Shadow RAM settings in the CMOS?

Thank you again for taking a look!

-Brian
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Re: My Ultimate 486 (Almost Finished)

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-7-18 @ 18:15

Anonymous Coward wrote:It's hard to say how much it cost me, because I've been working on it for 7 years...but probably something like $400.

I'm running PC-DOS 2000 and WFW311.


This is the Nicest computer I have seen in a while.
But it would cost allot more than $400 to build today with the inflation of used computer parts.
What are the benefits of EISA cards over VLB and ISA ?
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Re: My Ultimate VL/EISA 486

Postby NJRoadfan » 2019-7-18 @ 21:08

bbuchholtz wrote:Currently, I do not have any POST errors. Here is my current configuration:

[SLOT1] Adaptec AHA-2740W (EISA bus master)
[SLOT2] (Empty)
[SLOT3] Diamond Stealth64 4MB (VLB)
[SLOT4] Intel EtherExpress PRO/100 (EISA bus master)
[SLOT5] Adaptec AHA-1542CF/1540CF (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT6] Gravis UltraSound Plug'n'Play (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT7] SIIG High Speed IO-1809 16550 Serial (16-bit ISA)
[SLOT8] (Empty)

Are you suggesting I should try playing around with the Shadow RAM settings in the CMOS?

Thank you again for taking a look!

-Brian


That isn't too many cards. Personally I set the entire UMB area along with the usual BIOS/Video BIOS to shadowed and then use the latest version of "The Last Byte Memory Manager" to use the area for loading things HIGH. I have the same Adaptec card and never had a problem with it on that motherboard.
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Re: My Ultimate 486 (Almost Finished)

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-7-23 @ 01:11

Intel486dx33 wrote:
Anonymous Coward wrote:It's hard to say how much it cost me, because I've been working on it for 7 years...but probably something like $400.

I'm running PC-DOS 2000 and WFW311.


This is the Nicest computer I have seen in a while.
But it would cost allot more than $400 to build today with the inflation of used computer parts.
What are the benefits of EISA cards over VLB and ISA ?


EISA over ISA? Multiple busmasters, 33MB/sec vs 5MB/sec bandwidth, 32-bit addressing (no 16MB limitation).
EISA over VLB? Stability, supports way more cards.

EIsA is the way to go if you want wide SCSI and 100MB/sec network controllers. Admittedly, not such a good choice for graphics but you can get boards with both VLB and EISA slots and have the best of both worlds.

Bringing PCI into the equation changes things a bit, as it's much cheaper and easier to get PCI 486 boards. There are a lot of crappy PCI 486 boards though, whereas most of the EISA 486 boards are quite solid.
Will the highways on the internets become more few?
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium
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