Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

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Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby MMaximus » 2018-10-10 @ 16:19

This computer was sold in France under the brand Kenitec in the early '90s. I haven't found much information about Kenitec but google reveals it was trademarked by "Arche Technologies" (which is the brand on the PSU). Maybe the Arche brand was more known elsewhere and they had the Kenitec brand reserved for Europe?

I acquired 7 of these from the same seller a while ago and have been restoring a few of them so far. Most of them had a Suntac based 286-12 motherboard (marked "AMA-1240V1-D") - this one has 2MB of RAM.

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It came with a Paradise PVGA1A-JK 8-bit VGA:

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An ASI-5105 Controller Card. The parts seem to have received a label during assembly displaying either "TL-BL" or "TL-BK"... no idea what it meant.

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A Seagate ST-157A 42Mb IDE HDD:

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The case is quite nice and has a few similarities with an IBM 5160 - front sliding top cover, black paint on the inside, and a larger PSU (XT style?) with the classic red power switch on the side.

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The BIOS is from Phoenix (version 3.10.22) and is very basic. It doesn't allow user-type HDD but it might be possible to upgrade the board with a different BIOS.

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And finally... the original 1990 ad:

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Last edited by MMaximus on 2018-10-10 @ 19:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby Predator99 » 2018-10-10 @ 17:00

Hi, very nice machine indeed! Also in combination with the original ad :cool:

You should cover the hole on the ROM-chip with a black tape asap - content will be erased under light exposition.

Can you please also contribute here please? ;-)
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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby MMaximus » 2018-10-11 @ 08:27

Thanks for your comments and for the heads-up about the ROM chip. Incidentally I've only just learned about this method of erasing chips a few days ago by reading some comment on a youtube video. So you're right, I should probably check all my cards for missing stickers on these UV-erasable chips!
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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby MMaximus » 2018-12-08 @ 10:05

Here is another one of my Kenitec 286 PCs. This chassis doesn't have any case badge - I've set it up with an EGA wonder 800+ and I find that the 286-12 is a great match for EGA games. I've tried putting the EGA Wonder in a 286-20 and some games play too fast.

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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby root42 » 2018-12-08 @ 10:09

Lovely machines. I have a very similar mainboard, labeled Peacock. But sadly it broke down recently. Will try to fix it, but not sure what's the problem yet. Probably bad RAM chip(s).
Soldering, retro game reviews and more on YouTube and Bonus videos
Me playing games on my 286 and on my Sega MD2 on Twitch
80386DX@25 MHz, 8 MiB RAM, Tseng ET4000 1 MiB, schlae AdLib, PC MIDI Card + SC55MkII, XT CF Lite, OSSC 1.6
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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby SW-SSG » 2018-12-08 @ 19:16

Very nice!!
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Re: Kenitec 286 Plus (Suntac 286-12)

Postby MMaximus » 2018-12-31 @ 16:53

Thanks!

while benchmarking the EGA system above I noticed it's actually running at 8Mhz and not 12 :exclamation:

This is regardless of the Turbo setting. For example in Dr. Hard - the benchmark is 1695 Hardstones in non-turbo mode and 2173 in Turbo mode. Reported speed is 8Mhz and 8.1Mhz. Maybe the Turbo switch doesn't change the CPU speed but adds wait states instead?

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Checkit gives 2368 Dhrystones in turbo mode.

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Apart from the standard 14.31818Mhz crystal, there are two other crystals, a 16Mhz one and a 25Mhz one. I'm guessing that the CPU gets its speed from the 16Mhz crystal? Since the BIOS on this motherboard is quite basic, I don't know how to make the system run at 12Mhz. Maybe there's a jumper on the board to select the CPU speed but I don't know which one...

EDIT: I actually forgot there is a "Fast" and "Slow" CPU speed setting in the BIOS... There you go - 12Mhz! :lol:
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