VOGONS


First post, by Virtual

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Greetings,

Glad to be here, I am new to the retro pc scene, been following a few youtubers such as LGR and Philscomputerlab with such entusiasm, that it made me go around and look for a retro pc as well. I got lucky and was given for free at a local antique book shop some vintage hardware, plus keyboards, mice, monitor...

It works!:
1-pcjpg.jpg

Motherboard + Graphics card + ethernet board:
components.jpg

It was all dusty, had to take all apart and clean (I am also planning in the next days to use hydrogen peroxide vol 40 to make it all shinny again):
Comp1.jpg

First boot, it came with win98, what a great surprise!:
IMG-20200617-113407-512.jpg

As you can see, there's no sound card. I've been looking on the forums and youtube videos for suggestions, but it's been a difficult task, since there are so many models/ versions out there.
I came to the conclusion that maybe an AOPEN Cobra AW744L II would the best bang for the buck, however I still have import dutty charges + shipping... and I don't know how well this card will perform with MIDI? I also need some speakers... what would you recommend?
I think I am going to buy an SD to IDE adapter as well and maybe a new PSU and a new CPU fan. Any suggestions on these? I am going for a quiet environment build mindset.

I am looking forward to play FFVII on this machine as well as Jazz Jackrabbit I and II.
I wanted to try Phantasy Star Online on it too, but I'm afraid that even if I bought a RivaTNT2 card, the processor wouldn't handle it.

Looking forward to your expert oponions! Thank you.

Last edited by Virtual on 2020-06-19, 14:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 16, by Oetker

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Your motherboard has ISA slots, so it's much easier to go with an ISA sound card than with a PCI one. And don't search for an exact brand/model, just search for something that uses the right chipset. A Yamaha, Aztech or ESS based ISA sound card will work well.

It looks like your machine uses an ATX PSU, so that's nice, it will make finding a replacement easier. However there's still ifs and buts, such as 5v power and possibly requiring -5v, it's easy enough to find threads on that here.

Don't put cards on a towel like in your picture.

Reply 5 of 16, by jakethompson1

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Nice!
I dealt with an aopen board recently. Their ftp.aopen.nl ftp site still has the drivers, manuals, BIOS, etc. up (though the directory structure requires a lot of digging around) so you may want to get them before they are gone.
Here's an internet archive page about that board: http://web.archive.org/web/20021015094956/htt … cts/mb/ax5t.htm

Reply 6 of 16, by Virtual

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Wow, thanks a lot! I was about to buy a 512Mb sdram stick, but according to the offical website and manual you provided, its maximum main memory tops at 256Mb.
By the way, what do you guys think about this sound card: A-Trend Harmony 3DS719 ISA?
I am also thinking of acquiring a dial-up modem board and try to setup a dial-up server through another PC... I was thinking about to go for an ISA card, but I am afraid I can't get drivers for it, so I may go for a cheap PCI one with driver CD included instead.

Reply 8 of 16, by jakethompson1

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Looks like the driver for that sound card is on Vogons Drivers.
I wouldn't bother with modems unless you really want to re-create that experience. Instead, you can get a null-modem cable and directly connect the serial port of this machine to the serial port on a modern machine and then do whatever you're going for (file transfer? slow internet access?). Or, just get a PCI ethernet card.

Reply 9 of 16, by jakethompson1

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Oh by the way, if you insist on modems, it is actually better to get an ISA one as it is far less likely to be a WinModem. The reason you might have trouble finding drivers is that modem drivers for hardware modems are trivial, they are just an .inf file with the exact AT commands for it, and you can work around that if needed. Or, you could get an external serial modem. They are still made.

Reply 10 of 16, by bofh.fromhell

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Virtual wrote on 2020-06-17, 12:04:
Greetings, […]
Show full quote

Greetings,

Glad to be here, I am new to the retro pc scene, been following a few youtubers such as LGR and Philscomputerlab with such entusiasm, that it made me go around and look for a retro pc as well. I got lucky and was given for free at a local antique book shop some vintage hardware, plus keyboards, mice, monitor...

It works!:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6ytje0ch3c28f2/1.pcjpg.jpg?dl=0

Motherboard + Graphics card + ethernet board:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzog9drlcimjq7t/com … onents.jpg?dl=0

It was all dusty, had to take all apart and clean (I am also planning in the next days to use hydrogen peroxide vol 40 to make it all shinny again):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v8kvcf47dpcghbk/Comp1.jpg?dl=0

First boot, it came with win98, what a great surprise!:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ldjhthvrj924e6/IMG … 07_512.jpg?dl=0

As you can see, there's no sound card. I've been looking on the forums and youtube videos for suggestions, but it's been a difficult task, since there are so many models/ versions out there.
I came to the conclusion that maybe an AOPEN Cobra AW744L II would the best bang for the buck, however I still have import dutty charges + shipping... and I don't know how well this card will perform with MIDI? I also need some speakers... what would you recommend?
I think I am going to buy an SD to IDE adapter as well and maybe a new PSU and a new CPU fan. Any suggestions on these? I am going for a quiet environment build mindset.

I am looking forward to play FFVII on this machine as well as Jazz Jackrabbit I and II.
I wanted to try Phantasy Star Online on it too, but I'm afraid that even if I bought a RivaTNT2 card, the processor wouldn't handle it.

Looking forward to your expert oponions! Thank you.

Aopen Case (highly sought after nowadays!).
Aopen S7 Motherboard, considered really good back in the day, and ATX too!
Aopen graphics, perhaps the weak point "back then" but now theese S3 cards are a great choice in a retro build.

Congratulations!

Reply 11 of 16, by bofh.fromhell

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Virtual wrote on 2020-06-18, 23:26:

Wow, thanks a lot! I was about to buy a 512Mb sdram stick, but according to the offical website and manual you provided, its maximum main memory tops at 256Mb.

It's even worse then that.
The TX chipset can only cache 64MB, adding memory above that will slow things down.
This limit however will only be a slight inconvenience as anything needing/wanting more then 64MB (like Windows2000) will be painfully slow anyways.
Windows 98 and any games you would want to play on a TX machine will run just fine with 64MB.

Reply 12 of 16, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Antique PC from an antique book shop, nice 😀

If your going for a modem I'd go 1 step further and find an external one. They were popular in the 90's as it didn't take up any resources but now it would be just for the flashing lights 😉
I wouldn't pay much for one, they are still just as obsolete as internal ones on the second hand market and not really sort after. Not many of us here who have all sorts of hardware bother with them.

That A-Trend Harmony 3DS719 looks to be based off the YMF719 chip. Expect the same as Phil's Yamaha Audician 32 Plus video.
If your playing many Win9x games you might want a second PCI card Sound Blaster Live is popular and common.

For speakers nothing retro. They were pretty bad back then. If you have an old stereo or similar I'd sue that or decent modern speakers.
Even the best ISA sound cards are noisy and dos games had highly compressed sound so good speakers/headphones will sound nice but don't expect modern level of quality.
Any decent PSU will be fine. Your hardware doesn't need anything special or powerful. Just make sure it has enough molex/floppy connectors.

Reply 13 of 16, by Virtual

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-06-17, 19:25:

It should be ok.

Thank you!

kolderman wrote on 2020-06-19, 00:08:

Thats a very nice mobo. 4xISA with ATX....wish I had one.

😀

bofh.fromhell wrote on 2020-06-19, 09:55:
It's even worse then that. The TX chipset can only cache 64MB, adding memory above that will slow things down. This limit howeve […]
Show full quote

It's even worse then that.
The TX chipset can only cache 64MB, adding memory above that will slow things down.
This limit however will only be a slight inconvenience as anything needing/wanting more then 64MB (like Windows2000) will be painfully slow anyways.
Windows 98 and any games you would want to play on a TX machine will run just fine with 64MB.

Ok, I am glad you pointed this out. So basically all I need is to get another 32Mb stick, but will it match:
IMG-20200617-221708.jpg

Please take a look at these 2 ebay options:
https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Hyundai-GMM2644233BLT … k8AAOSw6IVdsivD
https://www.ebay.ie/itm/32MB-Compaq-66Mhz-SDR … oAAAOSw23lZq9kY

Oetker wrote on 2020-06-17, 12:36:

It looks like your machine uses an ATX PSU, so that's nice, it will make finding a replacement easier. However there's still ifs and buts, such as 5v power and possibly requiring -5v, it's easy enough to find threads on that here.

chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-19, 13:11:

Any decent PSU will be fine. Your hardware doesn't need anything special or powerful. Just make sure it has enough molex/floppy connectors.

Here's my current PSU specifications:
IMG-20200617-222027-351-min.jpg
I found this last PSU at a local shop, would it be a good repalcement?
IMG-20200616-182420-min.jpg IMG-20200616-182435-min.jpg

jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-06-19, 00:10:

I wouldn't bother with modems unless you really want to re-create that experience.

Yes, that's the idea... I want to try this: Creating Your Own Dial-Up Connection At Home: No Line Simulators Needed!

jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-06-19, 00:12:

Or, you could get an external serial modem. They are still made.

Like this? https://www.ebay.ie/itm/56K-MODEM-DIAMOND-SUP … g0AAOSwLNBe2lOB

Reply 14 of 16, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Most people replace the PSU as a safety measure as voltage slowly go out of spec with age.
cheap brand new PSU;s are out of spec the day they leave the factory.
AOpen is a quality brand, Don't know the brand/quality of that PSU so you may be better off keeping the original?
500W is pretty low these days but your currant PSU is only 235W to give you an idea of what you need, If you replace the spinning HDD for SD or some other solid state media thats even less.
Connector wise its ok though 2 Molex for HDD and CD, 1 for the FDD, SD cards usually use a FDD style but you can get molex to FDD adapters.

Reply 15 of 16, by Virtual

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
chinny22 wrote on 2020-06-19, 16:35:
Most people replace the PSU as a safety measure as voltage slowly go out of spec with age. cheap brand new PSU;s are out of sp […]
Show full quote

Most people replace the PSU as a safety measure as voltage slowly go out of spec with age.
cheap brand new PSU;s are out of spec the day they leave the factory.
AOpen is a quality brand, Don't know the brand/quality of that PSU so you may be better off keeping the original?
500W is pretty low these days but your currant PSU is only 235W to give you an idea of what you need, If you replace the spinning HDD for SD or some other solid state media thats even less.
Connector wise its ok though 2 Molex for HDD and CD, 1 for the FDD, SD cards usually use a FDD style but you can get molex to FDD adapters.

I think you've made a good point, I am keeping the original, plus I can also swap for a more silent fan if needed. Also one of the reasons I was thinking of a more powerfull PSU, was because I wanted to install an fx 5500 gpu + 256mb of ram, but as bofh.fromhell mentioned, it doesn't improve the system's speed so I will just add + 32mb and go for an older graphics card like the nvidia 2 MX, which is fanless and low profile, thus draining less power.

By the way, I just bought the following sound cards (sellers photos):

A-Trend Harmony 3ds719 ISA Sound Card
s-l1600.jpg

Creative Labs SB0350 Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS PCI
s-l1600.jpg

Edit:
Creative 3D Blaster Geforce 2 MX 32MB PCI
s-l1600.jpg

Reply 16 of 16, by Virtual

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I am thinking about replacing the fans, to make the pc quieter. I am in doubt if 1300rpm for my 235W PSU is enough?
Regarding the CPU fan, I believe 3000rpm is fine, what do you think?

PSU Fan:
psu-fan.jpg

Alternative: NB-BlackSilentFan 80mm

X-1 1300rpm 3 Pin 5.0 V / 12.0 V 10 dBA 26.0 m³
X-2 1800rpm 3 Pin 4.0 V / 12.0 V 18 dBA 45.0 m³

CPU Fan:
cpu-fan.jpg

Alternative:
NB-BlackSilentFan 50mm

XS-1 3000rpm 3 Pin 8.0 V / 12.0 V 16 dBA 12.0 m³
XS-2 4000rpm 3 Pin 8.0 V / 12.0 V 21 dBA 15.0 m³