VOGONS


First post, by utahraptor

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This build is a socket 7 with a Pentium MMX chip of currently unknown speed 😂. I am naming it after 7 of 9 or “Seven” from Star Trek Voyager. That series came out just as the Dos era was ending and like the former Borg my system will have enhancements beyond its time such as advanced midi devices, drive emulators etc...

Some games I want to play on system:

Ultimate Doom
Settlers II Gold Edition
Heroes of Might and Magic II
Total Annihilation
Myst
Sim Tower
Sim City 2000
Full Throttle
Diablo
Pinball Dreams Deluxe
Star Wars Dark Forces

Antique Parts

Motherboard: Tyan 1592s

I chose this board for its ATX, coin battery, AGP slot and it came with an MMX chip. Also it comes with the disks and manual.

Status: Shipped

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Sound card: ALS100 (non plus)

I was advised that this card would meet my needs: Seeking suggestions for first ISA model sound card for new dos rig

Status: Arrived and pending testing

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VGA: Creative Labs CT6730 NVidia Riva 128ZX 8MB AGP

This should meet the needs of my games. I would like to get a Voodoo 3 3000 later on.

Status: Shipped

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Network Adapter: RTL8139 100M

I was advised this is pretty reliable and easy to configure.

Status: Shipped

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RAM: 64MB PC100 168 PIN DIMM SDRAM MEMORY MODULES 256mb Total

I found a good deal on a 4 pieces of 64 MB PC100 DIMMS. I plan to start by using just 1.

Status: Shipped

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Optical Drive: Samsung/HP IDE CDRW DVD ROM Optical Drive

Status: Shipped

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Floppy Drive: SONY 3.5" drive
SFD-321B BLACK Bezel

Status: Shipped

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Midi device: Roland SC-88 Sound Canvas MIDI Sound Module SC88

I got a decent deal on this one and it came with a midi cable.

Status: Shipped

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Modern Parts:

Case: DEEPCOOL Tesseract SW Mid Tower Computer Case Blue LED Fans Side Window Standard ATX Chassis

This case features 4 drive bay slots and looks nice at a good price.

Status: Shipped

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Power Supply: Corsair CV Series, CV450, 450 Watt, 80+ Bronze Certified

I have heard good things about this simple unit.

Status: Shipped

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Drive Emulation: StarTech.com 3.5in Drive Bay IDE to Single CF SSD Adapter Card Reader & Gotek SFR1M44-U100 3.5 Inch 1.44MB USB SSD Floppy Drive Emulator Black

These two seem to get the job done.

Status: Shipped

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Misc Cables and Parts:

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Last edited by utahraptor on 2020-09-07, 22:28. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 2 of 17, by utahraptor

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-09-05, 19:45:

Looks good. From the other thread if I remember right, you're using this to stand in for a 486? Are you running DOS 6.22+WfW3.11 on it or Win9x?

I bought two of the 16gb cf disks. One will be Dos 6.2 and 3.11 and the other Win 95 for the couple games that need it.

Reply 3 of 17, by Tali

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Seems nice. But if you must have a PC speaker (and you must), better pick a real one rather than a piezo beeper. Of course, placing one in a modern case is a bit of a problem. As a compromise, HP 636925 is a decent one - while not the "proper circular one", this one has mounting holes which give a bit of a convenience placing it.

Reply 4 of 17, by utahraptor

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Tali wrote on 2020-09-05, 20:01:

Seems nice. But if you must have a PC speaker (and you must), better pick a real one rather than a piezo beeper. Of course, placing one in a modern case is a bit of a problem. As a compromise, HP 636925 is a decent one - while not the "proper circular one", this one has mounting holes which give a bit of a convenience placing it.

I will look into that part. I also want to investigate whether or not my sound card has a header to allow speaker in.

Reply 5 of 17, by jakethompson1

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The piezo one will at least get you through any POST beeps though and that's why I recommended getting a pc speaker. If you have any games that can only play sound through pc speaker it will indeed sound muffled and pathetic.

Reply 6 of 17, by utahraptor

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-09-05, 20:13:

The piezo one will at least get you through any POST beeps though and that's why I recommended getting a pc speaker. If you have any games that can only play sound through pc speaker it will indeed sound muffled and pathetic.

What is the point of building a system if it can’t do justice to the Secret of Monkey Island PC speaker sound track?

Reply 8 of 17, by kolderman

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Nice build. Be sure to use setmul to slow that MMX down for early dos games. Given you have plenty of ISA slots you might want to consider a hardMPU or MusicQuest clone card. The Riva is a great card, but the v3 will be even better. And maybe get a SB Live! for win95 and games like diablo.

Reply 9 of 17, by Joseph_Joestar

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kolderman wrote on 2020-09-06, 08:13:

And maybe get a SB Live! for win95 and games like diablo.

He'll probably get better sound with the ALS100 due to the Live's poor resampling algorithm. Assuming we're talking about Diablo 1, not the sequel.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 10 of 17, by utahraptor

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Sound card (ALS100) has arrived today:

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Reply 11 of 17, by utahraptor

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Update! Smoke Test!

So today I finally had enough parts arrive to do some actual assembly and testing. Critical pieces I am still missing include the CF cards and the floppy emulator. I installed the motherboard into the case and went through the jumper settings. This motherboard came with two floppy driver disks and the original paper manual! Happily every jumper was where it should be for the RAM and processor ect... I installed one stick of RAM and the CDROM for now and will add the CF / IDE and Floppy emulators tomorrow along with the sound card. When I installed the AGP GPU I must have been popping that slots cherry because it took several attempts for it to fully seat, but finally it went in with a satisfying click.

I downloaded the Chinese 7.1 DOS cd iso for testing and was able to go through the bios settings and then boot to the install for DOS. I was hoping it would have some way to increase the RAM disk so I could try to play a game, but that will have to wait until I get a CF card.

Reply 12 of 17, by utahraptor

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I got the wiring all organized today. Everything is working except I am waiting on a midi adapter to arrive to test the sound canvas. Once it arrives I will make a video showcasing the build and go over lessons learned!

Reply 13 of 17, by foil_fresh

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hey i hope you have luck getting that sandisk card working - i have a similar one that could not be formatted as a bootable system disk. i ditched it for a transcend which worked.

long story short, there's a flag in the card that represents "removable" or "fixed disk". in these new sandisk cards, it is permanently set as removable. older and other cards can be fixed using a dos program which can change the flag from removable to fixed. If you run into this problem, try the steps below:

https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-set … d-to-fixed-mode

good luck with the build. i like the copper heatsink and front mounted cf card bay.

Reply 14 of 17, by chinny22

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Very nice build indeed.
Looking at that games list nothing is using the PC speaker so the piezo is fine.
Likewise none of those games support EAX so probably wouldnt bother with a Live!

I didn't know about the front mounted CF card adapters. That very cool!

Reply 15 of 17, by walterg74

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chinny22 wrote on 2020-09-14, 08:45:
Very nice build indeed. Looking at that games list nothing is using the PC speaker so the piezo is fine. Likewise none of those […]
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Very nice build indeed.
Looking at that games list nothing is using the PC speaker so the piezo is fine.
Likewise none of those games support EAX so probably wouldnt bother with a Live!

I didn't know about the front mounted CF card adapters. That very cool!

Correction: none of them ya REQUIRE PC speaker... Using it however is a different thing and an expierence on it's own.... so piezo would really not belong there.

Reply 16 of 17, by Tetrium

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A Pentium MMX will not be able to run Total Annihilation to its fullest potential, but may work well if you don't bother with skirmish/multiplayer and play just the vanilla game.
TA was one of the most mod-friendly games at the time. Many of those mods are available at https://www.tauniverse.com/
tauniverse has been around since 1999 or so, perhaps even earlier. It's basically for TA what vogons is for retro hardware.
Unituniverse also contains many hundreds of units for separate downloads, including official and unofficial patches. I can highly recommend you also install Core Contingency expansion. Battle Tactics expansion is nice if you prefer to play missions (personally I ended up playing mostly skirmish mode with modded units and modded maps).

The larger skirmish maps would bring even my Deschutes 350MHz to its knees. The campaign seemed to work just fine. Would be interesting how your rig will fare with it 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 17 of 17, by Intel486dx33

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“Seven of Nine” was one of my favorite Star Trek characters and she definitely would have chosen an Intel CPU.
The 1st gen. Pentium makes a great DOS gamer PC.

It was a popular CPU back in Win95 thru early Win98 days.
Also was the Pentium ll ( 300 thru 400mhz ).