What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-10-08 @ 13:51

Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:

shroud1.PNG
DSC_0323.JPG
DSC_0324.JPG
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Cyrix200+ » 2019-10-08 @ 20:30

Playing around with my Philips NMS9100 XT.

First I found out the ATI Graphics Solution-SR originally in the system wasnt really working in graphics mode a lot. Still not sure why, should be no problem. Will revisit later if I feel bored and the need to keep the original graphics card in the system. Swapped it for an ATI VIP and the Hercules stuff is up and running.

Then I decided I needed some storage, so on a whim I tried flashing the XT-IDE Universal BIOS on an EEPROM and putting it in a network card, a Realtek. Didn't work immediately, but found that I should enable the Boot ROM on the card. To my surprise, I found the utility for that on the Realtek website and was able to run that on the XT to setup the network card. Wow!

Now the XT-IDE ROM loads, but as soon as I put in a controller the PC won't boot from floppy anymore. I disabled everything on the controller except HDD but not working. Will try another one tomorrow, if can find one in the heap.

Snark Barker workes like a charm in this system. :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby FAMICOMASTER » 2019-10-08 @ 20:31

Got myself a monochrome monitor in today. Not sure if it works, but I'm going to clean it up before I even think about testing it!

Will be using it with my turbo XT soon if it works!

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EDIT: Added picture
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby doogie » 2019-10-08 @ 21:36

Finally succumbed to the allure of super socket 7. I can remember no end of issues and hassles with this platform in general back in its heyday, but the Asus P5A I've stumbled upon seems to be a really good performer. I really like it!

All in the name of trying to keep it running for hopefully another couple decades -

-new Rubycon caps (replacing old Rubycons best I can tell, wow, primo stuff!)
-Cooler Master 2U copper heatsink on the CPU + Noctua 60x25mm fan
-slapped a heatsink on the ALi northbridge

Haven't tried overclocking yet, but should have plenty of cooling headroom :lol:

Just got a Voodoo3 (shocking, I know!) for the build and need to clean it up + repaste + see if I can cleanly attach a fan.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-10-08 @ 23:51

kaputnik wrote:Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:

The attachment shroud1.PNG is no longer available


Nice :) That should be much quieter than the 50mm and 60mm fans from that era.

I 3d printed something too, anyone want to guess what it's attached to? :D

20191009_002922.jpeg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-10-09 @ 02:43

Sound Blaster or equivalent?
Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-10-09 @ 04:56

Snark Barker?
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-10-09 @ 06:22

Thermalwrong wrote:
kaputnik wrote:Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:

shroud1.PNG


Nice :) That should be much quieter than the 50mm and 60mm fans from that era.

I 3d printed something too, anyone want to guess what it's attached to? :D

20191009_002922.jpeg


It is, the difference is huge :)

From the port configuration and the volume wheel it looks like an SB Pro, but guess that answer is too obvious to be correct? :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-10-09 @ 07:50

Replaced the crappy chinese pot on my adlib clone card with a proper Bourns logarithmic pot. Unfortunately I couldn't find the correct shaft length so it's about 2mm longer. I can live with it.

Image
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-10-09 @ 07:51

kaputnik wrote:
Thermalwrong wrote:
kaputnik wrote:Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:

shroud1.PNG


Nice :) That should be much quieter than the 50mm and 60mm fans from that era.

I 3d printed something too, anyone want to guess what it's attached to? :D

20191009_002922.jpeg


It is, the difference is huge :)

From the port configuration and the volume wheel it looks like an SB Pro, but guess that answer is too obvious to be correct? :)


Correct! :blush:
I got hold of an SB Pro 2 CT1600 for a relatively okay price the other day, but it had no bracket. Now it has one - my design for the snark barker didn't work perfectly though, it turns out the Game/DB15 port sticks out so far that I had to recess that part of the bracket for the card to even be able to fit in the ISA slot.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Turbo -> » 2019-10-09 @ 07:56

kaputnik wrote:Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:


Very nice print. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to print a front of old computer case, since they are getting hard to come by.
Last edited by Turbo -> on 2019-10-09 @ 09:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-10-09 @ 08:57

Thermalwrong wrote:
Correct! :blush:
I got hold of an SB Pro 2 CT1600 for a relatively okay price the other day, but it had no bracket. Now it has one - my design for the snark barker didn't work perfectly though, it turns out the Game/DB15 port sticks out so far that I had to recess that part of the bracket for the card to even be able to fit in the ISA slot.


Tbh, I think it's much more fun getting hardware in a bad or incomplete condition and fix it up, rather than just buying in mint condition and plug it in. Restoring stuff like that is so satisfying, the tinkering is really the best part of the hobby. For example, the P5A-B in the build I printed that sleeve for was dead on arrival. It came from an industrial grade laser engraver an old subcontractor was repairing. Swapped a generic but fully working S7 AT board for it. Reflashing the corrupted BIOS, replacing the VRM caps, and a good clean brought it back to life again :)

What material did you use? Looks like PLA. Now you found a way to get it working anyways, but a hint for the future, PETG is really ductile and strong even in thin prints, you could easily get away with printing that bracket in the same thickness as the original steel bracket if you do it with the flat side down. Since it doesn't support any connectors, you don't need any rigidity to speak about, it's basically just a dust cover. You can always make the fastening tab a little bit thicker if you want.

Turbo -> wrote:
kaputnik wrote:Designed and 3d printed a custom sleeve to accommodate a larger and less noisy CPU fan in the SS7 build I'm working on:


Very nice print. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to print a front of old computer case, since they are getting had to come by.


Thanks :)

Well, someone's bound to have tried it. The problem though, is that a whole case front is far too large to print in one piece in a regular hobbyist printer, and I don't believe the precision is good enough to get a perfect fit between parts directly out of the printer. It would probably need quite a lot of post print work to look good.

Or do you perhaps mean 5.25" bay covers? Those would be easy to make :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Turbo -> » 2019-10-09 @ 09:01

kaputnik wrote:
Turbo -> wrote:Very nice print. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to print a front of old computer case, since they are getting hard to come by.


Or do you perhaps mean 5.25" bay covers? Those would be easy to make :)


Yes, you understood me correctly. I meant the whole front side.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2019-10-09 @ 16:11

Some cleaning & testing today, the items -

Image
Image

Some moderate cleaning later and the Datasette units look a bit more presentable. They are both a little yellowed with age, which isn't showing on my pics, but nothing major -
Image

I couldn't test the datasette units as I don't yet have a Commodore 64, but I've already gone ahead and purchased replacement drive belts as at least 1 of these units has a kinked belt, whilst the other appears fine but I'll replace it anyway. The unit on the right is my oldest one, used and abused in well over 20 years so is clearly in the worst state and apart from cosmetic issues the only other issue I can see is the pinch roller is looking pretty tatty, with brown residue formed over the years.

I tested out the 5V output from the 2 power supplies with my multimeter. There's no load when the readings are taken but good to check as a rough guide. The results I got -
Left PSU = 5.25-5.26V
Right PSU = 5.27V

Now to just wait until I get a C64 to replace my missing one. I don't expect to be using the Datasettes much, as I'm looking to get an SD2IEC instead to avoid the game clutter, but it will be good to have them functional and available to use once again.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-10-09 @ 23:11

kaputnik wrote:
Thermalwrong wrote:
Correct! :blush:
I got hold of an SB Pro 2 CT1600 for a relatively okay price the other day, but it had no bracket. Now it has one - my design for the snark barker didn't work perfectly though, it turns out the Game/DB15 port sticks out so far that I had to recess that part of the bracket for the card to even be able to fit in the ISA slot.


Tbh, I think it's much more fun getting hardware in a bad or incomplete condition and fix it up, rather than just buying in mint condition and plug it in. Restoring stuff like that is so satisfying, the tinkering is really the best part of the hobby. For example, the P5A-B in the build I printed that sleeve for was dead on arrival. It came from an industrial grade laser engraver an old subcontractor was repairing. Swapped a generic but fully working S7 AT board for it. Reflashing the corrupted BIOS, replacing the VRM caps, and a good clean brought it back to life again :)

What material did you use? Looks like PLA. Now you found a way to get it working anyways, but a hint for the future, PETG is really ductile and strong even in thin prints, you could easily get away with printing that bracket in the same thickness as the original steel bracket if you do it with the flat side down. Since it doesn't support any connectors, you don't need any rigidity to speak about, it's basically just a dust cover. You can always make the fastening tab a little bit thicker if you want.


Yep, it's just PLA - I'm trying to use up the last of the silver filament that came with my i3 mk3 and it's just about done now. I'll have to try out PETG, but my printer is getting a bit janky right now, I think the belts need tightening or something.
It does have a tab on the back that the top of the card screws onto, so I can't print it flat and still have that feature unfortunately.

This evening, I rescued a Toshiba Tecra 8000 from being destroyed by its Varta batteries, then enjoyed some gaming on my Toshiba 750DVD - it has nice display scaling and an integrated OPL4-ML wavetable :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Duouk2000 » 2019-10-10 @ 03:47

I waited in all day for a PSU which never actually arrived.

My sleep pattern's gone out of the window which always seems to happen when I have a bit of time off work so I've spent the past 7 hours playing GTA 3 (it's 4:48am atm).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-10-10 @ 06:14

Thermalwrong wrote:
kaputnik wrote:
Thermalwrong wrote:
Correct! :blush:
I got hold of an SB Pro 2 CT1600 for a relatively okay price the other day, but it had no bracket. Now it has one - my design for the snark barker didn't work perfectly though, it turns out the Game/DB15 port sticks out so far that I had to recess that part of the bracket for the card to even be able to fit in the ISA slot.


Tbh, I think it's much more fun getting hardware in a bad or incomplete condition and fix it up, rather than just buying in mint condition and plug it in. Restoring stuff like that is so satisfying, the tinkering is really the best part of the hobby. For example, the P5A-B in the build I printed that sleeve for was dead on arrival. It came from an industrial grade laser engraver an old subcontractor was repairing. Swapped a generic but fully working S7 AT board for it. Reflashing the corrupted BIOS, replacing the VRM caps, and a good clean brought it back to life again :)

What material did you use? Looks like PLA. Now you found a way to get it working anyways, but a hint for the future, PETG is really ductile and strong even in thin prints, you could easily get away with printing that bracket in the same thickness as the original steel bracket if you do it with the flat side down. Since it doesn't support any connectors, you don't need any rigidity to speak about, it's basically just a dust cover. You can always make the fastening tab a little bit thicker if you want.


Yep, it's just PLA - I'm trying to use up the last of the silver filament that came with my i3 mk3 and it's just about done now. I'll have to try out PETG, but my printer is getting a bit janky right now, I think the belts need tightening or something.
It does have a tab on the back that the top of the card screws onto, so I can't print it flat and still have that feature unfortunately.


Got an i3 Mk3 aswell, it's really great with PETG. Never ever had the oozing and stringing problems everyone's talking about, and the print quality is very close to that of PLA. Haven't looked back at other materials since I started using it, the only exception being PLA, since it got quite different mechanical properties. Sometimes you want the extra rigidity. Got a couple of rolls of ABS I'm desperately trying to use up, but can't seem to find any applications where I don't rather want PETG :D

Yeah, new belts tend to slacken a bit after some hours of operation, you probably need to tighten them up. The rule of thumb when working with belt driven fans etc is to recheck new belts after 3 days of run time. After that, you should never have to retension them again.

As a marine engineer, you get some experience of it, I'm doing it without any measurements at all, in this case simply by squeezing the belt together between thumb and index finger. If correctly tensioned, it should take some force. Double checking it by plucking the belt like a guitar string, it should give off a deep bass tone.

Otherwise, I noticed that the i3 uses Gates belts. They're usually very well documented. If you want to use a more scientific method, I'm sure you can find the correct tensioning force for that particular belt on their homepage :)

Also, check the pulley/idler alignment while you're at it, remember I had to readjust it shortly after assembling the printer.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby xjas » 2019-10-10 @ 10:15

I'll make a better post about this later, but I just had to share because I think this is nuts. I "accidentally" managed to get dual-GPUs and multi-monitors working in Win98. Okay, I vaguely knew this was possible, but I thought it was for specific matching workstation GPUs with specialized drivers (i.e. Matrox). But no, apparently you can use whatever you want, and the way you set it up is (1) install the video card and the normal driver you'd always install, and (2) there is no step two.

SO HED.png
^^ that's a Voodoo3 driving the left half of the desktop, and an ATI Rage running the right half. Head asplode.

20191010_003208.jpg
I didn't even have to mess around with hardware profiles or disabling specific drivers. I just put the V3 in, installed its software, and it worked.

There are some caveats with this setup, the big one being that not every card is supported as primary video. The specific list of supported cards includes most ATI Rage models but seemingly no 3DFX ones, and I've also found some forum scuttlebutt saying it works better if the PCI card is primary. That's how I have it set up here, the system is set to init the PCI Rage first in the BIOS, then Windows starts the AGP Voodoo as it boots up.

As far as I can tell, Direct3D & OpelGL stuff always runs on the primary card, which is the Rage. D3D is pretty painless but OGL is a bit fiddly and unstable with both heads active.

20191010_011339.jpg
I let FInal Reality run all the way through and got exactly the same scores as when the Rage was installed on its own.

ATI CIF progs "just run" on the Rage, as you'd expect:

20191010_012638.jpg

...while GLIDE stuff jumps over to the Voodoo card. How cool is that?

20191010_012845.jpg


Image
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kolderman » 2019-10-10 @ 10:22

Does the mouse smooth move between screens?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby xjas » 2019-10-10 @ 10:30

^^ Yep, and you can drag windows smoothly across the boundary or position them halfway between, just like on a modern machine with a deliberate multi-head GPU. You can even mismatch and max out the resolutions on both displays (1600x1200 on the Voodoo's monitor and 1280x1024 on the Rage's, in this case), but I'm running them at 1024x768 here to keep things simple.

Honestly I'm not surprised you can do this, but I'm floored at how simple it was to set up and how well it works. I've run into a few issues and gotten a BSOD (from trying to switch back and forth between display drivers within the same game), but this is Win98 after all. I always thought true multi-heading on Windows didn't come around until XP.
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