VOGONS


Reply 20640 of 23296, by Meatball

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Nexxen wrote on 2022-01-07, 00:18:
Meatball wrote on 2022-01-07, 00:13:

I tested a bunch of recently acquired drives, motherboards, video/sound/add-in cards, PSUs and CPUs. No problems except I cannot get the SCSI controller on the Media Vision Pro Spectrum (not shown in the photos as I had swapped to different equipment before photo taken) to work in Windows (nor have I been able to get it to work in DOS, but I haven’t tested it on a slow enough PC yet (if that’s a factor from what I have read here, but I understood CPU speed was sound related). Sound and MPU work fine. I’ll try again for SCSI another day.

Nice! And nice kitchen too.

Thanks! When it’s not doubling as my work area, there’s actually cooking with food going on in there, too.

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ESS Maestr0-1

Reply 20641 of 23296, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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TheAbandonwareGuy wrote on 2022-01-05, 21:00:

I'm slowly accepting I'm just a hardware tinkerer that doesn't actually play games anymore.

I feel you bro, I feel you! 🤣

Reply 20642 of 23296, by StevOnehundred

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Meatball wrote on 2022-01-06, 22:38:

Press "F7" during the XP text-mode install when it prompts you to press "F6" (to install a SCSI/RAID controller). Setup will NOT notify you ACPI HAL selection has been disabled. A "Standard HAL" will be used. You should be OK at this point.

Thanks, will give that a go.

Reply 20643 of 23296, by TrashPanda

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I ran into a rather odd thing to day . .a working no bad blocks Quantum Bigfoot, had to play with it a little just to prove to myself this old dinosaur was indeed still alive and kicking and well fuck me it was very alive and working perfectly, not even any odd noises from it.

I never thought I would see one of these drives still alive and kicking.

No I didn't buy it, im crazy not stupid, we put the old girl back into her protecting sleeve and back into her coffin perhaps we will fire her up again 10 years from now and see if she is still working then.

Edit - For anyone wondering why I was amazed .. these particular drives were . .craptastic and famous for their unreliability, to see one still working perfectly in 2022 .. well that was something amazing to me.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 20644 of 23296, by Nexxen

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-01-07, 11:39:
TheAbandonwareGuy wrote on 2022-01-05, 21:00:

I'm slowly accepting I'm just a hardware tinkerer that doesn't actually play games anymore.

I feel you bro, I feel you! 🤣

I can quote you both.
I'm not alone. Let's create Tinkerers Anonymous. 🤣

PC#1 Pentium 233 MMX - 98SE
PC#2 PIII-1Ghz - 98SE/W2K

Reply 20645 of 23296, by creepingnet

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Nexxen wrote on 2022-01-07, 15:54:
RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-01-07, 11:39:
TheAbandonwareGuy wrote on 2022-01-05, 21:00:

I'm slowly accepting I'm just a hardware tinkerer that doesn't actually play games anymore.

I feel you bro, I feel you! 🤣

I can quote you both.
I'm not alone. Let's create Tinkerers Anonymous. 🤣

Sounds good to me as this describes me as well. Have yet to put a single game on the Deskpro 386s/20 I got. I dunno what it is but I quite enjoy tuning and tweaking these machines almost as much or more than playing games on them these days.

As for that, my retro-activity last night and today was fixing the DS1287 in the Compaq so it'd hold the system configuration. Took a few tries, literally had to melt the plastic further to get the heavy gauge wire I used to reach the pin, but it's worth it because I Did not have to glue the battery holder on, and the drive cage - now shielded with electrical tape for a section where the CMOS battery now is, doubles as the keeper for hte DS1287 & it's new sustainibility function. Then this morning I finished putting MS-DOS 6.22 and SOundBlaster 16 Value drivers on it and copying over mTCP, and plan to order a drive-bay cover and a cheap PS/2 Compaq mouse (my favorite Logitech kind) and call it good for awhile. The interposter upgrade indeed is a 486SX/75 chip, this thing feels very responsive.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 20646 of 23296, by gex85

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I replaced a floppy drive belt in the Panasonic CF-150B (aka Tandy 1100 FD) that I was given for free the other day.
It wasn't a real success yet, since the "DIR" command results in errors pretty often and trying to open any file on the disk always gives read errors only.

My retro computers

Reply 20647 of 23296, by RandomStranger

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Yesterday I finally took my time repairing my CF card reader and went on going some test rounds with my Savage 4 Pro W/16.
With the driver installed the system loses all stability. Frequent BSoD, if the Windows 98SE loads to the desktop and I try to change the resolution, 32bit isn't an option, 16bit only in 640×480, above that only 256 colors. Or it would be if the system wouldn't crash on reboot.

Seems like the driver doesn't fully load properly. The card is recognized, but all the driver settings are missing.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 20648 of 23296, by Nexxen

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Got a KBC error on an old Satellite.
It was my quiet ms-dos machine and now I have a lot of work to find what's wrong.
Last thing I know is that I used a PS2 keyboard and after a reboot the error showed. Now it doesn't go past it no matter what I do.
Could be a broken trace on the ps2 connector? I have to open it all...

It hurts 🙁

PC#1 Pentium 233 MMX - 98SE
PC#2 PIII-1Ghz - 98SE/W2K

Reply 20649 of 23296, by TrashPanda

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Nexxen wrote on 2022-01-08, 17:49:
Got a KBC error on an old Satellite. It was my quiet ms-dos machine and now I have a lot of work to find what's wrong. Last thin […]
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Got a KBC error on an old Satellite.
It was my quiet ms-dos machine and now I have a lot of work to find what's wrong.
Last thing I know is that I used a PS2 keyboard and after a reboot the error showed. Now it doesn't go past it no matter what I do.
Could be a broken trace on the ps2 connector? I have to open it all...

It hurts 🙁

Might be a solder joint on the connector, old joints crack pretty easy and I reckon you might just have broken a joint in using the port.

I'm sure you'll get the old girl running again.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 20650 of 23296, by Nexxen

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-08, 17:56:
Nexxen wrote on 2022-01-08, 17:49:
Got a KBC error on an old Satellite. It was my quiet ms-dos machine and now I have a lot of work to find what's wrong. Last thin […]
Show full quote

Got a KBC error on an old Satellite.
It was my quiet ms-dos machine and now I have a lot of work to find what's wrong.
Last thing I know is that I used a PS2 keyboard and after a reboot the error showed. Now it doesn't go past it no matter what I do.
Could be a broken trace on the ps2 connector? I have to open it all...

It hurts 🙁

Might be a solder joint on the connector, old joints crack pretty easy and I reckon you might just have broken a joint in using the port.

I'm sure you'll get the old girl running again.

Thanks! I needed some rainbow talk 😀 The connector moves easily in all directions. Checked well after your suggestion and it is consistent with something broken.
Even the built-in keyboard gives the error.
I have a cold and everything is pain and headache. For sure this is going to get done in a few days... 🤣

PC#1 Pentium 233 MMX - 98SE
PC#2 PIII-1Ghz - 98SE/W2K

Reply 20651 of 23296, by Thermalwrong

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gex85 wrote on 2022-01-07, 16:32:

I replaced a floppy drive belt in the Panasonic CF-150B (aka Tandy 1100 FD) that I was given for free the other day.
It wasn't a real success yet, since the "DIR" command results in errors pretty often and trying to open any file on the disk always gives read errors only.

Since the floppy drive is so important in these somewhat older computers, make sure to exercise it! A fast/ slow / too-tight belt is usually tolerated quite well by old floppy drives - they've got sensors to tell where things are. As long as the drive motor isn't just freewheeling it should be okay.

I've been trying to get a 5.25" floppy drive working the last few days. Had to design up and 3d print a replacement for the arm that hold the disk clamp in place.
I had a bunch of 5.25" disks that are 2HD but were old enough that the formatting was no good (this drive is calibrated and can read 360KB disks just fine). I just kept formatting until it got it right (I was kinda drunk at the time, but I was going the right way). Now with a little bit of oil on the head's motor's worm gear, the drive is able to read and format disks quite reliably 😀

Reply 20652 of 23296, by seleryba

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I made some XT IDE cards with my 3com 3C509B ISA network adapters. One with 8-bit ROM and one with 386+.

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Reply 20653 of 23296, by uridium

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Today I got my Olivetti PCS-86 to boot MS-DOS 3.30a off floppy drive. Getting the PSU stable was not easy and it needed a new cord.

Now I need to fix the battery (easy), and somehow figure out how to get get into the BIOS (either magic key-press or a setup utility). Reeeeally interesting little XT. Hoping to give this to a good friend who's becoming a CP/M addict .. next he comes through as I have plenty of XT's (One in daily use), though this little guy is a gem and it'd make a great first XT as it has modernish peripheral attachments.

Spec:
* 10Mhz NECv30
* XT-IDE (8bit)
* Paradise VGA with 256kb VRAM
* PS/2 Keyboard + Mouse
* RS-232
* Parallel port
* 640kb base ram
* 2x unused SIMM sockets (I'm hoping it can drive EMS)
* 3x unused 8-bit ISA.

Great platform for someone starting to get into XT's and coming from other hardware directions.

PICS: http://ns4.reboot.net.au/hardware/pics/misc/Olivetti-PCS86/

P.S. Anyone has $CLU how to set the BIOS (either keystroke or setup util) ..I'd be thankful! 😀 <3

Reply 20654 of 23296, by pan069

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uridium wrote on 2022-01-09, 02:51:

P.S. Anyone has $CLU how to set the BIOS (either keystroke or setup util) ..I'd be thankful! 😀 <3

Nice. I used to have a PCS 286 in the early 90's, same form factor (or at least very similar) as the one in your photos.

I don't remember how I got into the BIOS on the one I had, it wasn't the common DEL key. Maybe there is something in this thread:

How enter Olivetti PCS BIOS setup?

Reply 20655 of 23296, by gex85

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Thermalwrong wrote on 2022-01-09, 00:37:
Since the floppy drive is so important in these somewhat older computers, make sure to exercise it! A fast/ slow / too-tight bel […]
Show full quote
gex85 wrote on 2022-01-07, 16:32:

I replaced a floppy drive belt in the Panasonic CF-150B (aka Tandy 1100 FD) that I was given for free the other day.
It wasn't a real success yet, since the "DIR" command results in errors pretty often and trying to open any file on the disk always gives read errors only.

Since the floppy drive is so important in these somewhat older computers, make sure to exercise it! A fast/ slow / too-tight belt is usually tolerated quite well by old floppy drives - they've got sensors to tell where things are. As long as the drive motor isn't just freewheeling it should be okay.

I've been trying to get a 5.25" floppy drive working the last few days. Had to design up and 3d print a replacement for the arm that hold the disk clamp in place.
I had a bunch of 5.25" disks that are 2HD but were old enough that the formatting was no good (this drive is calibrated and can read 360KB disks just fine). I just kept formatting until it got it right (I was kinda drunk at the time, but I was going the right way). Now with a little bit of oil on the head's motor's worm gear, the drive is able to read and format disks quite reliably 😀

I have been experimenting with some newer and freshly formatted (in a different PC) disks today, but still without success. The drive would just give various read errors all the time.
What makes it complicated is that the drive has a proprietary 24-pin connector and a flat-flex cable. So I can neither hook it up to a different machine for diagnostics and alignment, nor can I swap in a replacement drive or GoTek without wiring up an adapter (pinout is known and documented, but I don't have the necessary FFC/FPC connectors at hand).
I have no experience fixing this sort of problem with floppy drives either, so I'll probably put the whole thing aside for now and decide what to do with it later. Options are probably:
- Try to get the original drive fixed
- Build the adapter and throw in a replacement drive or GoTek emulator (would need to cut the enclosure for that)
- Sell it as-is and let someone else have the fun

My retro computers

Reply 20656 of 23296, by creepingnet

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More work on the Compaq off/on this weekend amidst various personal issues...honestly I think this is the only thing keeping me sane at this point...

- Installed MS-DOS 6.22 (no windows)
- replaced ethernet card (bad RAM on the 3c503)
- Setup networking in mTCP
- Tried to use LInks, seems it crashes....oh well, maybe I'll try an earlier version
- copied some games over FTP
- SoundBlaster 16 Value is working perfectly (tested with Wolf3D, Ultima 6, Monkey ISland 1&2, and Arkanoid II)

Not sure if I'm going to keep this one though, it pretty much is the machine purely smack-dab in the middle of the two main desktops I use for gaming the most (486 DX4-100 and the Tandy 1000A). It's a little too slow for later DOS stuff, but too new for 8088 un-throttled stuff. The 75MHz interposter upgrade does not seem to do much for it either, and I kind of enjoy who ripping a lot of these titles tend to be on a DX4-100 vs. running at appropriate speed on a re-chipped 486 SX/75 snapped onto a 386 SX/20. May put a 387 SX-20 in there and pull the interposter and see if there's any difference in performance. But at the same time, I really like the aesthetics of this machine that it makes me want to keep it, but we'll see. Very different from my other stuff that's more "hot rodded" vs. "period correct".

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 20657 of 23296, by BitWrangler

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IMO none of those upgrade chips/boards make a 386 into a fast or middling fast 486, only manage to do "barely a 486" so stuff that's good on 33 Mhz 486es will be okay. I'd try all the Amiga conversions like Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Worms, etc and Frontier: Elite 2 on medium detail, micro machines, epic pinball, lost vikings..

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 20658 of 23296, by creepingnet

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-01-10, 18:07:

IMO none of those upgrade chips/boards make a 386 into a fast or middling fast 486, only manage to do "barely a 486" so stuff that's good on 33 Mhz 486es will be okay. I'd try all the Amiga conversions like Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, Worms, etc and Frontier: Elite 2 on medium detail, micro machines, epic pinball, lost vikings..

I kind of figured. It's either going to be collectors piece, or a very nice 386SX based machine for someone in the end. It's sort of in or slightly below that DX-33 bracket. Either way, I am going to fix it up very nicely. I have screws, cover plates, and a mouse coming in to make it a complete set (even if the mouse is not period correct, I used a later post-95 era Logitech Compaq Branded mouse as that's my fave). Once those parts are in I plan to use it for awhile and see what it can really do, and possibly throw a 387 in there for things like Sim City. I'm thinking about setting it up where my 486 DX4 is for a week and taking it on a real spin, maybe shoot some YouTubes of me gaming on it. The games I ran did not run bad, just at proper speed, which was a re-adjustment after basically running them on nothing but 486 machines for the past 15 or so years.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 20659 of 23296, by Thermalwrong

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gex85 wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:00:
I have been experimenting with some newer and freshly formatted (in a different PC) disks today, but still without success. The […]
Show full quote
Thermalwrong wrote on 2022-01-09, 00:37:
Since the floppy drive is so important in these somewhat older computers, make sure to exercise it! A fast/ slow / too-tight bel […]
Show full quote
gex85 wrote on 2022-01-07, 16:32:

I replaced a floppy drive belt in the Panasonic CF-150B (aka Tandy 1100 FD) that I was given for free the other day.
It wasn't a real success yet, since the "DIR" command results in errors pretty often and trying to open any file on the disk always gives read errors only.

Since the floppy drive is so important in these somewhat older computers, make sure to exercise it! A fast/ slow / too-tight belt is usually tolerated quite well by old floppy drives - they've got sensors to tell where things are. As long as the drive motor isn't just freewheeling it should be okay.

I've been trying to get a 5.25" floppy drive working the last few days. Had to design up and 3d print a replacement for the arm that hold the disk clamp in place.
I had a bunch of 5.25" disks that are 2HD but were old enough that the formatting was no good (this drive is calibrated and can read 360KB disks just fine). I just kept formatting until it got it right (I was kinda drunk at the time, but I was going the right way). Now with a little bit of oil on the head's motor's worm gear, the drive is able to read and format disks quite reliably 😀

I have been experimenting with some newer and freshly formatted (in a different PC) disks today, but still without success. The drive would just give various read errors all the time.
What makes it complicated is that the drive has a proprietary 24-pin connector and a flat-flex cable. So I can neither hook it up to a different machine for diagnostics and alignment, nor can I swap in a replacement drive or GoTek without wiring up an adapter (pinout is known and documented, but I don't have the necessary FFC/FPC connectors at hand).
I have no experience fixing this sort of problem with floppy drives either, so I'll probably put the whole thing aside for now and decide what to do with it later. Options are probably:
- Try to get the original drive fixed
- Build the adapter and throw in a replacement drive or GoTek emulator (would need to cut the enclosure for that)
- Sell it as-is and let someone else have the fun

You've replaced the belt, but can the stepper / worm gear turn freely? If it's giving DIR then I Guess it's spinning and can read, but maybe it can't move the heads well? Letting some PTFE lubricant soak into the bronze bushings for the stepper motor / worm gear can help. Also sometimes when I jostle the worm gear around, it can fall out of its bronze bushing and get jammed, so slotting that back into place can help. But that would usually be obvious from the sound.
If the drive can seek okay, open a file at the end of the disk a couple of times to see if the head moves freely, if the disk's tracking is off then I've found read errors can happen.

Having had a think about your situation, since the floppy drive is a non-standard laptop type and the laptop doesn't have a hard drive? Then yeah, that's quite a catch-22. I would look at soldering up the adapter to put a regular floppy drive in there honestly. It's not too tough to do with some enamel wire, you can scrape back the FPC to get to the wires and solder onto those if the pitch is over 1mm.

This isn't of much help to you I guess, but I was previously trying to do alignment of one of my 5.25" drives, by doing reads / formats of known good disks, it's tough. I had messed up the track-0 alignment on my Teac FD-55GFR by not realising the drive's main PCB had that sensor and was factory aligned. Somehow I did eventually get the alignment 'good-enough', but it was just guess work and lots of trial and error. I wasn't sure if the drive really worked properly.

Then as I mentioned the other day, I got a working 1.2MB 5.25" drive with its factory calibration intact. This Samsung SFD-560D needed the broken disk clamp cam replaced with a 3d printed one before I could use it 😀

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I was able to compare results using IMD / ImageDisk's alignment tool. Imagedisk can step the head over all tracks and you can see in realtime how good the read quality is from each location. This video covers how to use the tool really well: https://youtu.be/VZ9xhFkHZ5c?t=525
It's really impressive, I was able to check that the disk formatted on the Samsung could be read on the Teac and vice versa, across all the tracks. Which means I can now read things like the 5.25" cover disks / games, and the two drives can read files moved from one drive to the other, all the way across the disk.

If there was a way that you could run Imagedisk on that drive / laptop, you could check whether it can step to each track and whether it can read well at each of those tracks. If the drive was disassembled, in some cases the track 0 sensor / motor position could've got out of calibration, so it'd need to be re-done. It's less tough to get right than I initially thought.

I've got a total of 4x 5.25" drives and they've caused me a great deal of frustration, since I only buy the ones sold 'for parts' rather than tested.
2x are very similar Toshiba drives - the ND-08DE-A (FDD6782) and ND-08DEG-A (FDD6784). One has a problem with the bottom head, the other didn't seem to have a working upper head. I had inadvertently ruined the track 0 alignment on both. It took using the IMD alignment tool to really work out what was going on, since it can switch the head it's reading from as well as move tracks.

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So I transplanted the less damaged front panel & the top head across onto the newer of the two drives. It didn't take more than a couple of hours to get the bottom head, then the top head properly aligned so that it could read across all 80 tracks. This isn't perfect since this wasn't an alignment disk, just a known good 5.25" DS/HD disk formatted on the known-good drive. But it does work!
Something else I did on the Toshiba drives was replace the electrolytic capacitors, they'd leaked and corroded nearby traces. I think any drives over 25 years old may have bad electrolytic capacitors and are worth checking.

So now I've got 3x working drives - they need installing in PCs, I didn't really intend to have so many but sometimes that's what it takes to get things working. I'm really happy that they're not just decorative any more 😀

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