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 liqmat » 2019-2-09 @ 16:21

I had quite a few of these late model PCI/ISA button cell battery based M-Tech R418W2 486 motherboards from the Pentium Pro haul of 2018. So I decided to archive any variant of the BIOS I came across. This is now the most complete collection of BIOS versions for this board and I thought I would post it here so if anyone wants to up it to Vogonsdrivers.com please feel free. I did find I had to physically move the BIOS chip off of the M-Tech board and place it on a Socket 8 board to backup and hot flash the BIOS properly with UniFlash v1.4 (thanks go to Vogons member Deksor for the advice on that). It would not read or flash the BIOS properly directly on the M-Tech board with Awdflash or UniFlash for some reason. Either way, success and these images might be helpful to anyone who runs across this board in the future. Cheers!

Note: One of the nicer features of this motherboard's BIOS is that it has a built-in IDE HDD low level format option.

M-Tech R418W2 BIOS Images.zip
(413.57 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

Jumper settings for this board: https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboar ... I-486.html


M-Tech R418W2.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby wiretap » 2019-2-09 @ 19:44

Instead of purchasing a new $37-$50 battery for my Sony Vaio UX280P, I just replaced the old Sanyo 2600mAh cells in it with some new 18650 Samsung 3000mAh cells. It was a little tougher than I had anticipated because the solder pad was huge at the ends of the batteries, so I had to crank up the soldering iron temp with a wide flat tip. The tolerances are tight inside the battery pack, so you have to solder in the exact right spot to make it all fit back in there again. Less than half the price spent to repair this one versus a new battery pack.

Opening it up:
Image

One new cell in place:
Image

Both new cells in place:
Image

All buttoned up:
Image

Yay, it charges now :D
Image
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-2-09 @ 22:00

Blew up a tantalum capacitor of an IBM PC XT (again), this time at an unusual place next to an ISA slot. The PC still worked fine with the blown up tantalum haha (didn't have a card installed in the ISA slot). Usually only the ones next to the XT power connector or on the floppy drive explode :blush: Although the computer worked, I have disassembled it and I am only going to sell the parts that are 100% good.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-2-09 @ 22:07

dionb wrote:
SpectriaForce wrote:I have collected a small size car load of classic IBM hardware today. Even some original packagings are included. Quickly tested some things; unfortunately a 8518 color monitor is (almost) dead, but the two PS/2 model 80’s did power up. I have some more things to test.

Nice!

Pics in viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17341 :)


Everything that's good enough for sale will end up on my website soon.

I have already sent the IBM 8518 to e-waste, it made a ticking noise with power on, which usually indicates a bad flyback or a short in the CRT. The CRT was probably weak anyway (most of these have seen quite a few hours of use). Fortunately I also have a small 8513 CIB, will test it tomorrow :blush:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2019-2-09 @ 22:16

SpectriaForce wrote:Blew up a tantalum capacitor of an IBM PC XT (again), this time at an unusual place next to an ISA slot. The PC still worked fine with the blown up tantalum haha (didn't have a card installed in the ISA slot). Usually only the ones next to the XT power connector or on the floppy drive explode :blush: Although the computer worked, I have disassembled it and I am only going to sell the parts that are 100% good.


Why not replace the capacitor yourself? Assuming you have around $60-70 worth of basic soldering equipment you can replace the one bad cap and replace it with a new one (you can do it for less, but it makes the task much harder).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Muppets4 » 2019-2-09 @ 23:46

I installed Windows 98SE on an IBM Netvista P3 866 I bought a few weeks ago. The harddrive was faulty and refused starting up half of the time. So I've added an IDE to CF adapter and a 32Gb card. Ran into problems with the installed Creative Labs CT4700 (PCI128) card. The IBM won't let me play with the IRQ-s. So when entering DOS mode I get an error stating that the IRQ can't be set. Oh well, I've a good solution for that: this will be a Win98SE PC only :blush:

The Netvista is rather quiet. That was a pleasant surprise. Tomorrow I will play with my new 17 inch CRT monitor. After a good cleaning first. And after that my hands too..... some of the stains :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-2-10 @ 04:07

Blew up my XT. Or rather, my XT blew up itself. Will be searching for replacement tantalum capacitors this weekend.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-2-10 @ 09:54

the_ultra_code wrote:Why not replace the capacitor yourself? Assuming you have around $60-70 worth of basic soldering equipment you can replace the one bad cap and replace it with a new one (you can do it for less, but it makes the task much harder).


The good parts loose are worth more than a complete working (common) PC XT. I also don’t have tantalum caps on stock plus I don’t like soldering.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Predator99 » 2019-2-10 @ 10:14

SpectriaForce wrote:The good parts loose are worth more than a complete working (common) PC XT. I also don’t have tantalum caps on stock plus I don’t like soldering.


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

Postby NostalgicAslinger » 2019-2-10 @ 10:42

the_ultra_code wrote:Quick question.

I noticed that with my Voodoo5 5500, when in game, if I try to take a "printscreen" screenshot, I get this:
Image

Now, I believe this is because of the fact that the card has its two VSA-100 chips in SLI, and this is just an unfinished picture from that SLI config.

I don't have this problem on the desktop - when you take a screenshot, it looks just as it should.

Does anyone know any way to side-step this problem using the "printscreen" screenshot, or any software that I can use in lieu of that method to take in-game screenshots?

I'm using the latest official beta driver version 4.12.01.0666 under Windows 98SE.


I use my capture hardware for making screenshots of the 3dfx voodoo cards.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bofh.fromhell » 2019-2-10 @ 11:37

Made a small bracket so i can secure a Socket A cooler on my VS440FX Pentium Pro board.
Funny how the heatsink is a perfect fit (minus the bracket), it even leaves room for the ATX connector !

A hillarious overkill for a <40 watt CPU (running at a blazing 233MHz !).
But i like to be nice to my old gear.

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

Postby Muppets4 » 2019-2-10 @ 14:54

I just investigated on an industrial PC I bought a while ago. It contains a Celeron 850 and was used to control a hydro system in an agricultural company. Had some altered version of Windows 98 on it. It boots only half of the time and I do not have use for it, so it goes on Ebay.

20190210_141452 (Medium).jpg

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

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-10 @ 15:29

After studying a bit how to use WPCREDIT, I have done some little tweaks to the RAM in order to work at 2-2-2-5, while previously it used to run at 2-2-2-6. The entire system feels even faster and responsive than it already is, and so I've done a benchmark on the memory with Sandra, here's the score compared to similar chipsets of the era:

Image

I've successfully beaten the 440BX with a VIA 694T, by a little margin yeah, but feels satisfactory.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-2-10 @ 23:31

Predator99 wrote: :blah: :blah: :blah:


:happy: The power supply is also dead (only got it running because I have working spares). It's just a PC XT, nothing fancy, I can still buy one almost every week in my country if I wanted to. Besides, with the spare parts I keep other computers going :wink:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-2-11 @ 05:50

bofh.fromhell wrote:Made a small bracket so i can secure a Socket A cooler on my VS440FX Pentium Pro board.
Funny how the heatsink is a perfect fit (minus the bracket), it even leaves room for the ATX connector !

A hillarious overkill for a <40 watt CPU (running at a blazing 233MHz !).
But i like to be nice to my old gear.



Excellent! Been thinking of doing similar things and gathering some heatsinks from dead C2D systems and the like to make mounts for. Was thinking of some options but it occurs to me now a modified (strong enough) hole punch could punch a square notch through thin spring steel and blammo, you have a heatsink mount.

I was also thinking of making a (superfluous) LED HSF setup for a 386 or 486 system I want to build in a modern mobile gaming case. Probably from a video card, because size.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-2-11 @ 05:54

Been testing hard drives all day and all night. Last one running a little slow but no errors (I think it's an eco-drive anyway, so probably inherently a little slow).

Next up on the bench, 10 video cards that need testing. One of them is missing a GPU fan so I'll have to rig something.

Oh, wait, 11 cards. I'll have to dig out an AGP system.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-2-11 @ 13:01

Got my 3D printer assembled and up and running the other day, been working on a simple 3D printable I/O shield this morning. First blank prototype printed:

io2.jpg

io1.jpg


Now off to fine tune size, hadn't taken thermal expansion into account, and make connector cutout templates.

Oh, and will gladly share the models once they're done :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby red_avatar » 2019-2-11 @ 14:46

kaputnik wrote:Got my 3D printer assembled and up and running the other day, been working on a simple 3D printable I/O shield this morning. First blank prototype printed:

io2.jpg

io1.jpg


Now off to fine tune size, hadn't taken thermal expansion into account, and make connector cutout templates.

Oh, and will gladly share the models once they're done :)


Last week, I wondered about exactly such a thing - one of my PCs (a Pentium III running Windows 95) has only one shield remaining out of 3 and I only need one optical drive - right now I have to keep a second optical drive in there just to keep the hole plugged which is silly. Either I get a replacement plate or I'll have to look into adding something else to the front panel - maybe add my X-Fi which has a front panel which I've never used before.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby brostenen » 2019-2-11 @ 20:22

Playing with SCSI. I get just under 8ms seek time and some 33 to 35 megabyte a second transfer rate, on these IBM Ultrastar 9gb 10k RPM's running on a Pentium-166. I used a 68pin cable and an Asus PCI Controller.

IMG_20190211_210654210.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Munx » 2019-2-12 @ 07:13

kaputnik wrote:Got my 3D printer assembled and up and running the other day, been working on a simple 3D printable I/O shield this morning. First blank prototype printed:

io2.jpg

io1.jpg


Now off to fine tune size, hadn't taken thermal expansion into account, and make connector cutout templates.

Oh, and will gladly share the models once they're done :)

Nice! Looking forward to seeing this finished :happy:
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