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 dave343 » 2019-6-04 @ 15:49

Finished installing Windows 95B with drivers onto my P166 system... realized the S3 Trio64/V2 card was only 1mb so time to install an ATI Rage IIC 4mb card. Also took apart my PII 400 system (With TNT1 & V2), needed the case for another build/file server project. I assembled it with a P4 3.4 1mb prescott, but I'm going to have to drop in a C2D (board is Asus P5LD2-VM), because the P4 runs waaay to hot! Idle's at 50c, and that's with a large heatsink and a fan that already sounds like it's taking off. Was using 2x500GB 1x1TB, & 1x4TB drives. 2GB DDR2 OCZ. xubuntu 16.04.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby JoKo12PL » 2019-6-04 @ 21:01

Bought a cheap used case and put together a Slot1 i was talking about few pages before. Got 2 cuts on my hand but it was worth it :lol: Had some problems, the RTL8139C quit working after moving the computer, took it out and cleaned the contacts and it fixed it.
Full specs:
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Celeron 300Mhz Covington
128MB PC133 RAM (a bit overkill IMO)
MSi Riva TNT 2 Pro 32MB (actually have 2 of those, pretty nice cards with good cooling)
Asus P2B (my biggest retro deal ever, only 8$  :^) )
RTL8139C ethernet card (a 3Com would be a better fit but i haven't got one of those)
Yamaha Audician 32 (got it from "a box with things to throw out" at my school
Seagate 4.3GB (that one with the rubber sleeve)
Fortron 300GTF (had a more fitting 1999 PSU but its floppy cable was too short)
Win95 B
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-05 @ 04:46

Got around to fitting the BigFoot into the Redstone XT Turbo. Pretty straight foward. Fit the XT-IDE card, fit the drive, attach cables and boot the system up using a suitable boot disk, create the partitions, format them making sure you sys the primary. I did all that using an MS Dos 6 boot disk with a few utilities on it. I then installed DRDos 6 on the thing.

Found a nice MS serial mouse in my stash that works well with GeoWorks. No need for loading a mouse driver in Dos.

It's good that this system has a flip top for easy access just like my original 286/12. I also noticed I'd fitted the Amstrad Adlib clone sound card to the beast at some stage. I doesn't have any joystick ports but I have a two port card if needed.

While I was waiting for all the software to be installed I had a gander through my stash of ISA cards. Half the stuff I forgot I had. Found my Media Vision Thunderboard and Sound Blaster cards. Also found a 16-bit ISA memory card with 2megs of dips on it with space for another 2megs. It was fitted in a 286 I scrapped. Need to ID it so I can find out a bit more info about the card. I'll make a separate thread about it.

I'll grab MS editor from my win98 box. It's easier to use than the DRDos editor.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-6-05 @ 06:24

PcBytes wrote:So far I can recognize a proprietary (either HP or Gateway) Slot 1 mobo, something that looks like an ABIT AW9D-MAX, a ASUS H81M and a ECS K7S5A, and a Intel D875PBZ.

The others I can't identify.


2 H81i's. Abit IC-7 in the back, a couple of surprisingly standard Dell mATX boards, Abit IP35 Pro, Abit AW8-MAX, Asus P8H61 (I think a pin is missing), Asus A55BM, Asus Hybrid CFX, Epox 8K3A+, Gigabyte P55A. Got an Asus Q87M not in the picture waiting for a build, and of course separately stored a number of 386-486-early Pentium boards.

Good call on the slot 1 HP (needs cleaning) and K7S5A.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-6-05 @ 19:09

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Ran CrystalDiskMark on an old 1.2GB Seagate hard drive.
HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, AMD FirePro V7900 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
Main Desktop Intel 6700, 32GB, AMD RX580 8GB, NVMe SSD + HD, 10
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Tiido » 2019-6-05 @ 20:12

I repaired a Matrox card I got today. It had its BIOS chip missing and I completely didn't notice that when the thing was being sold...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2019-6-05 @ 21:21

Now that’s dedication! The Millennium will pay you back, what a great card.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-06 @ 00:12

Did some rummaging through the boxes of computer stuff out in the shed. Haven't done it fo a long time. Some interesting items. About 6 Socket/Super Socket 7 mobos, a twin port games 8-bit card, an 8-bit FM radio card that works as a tsr in Dos and runs in Windows 3.1, a Commador 9 pin printer, lots of software and a 286/12 mobo with 1meg of ram on board which I am going to test tomorrow.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-6-06 @ 03:51

Tiido wrote:I repaired a Matrox card I got today. It had its BIOS chip missing and I completely didn't notice that when the thing was being sold...


1) Let's form a mob and deal justice to the person who desecrated that video card.
2) If anything does, this repair qualifies as epic. Laying in bridge wire to replace SMD pads like that is absolutely amazing.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-6-06 @ 03:58

I agree, eh? I still need to fix my Aztech Sound Galaxy NX Pro card. It gets detected, but, the card has a faint smell to it.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-6-06 @ 07:35

Tiido wrote:I repaired a Matrox card I got today. It had its BIOS chip missing and I completely didn't notice that when the thing was being sold...


Amazing work! Did you use a microscope/repair scope/cam thingy for the repair (and for the pics) and jigs or just hawk eyes and surgeon hands?

I've been ruminating on building a platform with a lot of arms for holding work/lights/endo-style cam. I have a small rolling desk next to my main desk which I use for projects. I have the cam, some flexible arms, and some other parts so far.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Scali » 2019-6-06 @ 07:51

That Matrox fix is amazing indeed. I wonder what happened... Someone just pulled the original ROM off with force or whatever?
I like how you put a socket on there, you can't even see the repairs when the new ROM chip is installed.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-6-06 @ 08:07

My guess is they didn't lift the pins off correctly when they were desoldering the BIOS chip or the BIOS chip stopped working and attempted to fix it or decided not to fix it.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby konc » 2019-6-06 @ 10:05

oeuvre wrote:Ran CrystalDiskMark on an old 1.2GB Seagate hard drive.

Left it running and went for drinks? :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Tiido » 2019-6-06 @ 11:25

Scali wrote:That Matrox fix is amazing indeed. I wonder what happened... Someone just pulled the original ROM off with force or whatever?
I like how you put a socket on there, you can't even see the repairs when the new ROM chip is installed.
It doesn't look like accidental damage, I could see some tool marks on few traces so it was probably quite intentional. I actually wasn't gonna put a socket there but then the fear of the BIOS I burned not working made me use a socket just in case. Luckily the BIOS (I got it from VGAmuseum) worked on first try ~
EDIT: I think I know how this damage originated. There are these dimples in the pads... I think they're soldering iron tip caused, and the guy tried to lift up each pin manually by sliding it sideways or something. That can explain the marks in bottom traces too.

Merovign wrote:Amazing work! Did you use a microscope/repair scope/cam thingy for the repair (and for the pics) and jigs or just hawk eyes and surgeon hands?
I don't use any magnifying tools etc. I can see close up really well but anything beyond my arms reach is blurry lol. I did use one of the closeup photos to exactly see what via goes to what pad, in top left spot there was some ambiguity. Sometimes my arms are shaky but then I just need to eat properly and it goes away lol.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Cyrix200+ » 2019-6-06 @ 11:41

I decided to combine the two (nearly) identical Tulip AT Compact 3 I have into one. One has a defective motherboard (onboard FDD controller not working, instability), but the other has acid damage from the batteries mounted above the board.

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I tossed the affected RAM chips in some vinegar, but then I was busy for a while and found them again two weeks later. Some legs were pretty much dissolved. Not really a problem, I already lost one when a leg broke off.

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Sockets replaced! Not tested yet.

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

Postby Scali » 2019-6-06 @ 11:45

Tiido wrote:EDIT: I think I know how this damage originated. There are these dimples in the pads... I think they're soldering iron tip caused, and the guy tried to lift up each pin manually by sliding it sideways or something. That can explain the marks in bottom traces too.


I wonder why.
Is this a common BIOS type? I believe it can be re-flashed in software (I know I reflashed some of my Matrox cards back in the day)? So perhaps whoever removed it wanted to reprogram and use the chip in a different project?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Tiido » 2019-6-06 @ 12:03

Photos suggest original chip was 1MBit on this Compaq branded card which can be useful as a BIOS chip to some motherboards. I'm not sure what the motivations might have been to get it off. For just a BIOS update there's indeed no need to remove the chip, in can be updated in software. Just got to flick the protection DIP switch (which was also missing).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby assasincz » 2019-6-06 @ 13:02

I never though a relatively modern mouse can be so yellowed.
I am hoping that out of these which I now got together, I will be able to build one relatively decent looking Netscroll mouse, maybe retrobright some parts....
mice.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-6-06 @ 14:30

Tiido wrote:I don't use any magnifying tools etc. I can see close up really well but anything beyond my arms reach is blurry lol. I did use one of the closeup photos to exactly see what via goes to what pad, in top left spot there was some ambiguity. Sometimes my arms are shaky but then I just need to eat properly and it goes away lol.

Nothing, but respect. Your shaky arms do better work than anything I've soldered with steady hands. I have real troubles when it comes to small size soldering work like that.
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