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 Jed118 » 2019-8-14 @ 02:34

So I got myself a C64!

This would not be my first one, probably like the 5th or 6th if you count VIC20 machines, but I want to keep this one for a bit and actually learn how to use it and program on it. I will need a better solution for a monitor, but for now it's connected to a cheap-as-free 14 inch TV VCR combo.

In taking steps to preserve it, I've hacked up an old 486 CPU cooler as well as one from a Pentium, and set on epoxying the bits of heatsink to the most prominently heat prone chips in both the main unit and the 1541 (with a 1541C drive swapped in, faceplate and all)

Image

A tribute to the cooler that gave its life:

Image

This one is actually just heatsink compound:

Image

Main system board:

Image

Floppy drive:

Image

I will go add one more sink to the rectifier diodes in the floppy drive before my epoxy dries out.

Next step is to clean it up a little more, wait for my XM1541 adapter to arrive, and start using this thing!

That and figure out a better way to output. I see some people connect LCDs to these, do I have to use an expensive scaler, or is there another way?
Visit my channel on Youtube - Tinkering, 386s, electric powered vehicles:

The Kombinator
Jed118
Member
 
Posts: 469
Joined: 2015-2-03 @ 17:15

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

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-8-14 @ 04:25

Making heatsinks from a 486 and Pentium cooler for the Commodore 1541 and 64 are amazing. I need to start doing that for my C64 sometime soon and find a 1541-II diskette drive, then swap the KERNAL ROM for the diskette drive from CBM to JiffyDOS for faster load times and a datasette. I wonder if the local video game store has any Commodore systems, accessories, and games? I would love to grab copies of games for the datasette as I admire the loading sequence they have, diskettes of the games, or cartridges. I have a couple of Atari joysticks that I can use for the C64, and I wish that someone can port the Sierra quest games, like Police Quest, Space Quest, King's Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry (EGA version) for the C64 someday so the joysticks can be used to control the characters and entering the commands from the keyboard.
Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.
User avatar
bjwil1991
l33t
 
Posts: 2492
Joined: 2013-8-14 @ 03:10
Location: SE, MI USA

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

Postby xjas » 2019-8-14 @ 04:44

I had a friend come by to check out a couple 486 machines he was interested in, and despite them both working OK the last time I tried them out, OF COURSE they had a bunch of brand-new issues when we went to get them going. He stayed around for an hour & we tried to sort them out, but no luck. Now there's boxes of parts and opened systems all over my living room again and I have to spend the rest of the evening putting it all away. AGAIN.

I think it's time to flog pretty much everything I own that's pre-ATX. It's just not fun to mess with this stuff anymore. Spare parts are too hard to get & there are too many issues that should be "easy fixes" but leave systems in pieces on my bench for weeks. Pentium IIs and Athlon XPs "just work" for Win9x and I can't think of a single DOS app I'd want to run that's too speed-sensitive for my P233MMX (and DOSBox works great for those.) Somebody else's turn to get headaches from this lot.
User avatar
xjas
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1992
Joined: 2015-9-07 @ 02:29

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

Postby creepingnet » 2019-8-14 @ 04:49

Fixed the hinge and cracked too.cover on the NEC Versa 40EC laptop. Not a perfect repair but from a functional standpoint it's better than perfect. I used JB Weld - bought some at Summit Racing for $9 and used a pea sized amount. At 5020PSI Max rated pressure for the epoxy, the hinge now feels more solid than my two Core 2 Duo laptops. Also lubed the hinge to smooth it out and loosen it a bit, so feels quite a bit better now.

Motherboard comes in tomorrow, hopefully she'll be up and running after that. Will be setting up my 80GB for it. The 250MB drive might be replicated over to the 80GB though using enlarged partitions. Eventually I'm going DOM (SSD) on this one like all of my laptops though.
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64
User avatar
creepingnet
Member
 
Posts: 327
Joined: 2012-12-15 @ 05:51
Location: Trapped In the Computer

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

Postby Jed118 » 2019-8-14 @ 04:57

xjas wrote:I had a friend come by to check out a couple 486 machines he was interested in, and despite them both working OK the last time I tried them out, OF COURSE they had a bunch of brand-new issues when we went to get them going. He stayed around for an hour & we tried to sort them out, but no luck. Now there's boxes of parts and opened systems all over my living room again and I have to spend the rest of the evening putting it all away. AGAIN.

I think it's time to flog pretty much everything I own that's pre-ATX. It's just not fun to mess with this stuff anymore. Spare parts are too hard to get & there are too many issues that should be "easy fixes" but leave systems in pieces on my bench for weeks. Pentium IIs and Athlon XPs "just work" for Win9x and I can't think of a single DOS app I'd want to run that's too speed-sensitive for my P233MMX (and DOSBox works great for those.) Somebody else's turn to get headaches from this lot.


Hah, I've got a ton of 3/486 stuff here that work just fine. I had a troublesome MMX board recently though.

Now that I heatsinked my C64, I have a no sound condition! YAY! :-|
Visit my channel on Youtube - Tinkering, 386s, electric powered vehicles:

The Kombinator
Jed118
Member
 
Posts: 469
Joined: 2015-2-03 @ 17:15

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

Postby creepingnet » 2019-8-14 @ 06:12

xjas wrote:I had a friend come by to check out a couple 486 machines he was interested in, and despite them both working OK the last time I tried them out, OF COURSE they had a bunch of brand-new issues when we went to get them going. He stayed around for an hour & we tried to sort them out, but no luck. Now there's boxes of parts and opened systems all over my living room again and I have to spend the rest of the evening putting it all away. AGAIN.

I think it's time to flog pretty much everything I own that's pre-ATX. It's just not fun to mess with this stuff anymore. Spare parts are too hard to get & there are too many issues that should be "easy fixes" but leave systems in pieces on my bench for weeks. Pentium IIs and Athlon XPs "just work" for Win9x and I can't think of a single DOS app I'd want to run that's too speed-sensitive for my P233MMX (and DOSBox works great for those.) Somebody else's turn to get headaches from this lot.


Been there before myself...now I wish I had a lot of those old XTs, ATs, PS/2s, Deskpros, 386s, and 486s and their spare parts back.

But there is something to be said of Quality vs Quantity as well. Because all I have now is a Tandy 1000, a 286, a 486, a Pentium, a Mac, and my 486 laptop I just got, I can really focus on timing them so we'll I never have to mess with them more than I want to. Out of all of those, only the two NECs and Apple aren't what I'd consider "finished". But when they are they'll be just as finely tuned and stable as the others. My 486 runs 24/7 on WFWG and Win 95 and crashes about as often as my Windows 10 PC does.....something like 4-5 times a year, usually from me doing something weird/experimental/stupid.

I find most of the time my frustration comes from a minor detail I missed initially that turns the whole thing around. I usually sleep.on it in those cases
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64
User avatar
creepingnet
Member
 
Posts: 327
Joined: 2012-12-15 @ 05:51
Location: Trapped In the Computer

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

Postby gotohell » 2019-8-14 @ 06:44

Buy some sht



Image Image Image Image Image Image
gotohell
Newbie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: 2019-2-14 @ 07:00

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 07:27

Not really a retro activity, but at least it's computer related, and took time I originally hoped to use for retro activities..

Replaced the keyboard in a friend's Macbook Air, her sister managed to spill some kind of beverage in it a while ago.

First of all, you need to remove everything but the mic and trackpad to access the keyboard. Some parts were glued too. Took a good hour or two, being careful and doing it in an organized manner.

Secondly, the keyboard was riveted to the shell, probably to simplify the automated factory assembly. Some rivets stayed in place when ripping out the broken keyboard, while using a flush side cutter to pull them out out worked quite well, removing them took some time. The spare keyboard included almost microscopic screws that replaces the rivets when assembling it manually. A Phillips 000 driver was slightly too large for them, says something about the size. Would guess there were about 100 of them. Getting them in place got me both a headache from eye strain and torticollis...

Repaired a few laptops through the years, and sure, sometime it's been quite fiddly, but this was some kind of record. Only got one thing to say really; never touching an MBA again....

Everything works now though, at least it wasn't in vain :)
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby Murugan » 2019-8-14 @ 07:37

Replaced the RTC cap in 2 of my 3 classic XBOX. Need to order a third one *DOH*
1 had already spilled its guts. Even though I replaced it,cleaned the board etc...it doesn't keep it's time and date.
The soldering job is bad but I don't think it matters?
My retro collection: too much...
User avatar
Murugan
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 2013-4-04 @ 19:25
Location: Belgium

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 08:02

Murugan wrote:Replaced the RTC cap in 2 of my 3 classic XBOX. Need to order a third one *DOH*
1 had already spilled its guts. Even though I replaced it,cleaned the board etc...it doesn't keep it's time and date.
The soldering job is bad but I don't think it matters?



Well, probably a cold joint then, especially if you used a low power soldering pen, and no additional flux. Those thick multi layered PCB:s tends to transfer a lot of heat away :)

It's not like the RTC is really needed in an Xbox though. Never bothered to replace the caps in mine, just removed them. As long as the boxes got mains power, they'll keep the time. If your boxes are modded, you could use XBMC4XBOX as dashboard too (imo it's the best dashboard anyways). It's got NTP support, time and date will be set automatically during boot.
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby Murugan » 2019-8-14 @ 08:18

That one with the spilled cap,is softmodded.
I will try to hook it up to the net to see if it sync.

Someone here told me,it's needed when you swap the HD. A bug the XBOX had...
My retro collection: too much...
User avatar
Murugan
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 2013-4-04 @ 19:25
Location: Belgium

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 08:24

Murugan wrote:That one with the spilled cap,is softmodded.
I will try to hook it up to the net to see if it sync.

Someone here told me,it's needed when you swap the HD. A bug the XBOX had...


Well, never experienced any problems with my boxes, but then again, they're TSOP flashed, using neither stock BIOS or dashboard.

Also, you're absolutely sure you got the polarity right when soldering in the new caps? :)
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby Murugan » 2019-8-14 @ 08:25

Pretty sure :) I am a noob in this but think I got it right :)
My retro collection: too much...
User avatar
Murugan
Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: 2013-4-04 @ 19:25
Location: Belgium

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

Postby derSammler » 2019-8-14 @ 08:26

kaputnik wrote:It's not like the RTC is really needed in an Xbox though.

You need it if the hard disk fails, otherwise it's bricked. The Xbox will not boot from CD when the date/time is invalid and tries to lead you to the date/time section of the Dashboard instead. But with a failed hard disk, this won't work. So there's no longer any way to boot from whatever medium.

Only exception to this is a hard-mod using e.g. the IND-BIOS, which can boot from CD even when the RTC is not working. Note that the BIOS you use must support it, a hard-mod alone is not enough.

ps: received a brand-new controller for my classic Xbox today, while we are already at the topic. :D
derSammler
l33t
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 08:47

derSammler wrote:
kaputnik wrote:It's not like the RTC is really needed in an Xbox though.

You need it if the hard disk fails, otherwise it's bricked. The Xbox will not boot from CD when the date/time is invalid and tries to lead you to the date/time section of the Dashboard instead. But with a failed hard disk, this won't work. So there's no longer any way to boot from whatever medium.

Only exception to this is a hard-mod using e.g. the IND-BIOS, which can boot from CD even when the RTC is not working. Note that the BIOS you use must support it, a hard-mod alone is not enough.

ps: received a brand-new controller for my classic Xbox today, while we are already at the topic. :D


Ah, had no idea, you always learn something new :)

Might invest in new caps at some point, or perhaps just flash the IND-BIOS to the other half of the TSOP that I'm normally not using, just in case :)

Edit: got EvoX M8 installed besides the VGA BIOS now. You don't happen to know if that supports booting from CD/DVD with invalid time?
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby derSammler » 2019-8-14 @ 09:00

kaputnik wrote:Edit: got EvoX M8 installed besides the VGA BIOS now. You don't happen to know if that supports booting from CD/DVD with invalid time?

No idea. Best is to check the Bios' feature list. If it can, it should be listed there.
derSammler
l33t
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 09:18

derSammler wrote:
kaputnik wrote:Edit: got EvoX M8 installed besides the VGA BIOS now. You don't happen to know if that supports booting from CD/DVD with invalid time?

No idea. Best is to check the Bios' feature list. If it can, it should be listed there.


Just found that list when googling around :) According to it, only the Xecuter X2 bioses got the error 16 fix. The list has not been updated since 2004 though, I don't believe the latest IND-BIOS is in it.

The M8+ doesn't have the fix, and I don't think there's been any new releases since the last list update. However, the VGA BIOS I'm using is a modded X2 build 5035, it should have the fix :)
Last edited by kaputnik on 2019-8-14 @ 09:21, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby derSammler » 2019-8-14 @ 09:20

IND has it with v5003. Already made use of it, worked well. I think they listed it as "Boot with corrupted eeprom".
derSammler
l33t
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

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

Postby kaputnik » 2019-8-14 @ 09:25

derSammler wrote:IND has it with 5003. Already made use of it, worked well. I think they listed it as "Boot with corrupted eeprom".


Ah, interesting. This is what I found. Check the description of "Err16 fix" below, looks very much like that's it. IND 5003 doesn't have the fix according to the list.

Maybe you got some other list?
User avatar
kaputnik
Member
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 2016-1-12 @ 11:00
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

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

Postby derSammler » 2019-8-14 @ 09:34

Could be that my Xbox is running v5004, not sure. Have to check that. I can only tell that it's certainly in there, as one of the first things I did was to replace the HDD from the previous owner with no backup whatsoever. Just put a new HDD in, booted from CD and installed it. RTC cap was flat with no valid date/time. Could also be that it does not have a fix for error 16 itself but just checks the date when powering up and sets it automatically to some date in 2002 when it's invalid.

That list is also odd in that it says the IND-BIOS does not work on a 1.6 Xbox. But my Xbox is 1.6...
derSammler
l33t
 
Posts: 2001
Joined: 2017-4-14 @ 11:30
Location: Germany

PreviousNext

Return to General Old Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AlessandroB, CrFr, jammaster, jaZz_KCS, kixs, Vynix and 11 guests