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 » 2017-10-12 @ 15:58

bjt wrote:
badmojo wrote:Very cool machine bjt - nostalgia coming off that thing from every angle. Where will you set it up? Front and center in the lounge room one assumes? :-P


Haha, would love that but I'll settle for anywhere out of the shed and in the house :lol:


Great looking machine. Love the red led panel. In 1992 I had a Tandy 2500 386 SX-25 with 4MB. Not quite as sexy as your machine, but I actually did genlock work with a Cardinal SnapPlus ISA video editing/overlay card installed in that little machine. All the software ran in DOS. Amazing what we did with so little.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Jade Falcon » 2017-10-12 @ 16:07

agent_x007 wrote:
Jade Falcon wrote:Yeah the rampage motherboard should have given it away.
That aside whats up with the cache test?
Well, if you talking about spikes/drops in cache speed I think they are related to inclusive type cache of Nehalem CPUs (L2 + L3).
I tried switching off Prefetch (didn't help), tried locking CPU to NB clock and make NB clock 2x DRAM Effective clock - nope, drops are still there.
They only show up after L1 cache is full, and on both L2 and L3 (in certain intervals).

This chip has full 12MB of L3 cache available to it (on top of 32kb L1 and 256kB of L2) wish DOS could use it as "standard" RAM :D
cache (9k).jpg

Score on 4,49GHz (NB=3906MHz + DRAM=1951MHz "192-bit").

Yeah I was talking about the spikes and drops. and yeah using the cpu's L3 as ram would be nice
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-10-13 @ 20:30

Going to re-test the C64 PSU as nothing wouldn't get displayed on my screen.

5VDC: 5.07V <-- good news
9VAC <-- going to work on that

The chips do get warm, but I need to test the voltage to make sure they're getting sufficient power.
C64, WheelWriter 10 Series II QuietWriter 8, Pack-Mate 28 Plus, K6-2/300, Pavilion N3350, iMac G3 & G4, Socket 370, 2x Inspiron 600m, Athlon 64, Dimension 4550 & E510, ThinkPad R40, Presario C700, ASUS X54C, Raspberry Pi B+, 2B-3B+, Custom FX-6300
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Bancho » 2017-10-13 @ 21:34

Started work on my Time Machine tonight. I'm really looking forward to completing this machine and it taking over my 200mmx as my "Main machine"

Initial install gave me no problems. Once i started to introduce the sound cards that's when the hassle starts!

As it stands so far

AMD K6 III+ 450 stock
Chaintech 5RSA2 MATX Aladdin V (REV-E) motherboard
128mb Crucial CAS 2 100mhz ram
AGP 3DFX Voodoo 4500 (Consider changing this to a Voodoo 3000)
Aztech Sound Galaxy Nova 16 Extra II-3D sound card
Turtle Beach Pinnacle Rev C Sound card
80 Gig WD Hard Drive
Pioneer DVD Rom

I have to say i really like the Nova 16 sound card. It is very quiet once you setup the mixer correctly. I am using the pinnacle purely for the Kurzweil Midi. I think is sounds awesome imho! I may add a Dreamblaster S2 at a later date to the Aztech for a different sound.

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

Postby PTherapist » 2017-10-13 @ 22:31

Bought a Lava DSerial-550 ISA Serial Card for my 286 and installed it today.

Thought it may solve an irritating issue I was having with regards to the COM ports on my I/O card and inability to detect a mouse etc. I was correct, it worked a treat. Before I was limited to an old 25-pin Serial Mouse which worked great in DOS but refused to operate in Windows and now with the help of this card I can use any regular 9-pin mouse both in DOS & Windows. :cool:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-10-14 @ 01:45

Tested the PSU Voltage on my C64:

5V DC: 5.07V (passed)
9V AC: 0.63V (failed)

Looks like a rebuild is in order (cheaper than buying a we one).
C64, WheelWriter 10 Series II QuietWriter 8, Pack-Mate 28 Plus, K6-2/300, Pavilion N3350, iMac G3 & G4, Socket 370, 2x Inspiron 600m, Athlon 64, Dimension 4550 & E510, ThinkPad R40, Presario C700, ASUS X54C, Raspberry Pi B+, 2B-3B+, Custom FX-6300
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby CkRtech » 2017-10-14 @ 08:55

bjwil1991 wrote:Tested the PSU Voltage on my C64:

5V DC: 5.07V (passed)
9V AC: 0.63V (failed)

Looks like a rebuild is in order (cheaper than buying a we one).

Hey - share your rebuild details if you proceed, would you?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby psychz » 2017-10-14 @ 23:29

Made the serial XBOX EEPROM reader cable, hooked up the XBOX rev 1.1 on a Pentium4, got the hard drive lock key with PonyProg and LiveInfo and booted into xboxhdm to prepare an 80GB WD Caviar with MS dashboard 5960 and ndure 3.1+unleashx softmod. Now to clean the DVD drive and change thermal paste, and then might flash the TSOP with the team xecuter bios for not having to mess with HDD locks ever again. Could not get the damn live IDE hotswap trick to work, using the serial cable is way easier (and reusable). In the end, played some Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal :blush:

Already had an XBOX but it's kind of nice to spend some time and see step-by-step the transformation of a console (or hardware in general, for that matter), from being a dirty, half-broken and unusable box, to the point of being 100% fully working and enjoyable. Thing is, because I had one since it was new and still used mine till recently, I can't call it retro, even when I realise that I have it for like, what, 15 years? :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-10-15 @ 00:49

psychz wrote:Made the serial XBOX EEPROM reader cable, hooked up the XBOX rev 1.1 on a Pentium4, got the hard drive lock key with PonyProg and LiveInfo and booted into xboxhdm to prepare an 80GB WD Caviar with MS dashboard 5960 and ndure 3.1+unleashx softmod. Now to clean the DVD drive and change thermal paste, and then might flash the TSOP with the team xecuter bios for not having to mess with HDD locks ever again. Could not get the damn live IDE hotswap trick to work, using the serial cable is way easier (and reusable). In the end, played some Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal :blush:

Already had an XBOX but it's kind of nice to spend some time and see step-by-step the transformation of a console (or hardware in general, for that matter), from being a dirty, half-broken and unusable box, to the point of being 100% fully working and enjoyable. Thing is, because I had one since it was new and still used mine till recently, I can't call it retro, even when I realise that I have it for like, what, 15 years? :lol:

I purchased a cable like that as well for my Xbox Original v1.6b that suffered a PSU and HDD failure back in 2010 (installed a new PSU in 2010, and the HDD in 2013) from the 10GB to an 80GB Maxtor HDD and it still lives. I just need to clean the DVD drive and install a new belt since the one it has requires smacking the drive to get it to open.
C64, WheelWriter 10 Series II QuietWriter 8, Pack-Mate 28 Plus, K6-2/300, Pavilion N3350, iMac G3 & G4, Socket 370, 2x Inspiron 600m, Athlon 64, Dimension 4550 & E510, ThinkPad R40, Presario C700, ASUS X54C, Raspberry Pi B+, 2B-3B+, Custom FX-6300
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Unknown_K » 2017-10-15 @ 04:36

Pulled out my Packard Bell CD300 P60 socket 4 system to see if it still works. Has one of those RTC chips soldered to the board but the date and time is still correct.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby amadeus777999 » 2017-10-15 @ 08:30

Unknown_K wrote:Pulled out my Packard Bell CD300 P60 socket 4 system to see if it still works. Has one of those RTC chips soldered to the board but the date and time is still correct.


Could you take a pic of the board?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby mongaccio » 2017-10-15 @ 10:25

bjwil1991 wrote:Tested the PSU Voltage on my C64:

5V DC: 5.07V (passed)
9V AC: 0.63V (failed)

Looks like a rebuild is in order (cheaper than buying a we one).


I did repair the power supply of the 1541 disk drive clone a couple of years ago.(dc 5 and dc 12 v) I had to forcefully open the plastic case with some cutting tools, that was the hardest job. Once inside, there were 2 regulators , the 7805 and 7812. One of them was broken, replaced it with a new one, glued the case back , all done. The most difficult part is opening those damn bricks.

By the way, i did some major maintenance to my c128 setup. The main problem was the datassette: the motor kept spinning , even when no commands were given to load a program. Downloaded the schematics, and found out 3 possible causes: 1.the power transistor that powers the motor, a tip 31. 2. the logic gate that is in series to the tip31, 'U30', if i recall correctly which is normally open, broke up and remained closed. 3. the CPU I/O (and that was a bit of a worry)
IC.jpg


So, i tried to replace at least the first 2 - and guess what, it worked again! Bought some extra spares , just in case.

Had some fun with the Great Gianna Sisters
Giana.jpg


I've also fixed the green led of the 1541/2 drive. It was strangely shorted on the back of its pcb, guess it was like that from production.
Also the monitor/tv needed the Scart plug fixed (solder joints were weak), and a nice adjust on the vertical amplitude (both problems very common on mivar tvs)
Last, but not least, a good Azimuth regulation for my datassette. I have to say that everything works fine now.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Unknown_K » 2017-10-15 @ 17:57

amadeus777999 wrote:
Unknown_K wrote:Pulled out my Packard Bell CD300 P60 socket 4 system to see if it still works. Has one of those RTC chips soldered to the board but the date and time is still correct.


Could you take a pic of the board?


Looking for something in particular?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby aop » 2017-10-15 @ 20:24

Been having serious stability issues with my retro PC build since last night.

I suspect the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-5AX rev 4.1) caps are bad since the instability is really random. Sometimes the computer just freezes on start up but once you get it warm it seems to work OK (tried running Super PI with it and atleast 1M and 2M go through, didn't have time to test longer ones).

I played a lot of Interstate '76 on it yesterday and the computer started crashing after a gaming session when I started to install and try other games.

I managed to mess the entire Windows 98SE installation when I swapped CT4780 SB Live to a SB0060 and the computer crashed while it was installing drivers. After that no drivers would load on start up and I had to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Currently it seems that the SB Live cards are most likely to trigger the crashing but I think I had some crashes even without them installed.

Should I recap the mobo just to be sure? There is no visible trouble with any of the caps but they are random noname brand (Choyo) and IIRC caps can be very much dead even if they look fine externally.

I've been trying to build a Super Socket 7 retro PC over 1½ years now and I'm extremely bummed now that I thought I had a working retro PC and then it went crash happy overnight.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2017-10-15 @ 20:32

I always believe it to be a good idea. And it can't hurt the board unless you mess it up.

it could be as simple as one half-bad cap that throws the memory slightly out of spec and causes all the problems.

I've gotten really good at recapping things.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby aop » 2017-10-15 @ 20:44

luckybob wrote:I always believe it to be a good idea. And it can't hurt the board unless you mess it up.

it could be as simple as one half-bad cap that throws the memory slightly out of spec and causes all the problems.

I've gotten really good at recapping things.

What series of Rubycon caps are OK for recapping motherboards? ZLG is available, affordable and the ESR seems low enough but I haven't seen much mention of using them to recap mobos. Every single cap on this mobo is rated 25V 330uF.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2017-10-15 @ 20:52

honestly don't believe it matters much for a SS7 board. Most of these are just going to be large decoupling caps or caps for the dc/dc power conversion. Personally, I buy the least expensive Nichicons I can get at Mouser.com . I believe low esr was more important in the pentium 3-4 era where power draw was immense by comparison.

Also, how is your power supply doing? That can also be a factor.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby aop » 2017-10-15 @ 21:02

luckybob wrote:honestly don't believe it matters much for a SS7 board. Most of these are just going to be large decoupling caps or caps for the dc/dc power conversion. Personally, I buy the least expensive Nichicons I can get at Mouser.com . I believe low esr was more important in the pentium 3-4 era where power draw was immense by comparison.

Also, how is your power supply doing? That can also be a factor.

It's a 300W HEC and last time I opened it it looked OK. I could try with never Corsair CX400W (it has only 130W combined 3.3 V / 5V).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-10-15 @ 21:25

luckybob wrote:honestly don't believe it matters much for a SS7 board. Most of these are just going to be large decoupling caps or caps for the dc/dc power conversion. Personally, I buy the least expensive Nichicons I can get at Mouser.com . I believe low esr was more important in the pentium 3-4 era where power draw was immense by comparison.

Also, how is your power supply doing? That can also be a factor.


Pre MMX, the CPU regulators were often linear, so ESR was even less of a factor.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2017-10-15 @ 21:34

aop wrote:
luckybob wrote:honestly don't believe it matters much for a SS7 board. Most of these are just going to be large decoupling caps or caps for the dc/dc power conversion. Personally, I buy the least expensive Nichicons I can get at Mouser.com . I believe low esr was more important in the pentium 3-4 era where power draw was immense by comparison.

Also, how is your power supply doing? That can also be a factor.

It's a 300W HEC and last time I opened it it looked OK. I could try with never Corsair CX400W (it has only 130W combined 3.3 V / 5V).


even the 300w unit is overkill. I'd check the voltages, under load, of that psu first. Anything more than 5% off, the psu goes in the trash. I've had bad power supplies kill stuff, I don't take any chances with that. Special, expensive, power supplies are worth re-capping but your average ATX? hells nah.
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