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 bjwil1991 » 2018-4-13 @ 02:42

PTherapist wrote:
bjwil1991 wrote:Which PC did you use to program the chip? I'm planning on getting a USB version of the EEPROM programmer on eBay sometime. Also, is the 32K EEPROM a 256Kb (32K x 8 ) that has a 70ns Access time? Something like this: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/ ... ND/1008551


The chip I used is similar to the one you linked yes. The one I used is like the one found on this link (Atmel AT28C256), which has 150ns access time:
https://www.mouser.co.uk/ProductDetail/ ... 2flNw9oA==

There are plenty of those chips available quite cheaply on eBay. Just get whatever you find cheapest, ensuring you get DIP-28 if you're intending to use a card like the 3Com. Also many network cards, like the 3Com, will need configuring to enable the boot rom. On the 3C509B card I used 3Com's 3C5X9CFG utility to turn on the boot ROM, set to 8KB at address D000h.

I only used a 256Kbit EEPROM simply because it was the smallest capacity I had available. All the rest of my spare chips, both EEPROM and the older UV eraseable EPROM types were all 512Kbit / 64KB capacity and the 3Com card happily accepted them all. If you're getting a capacity larger than 64Kbit / 8KB, just make sure you duplicate the image the correct number of times to fill the chip.

I programmed the chip itself on 1 of my more modern Win 10 systems using the USB MiniPRO programmer that's available easily on eBay.

I had to configure the XTIDE image using a PC with a 32-bit version of Windows though, as XTIDE's idecfg.com utility is DOS based. I even used my 486 itself to configure the image at one point, which it did nicely, so any DOS capable or 32-bit NT-based system should suffice.

Just make sure you run the idecfg utility on the rom file first before trying to program it.


Found one on one of my old video cards:

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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 Kamerat » 2018-4-13 @ 03:22

Currently trying out 2GB of SDRAM on a MSI K7T TURBO VER.3. The VIA KT133A chipset only support 1,5GB SDRAM officially and standard sticks had a maximum of 512MB but you can get registered stick with 1GB, so I stuffed the board with one 1GB and two 512MB registered sticks. Only done some initial testing and it's going good so far. Would be fun to try out 3GB but I got only one 1GB stick on my hand.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-4-13 @ 05:51

Finished upgrading my Sony Vaio VGN-UX280P.

First upgrade I did was to replace the nasty 40GB 4200rpm drive with a 60GB SSD.

Then I replaced the old, dead battery with a brand new extended battery. Supposed to last about 5 hours on battery alone now.

And today I replaced the ABG wireless card with an N wireless card.

That is about as much as it can be upgraded. So much better than stock.

I also upgraded my 486 75/100 build with 512KB L2 cache. I bought half a set from two different people. Same brand of chips and all of them worked.

Now I just have to wait till the good CF card to IDE adapters arrive in a few weeks before I can finally finish the build.

I still am not sure what all sound cards I am going to put in it.

Right now I am testing the Intel 486 Overdrive 75Mhz at 120Mhz. :exclamation:
First time I tried, it locked up while I was doing a dir command. Now that I have adjusted timings in the BIOS, it seems to be working ok.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Cyrix200+ » 2018-4-13 @ 08:14

Selling/giving away some stuff I don't want or need. Concentrating on large items now, moving to smaller parts next week. I need to get some space back to work in! :)
Retro workhorse: Asus P2B-LS | Tualatin Celeron 1400MHz | Matrox G400
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2018-4-13 @ 09:41

Cyrix200+ wrote:Selling/giving away some stuff I don't want or need. Concentrating on large items now, moving to smaller parts next week. I need to get some space back to work in! :)


Giving away? Most interested :cool:
1989:A500R6|+512K/RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1:|C1084S
1992:HIPPO-VL+|DX2ODPR66|8M|GD5428|CT2290
1995:PCI597-1|P133|32M|Trio64|Voodoo1|CT3980/2M|DreamS2
1998:S1573S|K6-2/400|64M|VirgeDX|Voodoo2/SLI|CT4500/32M
2000:GA-BX2000|PIII-700E|512M|GF2GTS|MX300
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Murugan » 2018-4-13 @ 13:37

Last few weeks I've been trying to complete all the cases that were in a big lot that I bought.
Nearly there and these are the winners of the previous week:

Image

Case: AOpen HX95 + AOpen PSU
Motherboard: Asus CUV4X (had some problems in the beginning but after finding and flashing the latest BIOS everything is OK now but still a slow POST)
CPU: P3-1ghz
RAM: 1GB
GPU: Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 (fan was dead so I put on a cheap Chinese one which I had to bubba a little bit)
Soundcard: SB128 PCI
Harddrive: forgot to check again. Only 10 or 20GB or so. Thought it was a Maxtor.
Drives: floppy disk, ZIP drive and 2 CD ROM's/Writer
OS: Windows 2000 SP4

Image

Case: AT case with LED display and it shows 166 :)
Motherboard: Shuttle HOT-555A 3.x (didn't check it at full TBH)
CPU: MMX 166
RAM: 128MB
GPU: CL-GD5446-HC-A
Soundcard: CT4380 AWE64
Harddrive: 2GB
Drives: floppy disk and quad speed CD-ROM
OS: Windows 95B

Image

Case: AT case with LED display and it shows LO/HI
Motherboard: A-Trend ATC-1030
CPU: Cyrix 6X86 PR200+
RAM: 128MB
GPU: Matrox Milennium II 708-1 REV.A 4MB
Soundcard: CT4740 SB16
Harddrive: Quantum Fireball Plus AS 20GB
Drives: floppy + Samsung 48x speed CD-ROM
OS: Win 95B

To be expected: Pentium 133 (waiting for CPU fan), Pentium 75, AMD K6-3, 486DX4-100 and some more pfffff
My retrocollection: Commodore 486SX-25, Commodore 486-33C, Socket 3-5-7 systems,Atari 1040STE boxed,Atari 2600JR boxed,Atari 7800 boxed,NES boxed, Gameboy classic boxed,Amstrad GX4000 boxed,Spectrum Vega,C64 Mini :sweatdrop:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby creepingnet » 2018-4-13 @ 19:13

This week has been busier than usual for this time of year for me hardware-wise....

GATEWAY 2000 - Is almost done, the Win95 installation shit itself last night after swapping back to the Intel board from the PC Chips M571 (as the PC Chips was bluescreening on startup of Windows 95 with the SIS 5589 video driver installed - Fatal Exception 0E). This time I just used the primary IDE channel with the Seagate on Master and the DVD on Slave, it's now reliable and no longer crashes. I also removed/edited the case a little reo remove some potential shorting ports in it. Tonight I'll finish up imaging this beast to send it out this weekend. My 486 is going to then get plugged into the new AOC LCD monitor I have so I can do some programming on the games I'm making.

PC CHIPS M571 - After installing it into the Gateway, it has some impressive performance, but I'm not giving a beginner a PC that's unstable so much that installing a graphics driver causes it to bluescreen. I've decided I'll just sell or keep the board for awhile - heck knows - I still might have some vintage PC Stuff at my home in Alabama that I might retrieve one day, so maybe I'll build a Socket 7 in the long distant future (after I get a house). It seems it had some bend/flex damage initially that I fixed by just resting the board flat. Might do the oven trick on it, no traces on top or back look bad, so if traces are an issue, it's probably the internal layer.

PC CHIPS M919 - Still dead as a doornail, I suspect it's the BIOS Chip still. I'm getting weird codes from my PC Analyser, random ones - sometimes E1, sometimes FF, sometimes --, jumpers are all correct, fan is plugged in the right way around. I'm still working on this crazy thing. The sheer wonkiness and cheesiness of PC Chips has me intrigued (I know it's bad but I'm kind of enjoying the fact I have one of the Fake Cache boards - though it has that weird COAST style cache module strip on it)- plus I never like an easy project. Hopefully this one can lead me down the path of getting better at board level repairs. Currently running it with a 486 DX2-66 in it - or at least trying to. My plan is to preen this into a PCI-based backup for my main 486, or maybe just build a second 486 with the cheapest, wonkiest parts imaginable and naming that one "MRCHEAP", LOL. Seems I get different results with different video cards. Still have yet to get video out of it though. Might even be worth an oven trip - since the FF error code points at it failing on Interrupt initialization. Either that or my Intel DX2 is bad - which would be a shocker.

After all this is done I'm taking a hiatus for awhile to focus on finishing the move and getting work. I'm hopeful to get a house before too long as that's my biggest project. Then I can finally make some GOOD and CLEAN "Your PC Area" pictures. I have plans for that, but it depends on what the house I buy is like. I'm planning to put the PC's at their own table, and then have a dedicated workbench for working on them (and guitars) - that way I don't have a big desk full of screws, bolts, cables, and other crap like I do now.
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
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby mongaccio » 2018-4-13 @ 19:29

YABM

Yet another Battery mod

I had to desolder the dead Dallas 1287 RTC from this Shuttle hot 533 Mobo. Tried my new 6 euro desoldering iron, it worked better than expected.
Added the missing socket.

Then i milled the ic in the right spots,to expose the battery contacts. Battery still had 2.3 volts open circuit, after 22 years. Impressive, but not enough to keep bios settings in memory.
Couple of wires connected to a cr 2032 battery holder and all done!
1287 RTC is working again.

Made one extra from a spare 1287, just in case
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby looking4awayout » 2018-4-13 @ 20:46

After fiddling with SetFSB I finally managed to increase the overclock of my 1.4GHz Tualatin daily driver to 1.47GHz at 140Mhz FSB. The system runs faster and stable, with no lockups or slowdowns. Even though it's a 5% overclock, the speedup is noticeable!

Also, it seems that setting the AGP driving control to EA eliminated the occasional no POST at reboot I used to have before, even with the old graphics card and motherboard. Nice!
Proud owner of the >Tualatinator< alive and computing since year 2000!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby yawetaG » 2018-4-14 @ 15:40

Received my Yamaha YS-200 FM synth, which looked almost pristine except for the leftmost key that was sitting way lower than it should. There also was something rattling inside the synth. Popped it open, and discovered the key was broken at the internal end and also found some other bits of plastic (and the broken bit of the key). Used urethane glue to glue that bit back on.

Now I just have to wait 24 hours, check whether the key stays in one piece, and put the synth back together...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2018-4-14 @ 22:43

Did some light garage sale hunting today and it was pretty sparse. Found a 2GB Iomega Jaz drive for $5 with power supply. When I got home the case was broken, which I did not notice, and the case literally fell apart in my hands. I am going to recycle it, but I will keep the power supply and probably give it to someone who might need it who has the same model. Also picked up a sealed copy of Jetfighter III for MS-DOS for $1. Have no use for that either and if someone would like it, let me know. The rest was just a PS1 game that I will play using a PC emulator and sealed VHS movies for my mint condition 1988 Zenith VCR that I will be selling on Ebay eventually as a bundle.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2018-4-14 @ 23:42

Bought a new soldering iron kit and set to work resoldering 2 loose capacitors on my SiS 6326 4MB PCI Graphics Card. Worked well and the card is functioning happily... it's still a crap card, but I'm glad it's working. :lol:

Also ran OmniDisk on 1 of my systems to try and determine the format of a bunch of mystery 5.25" floppies. Only tried 1 disk from the set so far and the software came back as format unknown. I'll try again tomorrow with some of the other disks. I would have run OmniFlop, but the Windows XP install is point blank refusing to recognise any 5.25" floppy, just giving me an I/O error.

1 less retro activity, but an old PC nonetheless - I opened up my Athlon II X2 AM3+ PC to discover the CPU fan had failed, seized up completely. More worryingly, I don't know how long it's been running 24/7 without a CPU fan, but it just kept going like a trooper. I guess the other 3 case fans must have kept it just cool enough to not shutdown. Made an emergency visit to the nearest store, which was having a closing down sale as the business has gone bust, so I secured a replacement cooler for a little less than what I would have normally. Win, win.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Predator99 » 2018-4-15 @ 11:17

Just managed to fix my ATARI PC3 XT Mainboard from this lot:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17341&p=664390&hilit=atari#p664390

IMG_1054.JPG


First replaced the 2 bigger caps, no change. Then I noticed that the 14.3 MHz crystal was bend, but looked still OK. I replaced it anyway...and :cool: :cool: :cool:

IMG_1052.JPG


Didnt have the correct spare part, but no reward for the nicest repair here ;-)

IMG_1055.JPG


What to do with it? Back in the box. It has a custom form factor and is of no big use if you dont have the corresponding case for it...maybe I will sell it at Ebay.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby OldCat » 2018-4-16 @ 14:44

Spent some time over weekend dismantling and examining my three Siemens-NIxdorf PCD-4NDs. Despite having bought three of them in various states of decay in order to make two working ones, I'm struggling. Each of them has different build! One has IR port, two don't. One is DX4/75 without heatsink, one is DX4/100 with heatsink, one is DX4/75 with heatsink. Two have soundcards, one is mute. One of these two has working speaker, the other one doesn't. One screen is broken TFT, one is working TFT, one is DSTN with such incredible lag that I am considering keeping the broken TFT one instead.

And the one that has best config has one broken screw and I cannot open it. Argh. Any protips on screws that won't budge?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-4-16 @ 14:51

OldCat wrote:Spent some time over weekend dismantling and examining my three Siemens-NIxdorf PCD-4NDs. Despite having bought three of them in various states of decay in order to make two working ones, I'm struggling. Each of them has different build! One has IR port, two don't. One is DX4/75 without heatsink, one is DX4/100 with heatsink, one is DX4/75 with heatsink. Two have soundcards, one is mute. One of these two has working speaker, the other one doesn't. One screen is broken TFT, one is working TFT, one is DSTN with such incredible lag that I am considering keeping the broken TFT one instead.

And the one that has best config has one broken screw and I cannot open it. Argh. Any protips on screws that won't budge?


Drill it out . Use a drill bit that should be the same diameter as the shaft itself. Then drill just enough so the head of the screw pops off. You can probably then use a pliers to extract the rest once you have the case off. If not, then it is drill and re-tap the hole time.

In order to keep the heat from drilling from melting the plastic, use a drop or two of liquid in the hole. It will also help it cut he metal easier as well.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2018-4-16 @ 18:50

Finally got my first C64 back to working order, writing this to the Wizball title music :D

25 years ago or something like that, it would suddenly not read disks anymore. Was sure it was the computer, and not the disk drive, got three 1541 drives at the time, and none of them would work. Got another C64, but kept the faulty one through all those years. Finally decided to try to do something about it. Could of course not remember exactly what the symptoms were this many years afterwards, so wired it up to test it. Now it would not boot at all. Checked the fuses in the PSU, both OK. Opened up the computer, the internal fuse OK too. Removed all socketed chips, cleaned the sockets and pins, and reseated them.

Connected everything back again, and powered the computer up. This time it booted just fine. The disk drive got the reset signal when booting the computer, but would not respond at all to any other commands, which pointed at a faulty CIA chip. Luckily there are two of those in the C64, controlling different ports. Desoldered the CIAs, soldered in sockets, and swapped the chips to see if the serial port would get back to life. No dice. Good thing that wasn't the problem, those chips are expensive.

Took the computer apart again, and desoldered the HD7406P inverter chip for the serial line. Soldered in a socket. Borrowed the 7406 from one of my 1541 drives to test with. No dice this time either. Had no idea what to try from here on, so simply started following traces and checking all components between the inverter and the serial port. Found two shorted diodes, which luckily happened to be regular N4148 ones. Anyone with the slightest interest in DIY electronics, including me, always got a stock of those at home :) Replaced the diodes, installed the original 7406, put everything back together, and tested again. Same behavior. Crap. Opened the computer up yet another time, replaced the 7406 with the one from the 1541 drive, put it together again, booted it, and... THE SERIAL PORT WORKED :D :D :D

So, all and all, at some point something killed the inverter chip and those diodes. The only thing I can think of is if I or my kid brother managed to plug in the PSU in the serial port by mistake, or perhaps unplugged/plugged the disk drive while the computer was powered.

Now there's only one thing left to do; trying to figure out why the text sometimes, seemingly at random, is replaced with "noise blocks" when booting the computer. It's always been like that, but back in the day, a simple reset would usually do the trick. Now it seems to be worse, got to power it off and let it sit for a while before powering it on again for it to show the text correctly. It looks like this:
IMG_20180416_170420.jpg

Any ideas?


IMG_20180416_203038.jpg

By the way, anyone here got a C64 with a lower serial number? :D
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-4-16 @ 18:59

My 2 cents American would say it's either the PLA chip, VIC-II chip, Kernal chip, or RAM.
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 kaputnik » 2018-4-17 @ 06:59

bjwil1991 wrote:My 2 cents American would say it's either the PLA chip, VIC-II chip, Kernal chip, or RAM.


Been thinking it has something to do with the character ROM or its support circuits. It's very odd that the problem is intermittent. Also, it's been this way since the computer was brand new iirc.

Might also add that loading games still works perfectly when the text is garbled, and those will not show any graphic corruption whatsoever.

Can't find anything on the Internet about this problem. On the other hand, I hardly know what to google for either :>
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby OldCat » 2018-4-17 @ 08:33

cyclone3d wrote:
OldCat wrote:And the one that has best config has one broken screw and I cannot open it. Argh. Any protips on screws that won't budge?


Drill it out . Use a drill bit that should be the same diameter as the shaft itself. Then drill just enough so the head of the screw pops off. You can probably then use a pliers to extract the rest once you have the case off. If not, then it is drill and re-tap the hole time.

In order to keep the heat from drilling from melting the plastic, use a drop or two of liquid in the hole. It will also help it cut he metal easier as well.


Thank you for the pro-tip, I wouldn't have thought about it. I will try to do this today in the evening and will let you know how it went. Thanks!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby .legaCy » 2018-4-17 @ 19:31

Updated my software on my customers, but wait, why this should considered retro?
Because their connection speed are from 2000.
I remember my first P2P experience when i went to a 200k broadband and the download speed were similar.
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