is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

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is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-14 @ 16:35

I was offered for 50 dollars an IBM model 30 PC
its the full pc without the monitor.
And the seller told me it works, and has all the components inside.

I noticed that when i searched online for IBM PS2 MODEL 30.... there were PCs with a white power on switch, and others with a RED power on switch. And I also read that some model 30 were 8086 and some were 286.

the pc i can buy has a RED power on switch.

Does the switch color represent if the PC is a 286 or a 8086 ?
Historically an 8086 would be worth more than a 286 ? or the 286 is worth more because it is more hardware compatible?
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby dieymir » 2017-11-14 @ 16:53

BLockOUT wrote:
Does the switch color represent if the PC is a 286 or a 8086 ?

No. The correct way to identify them is with the sticker at the left "IBM Model 30" or "IBM Model 30 80286".

BLockOUT wrote:Historically an 8086 would be worth more than a 286 ? or the 286 is worth more because it is more hardware compatible?

Model 30 286 has the following differences with the 8086 model:
- Processor: 286@10Mhz instead of 8086@8Mhz
- Video: VGA instead of MCGA
- Floppy: 3.5" 1.44 instead of 3.5" 720k (I've seen 8086 with 1.44 drives, though)
- 3 16 bits ISA slots instead of 3 8 bits ISA slots

PSU, floppy and HDD conectors are propietary. There are no molex power connectors, the ribbon cables supply both power and data. There are mods available to add molex connectors so you can use standard floppies and IDE HDDs.

The 8086 is not a good XT replacement because the processor is faster and there is no "turbo" button.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-11-14 @ 18:23

Can you post pics of the system?
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2017-11-14 @ 18:29

''is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?''


The disk drive of those IBM PS/2's is usually defective or will become defective soon after use (read errors). The disk drive is not a standard PC AT type and you won't be able to find a working replacement. They are also a pain in the ass to repair. My advice is always to stay away from PS/2 computers unless you have another way of transferring files and installing operating systems. Furthermore the model 30 is very common and it's really just a PC XT replacement with some improvements. The more advanced models with MCA bus and more CPU juice are much more interesting, but they also will have defective disk drives..
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-14 @ 19:50

i will try to get the pics tonight because i dont have the ones the seller sent right now.

but to be honest for me to actually see a PS/2 is very rare, in my country the PS/2 was kind of a Rich thing, while few had clone PCs, and almost everyone had no pc at home. So having the opportunity to have one of those PCs is unique.

I know the hard drive and floppy disc issue with the system ( but there is also something called XT-IDE that can work in order to make it boot normal IDE HDDs
I know also the memory is different from the rest

Maybe its a 286, who knows, seller told me he got it long time ago from a school, but even if it is a 286 i can´t make it slower because those machines never had a turbo button.

I was kind of hoping to get a machine 8086 . that was about 4mhz speed, my first pc, and when i started playing things like california games, digger, blockout, sokoban, paratrooper, test drive, and the games had no speed problems because they were from the 8086 era.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-11-14 @ 20:03

If you're happy treating it as a black box, just using it for what it does and not trying to mess with it inside, taking it as it is, then get it. Otherwise, use it to raise your monitor another few inches.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-14 @ 20:50

hehe i undestand

i still have a commercial of the IBM PS/1 486 dx2 66mhz

it was sold here in 15 payments of 200 dollars each payment
making it worth a total of 3000 dollars

nobody in that time was able to buy an IBM here, people got clones.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2017-11-14 @ 23:09

Not sure where you are from, but in Western Europe and the U.S. this model 30 was very common at small and medium enterprises. Any IBM pc was very expensive. But then I also need to add that any Compaq, HP and other good clones were very expensive.

The early PS/1 is a completely different system intended for consumers (the later ones are PC AT based).

Perhaps, if you want to use it, you can install a IDE-CF adapter and try to use a CF card. Not sure though what its BIOS thinks of large CF cards.. It might only accept fixed parameters for a limited series of hard drives.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby luckybob » 2017-11-15 @ 00:16

As someone who enjoys the IBM ps/2 models. I have to say, a 25 or a 30 is just fine, but are DEFINITELY not for beginners. If you are already familiar with the major quirks of 808x and 286 era systems, then getting a 25 or 30 is just adding a few more quirks to the pile. However they are usually EXPENSIVE quirks.

Notable quirks.
- The hard drives are worthless trash. XTIDE (or scsi) is THE way to go with these machines. 20Mb hard drives in fully working condition, expect people to charge $150+
- Floppy drives are proprietary. This is a hassle if yours isn't working. The drives are easy to find, but rarely cheap.
- Forget about cheap memory. IBM engineers were colossal dick heads when it came to memory. EVERY SINGLE MACHINE needs different simms, and while PHYSICALLY the same as 30-pin & 72-pin simms, they are not. -
Expect to pay 10x normal for IBM ram.

+ PS/2 keyboard and mouse. This is amazing to be able to use practically any keyboard & mouse you want.
+ standard VGA connector. Again, makes life easy. PROTIP: the filled in pin on the chassis, can be GENTLY drilled out and then you can use a standard cable. Use the drill bit with your fingers!
+ ISA cards ( at least for the 25 & 30)

Once you get past that, IBM made some of the nicest machines money could buy. Granted this is personal preference, but I stand by it.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 02:03

OK guys i took the time to take a lot of pictures for your pleasure

the pc was in awfull shape, dust everywhere, spiderwebs everywhere, case was not cleaned in like 30 years or so, i cleaned it a lot from the outside and now you can see this piece of history ..prehistoric dinosaur.

SOme things i want to mention, altho the sticker on the right bottom side says type 8530-021 and when i google that number people had a 286, but this machine i dont think its a 286 because inside it has a siemens SAB 8086 2-P chip, there is a photo but i dont think you can see the markings, that chip is on the back of the floppy drive. So this must be 8086

Other things i saw were, the dam thing works, from the era where everything was rock solid, this thing booted at first try, the hard disk does sound like a terror movie.

Notice the card in the slot, that card with gold pins was not inserted correctly into the slot, and the machine booted fine i got DOS shell. When i inserted the expansion card into the slot, the machine did not want to boot and gave some kind of error asking me to retry or not.

the guy that i bought it from told me ,,,hey it even has this wood on the floppy drive, looks like it came with that from factory? so it doesnt get dusty or what?

THE BATTERY IS MASSIVE, i dont see any leak, should i remove it?

i was unable to play with it just a little bit, i dont even know how to enter the bios, it just boots and calculates like 600k



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Last edited by BLockOUT on 2017-11-15 @ 02:20, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby luckybob » 2017-11-15 @ 02:14

do not use postimg. please use https://imgur.com
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-11-15 @ 02:15

luckybob wrote:- Forget about cheap memory. IBM engineers were colossal dick heads when it came to memory. EVERY SINGLE MACHINE needs different simms, and while PHYSICALLY the same as 30-pin & 72-pin simms, they are not. -
Expect to pay 10x normal for IBM ram.

You can shuffle around the presence detect resistors on the SIMM module to get some normal SIMMs working in IBMs, but they are also very speed sensitive also. (Believe it or not, practically everything has a timing test in BIOS POST routine so if you fit faster stuff it will fail with an error.)

Edit: Oh btw, some people on here seem to call 72 pin SIMM modules PS/2 SIMMs, I wish they wouldn't, PS/2 SIMMs only work in PS/2s. Also getting a 72pin module that someone says is a "PS/2 SIMM" and having it not work in a PS/2 is going to piss people off.

edit 2: Oh yah, the thing in the floppy is a shipping protector, it's supposed to stop the heads banging together if the machine is bumped around in transit.
Last edited by BitWrangler on 2017-11-15 @ 02:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 02:17

luckybob wrote:do not use postimg. please use https://imgur.com


fixed used pixhost
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby blurks » 2017-11-15 @ 02:23

Sweet machine. These days you have to be grateful to even find decent OEM units for fair prices.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 02:28

siemens SAB 8086 2-P chip

8mhz

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/8086/Siem ... 6-2-P.html

making it faster than other 8086 that are 5mhz
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 02:34

blurks wrote:Sweet machine. These days you have to be grateful to even find decent OEM units for fair prices.


I pad 50 dollars for it, and im happy. Its not like im going to use it often, i used a 8086 when i was a kid and i don´t miss it. But i had the opportunity to get this IBM and i did not doubt to buy it. I cant belive it still works.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby luckybob » 2017-11-15 @ 02:37

$50 is a decent price for a working machine.

The cpu is RATED for 8mz. The value of Y1 right next to it will tell you how fast it REALLY is running. New player trap; the crystals often run at 2x the cpu speed. IBM was always conservative on cpu speeds.

that card in the top slot is to add an external floppy disk drive. You can see an example of the drive here: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/alf/ps2_80311/

Those things are built like brick shit-houses. I'm lucky to own two.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 02:59

luckybob wrote:$50 is a decent price for a working machine.

The cpu is RATED for 8mz. The value of Y1 right next to it will tell you how fast it REALLY is running. New player trap; the crystals often run at 2x the cpu speed. IBM was always conservative on cpu speeds.

that card in the top slot is to add an external floppy disk drive. You can see an example of the drive here: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/alf/ps2_80311/

Those things are built like brick shit-houses. I'm lucky to own two.



Y1... says 14.31818 MHZ

you own 2 XT ? did you buy a XT-IDE card to have normal IDE HDDs support? i saw some cards were being sold and you had to solder the parts yourself. but not sure how to flash the bios
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby JetSetWilly » 2017-11-15 @ 09:46

BLockOUT wrote:
blurks wrote:Sweet machine. These days you have to be grateful to even find decent OEM units for fair prices.


I pad 50 dollars for it, and im happy. Its not like im going to use it often, i used a 8086 when i was a kid and i don´t miss it. But i had the opportunity to get this IBM and i did not doubt to buy it. I cant belive it still works.


Not a bad price, I´ve seen people asking 150€ on Ebay. It´s a nice machine but with many points to be considered before buying it as I´ve read in this post.
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Re: is a IBM PS2 MODEL 30 a good buy?

Postby BLockOUT » 2017-11-15 @ 12:37

luckybob wrote:As someone who enjoys the IBM ps/2 models. I have to say, a 25 or a 30 is just fine, but are DEFINITELY not for beginners. If you are already familiar with the major quirks of 808x and 286 era systems, then getting a 25 or 30 is just adding a few more quirks to the pile. However they are usually EXPENSIVE quirks.

Notable quirks.
- The hard drives are worthless trash. XTIDE (or scsi) is THE way to go with these machines. 20Mb hard drives in fully working condition, expect people to charge $150+
- Floppy drives are proprietary. This is a hassle if yours isn't working. The drives are easy to find, but rarely cheap.
- Forget about cheap memory. IBM engineers were colossal dick heads when it came to memory. EVERY SINGLE MACHINE needs different simms, and while PHYSICALLY the same as 30-pin & 72-pin simms, they are not. -
Expect to pay 10x normal for IBM ram.

+ PS/2 keyboard and mouse. This is amazing to be able to use practically any keyboard & mouse you want.
+ standard VGA connector. Again, makes life easy. PROTIP: the filled in pin on the chassis, can be GENTLY drilled out and then you can use a standard cable. Use the drill bit with your fingers!
+ ISA cards ( at least for the 25 & 30)

Once you get past that, IBM made some of the nicest machines money could buy. Granted this is personal preference, but I stand by it.



i will send you a private message, i need your advise on some things

1) XTIDE, where to buy an affordable one?, does it need to be flashed by yourself of you buy it- connect it -and it just works?
2) XTIDE , fixes to connect newer IDE harddrives, but what about floppy drives different brand floppy drive?
2) The battery should be removed? or replaced? is it alkaline or rechargable?
3) You mention ISA videocard, so a trident ISA card from the 486 era works perfectly on this 8086 ? even tho there are less pins to connect?
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