Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

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Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-09 @ 03:56

Hello and Happy New Year!

I've come across some very interesting parts (for me anyhow) to upgrade the DLC once again.

But first, I have to identify a motherboard and a couple capacitors on an AWE32 card.

First, this is the motherboard in question:

Image

This would make an AMAZING leap in my bid to build the fastest "386". I already have a TI 486 SLC CPU coming for my existing ISA board, but then a friend of mine showed me this board. I could not find much info on it - STASON doesn't have anything for it, AFAIK. I suppose I ought to slap an expendable 25 MHz 486 SX and see if it even POSTs.

The other thing is probably more common to you all:

Image

It's missing the IO shield (I have another one off another failed purchase of a CT 3990) and a couple caps have been ripped off.

Image

If anyone has such a card and can kindly read the caps values, I will be ever so grateful!

:blush:
Last edited by Jed118 on 2019-1-13 @ 22:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby AlaricD » 2019-1-09 @ 05:22

Looks like at least THREE-- check out where C78 would be in the lower-left of the thumbnail. Either the caps had gone or the person wanted them for something else but was very sloppy.
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-09 @ 06:29

These (and many others) came from a scrap pile. Other things in that pile (a DX4/100 CPU with very bent pins, for example) came out working. These look like they were torn out. Not sure why some gorilla would elect to rip them out this way, but I would like to restore them, slap this into the DLC, and see if it makes any sounds.

Does anyone have the jumper settings for this motherboard?
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby AmiSapphire » 2019-1-12 @ 01:43

For the Creative Sound Blaster CT2760 Rev. 3 sound card:

C144 - 470uf 16v [Decoupling cap]
C156 - 470uf 16v [Decoupling cap]
C78 - 100uf 16v

I see no other missing capacitors, however. The pin of JP13 nearest former C144 and C156 is quite bent...


I have an earlier revision CT2760 card, but those are the cap values, they're just different cap assignment numbers on the old CT2760 revision. Had to look at various CT2760 Rev. 3 photos on the Internet for confirmation and reference.
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-12 @ 03:28

Absolutely correct!

Image

I got my stash of ISA soundcards out and noticed that the cap values were all pretty much identical, CT and Crystal alike.

A quick trip to my "local" (20 Km round trip) electronics store yesterday and I got some 50v caps in the same configuration and soldered them on.

Issue is the height!

Image

After re-screwing on the voltage regulators and thermal pasting them, I plugged this into a P133 system I had lying around and Windows 98SE detected it and emitted sounds! Now to put forward some real tests.

And also I have to find a donor sound card to address this savagery:

Image

I will test the port before anything, but as it stands, I have two options:

-Get a broken soundcard and resolder the 15 pin MIDI/Game Port
-Epoxy the shit out of this

Either way, electronically, the CT 2760 is saved. The tall height of the caps will have to be addressed by basically placing this abomination into the last slot where maybe it will fit.

How about that motherboard...
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-1-12 @ 08:49

This is actually not a full EISA board, but something called "Mini EISA". This boards are easily identified by their HiNT chipsets.

Still, it is probably the only one I've seen with a 386 socket. I forget which features were missing in the mini EISA design, but I don't think they can do busmastering, and therefore they are limited by which EISA cards they can run. I am kind of skeptical that they are compatible with SCSI controllers, which in my opinion is one of the only reasons you would want an EISA system in the first place. Still, the EISA slots should offer improved bandwidth and 32 bit addressing, but these features are also available with VLB which runs at 33MHz rather than 8.

Try a SCSI controller and see what happens.
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-13 @ 03:04

This is the only thing that happens when you put a 486 CPU in it (I tried SX 25, DX 33, DX2/50) - 3 long beeps.

https://youtu.be/WMc4gUFb0io

With 386 chips it doesn't do anything, no sounds at all. When you remove the BIOS chip with a 486 CPU in place, also nothing happens.

I've moved some jumpers around and I can get the beeps to speed up or slow down. Pressing the TURBO button slows down the beeps even further.
*edit - it seems it doesn't matter if there's RAM or even a video card installed. Keyboard does the standard LED test. I'll see if I can get a code reader.
**edit edit - I got it to POST by putting in 4x4Mb SIMMS! I figured out which jumpers control the clock frequency (I can set 25, 33, and 40 MHz) and there is an option in BIOS to enable 386 mode. No luck getting past that hurdle though. I really need the jumper settings for this board!
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-13 @ 22:27

Here it is running in 486 mode:

Image

Looks like there is the option to set it to 386/40 mode there... I replaced the CMOS battery and selected "enable", when I put a DX/40 (or even an Intel 386/33 MHz with the speed correctly set) I get the keyboard flash and that's it, no sound, no further indication of life.

Image

This is pretty standard, but I've never seen ReadOnly options for shadowing. There's also Memory, Cacheable, and Disable options. No idea how that affects performance.

Image

EISA checksum failure. Not sure what that means exactly. I don't see another BIOS or ROM chip that I can enter into and change stuff around... I'd really kill for a manual at this point.

Some benchmarking:

Image

Image

Unknown or NoName. Thank you President's Choice for manufacturing a computer!

And, the jumpers:

Image

Purple circle - I think it's an EISA clear, when jumpered and booted, stops right where EISA Checksum Failure would appear. No further input possible.

Red circle - Two jumpers there JP6 and 7 - Take them all out and you get 40 MHz, leave the lower one in, 33 MHz, take 'em both out, 25 MHz - leaving the top one in with nothing in the bottom also equals 25 MHz.

Blue jumpers - no idea. Trusted my gut and didn't mess with these.

Green circle - no idea. I arranged them so that they form columns (no offset) and stuck in a 386. No dice. 486 back in and it seems to not do a thing.

Yellow circle - jumped it and put in a 386 (with single-column and staggered Green circle jumpers) - no change.

Curiously, the BIOS says Copyright 1992, but the BIOS date is 7/7/91. Is this a BIOS from the then-future? :lol:

BIOS doesn't have a hard disk autodetect. Minor bummer, but ultimately if I can't get the board to work with a 386/486 DLC, there's no use.

I'll see about putting in the DLC after dinner and powering up. Curious, maybe it ONLY supports a DLC?
*edit it does not.
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby 386_junkie » 2019-1-14 @ 23:11

Nice board!

I am curious about the performance of these HINT chipsets... though have reservations as I know some of them (not all) are limited to 24-bit.

Regarding the 386 dilemma, could I ask what graphics card you are using... i.e. ISA or VLB? Have you tried booting using both bus forms? If not yet, possibly worth trying an ISA graphics card to see if the 386 socket has compatibility problems with VLB, as some boards do have.
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Re: Help ID-ing a few parts (386 EISA/VESA board + CT 2760 capacitors)

Postby Disruptor » 2019-1-15 @ 00:08

Jed118 wrote:EISA checksum failure. Not sure what that means exactly. I don't see another BIOS or ROM chip that I can enter into and change stuff around... I'd really kill for a manual at this point.

You need an EISA Cofiguration Utility (ECU) to fix this.
Even if you do not have an EISA card installed, you still have to configure the board itself.
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby feipoa » 2019-1-15 @ 00:34

Curious to know if a PGA-132 or PGA-168 SXL2 chip will run in this.
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-15 @ 06:18

^^^ Believe me, that's the only thing I want to accomplish here!

Disruptor - Yes, I read about that earlier on VCF from a post made 12 years ago ;) - I'll worry about that when I get this working with a 386 ;) - I've already got an EISA AHA-27xx card picked out in my watch list on eBay.

386_junkie - It's running a Cirrus Logic ISA video card stuck in one of the EISA slots. I tried it in an ISA slot, works too. I have a CX9400 in a DX/4 I can pull out to check if the VLB even works, but I suspect it does as my multi-I/O is in a VESA slot.

There is like, nothing out there for this board, information-wise... :X

Any hints from the experts on what the jumpers might possibly do?
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby Nvm1 » 2019-1-15 @ 08:13

From your bootscreen it seems to be a DataExpert board.

The only one coming close but not completely is the "DATAEXPERT CORPORATION OPTI-495SX-2VL"
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/D/DATAEXPERT-CORPORATION-486-OPTI-495SX-2VL.html

Chipset is more like the "DATAEXPERT CORPORATION HINT-3/486WB 486"..
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/D/DATAEXPERT-CORPORATION-486-HINT-3-486WB.html

Can't find / help more than that.. :happy:
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby 386_junkie » 2019-1-15 @ 08:16

If you have a digital multi meter... you can run continuity tests from the jumper to each pin of the socket. Get the CPU pinout to map the CPU function to that jumper.

Having said, there may be semi conducting parts in series which means you maynot get complete continuity. In this case, follow the traces and see where they go.
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby Jed118 » 2019-1-15 @ 14:25

Nvm1 wrote:From your bootscreen it seems to be a DataExpert board.

The only one coming close but not completely is the "DATAEXPERT CORPORATION OPTI-495SX-2VL"
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/D/DATAEXPERT-CORPORATION-486-OPTI-495SX-2VL.html

Chipset is more like the "DATAEXPERT CORPORATION HINT-3/486WB 486"..
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/D/DATAEXPERT-CORPORATION-486-HINT-3-486WB.html

Can't find / help more than that.. :happy:


Thank you, I've seen those two already. I searched that site for over 4 hours using any keyword - Hint, 3486, Dataexpert, NICE, CAESAR-F etc.

The layout is similar, but there are more jumpers on the OPTI 495 variant here :(

I was going to do what 386_junkie suggested next - careful examination of the paths, and taking continuity measurements in a logical manner. I actually had a dream about that haha.

I wonder if these boards are that obscure, or are worthless enough to not have been documented. Either way, it might take time, but I'm bent on getting this to work... somehow!
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Re: Help ID-ing 386 EISA/VESA board - jumper settings?

Postby Anonymous Coward » 2019-2-18 @ 03:54

I'm pretty curious about how these boards store settings for the EISA cards, because pretty much every EISA board I've seen has a DALLAS RAMified clock chip for that purpose.
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