VOGONS


First post, by MaTi

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Hi all,

First please allow me to briefly introduce myself.
I am 37 years old from The Netherlands and have been looking into 'old stuff' lately, longing back for the good ole days when imho computers were just more fun.
I remember being a kid (lets say from the age of 10 till 18), spending too much time on computers (both building them and using them), but with very limited financial resources to spend back then.

I would like to place some of the old games from back then, so I figured I wanted a retro pc... Actually... In the meanwhile I now have three 😀
(1x p3-450Mhz with dual voodoo2 in SLI, 1x p1-133Mhz) annnd this beauty which arrived today... FREE, as it was just collecting dust in someone's attic.
I believe it has some very nice hardware inside, looking at prices for the cards on ebay.

These are the pic I got before she sent it to me:
110506347-2794492180780177-3914235158125941512-n.png
115710074-2706058719613759-8839211119540650809-n.png

..I actually remembered the case from back in the days, but wasn't entirely sure whether it was the 386 or the early 486 era..
Todat I got it and it turns out to have a big sticker at the bottom reading '386DX40'.. Nice! Which is correct..
It's board got an onboard AMD DX40 CPU on it, with 8MB ram and all cache sockets populated.

Then I looked at the ISA cards which came with it. I'll share them with you:

31b03f12-e873-4f9f-ba1d-638f1d6c5db1.jpg
fb3ebded-eadc-4d09-8acd-c48838680c17.jpg
591ba880-f9e8-4437-87f3-1d63136ef72c.jpg
efeef576-9682-4a01-bad3-231e5fe7d763.jpg

I did some quick googling/ebaying and although the IO cards do not seem to be anything special, I was completely shocked by the prices for the vga and sbprov2 cards.
What makes these so expensive? I used to have tons of such cards 15(?) years ago and threw them all away being old junk 😉
...Am I as lucky as I think I am finding these?

Anyway, my real question:
I am having troubles determining what board is in the system. If possible Id like to get some more info on it and possibly a manual would be even better 😀

I could find two things which I thought could be a model number, but googling that didnt help me.
Between two ISA slots it says 'C3400A P10-04C340000" and elsewhere on the board it has a sticker which reads 'MR921008REV.A02'.

Does that ring any bell to anyone? If it helps I could take a picture of the board ofcourse 😀
Also, would anyone know how to get into the BIOS? it has an AMI bios dated 1990. I tried del, esc, ctrl+esc, but to no avail yet.. I found some others I could try too, but didnt do that yet.

And lastly, I see the board has a socket for a 387 coprocessor. My 386DX33 back in the days (1995?) used to have one too, but I was too young to really know what it was good for. I havent googled that yet, but would it be worth getting one?
This is what it says inside the empty socket:

236747d8-e701-4af1-b04c-ef001363545e.jpg

..When googling for that I found a document which says it can either contain a 25 or 33 Mhz 387, but that it should be equally clocked to the CPU.
...Which is interesting, because it's a 40Mhz 😉 So, long story should: can/should I buy one and if so, which one and where? Any advise?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for all your help in advance!
..I believe I found myself a new (expensive) hobby! 😁

Martin

Still relatively new, but spending too much time on retro already.. 😀

Reply 1 of 9, by Intel486dx33

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IIt co-processor.

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Reply 2 of 9, by H3nrik V!

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First of all .. Does the motherboard have a barrel battery - get it off, before it starts leaking - and if it already did, I would highly recommend to get the board cleaned up for any damage.
Congrats on the find!

Please use the "quote" option if asking questions to what I write - it will really up the chances of me noticing 😀

Reply 3 of 9, by AlaricD

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Very VERY nice!

To possibly ID that motherboard, orient it so the keyboard port is to the lower right and then compare to the line drawings that start here: https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/m386_1.html

You'll soon be able to quickly skim the images until you find a match. It's a LITTLE tedious but it gets better.

Also, would anyone know how to get into the BIOS? it has an AMI bios dated 1990. I tried del, esc, ctrl+esc, but to no avail yet.. I found some others I could try too, but didnt do that yet.

If it's not prompting you for a hard drive type, or RAM size mismatch, and then "strike ??? to continue", then just turn it off, hold down a bunch of keys, and turn it back on, holding those keys down. Surely it'll come up with a "keyboard error, replace and strike ??? to continue".

Reply 4 of 9, by Horun

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Very nice ! THat is a really good collection of good old ISA stuff it came with. I cannot ID the board from what you say but if you could post a decent picture of the board with-out the cards in someone here may recognize it. Ohh and Welcome to Vogons !

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 6 of 9, by chinny22

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Case is upside down!? drives on the bottom cards on the top, thats kinda cool!
The co-processor isn't much use for a gaming 386, Simcity is about the only game that would use it But plenty of us have installed one "just because"

P3 and earlier hardware's gone past the obsolete phase and now into the retro era. The slightly higher demand means people are charging double for the same hardware then they were 5 years ago.
Attic finds like your 386 can still be found but are becoming harder fro anything older then a P4

So yes good find indeed!

Reply 7 of 9, by MaTi

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Thanks guys! As advised by Chinny22 I just ordered a co-processor, 'just because' 😉. Thanks Intel486dx33 for telling which one to get.
Ordered from Poland (Ebay), should get here soon i guess. Will that just be a matter of sticking it in, or does that commonly also require jumpering? I don't remember..
Ofcourse the manual would probably tell me, then then Id first have to ID the board. Thanks for your help all, will continue my quest 😉

If needed, Ill post a pic of the board!

Oh and @H3nrik V!:
I could not find a barrel battery. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing any.. But I guess there must be one, as that is handy to remember time and date 😉
The system is very clean (aside from a bit of dust) and looks like it's been taken well care of.. I'll check for the battery! thnx

Still relatively new, but spending too much time on retro already.. 😀

Reply 8 of 9, by MaTi

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Right, so I tried looking up the board on the link AlaricD sent.. And I thought I had found it...
I could scan the boards quite easily, scrolling down focussing on the one 8bit ISA slot, the position of the RAM and cache sockets.
I found one which could be the one, and for a sec I thought it was my board:

MST-310M
it also states that it can come with an soldered on CPU like mine, so I thought it was this one..

As, this is my board:
386-board.jpg

..However:
Some small things do look different.

- The overal shape of the board. The one on the link looks longer, mine is more squarish?
- The cache area looks different.

However, the rest, incl jumper positions etc do look rather the same.. (haven't checked the jumpers yet, just at first glance)

...could it be I just have a later revision of this very same board or anything? (as the sticker on my board does read 'Rev. A02')
What do you guys think?

Still relatively new, but spending too much time on retro already.. 😀

Reply 9 of 9, by MaTi

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So, I was looking a bit further and it looks prettty much like this beauty 😀
..so i guess I got my question answered 😀

Still relatively new, but spending too much time on retro already.. 😀