VOGONS


Reply 20 of 36, by gdjacobs

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It's been a while since I messed with third party DOS mixer utils, but the ESS mixer is SB Pro compatible. Maybe worth looking at some of the options from textfiles?
http://cd.textfiles.com/simtel/simtel0101/sim … nd/00_index.htm

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Reply 21 of 36, by Pierre32

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Oh well, she's unplugged again for now as I had to get on with some MIDI activity in this box. Thanks for the link though; there will be other test days, and I will try out some stuff then.

In the meantime, I've compiled what I've learned into a PDF. It's incomplete, but hopefully it helps someone in the future. Maybe someone will even find it, then come back and tell me everything I got wrong so I can update it!

EDIT: PDF now attached to first post

Last edited by Pierre32 on 2020-06-08, 00:34. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 22 of 36, by Pierre32

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The card remains uninstalled for now, but I can't help googling things. I was browsing ebay for other ES688 cards, and noticed that some of them have an additional chip that mine does not: The ES968. Then the penny dropped: That's the message I've seen on startup if I have Autoexec initialising the card with ESSCONFIG. ES968 not found.

I searched for info on that chip and found: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/seanpaul/dpu-s … c98b0106c42c70a

The ESS ES968 chip is nothing more then a PnP companion for a non-PnP audio chip. It was paired with non-PnP ESS' chips: ES688 and ES1688.

Which suggests that all the ESS drivers I've found are intended for PnP cards? And affirms my belief that there is still a long lost version of the drivers out there somewhere. Not immediately helpful, but another crumb of data.

Reply 23 of 36, by jpb123@email.com

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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-06-06, 02:53:
The card remains uninstalled for now, but I can't help googling things. I was browsing ebay for other ES688 cards, and noticed t […]
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The card remains uninstalled for now, but I can't help googling things. I was browsing ebay for other ES688 cards, and noticed that some of them have an additional chip that mine does not: The ES968. Then the penny dropped: That's the message I've seen on startup if I have Autoexec initialising the card with ESSCONFIG. ES968 not found.

I searched for info on that chip and found: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/seanpaul/dpu-s … c98b0106c42c70a

The ESS ES968 chip is nothing more then a PnP companion for a non-PnP audio chip. It was paired with non-PnP ESS' chips: ES688 and ES1688.

Which suggests that all the ESS drivers I've found are intended for PnP cards? And affirms my belief that there is still a long lost version of the drivers out there somewhere. Not immediately helpful, but another crumb of data.

I was about to ditch one of those cards in the late nineties. I was making a PC from junk,as the power source of my old ACER had gone burst and replacing it was expensive. I bought a whole pc with motherboard and power source from a friend for the price of a beer bottle and I began searching for an audio card to record the voice of my new born daughter.

So, I went to a PCshop and asked for an ISA sound card, cause my motherboard did not accept PCI.

At first sight they told me they did not have one (as it was already old stuff at the time) but then a technician remembered they had one somewhere at the workshop.

They sold it to me with no guarantee as (I realised later) they had not been able to make it work. It came in a Yamaha branded open box and I began to search for a driver after plugging it into the motherboard as I was in no condition of writing a driver by myself.

Luckily the bios or some other software told me it was no yamaha but an ESS ES688 sound card. I do not remember how I managed to know where to plug the card for the beginning but I do remember the driver that was in the manufacturer web page did not make it work.

A week passed with me searching in internet only to find myriads of people complaining for that particular card not working for their PCs. And when I was about to ditch the card I found the driver under a Polish web page. It was an executable for DOS named Shark.exe, that´s all I can remember. It worked fine for the next six years, after what I ditched the whole PC cause it was not upgradable anymore and it had become to slow for modern world internet.

Reply 24 of 36, by Pierre32

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Thanks for sharing that! It's comforting to know that I'm not the only living soul who hit the jackpot with this exception-to-the-rule Audiodrive. I will probably be spending some late nights trawling the Polish web for Sharks now.

Reply 25 of 36, by cyclone3d

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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-06-06, 04:03:

Thanks for sharing that! It's comforting to know that I'm not the only living soul who hit the jackpot with this exception-to-the-rule Audiodrive. I will probably be spending some late nights trawling the Polish web for Sharks now.

I bet that Shark.exe was drivers for a Shark Multimedia branded sound card.

Looking at their archived page, it looks like they used ESS chips.. but the archived drivers only go back to ES1688.
http://web.archive.org/web/19970205084353/htt … ://sharkmm.com/

Have you tried the generic drivers directly from the ESS archived site?
http://web.archive.org/web/19970626173050/htt … es/intro_ud.htm

Seeing as how the DOS / Windows 3.1 is the same driver set from everything from 488 up to 1888, maybe the Shark Mako driver would work as it is for the 1688.

Edit:
What about the Edison Gold 16 driver set? This card doesn't have the ES968 AND the ESSCFG is from 1993 while the others above are from 1995.
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=1461&menustate=0

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 26 of 36, by appiah4

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Pierre32 wrote on 2020-06-06, 02:53:
The card remains uninstalled for now, but I can't help googling things. I was browsing ebay for other ES688 cards, and noticed t […]
Show full quote

The card remains uninstalled for now, but I can't help googling things. I was browsing ebay for other ES688 cards, and noticed that some of them have an additional chip that mine does not: The ES968. Then the penny dropped: That's the message I've seen on startup if I have Autoexec initialising the card with ESSCONFIG. ES968 not found.

I searched for info on that chip and found: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/seanpaul/dpu-s … c98b0106c42c70a

The ESS ES968 chip is nothing more then a PnP companion for a non-PnP audio chip. It was paired with non-PnP ESS' chips: ES688 and ES1688.

Which suggests that all the ESS drivers I've found are intended for PnP cards? And affirms my belief that there is still a long lost version of the drivers out there somewhere. Not immediately helpful, but another crumb of data.

That just means you do not need ESSCFG at all, yout card is non-PnP and will work right away if you set the matching BLASTER variable for the jumper settings. ESSCFG will only help if your card is PnP. ESSVOL mixer will still work though.

I have an Edison Gold-16 which also lacks an ES968 in my 386SX. It has no jumpers for IRQ and DMA and defaults to IRQ7 and DMA1 and runs at that unless I run ESSCFG to change it on a per boot basis. The ESSCFG in the Edison Gold-16 drivers I uploaded to Vogons Drivers and was linked above works with this card. I will check the boot config and post back.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 28 of 36, by appiah4

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derSammler wrote on 2020-06-06, 08:04:

I don't think ESSVOL will do anything, as the ES688 has no hardware volume control.

I will check this as well.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 29 of 36, by Rawit

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https://www.high-voltage.cz/2018/obrazem-isa-zvukove-karty/

There is a collection of soundcard images there, one being the same design as you have. Perhaps you can copy the jumper settings from that one and see how it fares.

About not supported in DOS; that is very unlikely with this card. The laptops mentioned in that thread have the chip hooked up on PCMCIA bus without DMA.

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Reply 30 of 36, by Pierre32

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Lots of great input, cheers 😀

cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-06, 05:23:
I bet that Shark.exe was drivers for a Shark Multimedia branded sound card. […]
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I bet that Shark.exe was drivers for a Shark Multimedia branded sound card.

Looking at their archived page, it looks like they used ESS chips.. but the archived drivers only go back to ES1688.
http://web.archive.org/web/19970205084353/htt … ://sharkmm.com/

Have you tried the generic drivers directly from the ESS archived site?
http://web.archive.org/web/19970626173050/htt … es/intro_ud.htm

I've been through the old ESS archives, yeah. Good shout on Shark Multimedia, that's an interesting lead! I had a dig through, and it looks like their Mako 1 was an ES688 card. Their version of ESSCFG actually recognises my 688 (refer pic 01) but looking at the deeper options (pic 02) it specifically says no MPU options available on the 688. And no sign of any TSRs in this driver pack.

appiah4 wrote on 2020-06-06, 07:59:

That just means you do not need ESSCFG at all, yout card is non-PnP and will work right away if you set the matching BLASTER variable for the jumper settings. ESSCFG will only help if your card is PnP. ESSVOL mixer will still work though.

I have an Edison Gold-16 which also lacks an ES968 in my 386SX. It has no jumpers for IRQ and DMA and defaults to IRQ7 and DMA1 and runs at that unless I run ESSCFG to change it on a per boot basis. The ESSCFG in the Edison Gold-16 drivers I uploaded to Vogons Drivers and was linked above works with this card. I will check the boot config and post back.

I've got this pack. ESSCFG doesn't like the card, but I guess that's a moot point as you say. ENMPU initialises without any complaints (pic 03) - but the MPU is still not visible to any other software such as games or SoftMPU. (FWIW, P330 had also been added to SET BLASTER params). Interested to see your boot config.

Rawit wrote on 2020-06-06, 09:52:

https://www.high-voltage.cz/2018/obrazem-isa-zvukove-karty/

There is a collection of soundcard images there, one being the same design as you have. Perhaps you can copy the jumper settings from that one and see how it fares.

About not supported in DOS; that is very unlikely with this card. The laptops mentioned in that thread have the chip hooked up on PCMCIA bus without DMA.

Nice find. Looks like I've landed on the same jumper config already.

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  • 03 Edison ENMPU.jpg
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  • 02 Mako ESSCFG.jpg
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  • 01 Mako ESSCFG.jpg
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Reply 31 of 36, by appiah4

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OK I checked out my 386SX. It has this card installed, jumpered as shown in photo:

Edison-Gold-16-D.jpg

Here is the system configuration for DOS:

ES688-AUTOEXEC.jpg ES688-CONFIG.jpg

Here is the ESSCFG output:

ES688-ESSCFG-02.jpg ES688-ESSCFG-01.jpg

As you can see it responds to the ESSCFG.EXE from the Edison Gold-16 pack I mentioned above. The card is jumpered to A220, and the Joystick/IDE are also jumper controlled but I7 and D1 can be changed at boot using ESSCFG. If you do not want to load ESSCFG at boot, it automatically configures as A220 I7 D1 regardless.

It is also completely responsive and functional with ESSVOL:

ES688-ESSVOL.jpg

Also, I can confirm that the ENMPU TSR is not compatible with SOFTMPU, apparently. I hadn't noticed because I use a MIDI Interface Card in this system at 330 instead, but I can use devices that do not need intelligent mode on port 300 with this card.

For more information about setting up this card with ESSCFG you may want to check out thispost and this post I made to another user in another argument..

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-06-06, 16:05. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 33 of 36, by gdjacobs

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-06-06, 14:24:

Also, I can confirm that the ENMPU TSR is not compatible with SOFTMPU, apparently. I hadn't noticed because I use a MIDI Interface Card in this system at 330 instead, but I can use devices that do not need intelligent mode on port 300 with this card.

I wonder if SoftMPU could be extended to provide the MPU401 interface directly.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 34 of 36, by Pierre32

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Fresh eyes and the chance to bounce things off people have resulted in a little more progress on the documentation of this card. No MPU yet, but here's a thing: ESSCFG in the Edison Gold pack does recognise this card. Why didn't it before? Conflicts? Operator error? It is a mystery. But not important now.

What I did notice today, now running the Edison files, is that ESSCFG was reading a different IRQ from the card than the one I had set in Autoexec. Puzzled, I removed one of my as-yet-unidentified jumpers and ran it again. And boom, new IRQ. It turns out that two jumpers I thought were not related to each other (thanks to the janky labelling) are actually a pair, and now I know what they do. So that's all of Bank 1 accounted for.

I also spotted some jumpers I hadn't noticed before, which is pretty funny. Nestled between the two huge blue caps and the audio output, I assumed these were for line/amp switching and that turned out to be correct.

In the sequence of jumper numbers, JP6 is still missing. That's probably the MPU enable they left off at the factory <.<

(Full PDF now attached to first post)

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Reply 35 of 36, by perhenden

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Thanks,Pierre32, this was a huge help 😀
I'm hoping to figure out how to enable the IDE-CDROM on this card.

Regarding the block 2 jumpers, it makes sense as you say, that they control CDROM-configuration.
On my card, which looks identical , but has a sticker underneath saying "Ultra products, 12/1995", as well as empty solder pads in place of LS-212, there are labels near the CD-ROM headers.
Perhaps that's also the case with your card, I couldn't tell from the picture.
These labels say, going from card rear to card front (right to left), Sony, Mitsumi, Panasonic, and Secondary IDE.
My card has all the jumpers in block 2 set to the lower position (touching the white line), like yours.

According to Re: Where to find Jumper settings for Audio Drive ES688, which lists jumper settings for another ES688 with the same four CDROM-headers, there is a large number of potential settings to configure by jumpers.

On this card there are few jumpers, compared to that other ES688-card mentioned. We could perhaps deduce what the jumpers must represent, by considering which configuration options are required as a bare minimum.
There is no selection of IDE base address, it's always 170h, as that is indicated by the label "Secondary IDE", so that accounts for one of the "missing" jumpers.
We know that CDROM-type must be one of them. I see Sony & Mitsumi grouped together as the same setting on other cards, so at least three values to choose from are required here.
Non-IDE io base address should be one of the jumpers, given that is unpractical to have no choice here. You would need at least two values to choose between. I see some other cards given the selection of either 320 or 340.
It seems that non-IDE CDROM requires DRQ/DACK, which should have the same value, and is a DMA address (1/2/3), so that takes three values.
An IRQ is perhaps required? Or would it be possible to do without by polling the io ports? I'm guessing required.
The other card used two three-pin jumpers for non-IDE IRQ, and one for IDE. That brings us down to zero remaining jumpers.

My guess then is (using letters as I can't infer which jumpers are which):
2-pin A: IDE IRQ (14/15)
2-pin B: non-IDE io base address (320/340)
3-pin C: non-IDE DRQ/DACK (1/2/3)
3-pin D: non-IDE IRQ (9/10/11)
3-pin E: CD-ROM type (Mitsumi & Sony, Panasonic, IDE)

Hope this can be of use, perhaps for others to build upon.
I don't know how to initialize the CDROM-controller, there is perhaps a driver/sys-file I can load from config.sys?

Reply 36 of 36, by Pierre32

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Glad this thread has helped someone else, and that's some great additional input 😀 I've just scoured my photos and found one that shows the CD header labelling:

ES688F CD connectors.jpg
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Left to right:

I7 - Secondary IDE
I6 - Panasonic
I5 - Mitsumi
I4 - Sony

My card is stowed away at the moment but it will find its way on to the test bench again, because I can never let unanswered questions go. I've never tried to use the CD connectors but it would be very satisfying to at least get the IDE working with the help of the clues you've provided. And recently, Deksor has scraped soundcard-drivers.com and uploaded the lot to archive.org, so there might be some more resources to wade through:

Link Repository for Vintage PC Driver\Documentation Archives, FTPs, Websites

[edit] Curious about the lack of LS-212 chip on your card. How does it handle FM?