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 doaks80 » 2019-1-16 @ 07:45

Tried out my other PAS, a Logitech Soundman. Very nice sounding card, no noise, easy to configure, real opl3...I might even use it as my main DOS soundcard alongside a musicquest clone.
k6-3+ 400 / s3 virge DX+voodoo1 / awe32(32mb)
via c3 866 / s3 savage4+voodoo2 sli / audigy1+awe64(8mb)
athlon xp 3200+ / voodoo5 5500 / diamond mx300
pentium4 3400 / geforce fx5950U / audigy2 ZS
core2duo E8500 / radeon HD5850 / x-fi titanium
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-1-16 @ 11:08

Double-fail here yesterday...

I have this nice mid-period 486 board with EISA and VLB that unfortunately had a soldered Dallas RTC, which was of course completely dead.

So, after quite some desoldering I managed to remove the offending unit and (with rather less effort) added a socket to plop a replacement onto:

Image

Looks shiny - so why a fail?
Firstly, note the RTC - it's a DS1387, not a DS1287; something I should have seen before I started. That means it's "RAMified", i.e. it has 4k SRAM onboard - and that there is basically no like-for-like replacement available. I also lost two of its legs while trying to remove it, so even if I try to mod it, I'll have fun getting it hooked up again. That said, the way it was nestled down in between two other chips means that I couldn't have operated on it in-situ anyway, so this bit was inevitable.
Secondly, I think I killed the board. Previously it would boot with no more complaint than CMOS settings invalid. Now, it starts the very beginning of POST, but stops at 0d. Not good.

Two possibilities:
1) the board tries to access the SRAM on the DS1387 early in the POST and if it can't find it, stops there. In that case I could try to fix the DS1387's legs (the ones I killed are CS and OER, i.e. RAM output enable - so directly related to the SRAM) or get another one less mutilated.
2) the board would boot happily without the DS1387 and its SRAM, but I borked something else with my cack-handed soldering and it's total loss.

This is the first time I've worked on a system with a DS1387. Anyone who has handled them before know what expected behaviour is if you try to boot with the DS1387 removed or defective?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby eisapc » 2019-1-16 @ 12:21

The additional SRAM may be used to store the EISA configuration, but I only remember boards using a separate DALLAS DS1225 NVRAM chip for this purpose.

It should be possible to replace the included battery and add the two lost pins following this instruction:
http://www.mcamafia.de/mcapage0/dsrework.htm
BTW what board is this?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-1-16 @ 12:35

eisapc wrote:The additional SRAM may be used to store the EISA configuration, but I only remember boards using a separate DALLAS DS1225 NVRAM chip for this purpose.

It should be possible to replace the included battery and add the two lost pins following this instruction:
http://www.mcamafia.de/mcapage0/dsrework.htm
BTW what board is this?

Yep, aware of that one. But only want to make that effort if there's a good chance of a working board afterwards.

It's a whitelabel (literally - I have it new in box with manual & disks and there's not a brand name anywhere) SL 486E, which I believe is an ECS board.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-1-16 @ 14:51

Older Tandy systems, like the 1000SL, had a socket for an SRAM RTC module.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-1-16 @ 15:04

dionb wrote:Image

Secondly, I think I killed the board. Previously it would boot with no more complaint than CMOS settings invalid. Now, it starts the very beginning of POST, but stops at 0d. Not good.

Two possibilities:
1) the board tries to access the SRAM on the DS1387 early in the POST and if it can't find it, stops there. In that case I could try to fix the DS1387's legs (the ones I killed are CS and OER, i.e. RAM output enable - so directly related to the SRAM) or get another one less mutilated.
2) the board would boot happily without the DS1387 and its SRAM, but I borked something else with my cack-handed soldering and it's total loss.

This is the first time I've worked on a system with a DS1387. Anyone who has handled them before know what expected behaviour is if you try to boot with the DS1387 removed or defective?

Can you show us the underbelly of where you soldered? Doesn't look too bad from the top.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-1-16 @ 16:38

After a long search, I finally got my holy grail of high performance AGP cards: an ATI Radeon HD4670! It's the HIS version, with the oversized cooler. According to the description, the owner used it for a very short time before upgrading to a PCIe system (the card itself doesn't even have a single speck of dust), so it should be troublefree.

I mostly hope that I won't have the same issues I had with the infamous HD3850, but I think that the card was just defective, since now I've replaced my old 6800GT with another bridged card, a VisionTek X1950 Pro, and runs without issues.

Fingers crossed...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby TheMobRules » 2019-1-16 @ 16:49

dionb wrote:This is the first time I've worked on a system with a DS1387. Anyone who has handled them before know what expected behaviour is if you try to boot with the DS1387 removed or defective?


I don't know specifically about the DS1387, but none of my boards that use a DS12887 post without the RTC. If the RTC is there but the battery is dead, I get the "CMOS battery low" but the board is at least able to POST.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby LunarG » 2019-1-16 @ 17:10

Does swapping out the cheap China-model VGA switch I was using, with a nice new Aten CS84U KVM count as retro activity?
When you have 4 retro systems that you want hooked up to the same CRT monitor, and you don't really have space to have separate keyboards and mice for all, then a KVM comes in really handy.
I was lucky to hold of a brand new KVM at less than 1/3 of the in-store price, simply cause somebody had bought a few too many, and they'd just ended up sitting on a shelf.
Auto-sensing inputs, PS/2 mouse and keyboard, and USB as well should I need it. Pretty nifty :D
WinXP : PIII 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 73GB SCSI HDD, Matrox Parhelia, SB Audigy 2.
Win98se : K6-3+ 500MHz, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, Matrox Millennium G400 MAX, Voodoo 2, Waveforce 192XG.
DOS6.22 : Intel DX4, 64MB RAM, 1.6GB HDD, ELSA Winner 1000PRO, GUS 1MB, SB16.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-1-16 @ 17:20

So this may be my new desktop case. Inquiring with the Chinese manufacturer about the case specifics currently. I know, it's a rack, but my goodness it's a beauty. That flip down door!!! If I put four rubber feet at the bottom it's a damn desktop! No one can tell me different. LOL This will house my dual Pentium Pro build BTW.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 6d69AHwbuj

I am hoping the final product does actually say "Industrial Computer" on it. Classic in my book.

Industrial-chassis.jpg
Industrial-chassis_open.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby wiretap » 2019-1-16 @ 17:48

liqmat wrote:So this may be my new desktop case. Inquiring with the Chinese manufacturer about the case specifics currently. I know, it's a rack, but my goodness it's a beauty. That flip down door!!! If I put four rubber feet at the bottom it's a damn desktop! No one can tell me different. LOL This will house my dual Pentium Pro build BTW.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 6d69AHwbuj

I am hoping the final product does actually say "Industrial Computer" on it. Classic in my book.

We use these cases all over at my work.. but we order them through Advantech. Protip: Don't press the reset button, because it gets stuck, then you have to try to get it unstuck for 20 minutes with a dental pick, or disassemble the button to release it. :dead:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-1-16 @ 18:31

wiretap wrote:
liqmat wrote:So this may be my new desktop case. Inquiring with the Chinese manufacturer about the case specifics currently. I know, it's a rack, but my goodness it's a beauty. That flip down door!!! If I put four rubber feet at the bottom it's a damn desktop! No one can tell me different. LOL This will house my dual Pentium Pro build BTW.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 6d69AHwbuj

I am hoping the final product does actually say "Industrial Computer" on it. Classic in my book.

We use these cases all over at my work.. but we order them through Advantech. Protip: Don't press the reset button, because it gets stuck, then you have to try to get it unstuck for 20 minutes with a dental pick, or disassemble the button to release it. :dead:

Hmmm... sounds like cheap build quality. Thanks. Think I'll skip then. Too bad as it has a very attractive look to it IMO.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-1-16 @ 18:42

Should have been your first clue:

Shenzhen Baige Xianfeng Technology Co., Ltd.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-1-16 @ 19:42

luckybob wrote:Should have been your first clue:

Shenzhen Baige Xianfeng Technology Co., Ltd.

Means nothing to me actually.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-1-16 @ 20:02

It's made in China, it's cheap shit.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-1-16 @ 21:30

luckybob wrote:It's made in China, it's cheap shit.


Welcome to 1990.
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bakemono » 2019-1-16 @ 21:44

My toys are broken again. I tried to do something with my A2000 but the one bootable HDD I had is now dying. I connected it to a PC (a few of them actually, before I found one that would let me manually enter the CHS values and then boot without having a fit) and ran CheckIt which was showing many unreadable sectors. So it's basically bricked right now unless I can come up with a creative way to boot it. I'm thinking that IF any of the IDE drives I have laying around can work with the GVP IDE interface, then in theory I could create a bootable disk image on PC and write it to an HDD. So I am researching RDB and Amiga boot sectors. I'm assuming it can't boot from a SCSI CD-ROM since I can't find any info about this (but what about the CD32??)

While I was there I discovered that the IBM AT board I had setup has also died. Turning it on, it shows the video card's boot message and then does one of two things. It either shows the BIOS text briefly and then resets, or it says CMOS INOPERATIONAL SYSTEM HALTED. That's with the AMI BIOS. I tried reinstalling the IBM BIOS to see what it would do, but it does nothing at all. Disconnecting or swapping the external batteries for the CMOS has no effect. :p
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-1-16 @ 22:03

luckybob wrote:It's made in China, it's cheap shit.

Bullshit, news flash, most things are made in China and I have gotten plenty from China that was made perfectly solid. Completely depends on a lot of factors.
Last edited by liqmat on 2019-1-16 @ 22:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-1-16 @ 22:09

Pretty much everything is made in China (including a large number of things with prominent stars&stripes on them) - the distinction is rather that things like this are sold directly from China, rather than a non-Chinese company taking responsibility for quality control. That doesn't make it crap, it does mean it's your job as a buyer to find out whether it's crap. And if you don't, be prepared for crap. The upshot: no middlemen, so better prices for both buyer and manufacturer. If you are alert and make sure you know what you are getting before buying, you can get great stuff for great prices.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-1-16 @ 22:19

wiretap wrote:Protip: Don't press the reset button, because it gets stuck, then you have to try to get it unstuck for 20 minutes with a dental pick, or disassemble the button to release it. :dead:

Speaking of stuck reset buttons, my Nintendo 64 and GameCube have 1 thing in common: the reset or eject button gets stuck. I also had a computer case that had a plaguing reset button that never worked.
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