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 appiah4 » 2019-2-14 @ 08:12

kaputnik wrote:The second test print turned out quite okay, but I'm still not fully satisfied. There's still some surface roughness at the DB ports cutout indications, so tomorrow I'll try to narrow them down a bit and go back to 0.5 mm thickness.

After finding the connector for the PS/2 bracket, it became obvious that it'll never fit above the AT port, got to move it somewhere else.

The modified latching mechanism works very well though :)

Also got a few other small adjustments in mind.

atio4.jpg


Amazing! Really looking forward to an STL that I can get a couple of printed locally :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2019-2-14 @ 10:05

Just finished publishing my Voodoo5 5500 thermal testing results over here that I gathered a few days ago. Verifies that a V5 is most likely never going to run above 60C even when overclocked with its stock cooling solution.

Next up, I plan to redo my now obviously off Voodoo4 testing, and also do a thread for my i7-3770k OP XP/decent Win10 gaming PC, now that it has finally stabilized in terms of config and all.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby kaputnik » 2019-2-14 @ 11:50

bjwil1991 wrote:Now that's something I'm interested in printing myself. The design looks pretty stellar.


novasilisko wrote:Oh yeah, I'd definitely be interested in that model. Getting sick of having a big hole in the back of my build, trashy as it may be.


appiah4 wrote:Amazing! Really looking forward to an STL that I can get a couple of printed locally :)



Just finished the AT shield. Started a new thread due to the somewhat unexpected interest :)

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=65320
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-14 @ 14:14

As promised, I have ran 3DMark 2003 as well as adding two heatsinks to a pair of uncooled VRMs that were not touched by the copper backplate at all, and here's the score, stock settings (1024x768 @ 32bpp):

Image

And the breakdown:

Image

The card is running now at the maximum limit, which in my case is 621/803. I haven't tried to up the FSB more, because it's stable at 146.88MHz and I don't feel like risking if I increase it more, but I'm very satisfied to get such a result from a Pentium III.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-2-14 @ 15:27

I'm curious, why do you have a win 95 style taskbar and desktop, and a win 3.x style window system? Am I missing something here?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-2-14 @ 15:35

I'm using Stardock Windowblinds to get this hybrid Windows 9x/3.x look on XP. Kind of a best of both worlds to me, as I always liked the UI of Windows 3.x.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2019-2-14 @ 16:14

Decided to experiment with installing Windows ME onto my VIA Nano U3400 800MHz, VX855 Chipset Thin Client. It works much better on this than Windows 98SE did, but is still not fully compatible.

The major issue is lack of drivers for Graphics (VIA/S3 Chrome9 HCM IGP) & Audio (VIA HDA).

I had one of those cheap Chinese USB Audio dongles, so used that for sound which works fine. For graphics, I had to make do with the VBEMP 9x Universal VESA/VBE driver, which at least gives me the correct resolution & colours, albeit no 3D acceleration.

Also it won't shutdown or reboot, freezes on a black screen just like 98SE did. Probably power management or ACPI issues, I'll look into that later. Got a yellow warning in device manager for "System board extension for ACPI BIOS", that is apparently causing a conflict.

This system works perfectly with Windows XP and is powerful enough to run DOS games in DOSBOX, so I'll probably just stick to using Win XP overall. But having ME installed on one of my systems again certainly is a novelty and surprisingly it's been very stable so far, certainly not what I remember from the past. :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Munx » 2019-2-14 @ 19:40

Saved a Slot A motherboard from a bunch of leaky and bulging caps. This Chaintech CT-7ATA now lives to POST another day!
P_20190214_203509.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2019-2-14 @ 20:32

Munx wrote:Saved a Slot A motherboard from a bunch of leaky and bulging caps. This Chaintech CT-7ATA now lives to POST another day!
P_20190214_203509.jpg

Huzzah! Huzzah! And may your motherboard live a longer and more stable life!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby henryVK » 2019-2-15 @ 08:48

My Portable PC clone thing arrived yesterday. I only had a brief moment to look at it and so far it tries to boot (most of the time), and the CMOS battery is of course empty. I've had just one quick look inside and it's quite dust free, likely from just having sat tucked away in its carrying bag.

As far as I can tell this is a 386 with 16 Mb of RAM, Cirrus graphics, a 3,5" floppy drive and an empty 2,5" SCISI bay that once held a HDD. It's kinda dusty on the outside, but no visible damage. The keyboard seems to work, though I haven't tested every key, but it's nice and klicky and the machine would have been worth the money for the functioning keyboard alone, I guess. It has a funky layout that I've never seen, with ESC sitting at the top left corner of the numpad.

Image

Yup, cosmetically unobjectionable.

Image

CMOS battery needs checking...

Image

Empty SCSI, I assume...

Image

Well... I can't read any of that. I'm guessing this is the video card having a stroke? It seems to post and ask for a boot disk? I'll try some things once I had a proper look around the inside and see what's what.

If the video card is a goner, I'm not sure I'll replace it with one that has the header for the LCD screen since I want to replace that with a color screen that will just connect to the VGA out.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Shagittarius » 2019-2-15 @ 15:26

The ESC key there is like the IBM AT Keyboard. Personally I love it there and wish it had never been moved to it's current position. I think there are a lot of nice things about the older key layout than what we ended up with today.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2019-2-15 @ 16:23

I've been doing repairs and replacing capacitors on cards and boards recently but last night I was dumb and managed to clog my ZD-985 desoldering station pretty badly. I couldn't use the cleaning rods and nothing would unclog it. The clog was at the very back of the tube, just before the glass chamber. Not good!

I read some suggestions online for declogging it and the only idea that didn't sound extremely tedious and possibly damaging to the device was using a piece of sturdy solid copper wire as a cleaning rod so that it would transfer the heat from the tip to the back of the tube to melt the solder. I didn't have any solid copper wire so I attempted it with some decently strong stranded copper wire but it just wasn't strong enough.

Today I managed to find a scrap of some old small-gauge (1mm diameter, measured with calipers) solid copper wire that wasn't too bent up, so I stripped it, straightened it, and... it worked! It took a little fiddling around, but I found that it worked if I pushed it in as far as it'd go, then held it about a quarter inch from the end of the nozzle with pliers and jammed it in there hard until it moved that much, then move the pliers back a quarter inch and push some more. This prevented it from bending and it probably improved contact on the solder inside.

Needless to say, this piece of wire is now part of my soldering kit.

For anyone who is using a vacuum desoldering station, remember: Hold the suction for at least a second after lifting the tip from the solder! If you release the suction before the solder has cleared the tube completely it could stop mid-way and then resolidify. I've also read that it is a good idea to hold the part vertically so you can use the gun horizontally. When the GUN is held vertically its possible that bits of solder could fall back into the tube where they could get stuck.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-2-15 @ 16:33

I've been looking into getting a vacuum desoldering station, do you recommend a particular brand/model? I would really like to go on a capacitor-replacing spree on my power supplies, and that would be extremely helpful.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PcBytes » 2019-2-15 @ 16:36

henryVK wrote:As far as I can tell this is a 386 with 16 Mb of RAM, Cirrus graphics, a 3,5" floppy drive and an empty 2,5" SCISI bay that once held a HDD. It's kinda dusty on the outside, but no visible damage. The keyboard seems to work, though I haven't tested every key, but it's nice and klicky and the machine would have been worth the money for the functioning keyboard alone, I guess. It has a funky layout that I've never seen, with ESC sitting at the top left corner of the numpad.

That's actually a Pentium - note the 82430VX string on the POST screen.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-2-15 @ 17:13

henryVK wrote:
Image

Well... I can't read any of that. I'm guessing this is the video card having a stroke? It seems to post and ask for a boot disk? I'll try some things once I had a proper look around the inside and see what's what.

If the video card is a goner, I'm not sure I'll replace it with one that has the header for the LCD screen since I want to replace that with a color screen that will just connect to the VGA out.


To me, that looks like the pre-boot display of an older AMI BIOS. Maybe you should try reseating all the socketed chips in the machine, oftentimes this helps with that kind of thing.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-2-15 @ 17:22

You know what, actually that looks like a character ROM problem. Notice how the characters aren't random, they are substituted for others. Maybe there is a bit not working on the character ROM and it has shifted the character table over that much.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby red_avatar » 2019-2-15 @ 18:58

I decided to give the HP Vectra a chance - replaced the battery, added a better CD drive, cleaned the case out from top to bottom, etc. I Actually love the design of the case - IBM was pretty neat in how a few screws let you remove an entire assembly, but HP goes a step further. The PSU is not screwed but clipped in, the DVD and floppy drive are fastened to the front by one or two screws and undoing them lets you slide them out. The hard drive is in this bay that you can swivel outwards to reach the CD drive cables more easily and technically there's even space for another drive underneath (although there's only one IDE slot on the motherboard which is a crying shame).

EDIT: here's a picture of my 4 favorite PCs stacked on top with the Vectra at the bottom - the floppy combined with the tray-less DVD drive looks amazing I think:

Image
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Nprod » 2019-2-15 @ 20:22

Ozzuneoj wrote:I pushed it in as far as it'd go, then held it about a quarter inch from the end of the nozzle with pliers and jammed it in there hard until it moved that much, then move the pliers back a quarter inch and push some more.


I was going to suggest that, the nozzle on my S-993A got clogged recently and i did the same, but using one of the provided cleaning rods and holding the pliers only 1-2 millimeters away from the end of the nozzle. I think the trick is to remember to clean out the chamber with the rod and empty the tube canister every time before turning the tool off.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-2-15 @ 20:34

Ozzuneoj wrote:... so I stripped it, straightened it, and... it worked! It took a little fiddling around, but I found that it worked if I pushed it in as far as it'd go, then held it about a quarter inch from the end of the nozzle with pliers and jammed it in there hard until it moved that much, then move the pliers back a quarter inch and push some more. This prevented it from bending and it probably improved contact...


Image
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2019-2-15 @ 21:10

dkarguth wrote:I've been looking into getting a vacuum desoldering station, do you recommend a particular brand/model? I would really like to go on a capacitor-replacing spree on my power supplies, and that would be extremely helpful.


My Zhongdi ZD-985 is alright, though it looks like you can't buy them on Amazon anymore. They were shipping them with improperly wired AC power cables for a while (seriously!) so that could be why they are gone now. It's a decent unit for the price (around $150 when I bought mine I think), considering how much the "good" ones cost, but I'm cheap and poor so if you have the money, buy a good name brand one. It looks like amazon's selection has changed a bit. I'm not familiar with the current ones.

luckybob wrote:
Ozzuneoj wrote:... so I stripped it, straightened it, and... it worked! It took a little fiddling around, but I found that it worked if I pushed it in as far as it'd go, then held it about a quarter inch from the end of the nozzle with pliers and jammed it in there hard until it moved that much, then move the pliers back a quarter inch and push some more. This prevented it from bending and it probably improved contact...


Image


I should have known... :dead:

Nprod wrote:
Ozzuneoj wrote:I pushed it in as far as it'd go, then held it about a quarter inch from the end of the nozzle with pliers and jammed it in there hard until it moved that much, then move the pliers back a quarter inch and push some more.


I was going to suggest that, the nozzle on my S-993A got clogged recently and i did the same, but using one of the provided cleaning rods and holding the pliers only 1-2 millimeters away from the end of the nozzle. I think the trick is to remember to clean out the chamber with the rod and empty the tube canister every time before turning the tool off.


I used it today some more and I'm really glad I have this cleaning wire now because it did it three more times! I must have some suction problem somewhere else in the system that's making it jam easily. I never used to have issues like this with it... I've had other issues, but not this particular one. When it works well its absolutely incredible how fast it can make tedious through-hole desoldering jobs. It really hasn't gotten that much use since its really noisy and it can be a bit fiddly. :blah:
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