Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-17 @ 11:56

Yes there is corrosion there and there around the battery.
JP16: How did the + and - terminal searching go in a simple way ?
So I take a multimeter and *beep* around the 3-pins and what to find out the + and - terminals...?

What is the name of the JP16 compatible battery connector so I can search Ebay is it just a *4-pin connector* ?
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-17 @ 12:06

Ok.
So Pin3 is probably plus "+" ?
Pin4 is sure ground. Checked.
So I need just a *2-pin connector* ?
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-17 @ 12:10

Nope, soldering motherboards is a pain in the butt anyway.

You want pin 1 and 4, Pin 3 might be for rechargeable battery.

As for getting a the external battery pack, you can buy the battery holder from an electronics store, then solder it to the wires from an old computer speaker (the 4 pin connector).

When I was looking on ebay for the battery packs pre-made, I could never find them, so I had to make my own.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-17 @ 13:20

4-pin connector and 3xAA(A) holder. Ok.
So this way in picture 1-Pin(+) and 4-pin(-) ?
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-17 @ 14:03

yep, that is right
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-17 @ 15:04

Ok. I'll build a 4-pin 3xAA(4.5V) Holder as a external CMOS battery.
Is there a manual for these mfg.1991 386 C&T(Chips and Technologies) motherboards made in Taiwan ?
- Is it a common knowledge that JP16 is a external battery connector ?
What do those other JPxxs mean ? Some have jumpers.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby jesolo » 2019-3-17 @ 16:46

user33331 wrote:Ok. I'll build a 4-pin 3xAA(4.5V) Holder as a external CMOS battery.
Is there a manual for these mfg.1991 386 C&T(Chips and Technologies) motherboards made in Taiwan ?
- Is it a common knowledge that JP16 is a external battery connector ?
What do those other JPxxs mean ? Some have jumpers.

Here's a guide to replacing old batteries - just go with an external battery holder (4.5V is fine; 3V won't be enough): http://pc-restorer.com/replacing-cmos-b ... n-old-pcs/

Refer to this site to try and identify your motherboard (under the 386 section): http://arvutimuuseum.ee/th99/#1
Look for something that is unique on your motherboard (number of slots, where the CPU is located, etc.)
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-18 @ 08:06

If going for a free/really cheap budget sound card with IDE are these ok or junk to forget ?
Don't need anything fancy and special just a basic sound and a working CD-drive.
- Soundport
- Avance
- OPTi
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby sf78 » 2019-3-18 @ 10:34

Those are all low tier cards as you probably know. I would personally avoid Opti, but Avance Logic has some good cards. Best would be to find a card with jumper settings as some of the PnP cards might have issues with older motherboards/BIOS settings. The whole ISA PnP thing didn't really work consistently until the end of the ISA era when most of the 486's were fully compatible.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-18 @ 11:08

Hmmm...Can I install 2pcs of sound cards at the same time ?
1.) Bad sound card with IDE: only to connect 1pc IDE CD-rom drive.( Not used for sound )
2.) Good sound card used to emit sound (no IDE connector).

I can't find jumpered sound cards.
Only those newer 1994-1997 PNP ones needing drivers.

What means if sound cards have writings like ?:
- "Secondary IDE"
- "IDE"
- "Optical IDE"
- "IDE CD-ROM"
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby chinny22 » 2019-3-18 @ 11:44

Cant you have the HDD as primary and CD as slave? my knowledge only really starts at the 486 era, but thought this was still the case?

Otherwise yes you can have 2 soundcards as long as you configure the resources not to conflict.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-18 @ 12:00

No idea ? Does a 1990-91 I/O-card recognize a CD-drive. That would help.
There is a 1pc free data cable with HDD... I only have 1pc HDD.
Should I try to connect the CD-Rom drive with the HDD ?
- Will it break/corrupt the HDD's data ?
- Any performance issues running HDD and drive with same ribbon.

What is the opposite to PNP=plug and play ? Is it OPL ?
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-18 @ 12:11

Multiple sound cards are things people get into later in their Retro adventures (if they take it that far) The really GOOD sound cards people talk about are rare and expensive, like the Gravis ultra-sound. So are the iconic sound cards, like the sound blaster pro 2.

I linked an ESS 688 sound card earlier that was partially plug and play, with a jumpered IDE port, which would likely work.

But yeah, fully non-pnp cards are going to carry a price premium, as they are rarer and more desirable, as you can see in this thread. You could give an ESS 1868 or Yamaha YMF-718/719 card a punt. I can't guarantee it will work, but there is a good chance, and they are pretty inexpensive. At the very least, I haven't had much issue getting these cards to at least work in DOS. Windows 3.1 can be more temperamental.

You can certainly try setting the hard drive as master, then the CD-ROM as slave, and run both drives off the one IDE cable, but because I've never tested this using your particular drives, I can't guarantee it will work either. Old computers can be finicky beasts.

Opposite to PNP is non-PNP, as in there really is no full opposite to PNP. Originally ISA cards were configured manually using electrical jumpers. Then software configured cards became a thing, particularly for network cards. Then PNP was invented as an out of band way to fully configure ISA cards and became the normal when ISA became old.

OPL3 is the music standard for FM synthesis before fully digital music and wavetable synthesis replaced it. I suggest the ess or yamaha isa cards because they are known to consistently implement OPL based FM synthesis well.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby retardware » 2019-3-18 @ 12:13

Forget about using soundcards' IDE ports for anything except exactly the CD drives that are certified to work with these. And be wary about these actually working as advertised.

My tip from my experiences in the 1990s:
-Disable the soundcards' IDE port if possible, it is not worth bothering with.
-Use a secondary (non-soundcard) IDE adapter if there are conflicts/difficulties when using both HDD and CDROM on the same IDE channel.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-18 @ 12:24

I'd use the soundcard's IDE port first, before trying slave setting on the same IDE cable as the hard drive.

If that doesn't work, the using slave on the hard drive IDE cable would be acceptable.

Just be aware that finding an ISA IDE adapter that can be configured properly to not interfere with the primary IDE adapter is quite a difficult task. They are not typically built to be configured like this.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-18 @ 12:28

Ok. Might as well try using HDD as Master and CD-drive as Slave.
Does CS=Cable Select work on 386 ?
Then I could get a no IDE sound card.

For best sound card drivers compatibility and easy installation should I install which OS: Windows 95, Windows 3.11 or just MS-DOS 6.22 ?
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby canthearu » 2019-3-18 @ 12:30

Cable select needs special IDE cables. Normal IDE cables are just straight through, so will not work with cable select.

You should stick with MS-DOS 6.22 and windows 3.11 on this machine. Windows 95 will be quite slow and opens up a whole new can of worms.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby chinny22 » 2019-3-18 @ 13:28

user33331 wrote:- Will it break/corrupt the HDD's data ?
- Any performance issues running HDD and drive with same ribbon.


1- No, feel free to try any combination till something works. Only thing the jumper will do is stop the drive being recognised in BIOS if its not happy (and then you change it back)
2- Small performance hit when accessing both the CD and HDD at the same time as they will have to wait for each other. On a 386 I doubt you'll playing many games off CD anyway so doubt it'll be a issue.

DOS 100% Win95 on a 386 isn't fun at all, even for testing.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby jesolo » 2019-3-18 @ 13:33

One of the older sound cards I can recommend is the Aztech Labs Sound Galaxy range, particularly those with the AZT-2316 chipset.
There were also earlier models with the AZT-1605 chipset and, although they have an OPL3 FM synthesis chip for stereo playback, their DSP is only Sound Blaster 2.0 (mono) compatible.
Some other manufacturers also used rebranded Aztech cards, which includes Trust, Reveal & HP.
All Aztech cards with either the AZT-1605 or AZT-2316 chipset is non PnP. Only those with the AZT-2320 chipset are PnP.
I would try running the CD-ROM on the same IDE cable as the hard drive.
Set your hard drive up as Master & connect the end of the IDE cable to the hard drive.
You then set your CD-ROM as slave and connect the middle of the IDE cable to the CD-ROM drive.
Under DOS, you obviously need to also load your CD-ROM drivers in order to access the CD-ROM drive.
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Re: Sad looking ACT 386 DX year mfg.1991 ?

Postby user33331 » 2019-3-18 @ 14:33

All these cards are so new...mfg.1996 or 1997.
Would they really work in a computer made in 1990-1991 ? (+They cost 30-50usd$ posted which is kind of high for a 23 y.o. electronic piece and I have no idea if they work with this 30 y.o. computer. :blush: )
- ESS 688 =Edison Gold-16.
- ESS 1868
- Yamaha YMF-718
- Yamaha YMF-719
I have to wait/put the project on hold and see if I can find a free sound card from some another recycled PC.

How to "load the CD-ROM drivers" in MS-DOS to get the drive working ?
- I have a mfg.2006 LG CD-RW drive and a mfg.2002 TDK CD-RW drive.
Should the drive be older ?
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