VOGONS


First post, by fitzpatr

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Hi everyone,

I'm going to start a build log for a main 486 rig. The planned specs are:

CPU: Intel 486 DX2 66 (SX955) with Write Back cache.
Motherboard: QDI V4P895P3/SMT V5.0 (OPTi 895) 3/6/1 VLB/ISA16/ISA8
Cache: 256kB 15ns
RAM: 2x 8MB 72-Pin SIMMs
VGA: Number Nine #9GXE64 Pro VLB 4MB (S3 Vision 964)
Sound Card 1: Sound Blaster 16 CT1750 (v4.05 DSP) *I'm going back and forth between this or another SB16/AWE32 variant.
Sound Card 2: Gravis Ultrasound Classic
Sound Card 3: Either MPU-401AT or Keropi's Clone
I/O: Longshine LCS-6941 VLB

Components not listed are TBD. I'm likely going to use a 1GB HDD or CF.

My biggest problem right now is the case. As is typical, finding a period correct case is either challenging or expensive. I found one close by that I''m going to try to get. Maybe I'll get lucky.

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    Sound Blaster AWE32 - CT3780
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  • 20180513_195556.jpg
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    Number Nine #9GXE64 Pro 4MB VLB Back Ticket to Ride
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  • 20180513_195402.jpg
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    Number Nine #9GXE64 Pro 4MB VLB Front
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    Number Nine #9GXE64 Pro 4MB VLB Box
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    QDI V4P895P3/SMT V5.0 OPTi 895 82C895
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Last edited by fitzpatr on 2018-05-20, 00:08. Edited 5 times in total.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 1 of 28, by badmojo

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That Number Nine is blowing my mind - I had a serious crush on those as a lad.

Cases are tricky, it's getting really hard to find a decent one. Good luck and I'm looking forward to watching this unfold 😎

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 3 of 28, by Anonymous Coward

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I had that exact same GXE64 Pro in box several years back. I probably shouldn't have sold it, but I really needed the cash at the time. #9 cards are great, especially when they're VLB.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 4 of 28, by fitzpatr

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Thank you!

I got quite lucky and got it on eBay last year for $40USD. For some reason, I kept thinking it was a Vision 968, but that isn't the case. I'll try to get an MPEG decoder card as well to make up for it.

I was able to get an offer accepted on this case! Located in Canada, which is rare and reduces shipping costs for me greatly! $85CAD + $25 shipping. For me, it has everything that I'd like... 2 5.25 bays, 2 3.5 bays, 188 frequency display and obligatory Turbo button. Baby AT reduces the profile compared to those behemoth Full AT cases from out in California.

https://m.ebay.ca/itm/Generic-Baby-AT-Compute … OM/202301405825

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    Baby AT Case Rear
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    Baby AT Case Front
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Last edited by fitzpatr on 2018-06-17, 01:44. Edited 1 time in total.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 6 of 28, by fitzpatr

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I spotted the motherboard in a lot of 3 486 boards for $50. This was the one that I had hoped worked. The layout is great for longer cards due to the CPU being above the slots. Not a problem normally, but I will be using a heatsink for good measure. It's got a Voltage Regulator for 3.3V CPUs, CR2032 battery, and an absolutely insane number of jumpers!

It's mentioned in the RedHill guide, and they have a good opinion of them.
http://www.redhill.net.au/b/b-95.html

My biggest concern at this time is that the GUS will not be functional. I believe that I tested the video card when I got it, but I didn't have an OS, so no way to test the GUS.

Last edited by fitzpatr on 2018-06-16, 19:16. Edited 1 time in total.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 8 of 28, by Gered

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Aha! It was you who bought that. I was thinking about it and came close to pulling the trigger on it yesterday. 😜

Good stuff with the build so far, I think that case will be a great fit!

486DX2-66/16MB/S3 Trio32 VLB/SBPro2/GUS
P233 MMX/64MB/Voodoo2/Matrox/YMF719/GUS CD3
Duron 800/256MB/Savage4 Pro/SBLive (IN PROGRESS)
Toshiba 430CDT

Reply 9 of 28, by fitzpatr

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Gered wrote:

Aha! It was you who bought that. I was thinking about it and came close to pulling the trigger on it yesterday. 😜

Good stuff with the build so far, I think that case will be a great fit!

Wow. I'm glad that I didn't hesitate too long! Looking at your signature, you've got something quite similar to my intended build. I considered the SB Pro 2, but I settled on leaving that with the 386 era, even though all Sound Blasters are 486 era. I've not found any S3 Trio VLB cards.

I actually intended to build the 486 system last night, but the motherboard was not aligning properly with the case. I started putting together a 386-DX40 in the case instead, and decided to go hunting for a genuine AT case for the 486. I'll have to do a separate build log for that!

Last edited by fitzpatr on 2018-06-17, 02:52. Edited 1 time in total.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 10 of 28, by Gered

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Cool! I'd love to see you keep a build log for the 386. Been thinking of building one for a while now myself (even though I think a 486 is more useful for the types of DOS games I like to play, the first PC my family ever had was a 386).

I originally used a SB16 CT1740 (DSP 4.12 though) in my build, but finally replaced it with the SBPro2 because once I started to notice the little DMA clicks with the SB16 I couldn't "un-hear" them, heh. 😀 Somewhat recently I got a Roland SC-88VL and then had to get a MPU-401 card (went with a HardMPU card). Would've been a simpler setup with the SB16, but meh, the HardMPU is better anyway.

486DX2-66/16MB/S3 Trio32 VLB/SBPro2/GUS
P233 MMX/64MB/Voodoo2/Matrox/YMF719/GUS CD3
Duron 800/256MB/Savage4 Pro/SBLive (IN PROGRESS)
Toshiba 430CDT

Reply 11 of 28, by doogie

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Yet another comment on that #9 card - I actually had one of those back in the day! Seeing the box brings back such great memories. Thanks so much for sharing your build.

Reply 12 of 28, by 386_junkie

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Nice system!

I have a request if that's ok... please when you have time, could you post the copy of a bios dump from your #9 VLB please?

I have this card too, but need help to source a new bios.

Thanks

Compaq Systempro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ Compaq Junkiepro; EISA Dual 386 ¦ ALR Powerpro; EISA Dual 386

EISA Graphic Cards ¦ EISA Graphic Card Benchmarks

Reply 13 of 28, by chinny22

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I'm actually jealous of the case.
You have the option to upgrade to a dX4/100 or above now!

But a DX2/66 VLB is always a nice thing to have 😀

Reply 14 of 28, by fitzpatr

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Wow, that card is getting a lot of love!

386_junkie wrote:
Nice system! […]
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Nice system!

I have a request if that's ok... please when you have time, could you post the copy of a bios dump from your #9 VLB please?

I have this card too, but need help to source a new bios.

Thanks

Once I'm set up, I'll try to remember to dump the BIOS for you.

chinny22 wrote:

I'm actually jealous of the case.
You have the option to upgrade to a dX4/100 or above now!

But a DX2/66 VLB is always a nice thing to have 😀

Aww. I'm sure that if you're patient something will come up.

I have everything for a 100+ system on a VIP board, but this was the priority for me.

My first system was a Packard Bell 486SX2 50, I think, but the DX2 seems to be the standard of the day. I would want a 5x86 class CPU, but the Cyrix will likely end up eternally out of my price range. I'd go AMD x5 instead.

No rush on that, though. Between my 386, 486, Pentium MMX, Super7, Pentium III-S, Pentium 4 EE, and current builds, I think that I have effectively everything covered. Space is most certainly an issue at this point, and WAF is at its limit.

I've been fortunate enough to get some good deals over time. I wouldn't be willing to pay normal ebay prices on most of these things.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 15 of 28, by fitzpatr

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So : build update!

The new case arrived yesterday. Very slight damage to the plastic, but mostly imperceptible.

I've taken out my sound cards from storage, and I've attached the pictures to the first post. I am leaning towards a Sound Blaster AWE32 CT3780 right now, but this does not have RAM slots. I don't have any of the "best" AWE32s. Just the CT3780 and CT3670.

I could use the CT2770, Goldfinch, GUS, and MPU-401AT. That and Video and I/O would have me pretty full. An MPEG decoder would max me out.

I did encounter a problem, however. This motherboard, in 2 cases now, will not power on when inside of a case. I observed this behaviour first last year once I received the motherboard. I'm trying to remember if ATX PSUs did not even activate, but I know that the 2 AT PSUs that I tried tonight would start sending power to the CPU fan. As soon as I take the motherboard out, the system will power up and I can get into BIOS.

I've checked the standoffs, so I'm concerned that it could be a cracked trace. It could also be a short to ground. Does anyone have any suggestions?

The good news is that I've confirmed that the Video Card works!

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MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 16 of 28, by fitzpatr

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I've got a guess as to what the problem was. There is a mounting hole just below the CPU Socket. My case has a threaded hole for a standoff, while there is no metal ring around this hole on my motherboard. To mitigate, I used a non-metallic washer on the first install. The system would not POST. It still felt like it might interfere with the SMDs directly next to the hole, so when I reinstalled the motherboard into the case, I didn't use any screws. It worked! I then screwed everything in except the aforementioned mounting point, and it is still functional.

My next steps are to locate my I/O Controller, choose a hard drive, and proceed from there.

As far as OS goes, I think that I'll be using MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 - an Operating System which I've not used in more than 20 years.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build

Reply 17 of 28, by chinny22

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Glad you worked out the power issue.
OS is good choice, its quite interesting going back to Win3x and been caught out by the simple things missing, like no Windows E for explorer (I wont spoil the others for you)
Its also a fun challenge to get networking going. Windows for Workgroups makes it fair bit easier but still a bit of a challenge. plus it gives you an excuse to go into Windows for what will spend most of its time playing games in dos

Reply 18 of 28, by fitzpatr

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I've been away on training for some time, so I had to put the build on hold.

Before I left, I encountered an issue where the case was electrifying at a low voltage. I've not measured it yet. The outlet that I'm plugging in to is not grounded (old house, but we're on it!), so that is why I can feel it, but multiple power supplies are giving me the same effect. My next step is to start determining the source of the electricity, and then isolate it. It could be a component like the Floppy Drive shorting to the case, or something on the motherboard making contact with the case.

MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build