VOGONS


First post, by bjwil1991

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2 days ago, I tested a PC Chips M326 v5.2 motherboard to see if it works, but before I did all that, I removed the NiCd battery, even though it didn't leak, it's better to remove those before it leaks and the board in of itself is in pristine condition. I then cut the trace for the charging circuit for the positive terminal and soldered a wire to the external battery header that connects to another diode, then soldered a battery holder that I made using a CR2032 battery holder and a single AA battery in a broken GameBoy DMG-01 bottom chassis.

I then tested it yesterday after I installed a Trident TVGA8900 ISA video card and the WinBond ISA I/O card, 4MB SIMM-30 RAM from the other build, then the Cyrix FasMath 8D387-40GP FPU, but I didn't know how to install said FPU as I've never installed one before in a different orientation and got it to install correctly this time and the FPU is working since the board has circuit protection in case a CPU or FPU was inserted incorrectly or wrong, so that was a big sigh of relief.

Had to change the jumper to enable the FPU (NPU according to the diagram I found online).

On the positive side, the board is 100% functional, but as for booting from the HDD, I didn't install the network card and the BIOS ROM as I didn't want to screw up the file system again as the Promise EIDE Pro was used with the HDD after changing it from the WinBond so that I can have 1 less card installed in the system.

For a $50 board in pristine condition, that is amazing. Unfortunately, it's all ISA slots and 1 XT 8-bit slot, but that's no big deal. The biggest pro of the board is the jumper setting for changing between 33MHz and 40MHz and the clock speed is on an IC chip, which is pretty cool for a 386DX/486DLC board. It has 128KB L2 cache installed and has more options in the BIOS, such as setting the RAM and Cache timings, which is nice in of itself to get programs to run faster or slower, but can sometimes be really buggy in a couple of cases.

However, yesterday when I swapped boards around, the system decides to lock up everywhere: BIOS, OS on either diskette or hard drive, and so on. I do not see any resource conflicts anywhere and the only way to get the system to power on and act up again and the only one way to get it to unfreeze would be removing the batteries in the battery holder and waiting about an hour to get the settings to delete and setup again.

Not sure where to go at this point and the board itself is in pristine condition, so it could be either a short or something else, but I don't see or hear any crackling or Puff the Magic Dragon smoke.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to Ryzen 5 2600X
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 3 of 18, by bjwil1991

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The BIOS options were at default when I first powered it on.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to Ryzen 5 2600X
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 4 of 18, by Thermalwrong

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This is interesting. I was just looking up some stuff on the chipset for the M326 and I've had a similar experience with an M326 motherboard. It would lock up on checking the external memory, even after repairing all of the bad traces.

In the end, I used the hot air gun and some flux to reflow the main SARC chip and it's now working fairly reliably 😀
Maybe the solder isn't the best on these boards? It's a fairly thin and flexy board so it's possible it could be affecting yours too.

Reply 5 of 18, by galanopu

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Funny enough, this exact setup M326 v5.2 + TVGA8900D-R is the only 386 system I have...
and I did a review video a few days ago. I think it is a good combo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBaq7MY-A-U

I am sorry I do not have any idea on what your problem is 🙁

Let's mod everything! Check my youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ6ULBqIKhxuNslAbqFNJUg
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Reply 6 of 18, by SSTV2

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I had tested this MB recently and found out that cache settings in BIOS have no effect on its performance, tried newer Award and AMI BIOS from other manufacturers and the end result was always the same in CACHECHK - 39 us/KB for cache at 40 MHz.

Reply 8 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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I repaired recently some broken traces an replaced some resistors, capacitors and the sockets for the Bios and keyboard controller. Then i checked if everything has contact and removed the remaining flux but my post gets this code.
At the beginning i had a wrong keyboard controller and the keyboard didn't work but I had a video output so I was able to see the bios boot check on a screen.

Now I don't get a video output and even if I remove ram and Cpu the board doesn't make beep codes.

Any ideas? 🙏

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My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 9 of 18, by BitWrangler

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You don't seem to have enough SIMMs in it, if it's DX class. 32 bit data path needs 4 8bit wide 30 pin SIMMs.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 10 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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Thanks this was the trick.
But i still don't have a working keyboard and i get this code....what could be the problem?

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My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 11 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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When i connect a PS/2 Keyboard with adapter instead of that one i used with my 286 all 3 LED´s light up for 1 second, go off for a few sec and then on again for 1 second. After that they keep off and the keyboard does not respond in all time. Did someone had the same experience?

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My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 12 of 18, by BitWrangler

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Probably going something like this..
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 13 of 18, by matze79

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Not really, even my nicest ps/2 Keyboard with volume and internet keys works nicely on ibm ps/2 286 and at mainboard

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 14 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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The strange part is with the multimedia Keyboard i dont get a keyboard error and it keeps stuck on that displayed screen because i can not type F1.

With the old Keyboard only the Numlock LED flashes once. When i try to type during memory count - Keyboard error, Shorting the reset pins for restart - Keyboard error, Turn off and wait and then turn on and let the system as it is without typing anything - no Keyboard error.

My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 15 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-06-26, 17:51:
Probably going something like this.. Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo […]
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Probably going something like this..
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"
Keyboard: : "Hi, I'm a multimedia keyboard with plug and play features, let me tell you abo..
286: "WTF? RESET"

I tried this multimedia keyboard on my older Tandon 286 and it worked without problems.
I think like matze79 said in another forum that the 386 must be checked with a oscilloscope or logic analyzer witch i dont have. My new multimeter can only measure frequencies in Mhz

My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 16 of 18, by galanopu

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14 months later...
My final results using PC Chips M326 V5.2 motherboard with both 386DX and 486DLC.
Well, after so many mods I do not now if I should still call it as a "PC Chips M326 V5.2".
The list is big: 256KB cache, VDD5 mod, Socket, Bios mod... Enjoy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDQsLDN9df8

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Let's mod everything! Check my youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ6ULBqIKhxuNslAbqFNJUg
Interested in my devices? Check my store:
https://migronelectronics.bigcartel.com

Reply 17 of 18, by GuillermoXT

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What happens if you use a self made voltage regulation so you could undervolt a little for less heat due overclocking?

My Retrosystems:
K6-2 400 running Win98SE
P1-133 with Win3.11
Tandon 286-8MHZ Running DOS 5.0 on XT-IDE Card

Reply 18 of 18, by galanopu

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GuillermoXT wrote on 2022-05-25, 02:44:

What happens if you use a self made voltage regulation so you could undervolt a little for less heat due overclocking?

Heating is not the main issue here.
A small heat sink will do the job.
If you undervolt you will not be able to overclock that high.

Let's mod everything! Check my youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ6ULBqIKhxuNslAbqFNJUg
Interested in my devices? Check my store:
https://migronelectronics.bigcartel.com