VOGONS


First post, by ultimate386

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This build has been a goal of mine since visiting Computer Reset back in mid 2019. As much as reasonably possible, I wanted to use parts that I pulled from the warehouse. A secondary objective was to house and use a MFM hard drive. None of my current systems house such a drive and I love how they sound in action. After many months in the garage, it all started coming together late summer 2020. I had the case cover powder coated semi-gloss black and painted the plastic pieces to match (Rustoleum Protective Enamel). The pictures really don't do it justice - it looks amazing. As a bonus, the case is the same model Macase AT mid-tower that housed my Pentium MMX system back in 1998!

System details:
Parts from Computer Reset
Macase AT mid tower
Elitegroup HM386SX motherboard w/soldered AMD 386sx 25MHz
8MB RAM
Cirrus Logic 1MB GD542x VGA
Winbond Multi I/O
Nippon full height 20MB MFM hard drive!
Replaced the SIIG controller with a UMC chip, jumperless IDE + floppy controller

Parts sourced elsewhere
Corsair RM550x PSU (and ATX->AT adapter)
Monotech Adlib clone
WD1002A-WX1 controller
SIIG EIDE controller (also use one of these in my DX40)
Cyrix 387sx
Gotek
Transcend 1GB DOM

The only major issue I had was trying to get the MFM controller and the IDE on the Winbond to play nice together. Each worked totally fine independent of the other, but no combination of jumper settings would get the two to work together correctly. The solution ended up being to disable the HDD/FDD channels on the Winbond card and use the SIIG card (which has its own BIOS). The Windbond is now used solely for its serial, parallel, and game ports.

02/02/2021 UPDATE: So it turns out even the SIIG controller wasn't working correctly with the DOM. It was auto-detecting the geometry incorrectly. Therefore, it would give the appearance of working, but the file system and anything written to the disk was immediately corrupted. Ontrack Disk Manager also refused install its overlay through the SIIG controller. Running out of ideas, I swapped the SIIG controller for a dumb IDE + floppy controller with a UMC chip (pulled from Computer Reset!). Considering the problems I faced with the Winbond controller, I thought there was no way it was going to work. Much to my surprise though, it's working! The 1GB DOM is now setup with Ontrack's overlay and is booting DOS 6.22. The Nippon MFM drive joins the party as drive D and is functioning properly.

In addition to playing some games appropriate for this hardware and enjoying the song of the Nippon drive, I'm planning to get back into some QuickBasic programming. My wife bought a BASIC programming book from the late 1970's for me as a gift and I'm looking forward to keying in the example programs!

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Last edited by ultimate386 on 2021-02-02, 16:30. Edited 5 times in total.

AMD386/IIT387DX40, 32MB, ATi Mach64, AWE64
Compaq Prolinea 4/33, 32MB, Tseng ET4000, SB16
AMD X5, 64MB, S3 Virge/Voodoo1, AWE64
AMD K62+550, 256MB, Voodoo3, AWE64 Gold
P3 1.2Ghz, 512MB, Radeon 7500/Voodoo2 SLI, SB Live!

Reply 1 of 5, by ultimate386

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(reserved for benchmarks, updates, etc)

Last edited by ultimate386 on 2021-01-31, 19:52. Edited 1 time in total.

AMD386/IIT387DX40, 32MB, ATi Mach64, AWE64
Compaq Prolinea 4/33, 32MB, Tseng ET4000, SB16
AMD X5, 64MB, S3 Virge/Voodoo1, AWE64
AMD K62+550, 256MB, Voodoo3, AWE64 Gold
P3 1.2Ghz, 512MB, Radeon 7500/Voodoo2 SLI, SB Live!