First post, by OSkar000
A few years ago I got myself another 386 just because it was looking good and it was a brand that I'm a little bit obsessed with.
It has been sitting in my basement since I got it apart from a few tests with more or less good results, mostly not so good.
First of all, this is not a "normal" 386 with a "normal" baby-AT motherboard... this thing is huge! The motherboard doesn't seem to follow any standards at all and is about 40x40cm or 16x16". A large part of the board is covered with TTL logic and large numbers of PAL-chips and the amount of information about it is more or less impossible to find. I tried to research it a few years ago with no luck. The other Facit machines I have is made by Mitac so it would not be very unlikely that this one also was made by them and sold under at least a few other brands.
Configuration when I got it:
CPU: Yes, more on that later in this thread
Memory: 8 x 1MB FPM
VGA: Oak VGA, 512k?
Harddrive: Seagate ST3123A, IDE, not working
FDD: Teac 1,44MB 3,5" and Teac 1,2MB 5,25", both working fine
Other: a few dents and scratches, not bad for a computer from late 1990.
OS: none, dead drive. Booting DOS from floppys for testing.
It had a few quirks and not so good things when I tried it the first times. All attempts to enter the bios failed and since it was configured with lots of errors due to been sitting for to long it took ages to start it up from floppys. Some of those problems were solved when I found a configuration program for old Phoenix bioses and could set it up with correct memory size and stop it from searching for a harddrive that was long gone and didn't have any replacement. Having those problems solved made it worth to put some more time and effort into it and try to make some future plans for it
The most intelligent thing to do when you have questionable hardware that you just have got working is throw some sensible upgrades on it. I will try to keep this a little bit period correct when it comes to upgrades so early 1990s is the main goal for most parts. Exceptions will be made due to practical reasons and part availability. Some are not decided and some will probably change more then once before its "done".
I have some 4MB 30pin modules for upgrades if I feel that 8MB isn't enough and there will be a sound card in this machine when its done, probably something with good SB Pro compatibility and OPL3. At the moment it has a 1GB Fujitsu SCSI hard drive that seems to be fine but I have some others that might find its way into it.
CPU and no FPU at the moment... there will be some changes here later 😀
First of all, we need to get away from the onboard IDE controller so throwing in a SCSI card from Adaptec is never wrong. This should be a 1542 and one of the most common and reliable cards in that period.
And to get some files onto this computer we need a NIC, my standard solution is always a 3com 509B when it comes to ISA-based systems and this is not an exception.
The original Oak VGA got replace by this card... its just a "tiny" bit faster and has a whole megabyte of video ram!
This is more or less where this post will end and whats the current state of the computer. The CPU that was in it when I got it is going back and I think it will get interesting if I can get it to work fine in this system.
More information and pictures will come later 😀