VOGONS


Reply 15980 of 21729, by darry

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Ph@nt0m-X wrote on 2020-06-22, 17:56:

I did retrobright on my 486 PC.
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That is much better . I don't mind a bit of yellowing, personally and I actually like darker shades of brown, but that middle ground was not very appealing . The end result is much better .

Reply 15981 of 21729, by Deksor

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I cleaned this QDI EXPLORER II motherboard :
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It was already working, but it was full of grime and it seems something corrosive leaked on its back (probably a dying 486 sitting on it). Thankfully that stuff cleaned quite well and left only a few dull looking solder joints, but traces and vias weren't damaged.

Then I wanted to clean some more boards I had laying around (all boards came off a big lot I had bought in october 2019) :
this pcchips m577
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(With some greasy looking stuff on it ...)
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this 286 motherboard
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Again there was some kind of greasy stuff on it
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Also the two RAM slots at the top used to be green because of some battery leakage that also probably came off another board stored in the same box it's been sitting in for a decade or two ; but it cleaned quite well as you can see. The previous owner also took off two crystals off the board 🙁

And finally this GMB-486SG v1.1 486 motherboard which suffers from a battery leakage (its own this time)
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After the cleaning they came back like this 😀
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After further testings :
the PCChips don't seem to power the CPU at all, but I noticed that some capacitors got removed (and also it may be misconfigured)
the 286 came back to life after I installed a 24MHz crystal 😁
the 486 doesn't POST even after installing a new keyboard and AT connector (the old ones were corroded). I also fixed two dead traces, but the rest seemed ok ... I'll have to investigate some more to figure this out (I'll probably take a look underneath the KBC socket)

Edit :
ah now I see why the pcchips doesn't turn on the CPU, look at Q18
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The transistor seems to have blowed up (probably a lack of cooling considering it's a super socket 7 board with no cooler installed for these ...). It's a PHD45N03 LT transistor ... I'm going to try to find a replacement for it !

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Retro - Project's thread The Ultimate Retro project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 15982 of 21729, by appiah4

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Today I replaced the Trusty ESS ES1868 in my MMX-200 PC with a C-Media CMI8330 and found out that it is an astonishing chipset.

- C-Media FM is quite pleasant to my ears. It's a bit softer/smoother than genuine OPL3 but it is not discernably off when it comes to playing music. It could pass off as OPL3 for casual listening.
- Very low noise despite being a somewhat cheap-ish looking card (Zoltrix Audio Plus 6400 3D PnP V.5 AV310)
- Pretty solid DOS and Windows 3.x drivers and suite. Great initialization/testing/mixer software.
- SB Pro, SB 16 and WSS compatible - ran every game I threw at it. Full duplex, and supports real High DMA (5/7).
- Software Wavetable (DLS) for Windows 9x (A tad dry but serviceable - made me remove my Dreamblaster S2)
- Dİgital audio IN and OUT headers. WOW. I can record from this card using digital out, how cool is that? (I need to build a breakout bracket for this)

It replaced the ES1868 as my all around favorite ISA DOS sound card for the moment.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2020-06-23, 08:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 15983 of 21729, by ragefury32

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Oh, more unavoidable fun with the Igel-J thin client.

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FFC ribbon, ESS Solo, IDE44 interface
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A) Ordered a bunch of FFC26 ribbons for the TEAC FD05HF breakout (and a Gotek to go with its hacks tomfoolery)

B) Started work trying to figure out how to drive a IDE CDROM drive using the single IDE44 breakout on the thin client - maybe one of them Amiga CD32 breakout cables that allows you to connect an IDE44 drive and an IDE40 CDROM drive, then use a JAE to IDE40 interface so I can reuse a laptop drive. I could use something like a Dell FP320 breakout board, but that would mean no CD audio output.

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Plantronics 590 troubleshoot
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Then there is the fun of taking apart an old Plantronics 590 headset to figure out why it’s not charging. It’s not the battery, and it doesn’t look like a continuity issue...

Reply 15984 of 21729, by bjwil1991

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Currently in the middle of upgrading the Socket 7 system to a Super Socket 7. Currently hit a few snags:

1) the new Startech 230W AT PSU has the wires soldered to the push-toggle switch, which the PSU will be installed in my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus in place of the old 195W AT PSU
2) cards, case cover, and HDD/FDD mounting bracket cannot be installed as the screws keep spinning and won't stop (need new sets of screws that are about 1/4"-1/2" long and thicker thread size than the original screws.

Attempted to rethread the case, but that didn't work out too well. Also got some rust off of the bottom of the case and I'll be getting some Krud Kutter, take everything out again, and soak the bottom of the case into a container or bucket and dispose of the chemical properly.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to FX-8350
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser

Reply 15985 of 21729, by wiretap

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Took apart my Compaq iPAQ PCMCIA sleeve which contains a battery for extended runtime. This battery and the battery inside the iPAQ itself are the same model, so I wanted to determine a suitable replacement. I took some measurements and found some unregulated solder tabbed LIPO batteries for $8ea that will fit. After the battery mod, I'll have close to 4000mAh of capacity. Compaq used a proprietary connector on the batteries with a ribbon cable, so I really have no choice except to solder a new battery to the ribbon connector. The oem replacement batteries can no longer be found, and no company sells aftermarket models anymore.

While I had the thing apart, I glued the PCMCIA sleeve shell mounts back into place with some gorilla glue because the plastic standoffs basically turned to sand when I took it apart. The glue held nicely, similar to epoxy, and I can screw it all back together tight.

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Circuit Board Repair Manuals
My Project List

Reply 15986 of 21729, by dionb

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Built myself a little system:

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Dual P3-933
Thermaltake Sl1 Golden Orbs
Asus P3C-D
1GB RDRAM
2x Quantum Atlas SCSI HDD
Caddy-loading Plexwriter
DVD-RW
LS-120
Zalman 300W PSU
...and all of that in a transparent acrylic case.

Now, where am I going to find a WD Raptor X with little window...? 😉

Reply 15989 of 21729, by SodaSuccubus

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Ended up killing a floppy drive today. No idea what I did, simply cracked it open and cleaned the head with 70% rubbing alcohol.

Put her back together and. Nope, won't read discs anymore. Opened her up again to watch as it works and...can't tell. I think the top head isn't making contact? I can see the disk spinning but the top head stays still/doesn't touch.

I'm no floppy disk expert. Maybe someone knows how to fix her.

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Last edited by SodaSuccubus on 2020-06-24, 01:23. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 15991 of 21729, by AmiSapphire

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Tracking down misplaced old hardware (mostly peripherals, USB 2.0 PCI cards, storage controller cards, video cards and CPU coolers; sometimes RAM and CPUs). Almost none of it is organized.

Retiring some very obsolete stuff, mainly not-so-great digital cameras (getting picture data off the units then getting rid of them) and an old MiniDV camcorder. Though there is something on two MiniDV cassettes I want to digitize before the camcorder's retirement. I need an AC adapter prior to this, as the previous one was abused...

Some RAM chips should arrive in at least a week or two, and it's for a Biostar MB-1212V 286 board I'm slowly testing.

Computer in my collection that had too much work done is... Compaq Armada 1573DM!

- Original DSTN panel replaced with an HPA panel (now gone)
- Left hinge repaired twice
- Front panel replaced thrice
- Replaced busted inverter
- Chassis replacement

Reply 15993 of 21729, by SodaSuccubus

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luckybob wrote on 2020-06-24, 01:23:

likely knocked a head out of allignment. its VERY easy to do on newer, cheaper drives

Worth fixing or should I just chuck it? I only have 1 other working FDD.

Reply 15994 of 21729, by luckybob

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unless its a special unit, I wouldn't bother. Even if you "fix" it, its likely to fail again fast.

looking close at your pic, the top head is WAY out of allignment. The spring should be between the two little studs in the center.

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 15995 of 21729, by dionb

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-06-23, 23:52:

That's sweet looking. And I love the dual golden orbs. How does the system perform?

Haven't had time to thoroughly test it yet - basically just transplanted the guts of a system I picked up recently into this case - but I don't think I've ever seen Windows XP boot so fast. That Atlas 10k drive is a beast. Talking of beasts, the noise the system makes is something else. Remarkably the worst of it isn't the HDDs but the two orbs. A nice beige fan controller is on the shopping list too, particularly given all those (6 in total) case fans. They can get some impressive airflow going at slow speeds.

Reply 15996 of 21729, by Joseph_Joestar

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Tested some of my favorite DOS games using my recently acquired AWE64.

I was mostly interested in the AWE32 mode, but I had a surprisingly decent experience with FM synthesis using CQM. Despite all the trash talk about it, CQM definitively sounds much better than what Creative's later cards like the SBLive use for FM synth.

I plan to do a proper side-by-side comparison between genuine OPL3, CQM and SBLive FM synth at some point, with examples which point out the most prominent differences between them.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

Reply 15997 of 21729, by foil_fresh

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-06-24, 06:37:

Tested some of my favorite DOS games using my recently acquired AWE64.

I was mostly interested in the AWE32 mode, but I had a surprisingly decent experience with FM synthesis using CQM. Despite all the trash talk about it, CQM definitively sounds much better than what Creative's later cards like the SBLive use for FM synth.

I plan to do a proper side-by-side comparison between genuine OPL3, CQM and SBLive FM synth at some point, with examples which point out the most prominent differences between them.

nice, be sure to post up a link when you're done testing.

i got myself an AWE64 value last year and played with it a whole bunch until I got a aw744l, previously using an SB Live in both dos and windows. i played only 1 or 2 games using awe64's CQM but it wasn't as awful as others like you mention. there were a few times i needed to take the headphones off, if the instrument was a bit "clicky" it would wear my ears out for a bit, even at lower volumes. but overall i would not have been upset with it if i had this in my pc during those days. any game with awe32 support sounds pretty damn good. still havent tested out awe64's GM/MT32 emulation in DOS, i need to compare it to SB live's version which i thought was actually pretty impressive. cheers for the reminders 😉

Reply 15998 of 21729, by Joseph_Joestar

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foil_fresh wrote on 2020-06-24, 07:23:

nice, be sure to post up a link when you're done testing.

Will do! The plan is to compare my Yamaha YMF724F-V against the AWE64 Value (CT4520) and the SBLive 5.1 (SB0100). I'll make some recordings and upload them to SoundCloud sometime over the next couple of weeks. That way, people can listen to the differences and judge for themselves.

still havent tested out awe64's GM/MT32 emulation in DOS, i need to compare it to SB live's version which i thought was actually pretty impressive. cheers for the reminders 😉

From my preliminary testing of the MT-32 mode, I think that the AWE64 does a slightly better job than the SBLive. It might be because the AWE64 loads a specific MT-32 soundfont into memory when doing the emulation - synthmt.sbk. You can also combine this with a tiny bit of Reverb and Chorus (both at 20) using AWEUTIL which gives an even more interesting result.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1

Reply 15999 of 21729, by bjwil1991

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Did a lot of repairs and rust removal on the case for the Socket 7 rebuild. Bought some #8-32 x 3/8" screws and Rust-Oleum gel rust removal spray and it got rid of tons of rust. The FDD/HDD bracket has a bit of rust left, but after a good spray-down and wipe-down, it will look a lot better.

I then got the system setup and it wouldn't power on with the ATX PSU that I have installed temporarily. Didn't realize that JP3 was set to AT PSU (pins 1-2 shorted) instead of ATX (pins 2-3 shorted), but that was my wild guess since I couldn't locate the manual for the motherboard until I looked in another directory on my phone and found the jumper settings there. Then the NEC MultiSync LCD1530V wouldn't get video, but the POST card's speaker beeped once, so I figured the video card is good and connected the Dell 1702FP monitor to the computer and that got a picture. Time to fix the NEC monitor again or connect my laptop to the display and see if that works and if not, then repairs to the monitor is necessary.

Another snag is when the system detects all of the drives, except for the LS-120 (need to look and see what's going on with that), it locks up at the drive detection., which I believe is a conflict somewhere, so I need to fix that (possible the onboard USB took over the IRQ for either the Primary or Secondary IDE IRQ address(es). Other than that, it's getting close and my GeForce256 DDR 32MB card works. Might as well install the 64MB GeForce256 DDR or keep the 32MB since I can connect VR glasses to the display card, which is nice.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from the Compaq Portable 1 to FX-8350
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/retropcuser