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Suntac 80286 Mainboards

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Reply 160 of 164, by Robin4

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MMaximus wrote on 2019-06-04, 17:18:
So... I'm having RAM issues while trying to set up another Suntac board. This particular board supports SIPP memory, but since I […]
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So... I'm having RAM issues while trying to set up another Suntac board. This particular board supports SIPP memory, but since I only have 256kb SIPP modules, I'm trying to make it work with 1Mb SIMM modules in SIMM holders inserted into the SIPP slots.

The DIP switches for memory are set correctly on the mobo and it reports the correct memory size (4Mb). It posts without problem, but when I run a memory test in Checkit, I get lots of errors. I removed the SIMM modules from their holders and put them into a 386 board to test, and Checkit doesn't find any error so I assume the SIMMS are ok.

On the Suntac mobo there are 3 jumpers next to the DIP sockets: RAS, CASL, and CASH. I'm thinking maybe they're set incorrectly and that's why Checkit is finding errors? I've tested the 256kb SIPP modules and the Checkit test runs ok - it only happens with the 1M SIMMs (which are all 9 chip modules).

Any ideas?

Maybe its not possible to use the DIP ram and the SIPP modules at the same time.. Could be that you have to use 1 of the time.. Or the timings are set to low (quick) and the memory cant handle those speeds.

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 161 of 164, by HanJammer

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Robin4 wrote on 2021-01-15, 10:57:
MR-BIOS and the AMI bios that i downloaded from one of your boards (was the second one) work ok. (thanks for that). System goes […]
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MR-BIOS and the AMI bios that i downloaded from one of your boards (was the second one) work ok. (thanks for that). System goes on.. Both non-working keyboard (locked) and also got a keyboard error.

With the original Phoenix roms its works just fine, and also the keyboard working fine. So the keyboard controller which i know is working and it came with the Phoenix bios set. Doesnt seems to work with the AMI BIOS set and MR BIOS SET.
I also tested it with a working AWARD 286 bios set and i gave me also a keyboard error / non working keyboard.

So my conclusion here is that Other bios sets then Phoenix bios would not work with that phoenix compatible keyboard controller / keyboard bios chip)
Also tried a second M5L8042 which gave me an keyboard error.

Maybe the ICs are pin compatible, but keyboard bios code maybe not.

Again - no such thing as keyboard bios or keyboard bios chip. It's just keyboard controller.

Have you tried locking/unlocking keyboard lock switch with the AMI/MrBIOSes you installed? Could you check part number of the original KBC chip and the one you tried to install?

Check out my AmiBay and eBay for ISA and PCI card, 286/386/486 Pentium motherboards and more.

Reply 162 of 164, by Robin4

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Update:

Tried the AMI bios set again. (also swapped out the Keyboard bios (a second one) from the same kind.
With that second keyboard bios and original Phoenix bios it would hang on post.
Swapped the keyboard bios with the first one. And then inserting the AMI set again..
Seems kinda works now.. Its only very slow when pushing DEL key on the keyboard to entering the bios setup utility..

AND TADA.. The AMI roms gave me support for TYPE 47 USER SETTINGS... Dont know what the max is But till 504MB is just fine for me with this 286 board. Also dont know why this board is so slow for a 286 machine.. Knowing its one of the earlier boards iam guessing.. I see Year marks like 1985 on those Phoenix bios roms.. And also not sure if these where the original roms or not. It maybe was swapped or replaced when the previously owner had this board in posession.

Also sprayed every ic socket or isa slot in with deoxit D5.. That was really needed due dried / oxide. Also revived an older ISA floppy / hdd controller card, which wont worked before. Removed the PAL chip and sprayed the PAL socket with Deoxit D5 and put the IC back in place. Working again.

Have you tried locking/unlocking keyboard lock switch with the AMI/MrBIOSes you installed? Could you check part number of the original KBC chip and the one you tried to install?

The board is outside of any case. For testing purpose. It ran already 2 of 3 times before with a working keyboard (with the older roms phoenix installed)
The KBC chip is just the one that came on this board. The second one i pulled out of one of my other 286 suntac boards that needs te be repaired.
(but was from the same type as from board 1)

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 164 of 164, by fgenesis

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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread and all the BIOS images within. I've managed to save an old Suntac 286 board, exactly this one: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/show/955 .
Someone had taken out both BIOS chips and most of the RAM (but left in the leaky battery, grrr) and it has spent some time in storage before I decided to check again and found the new UH19 entry.
Got some RAM and after a lot of fiddling caused by a dead chip here's a quick BIOS review, for completeness:
- Award: works, but doesn't beep, so no way to detect the bad RAM. Not helpful with a POST debug card either. The most spartan and generally worst of the BIOSes. Does the job once it works, but still meh.
- AMI: Beeps with dead RAM, but doesn't POST because it fails to detect the keyboard controller
- Phoenix: So-so, forgot the details but wasn't that helpful in diagnosing the issue. But it works with the keyboard controller and has some more features than the Award one.

And the best: MR-BIOS!
Did the important tests right at the start:
I had forgotten to change a dip switch from 27C128 to 27C256. 3 beeps, whoops, detected and fixed.
Then 4 beeps, base 64k fail. Found the bad chip after a lot of trial and error.
IDE cable orientation wrong? More beeping!
This bios is definitely the best of the bunch, also feature-wise.

It appears to have some problems with an SD<->IDE adapter (not sure if hw problem or not, the thing works fine in a 486 machine) but works with a 16 GB CF card truncated to 8 GB.
For reference, Cyl=15603 Hd=16 Sec=63 with Translate=No; translate=Yes hangs after POST. DOS doesn't like this translate feature for some reason. Hangs even if booted from floppy so maybe the disk detection is entirely messed up with translate on.
EZ-Drive on top for good measure and the board is as good as new, now. Yay.

EDIT: Might also mention this because it's not obvious, imho:
Haven't seen a BIOS before that uses alternate reboot hotkeys. Instead of entering the setup via Del or F2 during POST, MR-BIOS reboots into setup when pressing Ctrl+Alt+Esc. Ctrl+Alt+Enter goes into a boot drive selection. Can only boot from the first floppy or first disk, but hey, better than nothing.