VOGONS


First post, by precaud

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I found the system with this board in it, stuffed into the back corner of a closet, where I put it many years ago and then forgot about it. It was my first hard disk recording system. What a monster. VLB scsi and video, full-size SCSI drive that sounds like a jet engine warming up when powered on... no wonder I upgraded to a socket 7 setup. But it worked fine when retired (in 2001?) and i kept it for backup, just in case.

Yesterday I checked all connections, replaced the dead batteries, shorted the CMOS, and powered it up. Nada. No beeps. Nothing. Double-checked jumpers, all OK. Power supply checks OK, with this board and another one. CPU and memory works fine in another board. I have the manual, it suggests removing things and listening for beeps to determine the cause. Replaced the VLB video with a known-good ISA one. Disconnected everything down to the basics; video, keyboard, two sticks of known-good FPM simm. Still nothing. No beeps. No display.

It seems unusual to me that a board would go bad just from being stored.

Any ideas? With VLB, PCI, and ISA slots, it would be nice to get this board going again. Any advice would be appreciated.

Reply 1 of 11, by gotohell

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bad just from being stored.

Easy-pezzy: BIOS dead, dead caps, dead battery

My PacardBell SIS Socket7 mobo dead same way (post 41 - 41)

Check PSU , try to launch MOBO w. ATX-TO-AT power connector from a NORMAL ATX PSU

https://t.me/hwretard

Reply 2 of 11, by precaud

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gotohell wrote:

bad just from being stored.

Easy-pezzy: BIOS dead, dead caps, dead battery

Caps are good, most are tantalums. CMOS battery was replaced first thing.

Bios EPROM dead from just sitting? If that's the case, I'm probably screwed... Google searches show no Bioses for this board...

My PacardBell SIS Socket7 mobo dead same way (post 41 - 41)

Sorry to hear that. I'll find and read.

Check PSU , try to launch MOBO w. ATX-TO-AT power connector from a NORMAL ATX PSU

ATX supply will add nothing here. This PSU is fine. If it weren't, I have a couple other known-good AT supplies.

I'm going to try removing the cache SRAM. Its a long shot, but hey...

Reply 4 of 11, by precaud

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She's alive!

Problem was none of the above. A pcb trace that runs under the battery had gone open, corroded from old battery juice that I did not do a perfect job of cleaning up back then. It all came back to me. When I bought this board in the late 90's, I saw that the onboard battery had leaked. That's why I had outboarded the battery (the board has provisions for both). I thought I did a good job cleaning it up, but apparently not. Bridging the gap with solder would have been enough, but wirewrap wire point to point is more secure.

Now to see if the rest of the system works.

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Last edited by precaud on 2019-08-11, 19:27. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 5 of 11, by precaud

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jmarsh wrote:

There's jumpers to select between VLB/ISA video, did you adjust them when testing with the ISA card?

Actually thats not true. That bank of jumpers selects what hardware activity can wake it out of sleeep mode. That is all. If you leave all those jumpers off, then only the keyboard can do it. That's how I have it set up. The manual is not very clear about it...

Reply 7 of 11, by Windows9566

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precaud wrote:

She's alive!

Problem was none of the above. A pcb trace that runs under the battery had gone open, corroded from old battery juice that I did not do a perfect job of cleaning up back then. It all came back to me. When I bought this board in the late 90's, I saw that the onboard battery had leaked. That's why I had outboarded the battery (the board has provisions for both). I thought I did a good job cleaning it up, but apparently not. Bridging the gap with solder would have been enough, but wirewrap wire point to point is more secure.

Now to see if the rest of the system works.

I hate barrel batteries, they kill motherboards by oozing their corrosive juices all over the board and melting traces and corroding components.

Reply 8 of 11, by precaud

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Yeah, barrel batteries on board are a bad idea.

On the video activity monitoring, I dunno. But the entire discussion of those jumpers (J107 to J111, J110 is ISA and and J111 is VLB video) is in the "Green PC" portion of the manual on p. 2-7 and 2-8. And it clearly states that "if jumpers 107 through 111 are all open, then only keyboard activity is defined as system activity." It's all about monitoring specific activity before going into power savings mode.

That's how I have this board set up - all those jumpers off. And it works with either ISA or VLB video cards.

Reply 10 of 11, by Windows9566

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precaud wrote:

Yeah, barrel batteries on board are a bad idea.

On the video activity monitoring, I dunno. But the entire discussion of those jumpers (J107 to J111, J110 is ISA and and J111 is VLB video) is in the "Green PC" portion of the manual on p. 2-7 and 2-8. And it clearly states that "if jumpers 107 through 111 are all open, then only keyboard activity is defined as system activity." It's all about monitoring specific activity before going into power savings mode.

That's how I have this board set up - all those jumpers off. And it works with either ISA or VLB video cards.

I prefer Dallas/ODIN RTCs or CR2032s over those timebombs.

Reply 11 of 11, by precaud

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Just disable all the power savings monitoring stuff in the Bios and its a non-issue.

I prefer Dallas/ODIN RTCs or CR2032s over those timebombs.

How about three AA's in a plastic holder velcroed to the case bottom? That's what I did with this one 😀

The system booted into DOS fine. This Seagate SCSI (ST43400N) is the noisiest HDD I have ever heard. But its plenty fast for this system.

When I ran WFWG it displayed the splash screen and then went blank. This LCD monitor is very different from the CRT that was last used with this system. Exited, did a hard reset, then edited the System.ini video settings to reflect this monitor's capabilities. Started WFWG again and viola there it is. Changed the monitor type to "Fixed Frequency", edited System.ini for all modes @ 60Hz, rebooted, and we have a nice 1024x768 desktop.

I had forgotten how snappy a 100MHz Pentium system is running WFWG. It's quite amazing, really. If it did everything I needed, I could be quite happy here...

Was DDE working in WFWG, or did that come later?