VOGONS


First post, by jakethompson1

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You may have seen that there are a bunch of these on eBay. They come with some kind of router firmware instead of a BIOS and don't work out of the box.

1. I replaced the BIOS chip with one with a Biostar MB-1212C BIOS. It seems to work, although the turbo header on the board doesn't seem to work (possible incompatibility with keyboard controller?) however Ctrl Alt + and Ctrl Alt - do work. With the GW-286CT BIOS access to an IDE hard drive did not work reliably, so it was not programming something correctly with the chipset.

2. It has an odd setup for memory. It ships with 1MB in eight 20-pin DIP chips plus parity. Because the BIOS is an 8-bit chip and not 16-bit with odd/even chips you really want shadowing on which leaves you with only 640K. But there is also an unpopulated header for a 72-pin SIMM socket. After soldering on a socket, it indeed works with an 8MB SIMM (and only 8MB--4MB will not work). This matches the markings on the board. Maybe you could upgrade to 4MB with 512Kx4 DRAMs (are there such a thing?) but the SIMM socket+8MB SIMM is certainly cheaper if you can solder.

Ships at 12 1/2MHz and a 12 1/2MHz 286 CPU, but the chipset has markings on it for 16 MHz. So I bet with a crystal change it could be upgraded.

Reply 1 of 1, by rmay635703

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That is earlier than it’s design would suggest.

I had a 286-25 with a paiR of 72pin simm sockets and a riser card for ISA, onboard VGA

Most of those small boards I’ve encountered were 1992+

Gotta wonder if a PCCHIPS SHART chipset bios from a 386sx would work?