VOGONS


Reply 22 of 86, by Errius

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2022-07-22, 17:26:
#1 )Cutting my hands on sharp cheap sheet metal cases. #2 ) Cutting my hand with ISA cards scratching and poking my fingers. #3 […]
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#1 )Cutting my hands on sharp cheap sheet metal cases.
#2 ) Cutting my hand with ISA cards scratching and poking my fingers.
#3 ) Cutting my hands holding ISA motherboards ( Solder points under motherboards are sharp )

This is My FEAR when working with Old Computers. I tried wearing gloves but its hard to work with gloves.

Hahaha, I have an inch-long scar on one of my fingers because of this. I was trying to pull out a 5.25" drive that was jammed hard inside a case. (One of those big steel Thermaltake ones.)

It suddenly came loose with great force, and my finger caught on one of the little shelf-ridges that support the drives in the bay. Ouch.

Protagonist: Robot

Reply 23 of 86, by rarcher

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For me my most hated task?: Hmm....probably identifying chips (see my 486 midlife crisis thread), right now its such a pain!

For me the most feared task?: As others say and the OP says spending the money getting a sweet system setup, cleaned up, etc. And then firing it up for the first time after a change and wondering 'ok is this the point it blows up on me?'

Again see my 486 midlife crisis thread 🤣

Reply 24 of 86, by myrsnipe

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2022-07-22, 22:11:

dealing with the fucking plastic standoffs mounting the motherboard in the case

I have no qualms about snipping those with a plier and 3d print a replacement that I can screw into, they are definitely not designed for a high ifixit score..

My biggest fear is live power AT PSU/Case design. I test those with gloves and have an iron rule to only use one hand on the cabinet at a time until it's been checked out so even if I get shocked it wont cross my heart.

Reply 25 of 86, by cyclone3d

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leileilol wrote on 2022-07-22, 21:28:

PSU doubts.

This is easy to remedy except when dealing with a proprietary setup.

Just use a new, good quality, ATX PSU with an adapter if needed.

My most hated task is figuring out what hardware I want the system to have.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 26 of 86, by PC-Engineer

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Most hatet: Set up Win9x with drivers and customize the entire config
Most feared: if the fully up setted Win9x Installation crashes, and i have to reinstall Win9x - because i have no backup yet

Epox 7KXA Slot A / Athlon 950MHz / Voodoo 5 5500 / PowerVR / 512 MB / AWE32 / SCSI - Windows 98SE

Reply 27 of 86, by PcBytes

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PSUs that have sat in shady environments.

Chances are about 95% that the diodes in the bridge rectifier section are kaput. And so, not soldering a 60W lightbulb in place of the fuse can result in a mini grenade detonation.

"Enter at your own peril, past the bolted door..."
Main PC: i5 3470, GB B75M-D3H, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB
98SE : P3 650, Soyo SY-6BA+IV, 384MB RAM, 80GB

Reply 28 of 86, by 386SX

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I'd say capacitors lifetime is the most problematic thing or finding that some smd components is missing. One thing I was thinking about selling or buying old components anyway is that I suppose is difficult to really sell them as "tested" because how can be any eletronic card that has probably a 10x longer lifetime that was supposed to last, tested and sold as safe working product? Most of these old cards might work today and not work the day after which might not be that common but still is a possibility. That make me wonder if when I'll try to sell old rare components which is the best phrase to explain that most of these components "should not be used everyday" in a gaming machine like a modern console because even a failing capacitor might happen any time. I mean it will not be enough to test one whole day a component and to say that "is tested". But the person that buy that should understand is not buying a brand new product to use it everyday if he/she know that are very old components that have more sense to be used rarely. Which should be "obvious" for anyone that knows how these eletronic consumer components usually work/last and not really for decades of lifetime but I suppose is difficult to explain that before selling eventually a single rare component.

Reply 29 of 86, by waterbeesje

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Hate: property form factor that does not fit anything else. Like those dreadful HP or Compaq mini computers.

Fear: could be two of them
- detaching a socket A or 370 cooler that's mounted way too tight with a silly clamp that needs a flat screwdriver and too much force. Sliding off means damage for sure.
- fire, taking all with it

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 30 of 86, by myrsnipe

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I need to add something to the hate category: Cleaning razor sharp cabinets that's been battery damaged. Danger of cutting myself on every single edge, can't touch it directly because my sensitive skin and alkaline means they'll swell, have to wear glasses while scrubbing so I don't get it in my eyes etc

I did this today with an AT case and hated it...

Reply 31 of 86, by maxtherabbit

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It sure seems like you guys have shit luck with power supplies. I have a fleet of like 10 AT PSUs from the 90s that all run like raped apes. Some I've recapped some I havent, all been checked for ripple with my scope and perform well.

Now early 2000s ATX supplies are another matter entirely...

Reply 33 of 86, by TheMobRules

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  • Inserting VLB cards when the board does not have any standoffs to provide support on the 32 bit part of the slot. It usually involves trying to fit my hands in a cramped space while installing the card so that the board does not bend like a banana. Was it really that difficult to add one or two more holes two the board? This annoys me greatly.
  • Problems with tolerances on old cheap AT cases... some times the cards or the board don't seat properly, things don't fit, the drives do not line up with the holes, etc. etc. etc. I'd say this is what frustrates me the most about retro PCs (and it also did when they were new).

Reply 34 of 86, by wiretap

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Most hated: Buying "tested good" items that don't work upon arrival and obviously couldn't have worked once you see the real condition.

Most feared: Buying something expensive/rare, and one of the key IC's is smoked that's impossible to find a replacement for.

But really, I've had super good luck buying untested and poor condition items that turned out to be really easy fixes.

My Github
Circuit Board Repair Manuals

Reply 35 of 86, by aureal

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1. Cpu coolers. Its always the cpu cooler. The heatsink on a pentium chip is litterally glued on and requires twisting hard or prying to get off. Slot a and slot 1. you need like 3 hands or wide hands to push the clips in while pulling the whole card upwards. Removing the heatsink requires sliding a really tight metal clip to the side with a screwdriver. Socket A and 370 requires pushing a clip down hard with a screwdriver risking puncturing the board or crushing the core.

2. Stupid internal cable connectors that are so tight that it feels like the sockets going to get ripped out if you use too much force. Or the worry that it suddenly lets go and your hand propels into something else behind it. Or when theres caps and other fragile stuff on the motherboard which leaves very little room for your hands to menourvre in without breaking something. So you have to be gentle and use strength at the same time. Even working on a car isnt this bad because you can be rough with a car.

3. Not turning on a mechanical hdd for a little while to find it wont start anymore or has developed bad sectors on its own. It used to be that I only cared about the data on these hdds but now hdds are getting harder to find a replacement for and those sata-ide adaptors are a hit and miss at working properly.

4. Tiny things like smds falling off motherboards because the solders cracked from metal fatique. Then you hope you haven't lost the smd or if you have you have to find out what part number it is, where to find a replacement part, which orientation it goes in, then soldering it back on. Not fun. Even popped caps arent this bad as you can look at the other caps on the board for the part number or photos on the web. It's also a pain in the butt buying a second hand motherboard and going through it with a fine tooth comb to check theres no smds missing or the manufacturer hasnt done a revision removing it.

Last edited by aureal on 2022-07-24, 10:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 36 of 86, by RandomStranger

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JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-22, 14:27:

Testing after a purchase. When it's described as working it has been usually very poorly tested and I need to know if it's actually working in a reduced amount of time.

Yeah, I absolutely hate these. 99% of the time tested means a PC was turned on with the component and they've seen to the end of the BIOS power-on self tests. No OS loaded, no drivers installed, no testing under load. So it's as close to being untested as one can get.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 37 of 86, by TrashPanda

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RandomStranger wrote on 2022-07-24, 07:42:
JustJulião wrote on 2022-07-22, 14:27:

Testing after a purchase. When it's described as working it has been usually very poorly tested and I need to know if it's actually working in a reduced amount of time.

Yeah, I absolutely hate these. 99% of the time tested means a PC was turned on with the component and they've seen to the end of the BIOS power-on self tests. No OS loaded, no drivers installed, no testing under load. So it's as close to being untested as one can get.

Well you cant have it both ways, either you get very basic testing and cheap parts or you get extensive testing and really expensive parts, basic testing for me is enough if the parts are not priced as if they have had thorough testing done.

And honestly most of the sellers on eBay and such usually dont have a fucking clue what the part is beyond its name, basic details and that it powers up so any kind of testing they might do is pretty fucking pointless as they have no clue to begin with. I would prefer they just leave the part alone rather than try and test it and run the risk of damaging the part or worse destroying it simply through ignorance.

The hard truth is that people like ourselves are the best people to be testing these old parts, we know what they are, how they should function and how to test them without damaging them. We also have access to a far wider range of resources and documentation should the need arise and many of us are capable of repairing these parts, so really I dont see very basic testing as a problem at least we know the part powers up and isnt totally DOA.

Last edited by TrashPanda on 2022-07-24, 09:05. Edited 2 times in total.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 38 of 86, by NScaleTransitModels

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Most hated: cleaning thermal paste from vintage CPUs. It gets all over the chip, socket, heatsink etc. In my experience, thermal paste isn't necessary for anything Socket 7 or older, and even then, graphite thermal pads do the same job without mess.

Most feared: Having to clean computers with lots of spiders or dead insects. My worst fear came true earlier this month when I bought a parts machine that housed a spider's nest. Ironically, all the components were functional after cleaning out the nasty webs, and exterminating hundreds of baby spiders.

Builds:

  • ECS FX-3000; 386DX-40@50; ET4000AX, ISA 1mb
  • Acer VI9; 486DLC-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
  • Chicony CH-471A; CX486s-40; Mach32, VLB 2mb
  • Gateway 2000 P5-60; Pentium-60@66; S3 928, PCI 3mb
  • DTK PKM-0033S; AM5x86-133@160

Reply 39 of 86, by Errius

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Spiders are traditionally considered lucky in Europe. But then there are no dangerous spiders here. I imagine people in Australia and the warmer parts of the U.S. have a different perspective.

ETA: https://www.spiderzrule.com/superstitions-about-spiders/

Last edited by Errius on 2022-07-24, 21:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Protagonist: Robot