VOGONS


First post, by NJRoadfan

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Does anyone have a list of these? These local buses came out mostly in 1991-92 on 386/486 boards before the VESA Local Bus standard was finalized. My research doesn't come up with much, particularly pictures of the slots and boards. The only one I know of that seemed somewhat popular is the Opti Local Bus, which used the EISA edge connector. The only card that seemed to be made for it is a Tseng ET4000AX based video card.

There are also a few "BC3486UL" motherboards on ebay with a single EISA looking slot, but with a UMC chipset that may or may not be yet another one of these non-standard buses.

Reply 1 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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I think just about every manufacturer under the sun may have had their own proprietary local bus at one time or another.

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V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 5 of 40, by GL1zdA

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BastlerMike wrote:

I have a Gigabyte GA-486US. The local bus connector is realized by two 16 bit ISA slots in a row. I also have the suitable ET4000 VGA and SCSI cards.

Could you post some pics?

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Reply 6 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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Ah yes, I think I've seen that one before. There was a tseng card for it on eBay recently too.

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Reply 7 of 40, by NJRoadfan

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Found some buried in a German forum. Wonder what they called it and how much better the performance was? They remind me of Amiga Zorro cards.
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Reply 8 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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The SCSI card is super cool. That must be quite rare too.

Performance should be almost identical to VLB.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 9 of 40, by NJRoadfan

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The reason I ask is the video card likely uses the ET4000AX and the SCSI card is using the same host adapter chip Adaptec's ISA cards use. I don't think either chip can completely take advantage of a 32-bit interface.

Reply 10 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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The ET4000AX should have supported local buses natively. No comment on the adaptec chip on the SCSI card....surely it had to have been better in some ways though.

edit: I see ET4000AX only has a 16-bit host interface. It should still see a big boost due to running at local bus speeds though (33MHz)

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 11 of 40, by Great Hierophant

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That nicely covers the basic needs of 486 Local Bus expansion, video and hard drive interfaces.

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Reply 12 of 40, by blakespot

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I just mentioned this in another thread and ran across this thread searching for details on the OPTI local bus, but I ran a system in 1994 that used the Chips & Technologies WINGINE local bus. Here's my write up and note the engineer on the project in comments on the post.

http://www.bytecellar.com/2007/02/09/chips_technolog/

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Reply 13 of 40, by soviet conscript

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blakespot wrote:

I just mentioned this in another thread and ran across this thread searching for details on the OPTI local bus, but I ran a system in 1994 that used the Chips & Technologies WINGINE local bus. Here's my write up and note the engineer on the project in comments on the post.

http://www.bytecellar.com/2007/02/09/chips_technolog/

bp

The only information out there on the Opti Local bus seems to be that it exists.

Reply 14 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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There's not much to know really. It's pretty much like Vesa Local Bus, but it has a different connector. It slightly predates VLB, but it failed and therefore not many cards were made for it.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 15 of 40, by BastlerMike

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While browsing some old hardware magazines and forums, I collected some informative facts about proprietary local bus hardware:

First available mainboard providing a local bus was the "486 Superboard" by Orchid in early 1992.
It featured an Opti Chipset and an EISA-style local bus connector called "convertible slot".
This "Orchid local bus" or "Opti local bus" design was adopted by many other manufacturers.
First available graphics cards by Orchid were called "Fahrenheit 1280°D" (S3 911) and "Prodesigner IIsD" (ET4000AX). Several clone cards with these chips were made. Later, an IDE caching controller was also available, the "Tekram DC-660"

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Orchid local bus compatible Tseng and S3 based VGA cards
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Gigabyte featured the "GA-486US" mainboard using two consecutive 16 bit ISA slots for local bus interconnection.
Available cards were "GA-200" (ET4000AX), "GA-300" (S3 911) and "GA-400" (SCSI)

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GA-486US and GA-200/GA-400 peripheral cards
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ECS Elitegroup offered local buses on their "UL486" and "FX-3000" a.k.a "US3486" motherboards using the 112-pin MCA slot we all know from the later VLB.
But ECS's implementation is not VESA compatible and unfortunately visually not distinguishable!
Suitable cards for the "ECS local bus": "VI-811" (ET4000AX) and "VI-911" (S3 911)

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UL486 motherboard and VI-811 VGA card
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Chips & Technologies offered a "Wingine local bus" on their 82C4021 chipset based motherboards for their
Wingine F64200 DGX Accelerator cards. These motherboards also had one VLB compatible slot.

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C&T motherboard with Wingine slot and VLB slot
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Another different local bus connection was used by Joindata with motherboard models "G486PEL" and "G486PLB"
Peripheral cards are "G-HOSTS3" (s3 911) and "G-HOST4000" (ET4000)

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Joindata's proprietary local bus card and its VLB compatible counterpart
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There are more proprietary sytems like the Hauppauge 486M, NEC "Optibus", but it is nearly nothing is known about them.

Reply 16 of 40, by Sutekh94

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re. Joindata local bus cards: I actually do have an example of a Joindata G-HOST4000 that I acquired from eBay fairly recently as part of a lot of five vintage video cards (the rest being ISA). Seller mistakenly sold it as a regular VLB card, but he also messaged me after the auction ended saying that it was a rare card. After noting that it didn't quite fit in my VLB 486 system, I'd say he was right on the card being rare. Of course, I don't have the right mobo to go with this card, so I don't even know if it works. Here's a picture of it:

xf7YTeDl.jpg?1

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Reply 17 of 40, by Anonymous Coward

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So that explains the non functioning slot on the FX 3000D, eh?

This is a pretty interesting post. I knew about some of these proprietary local buses, but the ones from Joindata and ECS are new to me. The ECS slot is particularly troublesome, since you'd have no damn way of knowing if you have one or not.

Last edited by Anonymous Coward on 2015-12-03, 07:50. Edited 1 time in total.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 18 of 40, by NJRoadfan

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There must have been warehouses of 16-bit MCA slots laying around for all these buses to recycle them. The Joindata board is using the 16-bit MCA Aux Video Extension slot.

Reply 19 of 40, by dionb

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Anonymous Coward wrote:

So that explains the non functioning slot on the FX 3000D, eh?

This is a pretty interesting post. I knew about some of these proprietary local buses, but the ones from Joindata and ECS are new to me. The ECS slot is particularly troublesome, since you'd have no damn way of knowing if you have one or not.

Little necro here...

Discovered the hard way my ECS SL486E with EISA and something that looked like VLB definitely wasn't VLB. Simple way to determine: insert VLB card and it shorts the board out completely - unless it's a cheapo multi I/O card, in which case the system boots but the card starts to smoke 😮

Amazingly, both motherboard and VLB cards (including the smoking one) survived that. No idea what happens the other way round, but I fear it would also short out, probably leading unwitting owners to bin the ECS local bus cards as dead. Distinct feeling they're unobtainium by now 😢

Last edited by dionb on 2019-03-13, 09:40. Edited 1 time in total.