VOGONS


First post, by Klimanski

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I own 1989 produced Compaq 386/20e PC, where recently was replaced HDD. Now DOS 5.0 and special Finnigan MAT software are installed and my next task is to get communicating PC with the spectrometer through IEEE488 port.
ISA card of my PC seems is produced by Omega, but product is discontinued. Tried to contact them asking for software, but until now got no reply....
Any ideas, how to solve this issue ? Am grateful for your ideas.

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Reply 2 of 12, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Klimanski wrote on 2021-03-26, 11:02:

I own 1989 produced Compaq 386/20e PC, where recently was replaced HDD. Now DOS 5.0 and special Finnigan MAT software are installed and my next task is to get communicating PC with the spectrometer through IEEE488 port.
ISA card of my PC seems is produced by Omega, but product is discontinued. Tried to contact them asking for software, but until now got no reply....
Any ideas, how to solve this issue ? Am grateful for your ideas.

Assuming it's the same Omega, they seem to have an extensive ftp archive online, with a directory specific to GPIB (ISA cards are mentioned in the READMEs) tho am unsure if this relates to 488.1 and / or 488.2

ftp://ftp.omega.com/public/DASGroup/products/GPIB/

Also found an Omega manual online at

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/249510 … isa-gpib-omega-

Other players, like National Instruments, also maintain similar archives

https://www.ni.com/en-gb/support/documentatio … on-for-dos.html

Reply 3 of 12, by Klimanski

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Thank you so much for replying ! First reference - failed to open - sometimes Omega site do not wish to be browsed by Chrome... Second reference refers to Win versions of cards .... I have to use DOS.
At the meantime, have upgraded DOS 5.0 to 6.22 version. Also got answer from Omega dept in EU, and there is reference

https://www.omega.nl/pptst/OMB-PER-488.html

where on the page is another reference to omega ( seems, same ftp ) server with OMBPERD488 DOS driver and installation manual ( OMG - 488 pages !!! ):

https://assets.omega.com/manuals/M2743.pdf

I tried to install this diver . Temproraly have removed GPIB card from PC to check all switch configuration and then used this info to configure GPIB driver:

- IRQ5 interrupt;
- 02E1 I/O address;
- DMA channel - 3.

Still no communication, here is POST screen. What is strange for me. Device ( masspectrometer ) software have not asked any questions regarding the I/O during the installation. If I am right, It means that software has some unknown for me fixed I/O parameters. Have no idea how to get them.....

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Last edited by Klimanski on 2021-04-09, 16:51. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 12, by BloodyCactus

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well the /public/DASGroup/products/OMB-PER/ombperd.exe is all dos install + setup + config software. Is that the one you tried?

I've had several GPIB cards, both isa + pci. your isa card is generic, it has generic NEC gpib chip so should work with anything, as long as you know its irq + address. Ive not needed gpib dos drivers as most software I've used that used dos gpib could just talk to the card as long as it knew the irq+address.

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 5 of 12, by Klimanski

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BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-04-09, 16:37:

well the /public/DASGroup/products/OMB-PER/ombperd.exe is all dos install + setup + config software. Is that the one you tried?

I've had several GPIB cards, both isa + pci. your isa card is generic, it has generic NEC gpib chip so should work with anything, as long as you know its irq + address. Ive not needed gpib dos drivers as most software I've used that used dos gpib could just talk to the card as long as it knew the irq+address.

Yes, this one. Do you mean, that Omega GPIB card may work under DOS without any driver ?

Reply 6 of 12, by BloodyCactus

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Klimanski wrote on 2021-04-09, 17:01:
BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-04-09, 16:37:

well the /public/DASGroup/products/OMB-PER/ombperd.exe is all dos install + setup + config software. Is that the one you tried?

I've had several GPIB cards, both isa + pci. your isa card is generic, it has generic NEC gpib chip so should work with anything, as long as you know its irq + address. Ive not needed gpib dos drivers as most software I've used that used dos gpib could just talk to the card as long as it knew the irq+address.

Yes, this one. Do you mean, that Omega GPIB card may work under DOS without any driver ?

maybe. it depends on what software is trying to communicate with GPIB. example, I have old HP logic analyzer that can do GPIB, the client software knows how to talk to the gpib card without driver because it knows how to talk to NEC µPD7210 + TI9914A + SN75161B/SN75160B.

but, if you can get the driver working its good indicator if the card is working!

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 7 of 12, by Klimanski

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BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-04-10, 02:01:
Klimanski wrote on 2021-04-09, 17:01:
BloodyCactus wrote on 2021-04-09, 16:37:

well the /public/DASGroup/products/OMB-PER/ombperd.exe is all dos install + setup + config software. Is that the one you tried?

I've had several GPIB cards, both isa + pci. your isa card is generic, it has generic NEC gpib chip so should work with anything, as long as you know its irq + address. Ive not needed gpib dos drivers as most software I've used that used dos gpib could just talk to the card as long as it knew the irq+address.

Yes, this one. Do you mean, that Omega GPIB card may work under DOS without any driver ?

maybe. it depends on what software is trying to communicate with GPIB. example, I have old HP logic analyzer that can do GPIB, the client software knows how to talk to the gpib card without driver because it knows how to talk to NEC µPD7210 + TI9914A + SN75161B/SN75160B.

but, if you can get the driver working its good indicator if the card is working!

Thanks for your idea, it gives me new chance to try again, because it was my first idea ( before have decided to look for drivers ), that it may be enough just with BIOS I/O and IRQ settings. May be I have made some mistake.... A bit later I'll give you all options, what offers Compaq BIOS - for 386 machine there is not so many possibilities to adjust. Yes, I forgot to mention, that all troubles with my device started after BIOS battely failure, so, all original BIOS settings are lost.....

On weekend I am at the countryside, and not able to reach my Compaq+ITS40, and will be back on Monday, so before that we have a time to plan further attempts how to get the device working.

Once again, thanks for your ideas and help !

Last edited by Klimanski on 2021-04-12, 12:44. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 8 of 12, by Klimanski

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What I see in BIOS. Not many options. Mouse connected to IRQ12, for COM - two options ( now pair COM1 - IRQ4 is selected ), for LPT - four options , now LPT1 connected to IRQ7 for printing. Printer works OK.
If IEEE card configured ( as per IEEE card switch position ) to IRQ5, then seems, all I need, to configure LPT3 port. ? I have tried already to choose LPT3 - IRQ5 pair, but it doesn't work also, neither without, nor with installed GPIB driver.
What can I do else ?

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Reply 9 of 12, by evasive

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the driver, being a .sys one, most likely is configured through an entry in config.sys. What I see is the type 30 parameter has not been specified properly. I think the other parameters have been specififed on the line in config.sys where the driver is being loaded. Please check and verify, also I expect some information to be in the documentation or a readme.txt with the driver/config software.

Reply 10 of 12, by akula65

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Another possibility might be to see if any of the National Instruments drivers work:
ftp://ftp.ni.com/support/gpib/doswin3/

You will have to burrow down and read the readme files to see if any correspond to your particular bus/chipset.

Reply 11 of 12, by weedeewee

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the manual isn't clear what, if any, the difference is between the GP488B and GP488BP.
and a look on google also gives no clue.

Reason I mention it is because the only reference in the manual is wrt to the windows 3.1 driver,
the fact that your photo of the driver loading indicates the subset as 'GP488BP'
and I assume that your card is a GP488B.

Just a longshot.

Reply 12 of 12, by Klimanski

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evasive wrote on 2021-04-12, 14:25:

the driver, being a .sys one, most likely is configured through an entry in config.sys. What I see is the type 30 parameter has not been specified properly. I think the other parameters have been specififed on the line in config.sys where the driver is being loaded. Please check and verify, also I expect some information to be in the documentation or a readme.txt with the driver/config software.

I can't check my config.sys now in respect of GPIB driver, as I have returned back to idea of getting communication by hardware only ( as per BloodyCactus idea ) and have reinstalled system. Also, for great regret, don't have original config.sys, its dead together with the crashed HDD. But it is really interesting to find, what is written in the manual for ITS 40 software - recommended config.sys file is pretty simple:
buffers=10
files=15
and nothing else...

akula65 wrote on 2021-04-12, 14:42:

Another possibility might be to see if any of the National Instruments drivers work:
ftp://ftp.ni.com/support/gpib/doswin3/

You will have to burrow down and read the readme files to see if any correspond to your particular bus/chipset.

Thank you for ref, I will try toget Omega working, if no - you are right, NI cards now are available at reasonable prices.

weedeewee wrote on 2021-04-12, 15:35:
the manual isn't clear what, if any, the difference is between the GP488B and GP488BP. and a look on google also gives no clue. […]
Show full quote

the manual isn't clear what, if any, the difference is between the GP488B and GP488BP.
and a look on google also gives no clue.

Reason I mention it is because the only reference in the manual is wrt to the windows 3.1 driver,
the fact that your photo of the driver loading indicates the subset as 'GP488BP'
and I assume that your card is a GP488B.

Just a longshot.

For me also not clear why in POST message one letter is added to GP488B, also similar question is with ending _3 added to IEEE name of Driver...
It seems to me, that all my attempts to get PC communicating is just a longshot.....