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My 386 time machine project so far

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Mau1wurf1977, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Has anyone tried one of these USB to ISA adapters?

    Also there is a special build of DOSBox which can talk to real ISA Sound Blaster cards. I would love to try that out and see if it works...
     
  2. )(arg0n

    )(arg0n Member

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    hmm you inspired me to dig this out:


    Click to view full size!


    Osborne PC
    486DX
    8mb RAM
    Vibra 16 Creative sound card
    HIPPO VL+ motherboard - http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboards/O/OCEAN-INFORMATION-SYSTEMS-INC-486-HIPPO-VL.html


    Click to view full size!



    Last time I used it was 2 years ago, it worked fine but I didn't have a serial mouse so I couldn't do much with it.

    There appears to be a bit of crystallisation around the negative terminal on the battery (see pic 2). I know the battery is long gone anyway. What's the best way to overcome it since I'm guessing you cant just go buy replacements :).

    Also last time I used it the hdd worked, atm I'm getting a 'Failure to Boot - Unable to find boot device message'. Im not sure if after nearly 20 years the drive has finally failed or if its to do with the battery being stuffed.

    Last time I used it I got an error message saying the battery was bad, then it took me to the bios where I had to make it re-detect the hdd and all was well.

    Would it be possible to clone the the drive if it still works to a CF card IDE adapter?

    cheers :).
     
  3. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    If the drive still works, you can either xcopy all the files or use something like ghost to move them en masse.

    Nice board. VLB. Be nice if it had the extra cache DIP sockets filled.
     
  4. Reaper

    Reaper Member

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    Unsolder that battery asap.

    Yea, you can get replacements, but you can also replace it with a standard cr2032 button as well.

    Just need the holder and a diode and good to go.

    Or, if it has a header for an external pack, get a twin AA battery external pack from ebay.
     
  5. von Stalhein

    von Stalhein Member

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    FFS stop holding back, let it out mate!!!
    :)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Does anyone have access to a Socket 7 machine (Pentium MMX or AMD K6...)?

    Would love to know what speed you get if you disable L1 cache on such a system...
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    My Intel Pentium 200 (non-MMX) blew up about 2 years back. That was a sad day. :(
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    (Super) Socket 7 boards are quite easy to find from looking on ebay the last few weeks. All the big players have excellent models (Gigabyte, Asus Epox, Aopen...)

    Got all the other bits?

    I'm intersted in Socket 7 because you can go from a Pentium 133 to a K6 500 and cover a lot of games from that era...

    Got these bad boys today. AFAIK this is the top PIII:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'll check to see if the wife hasn't thrown them out yet. :)

    I have to say, trawling eBay it's quite impressive to see how many cheap older systems are around. There's about a dozen Pentium II era boxes within 10KM of my house, most with 1c bids on them. Insane!
     
  10. Life_Essence

    Life_Essence Member

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    I got a (working) socket 7, it's currently got a Pentium 120 in it and an ET4000/W32P. Still collecting parts for it though so it's not 100% up and running.
     
  11. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    I have about 6 new (unused) SIS chipset socket 7 boards, might be of interest :)
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    Before I rush out and buy (even more) old parts I really need to know what slowdown one would get by disabling L1 cache on a (Super) socket 7...

    So any tests are highly welcomed :thumbup:

    If you guys need benchmarks let me know!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  13. )(arg0n

    )(arg0n Member

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    hmmm had a better look at that battery, there is oxidation on the surrounding components, pics:


    Click to view full size!


    Recommendations? I just did a quick search and it looks like a light scrubbing with a baking soda paste followed by a long soak in baking soda to get all the oxidation on the internal tracks.

    Mobo:


    Click to view full size!


    Video/parallel port/2 x serial ports/Primary IDE controller/Floppy Disk/HD Led connection - all in one wonder card:


    Click to view full size!


    Replacement battery: http://jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=SB1609&keywords=3.6v+battery&form=KEYWORD

    Motherboard also has pin headers for external battery connection :).
     
  14. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    Those DIP sockets are for video ram, then. Nice and strange.

    I have a SS7 K6/2 machine in the 500mhz range. With L1 disabled, subjective performance is in the range of a 386DX/40 - 486SX/25. I haven't run drystone on it. Disk I/O is way faster. I have it stashed 2 hours in the country and I'm at my apartment now, so I can't bench until later in the week.
     
  15. JustRight

    JustRight Member

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    Hi there mate,

    I have a working Pentium 200MMX on a Gigabyte GA-586HX motherboard. This is based on the Intel 82430HX chipset. The BIOS offers control of both Internal and External cache.

    I have an instance of Win 98SE running on the system and I am able to run "Super PI" on it :D

    Anyway, running at 200MHz, with both caches' enabled: 64K Super Pi takes 26 seconds (for 15 iterations)

    After disabling the Internal cache only in the BIOS: 64K Super Pi takes 2 minutes 25 seconds

    After disabling both the Internal and External caches' in the BIOS: 64K Super Pi takes 9 minutes 58 seconds !!!!

    Don't know if that will help you. I guess you really need a true Socket 370 system and my PIII systems are dismantled and in storage at the moment.

    Anyway, an interesting exercise.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  16. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    *grabs JustRight and gdjacobs*

    Awesome! I will look up Super Pi results and hope I kind find a reference to some older machines...
    Your numbers suggest it's 5.5 times slower with L1 disabled and 23 times slower with both caches disabled.

    Could you do me a favour and boot your W98 into DOS mode and then get and run this benchmark:

    http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_weblinks&task=view&catid=26&id=244

    It will give you a cpu score just like this one: http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/4663/dsc01618a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  17. Cannula

    Cannula Member

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    I have a couple Via PCV2 boards, they should work ok only thing is the lack of an ISA slot.
    Have to see what I can come up with, I believe there are Win 98 drivers available too.
     
  18. flain

    flain Member

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    Cmon OCAU this hit front page, surly someone can give Mau1wurf1977 a real 386. Check your dusty attics and stuff :p Or even a 486sx :p

    I feel guilty now because just last year i was doing a house clean, found 3 boxes of old ISA/PCI cards... Sound blasters, co-ax 10baseT networks cards (co-ax of course, i had T-bars too!), some uhart serial cards (back when the serial chips on motherboards were too slow for 14.4 modems!), IDE controller cards (IDE ports also came on soundblaster cards, can you believe that?) and a crap load of PCI cards. Also threw out about 64MB worth of RAM in denominations of 4MB, 8MB 16MB etc.

    I came to the conclusion that it was all junk now since ISA and PCI is now obsolete :/.

    I guess before this thread i didn't realise that old PC kit is also retro :(
     
  19. lastninja

    lastninja Member

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    I use a P1 200 as a dos box, with win 95 installed, works a treat with 115MB ram. no idea how I crammed all that in lol
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Mau1wurf1977

    Mau1wurf1977 (Banned or Deleted)

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    LOL I wish I had the space to get more gear... I have dreams lately of living in a big farm house surrounded with all computers :lol:

    386 hardware is 20 years old... I am still amazed that some machines just turn on and work. A lot of bits are junk and it's hard to know which parts are keepers unless you start looking for replacements...
     

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