NEC PowerMate 1 Plus (APC-H2010F) 80286

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by sean0118, May 18, 2019.

  1. sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    I've finally got around to trying to resurrect the NEC PowerMate 1 Plus(APC-H2010F) I found at hard rubbish a few years ago. I'll update this thread with pics soon. :lol:

    I'm having a lot of trouble getting it to boot using the onboard 3.5" floppy controller. I did get it to start to boot FreeDos once, but it crashed and after trying with MS-DOS I can't get it to do anything now, I'm not sure which jumper settings I was using at the time either.

    The jumper settings for the POWERMATE 1 (non-plus) are available on stason. But it's not identical to my board, DIP switches 16C1, 16B2 are the same but many of the jumpers aren't present.

    If I set the floppy address to primary (16C1/7 - Off) I get "no boot device available". If I set the address to secondary (16C1/7 - On) I get "diskette read failure". The weird thing is, I get these same errors even with no drive connected.

    I've tried two different 3.5" drives which are working and from *modern* systems.

    The cable I'm using is for connecting just one drive, it has a twist on one end, should this end be connected to the motherboard or drive? :confused:


    I'm not really sure what to try next. I've tried lots of combinations of jumper settings based on the Stason website, but I guess the PowerMate 1 Plus might be quite different to the PowerMate 1.

    What does the integrated floppy controller look like on the motherboard? There's a lot of socketed chips on there I might try reseating.


    edit: Looks the the floppy controller IC is NEC D765AC
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  2. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Would love to see some pics of this baby!? :)
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Here's some pics as promised.

    The only card in there was an 'ATRAMBANK REV 6' expander card. It works but I've taken it out and add an MDA graphics card for the moment.

    I forgot to mention, I'm powering the floppy drive from another computer because the NEC psu doesn't have the right plug and I don't have an adapter. Hopefully that's not too dodgy. :Paranoid:


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    Links for full res:
    https://i.imgur.com/JOj0qyq.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/BJPCfJU.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/c5LRdRO.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/llhcEQZ.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/yT1Pa3w.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/bBELEhp.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/hGAvKGQ.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/krF7PSO.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  4. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    Twist goes at the FDD end.

    If you want to, you can get a second 34-way socket (Jaycar has them, PS0988) and stick that on the wire before the twist. That way you've got a dual-drive cable, and at least one of the drives should work. Or I can search around here for an appropriate cable; I must have one somewhere.

    The power plug on the FDD is just the little 4-pin one, isn't it? If so, I might have an adaptor for that too.
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Thanks, that did help me make some progress. ;)

    I added the extra connector to the ribbon cable and macgyvered an incredibly dodgy power adapter.

    I now get a seek failure for drive 0, but not for drive 1. Then the light comes on and the floppy drive starts to read.

    But then I get: "No boot device available-"

    I'm starting to think it can't boot from 1.44 MB floppies, maybe it needs 720 KB? :confused:


    As a side note I found jumper 7L4 controls DRAM config:
    2-4 -> 512KB
    1-3 -> 640KB
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    I'm out of ideas. :confused:

    I bought some 720KB double sided floppy disks. I've tried a few different DOS images, can't get any to boot, I still get "No boot device available". Maybe I should get an ISA floppy controller card?


    The floppies I bought were second hand off ebay, maybe not the best idea. One has a *retro* Stoned Angelina virus. I guess it was a freebie. :D


    edit: I should note, I'm formatting them on Windows 7 cmd line and using RawWrite 0.7 to write the images. I'm using a FreeDos 720K image that I can succesfully boot on other PCs.I've tried a few other DOS images as well, but I can't get them to boot on modern PCs to confirm they work.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  7. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Oh, I thought you had to boot DOS before you could run the setup utility? Aren't they .exe files? :confused:
     
  9. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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    On page 2 of the VCFed discussion modem7 (who I think is the creator of minuszerodegrees?) suggests a 360k boot disk might work in a 1.2MB drive if the machine is in an unconfigured state - so DOS is definitely required. Have you still got any 5.25 drives or disks? if not, let me know and will see what I can dig up :thumbup:
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Ah I see, I missed that, I thought they were talking about 3.5" disks.

    I have a few 5.25" drives, but all in non-running systems. I think I only have one or two 5.25" disks of unknown condition. :D

    I found out that work has an EEPROM reader/writer. I'll borrow it and try to make a backup of the BIOS. Can I post it to the forum? Or are there better websites to upload to?
     
  11. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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    I've got some disks in storage, will look for some for you when I'm up there next time.

    vogons.org has a repository of drivers and files, so it could be uploaded there (https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=30649) otherwise Vintage Computer Federation forums - there are more of these units kicking around in the US no doubt!
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Thanks, if you can find one that would be great. ;)

    My system is missing the HDD / 5.25" floppy controller, but I have a generic one that might work.

    The vogons file repository looks perfect, really well organised.


    edit: Oh! I just realised I have a 486 system with 3.5" and 5.25" floppy drives, I thought it was only 3.5". I can probably get that running.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  13. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Holy cow! I don't think I've ever seen a motherboard with so many wire fixes. :shock: One or two sure, but this looks like someone had a bad day when they designed the board and some poor soul had to fix them all later. :lol:

    modem7 on VCF might be interested in hosting it on his site. He already has a collection of AT clone BIOS: http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/at_clone_bios/at_clone_bios.htm
     
  14. callan

    callan Member

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    Contemporaneous to these machines I dealt with many of these: they were bulletproof..

    Send me a PM/Email.

    Callan
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    I thought that too, would like to know the story behind it. Shows how expensive the circuit boards must have been, cheaper to modify it than respin.

    Thanks for the link, I might upload the bios to a few places for redundancy. I have another 5 systems to repair next, I'll try to copy the bios from them soon too.


    Thanks, I think I'll be okay on this one if I can make a 5.25" boot disk. But I'll need some of your wisdom when it comes to the APC IVs and Astra. ;)
     
  16. callan

    callan Member

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    I had a scrounge around and I have a set of duplicated NEC DOS disks on 5.25" DSDD disks. I don't know which version (as I annoyingly didn't write the version on the label, and I have no machine that can boot them - yet - ) but you're welcome to them if it helps. I'd reckon they'd be NEC DOS 3.2, but wouldn't swear on it.
    PM me with your address if you need them :)

    I don't think I will be able to help you much with the Astra, though - that's a little before my time :p. The APC IV's were pretty much DOS-ISH, compatibleish machines by then: the original APC was a weird, weird beast...

    Callan
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Thanks Callan, I'll send you a PM. I think it's the easiest option, I can't even get my modern version of Linux to reliably mount/format floppy disks. I think I have a mix of unreliable disks / drives too.
     
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Good news! I got it working with the NEC DOS disks Callan kindly sent me:

    [​IMG]


    I attached some photos showing whats on them. Next step is to copy them and send him back the originals, does anyone know where I can source 5.25" DSDD disks?

    I'm also waiting on a power adapter for the 3.5" drive. Once that arrives I might be able to get some DOS games going.

    I also managed to read a disk that was in the drive of one of the APC IIIs. I'm not really sure what it is, but it's labeled 'APC III misc + boot 5/3/86'.

    I've also attached some photos with the jumper settings of the motherboard, the NEC FD1157C 5.25" drive and Western Digital WD1006V-MM2 floppy/HDD controller I'm using.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
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    sean0118

    sean0118 Member

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    Here's the photos of the jumper settings (max 10 attachments per post).
     

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  20. Grant

    Grant Member

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    That Epson monitor looks like it should be an in-game puzzle in a DOOM game or something with the red tint :thumbup:
     

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