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What retro computer activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. baronbaldric

    baronbaldric Member

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    I set out to build a p iii matrox g400 pc. Have everything, but the mobo is giving me hard time. No post so far. CPU and RAM are good, checked with another motherboard. Batteries are fresh. Couldn’t check the Matrox because my other motherboard has no AGP slot. Tried another CPU and RAM just in case with no luck. So its either the card, PSU or most likely the mobo - asus p3v4x. Need another trip to storage to try another graphics card and psu. There is a note in the manual that this board needs 10mA on 5v standby lead to work. Not sure how to check this aside from trying another psu. Have no retro atx psus, just the new ones.
     
  2. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Was wondering why my A1 Used Computer order had gone quiet (I mean, moreso than usual). This update on the website explains why. A new, functioning website sounds like it will be worth the wait.

    a1.png

    Social distancing measures mean I'm no longer at the same address as my old machines anyway :upset:
     
  3. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Probably explains why I never got a reply to all my enquires. :)

    I assume his new website will be this one: https://www.a1used-computers.com/

    Will be great if he gets a full online order system up and running as I reckon he would make a killing. What he has for sale and the prices he is asking beats ebay any day of the week but his biggest problem is ordering can be difficult which I think puts a lot of people off. Looking forward to it happening. :thumbup:
     
    Pierre32 likes this.
  4. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    I've wanted an ATX test bench for a while, somewhere better than an old motherboard box to test components. Usually they are a bit rich for my tastes, but crypto cases sort of fit the bill.

    Ended up getting this one off eBay for $27 posted (since gone up, but there's a few listings): http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/202851656266


    Click to view full size!


    Click to view full size!


    Pros are it's surprisingly sturdy, the motherboard tray slides out, and it's definitely tidier/safer than the aforementioned box.
    Cons are no where for a CD drive or a SSD/HDD, but should be able to make something suitable.

    I don't think anyone on here has ever received a reply from A1 Used Computers. :lol:

    I picked up a few ISA cards years ago, looked to be more or less someone's hobby. Nice guy, but fairly disorganised. All the older stuff is stored offsite and the stock listings are well out of date.
     
  5. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Dig the test bench :thumbup:

    Maybe I've been lucky, but I've had such a great run with him over the past 6 months - once I managed to establish initial contact and get the first order done. I guess he's pretty variable.

    For a real horror show however, has anyone ever bought from Nucleus Computer (another second hand joint in Melbourne)? I bought a few items last year. The email exchange took about 4 weeks, at which point he insisted I call before we go further "so he could make sure I was for real." For 60 odd bucks worth of sundries. He relaxed after we spoke, and the order got done. But he was very weird to deal with.

    Last month I spotted an item he had, and decided to wade in again. Here's our email exchange:

    Me: Hi again, I'm interested in picking up this video card [included link, description and screenshot]

    Nucleus: I have had a look for it but it is a difficult task trying to find exactly the part no as they are all over the place and I do not know what it looks like so it takes too much time. This time or next time you will have to make it easy for me by sending a photo.

    Me: [I google image searched the model number I had just sent him] It should match either of these two pictures.

    Nucleus: I printed it and will look out for it amongst our stuff and advise when I find one


    ...and that was the last contact, on Feb 22. I won't bother him again.
     
  6. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Was the Nucleus guy an older guy? From experience I've found some of the older generation's who have been selling this hardware for decades tend to be difficult to deal with since they are very much stuck in their ways. However the fact they are doing transactions over email at least shows they have progressed somewhat! :lol:

    A few years ago I attempted to buy an Atari Monitor I had been chasing for a while from these guys. Being in the USA, all the communication had to be done by email and it was painful. First he took days to respond, then he couldn't confirm it was in stock and said he would have to check. Then when I asked him if he could check he pretty much told me it was too much hassle because those monitors were up on a pallet in his warehouse. :confused: I wasn't even asking him to ship overseas as I had a freight forwarder in the US I was going to use so that at least saved him some trouble but nope. Why even list it for sale?? I gave up.

    But there are other older guys I've dealt with which have been great. I've purchased a few things from Best Electronics (also in the USA) and he's a really good guy to deal with and very knowledgable. But my god that website and it's massive wall of text!!! :shock: Trust me there is a link buried in there for ordering just good luck finding it in a hurry. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    MUTMAN likes this.
  7. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Yeah, Nucleus guy sounds pretty old!

    That Best Electronics site is fantastic. :D
     
  8. Kafoopsy

    Kafoopsy Member

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    Been trying to test some old hard drives. Using an IDE-USB adapter, most of them would spin up and be detected by the computer but they would get stuck on 'installing device driver.' Only when I gave up and unplugged the USB cable, the message 'Successfully installed device driver' with the correct model number of the drive would appear. Further attempts to plug in the usb didn't work. Hard drives ranged from an old NEC full height stepper (114MB), to a Quantum Bigfoot, to a Fujitsu 4.3GB. The Fujitsu worked, none of the others did. I think the drives work, I just might need an older computer to test them with.
     
  9. baronbaldric

    baronbaldric Member

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    Does the adapter come with a good sizeable power brick? Could be not enough juice.
     
  10. baronbaldric

    baronbaldric Member

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    Still trying to revive that Slot 1 board. Tried a different PSU, different graphics card (don't have an AGP card, so tried a PCI one, guess it should have worked?) and even a different keyboard. Running out of options. Never did a recap before, a little nervous but maybe I will go this route eventually. Really like this board, supports plenty of CPUs, has USB and will go perfectly with a gorgeous beige case I bought recently off ebay. It's VIA chipset, not highly regarded 440BX, but I never actually saw a side to side comparison of how VIA is worse in real-life scenarios.
    IMG_5224.JPG IMG_5225.JPG
    Impulsive-bought another Slot 1 board for a "decent" price of $75 (came with a celeron 333 and a mismatched set of 192MB RAM), but it's not a great fit, because it's an old-style 5-din keyboard type and doesn't fit the case well. Proper ATX motherboards are outside my comfort zone price wise, so we'll see I'll either revive the old board via a recap or will use the newly bought board, buy a blank io plate and drill a hole in it for the 5din keyboard connector.
     
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  11. Samicans

    Samicans Member

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    i beat battle toads...
     
  12. Kafoopsy

    Kafoopsy Member

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    The power brick says it delivers 2A on both 5V and 12V.
     
  13. Reaper

    Reaper Member

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    Set those jumpers and switches correctly? They're all off. Make sure bios flash jumper is in normal position as well. The caps look fine from here ?

    Spoiler; I've been testing what were "dead not even posting" boards, got all tested so far to post no worries. Just three more to do. Post will come when I test the "big one". Just waiting a power adapter for it and some ddr memory for the other two. I really thought I had some ddr memory spare, nope.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  14. baronbaldric

    baronbaldric Member

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    On the photo the board is set to "jumper free" mode (when you set the jumper above the ISA slot to jumper free mode you need to turn off al the switches), but I tried the jumper setup too.

    There is a mystery jumper on this board right under the CPU fan connector near the CPU slot, not mentioned in the manual. When I change it to the other setting the speaker starts to beep sporadically, does the same beep "melody" with any combination of CPU, RAM, and graphics removed. Caps look fine but I don't see any other options I could try with this board aside from maybe I could try to reflash BIOS. I have the flasher laying around somewhere and the BIOS rom is available online.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Reaper

    Reaper Member

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    I remember that board. I used to have one. Did look familiar. That jumper is; (the following explains it better than me);

    Try a diagnostic card too if you've exhausted all cpu/memory configurations. Example: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/4-Digit...641394?hash=item2ae4b433b2:g:5EMAAOSwXjxeaDeN
     
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  16. breech

    breech Member

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    P3V4X is flakey on older bios revisions, has an overheating ICS (clock clip), significant vdroop, cold boot problems with some video cards (fixable) amongst other things. Its worth the effort to revive after a couple of mods.

    See this thread for info: https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/p3v4x-tweeks-and-tricks.1962/ use wayback with the broken links. PM me if you need any files.

    [edit] An interesting bit of info from NormM: The P3V4X can only handle six 'sides' of ram
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  17. baronbaldric

    baronbaldric Member

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    Thanks! A treasure trove of new information and things to try
     
  18. GrandmasBoi

    GrandmasBoi Member

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    I finally tested a 486 vlb board I had sitting in the garage for about 10 months and kept putting it off. It I booted on the first go!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The bios probably doesn't officially support a 5x86 cpu so its showing a dx2 100 in case somebody points that out
     
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  19. Reaper

    Reaper Member

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    Here we go, I got these bar the ecs board as "tested not posting". I got them all to post. I consider these modern vintage. All pre-2010.

    IMG_20200328_053825.jpg
    IMG_20200328_053851.jpg

    The following one I ear marked to scrap as it had bent pins on the cpu socket. Decided what the hell and got the magnifying glass and a fine flat blade small screwdriver. Managed to bend them back and it worked. At first I tried the cpu below that I had yet to test as well, (it worked in the other 775 boards, but because I was lazy and didn't affix the heatsink from the ecs board above properly it got real hot. I thought I burnt it after trying it in the above ecs board and testing again. I knew the ecs board was good but no post. I then tried the cpu I thought I killed on the following along below full atx board, it worked. yay. I then tried the cpu (1.8ghz duo) from the ecs board in the below board and it worked.
    IMG_20200328_053921.jpg
    IMG_20200328_053949.jpg

    Tested this I got a while ago with the cpu below, it's a GeForce 5700 I think. EDIT: (8500GT). Best thing is zero extra power connecter required. Made an easy test card.
    IMG_20200328_054019.jpg

    2.6ghz core duo.
    IMG_20200328_054207.jpg

    These sticks came with the ecs board. Both are 2gb ddr2. Yea, strange one has a heat spreader, other doesn't. Whatever, both work.
    IMG_20200328_054126.jpg

    Now the big one. Comes with 2x xeon 5050's and 4GB ddr2 registered memory. I had to use two power supplies to get it working. My main testing one squealed when just plugged in and not turned on and it wouldn't turn on so I used it just for the 8x power header and another supply for the 24 + 4 headers. I tested with just one cpu at a time as without a proper case the big full copper heatsink (got both), just sat on it. Both cpu's work. Onboard video and the card above plugged in worked.
    IMG_20200328_053739_1.jpg

    Got two more boards, a p4 478 and a 754 amd. Waiting for ddr memory to test them, however they do have bulged caps so might not actually work. Will be fun to recap them I guess.

    So yea, missing 939 heatsink bracket and heatsink. Another heatsink like the one on the ecs board and a case for the server board. Anyone got any they don't need........... :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    baronbaldric, adz and MUTMAN like this.
  20. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Recognising the motherboard of my main desktop rig in the above Retro post as some kind of cast-off freebie.... makes me realise it's probably time for an upgrade later this year. :lol:

    (trouble is, the old i7 1155 rig with 16GB RAM and SSD's, is still more-than fast enough for everything I do, that it hasn't mattered....luxury problems, aye?!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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