XT Restoration & Re-Build

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by matz, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. matz

    matz Member

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    Picked up this bad boy on Ebay recently, in mint condition:

    [​IMG]

    Had been looking for a decent XT motherboard as the base upon which to restore my first PC to it's original specification and condition. All that remains of the machine is the case/PSU, two 360K floppies and the keyboard. No idea what happened to the original mobo and cards, it was gutted and upgraded by me various times back in the day. It was originally an 8088 XT with 640K RAM, CGA graphics, and the two floppies, no hard drive!

    As nostalgic as this machine is I'll still be taking some license in the restoration, aiming more toward what I wished it had at the time, specifically a hard drive, EGA graphics, maybe even a 1.2MB FDD.

    Anyway I tackled the case a few months ago, plastic front panel was cleaned with an application of retro bright along with the metal case being resprayed to the original color. The drives haven't been touched but this is what it looks like now:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The mobo came without RAM, but as luck would have it I had a working 286 mobo lying around with exactly the chips required.So out they came and into the JUKO they go!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Next challenge was getting video output, I have an EGA card but no EGA monitor, but I do have a Tandy CM2 which will display CGA. Pretty sure the EGA Card will output CGA with the right dip switch settings but couldn't find the settings for this anywhere. The card is below if anyone knows what the switch settings are:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Anyway I've got a 5150 with CGA so I whipped that card out, plugged in the CM2 and onto the test bench we go:

    [​IMG]

    And yes we are posting with a whopping 1024K of RAM!!

    [​IMG]

    Not sure what the keyboard error is about but that's for another day. Into the case the motherboard goes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Perfect fit and runs just fine with the old 150W PSU!

    Anyway a good start to the project, next on the to do list in no particular order:
    • Try and get the EGA card outputting CGA and/or buy an EGA monitor.
    • Install the ISA Winbond Game/Printer Controller Card I got from Sean0118 recently and see if that works.
    • Clean up the floppy drives (they work but are filthy).
    • Recap the PSU.
    • Source an 8 bit ISA floppy controller.
    • Source an 8 bit ISA hard drive controller (The New XT-IDE rev 4 looks interesting, anyone got any experience with these?) https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-XT-...477012?hash=item3f8642fe14:g:aJwAAOSwcndZrxFl
    If you happen to have any of the parts I'm after and you're willing to sell let me know!

    Cheers - Matt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  2. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    That case is amazing. Great build - cool to see an XT with that much RAM. :D

    I have an earlier XT-IDE and it works fine. The price in that eBay link though...
     
  3. OP
    OP
    matz

    matz Member

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    Yeah a bit pricey, postage from the US doesn't help either. Anyway made an offer at a bit more of a reasonable price, will see what happens.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    matz

    matz Member

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    Progress... after various random dip switch configurations I finally got the EGA card outputting what I assume is CGA as it now displays on the CM-2.

    [​IMG]

    Figured out the keyboard error as well, looks like it requires an actual XT keyboard, the original as pictured above as an XT/AT switch. It worked randomly when switched to XT but then I noticed there was a bit of rattling coming from inside:

    [​IMG]

    Turns out one of the caps has broken off, hopefully replacing that will get rid of the intermittent issues. Keyboard needs a good clean anyway so I'll probably retro bright that and the FDD plastics next.
     
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  5. adz

    adz Member

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    I always loved the 84 key layout, I'd love to get my hands on an AT Model F for a reasonable price.
     
  6. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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  7. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    You and me both!
     
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  8. iMic

    iMic Member

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    I have some 8-bit ISA cards kicking around from my XT build, was keeping them as spares but since the electricity bill came in, I'm selling almost everything now. Not sure what's still there, but I could have a look and see what cards I have, maybe compile a list and get back to you?

    Build looks fantastic by the way, and the case looks immaculate now. Looking forward to seeing this machine built and running.
     
  9. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Thanks iMic, let me know what you have!
     
  10. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    More progress, replaced the 2 caps on the keyboard and cleaned it up, now works flawlessly.

    [​IMG]

    Pending an 8-bit controller decided to try a 16 bit card and see if it would work in a 8-bit slot, and what do you know it does, both 360K drives have been cleaned up and are now operational.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  11. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Well this is confusing, I thought the CM-2 was a CGA monitor, but there is no way this is a CGA picture, far too many colours?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  12. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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    Very very nice build here matz ;) love seeing all the old games up and running too, you getting enough time to play through the Sierra quests?!!

    That doesn't look like CGA, maybe your EGA card settings match the 16 colour Tandy graphics modes?
     
  13. adz

    adz Member

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    That sir is a work of art :leet::leet::leet:
     
  14. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Thanks, no haven't had the time to play though any of the quests yet, still fiddling around and testing the build. Once done however I will be taking some time to play!

    It's definitely not CGA, but perhaps your right probably something to do with the Tandy graphics mode that this monitor would support. I have an IBM 5154 on the way which should get here shortly so will test with that as well.

    Amazed that the game disks are still readable after all these years!
     
  15. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Cheers, I'm happy with it so far, still a bit to go, will be adding a hard drive as soon as a controller arrives and sourcing a period EGA monitor (this monitor belongs to my Tandy 1000EX which will probably be next to restore, and the 5154 mentioned above goes with a 5160 which is also on its way).
     
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  16. Kafoopsy

    Kafoopsy Member

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    I remember seeing one of those Juko St XT mobos years ago. Had it for some years before eventually throwing it out. They even relabeled the cpu with their own label. A 12Mhz XT was a very fast XT indeed!
     
  17. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

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    Lovely resto.
    What switches are in that keyboard? MX black?
     
  18. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Good question, definately not MX switches of any kind. A quick google search on the FCCID however confirms exactly what the keyboard is:

    https://deskthority.net/wiki/Chicony_KB-5160

    Alps SKCM Blue switches apparently, never heard of them.
     
  19. adz

    adz Member

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    Check out Chyrosran22 on YouTube, you will learn all you need to know about Alps switches :thumbup: Personally, I'd love a keyboard with Alps Blue's.
     
  20. OP
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    matz

    matz Member

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    Sure is, some benchmarks below:

    @4.77MHZ

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    @12MHZ TURBO!!!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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