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Analogue EGA card?

Anonymous Coward

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So the other day I was cleaning some boxes in the basement and I stumbled upon a card that I had never tried before. According to QCONFIG it is made by "Sigma Designs", though my specific card is not in the TH99 database. It is a full length card with an 8-bit slot and has both 9 pin digital and 15 ping analogue connectors. There is also a switch block on the back. When I run with a VGA monitor attached, the card identifies itself to the PC as "EGA" and doesn't seem capable of displaying any VGA modes. There is another Sigma Designs card that is much smaller than this one that has an analogue EGA port. Has anyone here seen a card like this before...it just seems kind of strange to me.
 

evildragon

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I have something like this. It does indeed allow analog EGA.

BUT, when I tinker with the DIP switches, I do get VGA, and the EGA port, outputs a flipping out signal.

Mine is 16-bit.
 

creepingnet

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I have an Oak Technologies card that's the same deal, it's the one that lives in my XT. It is 16 bit but works in 16 AND 8-bit modes via a jumper on the card, and has EGA and VGA output, and can act as an analog EGA as well as a regular VGA card, and even CGA and Mono capable as well. It's like an odd all-in-one solution for someone with a lot of monitors, I just consider it useful for testing out various video displays when I get them.
 

Anonymous Coward

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@Mikey99

Yeah, I believe that is the same card that I have. It sounds like a real lemon. I didn't spend too much time playing with it, but I did find the bug where it gets stuck in CGA mode. It's such a goofy design, I'll just have to keep it around for historical reasons. This must be the only non-IBM EGA card that I've seen that is full length.

@MadMike

Well, I think cards that feature both EGA and VGA connectors are somewhat common. They are certainly quite practical. But, I think a 16-bit display adapter that works in 8-bit slots is not uncommon at all. Infact, I've never had a 16-bit videocard that didn't work in an 8-bit slot. I think even my Mach64 can do it. What makes this Sigma card interesting is that is has the VGA connector but can only display EGA! I've seen that on laptops before, but never on a stand alone card.
 
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SwedaGuy

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Waupun, WI
I've got a Video Wonder card (by ATI, I think) in one of the Everex 386 machines, so I could plug in either a Monocrome or VGA color monitor.

I've got the system in storage now, so I couldn't tell you if it was an 8 or 16 bit card. I do seem to think it was a rather slick little unit, though...
 

mikey99

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The ATI VGA Wonder is a great card, it's 16 bit, and will work in either 8 or 16 bit slots.
It will support ANY type of display. I still have my original card , with box and docs, think I paid
about $200 for this back around 1989. I used this with a NEC Multisync 3D for many years.
I scanned both sides of the box awhile back. One of these scans has a table showing all displays supported.

Front of box:
http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/VGAWonderBoxFrontLower.jpg

Rear of box showing table:
http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/VGAWonderBoxRearLowest.jpg

I've got a Video Wonder card (by ATI, I think) in one of the Everex 386 machines, so I could plug in either a Monocrome or VGA color monitor.

I've got the system in storage now, so I couldn't tell you if it was an 8 or 16 bit card. I do seem to think it was a rather slick little unit, though...
 
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Anonymous Coward

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Yeah, I also have one of the original VGA Wonders. I have the manual, but I declined the original packaging because at the time I thought it was too big. That was a mistake. I have it in an XT, and I really like it a lot. It's the 16-bit version, but I believe it was also available in an 8-bit only verison.
 

evildragon

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I got a VGA Wonder, it has a bus mouse port on it too, and it's annoying, cause it always takes COM1, and I want COM1 free for serial mice or modems, not the bus mouse port.

No jumpers so I assume no way to disable it.
 

mikey99

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The ATI VGA Wonder did come with a configuration diskette which
allows you to configure the card. I can't recall if disabling
the mouse is an option. I had never used this config program
until recently, when I acquired a second VGA Wonder card that
only displayed in black and white. When I ran the config program
I realized that someone had configured this card to display in greyscale.

I'll check the manual tonight and see if it mentions anything about disabling the mouse.

I got a VGA Wonder, it has a bus mouse port on it too, and it's annoying, cause it always takes COM1, and I want COM1 free for serial mice or modems, not the bus mouse port.

No jumpers so I assume no way to disable it.
 

Anonymous Coward

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Finding the installation utility on the internets shouldn't be that difficult. It was a pretty popular card afterall. I am pretty certain that you can disable the mouse in the utility program...but at the moment I don't have the utility installed on my XT to confirm.
 

mikey99

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I zipped up disk 1 which has all the important files on it.
I think VSETUP.COM is the setup utility. You should verify
that you have the same VGA Wonder card before running this.
This set of utilities is only for the ATI VGA Wonder that I posted
a picture of here. Running this on any other ATI VGA cards might
cause a problem.

http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/VGAWonderBoxFrontLower.jpg

Link to Disk 1 :
http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/ATIdisk1.zip




Mine never came with this disk. (computer show from way back)
 
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evildragon

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Mine looks for the most part the same, but is all surface mount caps and resistors, with the only thing not surface mount being the IC's... Mine doesn't have 2-banks of RAM either like that photo, mines 1 bank.

I think mines of newer age. I'll try the utility anyway tomorrow when I get home.
 

mikey99

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Here's a couple pix of the Sigma card. The card says Heath
but the BIOS chip does say Sigma:

http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/sigma-right.JPG

http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/sigma-left.JPG

I guess this came from a Heath/Zenith system.

Lately I've been interested in collecting more obscure video cards.
Here's a couple pix of EGA cards I have :

VEGA:
http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/vega-video7.JPG

Unknown:
http://home.nc.rr.com/mwcompu/unknown1.jpg

The cool thing about both of these cards, is that they have toggle switches accessible from the
rear , which allow the user to switch between CGA/EGA manually. I also have an ATI EGA Wonder
installed in my AT, this is probably the best EGA card ever made :)

@Mikey99

Yeah, I believe that is the same card that I have. It sounds like a real lemon. I didn't spend too much time playing with it, but I did find the bug where it gets stuck in CGA mode. It's such a goofy design, I'll just have to keep it around for historical reasons. This must be the only non-IBM EGA card that I've seen that is full length.
 
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Anonymous Coward

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Yeah, that's exactly like my Sigma card. Only, mine has socketted DRAMs.

I used to have that Video 7 VEGA card as well...but for some reason I threw it away. I think at the time I was just too lazy to research the switch settings.

I do still have plenty of EGA Wonders though, I think about three of them. I tend to agree about them being pretty much as good as it got for EGA. I also have a Boca Research EGA that is similar to the EGA Wonder that I highly recommend.
 
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