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Any interest in XTIDE cards?

kyodai

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Well the thing is that my buddy got an XTIDE card that he bought for kinda an arm and a leg a while ago. I think it's one of these lo-tech kits that was already assembled. He bought it "used" for like 80 Dollars. Now we want more of them for various of our classics and we couldn't even find anyone selling a fully assembled one - and we actually want 5 cards.

Soooo, to make the story short - we thought about buying a programmer, a bag full of 16KBit Eproms and a bag full of old (useless) BNC ethernet 16-bit ISA cards since we can get them very cheap and wanna abuse them as a boot rom. Drawback: One ISA slot gone (Should also work fine in an 8-bit slot), no IDE controller on the card (but if you read this you prolly already have one!)


So before we buy 15 cards and have 10 left rotting in our shelves i wanted to ask if anyone is interested in these.


The plan is to use these 16-bit ISA network cards simply to boot the Eprom (We find BNC ethernet useless) since all the machines we got have spare ISA slots.

Admitted the network card is not that interesting, but if we buy them in bulk we could offer them with a brand new 16KBit XTIDE Eprom for under 20 dollars. The big advantage is that with the 16KBit Eprom we could also include a recent built with the boot menu and stuff, actually you could pick from any XTIDE flavor.


Well so if there's any interest we'd go on and buy the network cards and Eproms in bulk. With our current planning we'd have 10 left for sale. So if anyone is interested then let me know. I think final price would be somewhere between 15-20 USD each (Plus shipping, depends on where you're located). ANy feedback, interest and flaming welcome... :p
 
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Stone

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My main question is whether the 16-bit card would be of any use in an XT? :) Does the boot ROM option require a 16-bit slot or does it function properly in only an 8-bit slot? But, even if it did, you would still need an 8-bit IDE interface card. So I guess it's really an ATIDE and not an XTIDE. :)

I'm still looking for an XTIDE alternative as the CPLD chip failed on mine quite a while ago.
 

keropi

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wouldn't it be better to team-up and get a bulk of these nice and cheap lo-tech cf cards along with the needed parts and just build them?
 

SpidersWeb

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Popping a properly configured AT version of the XTIDE project firmware on a network card is very useful on 286/386 machines.
But please don't call these "XTIDE cards" because they are not. The ROM is not going to get a 16 bit drive running on an 8 bit system.

Lotech also offer a ROM card and you can update it's contents from the DOS prompt. You do need a soldering iron, but it's a simple project. I built a couple last year - handy for testing / trying out different Boot ROMs. Pre-built versions of these kits may be worth considering - https://www.lo-tech.co.uk/product/isa-rom-board-pcb/ ?

Edit: oh and you don't need a 16 bit slot for a network card being used purely for it's Boot ROM ability, just leave the 16 bit part hanging in mid air. "16 bit slot wasted" isn't a negative for using the network card :)
 
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Gabucino

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But please don't call these "XTIDE cards" because they are not. The ROM is not going to get a 16 bit drive running on an 8 bit system.

Naming issues aside, using an XTIDE ROM in a 8/16-bit ethernet card in an XT works quite well with CF cards if you also pop in a Sound Blaster 16 (with IDE interface).
 

kyodai

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Well I call it XTIDE since that is the name of the project, but yeah our plan is to use them in ATs...

Didn't know that the 16-Bit cards work fine in an 8-bit slot. I edited the description accordingly.


We looked at the Lo-tech website. While we like their stuff we aren't much into soldering and most of their stuff is "sold out". We talked about it and we want working cards, not a kit. If someone loves soldering and can offer us complete cards then we'd trash this project and take these if they have reasonable price tags.

Well if noone is interested then that's fine as well, we talked about it and thought that maybe we can sell a few on ebay or so and keep some stock.
 

Malc

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Send James an email he might be able to help you out with pre-built cards when he gets more in, If you can find any 16-bit ISA IDE / Floppy controller cards with it's own socket-ed bios and jumper configurable, Pull the bios and slap in the XT-IDE bios chip, It will save a slot but they seem to be getting harder to find.
 

SpidersWeb

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...we talked about it and thought that maybe we can sell a few on ebay or so and keep some stock.
That's a good plan, there will no doubt be people in the future who just want to buy something already done to slot in and get things sorted.
 

kyodai

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Send James an email he might be able to help you out with pre-built cards when he gets more in, If you can find any 16-bit ISA IDE / Floppy controller cards with it's own socket-ed bios and jumper configurable, Pull the bios and slap in the XT-IDE bios chip, It will save a slot but they seem to be getting harder to find.

Yeah, that would be a possibility, but all our computers already have IDE controllers, so we decided against that. Our prefered solution would be an ethernet card with RJ45 since these are at least somehow useful - but we can't get these so cheap.

We also like the idea of getting an Eprom programmer since we can then produce exactly the XTIDE flavors we need and want (For XT, for 386, with boot menu, etc).
 

Malc

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I've used the 3 Com 3C509B EtherLink lll card as a home for the XT-IDE bios before, Works fine in an 8-bit slot in my XT, But first it's got to be setup in an 16-bit slot AT machine: ie: enable the boot rom / address etc and then move it over to the XT.
I've seen them go dirt cheap on ebay uk before, Don't know what it's like on your side though.
 

Malc

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At the time i was using the nic card purely to home the XT-IDE bios and also had a 16-bit IDE / Floppy controller in another 8-bit slot with compact flash adapter and CF card. I've since gathered a few more cards and had a swap around and use the nic for the boot rom in an early pentium box.
 

Stone

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At the time i was using the nic card purely to home the XT-IDE bios and also had a 16-bit IDE / Floppy controller in another 8-bit slot with compact flash adapter and CF card.
What 16-bit IDE card did you get to work in an 8-bit slot? I've got several 16-bit IDE adapters but I haven't found one, yet, that will work in my XT -- but I'd sure like to.
 

Malc

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What 16-bit IDE card did you get to work in an 8-bit slot? I've got several 16-bit IDE adapters but I haven't found one, yet, that will work in my XT -- but I'd sure like to.

Here's 3 i can find info on:
Prime 2
MIO-400KF REV. F
Silicon Valley

I've also got a couple of others i can find no info on at all, No name jobs. Many just don't work in the XT and a few stop the XT from booting. The older the better chance of them working it seem's.
Also note: None of these cards work in the 5150 because of the reserved address space in the 5150.
 

kyodai

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I admit it - coolest soultion would be an 8-Bit multi-IO card with boot ROM, IDE controller and maybe even floppy, serial, parallel, etc.

But we''ll go for the budget version. I think we'll get some extra Eproms and if people are interested then maybe we could burn your favorite XTIDE flavor on an Eprom and send it to interested parties in a padded envelope, then you could insert it into your favorite 8-Bit ISA NIC or whatever card you have. At first we'll try to get the network cards, with a bit of luck they will be dirt cheap. I also think we can get the Eproms cheap. If we get some good deals and produce in larger quantities then maybe we could offer these cards even for under 10 USD. For us it is most important to have an affordable out-of-the-box solution without the need to solder and buy 30 different electronics parts - we are aware that there would be more elegant solutions, but they would be either too expensive or too much work.
 

Stone

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I think we'll get some extra Eproms and if people are interested then maybe we could burn your favorite XTIDE flavor on an Eprom and send it to interested parties in a padded envelope, then you could insert it into your favorite 8-Bit ISA NIC or whatever card you have.
Still, without an IDE interface it won't be able to do anything worthwhile.
 

kyodai

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Still, without an IDE interface it won't be able to do anything worthwhile.
Not true. For AT owners it will just be a useful tool to skip stupid BIOS limitations (Like the Toshiba T3200SX which will ONLY let you use a CONNOR 40 or 120 MB HDD which is just stupid) and they should already have an IDE controller. I don't really know much about real XTs. All XT i have are actually palmtops and i can't put any cards (besdies PCMCIA) in them anyways. I think there are some modern custom soldered cards like lo-tech that probably let you use a 16-bit HDD on a real XT, but besides that my guess as a novice is that you'll have a hard time to plug in your 80GB HDD and DVD Drive into an XT.

Our solution is aimed at AT users, but hell yeah, the name of the damn solution is XTIDE, even though we only used it and will use it for ATs.
 

kyodai

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Nah, 8 Bit slots are also common on AT systems. Like the Toshiba T3200SX, one of my favorite babies (*kisses orange gas plasma display*) - it has only ONE 16-bit ISA slot and ONE 8-bit ISA slot. So if you have an old 8-bit ISA ethernet card (like me for example) you can use it with XTIDE and use a cool, awesome,lovely 16-bit ISA card for something else, like a SCSI controller, a 16-bit sound card or VFX-1 Virtual reality controller card (Okay kidding about this one in the T3200SX since it relies on a VGA card with feature connector, but...oh well).

But yeah, on an AT you can use most 16-bit cards on an 8-bit slot. But well i really like to use 8-bit cards on an 8-bit slot. call me old fashioned...


Edit: On a side note - there were also (very few) 8-bit IDE drives.

Something like this:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/Seagate-ST-3...rive-ST325X-/181306093318?hash=item2a36af6f06


I don't know anything about these, but i wonder if they are supported in XTIDE or if XTIDE only supports the (normal) 16-bit IDE drives. I mean 8-bit IDE drives are really an oddity.

Controller here:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/NEW-Western-...collectible-/221905330480?hash=item33aa96a130
 
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