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Help identify clone (Was: can you help

booby219

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Sep 7, 2009
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so i have this computer laying around my grandfathers house and he does not remember where it came from so i was wondering if someone could help me out. on one of the chips on the mainboard it says 8088 bios licenced by cdpc, on the back panel it has a few different things. os a lable that says "A0003222" another nable say fccid. and it is "E8F5IMPCII" and under that it say "wugo". on the front of the case there is ieds for power on turbo and h/disk
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video card
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Chuck(G)

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Another Wugo PCII. This one looks to have had all but one row of DRAM scavenged.

Generic MGA (Hercules-type) video card/parallel port.

PCs Limited (the predecessor to Dell) marketed an XT clone using a Wugo motherboard, but not this one.

Basically a Taiwanese XT clone.
 

per

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pm me if you have any info or email me at booby219@hotmail.com

It's a PC/XT clone made by the same company that supplied motherboards to the first DELL branded PC clones, however, your example is not a DELL (problably from the time after DELL had changed motherboard manufacter).

Your system is a most normal Turbo-XT system, means that it is an XT capable of running at both 4.77MHz and 8MHz. I don't think there is anything special with it, exept that it got a battery-backed-up clock and an Async. communications interface built into the motherboard. You problably only got 64Kb of RAM in there (3 of the banks are empty), and you shouldn't try to load heavy memory-hungry programs on it. If you got some '4164' ICs, you can populate the rest of the memory banks and set the switches correctly to make it 256Kb.

More info here: http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=16816
 

per

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This board takes 256K DRAMs, Per. Look carefully.
The picture is not that detailed, and I don't own one myself...

Then '41256' ICs should be used instead, at least in bank 2. Bank 3 and 4 should still be populated with '4164' ICs.
 

Chuck(G)

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Per, my issue with this is that I don't know the moherboard and the only other specimen that we have has 256K DRAM installed in all banks. TH99 doesn't show this board.

Since, according to our best information, the board dates from about 1986 (very late for an XT clone), has turbo mode and an onboard clock and serial port, it might be that the board implements some sort of expanded memory support.

It's simply impossible to say for certain, so installing 4 banks of 256K DRAMs is really all that wec can be certain works at this point. There is that possibility that the board will not decode 2 banks of 256K + 2 banks of 64K correctly.

There were some XT-style systems that could give you more than 640K as base memory (the Visual Barrister) is one that comes to mind).

Perhaps the DRAM type is silk-screened onto the board surface and we can put the issue to bed that way.
 
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kishy

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the board dates from about 1986 (very late for an XT clone)

Sort of off-topic but related to what you said...is 1986 actually late for an XT clone? If so my XT clone motherboard with a copyright year of 1987 is even later. It has keyboard-selected 8mhz turbo as I've been informed (I don't know the math, but someone else did it for me based on the crystal values and figured it out).
 

Chuck(G)

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Consider that the 80386 was launched by Intel in 1985. That should give you an idea of how dated a 1987 XT clone would be--but there was no real market for protected-mode software yet. People bought 286 systems primarily for their speed, not for their ability to run protected-mode software.

Actually, a turbo XT (10+ MHz) wasn't too much of a slouch compared to a 6 MHz 286 with both running DOS.
 

tezza

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Actually, a turbo XT (10+ MHz) wasn't too much of a slouch compared to a 6 MHz 286 with both running DOS.

Yes, and I had such a machine as a home computer up to about 1988..actually it could have been even later...come to think of it, I might have still had it in 1991!. Taiwanese clone of course. From memory it might have been 10MHz or so. I never found speed an issue for the MS-DOS programs I used.

Mind you I was running simple WP, Spreadsheet and Database programs, BBS software and the odd primitive CGA (using SIMCGA) or text-based games. None of this Windows stuff (at least not at home).

Tez
 

Marrr

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I'm also surprised to see a 1986 XT-clone called "very late". But keep in mind I'm in the former Eastern Block, and communism/socialism=poverty. So, until 1990s, low-end systems, already obsolete in the west by then, were still pretty popular here, eg. I remember desktop XT-clones available in 1991.

I even have one such mobo: it has V20, chips have dates like 9016, 9017, 9044, and there's a sticker on the ROM: "XT 12 MHz/BIOS VER 2.20/(C) 1989 NEL ELECTRONICS LTD.". One strange thing, though: it has 14.31818 and 24.000 crystals, doesn't it mean 8 MHz rather than 12? Note to myself to try and fire it up soon...
 

Anonymous Coward

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I have a 1990 NEL board also. Similar to yours, but with a V30 instead. A 24MHz crystal should indicate 8MHz CPU clock. The 12MHz boards weren't very stable, so it's possible someone downgraded it to smooth out the problems.

Back to the main topic...

The board in that system is interesting. That's the first time I've seen a standard sized XT board with an integrated RTC.
 

MikeS

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Assuming it recognizes only 640Kb RAM, yes. But, 41256 ICs are possible to use in all banks too. However, only 64Kb will be used in two of the banks. That's how the IBM XT do it at least, and I have personally never seen an 8088 system with 1Mb of RAM on the system-board.
Gee, 1Mb would only give you 128KB of RAM... ;-)

Quite a few XT clones had 1MB of RAM on board, Juko probably being the best known; on-board RAM above 640KB was usually used for a RAM disk or print spooling.
 
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Chuck(G)

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Out of curiousity, isn't one of the ports he's holding up, one for an external floppy ? Too lazy to check the connector on my IBM external FDD.

Pretty much a standard XT floppy controller 2 internal + 2 external. Nothing special--handles 250Kpbs data clock--doubtful that it will do anything special, such as FM.

What's needed for this board is the driver diskette, both for the clock and the extra DRAM (I'm assuming that it's there).

When this board was made, it was pointless to use 64K DRAMs in the design; this is likely (I didn't check) a 10MHz turbo, meaning that you'll need faster (120 nsec?) DRAM anyway--much harder to find in 64K than in 256K, which by this time was pretty much the vanilla standard for DRAM--some 286 boards were already using 1M DRAM DIPs.
 

Jorg

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Consider that the 80386 was launched by Intel in 1985. That should give you an idea of how dated a 1987 XT clone would be--but there was no real market for protected-mode software yet. People bought 286 systems primarily for their speed, not for their ability to run protected-mode software.

Actually, a turbo XT (10+ MHz) wasn't too much of a slouch compared to a 6 MHz 286 with both running DOS.

I don't think a 80386 was already affordable for home use at all in 1987- at least not in Europe.. I bought my 10 Mhz XT in 1988/89, when it reached affordable levels (CBM 10-III), and my first 80386 in 1992.
(I skipped the 286, but made up for that later :) )
 

davefiddes

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Apologies for reviving this old thread but it seems the best place to put the information. I have one of these systems that my parents bought as the families first PC back in 1986. It wasn't late for 8088 systems at least as far as the UK was concerned and served us well until a 486 upgrade in 1992.

I have dug the system out of storage for a while and archived the original documentation to archive.org here:


Hopefully once these finish their processing may be useful to other owners.

The system seems to have been known as Phoenix PC II as well as Wugo PC II (mentioned in the docs above and a sticker on the front of the monitor). In the UK it was sold by Opus Supplies Ltd. An advert for the 1987 model (identical save the V20 CPU upgrade) can be found here: https://nosher.net/archives/computers/pcw_1987-04-00_010_opus

These systems have an unusual capability to have 1MB of memory on their main board. I have always been intrigued at how this worked and the documentation was unclear so recently set out to find out. I ended up reverse engineering the whole of the system board (motherboard) which I've posted here: https://github.com/davefiddes/Wugo-PCII-System-Board There's a set of KiCad schematics which passes the full Electrical Rules Check and a PDF version in the Releases section. The TLDR version is that any additional memory installed beyond 640KB is available to be mapped using a special purpose page register. When enabled the region between 128kB (0x20000) and 512KB (0x80000) is swapped in. One of the utilities linked above is a ramdrive driver for DOS that uses this mechanism to access the extra memory. Sadly it's not compatible with EMS and I know of no other software that can use it.

From my analysis of the schematics (and a reverse engineering of the BIOS) it seems that the board will take any reasonable mix of TMS4164 or TMS41256 DRAM chips from 128kB upwards. It's very flexible provided the memory regions are contiguous obviously (i.e. fit the bigger chips in lower numbered banks).

I have also been trying to understand and hopefully eventually fix a bug with the MS-DOS 5.0 "KEYB" driver. It has always caused the machine to hang when started. Back in the day we resorted to keeping the KEYBUK driver from MS-DOS 3.3 which has a slightly wonky keymap for 101 key keyboards. Whilst I've got a mostly complete ghidra disassembly of the BIOS I've not fixed the bug yet. It seems that there is a clash between the BIOS data section addresses used by the BIOS for disk access and those DOS expects to be used by keyboard drivers. Unfortunately I've run out of enthusiasm for now so have parked it until I can write a MAME/MESS driver.
 
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