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My new pimped-out PC-XT build - hope you enjoy!

nc_mike

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
473
My new system build is complete except for installation of the 1.44M and 1.2M half height drives for which I am awaiting delivery of a VTG FA-100 FDD controller with on-board BIOS that support internal HD floppy drives. Photos and complete description here:

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/krYrxr

The only items I am yet missing is a 2MB or 4MB Inboard 386/PC piggyback memory expansion daughter card (anyone?), and, would be nice but not essential to find a half-height drive mounting kit - both rare, but I do have some nicely machined 5.25" dual drive flat mounting plates I could adapt if necessary.

Regards,
Mike
 

stynx

Experienced Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
177
Location
Germany
my inboard is pimped to 50mhz (486dlc/40 with 2x25mhz)
i have win 3.11 running in enhanced mode (keyboard not working in 32bit mode)

a second (non working) inboard is ready to be repaired and will (hopefully) be used to make further advancements.
 

Robin4

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
378
I have two XTs here. One iam beeing busy on the build, that would have a NEC V20 processor 8088.
Iam also got one V-tech Laser 10mhz Turbo XT 8086 here i got for free a couple of months ago.. Being very happy because of having one turbo 8088 and one 8086 one.
 

Caluser2000

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Jan 3, 2010
Messages
4,605
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New Zealand
A common garden 16 bit multi i/o card with the 16 bit portion hanging out, running Dr Dos 7 would have the HD floppy drive issue sorted out in a pinch. There's a driver you can use on MS Dos 6.x as well. mentioned on ACs XT page https://sites.google.com/site/misterzeropage/ Would save a slot as well with two com ports and parallel port.
 
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Robin4

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
378
I see you have the same floppy controller card i also have..

Do you maybe know which manufacturer VTG was?


A common garden 16 bit multi i/o card with the 16 bit portion hanging out, running Dr Dos 7 would have the HD floppy drive issue sorted out in a pinch. There's a driver you can use on MS Dos 6.x as well. mentioned on ACs XT page https://sites.google.com/site/misterzeropage/ Would save a slot as well with two com ports and parallel port.

Only the bad thing is, that you need to run this TSR program which requires memory as well.. Dealing with a onboard bios is much easier.. It always wanting to boot... Before you going to use such card, its great idea to backup the eprom before using it..
And its more better to replace the rom chip as well for a new one.. Because the rom chip thats sitting on that card may be 23years old, and you never know when it would fail.
 
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nc_mike

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
473
my inboard is pimped to 50mhz (486dlc/40 with 2x25mhz)
i have win 3.11 running in enhanced mode (keyboard not working in 32bit mode)

a second (non working) inboard is ready to be repaired and will (hopefully) be used to make further advancements.

Sounds great!

Is that an InBoard 386/PC or AT? Which 486 CPU did you use to replace the 386? I've TX486DLC/E-40GA I haven't put in yet. To run 3.11 in enhanced mode you have to have enough extended memory? How much do you have on your inboard? Also, I know the edition of Win 3.0 that runs with the board is 3.00a which I have; are you using a generic Win 3.11 edition?

Thanks,
Mkke
 

Caluser2000

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The 2M tsr is only around 4k, which with a 386 processor isn't much and it can be loaded/unloaded when needed not unlike a nic packet driver. Only down side, in MS/PC Dos 6.x anyway, is booting off HD media. DR Dos 7.x doesn't need this tsr and will boot off the disk with HD media quite happily and generic 16 bit isa multi i/o cards aren't "rare" by any stretch ;) Also it'd free up an ISA slot. Space to put a nic in even maybe and use the mTCP suite of programs.

Nice setup all the same. Top effort.
 
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nc_mike

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
473
I see you have the same floppy controller card i also have..

Do you maybe know which manufacturer VTG was?






Only the bad thing is, that you need to run this TSR program which requires memory as well.. Dealing with a onboard bios is much easier.. It always wanting to boot... Before you going to use such card, its great idea to backup the eprom before using it..
And its more better to replace the rom chip as well for a new one.. Because the rom chip thats sitting on that card may be 23years old, and you never know when it would fail.

I haven't figure that out yet myself either. I concur- I thought about going the TSR route for the HD floppy support but preferred having the native FDD BIOS for the same reasons you cite.

Regards,
Mike
 

Anonymous Coward

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Joined
Aug 11, 2004
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1,536
Location
Shandong, China
I think I also mentioned that if you use an HD floppy controller you are going to lose 8kb of UMB memory for the BIOS. If you're like me and load 2M into UMB memory anyway, then no conventional memory is being used either way.
 

nc_mike

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
473
I think I also mentioned that if you use an HD floppy controller you are going to lose 8kb of UMB memory for the BIOS. If you're like me and load 2M into UMB memory anyway, then no conventional memory is being used either way.

Right, but can you boot from the TSR driven HD floppy drive? I thought that wasn't possible, and that's something that was a priority for me and others.

Regards,
Mike
 

nc_mike

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
473
Nice setup all the same. Top effort.

Thank you. I know there are others here who have more a lot more knowledge and skill than me...I am grateful to many here for your many posts and blogs; I am no an EE, an am a software engineer for 35 years (still at it) so I much respect those here that can do complex pinouts and construct/modify circuit boards. I developed mainframe operating systems (MVS/JES) back in the very early 80's and had one of the first 5150's off of the line and really enjoyed customizing them for years after; its fun to be back. The only thing I wish I could do is put a S/370 emulator into one of these and load a full copy of the MVS or VM into it like I did back then but that requires am t emulator card that was only available in an MCA implementation I believe. The other thing I recall was that I had a pre-release proptotype of Intel's Digital Video Interactive (DVI) adapter before the world ever saw video play on a PC. Again, I believe that was an MCA adapter as well; I was lucky had got one of the very first batch and quickly got video playing in our mainframe-based electronic books long before the web emerged and have the first published IP for it. .....It is all coming back to me now, if a bit slowly at times.

Regards,
Mike
 
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