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Slot type on 386sx?

dresda

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Nov 9, 2009
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Can somebody tell me the slot type used on a 386 sx, is it ISA? I have a machine tool with 3 axis motion cards plugged in the and was wondering if it was possible to upgrade the machine to a Pentium and somehow use these cards with adapters?
Thanks.
 

Raven

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The slots used on any PC (except most IBM PS/2 models) up through the 386 are all ISA, 8-bit and then 16-bit (backwards compatible) and there are plenty of Pentium boards that support ISA cards, so yes. With the 486 VLB (a 32-bit extension to ISA) was introduced, and toward the end of the 486 era PCI was introduced, which we still use today (just starting to be replaced by PCIEx1).

I also didn't mention EISA, as I have little experience with it (and don't know where exactly it falls in the timeline), but it's backwards compatible with ISA 16 and 8-bit too.

You can actually even get brand new motherboards supporting quad-cores and etc. with an ISA slot or more, but they are special-order industrial boards. I plan to get one someday.
 

Tetrium

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Could you tell us what the slots look like? What Raven said is basically how things are. If it has somekinds of weird propertiary type slot then it will be a no-go
 

Raven

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Personally I've never seen a 386-era box with anything but ISA (and I assume there are ones with MCA).
 

k2x4b524[

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[/QUOTE]You can actually even get brand new motherboards supporting quad-cores and etc. with an ISA slot or more, but they are special-order
industrial boards. I plan to get one someday.[/QUOTE]

I would love to know where...
 

Raven

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Take a look here OP:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Standard_Architecture

QUOTE='k2x4b524[;137410'][/QUOTE]You can actually even get brand new motherboards supporting quad-cores and etc. with an ISA slot or more, but they are special-order
industrial boards. I plan to get one someday.[/QUOTE]

I would love to know where...[/QUOTE]

Google will list many places, but for example:
http://www.adek.com/ATX-motherboards.htm

Edit: I actually just put in for a quote on one of those MB-P4BWA boards.. I might be able to afford one soon depending on what they run. If I get a modern mobo with ISA I can stick a SB in it - my network card is already DOS-compatible and VGA is.. VGA, so I'd have a fully compatible modern dualbootable DOS/NT5or6 machine.
 

Chuck(G)

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If this is a machine tool rig, I'd like to see some photos of the slots before offering an opinion. The 386SX was very easy to incorporate into lots of designs. I've seen 386SX Multibus, VMEbus and several proprietary buses. It wouldn't surprise me if someone has cooked up an S100 386SX bus card.
 

digger

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I wonder...

I wonder...

Wouldn't it have been at least theoretically possible to have a 386DX (not SX) system with PCI slots, since the DX had a 32 bit data bus?
 

dresda

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I don't know what i'm looking at but I know it says 386sx on the the chip. I would like to keep the 3 boards on the right and use a Pentium 4 with XP if that's possible.
img19061.jpg
[/URL] Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/IMG]
 

Chuck(G)

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Well, the motherboard certainly looks like an ISA model--so your best bed would be to replace that with a ISA-capable motherboard with at least 3 (it appears) ISA slots. SOYO makes a P4 model such as a SY-P4I845PEISA with 3 ISA slots. But it's not cheap--about $400 list. ARS makes a USB to 3 ISA converter, but I gather from online reviews that success is variable.

What do you want to accomplish by upgrading?
 

MikeS

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Heh; by coincidence I'm in the process of cannibalizing/scrapping a P-II/450 IBM server with 3 ISA & 2 PCI slots when I read this...

I'd think that moving to XP is more likely to cause problems than the motherboard...

BTW, an OT question while I'm looking at it: a lot of these power supplies have a six-position inline connector like half of a PC/XT/AT PS but I haven't seen one connected to anything yet; 5.5V and 3.5V, what's it for?
 
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Chuck(G)

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Mike's right--unless you've got XP drivers for the cards, you're not going to have an easy time of it. XP/2K/Whatever makes sense if you've got to run 32-bit software and you have the necessary support for your peripherals. Otherwise, you're probably better off with Win 9x or even DOS/Win 3.x
 

dresda

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The CNC mill works fine but, it's a 386, has limited memory, can only run large files via 3.5 floppy.it's dos based.
The new windows based Mach3 CNC software would be a big improvment.
The 3 boards are some sort of motion cards to drive the servo's. It would be nice if I could run the 386 in the background and windows XP in the foreground, or maybe I can land a rocket on the moon.
 
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MikeS

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The CNC mill works fine but, it's a 386, has limited memory, can only run large files via 3.5 floppy.it's dos based.
The new windows based Mach3 CNC software would be a big improvment.
The 3 boards are some sort of motion cards to drive the servo's. It would be nice if I could run the 386 in the background and windows XP in the foreground, or maybe I can land a rocket on the moon.
Does this Mach3 S/W specifically need XP Windows?

Sounds like a fun challenge; good luck!
 

vwestlife

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Personally I've never seen a 386-era box with anything but ISA (and I assume there are ones with MCA).

There were 386 motherboards with VESA Local Bus (VLB). Most were "386/486" boards, which came with a 386DX CPU and had a socket for adding a 486 CPU. The 486 socket usually had an extra set of inner pins, allowing it to double as a 387DX math coprocessor socket.

Here's an OPTI 495SX, as found on eBay. It has a 386DX-40 soldered to the motherboard. The clock speed can be changed by replacing a socketed crystal.
!Bnll(0!CGk~$(KGrHqEH-EMEtqy4vs6OBLkDSqcTyg~~_12.JPG


Here's another one, designed for a socketed 386DX, not soldered-on:

ASI%20Ultimate%20386%20Motherboard.jpg
 

Chuck(G)

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BTW, an OT question while I'm looking at it: a lot of these power supplies have a six-position inline connector like half of a PC/XT/AT PS but I haven't seen one connected to anything yet; 5.5V and 3.5V, what's it for?

A lot of pre-ATX systems had fairly hefty 3.3V requirements (PI/PII mostly) , so the extra connector was a way to supply more current than could be accommodated with an on-the-motherboard regulator to drop 5V to 3.3. Often, these were also used to supply more +5 than a normal AT-style connector could hand.e These were common on HP systems as well.
 

Chuck(G)

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Does this Mach3 S/W specifically need XP Windows?

Sounds like a fun challenge; good luck!

From the Artsoft website:

Mach3 Minimum Requirements:

* 32-bit version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 Operating System
* 1Ghz CPU
* 512MB RAM
* Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
* Basic Computer Skills (ability to copy/rename files, browse directories, etc)
* Desktop PC (if using the Mach3 Parallel Port Driver - laptops are not supported because the power saving features of the chipsets disrupt the pulse stream, PCMCIA and USB parallel adaptors will *not* work.)

Browsing around, I see that the Mach3 software works through the parallel port or through the Gecko Drive G100 6-axis controller (USB or ethernet). My suspicion is that the Mach3 software will not work with your controller cards, but you can drop them a line, identifying your cards to see if they have some suggestions. Otherwise, you can get a faster ISA machine with a bunch of memory (a P1 would probably be fine) and load up Win95 or WFWG on it with a network connection. You can leave the floppy drive collect dust.
 

dresda

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I am running Mach3 at the moment on another unit, not through the parallel port but using a motion card that supplies +-10volts analog and the motion cards in my machine are putting out +-10v analog but from 1992.
 
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