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The Flea Market 5170 - All fixed up and looking good!

dkedrowitsch

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Boyertown, PA USA
I spent a good amount of time getting this thing fixed up and working as it should.

The original 20meg Rodime seems to have media damage I assume to be from not being parked and banged around. So it's been retired until I get a chance to do a fresh low level format and Spinrite treatment to see how bad the damage is.

It's been replaced with a mint Miniscribe 3650 (my favorite hard drive of all time) RLL'ed on a Seagate ST22R controller @ 1:1 interleave, sporting some decent sustained transfer rates.

As suggested, I swapped the T128 8-bit SCSI controller out for a DTC 3180 16-bit controller which currently has nothing connected to it. I may use an external SCSI CDROM in the future, or perhaps a SCSI tape drive.

Anyway, here's the current configuration and some new pictures.

IBM 5170 - 8MHz + math coprocessor and 1989 AMI BIOS
INTEL RAM expansion board w/1.5 megs
Tesing 8000 16-bit VGA adapter
CMS AT Serial/Parallel adapter
DTC 3180 16-bit SCSI controller
Seagate ST22R RLL ST412 controller
Miniscribe 3650 ST412 hard drive RLL formatted - approx 60 megs
Epson 3.5" + 5.25" HDD Combo Floppy drive

MS-DOS 5.0

Since the 5.25" drives that came in it look like hell and I'm afraid it will trash my disks in it, I opted to use a spare combo drive I had laying around. Although it doesn't look stock, I figured the extra drive bay will be handy for a tape drive or something. I need to find a filler panel in the meantime.

Anyway, here are some pictures of it with the nicer lid I got this afternoon, the AMI BIOS eproms I programmed, and the replacement RAM. The lid could use some attention with a magic eraser, but it looks 1000% better already. There are high reas version of these pictures in my gallery if anyone is interested. HERE

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Anonymous Coward

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Aug 11, 2004
Messages
1,537
Location
Shandong, China
Hey, great job! That's a hell of an improvement from before.

I'm also using an AMI BIOS on my AT, and I agree it is really much nicer than the stock BIOS. In addition to not having to use a setup disk, I find the memory count is much faster which makes the wait when having a lot of memory installed much more tolerable.
 

dkedrowitsch

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Boyertown, PA USA
Thanks!

I'm toying with the idea of using an old Seagate 1.2 gig 5.25 FH SCSI (ST41650N) drive in the system if the old DTC SCSI controller supports it. It's a left over drive from an SGI Crimson I'm in the process of slowly restoring/upgrading and would be perfect for an AT if supported. It's a Cadillac of a drive. :)

Is there away to use some of expanded RAM as base RAM to get to 640K? Would I need a particular kind of RAM expansion board, or is there some hidden setting/dos switch I'm missing?
 

Yzzerdd

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
1,292
Location
Boston, MA
Nice job! I saw the "before" pics in a different thread and it was a mess! Now it is quite presentable. I hope to soon find a project computer myself. Nothing quite like putting love and care into a computer to get it to work. I clicked your link, it appears to be invalid. Takes me to a generic spam site for with totally unrelated searches.

--Ryan
 

dkedrowitsch

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Boyertown, PA USA
Yzzerdd: Thanks for the kutos! People think I'm crazy but I always get a kick out of restoring old classics. I fixed the link.

Besides the new AT and some clones, I've also got a pair of 5160s. One quite nice and the other still needing some TLC...

An RTC battery leaked all over the motherboard breaking dozens of traces under the ISA sockets, disconnecting half of them from the ISA bus. I eventually got everything working with some crude wire patches under the board. With some sanding and fresh paint inside the rear of the case to cover up the corrosion, it shouldn't look so bad.

I had a 5150 with the same issue but the battery spared the motherboard and REALLY trashed the case. I threw the case out and kept the internals, but now I wish I had kept it. I imagine finding a decent 5150 case is next to impossible now. :(
 

Anonymous Coward

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Aug 11, 2004
Messages
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Location
Shandong, China
I'm not entirely sure what you mean about using expanded memory as base memory, but most of the ISA memory boards that I've seen can be configured in any combination of base, extended and expanded. Do you have the DOS utilities for your Intel board that instruct you on how to set the switches? I am pretty sure there would be a setting for conventional backfill.

Also, going IDE or SCSI on the AT is a good idea. I am currently using a 1080mb SCSI disk with an AHA-1542C controller, and the performance is quite a bit better than what was in there before. I generally like SCSI since it's more flexible than IDE.
 

Micom 2000

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Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
1,284
Location
Manitoba North of 50 degrees Latitude
I haven't checked out my IBM 5170 for a long time, but one of the things I vowed was to retain the EGA adapter with daughter-board. It's not that I'm adverse to pimping up classic computers, I have an IBM PC with an Intel Inboard 386, and another untrammelled one, but for the classics it's nice to compare what has gone before. My sole IBM XT has some cards which were obvious pimps for gaming, but again I haven't changed anything, it's an Historical statement.

On the other hand one of my delights with most other computers is to pimp it to-the-max. to see what it can do. Part of why I value the most highly my Intel Inboard 386 5150PC. A PC with a VGA display is outside the bounds.

Even my Atari Portfolio is now pimped with 384k ram and 2 128k memory cards, parallel and serial adapters and a PC card-drive, if I want to use them. If I can ever get 8 1M. SIPPs for my beloved GRID 1520 286 laptop and a working Conner HD or even a flash drive adapter that works, I would quickly upgrade.

I'm not a purist in that sense. If I have 2 classic computers I'll generally leave one pristine, otherwise I'll do what any computer owner of the era would do, extend it to it's limits.

By the way, excellent job on your 5170. Wish I had your dedication.

Lawrence.
 

dkedrowitsch

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Boyertown, PA USA
I'm not entirely sure what you mean about using expanded memory as base memory, but most of the ISA memory boards that I've seen can be configured in any combination of base, extended and expanded. Do you have the DOS utilities for your Intel board that instruct you on how to set the switches? I am pretty sure there would be a setting for conventional backfill.

It looks like I've got the ABOVE BOARD 286 in this AT. There don't appear to be any switches or jumpers to configure it, so I'm curious what you meant about DOS utilities. Should I be looking for software that can configure this board? Like you guessed, I'd like to enable some form of "conventional backfill".
 

Anonymous Coward

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Aug 11, 2004
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Yes, I am pretty sure that card has utilities that allow you to configure the backfill. The only intel card I've used is an Inboard 386 PC/XT, and that card didn't have any switches on it either. It did do backfill however. I'm not too sure where to get the software, but i'd be surprised if you couldn't find it on google. I think that card is pretty common.
 

dkedrowitsch

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2006
Messages
102
Location
Boyertown, PA USA
Ok, I have the memory board fully populated with ram (2 megs) but the system only detects 2 megs total so 512K is missing somewhere since the motherboard has 512K on it...so I expect it to count to 2.5 megs.

On a positive note, since I fully populated the board again, I get the conventional memory backfilled to 640K now. ;)

I found the Intel "Above" card utilities on Intel's site (believe it or not!) but the hwsetup.exe program which is supposed to allow you to configure the board claims there is no Above board present in the system. I tried removing all unnecessary boards and booting from a "bare" boot disk with no joy.

I even tried it with the original IBM BIOS EPROMs.

Any suggestions?
 
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