View Full Version : My new 5160 XT

July 9th, 2010, 07:59 PM
Hey, folks... Near the end of May, I won an eBay auction for a 5160 XT where the seller claimed that he couldn't get video out of the machine, but it "sounded" like it was trying to boot correctly. It came with an IBM 5153 monitor and an enhanced keyboard. It was also completely filled with expansion cards, including what appeared to be a mono graphics card, a CGA card, and an ethernet card, a RAM card, and a parallel/serial card. It also had a Miniscribe hard drive in it, and from the auction pictures, appeared fairly clean and not all beat up.

I took a chance, put a $55 bid on it, as shipping was $52, and waited. I won it at $52.50. After a month of waiting and arguing with the seller (who refused to respond to numerous emails and phone calls), I finally shamed the guy into shipping the unit after threatening to ruin his perfect feedback and filing grievances with eBay and Paypal. Two weeks later, he finally shipped it.

I received it this past Wednesday, tore open the packages, and ripped the unit apart. What do you know, but it contained an original Hercules mono card, an IBM CGA p/n 1501981, an 10baseT ethernet card with two banks of dip switches allowing me to select the interrupt I wished to use, a miniscribe MFM controller card, a 10mb Miniscribe drive, a 5160 floppy controller with a Tandon TM-200a floppy drive, an AST SixPack ram board (fully populated), and a generic parallel and serial card (why these were in there, I have no idea - both were redundant).

Reseating all of the cards, I hooked up my 5151 monitor to the Hercules card and the 5153 to the CGA and fired her up. To my delight, the ram counted all the way up to 640k, and a C-prompt appeared soon after! - I was absolutely shocked by this as the computer was shipped from CA to FL, and I'm sure that it was all none too gentle!

DOS 2.1 installed on the hard drive, and chkdsk reports zero bad sectors... I put it in graphics mode and saw output on the 5153 monitor! A quick adjustment, and I was looking around the hard drive (finding a registered version of Pharoah's Tomb from Apogee) and was playing in true CGA colors!

Next up was grabbing a blank 360kb floppy and seeing if it passed the dummy test - yep! I formatted a disk, then wrote to it and read from it... all working!

Yeah. Elatedness abounds :)

Then I grabbed my XT-IDE (thanks, Hargle!) and started playing around... after reconfiguring the Network card to use interrupt 120h, it was soon recognizing my old 2.1gb IDE from 1997 that's been in retirement since 1999.

Now to hook that drive up in my modern computer, format it to DOS 5, and get the utilities on there I want to verify the Miniscribe drive is 100% error-free before retiring it....

Ah, fun stuff. Only way that it could've been better would be if I'd found it in a recycle bin for free like alot of you guys are doing :)

Not sure if I'll sell the Hercules card or not (I've another mono card here)... also not sure if I'll keep the dual-head setup going or stay with mono-only or CGA-only. Figure that I'll probably use the 2.1gb drive here for ahwhile, maybe changing to a CF card at a later date. For now, it's just a toy... and a happy one at that, thanks to all the expansion cards in there, and the surprise of a working MFM drive!

(will probably get some pictures up once I finish redoing my office... as "construction" kind've stopped the moment this arrived!)

July 9th, 2010, 08:30 PM
Awesome, sounds like it was definitely worth the wait ! You got a great deal considering a
working 5153 and all those expansion cards. I'm amazed a 5153 could make it that far intact.
Was it shipped UPS/USPS/or Fedex ?

Enjoy your new toy :-)

July 9th, 2010, 09:18 PM
Man, i am kinda jealous, you got erally lucky, REALLY lucky :) Great job on the snag

July 10th, 2010, 02:30 AM
Sounds great! Good to read about positive experiences...


I think that will be next on my list after I've managed to score a TRS-80 Model III/IV from somewhere!

July 10th, 2010, 03:04 AM
Stories with happy endings are always cool.

July 10th, 2010, 12:17 PM
I can't find a 5153 or 5154 for the life of me.. I paid almost that much (or rather traded) for my XT and that was without 5153 or that many expansions, so you're a lucky guy. The machine must have been configured for MONO primary and thus when he turned it on it displayed nothing on the CGA - I'm sure you already reasoned that out, though.

July 10th, 2010, 01:15 PM
I'm the opposite. I've got two working 5153 and would love a mono monitor! I keep combing the auction site locally for such a beast.

July 10th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Was it shipped UPS/USPS/or Fedex ?

It was shipped via USPS, surprisingly. 1 box for the keyboard, expertly packed, and one box for the computer/monitor/keyboard cable/power cables, surprisingly badly packed. The box was huge - 4" foam on the bottom under the computer, a single strip of small-bubble wrap around the computer, loosely-taped, 5153 placed on top of that, small-bubbled wrap around the screen, and packing peanuts up to 1" below the top of the monitor. Nothing on top of it. How the monitor and box didn't arrive crushed, I've no idea. Not that I'm complaining :)

Raven: I figured that out pretty quickly, thanks to a post from Mike Brutman the other day. Believe it or not, I've never used a dual monitor setup in DOS, and I've only used them sparingly at work on Windows machines (primarily just setting them up for others - unfortunately, I don't have the desk space to run one myself).

I'm glad things worked out with it... part of me was worried that I'd have to part the machine out after pulling the CGA card for use in my 5170.

July 16th, 2010, 09:22 PM
Wow so the guy was being a jerk because of the price I'm assuming? Sellers, if you want a certain amount for something, just specify it! I hate "reserve" auctions too; I assume you use those so you can have a price in mind but figure out if people will actually pay it, but still. Just be honest, dammit.

July 18th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Wow so the guy was being a jerk because of the price I'm assuming? Sellers, if you want a certain amount for something, just specify it! I hate "reserve" auctions too; I assume you use those so you can have a price in mind but figure out if people will actually pay it, but still. Just be honest, dammit.

I'm thinking that this was the case, yes. He was really quick to respond after I threatened to ruin his feedback. As he moved a dozen other auctions that closed after mine, shipping them all next-day, and all arriving before the month even passed on mine, I'm thinking that he just realized what a 5153 monitor was going for, and what a stock 5160 was going for, let alone the expansion cards (the CGA being the obvious money-grabber). Of course it could also be because of the cost of coast-to-coast shipping. He only charged $50 flat-rate for shipping, and I suspect it was much more for coast-to-coast Parcel Post shipping. But heck, the guy moved some big-ticket audio items in the month since my auction closed (some of these were upwards of $2k, and all were from a single storage bin he won at auction, and probably at a fairly low cost, if storage bin auctions in my area are any indication).

Either way... I don't really care - am just glad that he didn't pull a bullshit "my kid took a hammer to it" and deny me the winning auction.