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View Full Version : Fully loaded IBM 5170 arrived. Would like to ID cards



Mark2000
March 13th, 2012, 11:00 AM
So I just got my IBM AT from eBay last night. I don't have monitor to completely test it yet, but Stone is sending me one, probably as we speak (though I'd still like a 5154 if anyone has one). I seem to have really lucked out on this. It's a late model 8mhz machine according to the board layout and serial number. I knew the beast had 4mb of memory in it, but it also has a 30mb seagate drive, and a math co-processor.

The video adapter is the stock IBM EGA board. I don't know if it has extra memory on it or not and don't know how to tell. The drive controller is, oddly enough, the first revision, not the second. I have the MFM drive connected to it as well as a 5.25" floppy drive. The IO board is a strange one. It has a serial and parallel port as you would expect, but it also has a second board attached to it that looks like it hold memory. The IO board is called "Profit Systems" and the daughter board is called "Power Pack". I haven't found anything on these through Google yet. There also seem to be two 16 bit, full length ISA memory boards installed and connected to each other with a ribbon cable.

I have no way of getting data on or off this thing yet. I have nothing but macs at home, so I don't think Laplink would work. I'm thinking of replacing the drive controller with an IDE one like this - http://www.ebay.com/itm/JCC-810316-IDE-FLOPPY-CONTROLLER-ISA-/150771563725?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item231aaf7ccd - and getting a 40mb IDE HDD like this - http://www.codemicro.com/store/product/Ibm-92f9987-Refurbished.php. This would free up some of the internal drive slots, make the machine lighter, and let me use an IDE enclosure to get data from my mac to the AT and back. Then I'd probably sell the MFM drive. I'd love to get an all in one IDE/IO board just to simplify things, but I'm wondering if some of the system memory is in that daughter board.

Any thoughts on the id of those boards and the feasibility of what I'm planning?

krebizfan
March 13th, 2012, 11:29 AM
IBM EGA had extra memory on a daughtercard so it should be easy to spot.

If you can make a picture of the "Profit" card it might be recognizable. The various memory card manufacturers also created versions that small builders could add their own names to. 4MB of RAM. WOW.

Sounds like a good plan, though don't restrict yourself to a very small IDE drive. That IDE card should work with 500+MB drives, possibly even 2GB drives which also will work fine with DOS. Why go for a small expensive old drive when you can get enough room to install a lot of software for the same (or lower) price?

mikey99
March 13th, 2012, 11:35 AM
Congratulations on your new machine ! Getting the genuine IBM EGA card is a big plus.
The extra memory resides on a small daughter board attached to the long Berg connector
at the end of the card near the front of the machine. I've never heard of the Profit Systems
card.

Mark2000
March 13th, 2012, 11:38 AM
krebizfan: I'm planning on running DOS 3.3, so 32mb is the top allowed. I don't think I'd want to cut a 500+mg drive into 15 partitions, though it's possible. I found that 40mb elsewhere for under $30 so it's not too big a deal.

mikey99: What makes the IBM card better than, say, an EGA Wonder 800? How available are those memory extensions? I definitely don't have one.

Stone
March 13th, 2012, 11:55 AM
You should consider running DOS 5.xx or 6.22. Older machines are permitted to run later DOS versions. I run DOS 5.00 RC 3a on my XT and my 286 regularly and they never complain. :-)

krebizfan
March 13th, 2012, 12:01 PM
I should point out that some of the bigger games that run on a 286 like Wing Commander (the first one) will install several MB of files to the hard disk. They also often recommend usage of DOS 5 or later. Double check that the software you want to run will work with your planned final setup.

Mark2000
March 13th, 2012, 12:34 PM
I'd never run Wing Commander on EGA. Dosbox is fine. I'll be running pure EGA and ANSI based software. Most likely AGI Sierra games as the highest end. I could always get a larger drive too for more intense stuff.

Maverick1978
March 13th, 2012, 01:04 PM
Mark, congrats on your purchase! Don't forget to reference Modem7's minuszerodegrees.net for advice on upgrading the 5170, troubleshooting, etc. Also, our VCF Wiki has some nice information on it as well - pay special attention to the caveats of dealing with a rev 3 board, (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showwiki.php?title=Systems:IBM+PC+AT+5170#Some+kno wn+issues) as you'll need to do a BIOS swap to use a 3rd party floppy/hard drive controller.

When I was dealing with a rev 3 board, swapping the BIOS was out as to me, it wasn't an IBM AT without BASIC in ROM.

A work-around for this would be an XT-IDE card, and since you seem sold on the smaller hard drives, and maybe a CF card or a Disk-On-Module from Glitch (I think he has 64/128mb flavors available, NOS). Of course a real IDE hard drive could be used too.

k2x4b524[
March 13th, 2012, 01:51 PM
If he uses that IDE controller, wouldn't he still be limited to the bios drive types if he wanted bigger than what the at allows? He would need the bios swap to use the XT-IDE even woudln't he?

Mark2000
March 13th, 2012, 02:39 PM
Maverick, you just saved me a lot of trouble. I've read through that document but I never saw that bit. I'm looking up Bios swapping now. If you have any resources on how to do it I'd be grateful.

SpidersWeb
March 13th, 2012, 03:01 PM
AT version of the XT-IDE BIOS burnt on to an EPROM and installed in a network card is what I plan to do with my old machines (well the clones).

For genuine IBM's I usually prefer/recommend to leave the hard discs 'as is' because it's all part of that historic package - the weight, the size, the noise etc but it's user preference. I'm rather attached to the deeeeet det da deeet deeet on power up lol I'm looking for ways to combine that custom BIOS with the IDE interface on sound cards to allow a CF card or IDE drive without having to mess with the factory configuration - just waiting on my ROM burner to arrive to test if it works and with what.

The easiest option I found was really just to have a mid-way machine. A cheap Pentium does the trick, network + CD, add a 1.2Mb floppy, can use a null modem or parallel cable and FastLynx2 / Laplink etc. Means you wont have to burn an EPROM image or swap chips.

Congrats on purchase btw.

Maverick1978
March 13th, 2012, 05:24 PM
If he uses that IDE controller, wouldn't he still be limited to the bios drive types if he wanted bigger than what the at allows? He would need the bios swap to use the XT-IDE even woudln't he?

Good question. I had an AT rev 3 board that I sold to a member here last year. It originally belonged to Chromedome45, but I can't remember if he had the original BIOS in there or if it was a 3rd party one... hmm.

Along that line of thought, I'm almost positive I had one of my XT-IDE's in there when I was testing things.. I just can't remember if it was an IBM or 3rd-party BIOS.


Maverick, you just saved me a lot of trouble. I've read through that document but I never saw that bit. I'm looking up Bios swapping now. If you have any resources on how to do it I'd be grateful.

You're welcome :) Check out minuszerodegrees.net (http://minuszerodegrees.net/bios/bios.htm) - Modem7 has the IBM BIOS images there, as well as an AMI and Award BIOS that will work in the 5170.


For genuine IBM's I usually prefer/recommend to leave the hard discs 'as is' because it's all part of that historic package - the weight, the size, the noise etc but it's user preference. I'm rather attached to the deeeeet det da deeet deeet on power up lol

I'm the same way with my 5160, however my 5170 is my toy, for the most part. In fact, I only kept a rev 1 board for myself ($10 off ebay), and it's currently located within an old AT mid-tower case. Sacrilege, I know... but my PS/2 Model 30-286 makes up for it :)

Mark2000
March 13th, 2012, 06:43 PM
By the way, what is that little door on the back of the case with a single screw? Is that for a turbo switch? Where do you get one of those these days?

modem7
March 14th, 2012, 02:20 AM
By the way, what is that little door on the back of the case with a single screw? Is that for a turbo switch?
No, the IBM AT motherboard doesn't support turbo/non-turbo switching.
The door could be for passing cables through, if it's required.

Mark2000
March 14th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Alright. Here's some pictures of the mystery boards. First pic is a closeup of the Profit Systems I/O board. The second is the same board with a view of the daughter board containing memory(?). The third is a picture of the two connected memory boards. The fourth is the ribbon cable attaching the two. Sorry I didn't take them out, but the mobo is not set terribly well and I need to leverage it up to make it stiff enough to pop the boards back in. The Sound Blaster 1.5 card you see is a card I kept for no good reason since I bought it on it's release. I should have kept my Sigma VGA Legend as well. Such is life.

8220822182228223

Mark2000
March 16th, 2012, 04:54 PM
No bites on those cards, huh? I'm really perplexed on that I/O daughter board.

On another note, this Sony 1.44 drive purports to be grey and it's a 5.25 enclosure. Think it would match the 5170 aesthetic?
8243

Compgeke
March 16th, 2012, 05:03 PM
It might be easier to ID the cards if you pulled them out and took pictures individually, then we could see everything on them.

dabone
March 16th, 2012, 07:34 PM
By the way, what is that little door on the back of the case with a single screw? Is that for a turbo switch?

I actually had a 3rd party add on turbo for my IBM AT board back in the day. It had a dial that secured to that plate in the back, but I can't remember the name of
it to save my life. You could select many different speeds, and find the fastest stable one for your machines.

I remember after I moved to an apartment, accidently scrambling my BBS because the speed had gotten cranked up while moving, and corrupted the hard drives.

Later,
dabone