PDA

View Full Version : IBM 5161 on eBay



SteveMarg
August 12th, 2012, 09:31 AM
Is this a good price for what is offered?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-Personal-Computer-Expansion-Unit-5161-/120966925844?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accesso ries&hash=item1c2a30ce14

per
August 12th, 2012, 10:13 AM
It's a standard type 2 unit. The 5161s have been going for an increasingly amount of money lately, so I won't say anything about the value other than that I thought the $400 one was way overpriced.

bettablue
August 12th, 2012, 11:45 AM
Per: The ones that were sold for $400.00 a couple months ago looked like they had a lot a hard life. They had a lot of rust and appeared to have other issues as well. In my own opinion, you're right; those were just not worth the money. At least the seller of those two was up front about their condition. Then we have that Tecmar unit auctioning with a starting bid of $400.00 that just won't sell. If you look at pics taken of the internal case, there is a lot, and I mean a LOT, of rust all over the insides. The TecMar is another one I would stay away from. No wonder it won't sell. Even the cables look like they were run through the mill.

This 5161 expansion unit seems to be in pretty good shape, although the photo of the scratch would seem to indicate a bit of rough handling. Even his description of "usual nicks and scratches on the case as expected from a 30 year old piece of equipment", could still mean a lot of things. I like that the seller is at least telling everyone they're not getting a pristine, brand new looking case. I have to aplaud his attempt at honesty here. And, I like the fact that the seller included that pic of the scratch on the top of the case. At least they're being honest about the overall condition. Other than the cosmetic stuff on the outer case, this expansion unit looks to be in overall great shape! It is clean. The expansion slot covers are spotless and shiny. From what I could also tell, the planar was equally clean and the entire interior dust free. I especially like the matching hard drives. Better pics of the badges would have been nice though.

It's still hard to say what these expansion units are worth as more of them in various conditions have become available lately. But if this one is really in as good of shape as is indicated, it is probably worth the asking price to someone. It will be interesting to see just how many bids this particular unit gets since the last one sold for $800.00. But the last one did include the original documentation, box and packaging materials. As far as pricing goes, I personally think the seller is a bit optimistic.

What I find funny is that when I joined VCF roughly 18 months ago or so, only a few people have ever even heard of an IBM expansion unit. Then after I bought mine from another member here for only $40.00, (allbeit with missing drives and controler) just over what; 3 months ago... all of the sudden expansion units are all over the place. How many have we seen over the last few months; 5 including mine? Plus I know of at least two members of VCF who own one, so that brings the total that I personally know of to about 7 or 8 units. And those are only the ones we know about. How many are really out there just waiting to be pulled out from somebody's closet? Hmm. Too bad we couldn't get some figures on just how many of these expansion units were manufactured.

evildragon
August 12th, 2012, 12:01 PM
Hmm, would a 5161 work on a model 25?

DumbQuestionDuJour
August 12th, 2012, 03:33 PM
Interesting listing.

Do vintage computer buffs care whether something is completely original or cobbed together from various units? Because if you look at this seller's feedback as a buyer, it's clear that this unit was pieced together from two separate ones that he bought. The scratch on the case of one unit matches the scratch on the case of a drive-less unit (but one with working motherboard and power supply) that he bought just last week for $100 as a "Buy It Now" item.

The seller also bought a 1501492 controller about three weeks ago, and an ST-412 w/Xebec controller about seven weeks ago, and also a bunch of slot covers, so maybe the shiny ones aren't original? The seller also has a second listing for miscellaneous 5161 parts that must have been the leftovers after he had assembled everything. Since I'm not a collector myself I have no clue whether this affects the value, but if I were the seller, I surely would have mentioned that it wasn't an all-original unit.

Or does that actually not matter?

ibmapc
August 12th, 2012, 03:40 PM
Personaly, I like the sellers Ebay ID.

SpidersWeb
August 12th, 2012, 03:53 PM
For me, I don't care if the parts are from various sources, as long as they're all IBM OEM parts and the correct type for that year.
No way in heck I'd pay $400-800 for an expansion unit. If it was here in NZ my budget would be in the $100-$200NZD range ($70-150USD).
I guess though, if you're rich and really really want one.........

It does come with two ST412's, still a $700 opening bid seems retarded.
It's a bit like antique stores I guess. Buy something for $20, value of which $40, resell for $60.

bettablue
August 12th, 2012, 04:02 PM
I don't really think it matters that much, as long as all of the correct pieces are there, and that the unit is clean and tested. Yes, the seller should have mentioned some of this in his listing, but in the end, I don't think it is really going to make that much of a difference. My original thoughts still stand. I think the unit he has for sale is overvalued; by how much? I don't know. And, yet, someone will undoubtedly place a bid on it thinking it is far more valuable than it is.

DumbQuestionDuJour; I had to piece mine together a bit too. IMHO you are correct in your assumption. By taking what he deemed as the best parts of two units and building one for sale, he may have hurt the overall value. People are smart, so those like you, and many others out there, will find these listings and put two and two together. Really though, it just comes down to what someone is willing to pay for something that is turning out to be not all that rare. I paid only $40.00 for mine. Then I bought a controller and a couple of hard drives through members of VCF and still paid less than $100.00 all together, plus shipping, which came to just over $75.00. All totalled, I have just over $180.00 in my expansion unit. But then again, I got very lucky.

Does it matter that I had to buy a MiniScribe drive and Xebec controller, then add a CDC drive and swap the controller for a WD? Personally, I don't think so. I still have the original parts the expansion unit came with. There are no individualized serial numbers to indicate that the drive I have installed is the one that came with the unit, or somewhere else. If I want to sell my expansion, I could easily do so as being all original and authentic because all of the parts that were there when the expansion unit was new, are still present and accounted for, including the extender and receiver cards and connecting cable. To me, that's what really matters. To someone else though; well...



Interesting listing.

Do vintage computer buffs care whether something is completely original or cobbed together from various units? Because if you look at this seller's feedback as a buyer, it's clear that this unit was pieced together from two separate ones that he bought. The scratch on the case of one unit matches the scratch on the case of a drive-less unit (but one with working motherboard and power supply) that he bought just last week for $100 as a "Buy It Now" item.

The seller also bought a 1501492 controller about three weeks ago, and an ST-412 w/Xebec controller about seven weeks ago, and also a bunch of slot covers, so maybe the shiny ones aren't original? The seller also has a second listing for miscellaneous 5161 parts that must have been the leftovers after he had assembled everything. Since I'm not a collector myself I have no clue whether this affects the value, but if I were the seller, I surely would have mentioned that it wasn't an all-original unit.

Or does that actually not matter?

evildragon
August 12th, 2012, 04:31 PM
So while all of you are discussing about this listing and how legit it is/should be, my question, a good question, hasn't been answered yet.

DumbQuestionDuJour
August 12th, 2012, 04:31 PM
One of the bidders (the one who ultimately won it, actually) on the 5161 that I sold specifically asked me whether the serial number on the box matched the serial number on the unit. I hadn't even thought to check that (though yes, they matched), and it led me to believe that the original-ness was important to collectors. I guess not. :)

mbbrutman
August 12th, 2012, 05:56 PM
So while all of you are discussing about this listing and how legit it is/should be, my question, a good question, hasn't been answered yet.

Maybe because nobody knows?

Patience ....

bettablue
August 12th, 2012, 06:12 PM
I have been reading everything I have on the 5161 expansion unit. (Trust me, there isn't much) There is no mention in any of the documentation whether or not the expansion unit will work with any PC or XT compatible computer. So, the question would really be, how compatible is the PS2, or model 25 with the IBM 5150 PC, or IBM 5160 XT? Online documentation indicates that the PS2 being IBMs 3rd generation of PC is SOFTWARE compatible, they are not HARDWARE compatible. So the simple answer to your question is; No, the IBM 5161 Expansion Unit is NOT compatible with the model 25, nor is it compatible with the PC Jr. or anything later than the IBM 5160 XT.



One of the bidders (the one who ultimately won it, actually) on the 5161 that I sold specifically asked me whether the serial number on the box matched the serial number on the unit. I hadn't even thought to check that (though yes, they matched), and it led me to believe that the original-ness was important to collectors. I guess not. :)

evildragon
August 12th, 2012, 08:07 PM
I have been reading everything I have on the 5161 expansion unit. (Trust me, there isn't much) There is no mention in any of the documentation whether or not the expansion unit will work with any PC or XT compatible computer. So, the question would really be, how compatible is the PS2, or model 25 with the IBM 5150 PC, or IBM 5160 XT? Online documentation indicates that the PS2 being IBMs 3rd generation of PC is SOFTWARE compatible, they are not HARDWARE compatible. So the simple answer to your question is; No, the IBM 5161 Expansion Unit is NOT compatible with the model 25, nor is it compatible with the PC Jr. or anything later than the IBM 5160 XT.

The big difference between the PS/2's and the model 25, is that the model 25 isn't truly a PS/2. It's an XT class computer that has an 8086 and runs only on the PC bus.

Maverick1978
August 12th, 2012, 08:36 PM
Exactly... which is why I wouldn't be surprised if the 5161 worked perfectly fine with the Model 25. Remember, the 5161 is basically just a chassis with a powered ISA backplane; the magic happens with the sender/receiver cards. Unless there's some differences with bus frequencies/timing, or with CPU timing (the 8086 in the Model 25 being faster than the 8088 in the PC), I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Makes me wonder if anyone has both machines and is willing to try.

RJBJR
August 12th, 2012, 08:56 PM
The 5161 Extender card will work in the 5150, 5155, and the 5160 64-256k board but not the 256-640k board. (if your 5155 was upgraded to the 256-640k then = SOL)
It will not work in the 5162 nor the 5170. (maybe they never tested it?)

There is no mention of it's compatibility with any of the PS/1 or PS/2 series of machines.
The article about clone compatibility is yet to be written. I suspect it could work on some of the early BIOS-less 8-bit boards.

This info came from the IBM Personal Computer Service Information Manual, System Compatibility Chart, page 17-2.

evildragon
August 12th, 2012, 09:12 PM
The 5161 Extender card will work in the 5150, 5155, and the 5160 64-256k board but not the 256-640k board. (if your 5155 was upgraded to the 256-640k then = SOL)
It will not work in the 5162 nor the 5170. (maybe they never tested it?)

There is no mention of it's compatibility with any of the PS/1 or PS/2 series of machines.
The article about clone compatibility is yet to be written. I suspect it could work on some of the early BIOS-less 8-bit boards.

This info came from the IBM Personal Computer Service Information Manual, System Compatibility Chart, page 17-2.

Wouldn't this have been written BEFORE the PS/2's came out?

It's not uncommon for new compatibility to be found for hardware, after documentation is written.

RJBJR
August 12th, 2012, 09:22 PM
Wouldn't this have been written BEFORE the PS/2's came out?

It's not uncommon for new compatibility to be found for hardware, after documentation is written.

The manual is the first edition released in Jan, 1989. It only covers the Personal Computer /PC line. I think the PS/1 & PS/2 came out before this manual was released.
Maybe there is a System Compatibility Chart in one of the service manuals that covers the PS series.

SpidersWeb
August 12th, 2012, 09:46 PM
I notice that the PC XT BIOS released in 1986, is missing the initialise call but the older BIOS (found on 256K boards) has it.

RJBJR
August 12th, 2012, 09:48 PM
I just looked in the Oct.'94 PS/2 Hardware Maintenance Manual, Options and Adapters Matrix, starting on page 311. Ibm does not list the extender card.
There are a lot of other external storage options available for the ISA Bus PS/2 machines.

Ole Juul
August 12th, 2012, 10:30 PM
One of the bidders (the one who ultimately won it, actually) on the 5161 that I sold specifically asked me whether the serial number on the box matched the serial number on the unit. I hadn't even thought to check that (though yes, they matched), and it led me to believe that the original-ness was important to collectors. I guess not. :)

You've hit an interesting point. :) I think it is rare to find someone with a genuine curatorial interest - though obviously there are a few. Most people put together anything that suits them and are quite happy with machines that are not historically genuine and often not even likely.

I do agree with you that the seller should have come clean in this case. (Good bit of sleuthing, by the way.)

Shadow Lord
August 12th, 2012, 10:34 PM
[QUOTE=RJBJR;237416]The 5161 Extender card will work in the 5150, 5155, and the 5160 64-256k board but not the 256-640k board. (if your 5155 was upgraded to the 256-640k then = SOL)

Are you sure about the 5155? As far as I know the 640KB upgrade is an unofficial mod, there is no official 640KB IBM 5155 MB. So why would IBM list it as incompatible w/ the 5161?

Shadow Lord
August 12th, 2012, 10:39 PM
One of the bidders (the one who ultimately won it, actually) on the 5161 that I sold specifically asked me whether the serial number on the box matched the serial number on the unit. I hadn't even thought to check that (though yes, they matched), and it led me to believe that the original-ness was important to collectors. I guess not. :)

I think that is different. You were selling with a box so there is a different implication there vs. someone who is just selling a unit they found in the trash, in the back of closet, cobbled together, etc. It is also probably one of the reason yours sold for so high. This one will sell to, maybe for a bit lower but it will sell.

Ole Juul
August 12th, 2012, 10:47 PM
For me, I don't care if the parts are from various sources, as long as they're all IBM OEM parts and the correct type for that year.
No way in heck I'd pay $400-800 for an expansion unit. If it was here in NZ my budget would be in the $100-$200NZD range ($70-150USD).
I guess though, if you're rich and really really want one.........

It does come with two ST412's, still a $700 opening bid seems retarded.
It's a bit like antique stores I guess. Buy something for $20, value of which $40, resell for $60.

I respect your opinion regarding assembled parts but wouldn't be surprised if the guy got the screws wrong and many other little things which don't match. Would this item pass a forensics test? I doubt it. Also, If I was rich and really really wanted one, I'd get an original.

As for antique stores, I guess they vary, but often you're buying extra value because they're trusted experts and have stock ready for you. In that field too, it is considered sleazy to self-assemble parts. A dealer's reputation would soon bottom out if they did that. Nevertheless, to your defence, I must say that I've worked in the violin field, and even the Strads are completely rebuilt with many new parts. Of course, those are important tools and not not just for museum display or historical preservation.

ibmapc
August 12th, 2012, 11:11 PM
The 5161 Extender card will work in the 5150, 5155, and the 5160 64-256k board but not the 256-640k board. (if your 5155 was upgraded to the 256-640k then = SOL)

The 5161 DOES INDEED work with the 5155 with the 640K mod.. I know this because I used to have a 5161 connected to my 5155. The 640K mod was done very early on then the 5161 was added later and worked perfectly. I think the issue with the newer 640K Motherboards was in the BIOS

RJBJR
August 12th, 2012, 11:19 PM
[QUOTE=RJBJR;237416]The 5161 Extender card will work in the 5150, 5155, and the 5160 64-256k board but not the 256-640k board. (if your 5155 was upgraded to the 256-640k then = SOL)

Are you sure about the 5155? As far as I know the 640KB upgrade is an unofficial mod, there is no official 640KB IBM 5155 MB. So why would IBM list it as incompatible w/ the 5161?

I just mentioned that because the 5155 would have been a good candidate to upgrade with a late model motherboard with more memory, would have saved a slot in that very limited expansion area. IBM does not list the 5155 as incompatible but it would be if you stuck a 256-640k motherboard in it.

RJBJR
August 12th, 2012, 11:26 PM
The 5161 DOES INDEED work with the 5155 with the 640K mod.. I know this because I used to have a 5161 connected to my 5155. The 640K mod was done very early on then the 5161 was added later and worked perfectly. I think the issue with the newer 640K Motherboards was in the BIOS

I was making a reference to the late model 256-640k motherboard as mentioned in the IBM manual as it could have been used as a drop-in replacement in the 5155 thus rendering it incompatible with the extender card.

SteveMarg
August 13th, 2012, 04:08 AM
If you replace the dashboard on a 1965 Mustang because it's become cracked and peeled, it's not technically an original Mustang any longer. People (collectors) understand that some of the pieces may have been replaced by new old stock.

With a 5161, there are no serial numbers and even the pieces within the expansion unit probably changed from time to time.

As for the price, if BettaBlue decided to sell his expansion unit, even though he only paid about $200 for it, what about the time and research he spent to restore it? Maybe an $800-$1000 figure is not that out of line for someone who spent the time and effort to "cobble" it. He may not get his asking price, but he can ask.

DumbQuestionDuJour
August 13th, 2012, 07:26 AM
@Stevemarg, is this your listing then? Sort of sounds like it is.

SteveMarg
August 13th, 2012, 08:48 AM
It is mine.

My fault - I just figured with all the questions I've been asking about the drives, cards and 5161 for the past 3 months, that everyone knew that.

Sorry. Megalomania will do that to you. :p

I built a pristine 5161 and had the case professionally restored. I am keeping that one.

I also had enough parts to build an equally nice 5161 internally, but not as attractive cosmetically, so I put it on eBay

I may end up lowering the price over the next few weeks, but we'll see what happens.

barythrin
August 13th, 2012, 09:15 AM
As far as the serial numbers matching that's for the extreme picky collector trying to validate it's the box that it really came in. I personally don't care, a boxed unit is a boxed unit. Nice to sit on a shelf and protect the unit when not in use and to show off the advertisements the company was using to entice the buyer. A working system IMO is worth much more than all original parts. Whether it was repaired or expanded upon, those are just extras you're getting for free.

bettablue
August 13th, 2012, 01:30 PM
Ole, thanks... You hit the nail on the head! While my own expansion unit is historically correct, would it be worth any less because the unit had to be put together from several different sources? Yes, absolutely! If all of the correct parts are there, vs. different controllers, hard disk drives, and even an upgraded power supply, would there be a huge difference? I personally do think so. That sort of dilligence in the refurbishment process should be rewarded. I also believe the value of a good refurbishing will be less than a fully documented original, but still higher than one with incorrect parts. With that in mind, I would not expect to get full price for mine if I were to sell it. At the same time, I would expect it to sell for much higher than a mismatched expansion unit. That should prove to be the norm for any vintage project.

Correction:
Thank Stone. I guess I was looking at the wrong one. Maybe we are on track with our thinking. If the seller doesn't get any bids, I wonder how for they will lower they will go.




You've hit an interesting point. :) I think it is rare to find someone with a genuine curatorial interest - though obviously there are a few. Most people put together anything that suits them and are quite happy with machines that are not historically genuine and often not even likely.

I do agree with you that the seller should have come clean in this case. (Good bit of sleuthing, by the way.)

Stone
August 13th, 2012, 01:41 PM
Still, none of that matters, because as I write this, I see the expansion unit in question sold for $816.00. Oh well.Where are you looking? There are no bids, yet.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-Personal-Computer-Expansion-Unit-5161-/120966925844?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accesso ries&hash=item1c2a30ce14

bettablue
August 13th, 2012, 02:59 PM
Corrected. Thanks.


Where are you looking? There are no bids, yet.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-Personal-Computer-Expansion-Unit-5161-/120966925844?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accesso ries&hash=item1c2a30ce14

DumbQuestionDuJour
August 13th, 2012, 04:47 PM
:lol: Maybe the people who read every thread, but I don't think that everyone did (I didn't, though I haven't been here long...), since it wasn't mentioned in your first post on the thread. :)


It is mine.

My fault - I just figured with all the questions I've been asking about the drives, cards and 5161 for the past 3 months, that everyone knew that.

SteveMarg
August 15th, 2012, 07:01 AM
Well, I did get an offer from someone to pay $250 plus a working 5155 with a case. I may have to do it. I have never even seen a 5155 in person. He says it's in good shape and he is local.....