View Full Version : IBM PS/1 2011-C34 would like to network

July 15th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Hi folks,

I have a very nice and original IBM PS/1 and would love if I could add networking to it. I see what looks like a pci slot inside but it does not have any external slot for a card to work with. Has anyone seen one of these networked? If not has anyone seen a network card that is only slightly larger than the pci slot?



Terry Yager
July 15th, 2006, 01:27 PM
Model number? Pix?? More info???


July 15th, 2006, 01:50 PM
I'd put my money on the slots you saw were MCA, which resemble PCI but the keying is in the other direction. And yes, there were MCA network cards, we were using some networked PS/2 in the computer club. Both cards with RJ45 and those with only BNC and AUI, requiring an external transceiver.

July 15th, 2006, 02:30 PM
I knew I had to be dreaming about a pci slot in a 1990 vintage machine :rolleyes:

I realized my error when I found a tiny card and tried (gently) to put in in backwards.

Pics are below. I didn't even have to clean the inside!





I am now off to try an IDE to PCMCIA converter (I doubt it will work) or to find one of those MCA network cards.

Thanks and Regards,

Mandra (EMC geek)

Terry Yager
July 15th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Oh, yeah. Definitely an original (286-based) PS/1. The power supply is built into the monitor. Good luck!


July 15th, 2006, 03:09 PM
Yeah I knew about the power supply. Oddball for sure and that's why I like it.

Just noticed that what I thought was an IDE to PCMCIA is actually 50 pin SCSI

Seems I can remember what I have but forget a bunch of the details :)

July 16th, 2006, 07:12 PM
I like this machine! But back to topic... Yes, you can find MCA Ethernet cards on the internet (particularly eBay). But with most MCA machines, you have to load the Adapter Descriptor File into the BIOS for the card to work. Why are you trying to attatch an IDE drive, what's wrong with the internal Hard Drive?

Terry Yager
July 16th, 2006, 09:28 PM
IIRC, the PS/1 in qwestion has no MCA expansion slots, or any other kind, except for a proprietary slot for a modem, and a small door on the front for expanding the memory up to it's (512K?) max. IBM did offer an expansion unit for the PS/1, with room for a couple of drives, including at least one 5.25" bay, (3x?) expansion slots for ISA cards (including an e'net card, I presume). It was styled to match the case design, and mounted between the monitor & the system unit. The expansion units are quite rare, and most of us here will prolly never see one (I have had the priviledge, but only once).

The PS/1 nameplate was recycled later, for a series of '486 (& low-end Pentium?) ISA & PCI-based systems.


Terry Yager
July 16th, 2006, 10:21 PM
I'm having no luck even finding a picture of the ex-unit. Of course, IBM disavows any knowledge of, or association with such a device, and offers 32,000 excuses why not. I did find an article that mentions a 'Card Adaptor', but only in passing:


Getting back on topic, have you considered a Xircom Pocket Ethernet Adaptor? That may be your only realistic option for networking that machine.


July 17th, 2006, 07:43 AM
Oh yes, I never looked closely at the pictures. I see the brown card edge connector, but the machine is low profile and there is a fan right where the back plate of the card would be.

July 17th, 2006, 09:21 AM
Yep, yep, now I see.

July 17th, 2006, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the Xircom Pocket Ethernet Adaptor! I have never seen such a beast before. (Then again I never looked for one before)

I had seen something about a 3 slot expansion card available for the PS/1 but even googling can't seem to turn one up. On the left rear of the case is a slot above the modem that could be used for the network card if I could find the magic 3 slot adapter. I will be purchasing a Xircom and looking out for the PS/1 expansion card at shows/ebay etc.

Thanks again.

BTW next I will be bringing back to life 2 5160's. One is all original and monochrome. One is hotrodded with an EGA monitor and a full 640k of ram.

After that I may get to play with my vic20 and my atari 800xl :wow:

Terry Yager
July 17th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I've never used the Pocket Ethernet, but other members of these forums have given them high marks for networking machines that can't be networked in more conventional ways. You should be able to find one on eB** for under ten buck$. Good luck.


January 23rd, 2007, 02:01 PM
This was my first PC, way back in the day. Had a commodore 64 before that, but the PS/1 was my first real machine. I'm late to this thread, but here's my $.02

I didn't have the card adapter, but my understanding was that it was a case, roughly as big as the PC part (not the monitor, just the computer portion), that sat ON TOP of the PS/1. You took the case off the machine, and the card case came with a similar case with a slot cut in it right over that MCA looking slot. There was a thing that extended down into the slot, kind of like a regular riser for today's motherboards, but it extended out the bottom of the card case. You put the slotted-case on the PS/1, you put the card case itself on top, threw in your ISA cards, and put the PS1's original case cover on the card case. If you do a google image search for IBM PS/1, there is a machine on there where you can see what the stack looked like, but the original aol homepage is gone, so all you get is the google thumbnail. Here's a link to the pic: http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:hPXVZfogSbvhCM:http://members.aol.com/suprdave/classiccmp/2011c34.gif

I have no idea what the piece underneath is. I think there was another expansion box, but who knows what it's purpose was.

Also, the slot above the modem is for the original IBM PS/1 sound card, I believe. I didn't have that either, so I'm not sure. To the best of my knowledge, this machine had 1 meg of ram, a 30 meg hard drive, and ran a 80286 chip at 10 mhz. It could do 256 color VGA. The menu system in the pics on this thread was in ROM, along with DOS, so it booted pretty fast. Ran DOS 4.

January 23rd, 2007, 08:23 PM
IIRC, the PS/1 in question has no MCA expansion slots... ...The PS/1 nameplate was recycled later, for a series of '486 (& low-end Pentium?) ISA & PCI-based systems.

Good call Terry, as the PS/1 series was never microchannel based. There is a riser to go up to an expansion port over the modem, but for almost all units this is going to be empty. Yes, the easiest way to network is through the parallel port.