View Full Version : Your most Frankensteined computer?

September 20th, 2013, 08:00 PM
I was just thinking about this and thought I would post it here.

Some people put a motherboard and a few parts from one computer in to another and call it "Frankensteined".

Well, back somewhere around 1989 or so I had a machine cobbled together from discarded parts that would probably scare people if they saw it. I wish I had a photo, but I don't, so I'll just describe it at the hight of "Frankenstein-ness".

The case was a long dark yellowish metal housing from an external single 8" floppy drive unit. It was just wide enough to fit a salvaged XT clone motherboard in at one end it with some cardboard to insulate the bottom. An XT clone power supply just fit at the other end with a square cut out for the toggle switch to hang out. Four mounting holes in the top held a salvaged Corvus/IMI 5 mb hard drive in place.

The motherboard was an XT clone. I populated it with 4 banks of salvaged 64k chips, and later purchased 8 256k chips to bring it up to 448k.

That must have been when I cut the wires on the XT clone power supply and soldered in some random copper telephone cable wiring to get it to reach from the back of the case to the power plug near the front.

The narrow "front" was open and exposed the expansion card edges.

The internal hard drive was connected with a short western digital RLL card, which formatted the drive (completely reliably, oddly) as ~8 megabytes. I also used two additional similar external 5mb hard drives with a switch wired in so I could flip between them as a secondary drive.

The video card was a damaged VLSI clone Monographics adapter. One of the data lines on the character generator ROM was dead, but shorting that line to the pin next to it made the text readable enough. I later got an EPROM and copied a ROM from another board.

The floppy drives were a pair of COPAL half height 360k drives, connected together in an external enclosure made of heavy poster board. The drives sat on my desk with the the CPU behind it, connected via a long ribbon cable and molex power extension cable. I had used these drives previously on my TI-99/4A.

Initially the "monitor" was a small black and white TV set rewired to somewhat handle the monographics resolution. Eventually I bought a proper VGA card and VGA monitor for it. But later when I gave it to my brother, I put the monographics card back and used a nasty green-screen monitor from some IBM terminal. That thing had screen burn-in so bad you could see it from across the room, an I think the case was cracked. It wasn't a normal monographics monitor, and did not have a normal plug so again I had to re-wire it using random copper phone cables (I had a lot of that wire I grabbed from some place that was removing an old underground cable) , solder, and scotch tape. I don't quite remember, but I may have even needed an external power supply for that monitor. (Meanwhile I was using a shiny new Magitronic 286 AT clone)

To complete the mess, the keyboard was a badly worn out XT clone keyboard with flaky keys, with various bits of resoldering.

These days they would call in the damn bomb squad if someone saw something like that!

Rick Ethridge
September 20th, 2013, 09:06 PM
Mine is a 950 MHz slot A T-bird Athlon that's gone through three cases, different amounts of ram, three different hard drives, three different audio cards and three different video cards. It has both a 3 1/2 inch and a 5 1/4 inch floppy drives. It's still serviceable!

September 20th, 2013, 09:46 PM
My main desktop by far.

The parts are assorted from whatever I had around, such as:
Asus P5N32E-SLI motherboard and Q6600 CPU from beside a dumpster in the original case I used
2 GB of ram came from a thrift store, the other 4 GB was someone's old ram they mailed to me
Hard drive came out of an iMac as far as I know
Original video card (GeForce 9800 GTX+) was given to me after someone upgraded, current (Radeon HD 4850) came out of a Dell XPS 9100 with a bad processor
Original case was beside the dumpster, current case I got out of a trade.

The random accessories such as my Model M which is Beige, doesn't match anything I have is from August '87. The mouse is a random Microsoft mouse I got from a thrift store, one monitor is a $5 Craigslist one, the 2nd a yardsale.

For the most part I'm not sure what else I could do to make it even more hacked up, put it in a Powermac G5 case?

September 20th, 2013, 10:03 PM
For real naked exposed effect it is just a matter of cobbling together something out of the many components laying about- a mobo here, hdd there, choice of video cards/fdds along with a rattly psu with switch dangling over the front edge of the desk.

My current Franky though is a 486 PS/1. Came with a selection of other bits n bobs and was going the scrap it but turns out it took a decent amount of ram for a commodity 486 so decided to keep it.

September 20th, 2013, 11:34 PM
My first fileserver.


I could not afford an ATX case so I threw together a shelf of parts and junk and this became the place where all my data lived until the Proliant came along.

I miss that Lexmark Printer. I ended up leaving it out in a high mountain pasture under a tree to live the rest of its life.

Bungo Pony
September 21st, 2013, 02:18 AM
A lot of my computers are "Frankensteined". I have the C-128-D that someone jammed into an old XT case and threw a bunch of mods into. I also have my "test computer" which lives in a modified Compaq skeleton. I have a PC in my garage which has an internally mounted USB hub where the floppy drive used to be and uses a CF card for a hard drive. The computer in my living room is a Dell hooked up to my CRT television (I'm too cheap to buy a new one) and I had to trim down the metal card edges for the two cards I needed to fit inside it. I've been debating on ripping the remote control circuit out of an old VCR and modifying it to turn the PC on.

Bungo Pony
September 21st, 2013, 02:34 AM
Here's pictures...

The C-128-D which I've posted a few threads about (I didn't make this one, I found it behind the e-waste recycler)


My setup in my living room. This computer replaced the DVD recorder. My dad found it on "giveaway weekend" where you put your unwanted items on the curb. Runs Ubuntu 12.04 and records television. Bought a remote-sized wireless keyboard & touchpad for it.


The computer that lives in the garage, and has for a number of years now. All it does is play music. No keyboard. I've been trying to make a good replacement for a while now, and I haven't succeeded yet in making one as good as this. Found it in someone's garbage. Runs Damn Small Linux v3


And here's the "test pc" that sits on my bench. I'm always plugging and unplugging hard drives into this thing. The MB came from a "disposed" computer at my old workplace, and the case came from someone's garbage.


September 21st, 2013, 03:37 PM
My best/worst is mini-ATX P4 mobo, PSU, 17" LCD monitor, CDROM and HDD stuffed into the shell of an iMac G3 all-in-one (the translucent candy-coloured kind). The PSU sits on a mezzanine above the mobo, close to the top air vent. Sound, ethernet, firewire, keyboard and mouse patched to the original Apple case ports. Dual-boot Linux and WinXP. Works fine, to my way of thinking.

I convinced a teenage daughter to use this for a year or so until she rebelled and went all Mac on me, so now it lives under the house with my other banished "collectibles".


September 24th, 2013, 04:37 AM
Mac Quadra 700 motherboard in a Mac IIvx case with a clock accelerator on the 040 and an Apple 50mhz PowerPC 601 upgrade board. Set up to dual boot into MacOS 8.1 with the 040 or 8.6 with the PPC upgrade active.

September 24th, 2013, 10:02 AM
Well, not certain if this qualifies for the topic, but for me it would have to be the small folding farm I built way back in my folding@home days.


It ran 24/7 folding for Stanford for almost two years. After getting sick and tired of dealing with bulging/leaking caps and paying the higher utility costs to operate it, I eventually just shut it down.

Great project though. Lots of fun and healthy frustration building it.

Al Hartman
September 24th, 2013, 10:50 AM
I've had one really big tower case that started life as an Acer 386SX 1100 logic board in a clone case, and has been a 5x86 133mhz, a 486DX-66, and it now a Celeron 700mhz System. It's in storage, so I don't remember what else is in it. A CD-ROM drive, a 20gb HDD most likely, a 1.44 and a 1.2mb drive, network card and sound card.

But, my buddy Tom had the best Frankenstein system. He took his Model III TRS-80 out of the case and mounted it on his wall. He put 4 disk drives on a shelf and ran them between two systems. He had a mix of 5.25, 3.5, and 3" AMDEK drives. He took a display tube from an Oscilloscope and mounted it off the bottom of the shelf on springs, so he could lie in bed, use his keyboard (which he made a long cable for) and work.

That was real Frankenstein system. He had also hacked it to have 64k of RAM, and made a patched set of Model I ROMS for 100% compatibility with Model I software.

Tiberian Fiend
September 26th, 2013, 07:09 PM
Back in the Pentium II era, my power supply died and I bought a used one, but the used one didn't fit the case, so I had to attach it to my motherboard while my motherboard was sitting on top of a cardboard box.

September 26th, 2013, 07:37 PM
I had an old ThinkPad 360CE a while back. It eventually ended up with the body of the 360CE, the motherboard of a 360C (33MHz 486 instead of a 66/33DX2) and the screen from a 360P. Then the video chip died.

September 26th, 2013, 10:10 PM
I've had a few.

One was a Stepmania system I made named Stephanie - I don't know why I did it, I hate Stepmania - it involved a PS2 dance mat connected to a dead USB Joypad who's cable ran to a coin collecting box I made where you could actually put anything that would fit in there and it would connect the joypad to the USB Ports on the MS-6340 motherboard. It used an AMD Athlon 1000 and connected to a television, the whole thing lived in a wooden palette. It was a fun thing until it collapsed and my foot landed up inside the PSU.

The second was a similar system, I named it Spectre, an ITX motherboard (I believe it used a Via CPU) that lived in an old drawer, the drawer was modified with a lid and a friend helped me cobble together some software to mess with Windows 98 and just display a splash screen and simple menu that could be operated with a USB joypad unless a DVD was in, effectively we built the world's most inefficient games console but it was small and light enough that I could take it with me and play PC games when I was away from the home. I remember Blood ran horribly on it for some reason. The OS ran from a USB stick soldered to a header on the motherboard. The system used to overheat and shut off as I never put any air holes in it.

I have two left. They both have a story (wall of text mode on) which might bore you. I shall mark the start and end incase you don't want to read it.

The first one is an AMD Athlon XP I refer to as Flandre (as in Touhou 6). I used to run a Duron based system as my workstation but it had died a few times and eventually, as with all things, it ended up beyond any state of repair. It needn't have gotten to that stage, when it had run well for a few years I decided it was time to replace it and began working on an Athlon XP 2600+ system which lasted all of five minutes before there was a pop from the case, a nasty smell and I found the CMOS battery had actually exploded... LeadTek K7NCR18D mobo in case you want to know which to avoid... All-in-all a nasty motherboard which quickly started screwing up and for some reason SB Compatible cards don't work with the nForce 2 (They detect and install, software can see them, but you get no sound) and I wanted that so when the PSU died and took most of the machine with it it went in the trash (A bonfire bin) and I wasn't too sad.

The Duron still worked at that point (limping a little) so I went back to that to save up (I was about 12 or 13 at the time... I have a photo of me with the Duron whilst it was being built if anyone wants to see it) - I tried again, the Duron used an MSI motherboard (KT3 Ultra II) so I ordered an MSI one for the new machine (KT6 Delta 2 FISR) which I was mis-sold by PC World Component Centre because they claimed it had RAID onboard and it did not, I decided to try it anyway but it was DOA so I had to pay to send it back. I kept my Athlon 2600 CPU and everything else on hand. I'm sure there were more attempts with this, but eventually I ended up with a DFI NFII Ultra motherboard. Nothing but trouble. The man in the shop said that last time the PSU might have been problematic so he sold me a costly Seasonic which were good, I used them at work all the time... I was kinda working for free at a local company because their IT guy was in hospital... The motherboard exhibited the same compatibility issues as the WinFast. Completion of this build was done as I went into the care of social services.

The machine started out looking OK, it had neons and everything (because I was an idiot when I was a teenager) and some pretty nice hardware but it was unstable, prone to crashing, a volt-reg burned out and scared the crap out of health and safety at the home but before they could stop me using it I had discovered that there was a compatibility issue with my video editing gear (Both hardware and software) so I dismantled it, out came the Duron again. The 2600 isn't done and we'll get onto what happened to it in a second.

Aging horribly with a single RAM slot working, onboard IDE defunct, a burnt-out diode replaced with a piece of foil and very noisy fans and hard drives who's bearings were likely a silvery powder by now, the Duron carried on for some time. I'm sure we all know that eventually you get a feeling when things aren't doing what they are supposed to that the machine you are using is irreversibly heading to it's grave, I would miss the Duron but it was time to move on and get something else, an Athlon 64 X2 3200+ (The chip is on my desk right now, labelled ADA3200DAA5BV, AMD do not recognise this model. It is similar to the X2 3800+) and this one appeared to be rather good, I swore because of issues with Windows 98 but I was prepared for that and ran Windows 2003. There were a few more systems between the duron failing and building this but nothing noteworthy aside from one that went missing. Under increasing pressure and threats from social services I had to put a lot of systems into storage leaving only this, a 386SX-16 I was using as a server (LANTastic!) and my Dual-P3 workstation. The Athlon 64 has a few records attributed to it; it made only one video in it's lifespan, it destroyed enough RAM that I could build another one-and-a-half of the same machine and it was the final machine built to use a Co-Axial network. Part of the reason being that the 386 died a little while after this, that had been shaky for a long time. The Athlon 64 eventually burned out some more RAM and it seemed to take it's toll on the chipset, I replaced the RAM with some really cheap nasty stuff that I had to sell some cigarettes for, the system was only a few weeks old. I was in the process of setting up the Dual P3 as the server when the RAM in there failed and SDRAM cost a hell of a lot at the time (I also wasn't aware non-ECC would work) so everything hung on the Athlon 64, would it finally give up trying to kill itself?

What do you think? The same evening the RAM died and I was left with no computer, luckily I had my SNES to keep me entertained but my telly had no sound and I needed the computer for work, for a video editing course I was doing and for college which I would soon start... The last of my money had gone on the RAM that had just died, what was I to do?

Anything that worked in the Athlon 64 was sold (except the mobo and CPU, I wouldn't wish those on anyone) along with a few pieces of the 386, some of which I repaired but had to sell "As Is" as I was unable to test them (I hope they worked and went to a good home, I really miss that machine) though a fair amount of the Duron survived this selling. I sold an Athlon 2400 I had kept in the cupboard as I had no desire to touch AMD ever again after the experience I'd had although it wouldn't have been hard to fix that one. The bloke who sold me the 64 let me test an Athlon FX but it kept locking up as did his ow identical system, he later told me those were from the reject bin, so he took it away again.

Now stuck with a huge gap where my PC should be I set out into my own garbage boxes and found a spare motherboard, JK-042A - a 486 board, and two CPUs, one was an Intel 486DX-33 the other was a UMC U5S Super33 which was currently installed in the board. In a wave of hatred for AMD and newfound fanboyism for Intel I used the Intel chip and tracked down the case from the first family PC (I still have the parts from that system, a Pentium, but they were elsewhere and I couldn't get to them) and mounted the board. I bought a graphics card (QuickWorks 24i, a TSeng ET4000W32i board) from a man for the price of three cigarettes and a 512MB hard drive in exchange for a 20-pack of Richmonds. The battery leaked on the motherboard so I just pulled it off, I developed a knack for knowing how long to turn it off for without the CMOS being wiped as it used to freeze on reset as I had no idea how the cache jumpers were meant to be set. I used the DVD RW from my Pentium III and a few junk parts from elsewhere or what people would sell me for pennies or cigs. The Hooker was born - it is called the hooker because for some reason when I think of it I get a vision of a middle aged hooker standing on a street corner, one who's voice sounds like she smokes a million cigs a day, not to mention everything inside the machine is quite loose - for reasons I can't remember I ran Windows Chicago, possibly the only OS I had to hand that would work on it and work it did!

I had to sell my music CDs to afford some parts (or more cigarettes, can't remember) so I was stuck with only a single music disc (as I'd been going MP3 anyway), that being the Eminem show... I probably started to miss Megadeth after a while to be honest, I remember being overjoyed because I found Eve 6 and any rock was better than no rock. Problem being that using the CD drive used to make the mouse stop working. To cut a long story short, I had to do video editing and DVD authoring on that until I got my Pentium D built, sometimes this took days and it was hard to make VideoFactory run at all. A lot of things could have been better, but my money was focused on saving for the Pentium D and not doing fancy things with the 486.

Now, that 2600+ (Assuming you followed it's beginnings in the story, though you needn't) - today it's a mangled and rusty mess, recently deceased, it's YouTube appearence was it's final run. Fans are held in with duct tape, nothing has screws or as many as it should, the PSU has no lid as such, just a piece of metal from another PSU that falls off. Only one port of the IDE controller works, the RAID controller does not work, the GPU is just about dead (FX 5500 my friend threw in the trash), the power switch header doesn't work (DFI provide a button on the mobo, maybe they knew the board was rubbish?) there are red LEDs on the baord and most have stopped working or gone dull. The 486 smells faintly of urine for some reason, always has, but this thing, no matter what I do, smells like something died in it. One Ethernet port could never recieve, only send packets though oddly plugging either in makes the whole LAN drop out for a second, sometimes the router reboots. If you send/recieve more than about 950MB over the network, the system will BSOD or the network on it will cease to function (amount seems proportional to the amount of RAM installed, implying a leak?) and there are a million other problems. If you put a PCI card in, it detects about 50 "PCI Card" devices (The post-POST configuration table is fun when this happens) that have an ID of 0 on IRQ 11. Also the BIOS Logo is corrupt so if it is switched on you have to cause an error so it is not displayed or else the system locks at POST.

A few of the systems mentioned (P3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1X9HOQ6aKA), 486 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNLOvsYBXi0), 2600 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0KmPebU2g)) can be found on my YouTube channel if you want to see them.

Lastly, damn this is long but you're the one that asked, the most frankenstein PC I ever saw belonged to a friend of mine, his name was Tim and he was weird; Obsessed with Japan and hentai, listened to 90's JPop all the time, played too many JRPGs and always wore gray, he also spoke like Neil from the young ones. I was a teenager at the time, hanging around with an American called Derek who was crazy in a good way (though a bit of a pyro), Tim was his buddy and we went to his place one day. It seemed fine until he said he wanted to show us some new RPG he'd imported and he sat at a desk where I noticed a Baby AT tower underneath (This is mid 2003 BTW) on which he pressed the power switch. A loud grinding sound began and he explained that it was the pump, he was liquid cooling it... Fair enough, he wants to run a busted pump. That was before the smell started, you know when you forget to clean the fish tank for a while? It was like that but worse! Tim was the oldest of us and had a head start on building computers, he was secretive over what was in it, a lot had card covering it over and there were wires that shouldn't have been there. He was running a Baby AT board with a K6 550MHz which was often overclocked to over 750MHz, he had a GeForce 2 MX PCI (No AGP slot!) and was using EDO RAM (32MB) two of which were from his old P5, a SB16 from the same old P5 and two small HDDs. He built it in 1998 and had done little to improve it since. The watercooling would have been impressive except that had also been there since 1998 and was only topped up, never cleaned out, and the loop had an open T-Point at the top letting the smell out (and mosquito larva in). He was reluctant to upgrade but in 2004 began building an Athlon XP based system, near completing that the pump rattled it's last and the system split a tube, one of the few times I saw inside the thing, it was covered in dust in there and the tube that broke was not leaking water, it was leaking algae, green slime and larvae... He had a cream carpet in that room and the stain never came out.

Now your brains are all numb :P (I know my fingers are)

September 27th, 2013, 12:31 PM
I had a dell inspiron 1100 that most of the ports and the lcd backlight fried on, due to the northwood overheating all the time. I put the motherboard and hard drive in the top of this big dell 19 or 20" CRT monitor with 1.5" standoffs IIRC. put one fan to cool the crt because I was blocking some vents, and added heatsinks and another fan for the motherboard. used the dvd drive with a usb converter. also had a pcmcia 4 port usb card, and ran mouse and keyboard off of ps/2 to usb adapter. It ran windows XP and it was decent until I got a second hand gateway tower.

September 29th, 2013, 05:31 PM
My TRS-80 Model III with Model 4 guts! See here: http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?39092-My-Freakish-Model-III-hybrid-A-Model-4-inside-a-Model-3!

Old Thrashbarg
September 29th, 2013, 07:17 PM
I was going through some old backups and came across a picture of my old main desktop, from late 2010 or early 2011. I guess it would count as 'Frankensteined', though I always just called it 'ghetto'.


That's an eMachines case, which also happened to have an eMachines motherboard, but it was out of a completely different model. I ran an E5200 in it, but for some reason I ended up having to flash the board with a modded Gateway BIOS to get it to work. It may have been that the eMachines version didn't support 45nm CPUs, but I can't really remember for sure. The power supply was an Enermax unit that was about 7 years older than the rest of the computer.

The video card was a GTS250. Your eyes do not deceive you, it actually is sitting at an angle... the card had about a 1/2" warp in it. Incidentally, I still have that card in my current machine, though it's 'upside down' in a quasi-BTX layout so the bend is finally starting to straighten out.

The hard drive cage was out of some old '90s beigebox, and was held in with zipties. There wasn't enough airflow to keep the three drives cool, so I took the fan off an old Pentium cooler and hung it on there with a PCI slot bracket to blow on the back of the drives. Also note the big mess of wires above the cage... the PSU had no SATA power connectors, and all my drives were SATA, so I had to use adapters for everything. The PCIe power connector for the video card was made out of a cut piece of an ATX power connector and the wires were spliced onto a molex Y-adapter. The rear exhaust fan was a fake Yate Loon salvaged out of a fried China-special power supply.

Oh, and I didn't take off the side cover to snap the picture... there just wasn't a side cover to start with. The plastic trim piece for the lower front was also missing, and though you can't see it in the picture, the top rear corner on the other side was crumpled a bit.

Bungo Pony
October 6th, 2013, 06:28 AM
High Treason, that's the greatest story I've ever read! :lol:

October 23rd, 2013, 12:05 PM
By far, my legendary (to me) GEM Computer Products 386 was the most frankensteined PC ever!.....

I got the computer in 2001 as a 386 DX-20 the original owner paid $3000 for from GEM Computer Products in Norcross Georgia in the late 80's. It had a full size AT Case that looked much like the old Compaq Deskpro 8086/286/386 case.

That computer in it's lifetime was.....
- 386 DX 20, no co-pro, 5MB RAM, 45MB MFM/RLL C:, 200MB Hard Card, WD Paradise VGA, Addonics Mon7c4B Monitor and Deskpro copycat keyboard
- AMD 5x86 133, 16MB RAM, 150MB HDD, Paradise VGA
- Intel Pentium 75 running DOS/Win311
- Intel Pentium 120 running Windows 98 SE off a 2GB HDD, Trident TGUI-9440 PCI Graphics, and Diamond TeleCommander 2300 soundcard/modem 16-bit ISA
- Intel Pentium 233 MMX running Windows 98 SE off a 40GB HDD with USB 2.0 ports added and SB16 PCI and ATI Rage II video
- Case-Modded for Micro ATX running a Celeron 500 on an HP Firebird motherboard with an 80GB HDD and a NVIDIA MX-400 PCI 32MB Graphics Card, and Gateway PSU in full size AT Casing with a radio shack push-button to power on and off
- Swapped the HP for an Intel D815EPV with a PIII 667 MHz board and an every growing RAM from 64MB up to 128MB, off same 80 GB HDD and same video card
- Moved to Washington and bumped the CPU up to a 1 GHz Pentium III coppermine and half a gig of RAM, had to install Windows 2000 Pro to be stable dual boot w/ RedHat Linux
- Added more lighting, modified control panel from a 486 slot cover with the digital readout, added more HDD, now had dual DVD-ROM drives, and was being used with a Samsung LCD and a Omnikey 104 keyboard and PC-TRAC Trackball at that point.

I had that computer 7 years, it was my main, and is a favorite, and it lived through roughly 20+ years of technological advancement in that time. Sadly, the case fell apart and that was the end of that.

October 23rd, 2013, 08:57 PM
I am in the process of putting a generic 486DX/25 into an IBM 5170 type case. I also have a Dell 8300 in a different DELL case (was my main machine a few years back).

October 24th, 2013, 10:58 AM
Mine would be a computer built around an ASUS A7V-133 With hacked bios. I was overclocking the board very heavily, and some of the surface mounted resistors were falling off due to cheap solder. No problem, they wer ein easy to get to spots, so i fixed them all. Then i got my first 2.88mb floppy drive, this was before i know it took power from the cable, it still had the power connector however, so i plugged it in and guess what, 5v went straight from the power plug, right on through to the motherboard, fried the floppy controller on the mb, rest still worked though, including the floppy drive, made a nice smell on the mb though. that board kept chugging right along right up until the southbridge fell off. For the record, i'd gotten that duron from 750mhz up to about 1.4ghz, the case was always open and the cpu had a direct line to an AC box.. still have the chip, which won't take a clock speed under 1.2ghz now,

March 7th, 2015, 05:16 PM
Happened to see this listing on eBay and it reminded me of my ol' frankenputer:

It's the exact same style case although mine had connectors for a floppy drive.

March 7th, 2015, 07:42 PM
Mine has to be my Amiga 3000. It quit fitting inside a case a very long time ago. It has a Mediator 4000D installed, so it just doesn't fit in anything worth putting in.

Second would have to be the A500 I had in the mid 90s. It didn't fit in its case either; it took up the whole top surface of a card table. It was expanded as far as an A500 ever possibly could. It had things plugged in from every side and the top.

March 7th, 2015, 09:36 PM
The PS/1 I mentioned earlier has since been binned. Stripped of anything useful of obviously.

March 10th, 2015, 10:13 AM
All of mine are frankenstiened to an extent, I have three that were the most so though.

The most Frankenstiened computer I currently have is my 486.

- The case was bought in 2004, new old stock, on E-bay, from some california consolidation/warehouse company. It's a Songcheer XT chassis with a 150 Watt PSU (Which the fan has now gone bad on....planning it's replacement as soon as I'm out of my leg cast). The case had never been used. It was first a PEntium 200 MMX I called "Creeping Net P200MMXT", which I later gutted and turned into "CNXTII" - which had 2 boards I bought from Terry Yager in it from an IBM Industrial PC and an IBM PC Portable in it, one of which I upgraded to 640K. Then my CAT 486 was broken in an accident and I decided to "gut" this case and use it for the current 486.

- The motherboard came from another VCF User, it's a FIC 486 PVT board with VLB Local Bus, Socket 3, Award BIOS. It came with a tiny hearing aid button cell for the CMOS but I found that the traces on the motherboard lead to support for a bigger, modern, coin-cell battery holder, which is what I installed as the hearing aid battery was D.O.A. I cannibalized the holder out of an old Pentium 4 Motherboard that hung on my man cave wall as "Wall Art".

- The CPU Chip, an old Intel 80486 DX2/66, I've had since probably about 2002 or so and it's been in everything from an IBM Ps/Valuepoint 433DX/D, several 486 era Laptops, a few other desktops, my first LInux Box (a Zenith Data Systems 486). I'd kept it as a spare for years though. It replaced the 486 DX4/100 as a pin got yanked out of it by a malfunctioning processor socket :(. This thing has a crazy little tiny fan on it that really moves some air, I bought it from a computer shop, though it was marketed as a "hobbyist hi-speed mini-fan" way back around 08' when I built my current modern PC.

- The Hard Disk is an 8GB Seagate that was out of a Thrift Shop found PC years ago that said it was a 386 but turned out to be a Pentium 200. It has a DDO on it and 4 FAT-16 Partitions to allow me to run Windows For Workgroups 3.11 with 32-bit Disk Access happily.

- Video card is an old S3 805 1MB VLB I yanked from the CAT, prior to that, the card was bought from a pile of expansion cards I Found at Goodwill sometime back in about 2005-2006ish. It has room for more RAM, I hope to find the right modules to bump it up to 2MB someday.

- Multi I/O card (FDD/HDD/Ser/Parall/Game) is VLB and was from the same stack of cards the S3 805 came out of

- Sound Card is the CAT's old SoundBlaster Pro 2.0, which I had the CD-ROM for and used until it died. I want to put another AWE32 in there someday but I can't find one currently.

- NIC is a N.O.S. Linksys Etherfast "10BaseT" Ethernet card I found new in box, shrinkwrapped, in Goodwill sometime about 2007 or so. I bought three of these and have one on backup. My 286 has the other one. It's also PnP and surprisingly works really well in DOS using PnP.

- RAM came from a grab Bag of SIMMS I bought from an old fella in Opelika back around 2003-2004ish who had a unmarked thrift shop just chock FULL of vintage computer stuff. I bought so much stuff from that guy and helped him fix up his inventory for awhile. Anyway, one day I go in the back and he's got this HUGE bag of 30 and 72 pin SIMMS, I took the highest capacity ones I had left and put them in this machine (the CAT had 4MB Modules, this one has 64MB of RAM, 4 16MB Modules). It took a few hours getting the memory matched for this machine as I had so much of it to work with. The FIC takes up to 128MB, I've been thinking about going that high eventually.

- The Floppy Diskette drives are probably the parts I've owned the longest, the 1.2MB TEAC is out of Creeping Net 1, another MAJOR frankenstein computer I've had. The other floppy came out of a Holt Office Systems 486 I bought from Value Village for $10.00 and parted out in 2007. The CD-RW is from a dead Compaq Presario that I cannibalized, and all the assorted mounting screws/hardware are probably from all over the place.

- The computer also features the internal speaker being piped into the SoundBlaster Pro 2.0 so I can control the volume of it, that and I plan to make some Youtubes in the future and I want ALL audio being recorded. I built my own custom cable using a CMOS Battery connector soldered to a Reset Button connector, and then cleanly wrapped in electrical tape to hide the "hackish" nature of that modification so it just looks like a big black cable.

- Currently it's setup at my desk running through a thrift shop VGA to Composite converter device so I can record it to my desktop for youtube videos (once I get my DV capture working again). It has a Chicony 101 Key XT Keyboard just like CN1 had but it's newer and not drenched in root beer. I have a frankensteined together PC-TRAC serial trackball on it, and a weird totally-80's/90's looking game controller for playing video games on it. It also has a 3-D Glasses set I picked up awhile back (which I need to hack for use with the PC...might do it through the VGA/Comp converter as the adapter for the VR Headset is missing the VGA dongle), and the last part I picked up was a 15" AOC MOnitor with digital controls as I was blowing up LCD's a lot with all the wacky old video modes the S3 throws out for higher resolutions.

Here's a pic of that thing....


The Most Frankenstiened computer I've Ever Had......The GEM (386/P200MMXT/Celeron/PIII)....that thing was ridiculous...It started life as a 386 built by GEM Computer Products in Norcross Georgia, it had this awesome Compaq Deskpro 8086/286/386 clone chassis that was full AT. It had a AT keyboard connector in the front and the cable ran to the back to the connector on the motherboard. I later hacked it up to make it a micro ATX Board and stuck ATX guts into the full AT power Supply case with the big paddle switch replaced by a big red button.

It had an Addonics 386 board first, then a brief stint with a AMD 5x86 P-75 Pentium Overdrive in a BIOstar MB8433UUD, then I got a Gatestar Socket 7 board, used that for awhile with an AMD P75 and then a Pentium 120, then yanked that out and put another BIOstar board in it (this time socket 7) with a P200MMX and 64MB of RAM running Windows 98 SE. Then it had an HP "Firebird" Celeron board in it for awhile with a 500MHz Celeron and 384MB of RAM, then I yanked all that for it's final board setup - an Intel D815EPV Socket 370 (??) Pentium III board.

In it's Pentium III incarnation, I started off with a 667MHz Intel PIII which was later bumped up to an Intel 1GHz PIII Coppermine. I had to go through a ton of different thermal units till I found one efficient enough. It had half a Gigabyte of RAM as that's all the board would support, and ran Windows 2000 SP3 at that point because Windows 98 SE would crash under so much computing power.

I accumulated and swapped parts in that computer so much I wore the case plum out and had to get a new case when I built my current box, a also frankensteined (though not nearly as interestingly so) Pentium D running 64-bit Windows 7. A lot of the GEM's parts live on in that beast.

Here's a photoshopped picture of that thing.....I had some plans to bump it up to a Core 2 before the case gave up the ghost.

March 10th, 2015, 11:33 AM
Mine is not worthy of pictures, but it's a bit amusing.

I really wanted an IBM 5170 in my collection, but here they are either not available or sell for hundreds of dollars in non-working condition. So I ordered a working/tested IBM 5170 8Mhz motherboard from the US, with the plan to get a case another day. A friend donated a bunch of gear to me, including a case with an IBM 5170 badge on the front!

Unfortunately it turned out to be a generic clone case with the badge - meaning it had the XT style power supply - so the 5170 motherboard would not fit, and the back plane had the wrong mountings for a genuine AT supply. The solution? Find a dead XT supply - pull the internal board - solder/mount a newer AT supply inside (smaller PCB) and then hit the power supply casing with an angle grinder - cutting out a nice L shape.

Because this created a hole, it stuffed up my heat venting, so then I needed to add an exhaust fan to the rear of the supply.

Besides one extra drive bay, it looks and behaves like an IBM 5170, even has the badge. The other upside is the machine itself actually has better venting - the hot air normally trapped under wide cables is dragged out along with hot air from the top of the case.