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Caluser2000
December 26th, 2013, 11:16 PM
As mentioned in http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?38427-My-Hoard&p=307347#post307347 I've aquired a Zenith Data Systems 286 system (top right in the pic with "Fourth" written in felt pen on it). It has 4 megs of ram of 30 pin simms with 4 simm slots free. The 20 meg hdd is dead so I'm testing it with my Quantum LPS 52AT drive. Ran CheckIt, which shows that it has a 286/12 cpu, no NPU and all seems well with this system.

It is a slimline design with two serial ports, one parallel port and VGA video on the planar. The cpu is on a card the lays flat at the front LH edge of the planar and the keyboard port to the left of that on its own card. Looks like it could be upgraded by just replacing the card and setting some jumpers. You plug the AT keyboard into the DIN socket in the front of the machine. There is room for one 3.5" fdd and one 3.5" hdd. These have a guide that is fitted to the LH side and screws on the RHS as you'd expect. It does have 3 ISA slots on the riser.

The bios is gotten at by holding down the ESC key on start up and then typing SETUP at the prompt. Typing a ? gives a few more options and typing TEST brings up a list of advance diagnostics tests you can do on the system. When in setup you can change the usual stuff such as fdds, hdds, ports etc. The hdd area has something like 60 hdd type selections but no option to set your own parameters that I could find. Most likely will have to set up any drives bigger than about 240megs using DDO software or other means. Not a problem really. The ribbon cables in it currently are fairly long so I'll fit some shorter ones.

I haven't found terribly much about the machine online as yet, but the search has just only begun. I'll post a few pics when I get some time.

I noticed I left a 2 out of the thread title. Can a mod correct that please?

SomeGuy
December 27th, 2013, 07:18 AM
Nice haul! I used to have a Zenith model similar to that, but two 720k drives instead of an HD. Never could find much info on it back then either. I recall it had what looked like an IDE interface header, but I never could find a hard drive that would work with it at all.

Also that is a really nice generic AT on that machine to the left of it. Also used to have one like that, except mine was in horridly bad, torn up condition from years of crazy experiments.

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 07:50 AM
Thanks. The innards of that machine on the top left will most likely go into the bottom right case. Although it doesn't look like it in the pic, the front is pretty banged up. After some consideration I ended up getting that Advantage Comp. case back out of the skip bin.

The Zenith has quite an industrial feel about it and is well put together. The battery back resides in a metal tray at the front on the stay that supports the riser, next to the speaker. There is nothing on it to indicate the manufacturing date at all.

Looks like Zenith Data Systems got themselves in a bit of strife over a US Govt. contract due to quality control issues. Most of the research I've done so far seems to go on about their laptops, with not a terribly lot about their desktop systems at all.

Chuck(G)
December 27th, 2013, 09:12 AM
It wasn't so much the Zenith affair with the laptops, if you look at things in the rear-view mirror with 20/20 hindsight.

Zenith started business as a radio manufacturer in the pre-TV days, then moved into TV manufacturing (I remember how neat the "Space Commander" remote control seemed at the time). I've owned a few Zenith TVs in my time--the portable set that I used with my TV Typewriter was a Zenith monochrome "hot chassis" tube model.

Zenith's foray into computers was more-or-less a "hail mary" sort of play, so they acquired Heath who were offering made-in-USA computers of their own design. But offshoring really was where things were happening. By the mid-80s, almost everything was being made offshore. Even marques such as Dell and HP were employing offshore production for commodity personal computer products.

After a round of being acquired and bankruptcies, Zenith is now part of LG electronics; Heath is set to emerge again with some kits, but not under LG.

Evolution got Zentih, nothing more.

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 09:41 AM
I found this page http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_zenith.html.

On my system the FCC ID is BJ4-ARACHNE and it states on the sticker detailing part no, serial no. etc that it was made in the USA.

It seems the correct method of accessing the bios is Ctl-alt-ins, but just pressing esc gets the same result and puts you at the -> prompt. Looks like it's had other expansion cards in it at some point as there's com, game, printer etched into the back of the expansion cage so has had a bit of use.

vwestlife
December 27th, 2013, 09:58 AM
Zenith sold a lot of computers to the U.S. military, so their machines were ruggedly built and quite durable. I believe Zenith was the first to offer a laptop with a backlit display and a hard drive running on battery power, although they were rather large and heavy (15+ lbs.). Zenith eventually sold off their computer division to Groupe Bull, who ultimately merged it into Packard Bell in 1996 -- another historic brand name of U.S. electronics, which still lives on in Europe as a subsidiary of Acer.

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 10:51 AM
Zenith eventually sold off their computer division to Groupe Bull 16547

The Packard Bell merger included NEC as well I believe.

It's neat reading old articles/reviews http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v11n9/50_Zenith_Z151_choice_of_U.php

You can even buy the T-shirt http://www.etsy.com/listing/96257020/zenith-data-systems-vintage-80s-personal

16548

Chuck(G)
December 27th, 2013, 12:19 PM
Zenith sold a lot of computers to the U.S. military, so their machines were ruggedly built and quite durable. I believe Zenith was the first to offer a laptop with a backlit display and a hard drive running on battery power, although they were rather large and heavy (15+ lbs.). Zenith eventually sold off their computer division to Groupe Bull, who ultimately merged it into Packard Bell in 1996 -- another historic brand name of U.S. electronics, which still lives on in Europe as a subsidiary of Acer.

Well, Packard-Bell in the PC era bore no resemblance to the old Packard Bell who made TV sets, military electronics, computers, etc. In other words, the company that made the PB-250 is not even a remote ancestor of the company that marketed the PB-500. A bunch of Israeli army buddies bought the rights to the name and nothing more.

vwestlife
December 27th, 2013, 03:01 PM
A bunch of Israeli army buddies bought the rights to the name and nothing more.

That's why I said it was a historic brand name. :)

It's just like the "Westinghouse"-branded LCD monitor I have -- a historic name dating back to 1886, but only the name itself is of any relation to the original electric company founded by George Westinghouse.

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 04:27 PM
Now we have that sorted out here is a few blury pics of the machine undressed:
1655016552

The PSU plug that goes onto the mobo is different from a generic PSU. As you can see both FDD and HDD controllers/connectors are on the planar. The cpu card slots in to a connector on the front edge of the planar and is supported at the back rhs of the card by a stand off and screw.

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 08:34 PM
Pic of the back showing the serious security loop and cover with blanking plate fitted.1655516557

The keyboard gives some scale as to the size of the system. Apparently the original keyboards had some sort of electronic beep on key presses which drove some folk nuts.

All I need is some software that will make use of all that ram. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of OS/2 1.*

Found a link to a Z-200 http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/mickfrench/zenith.htm for those interested.
Z-100 http://www.ricomputermuseum.org/Home/small-systems-at-ricm/zenith-100-home-computer

Caluser2000
December 27th, 2013, 10:16 PM
It could be my system is a Z-286LP Plus (Model 20) made from 1990 - 1991 or at least a Z-286LP something which appear to have been in production until 1994.

16558

Auction for a manual is on ebay which is were the about pic was gotten from http://www.ebay.com/itm/Zenith-Data-Systems-Z-286-LP-Plus-Owners-Manual-Groupe-Bull-1990-Beautiful-Book-/200962961237?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eca536f55

So another step closer to finding out more about the system.

Now all I need is an illustration or table detailing the jumpers.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 28th, 2013, 07:05 AM
I have one of these units. It's a Zenith Z286 LP Plus. I purchased it from one of our members on this website(Mike Brutman's old friend Frozenfire). I was surprised how fast it is for a 286 machine.

This model is one that was produced after Zenith Data Systems was acquired by Groupe Bull. You can tell by the green tree on the logo. Most likely, the motherboard was not a Zenith. There may be some ID on the board that tells who the manufacturer is.

The links you reference in this post to Herb Johnson's site and one other are for the Z286 models made before the Groupe Bull acquisition. They are much bigger and heavier that the one you have. It's possible I may have a manual for it, but it would take some time to look for it.

Caluser2000
December 28th, 2013, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the offer to search for the manual. No great hurry really. http://www.zdsparts.com/ has a user manual available but it would be nice to have it as a pdf file. A service manual would be useful as well. I'd imagine getting hold a 386SX upgrade card would stretching things a bit.

I've had a search re numbers on the mobo up but no joy yet. For me half the fun of having older kit is I find is finding as much out as possible and the history around the manufacturer. With there being minimal amount out there on this beast makes it more rewarding with each snippet I get. Of course the added bonus is you can go off in tangents and find out about other computer related stuff from the same period. I did find the Z286LP layout pic. but that's a different layout, with the cpu on the mobo as opposed to a removable card. Max amount of ram that can be fitted on the Z286LP Plus is 8 megs apparently, so I'll max that out because I can. It's quite nicely set out and very easy to work on.

Its seems these systems originally shipped with DOS 4.01 installed.

Found this ad from a 1990 university campus newspaper from October 1990:
16562

Anyone know the make and model of 14" flat screen crt monitor that was shipped with these?

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 28th, 2013, 11:54 AM
Found this ad from a 1990 university campus newspaper from October 1990:
16562

Anyone know the make and model of 14" flat screen crt monitor that was shipped with these?

ZCM-1490 Flat Tension Mask VGA monitor

http://www.pestingers.net/images/Antique_computers/Computer_cat_history/1988/Computers_102_88.jpg

Chuck(G)
December 28th, 2013, 12:05 PM
Are there any Zenith FTM monitors still in operating condition? I remember when it was introduced--the display was quite striking and was almost tempted to buy one. Later reports showed a high fatality rate.

Caluser2000
December 28th, 2013, 12:43 PM
Interesting. I'd imagine they'd be pretty high end for the time.

Pic of the bios screen:
16565
Command Summary:
1656616569
And Test options:
16568

Found an old usenet post which had this quote when someone was trying to set up vga on a Zenith 386 system in Windows 3.0:

"Zenith: Compatability goes out before the name goes on!" LOL

Anyone know of any archive/ftp servers with Zenith specific patches/drivers at all?

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 28th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Are there any Zenith FTM monitors still in operating condition? I remember when it was introduced--the display was quite striking and was almost tempted to buy one. Later reports showed a high fatality rate.

Yes, I have one. The first one I had was plagued with problems. This one seems to be OK.
It's been about a year since I turned it on though. At the time it was released nothing compared to it. Very pleasant display.



Pic of the bios screen

The BIOS screen you see was common to most of the Zenith machines.


Found an old usenet post which had this quote when someone was trying to set up vga on a Zenith 386 system in Windows 3.0:

"Zenith: Compatability goes out before the name goes on!"

Don't know why that comment was made. I never had any problems getting a display to work on my Zenith machines.

Caluser2000
December 28th, 2013, 01:42 PM
Don't know why that comment was made. I never had any problems getting a display to work on my Zenith machines.Seems one chap had to put a replacement video and rom bios in his box :

http://www.megalextoria.com/usenet-archive/news130f1/b182/comp/sys/zenith/00000444.html

Considering they seemed to have been primarily used in academic/govt circles and the Z286LP series accounted for something like around 46% of Zenith sales in 1988 and was in production in various configurations until 1994 there is very little info out there in www land. That is one reason I've decided to post my experiences and posted the above pics and links etc. here. Hopefully others who have used Zenith x86 systems, in particular the desktop Z286LP systems or Heath branded equivalent, will chime in.

Thanks for the link to the monitors. Just had a look at the computer page http://www.pestingers.net/HZ_comp_hrdw.htm

Love the REMark mags http://www.pestingers.net/images/Antique_computers/REMark_magazines/REMark_cvrs.htm

The catalogs make interesting reading as well: http://www.pestingers.net/CAT_HISTORY.htm

Caluser2000
December 28th, 2013, 08:33 PM
Looks like the Heath HS-5100 used the same cpu cards as the Z286LP Plus http://www.pestingers.net/images/Antique_computers/Computer_cat_history/1990/PC_2_90.jpg

Putting the video through it's paces playing Electroman Deluxe:

16574

StarGoose in EGA mode and Tetris in CGA mode both run very smoothly.

Caluser2000
December 29th, 2013, 02:53 PM
Came across this wee snippet with regards to running Windows 3.0 on Zenith machines:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_3.0

"This version of Windows was the first to be pre-installed on hard drives by PC-compatible manufacturers. Zenith Data Systems had previously shipped all of its computers with Windows 1.0 or later 2.x on diskettes but committed early in the development of Windows 3.0 to shipping it pre-installed. Indeed, the Zenith division had pushed Microsoft hard to develop the graphical user interface because of Zenith's direct competition with Apple in the educational market. However, Zenith PCs had to run a proprietary OEM version of Windows because they used hard disks with 1024 byte sectors (instead of the normal 512 bytes) and could not use the standard SWAPFILE.EXE"

Seems there were issues with Zenith 8086 and 8088 machines using later versions of Dos with 720k fdds;

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/misc1/PEROPSYS/MSDOS/KB/Q89/7/23.TXT

I wonder if DR Dos 5 & 6 would do a bit better? Managed to locate a few links MS Dos (Zenith OEM) 3.3 plus though. Also Windows 3.0 and 3.1

Found a Z386 http://www.flickr.com/photos/46288984@N07/sets/72157623042190265/detail/ Has a funky cache card on it.

Caluser2000
January 4th, 2014, 11:43 AM
Gave the case a good clean down. Has a bit of battle damage, a few scrapes, chips and what not but all in not too bad.

Rummaged through my ram box for suitable 30 pin 1 meg simms. I only have a dozen or so of varying sizes but I did find four that seemed suitable and tested them on my 386 test bed mobo. It's a lot easier when you don't have to fumble around in a cage. In the process I came across four 4 meg sticks which I never knew I had. I put those aside for use in my other systems.

All in happy with that. Turns out one NZ member of Tezzas forum can remember using similar systems in an school IT lab back in the day to carry out programming lessons and playing a few games. Arkanoid II and a game called Snark Hunter were mentioned.

Caluser2000
January 4th, 2014, 12:37 PM
Put the ram sticks in and no error was reported as to the change so assumed all was well. Ran CheckIt still no change in memory size. Had a look in the Bios and couldn't change the size. The LEDS on the mobo on start up showed both banks were ok. Looking behind the ram banks, in front of the speaker/hdd led plug there is a 3 pin jumper J520. It appears to select which 4 banks to use. Jumpers on pins 1-2 or 2-3 will give a total of 4megs due to each ram slot having one 4 meg simm. When the jumper is removed the 8 megs total is detected. Upon restarting the machine kicked up a ram error as expected, so into the bios I went and altered the ram amount to reflect that reported and all is as it should be. Ran CheckIt just to be sure and went through the ram test with flying colours.

Caluser2000
January 4th, 2014, 11:58 PM
Dragged the parallel port LS120 drive out of the shed this afternoon. It's been buried, unused, for around a decade or more in a box with a couple of parallel port flat bed scanners. Hooked it up and installed the latest dos drivers. Now I have some extra storage until I sort out another hdd. Ok networking would've worked fine and be a lot quicker but there's something about using an external drive of some sort on this era machine. Also it can take 1.44 and 720k 3.5'' drives which is handy for disk copying and the like.

For some reason I'd backed up a copy of the NT 4.0 installation files and SP6 on one LS120 disks. Since then I've been given a number of NT 4.0 cds so there's no point in keeping it. It's a bit of a tedious task removing the files so I've started the process of formatting that disk now. First thing I'll do is transfer a copy of the programs that I want off the 52meg hdd over to it. Rediscovered how useful Xtree Golds PRUNE option is and now have 12megs free.

Caluser2000
January 5th, 2014, 12:24 PM
Put GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0 on it. Yes, I know it's a gui blah blah but having 8 megs of memory it would be a shame to waste it. I must say it runs a lot better than I expected. The LS120 drive shows up as a cd icon. Copied the rest of the stuff over an LS120 disk and deleted what I didn't want on the hdd using that horrid pointy clicky thing. I've since recovered from that traumatic experience. The hdd now has 22 megs free to play with. Not bad really. Only gripe I have with the default GE 2.0 installation is it doesn't give you the option to deselect stuff like backgrounds, samples files etc.

Forgot to mention the dos version is MS Dos 5a. mem is reporting around 562k free conventional at the moment which isn't too bad considering what is being loaded.

So current setup so far:

286/12 cpu
256k vga, IDE, FDD, two com ports and one parallel port
8 megs of ram
49 megs usable on 52 meg hdd on internal controller
3.5" 1.44 meg fdd on internal controller
Serial mouse on com2
Generic AT enhance keyboard
Parallel port LS120 drive
MS Dos 5a
XTree Gold
Some Dos hdd tools
Some Dos games
GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0

Future wants, upgades and add-ons:

Decent Documentation for this system.
Network card
Bigger internal hdd- Maybe IDE-CF adapter with XT-IDE bios on the nic. A scsi solution isn't out of the question. DDO also an option.
External 51/2" drive- just for the hell of it.
Sound card.
386SX upgrade card-probably impossible but there's always hope. This'll allow the use of some more exotic software such as Desqview also free up more conv. memory.
Add-on memory card-Bios has an entry for up to an extra 10 megs of additional external memory.

FunctionalLimits
January 7th, 2014, 11:59 PM
Found this site which has jumper settings for nearly 15000 devices:

http://maben.homeip.net/static/S100/JUMPERS/total%20hardware%2099/total%20hardware%20index.htm (ASCII, no diagrams)

http://maben.homeip.net/static/S100/JUMPERS/th99full.rar (RAR with everything)

http://maben.homeip.net/static/S100/JUMPERS/total%20hardware%2099/jumper%20index.pdf (PDF listing what's in the RAR file)

Caluser2000
January 8th, 2014, 08:56 AM
Thanks for looking. Seems to contain the same info as th99. Something will pop up. The system is running very well. Not being stuck with OEM Dos and proprietary disk formatting is no doubt a bonus. It's seems surprising quick for a 286/12 system.

Caluser2000
March 15th, 2014, 12:06 AM
Been a bit slack getting this system sorted so a bit more scavaging through my boxes of bits. I dragged out a GeniusLan nic (GR1222 chip-internet search of ge200410.exe will source the drivers) and SB CT 1740 sound card. Set up both up so so there's no conflicts. Added the SET BLASTER statement in the autoexec.bat file All good and one free ISA slot left. Need to clean up a pair of fairly grubby beige SB branded speakers I was given that are still of in the shed. For the time being SONY branded black unpowered items will do. Being almost completely deaf in one ear sound output seems fine, but a bit quiet, with the sound card volume dial turned right up. I'll slap a pic or two up sometime tomorrow if I feel in the mood.

Bit disappointed I can't upgrade it to Windows 8.1. Oh well, I guess you can't win them all eh?

Caluser2000
March 15th, 2014, 03:04 PM
A couple of boring pics running xenon2 and the SuperDrive hooked up. Located the packet driver for the nic and ran that to make sure that was honky dory. Love the fact you can remove it from memory as required.

So current setup is now:

286/12 cpu
256k vga, IDE, FDD, two com ports and one parallel port
8 megs of ram
49 megs usable on 52 meg hdd on internal controller
3.5" 1.44 meg fdd on internal controller
Serial mouse on com2
Generic AT enhance keyboard
Parallel port LS120 drive
MS Dos 5a
XTree Gold
Some Dos hdd tools
Some Dos games
GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0
CT 1740 sound card
GE2000 (KYE)Genius Lan nic with rj45 and bnc connectors. Set to auto detect media type.

Caluser2000
June 28th, 2014, 09:16 PM
Seeing as I still don't have good resource for a manual to tell me more about the system. I had a go to see if I could improve the video a bit in GeoWorks . After trying a few different settings "Laser Enhanced Turbo VGA" gave the best setting of 800x600@16 colours. I'll add that to my notes in case I want to try another Gui on this machine. Apparently there's no vesa capbility as that setting just gave a garbled screen.

Caluser2000
October 18th, 2014, 06:27 PM
Just playing around with the ol gurl today and decided to slap http://www.glennmcc.org/arachne/197-8086 on the thing. There don't seem to be many posts on the interweb of folk with 286s having much luck with it. Anyway, I ran the packet driver, then ran the arachne setup routine. Once that was finished I started it up. The Bootp/DHCP routine didn't want to take, so manually set up addresses etc. and away it went. The 8megs of ram has helped somewhat I'd imagine and it certainly doesn't get hung up like the win/wfw 3.x browsers. Obviously not staggering fast but there's no pesky ads either. Resizing the tool bar gives you more screen space. Hooked up to a 10mbps hub via rj45s which is hooked up to the dsl router via a rather untidy 10 mtr length of cable running from room to room.

The fun you have when installing wfw on a 486 ;)

Edit- Though I'd have a go at making a post on the
286-Hello World!!! Works a treat I must say.

Only thing I've added from the previous posted specs is the Genuis Easy Track. That's taking a while to get use to. Always wanted a track ball type pointing device to play with.

Caluser2000
October 25th, 2014, 05:59 PM
I'm going to have a shot at loading an early version of Mosaic on Windows 3.1 on this machine. I've downloaded winpkt.com and trumpnet winsock. Unsure if they are 286 suitable though. Seems pretty straight forward. Load winpkt.com to the same memory location as your nic packet driver, start windows and run the winsock setup. From what I've read so far it seems it can't be done and requires Windows 3.1 to be run in 386 enhanced mode.

Anyone else tried this at all? I know it's adding more overhead then just plain Dos but it's worth crack just for the hell of it if it is possible on this ol girl.

Found some old VCF posts along the same lines and one points to this page http://www.vectorbd.com/bfd/winsock/index.html as a good point the start. Another useful Windows 3.1 link http://www.k7tty.com/Utilities/Windows31/

Old versions of Mosiac ftp://ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Mosaic/Windows/Archive/

Ok I've found an old Uncreative Labs post that suggests it is possible- http://www.uncreativelabs.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=953&sid=9f6343a8c3dbbb9d17b20bf52094d6e8

Caluser2000
October 25th, 2014, 09:57 PM
Getting Winsock up and running was the easy part.

Finding a browser is proving to be a bit more problematic. Tried a few early Mosiacs, they start up but I'm unable to type into the url field. Ok PECAK you need to go to File then make the first selection then another window opens with a field to type the url. Cntr-O are the key strokes required.

In the end I did get Mosaic 1 on the internet but the the results are less than startling. The sites Arachne deals with wont even load. At least I gave it a go.

Tried IE 1.0 and 2.0 but they would'nt even launch. Given that they are based on later versions of Mosiac that's hardly surprising. I'll try a few of those other applications to see if any will work on this system at all.

Caluser2000
October 28th, 2014, 09:24 PM
A couple of nice utilities were included with Trumpnet Winsock to monitor system resources.

Caluser2000
November 7th, 2014, 08:11 PM
Seems Netscape communicator 4.08 can be run in Standard mode with a few alterations http://www.i24.com/de/win31/tips/n408_std.htm The link was provided by Vogons member. Might be worth a shot at some point just for the hell of it. Might have to install it on a 486 then transfer files over though.

Caluser2000
January 29th, 2015, 10:46 PM
Picked up a BackPack CD Rom drive this week for the machine. Later model with 32x cd reader. It came with the driver/setup disk. Installation went as smooth as silk. Series 5 drivers apparently, according to the data sticker underneath the drive, which isn't mentioned on modem7s site http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/backpack_cdrom/backpack_cdrom.htm The driver disk is 1998 though by the looks.

Caluser2000
March 13th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Managed to pick up 9 LS120 disks this week at a reasonable price. This gives me 12 disks in total. Just transferring all the hdd files over to a disk using xcopy. Worked a treat.

Updated listing of bits n bobs:

286/12 cpu
256k vga, IDE, FDD, two com ports and one parallel port
8 megs of ram
49 megs usable on 52 meg hdd on internal controller
3.5" 1.44 meg fdd on internal controller
Serial mouse or Genius track ball on com2
Generic AT enhance keyboard
Parallel port LS120 drive
Parallel port Backpack CDRom drive
MS Dos 5a
XTree Gold
Some Dos hdd tools
Some Dos games
GeoWorks Ensemble 2.0
Microsoft Windows 3.1
CT 1740 sound card
GE2000 (KYE)Genius Lan nic with rj45 and bnc connectors. Set to auto detect media type.

On the look out for a QuickShot similar to the one I had on my old 286/16.

Caluser2000
April 4th, 2015, 05:59 PM
Just been mucking around with networking in windows 3.1 in Standard Mode on the old girl. Turns out the ftp and telnet clients bundled with the tcpip32b package for wfw 3.11 appear to function just fine on it. I was expecting them to be 386ehn only applications.

Caluser2000
July 5th, 2015, 12:29 AM
25147Found a irc client that will work with trumpet winsock and in standard mode on the 286 called WS-IRC http://www.ecsis.net/pub/netuser/win3x.htm It actually does quite a nice job and connects faster the mIRC in my 386DX25 using Wfw 3.11. There're two versions, a time limited full version and a two session version which is quite adequate for for this machine.

So now I can visit #vc windowed, which was one goal I wanted to achieve on this 286 because of the ample amount of ram available, instead of plain old single tasking Dos. I've had it up running for some time and it seems quite stable, well as stable as anything running in Win 3.x can be.

Because it still only has a 50meg hdd I got rid of GeoWorks 2.0 for the time being to give free up some space. That's backed up on an LS120 drive so it's quite a simple matter of restoring it when required.

Caluser2000
August 30th, 2015, 10:24 PM
Found some powered beige speakers to go with my 286 set up at a second hand shop on the way home from a 100mile trip. Gave them a bit of a scrub up with a wet clothe and tooth paste.

Caluser2000
September 10th, 2015, 10:21 PM
I've added Hal9000s Zenith 286-ZU-425S system pic, Chuckster_in_Jaxs 286 Zenith and pic of the 286LP advert. for search purposes. It appears the ZU series was sold with both the old Zenith logo as well as the later Group Bull logo.

Hal9000
September 11th, 2015, 09:30 AM
Thanks Caluser :). When I get a moment to clean up the chassis and drives, I'll post more updated pics.

Caluser2000
September 11th, 2015, 11:37 AM
That's ok Hal9000. I've grown quite fond of my wee system. I'ts nice it has a relation that is still alive so to speak ;). There doesn't seem to be a lot of info in general out on the interwebs for Zenith/Heath 286 desktop systems at all. Or 386s for that matter.

Found this artical InfoWorld artical from 1987 https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=1zsEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=zenith+286+desktop+computers&source=bl&ots=jZw89Wsbrg&sig=1IYY3DJwRaH9HFp1c5koqej4zCM&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=zenith%20286%20desktop%20computers&f=false

Look forward to seeing how you progress with your system and what military secrets you might discover on it :bomb: :onfire:

Two more pics shamelessly poached below. Second one is apparently a z248 SX, a 386.

Moondog
September 12th, 2015, 11:58 AM
I had a Zenith 286 low profile at my test bench for a year or two when I worked at ZDS from 1990-96. I was repairing z-248 motherboards at the time. It stayed with at the workbench, while I moved to another group that serviced the Rigel II boards (internal name for board series, not sure what product name codes were.) It was a 486 board with onboard vesa local bus video. After that series. I recall doing alot re-work on Packard Bell boards that were re-branded as ZDS desktops for a government contract (Desktop IV?) They definitely lacked the quality and engineering of the ZDS designed products.

Caluser2000
September 30th, 2015, 03:07 PM
I have been reading Jan '89 PC Mag online. It has a good review on various 286/12s. Can't get over the price Zenith was asking for their z248/12 Model 80 VGA system but it did appear have some i/o magic not seen on a lot of clone systems at that time. Never heard the term "Superset Bus" or "Slushware" before which are unique to Zenith systems. This seems to confirm what I'm experiencing with my later wee system.

Caluser2000
October 22nd, 2017, 02:02 PM
Just a bit of an update. It has a bigger 240meg HDD now and is still running real sweet. Windows 3.1 runs really nice on it. I've contemplated putting a variant of GeoWorks on the new HDD but Windows 3.1 with trumpet winsock was the deciding factor.
I've also loaded PFS:Window Works 2.0 on it. I used this on my old 286/16 back in the day.

Current setup:
286/12 cpu
256k vga, IDE, FDD, two com ports and one parallel port
8 megs of ram
240 meg hdd on internal controller
3.5" 1.44 meg fdd on internal controller
Serial mouse on com2
Generic AT enhance keyboard
Parallel port LS120 drive
Parallel port Back Pack CDROM drive
MS Dos 5a
XTree Gold
Some Dos hdd tools
Some Dos games
Windows 3.1 with Trumpet Winsock & PFS:Window Works 2.0
CT 1740 sound card
GE2000 (KYE)Genius Lan nic with rj45 and bnc connectors. Set to auto detect media type

Caluser2000
March 20th, 2018, 08:40 PM
The old has developed a bit of a quirk. It freezes intermittently for some reason and doesn't respond to key presses. I suspect the PSU as sometimes it wont switch on.