View Full Version : IBM 5155 cards help

January 31st, 2016, 11:13 AM
Hi there!
I just got an IBM 5155 in very nice condition. At first, it was really pleasant to realize that the hard drive was upgraded by a previous owner so now it runs on 32MB! :wow:

However, the fact that it didn't show any sign of CGA snow was what captured my attention. So I decided to look inside. To my surprise, I found this cards:


So from what I understand, Other than the obvious floppy and hard disk cards, it has 2 video cards (Hercules and generic) and a multifunction card (Apstek). This is funny cause the internal monitor is connected to the Hercules card, so the mono card seems to be redundant. Any ideas of why someone would need such a setup?

As for the Apstek card, I can't find any software for it so I don't know how to set the time and date... Need some help to get the software... :bigups:

Anyways, I'm quite happy with it. It's a remarkable beast. :D

January 31st, 2016, 11:24 AM
DOS coding software often supported two screens for debugging purposes, so you could step through the code with the program running on the other screen. Eg Turbo Pascal.

January 31st, 2016, 11:32 AM
Can't quite make out the details on the cards, but probably one of those is CGA, just without the RCA/Composite plug. Some CGA clone cards only had the DB-9 plug and a parallel port so they looked like mono cards. You should be able to tell the difference for sure by looking at the amount of ram installed on each card. A Hercules Mono card or clone will usually have 64k and a CGA card will normally have 16k.

A CGA and Herc card can be placed in the same system and co-exist. Some software can make use of both at the same time. This was one of the few ways to get dual monitors on these kinds of system.

January 31st, 2016, 11:35 AM
Fair chance that it has the RTC using the same chip at the same location as many of the competing cards and a generic program would work with it. The Strickland program from http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rtc.htm might be a good choice if you can't determine which card Apstek's design was inspired by.

January 31st, 2016, 12:18 PM
A CGA and Herc card can be placed in the same system and co-exist.But it's not a CGA card and a Herc card... It's a Hercules CGA card and a mono card (which are co-existing). :-)

January 31st, 2016, 03:13 PM
I'm sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. I'm posting from my tablet so I can't upload better ones. I'll try to do that later with my laptop.

I guess Stone is right as the internal monitor is connected to the Hercules card (the card has theHercules brand) via a 3 pin connector. It must be composite output.

The other card looks like a cheap video card (chinese writing that I don't understand). However, it's clearly marked as monochromatic. I gues it's an MDA clone.

I was looking to some ads from 1983 and 1984 and it seems that Apstek made a series of ram and multifunction cards back in the day. The problem is that the only review of one of their products said that they were OK cards with sub-par software support... i.e. they said that Apstek was way behind AST' SixPack Plus...

Pearce_jj maybe right and this computer may have been used with 2 external monitors: one CGA and one MDA...