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View Full Version : Amstrad 5086 - VGA and keyboard woes...



gladders
September 26th, 2016, 01:11 AM
Hi everyone!

A while back I grabbed an Amstrad 5086 PC, an XT-clone. It appealed chiefly because it's very, very similar to my very first ever PC, although it's only an 8086 instead of a 286, which I think my old PC was. It was marked up as working with a screenshot of MS-DOS 3.3, but I couldn't get round to testing it immediately upon receipt, so it just sat in a drawer for a few months.

Upon receiving it I had opened it up to make sure it was okay and it looked pretty good. It even had a Dallas clock chip inside, modified to take power from two AA batteries. Result!

Anyway, I finally got round to powering it up, but bad news. I had removed the AA batteries that were powering the Dallas clock chip in case they got icky, but I wonder if it buggered something because when booting, there's no image on-screen and the computer makes none of the normal POST sounds and lights.

I wonder if it's stuck mid-POST with an alert about the battery having died... I've ordered a cheapo VGA ISA card to see. Does that sound plausible?

Also, I plugged in a PS/2 keyboard to this machine which does not work. It appears Amstrad did a very peculiar thing and made the keyboard port PS/2-shaped, but can only take XT keyboard signals. Weird.

Does there exist such a thing as an XT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter? That way I could just buy an ancient XT keyboard and kludge it.

Failing that, anyone know where I can get an original 5086 keyboard?

Thanks :)

Malc
September 26th, 2016, 02:13 AM
Does there exist such a thing as an XT-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter? That way I could just buy an ancient XT keyboard and kludge it.


Yes, I got mine from ebay (A long time ago though), Just had a quick look and found this [ Example (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KEYBOARD-ADAPTER-PS2-MALE-TO-XT-AT-DIN-5-PIN-FEMALE-CONVERTER-6-CABLE-/272380304047?hash=item3f6b219aaf:g:kXwAAOSw6n5Xtf6 ~) ] albeit on the wrong side of the pond and a bit expensive.

Edit: This is more like it [ Example (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-Pin-Mini-Din-Male-to-5-Pin-Din-Female-Keyboard-Adapter-005132-/191013010812?hash=item2c79433d7c:g:1BsAAOSw8d9UuVV l) ]

Retrom
September 28th, 2016, 06:35 AM
A regular 5-pin din to PS/2 adapter will work just fine, as Malc said. There are actually PS/2 keyboards that have an XT mode switch on the back, probably not as common as the 5-pin din keyboards with that switch, but I have seen them.

gladders
October 3rd, 2016, 07:46 AM
A regular 5-pin din to PS/2 adapter will work just fine, as Malc said. There are actually PS/2 keyboards that have an XT mode switch on the back, probably not as common as the 5-pin din keyboards with that switch, but I have seen them.

Thanks - if you spot any on eBay and such, could you let me know?

Retrom
October 3rd, 2016, 08:54 AM
Here's one, quite pricey though:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Honeywell-101WN-WN10163S-1E-XT-AT-Keyboard-With-XT-AT-to-PS-2-CONVERTER-/221853711115?hash=item33a782fb0b:g:2E8AAOSw~gRVrTE Z

Retrom
October 3rd, 2016, 08:56 AM
If you just need the adapter, you can get one here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-Pin-Mini-Din-PS-2-Male-to-5-Pin-Din-AT-Female-Keyboard-Adapter-Convertor-/291881398358?hash=item43f57cb056:g:2TcAAOSw8w1X2EW r