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EMDarrow
February 2nd, 2017, 10:41 AM
Okay, so, a bit of background. I've been using and building computers for the better part of 25 years now, and my first machine was an old 5150 that my father gave me in 1991. Fast forward to yesterday, and I bought a lot of seven old machines from a local e-waste surplus store (they'd been there for months, I made an $80 offer and they accepted), and one of them is a 5150 (the rest are all 386/486). Now while I used one of these as a kid, I havent even seen one in person in probably 25 years, so I'm rusty, and not sure about my options.

I'm currently at work so I'm sure Ill have more questions and access to providing pictures later, but I have one immediate question. This machine doesnt have a VGA card, but I believe the DB9 port is for a screen isnt it? Would an adapter like this (https://www.amazon.com/C2G-Cables-Multisync-Female-Adapter/dp/B0000511D5/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1486064153&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=DB9+male+to+VGA+female) allow one to use a modern-ish VGA monitor with it? I have a keyboard, so a way to hook up a monitor is all I need to at least check to see if this thing runs (after cleaning the system and testing the PSU).

Thanks in advance for your time.

modem7
February 2nd, 2017, 06:36 PM
Welcome to these forums.

Lots of IBM 5150 information at minuszerodegrees.net


... but I have one immediate question. This machine doesnt have a VGA card, but I believe the DB9 port is for a screen isnt it?
Yes, the female 9-pin D connector is usually on a video card. The video card is sure to be either an MDA, CGA or EGA. If you post a photo of the card, we should be able to identify it (if you cannot see it at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5150_5160/cards/5150_5160_cards.htm)]).


Would an adapter like this allow one to use a modern-ish VGA monitor with it?
MDA/CGA/EGA are digital whereas VGA is analogue. The adapter you pointed to just crosses over wires. Some kind of active (contains electronics) adapter is required.

If your card is CGA, there are active CGA-to-VGA adapters available, but some are not suitable. More information on that is in the earlier thread at [here (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?49869)].

A list of VGA cards that are known to work in the IBM 5150 is at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5150/vga/5150_vga.htm)]. Note the requirement for the final revision of BIOS on the 5150 motherboard.


I have a keyboard
Note that AT-class keyboards will not work.

EMDarrow
February 2nd, 2017, 11:05 PM
If you post a photo of the card, we should be able to identify it (if you cannot see it at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/5150_5160/cards/5150_5160_cards.htm)]).

My two cards are the later model disk drive adapter and the MDA card.


Note the requirement for the final revision of BIOS on the 5150 motherboard.

My BIOS is 1501476, though its an NEC chip, sadly. Board is a 64/256.

I also have a Western Digital WD1003S-WA4 hard drive controller, and an HP ST-251 0950-1960 MFM drive. I notice several versions of the WD cards do work, but this specific one isnt listed. Has it just not been tested at all, or has it been tested and found to not work? If it hasnt been tested then Ill give it a go, and at least it can possibly be officially eliminated.

35881 35882

modem7
February 4th, 2017, 06:30 PM
I also have a Western Digital WD1003S-WA4 hard drive controller, and an HP ST-251 0950-1960 MFM drive. I notice several versions of the WD cards do work, but this specific one isnt listed. Has it just not been tested at all, or has it been tested and found to not work? If it hasnt been tested then Ill give it a go, and at least it can possibly be officially eliminated.
Be aware that XT-class MFM hard disk controllers and AT-class MFM hard disk controllers are 'very different animals'. See [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/hdd/HDD%20controllers%20-%20XT%20versus%20AT.png)].

Some 8-bit MFM controllers are XT-class only, and some (like the WD1002A-WX1) can be configured for either XT-class or AT-class machines.

Some WD1003S-WA4 information is at [here (http://th99.classic-computing.de/src/c/U-Z/20298.htm)]. That information indicates that the card is AT-class only.