View Full Version : syncomp turbo xi restoration/ where to start

July 18th, 2017, 12:08 AM
I recently stumbled on a syncomp turbo xi(a 8088-2 @ 8 MHz with intel 8087-10 based system). it came with a cherry keyboard and a OMC monochrome CRT monitor. by miracle ALL the manuals where included(system, ms-dos, motherboard(turbo-640), hexa I/O plus multifunction card). having read them all, in combination with the previous owner's vague explanation, it sounds like the power supply may very well be bad. i dont know where exactly i should start. i've taken off all the plastic parts for retrobright/painting (haven't decided yet), but i am hesitant to turn it on, beacause the power supply could explode(ive had this happen on more recent machines) and break other parts of the system the only cooling and the power switch are in the same metal enclosure, and i really dont fancy going into something with huge caps. this is also why i cant decide what to do with the crt. its really unevenly discolored, it clearly stood next to a window for a long time. normally i only work with low voltage DC, and i'm really scared of opening up the enclosure of the CRT. should i just buy another one? paint/retrobright without opening? the aftermarket harddrive and controller are also something i dont know if i should remove or keep. so here comes my actual question: what would you do, if this were your project? and more importantly, in wich order?I dont know were to start, or what to do when it does not turn on. on the sofware side of things, i have tons of empty floppies, but none with ms-dos on them. i also dont own another functional computer with an FDD to make one. can i buy one somewhere still? or are there other, better options

thanks in advance,

July 18th, 2017, 03:50 PM
If you are not sure about the PSU you can remove it from the system, and try to power it up. Older power supplies often require some load in order to work. A HDD is usually sufficient. I've never had a power supply explode. The capacitors inside sometimes explode, particularly the RIFA safety caps. They can make an awful lot of fuss, but the system carries on running. If you're not comfortable working on the PSU, and it's broken, it probably best to just buy another one. Some pictures may help identify if the PSU is in a normal form factor. The fan cools the PSU, an XT doesn't normally require any fan cooling. You should be fine operating the system without the PSU's fan pulling any air over the motherboard.

I wouldn't bother retrobrighting anything. It's a personal preference, but it doesn't seem worth bothering until you have the system working. I have read that it can weaken the plastic. The plastic just over the CRT neck can often be weekend anyway from the heat. I have a NEC Multisync monitor that is so yellowed it's verging on brown. The plastic is very thin at the back, so I have just left it alone. The 8-bit guy (on youtube) recently tried to retrobright an Osbourne, and it didn't turn out to great.

You probably can buy MS-DOS on a floppy from somewhere, but at some point you're going to want to write your own floppys. So having another system with a floppy will make everything much simpler. Is this system using 5-1/4" floppys?

July 18th, 2017, 04:05 PM
First thing I would do is give the system a good clean out. Once thats done is do a power up with just the video card and hdd/ controller in place.

July 18th, 2017, 09:37 PM
I cleaned out the computer and powered it up and down a couple of times, gradually adding components. It now boots succesfully, but i can't do anything with it, beacuase it gives a k b error, and a disk error. The psu is a non standard form factor with a build in switch panel for the specific case. But it works, be it a little bit loud, but nothing An air compressor cant fix.tye disk error states That the boot diskette is detective, please place boot diskette and press Any key to continue. I dont have Any of the original 5.25 inch diskettes That would a have a image of the machine on it, but since it had a hard drive, i thought it would at least boot from there, or give me a basic prompt or something. Next best option is to buy a floppy with dos on it i gues? As for my own pc for making floppy's, i dont know of a machine That Has internet/usb to get the files on there, and support for Those connectors used for fdd's. The machine is really unevenly yellow. Would it be wrong to paint it with An airbrush or something? Could i damage the crt if i paint it without opening, thuis getting a little bit of paint throug the Vents?

July 19th, 2017, 02:25 AM
now the keyboard does not work..... sometimes a key combination or a key will produce a character, but its not just a wrong keyboard layout, some keys make seperate characters, depending on how long and when you press it. i asume this is beacause i dont have the Original keyboard, and i cant even find the brand syncomp online. it looks like an ibm clone, but not specific machine, rather a combination of multiple. it has a lot of isa slots, with the fan on the top of the psu. the metal case has room for 2 full size fdd's, but only one half hight is installed. the plastic front has only room for one full hight drive, the other contains the harddrive. it has a keylock and led's on the front of the mschine.

July 20th, 2017, 10:03 PM
Not being able to write a floppy is going to be a big hurdle. You can buy a floppy boot disk to just get things going, but it will limit your options. A tweener system with an Ethernet/USB connection and a floppy drive controller, is probably your best option.

The machine is really unevenly yellow. Would it be wrong to paint it with An airbrush or something? Could i damage the crt if i paint it without opening, thuis getting a little bit of paint throug the Vents?

I would not recommend spraying the monitor. If you are going to spray it, you can remove the back cover and spray it separately, thereby avoid getting paint on the CRT and circuit board. The front part with the attached CRT etc, could be masked and painted. You can do what you propose, but it's not going to produce the best results. You need to give it a good clean before you paint it and removing the back is going to make that easier.

now the keyboard does not work.....

It sounds like a standard XT clone, but a picture would help. Is the keyboard an XT keyboard, or an AT keyboard? same connector, different protocol. There are a few options.