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View Full Version : Game Port on Utility Cards Question (AST Six Pak Plus, etc.)



tempest
September 15th, 2017, 06:46 AM
How well does the game port on those all in one utility cards like the Six Pack Plus work? I have a dedicated game port card, but I would like to free up a slot in my 5150. I don't have a Six Pack Plus, but I do have a clone which I think offers the same game port functionality (see this thread: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?52159-Help-ID-a-Mystery-Card) however I'm not sure what the needed dipswtich settings would be for it. If I did get a SPP instead, would I be able to use its game port to replace my dedicated card?

Also, if anyone knows what that mystery card is or where I can find a manual for it, please let me know!

David_M
September 15th, 2017, 06:59 AM
They all work the same, no better no worse

tempest
September 15th, 2017, 07:02 AM
Ok good to know. Now I just need to see if my weird clone supports game port or not (I honestly don't recall, but it had two external plugs and I think one must be game port). I think I read somewhere that the game port on these doesn't work without extra chips, is that true?

krebizfan
September 15th, 2017, 08:36 AM
Which clone is it? I think one of the Ethernet standards used the same connector as the game port so it might not be a game port.

The game port needs to be tied into a timer. Do you have schematics for the clone? Tracing the paths around the game port should indicate if it is fully compatible. Game ports are relatively simple; I doubt someone would include a dummy game port.

Yes, the 5150 can use 2 video cards which attach to two monitors. Necessary if one does debugging of graphics programs with the program on the VGA display and the debugger info on the mono display. Generally, VGA text looks better than MDA text so I am not sure two displays has any value if one isn't stuck with CGA.

tempest
September 15th, 2017, 09:44 AM
That's the problem, I don't know what this clone is. It's a Multitech something or another that I can't find any info on.

I've been told my idea won't work because my EGA Wonder card and VGA card probably map to the same memory address even though I'm using the EGA Wonder for monochrome output.

krebizfan
September 15th, 2017, 10:04 AM
If you have DOS 6, see what MSD shows you. If the game port works, it should be visible there. If so, plug in a joystick and verify that it does work.
Edit: I did find an Acer ad from 1988 which indicates that the Multitech Popular 500 included motherboard game port. I think the same applies to Multitech 700 higher end XT clone.

You will have to force the EGA Wonder card into running solely in MDA or Hercules mode which will run it in a different memory address. http://www.seasip.info/VintagePC/dualhead.html has the best explanation of general purpose two monitor usage I have found. If the ATI card does not do that correctly, then you will need to track down a proper monochrome card.

High resolution VGA modes like 1024 x 768 will likely prevent usage of a second video card.

Stone
September 15th, 2017, 10:37 AM
I use two video cards/monitors with no problem on my 5150, one MDA and one CGA.

tempest
September 15th, 2017, 10:51 AM
Unfortunately it appears I'm not going to be able to do what I wanted to do. I was hoping to use my EGA Wonder for monochrome stuff (CGA/EGA on my 5151) and my VGA card for color stuff (I have a VGA monitor right next to it). Oh well, it was a nice idea while it lasted. :)

Stone
September 15th, 2017, 11:07 AM
I've got an IBM mono card if you are looking for one.

tempest
September 15th, 2017, 11:11 AM
I have a working Hercules card, but I like my EGA Wonder because I can do CGA and EGA as well on my 5151.