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JDT
October 7th, 2007, 09:00 AM
my current setup:
iDX4-100 (33x3)
64MBs ram
1MB Mach32 vlb vid card
various VLB IDE/Floppy/Multi-IO cards

problem:
cant get a vlb controller card to work, or I should say, I can not get the IDE portion of any VLB controller card to work when I have the VLB video card installed. I can get the controller card to work if I throw in a 16bit ISA vid card. So it would seem I cant use more than 1 VLB card at the same time.

Any ideas? I seem to recall something about proc speed being a factor... I got couple dozen 486 procs, maybe I should do some testing.

Jorg
October 7th, 2007, 09:40 AM
my current setup:
iDX4-100 (33x3)
64MBs ram
1MB Mach32 vlb vid card
various VLB IDE/Floppy/Multi-IO cards

problem:
cant get a vlb controller card to work, or I should say, I can not get the IDE portion of any VLB controller card to work when I have the VLB video card installed. I can get the controller card to work if I throw in a 16bit ISA vid card. So it would seem I cant use more than 1 VLB card at the same time.

Any ideas? I seem to recall something about proc speed being a factor... I got couple dozen 486 procs, maybe I should do some testing.

Bus speed is a factor- some VLB cards won't go over 33 mhz. But it looks like that is not the case, as you have it on 33.
You might want to fool around with the IRQ allocations in the bios, doing it by hand- and change the 'assign IRQ to VGA' setting.

Anonymous Coward
October 7th, 2007, 05:28 PM
You don't have that VLB SCSI controller in your system do you? Those things are trouble.

JDT
October 7th, 2007, 06:54 PM
You don't have that VLB SCSI controller in your system do you? Those things are trouble.

no vlb scsi, I have 4 different vlb ide/floppy/multi-io controllers though

Anonymous Coward
October 8th, 2007, 05:40 AM
Do you know the model of your motherboard?

JDT
October 8th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Do you know the model of your motherboard?

DIGIS-486GL

http://www.jdthiele.com/personal/DIGIS-486GL.jpg
http://www.jdthiele.com/personal/DIGIS-486GL.doc

also note, when that pic was taken, there was an Intel DX4-100 over drive (SZ959) cpu in it, It currently has a "standard" SK051 Intel DX4-100

mbbrutman
October 8th, 2007, 03:39 PM
VLB is notoriously unstable. That is part of the reason why it wasn't commercially successful. EISA was used on servers, VLB on home systems, and then shortly after VLB got some traction PCI replaced it.

Intel and the motherboard makers knew they had a problem with the ISA bus and the extensions to it, espcially ISA .. why is why PCI was developed. PCI is a much more robust solution, and has been successfully extended a few times now.

If you get one or two VLB cards to work in a system at 33Mhz, consider yourself lucky.

Anonymous Coward
October 8th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Hmm...have you tried playing around wtih some settings in the BIOS? Make sure all the "green" power saving stuff is disabled. Turn off power management. Turn off video BIOS shadow...and if none of that works, then try disabling your internal and external caches. If none of that works there probably isn't much you can do.

The OPTi chipsets are usually pretty screwy. Did you see the memory configuration table in the manual? It's nasty looking. OPTi chipsets are famous for being slow and buggy. Even though yours is a later 486 board with 3.3V CPU support you may want to consider a different board. I recommend one with an SiS chipset. You don't really need a 3.3V board since your CPU has a VREG built in already.

Of other note, the AMI WinBIOS was widely considered to be crap...and is largely the reason why AMI BIOS stopped being popular.

ScrappyLaptop
October 10th, 2007, 09:18 AM
problem:
cant get a vlb controller card to work, or I should say, I can not get the IDE portion of any VLB controller card to work when I have the VLB video card installed. I can get the controller card to work if I throw in a 16bit ISA vid card. So it would seem I cant use more than 1 VLB card at the same time.

Any ideas? I seem to recall something about proc speed being a factor... I got couple dozen 486 procs, maybe I should do some testing.



See if there is a jumper marked '>33' or '>33mhz' or '40 mhz', 'VLB Wait', 'VLB w/s' or similar. It was used to insert a wait state when the bus speed was too fast for the combined mobo and cards.

Back in the '486 days, I found that many motherboards were unstable when more than one VLB card was inserted at 33mhz.

I had one ASUS that had a nice little table showing:
1 vlb card -> 40mhz,
2 vlb cards -> 33mhz,
3 vlb (it had three vlb slots) -> 25 mhz.
Had something to do with bus loading as I recall. You could usually go up one step faster (i.e. two vlb cards at 33mhz) if you added the wait state (Peter -> Paul).

-Scrappy

JDT
October 10th, 2007, 03:43 PM
See if there is a jumper marked '>33' or '>33mhz' or '40 mhz', 'VLB Wait', 'VLB w/s' or similar. It was used to insert a wait state when the bus speed was too fast for the combined mobo and cards.

Back in the '486 days, I found that many motherboards were unstable when more than one VLB card was inserted at 33mhz.

I had one ASUS that had a nice little table showing:
1 vlb card -> 40mhz,
2 vlb cards -> 33mhz,
3 vlb (it had three vlb slots) -> 25 mhz.
Had something to do with bus loading as I recall. You could usually go up one step faster (i.e. two vlb cards at 33mhz) if you added the wait state (Peter -> Paul).

-Scrappy


Its currently set to "VLB <=33" , the other option is "VLB > 33". I can find no wait state options, perhaps on the cards? which doesnt help if I have no docs ont he cards ;)

Jorg
October 10th, 2007, 11:47 PM
Its currently set to "VLB <=33" , the other option is "VLB > 33". I can find no wait state options, perhaps on the cards? which doesnt help if I have no docs ont he cards ;)

That just might be the wait state jumper:

VLB > 33, 1 wait state
VLB<=33, 0 wait state

JDT
October 12th, 2007, 02:51 PM
So I aqcuired 2 "new" VLB 486 Mobos, one of which a VL/I-486SV2G, shows some initial promise. when i put two vlb cards (VGA & controller) in with its original cyrix DX-66 chip setup. saw the drive and booted... but then keyboard locked up... setting up board with iDX4-100 and will update later tonite.

Added:
Damnit! this board is 5v only, my DX4-100 is 3.3 hmmmmmmmmm guess i need to use my DX4-100 Overdrive...

Anonymous Coward
October 12th, 2007, 03:45 PM
Just invest a few dollars into a voltage regular for your 486 chips (the kind that sits between the chip in the socket). All the best boards are the 5V models anyway.

JDT
October 12th, 2007, 05:25 PM
houston, we have ignition. New mobo uses both VLB cards quite happily!, upgraded the original 128 cache to 256, proc from 66mhz to 100 and 8mb of ram to 64. yay.....

Anonymous Coward
October 13th, 2007, 02:39 AM
I think the VL/I-486SV2G was a pretty good choice...I seem to recall that board having a good reputation.

JDT
October 13th, 2007, 01:54 PM
unduplicatisizing them.

JDT
October 13th, 2007, 02:20 PM
My happy new VLB 486 mobo that I got yesterday... everything was great.
Then I tried to boot this morning, would stall out at "Starting MS-DOS". After changing floppy drive, cables and controllers. I noticed that it was registering between 512k and 1024k of cache (mind you its jumpered to 256k). So I ran memtest (www.memtest.org) tons of red lines. I disabled L2, no more red lines. I enabled L2, disabled L1 no more red lines. I disabled L1 & L2, no more red lines. So it seems the machine works fine with one or the other but not both?

Mobo is a VL/I-486SV2G, proc is Intel DX4-100 Overdrive. I did upgrade the original mobo's 128k cache to 256k from another mobo.

Anyone got any ideas? Im going to put original 128k back in and see if that works. TIA
-----
EDIT:

hmmm ya know, when 2 of a cache chips pins are bent out touching another cache chips pins... it tends to cause a problem. Though I had been more cautious than that /slaps_forehead. Amazing, everything works wen pins are straightened out and inserted properly.... never mind!

JDT
October 15th, 2007, 05:02 PM
so the hdd activity blinky light wouldnt work on my vlb controller... took a good look at it... the trace had burned out! wth! lol with some clever redneck engineering, I was able to repair it quickly... and my blinky light is now a blinkin!