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Thread: AST Six Pack Plus - missing ports

  1. #1
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    Angry AST Six Pack Plus - missing ports

    Sorrry to bother everyone again, but I just received a very nice AST six -Pack Plus that has been configured for my computer, but it appears to be missing the rear expansion bay cover that has both a serial ans game port connector. The AST Six-Pack already has a parallel port, so there is no need for that. I also have the materials for configuring the ports to be used on the computer too, but these do not display any of the physical hardware arrangements. I even looked on modem 7's web site but didn't see anything. The card appears to have 2 pinouts to connect both the game port and serial port.



    Either that, or a web page that has what I need. Can someone help me locate the ports and connectors so I can get this card to work properly for my system, Please?

    Yes, I did Google the AST Sis-Pack Plus, and of course found everything from excercising properly, to how to find the correct diet for me. What I need is a better way to search Google, these forums, or something. I realize that my searches ahven't been the best, but I am not a complete idiot. Close, bot not complete!

    Thanks again.

    And I want to say thanks to the member who sent me this card. I know it is worth a lot more than I paid, so again... Thank you.
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  2. #2
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    How many empty slots do you have left? Usually it's just a cable to a port connector on a slot cover, the same kind that came with motherboards from 386 to ATX. I know I have a box of serial and parallel ports, but I'll have to look to see if I have a game connector. I remember a setup for the 5150 that hung the extra ports over the back of the case in a black box instead of using up a slot. Somebody here will have a picture of one, and probably the box itself if you're out of slots. Ugly thing though.

  3. #3
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    There are two versions of the card, long and short. Which one do you have?

    Game ports

    On both cards, J3 is the header for the game ports cable. The manuals on my web site have the header information.

    In the manual for the short version, page 7-4 is the one you want. The next few pages are important reading (e.g. two ICs may need to be fitted).

    In the manual for the long version, the pinout is partially revealed in the circuit diagram at the rear. The header pinout appears to be different to that for the short version (e.g. pin 13 in long version is ground, but 'Button 2' in short version.

    Serial port

    There is only one serial port - the DB25 connector on the end of the card.

    Parallel port

    On both cards, J2 is the header for the parallel port cable. The manuals on my web site have the header information.

    In the manual for the short version, page 6-4 is the one you want.

    In the manual for the long version, the pinout is revealed in the circuit diagram at the rear.

  4. #4
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    To answer a lot of questions at once, I do have the larger card. It does have the large serial port connector on the edge. Currently, I don't have any ports open. That's why I got the Six-Pack. I will be removing three cards.

    1. 384Kb memory only card,
    2. Parallel/serial card and
    3. Game controller card.

    What I would LIKE to do is just get the port connectors for the parallel and game ports on a slot cover. I know that will use two slots, but at the same time, will open up one more slot for the expansion unit transmitter card.

    Again, I will buy what I need if necessary too. And as always, links are also extremely useful. So if someone has A SLOT COVER with both parallel and game controller port already attached and ready to connect to the Six-Pack, please, please let me know.


    GottaLottaStuff - I agree, I don't want to hang anything off the back if I don't have to. I really hate things that are designed that way too. On a side note: the person who gave me the card is also sending a set of cables, but I don't know how useful those will be either. I would still much rather have the pinouts going directly to connectors on a slot cover.


    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLottaStuff View Post
    How many empty slots do you have left? Usually it's just a cable to a port connector on a slot cover, the same kind that came with motherboards from 386 to ATX. I know I have a box of serial and parallel ports, but I'll have to look to see if I have a game connector. I remember a setup for the 5150 that hung the extra ports over the back of the case in a black box instead of using up a slot. Somebody here will have a picture of one, and probably the box itself if you're out of slots. Ugly thing though.
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  5. #5
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    You will probably have to make your own card slot cover. Do a search for "game port header cable" and "parallel port header cable" and there will some examples of the correct cable mounted in a slot cover. I can't find any that have both mounted in the same slot cover or any that have just the cable and port without slot cover. I suspect that you will need to extract both ports and cables from slot covers and modify a slot cover to include two holes in order to have both ports in the same slot.

    Oops, some examples might be good so
    http://cwc-group.com/serial.html
    and
    http://cwc-group.com/25idc.html
    and
    http://cwc-group.com/gameport.html
    and (look at bottom for slot covers with punched holes)
    http://store.cwc-group.com/screwsnuts.html

    Make sure the AST Six Pack has the matching pinouts on its headers. Not recommending that store; it just is the first one I could find with good pictures and text descriptions. I find detailed images simplify figuring out how to customize for the desired result.
    Last edited by krebizfan; January 13th, 2012 at 08:57 AM. Reason: Missed a web page

  6. #6
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    I have a few with either game port/ parallel or game port/ serial on one slot cover. It's no big deal to swap from big serial to parallel, they're the same size. The problem will be the pinouts. If the Six-Pak has non-standard pinouts, it might get interesting. Let me know when the cables come in, and I'll see if I have a slot cover to match them.

    P1010005.jpg

    On a related note, there is only so much you can cram into a 5150, free slots or not. Sooner or later you run out of interrupts and such. Back in the 90s I crammed an EGA card, sound card, RAM card with ports, hard drive controller, and high density floppy controller into mine. Didn't work. Just not enough there to run it all.

  7. #7
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    Would a pictire help? There are two headers. One is a 16 pin header meant for the game controller, the other is a 20 pin header for the parallel port. Other than the pin count, they look like standard pinouts though. Still I want to wait for the cables to arrive before I get too far into this. But in the hope tha this helps someone else, I'll continue.

    As I had mentioned, I would like to be able to connect the pinouts to a port cover, but getting one that has both a parallel and game controller might be dificult. Although, I just might have something in the way of an old dead parallel/serial port I might be able to use. It came from an old ACER computer I had back around 2003 or so. I'll have to see if I still have the card.


    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLottaStuff View Post
    I have a few with either game port/ parallel or game port/ serial on one slot cover. It's no big deal to swap from big serial to parallel, they're the same size. The problem will be the pinouts. If the Six-Pak has non-standard pinouts, it might get interesting. Let me know when the cables come in, and I'll see if I have a slot cover to match them.

    P1010005.jpg

    On a related note, there is only so much you can cram into a 5150, free slots or not. Sooner or later you run out of interrupts and such. Back in the 90s I crammed an EGA card, sound card, RAM card with ports, hard drive controller, and high density floppy controller into mine. Didn't work. Just not enough there to run it all.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  8. #8
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    "but getting one that has both a parallel and game controller might be difficult"

    I've got about a dozen of them in a box of ports on slot covers. Not difficult at all. You just unscrew the screws that the printer cable and joystick cable screw into (if that makes any sense) and put the original six-pak ports on. And screw them down.

  9. #9
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    Sweet. I'll PM you.

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaLottaStuff View Post
    "but getting one that has both a parallel and game controller might be difficult"

    I've got about a dozen of them in a box of ports on slot covers. Not difficult at all. You just unscrew the screws that the printer cable and joystick cable screw into (if that makes any sense) and put the original six-pak ports on. And screw them down.
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  10. #10
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    OK, This isn't going to be difficult at all. I'm getting the cables from the guy who sent the card, and gottalottastuff is sending the slot cover that will accomodate both paralel and game port connectors, so between the two, I'll be able to install everything and free up the one port needed for my other projects. Hope this clears up some confusion in this thread. It knew I saw port covers out there, but just couldn't nail one down.

    Thanks again everyone. That's another one resolved. I'll take photos and post them here once I get it all together.

    Quote Originally Posted by bettablue View Post
    Sweet. I'll PM you.
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

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