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Thread: Qantel System 88 w/ 45XP

  1. #1

    Default Qantel System 88 w/ 45XP

    At the start of the new year, I decided that I wanted to venture out to something a little bigger, and I did just that. While scanning craigslist I found a guy that had what looked to be a mini from the late 80s that was in considerably rough shape. I thought about for a long while (more like a few hours) and eventually talked myself into picking it up.(I later found out that it had been listed on eBay too, so maybe one of you saw it there?).

    I wasn't able to find out much about it other than a few Computerworld articles - System 88 and System 45XP, so If anyone has any information on them, or maybe some software that would be awesome and much appericated! I belive they also went under the name MDS or Mohawk Data Sciences, in case that's any help.

    Anyway, here are a few pictures I took (uncleaned of course).

    IMG_20170403_175059097.jpg
    The System 88 on left, a separator in the middle, and the 45XP on the right make up one full unit.

    IMG_20170403_180340414.jpg
    The rear of the full unit.

    IMG_20170403_180509364.jpg
    These are the CPU boards, the one with the colored 50 pin connector has a Motorola 68k with a few 30-pin simms, while the one above has a Motorola 68020. I'm thinking the 68020 board is either an upgrade or it's from the 45XP and possibly controls it.

    IMG_20170403_180443004.jpg
    Front half. There is a total of 4 memory boards (boards 1-4), I/O boards, and some other stuff that I haven't investigated yet.

    IMG_20170403_180458123.jpg
    Rear half. Mainly just the CPU boards, and serial boards. At the rear of the unit, there is also what looks to be a diagnostic board
    Last edited by PS2it; April 5th, 2017 at 03:18 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Here are a few more pictures of the 45XP.

    IMG_20170403_180745050.jpg
    Inside the 45XP, as far as I know this was also sold as a separate unit.

    IMG_20170403_180943582.jpg
    This is the 45XP with the front removed. There is supposed to be 3 ESDI hard drives (2 Seagate drives, and a Maxtor) in it, but I pulled the Maxtor to clean it up a bit. I haven't fired either system up yet, so I have no clue whether they still work, but hopefully they do, otherwise I'll be needing to find a version of (Best/AOS?)!

    I'll post some more as I work on it, so expect some updates sometime in the future.
    Last edited by PS2it; April 5th, 2017 at 07:16 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi, PS2!

    Actually the 45XP doesn't 'count' as a separate unit, it's all an 88. The 45 portion would, normally, be used for any drives. As to the boards inside the unit, if you can supply me with their names - IOU56 or 39, etc. I may be able to help you identify what's what.
    Though it's been a few decades since I've worked on one - memory ain't what it used to be.

    Have you been able to power the baby on?

    I used to spend a heckuva lotta time at Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI working on it's slightly big brother, a 98, though the 98 looked identical to the 88. Used the same boards, etc. Back in the day, they were pretty darn reliable except that, with every software update or change, all the PROMS on the boards would have to be either sent back to Fremont, CA to be re-burned or exchange boards would have to sent prior to the upgrade. Spent more time replacing & re-imaging drives than anything else.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
    Hi, PS2!

    Actually the 45XP doesn't 'count' as a separate unit, it's all an 88. The 45 portion would, normally, be used for any drives. As to the boards inside the unit, if you can supply me with their names - IOU56 or 39, etc. I may be able to help you identify what's what.
    Though it's been a few decades since I've worked on one - memory ain't what it used to be.

    Have you been able to power the baby on?

    I used to spend a heckuva lotta time at Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, WI working on it's slightly big brother, a 98, though the 98 looked identical to the 88. Used the same boards, etc. Back in the day, they were pretty darn reliable except that, with every software update or change, all the PROMS on the boards would have to be either sent back to Fremont, CA to be re-burned or exchange boards would have to sent prior to the upgrade. Spent more time replacing & re-imaging drives than anything else.
    Thanks for the reply Kurtz!

    Nice to meet another Wisconsinite on the forum! Sorry I didn't see your reply sooner, I forgot I even had this post up.

    So I take it that the 45XP was an optional additional unit you could buy along with the 88?

    That'd be a really huge help if you could help me out with identifying some of this stuff. It still pretty new to me, and I'd like to learn as much as I can about it.
    I haven't had it running yet, unfortunately, I still have it in the garage, at least until I get some room to set it up. But I should still be able to take more pictures and get some of the board names.

    Thanks,
    PS2it!

  5. #5

    Default

    Can't believe I didn't see this thread before. Well actually, I can, thanks forum software.

    I acquired a compete Qantel from a company I worked for in New Berlin in 1991. Unfortunately, I just had no way to keep it, and couldn't find anyone anywhere that would take it, so I ended up trashing it. Also unfortunately, I just don't recall much of anything about it, other than it ran Primos and CADDS. I miss using it, and really regret not having it.

    I did manage to save a hard drive from it and get it running on an AT clone. But I don't even remember what happened to it after that. I do recall the lights dimming when that drive would spin up!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Well, seems like Qantel is still in business but not producing computers... Same address too: http://www.qantel.com/corporate/history.htm

  7. #7

    Default

    Celebrating 20 years?? Not surprised they don't make computers anymore.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Well, seems like 20 years in the manufacturing software side. The company seems was reborn then... but the history page I posted talks about starting in 1969.

    "Qantel Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held corporation formed in April 1996 by the acquisition of the powerful QANTEL product line and the expert Qantel research and development staff. "

    Still worth contacting them to see if they have old documentation available.

  9. #9

    Default

    PS2it!!

    A fellow Wisconsinite? Whereabouts? Waupaca Cty. here.

    Negatory on the 45XP. Just like yours, the 45 was bolted together with the other frame making a - ta-da! - 88. I remember thinking "why do they leave the 45 label on that part?" It is & only is an 88. You ordered an 88 (or 9 & the whole shebang came as one unit. The jumbo side on the left was where all the goodies were kept. The right side, like i mentioned, usually housed the drives.

  10. #10

    Default Documentation.

    BooBoo has an idea there. Who knows? Maybe they still do? Can't hurt to ask.

    If my memory isn't completely shot, I do believe that DecisionOne, when they were still an actual hardware repair company - shortly after the Sorbus acquisition - bought out Qantel, or were a partner of some sort.
    The Qantel support dudes were great & I used to deal with one gentleman who saved my ass waaaay too many times to count. Many late nights, many 24 hr. days.
    Don't miss that one bit.

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