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Thread: Original Hercules MGA Card - cant it work?

  1. #1
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    Default Original Hercules MGA Card - cant it work?

    I was pretty happy to find an original 8bit Hercules Monochrome Graphics adapter. However when I try it in my IBM XT (and set the dips for MGA) the machine just beeps oddly and I get no video.
    I did some poking around and noticed an IC was missing from my hercules card. If you look at the card here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercul...rcules_HGC.png
    you will see a large IC in the top middle that reads HCT Video 100 8536. My card is missing this IC! Does anyone know what it is, if my card can function without it, and why on earth would someone remove it? Could it be replaced?

    I never owned an actual Hercules card and am disappointed it wont work, and feedback on this would be appreciated.
    Last edited by VERAULT; January 8th, 2018 at 08:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    Please have a look at some MGP (and not MGA as you call it) clones and you se much more ICs. So IMHO this big IC is a kind of custom IC. So to make this card work you'll have to find this IC. Your chances: almost zero I think. Another possibility is to replace it with a circuit that mimics this IC.

    Kind regards, Ruud Baltissen
    www.Baltissen.org

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    Funny--I've always known these cards as either "Hercules", MGA, HGC or HGA. I've never heard them called an "MGP". Is this something unique to the Netherlands?

    But I'm in agreement--the "Video 100" IC is a custom job and not easily replaced. Fortunately, Hercules-compatible cards were among the most numerous of 8 bit graphics cards, so finding another one (or a clone) should not be difficult.

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    Thanks for the replies. Ruud as Chuck(G) mentions, I have heard them referred to as MGA for quite a long time; If its the wrong terminology this is the first time I'm hearing about it. As far as what you are saying about the custom IC, I think you are right and I was afraid of that. The card is in pristine condition otherwise, I guess I will just hold on to it and hope I come across another one day.

  5. #5

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    "Monographics adapter" or "MGA" was indeed a common way to refer to Hercules monochrome graphics without using the trademarked Hercules name.

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    Right, I remember my old IBM cloth binder manuals, and it references MGA as monochrome graphics adapters. But it could very well be referred to something else regionally.

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    Ruud probably means Mono Graphics & Printer.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by VERAULT View Post
    Right, I remember my old IBM cloth binder manuals, and it references MGA as monochrome graphics adapters. But it could very well be referred to something else regionally.
    You probably mean the Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA), which was text-only. IBM never had a monochrome graphics adapter, except if you count the monochrome graphics modes of their color graphics adapters.

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    I think they were just referencing displays types, not what IBM actually manufactured. But I cant remember, someone threw out those manuals years ago

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    MZD, I believe, has the Options and Accessories manual online. IBM's usual terminology for the PC was to call cards "adapters", so you have the Monochrome Display Adapter, the Printer adapter, the Cluster adapter, the Diskette adapter and so on. The early major exception that comes to mind is the PGC - the professional graphics controller. I suppose that the terminology change was due to the fact that the PGC had a full-blown processor (8088 ) on board.

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