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Thread: 386-Based LED Sign

  1. #1
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    Default 386-Based LED Sign

    This was a gift from The Hackery as they had to clean an area out after a water leak. It's basically a giant black upright/hanging LED sign that boots from a floppy disk.





    It it seems to of been spared the water but has floppy drive issues so I had to open it up to clean that. As it turned out it's just a Baby AT 386sx-40 board with a Goldstar floppy/IDE card and a passive ISA adapter that plugs in the board that controls the LED panel itself. No video card strangely and the display controller has nothing that also resembles video circuitry, yet the system will boot fine with a flat and badly leaking battery so it's something that default values support.








    I also took the liberty to dump the floppy disk. Here's what its file structure looks like:

    Code:
    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
    
    C:\Documents and Settings\John>tree A:
    Folder PATH listing for volume BOOT500
    Volume serial number is 3505-18E3
    A:\
    ├───DSN
    │   └───DSN
    ├───BLK
    ├───DOS
    └───Old_mat
    
    C:\Documents and Settings\John>dir /s A:
     Volume in drive A is BOOT500
     Volume Serial Number is 3505-18E3
    
     Directory of A:\
    
    11/11/1991  05:00 AM            47,845 COMMAND.COM
    06/16/1994  01:51 PM            72,249 JVFF.EXE
    01/01/1980  12:12 AM                56 1.MSG
    01/01/1980  12:04 AM                95 2.MSG
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               112 CONFIG.SYS
    11/26/2004  04:14 PM                17 AUTOEXEC.BAT
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          DSN
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          BLK
    06/24/2011  11:06 AM                56 3.MSG
    11/23/2004  02:50 AM    <DIR>          DOS
    04/30/2010  10:06 PM                10 FOO.MSG
    06/24/2011  12:05 PM             3,190 FOO.bmp
    06/24/2011  10:39 AM    <DIR>          Old_mat
    05/02/2010  07:35 PM               100 CIRCLE.SHW
    11/22/2004  09:18 PM            83,806 UTILITY.EXE
                  11 File(s)        207,536 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\DSN
    
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          .
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          ..
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               225 8.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               168 2.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               168 3.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               168 4.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               168 5.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               168 6.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               188 7.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               237 9.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               234 10.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               240 11.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               238 12.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               242 13.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               240 14.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               257 15.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               270 16.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               270 17.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               269 18.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               261 19.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               258 20.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               250 21.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               252 22.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               250 23.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               265 24.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               272 25.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM    <DIR>          DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               260 31.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               264 27.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               264 28.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               262 29.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               262 30.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               269 26.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               260 32.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               271 33.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:31 PM               280 34.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               279 35.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               270 36.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               266 37.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               266 38.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               264 39.DSN
    11/24/2004  11:32 PM               262 40.DSN
    11/23/2004  08:11 PM             1,193 Chimny.dsn
    11/24/2004  06:14 AM             1,023 SantaG.dsn
    11/24/2004  05:10 PM               547 SHOOT.DSN
    04/30/2010  09:31 PM             1,060 1.DSN
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM               170 1.DSN.old
    04/30/2010  09:42 PM                34 1.MSG
    05/02/2010  06:53 PM               660 IBM2.DSN
                  46 File(s)         14,244 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\DSN\DSN
    
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM    <DIR>          .
    11/02/1980  02:02 AM    <DIR>          ..
                   0 File(s)              0 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\BLK
    
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          .
    11/11/1995  12:02 AM    <DIR>          ..
    11/23/2004  11:14 PM               741 DEMO01.BLK
    11/23/2004  11:16 PM               803 DEMO02.BLK
    08/16/1996  09:45 AM                68 MARTE003.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:19 AM               632 BAVION1F.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:19 AM             1,381 BAVION2F.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:20 AM                55 BBAZOU.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:20 AM               325 BCHOIX.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:20 AM               357 BCHOIX1.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:21 AM             1,541 BCIGARE.BLK
    07/18/1996  04:00 PM               629 MART_001.BLK
    08/15/1996  04:26 PM             1,541 MARTE001.BLK
    08/16/1996  09:27 AM               194 MARTE002.BLK
    08/16/1996  11:20 AM               152 BALGUE.BLK
    08/16/1996  09:42 AM               437 MARTE004.BLK
    08/15/1996  03:35 PM             1,541 MARTE008.BLK
    07/17/1996  10:09 AM               533 MPRO_001.BLK
    07/16/1996  11:43 AM               389 MPRO_002.BLK
    07/31/1996  04:28 PM               445 MPROE001.BLK
    01/19/1996  02:13 PM               221 NBRI_001.BLK
    01/19/1996  02:13 PM               971 NBRI_002.BLK
    08/16/1996  12:03 PM             1,109 RIEN.BLK
                  21 File(s)         14,065 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\.Trashes
    
    05/01/2010  01:54 PM    <DIR>          ..
                   0 File(s)              0 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\DOS
    
    11/23/2004  02:50 AM    <DIR>          .
    11/23/2004  02:50 AM    <DIR>          ..
    11/11/1991  05:00 AM            11,616 HIMEM.SYS
    04/23/1999  10:22 PM            12,663 RAMDRIVE.SYS
    04/23/1999  10:22 PM             5,239 CHOICE.COM
                   3 File(s)         29,518 bytes
    
     Directory of A:\Old_mat
    
    06/24/2011  10:39 AM    <DIR>          .
    06/24/2011  10:39 AM    <DIR>          ..
    05/03/2010  05:51 PM                84 3.MSG
    05/03/2010  05:50 PM                55 1.MSG
    05/02/2010  07:10 PM                32 2.MSG
    05/02/2010  07:29 PM               788 OLDCIR.SHW
    05/02/2010  07:35 PM               100 CIRCLE.SHW
                   5 File(s)          1,059 bytes
    
         Total Files Listed:
                  86 File(s)        266,422 bytes
                  16 Dir(s)       1,083,904 bytes free
    It's clearly booting DOS in some manner so it's not something custom rolled to work on PC hardware. Autoexec.bat and config.sys do not seem to be that descriptive besides it just invokes the sign program.

    Code:
    :\>type config.sys
    DEVICE=A:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF /V
    FILES=40
    BUFFERS=20
    DEVICEHIGH=A:\DOS\RAMDRIVE.SYS 768 512 128 /E
    
    
    A:\>type autoexec.bat
    jvff circle
    Searching 2010-A from JVF gets me results for the sign but so far not much information on how exactly you create cards for it. From trial and error it seems that UTILITY.EXE converts 128x48 bitmaps into cards. That's about it but video demos indicate there's more that can be done but don't explain how to enter the other modes.
    At least I know the DIN jack is for a keyboard.

    Edited: Nevermind. Google has hidden stuff on the second page again.

    http://exotic-lighting.com/red_sign/...n_General.html
    Last edited by NeXT; October 8th, 2018 at 02:11 PM.
    = Excellent space heater

  2. #2

    Default

    That's awesome. You could make some cool demo's with that thing.

    (PS Please snip off that leaky battery )
    System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

  3. #3
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    Default

    What battery?

    = Excellent space heater

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