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Thread: IBM MCA Card Infowindow VGA Control

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    Default IBM MCA Card Infowindow VGA Control

    Just dug this card out, and I'm planning on selling it but I'm not really sure what it is. I know it's a video card, and it says VGA but it has a db9 port and an RCA port, I'm assuming for composite out. Anyone know what the capabilities are? The part number on it is 83X9228

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRacer203 View Post
    Just dug this card out, and I'm planning on selling it but I'm not really sure what it is. I know it's a video card, and it says VGA but it has a db9 port and an RCA port, I'm assuming for composite out. Anyone know what the capabilities are? The part number on it is 83X9228
    Photo plz.
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    There are a couple on ebay--a web search will turn those up.

    More info here. Apparently used with videodisc players--and apparently useless without the Infowindow display.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    There are a couple on ebay--a web search will turn those up.

    More info here. Apparently used with videodisc players--and apparently useless without the Infowindow display.
    Mine looks like the second one down on that page. So it somehow connects to a laserdisc player? Very strange

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    It's for something similar to the BBC Domesday project. Computers weren't powerful enough and didn't have enough hard drive space to store video or large quantities of images back then, so they stored all the video and photos on a LaserDisc and then used the computer to control the LaserDisc player, whose video output would be overlayed with that of the computer's.


  6. #6

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    I have an Infowindow 4055 display, but no software, or control card. It came from an XT about 25 years ago. I wish I was able to grab the entire system because it might have had the requisite card. In fact, it came from an entire lab of such systems. But this was just one of the spare parts, which is how I got it.

    I do not have MCA, so if anyone has the ISA version and software, I would be interested. The other thing is I believe it will require an EGA card. I've debated buying one, but I don't think it's worth it just for EGA. I hooked it up to a CGA card on a 5150, and it's great since it supports both RGB and composite. Also, not sure what I could hook the speakers up to on the 5150, but it makes a nice all in one system.

    I would be interested in running the control card with the program interface, because I believe it can drive the touch screen, on screen display text, and speech synthesis supported by the monitor.

    Note there is an Infowindow II or some kind of terminal computer version. That is not the same thing as I have, but unfortunately any search turns up that instead and makes searching for the program and card fairly hard. I did see the software pop up on ebay a few weeks ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the3dfxdude View Post
    I have an Infowindow 4055 display, but no software, or control card. It came from an XT about 25 years ago. I wish I was able to grab the entire system because it might have had the requisite card. In fact, it came from an entire lab of such systems. But this was just one of the spare parts, which is how I got it.

    I do not have MCA, so if anyone has the ISA version and software, I would be interested. The other thing is I believe it will require an EGA card. I've debated buying one, but I don't think it's worth it just for EGA. I hooked it up to a CGA card on a 5150, and it's great since it supports both RGB and composite. Also, not sure what I could hook the speakers up to on the 5150, but it makes a nice all in one system.

    I would be interested in running the control card with the program interface, because I believe it can drive the touch screen, on screen display text, and speech synthesis supported by the monitor.

    Note there is an Infowindow II or some kind of terminal computer version. That is not the same thing as I have, but unfortunately any search turns up that instead and makes searching for the program and card fairly hard. I did see the software pop up on ebay a few weeks ago.
    If you want this card, it's for sale, and cheap. Maybe you can find a PS/2 to use it in

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRacer203 View Post
    If you want this card, it's for sale, and cheap. Maybe you can find a PS/2 to use it in
    I have no interest in a PS/2 at the moment.

    Actually, reviewing the Infowindow link again, and you saying you have the MCA VGA version, kind of makes me wonder again what the deal is. The RCA port is for graphics sync, not composite. But I'm not sure how it would support VGA on the 4055. I'm pretty sure the XT it came from was either CGA or EGA based. The monitor sure didn't take the multisync mode on a CGA card I had. But it is clearly CGA TTL compatible. I think there must be a later model for the PS/2 MCA adapter.

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    Well this card has a 9 pin vga output, maybe the monitor is compatible with that standard

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRacer203 View Post
    Well this card has a 9 pin vga output, maybe the monitor is compatible with that standard
    So after some work, I've determined that the card you have is almost certainly NOT a VGA card. The monitor is intended to receive an EGA signal, and accepts the EGA frequencies vsync/hsync through the 9pin port according to the documentation. There was no later model for this monitor specifically made for the PS/2 that gave it VGA functionality. (*the InfoWindow was discontinued not long after the MCA refresh and InfoWindow II is not related at all)

    Anyway, I think it was just IBM marketing at play here. What this card is really is an update of their offering with MCA for PS/2 compatibility. It took the original IBM EGA + Memory Expansion + EGA Jumper card and put it into a single board. Although since it is for a special monitor, it might not be all that useful as an EGA by itself, and really I think the card is going to lack any purpose without the complete system. Indeed, if someone comes across one of these again, they should not part it out as if it's just another IBM PC/XT or PS2.

    Anyhow the reason I decided to reply again here is since I have an IBM PC, with a standard EGA card, I need the EGA jumper card for the sync signal (what the RCA port is for). Could you take a high resolution photo of your InfoWindow VGA card, front and back? I think the purpose of the jumper card was to use the sync signal to activate IRQ 2. I hooked a scope to the sync signal from the monitor, and it appeared that it has some sort of combined horizontal and vertical pulse, I'm guessing from the CRT? If I can figure the signal path from your card, then I could probably recreate the jumper card for its intended purpose.
    Last edited by the3dfxdude; November 10th, 2019 at 06:00 PM.

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