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Thread: Solder in a sound card?

  1. #1
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    Default Solder in a sound card?

    Would it be possible on a 486 laptop to solder in a sound card. Like if someone made an OPL3 daughterboard with breakout pads and soldered very thin wires to each of the IRQ, Data and Address lines. Either that, or some kind of internally soldered OPL to LPT adapter with a switch and a built in amp/speaker?

    This machine is a 486DX4/75Mhz so there is plenty if CPU cycles to work with.
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  2. #2
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    Such a card would have to be designed for a specific model of laptop. Most laptops simply won't have the room internally to add something like that. On a 486, it might not even expose the signals needed to operate something fully compatible with a standard such as sound blaster.

    Does it have a PCMCIA port? I seem to recall some PCMCIA sound adapters.

    If it has a standard printer port, you could attach a LPT DAC, but not much software supported those.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Such a card would have to be designed for a specific model of laptop. Most laptops simply won't have the room internally to add something like that. On a 486, it might not even expose the signals needed to operate something fully compatible with a standard such as sound blaster.

    Does it have a PCMCIA port? I seem to recall some PCMCIA sound adapters.

    If it has a standard printer port, you could attach a LPT DAC, but not much software supported those.
    I was planning on putting in a CF card and a modded batter so it would open up room. Also I have some Windows 3.1 Soundblaster one with an integrated speaker.

    What about something like this? It already has a TSR driver for it.

    https://www.serdashop.com/OPL3LPT
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  4. #4

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    If the driver is for your OS, then answer is "Yes".
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

    www.baltissen.org

  5. #5

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    If there is enough space inside and you have docs on the chipset to get all necessary connections on ISA data/addr/DMA/IRQ/etc., then you can attach a small ISA sound card. A lot of wiring and soldering, but it's definitely possible.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedpneumatic View Post
    Would it be possible on a 486 laptop to solder in a sound card.
    That's not even necessary if you're lucky. Some notebooks/laptops exposed the whole ISA bus to a proprietary connector intended for a docking station.
    "Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
    In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." -The Minstrel

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo22 View Post
    That's not even necessary if you're lucky. Some notebooks/laptops exposed the whole ISA bus to a proprietary connector intended for a docking station.
    Mine does have an ISA expansion dock but I don't have one and no way to get one, but it would likely be an easy place to get the signals I need. Also don't need anything more an OPL2 ot OPL3 so I could probably put together a board similar to the new SoundBlaster and Adlib replica cards in the formfactor I need.

    Also I'm trying to have the machine portable with sound...so no dock.
    Wanted: Any old clunky 286-P1 machine that has some kind of working battery or replaceable with off the shelf parts. Preferred: 10+lbs 386 machines.

  8. #8

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    You might check out this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3DU2mNBa6M

    Bottom line: You can connect an OPL chip to the parallel port and it will work with most software, assuming that either you can use a software driver or patch the corresponding software. This would probably include Windows drivers as well (but I'm not aware of such a driver) and would give you AdLib-style support.

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