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Thread: 5150 with Hercules - Text but no graphics

  1. #31

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    Hey, guys. Having a new issue related to the same 5150 unit. After playing a game for a little while, the video gives up and goes dark. The PSU it still running, but no video. I came back a week later with the intent on diagnosing the issue, and it worked just fine. Of course, hardware issues don't heal themselves and after game playing for about 20 minutes the video shut down again. Remember this unit has the Hercules graphics card. First time, I was playing a CGA game using SIMCGA. The second time, it was a game with native Hercules support.

    My guesses are (in order of probability):
    1. The PSU
    2. Typical tantalum issues on the mobo.
    3. Capacitors on the Hercules card (it has electrolytics, not regular tantalums)


    Reason I suspect tantalums or PSU is the appearance of other random errors. At one point prior to this, it threw a 1081 201 RAM POST error. But only one time. Next power on, POSTed without the RAM error. Since the video went dark the first time, it has begun reporting 131 error on POST (cassette port voltage according -0degrees).

    So I'm thinking something is operating on its hairy edge, and the load associated with gaming eventually overwhelms it. The electrolytic capacitors on the Hercules look fine (no bulging or evidence of leaking), but that doesn't necessarily mean they're good.

    Configuration:
    • IBM 5150 Series A 16/64k mobo
    • 2nd BIOS revision (10/27/82)
    • Hercules Graphics card (see pic at beginning of thread)
    • IBM 5151 Monochrome CRT



    Any thoughts?
    “The Bex religious impulse does have its collective side. As in, collect everything and hold on to it whether you remember where it came from or not.”
    —Alberto Fossa, Privateer 2

  2. #32
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by normanator View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Of course, the symptoms may be totally unrelated.


    Nil video symptom

    Could even be the monitor. Try another monitor.

    Does the symptom appear using a different video card.

    Symptom onset perhaps related to temperature.

    Does the symptom eventually appear if you don't play a game ? If that is a case, a useful experiment would be to leave the machine sitting at the DOS prompt. When the video disappears, enter the following on the keyboard, the result expecting to be a beep from the speaker. If a beep is heard, the symptom is truly video-only related.

    echo ^G >con

    (The ^G portion created by holding down the CTRL key, then momentarily pressing the G key.)


    201 RAM error

    Only having occurred once, it may have been a hiccup.


    131 error

    Failure of the cassette port loopback test. minuszerodegrees.net indicates multiple possible causes. You have the 16KB-64KB type motherboard. If there was a lack of -5V getting to that motherboard type, the motherboard's RAM chips (4116 class) would not work, resulting in what appears to be a 'dead' motherboard. At power-on, does the 131 error always occur, or is it intermittent ?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    echo ^G >con
    "echo ^G" alone is enough.
    Not sure why I added the redirection to the console.

  4. #34
    Join Date
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    It might be the cap's on the video card.

    Anyway, from your photo it shows the oldest type PS. You may have a 1st batch system. Could you post the serial number or photo of the back of your case. If it mostly original it would be nice to keep it in that condition.

    Enjoy that system,
    framer

  5. #35

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    Many thanks for all of the suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by framer View Post
    You may have a 1st batch system. Could you post the serial number or photo of the back of your case.
    Definitely a Series A. Here's the serial number. First gen, but not super early specimen I think. Agree that I want to preserve its authenticity.

    IBM 5150 SN.jpg

    I do have another Series B 5150 with MDA card along with 5151 and 5153 in storage. Plan to try swapping out cards and monitors, but wanted to see if someone recognized the issue before I start digging out equipment. I like the beep test, though. Will try that next time it fails.

    The 131 error happened the last 2-3 POSTs, so not a single occurrence. Will look closer at -0degrees possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    (The ^G portion created by holding down the CTRL key, then momentarily pressing the G key.)
    Nice follow-through on how to execute a ctrl-G on the keyboard, btw. You no doubt worked phone support at some point in your life.
    Last edited by normanator; October 9th, 2019 at 12:50 PM.
    “The Bex religious impulse does have its collective side. As in, collect everything and hold on to it whether you remember where it came from or not.”
    —Alberto Fossa, Privateer 2

  6. #36

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    Followup question, unrelated to the 5150 issue...why do my attachments frequently turn upside down when I upload them? I've tried several things, including controlling the aspect ratio in case the uploader is trying to be too smart. I even rotated this image to actually be upside down and then re-uploaded it. No joy.

    Is there a trick to keeping images from loading upside down?
    “The Bex religious impulse does have its collective side. As in, collect everything and hold on to it whether you remember where it came from or not.”
    —Alberto Fossa, Privateer 2

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by normanator View Post
    Is there a trick to keeping images from loading upside down?
    Use a camera instead of a phone.

    Alternatively, you can open the image in a graphics program, i.e., Irfanview, and resave it as a new JPG and u/l that.
    PM me if you're looking for 3½" or 5¼" floppy disks. EMail “ ” For everything else, Take Another Step

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by normanator View Post
    Is there a trick to keeping images from loading upside down?
    Some phones do not rotate the image content, but set a "this image needs to be rotated"-flag in the JPEG file. Other phones rotate the image and set a "this image has been rotated"-flag in the JPEG file. There are different ways to flag images as well. Some image viewers (e.g. web forums) and editing programs simply ignore these flags, others honor them. To make matters worse, these flags may depend on phone vendor, app used to take pictures as well as the app's settings, and viewers don't necessarily understand all of them.

    Either find a program which can handle and remove these metadata (many programs don't deal with it correctly), or export the image to BMP (or some other less smart format, e.g. PNM) and re-encode again.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by lafos View Post
    I have a tweener running Windows 7 Pro/DOS 6.22 dual boot, ...
    Maybe off topic but I really want to know: what did you do to achieve this? A bit info: I wanted to create some W98/W7 systems in the past but after W7 had finished installing, the W98 part had gone. W98/XP went fine. Next step was X98/XP/W7 but every time somehow the W7 part got corrupted and simply stopped working.
    I must admit that I never tried to install W7 on a system with DOS 6.22 as its first OS.

    Sorry for reacting a bit late but this thread appeared during my internet-less holidays. After returning home I discarded the oldest threads.
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

    www.baltissen.org

  10. #40
    Join Date
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    Sioux Falls SD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruud View Post
    Maybe off topic but I really want to know: what did you do to achieve this? A bit info: I wanted to create some W98/W7 systems in the past but after W7 had finished installing, the W98 part had gone. W98/XP went fine. Next step was X98/XP/W7 but every time somehow the W7 part got corrupted and simply stopped working.
    I must admit that I never tried to install W7 on a system with DOS 6.22 as its first OS.

    Sorry for reacting a bit late but this thread appeared during my internet-less holidays. After returning home I discarded the oldest threads.
    Win7 won't install normally with DOS in a dual boot. I created a FAT partition, installed DOS. Then installed Win 7 in unallocated space. I used EasyBCD to get them to play nice together.

    https://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

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