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Thread: Souped up Compaq Portable 286

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Portland, OR
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    Cool Souped up Compaq Portable 286

    Hey guys, I just wanted to show off my tricked out Compaq Portable 286!

    So far I've:
    - Installed a Compaq EGA card
    - Added a 287XL co-processor
    - Installed a 16 MHz 80286 CPU (sadly only running at 8 MHz... for now)
    - Replaced the green phosphor CRT with a white phosphor tube from a Macintosh Classic
    - Converted an 8 bit ISA slot to 16 bit
    - Bumped up the RAM to 2176KB, with an XT IDE piggybacked on the AST RAMpage card
    - Installed a Sound Blaster AWE64
    - And installed internal stereo speakers and an amp
    - And finally, added a 16bit 10BASE/T NE2000 ethernet card

    I currently have 6 expansion cards in a system with only five slots! Check out some terrible pictures to see how!
    IMG_20191030_235847.jpg
    Installing SimCity on Windows 3.1
    IMG_20191031_004410.jpgIMG_20191031_212946.jpg
    IMG_20191031_214817.jpgIMG_20191031_215651.jpg

  2. #2

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    Very nice, I like 286s so I like your project. I appreciate the fact that you've taken it a bit farther than swapping average parts by changing the CRT too. It sounds like you have aspirations of changing the oscillator, what chipset does that machine have?

  3. #3
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    You're right, I am looking into putting a faster oscillator on-board, however there are only two oscillators, the 14.318 MHz ISA oscillator and a 48 MHz oscillator near the on-board memory. The speed of the CPU is selected by a key combo, so I'm not certain that I will be able to get the full 16 MHz out of the CPU. There's no chipset on this motherboard, it's more like an XT 286 than an AT or later machine.

  4. #4
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    Montevideo, Uruguay
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    amazing ! do you changed the tube just for the color or it look sharper on the macintosh one ?

  5. #5
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    love how you used that tandy adapter to get the xt ide lite in there.

  6. #6

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    Awesome mods! I thought I was doing well using a Y power cable and a drive overlay to install a 420md HDD and run DR DOS 7. What else did you have to add to modify the ISA slots?

  7. #7
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    Shrewsbury, MA
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    Do you know if the CRT is the same in the original Portable? I wouldn't mind trying out that swap myself. Maybe put the green screen back in the Macintosh!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by soviet9922 View Post
    amazing ! do you changed the tube just for the color or it look sharper on the macintosh one ?
    In the original green CRT the sharpness is good, but the phosphor has a very slow fade out; so scrolling games like Commander Keen and games that are white one black like Silpheed, are nearly unplayable. The white CRT makes those games looks great now!

  9. #9
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    Jun 2019
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadRacer203 View Post
    Do you know if the CRT is the same in the original Portable? I wouldn't mind trying out that swap myself. Maybe put the green screen back in the Macintosh!
    Yes, the original Portable, the Portable Plus, and the original Portable 286 all have the same CRT. I want to put my green CRT back in my Macintosh Classic for giggles, but my Classic's logic board is a goner. The battery appears to have defied the laws of physics and completely converted to a tarry acid that ate away 4 of the CPU pins.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog View Post
    Awesome mods! I thought I was doing well using a Y power cable and a drive overlay to install a 420md HDD and run DR DOS 7. What else did you have to add to modify the ISA slots?
    All I had to do for the ISA slot was plop the remaining portion of the 16 bit ISA slot and solder it in. The through holes were already in the board and connected to the bus. ISA is a passive bus, so the only real limit to the number of slots is IRQs.

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