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Thread: ISA Floppy/Game/Serial/Parallel Card in 5150?

  1. #1

    Default ISA Floppy/Game/Serial/Parallel Card in 5150?

    Does anybody have any experience using one of these in an IBM 5150?

    I just picked up a 5150, and it's been very fun playing with it and getting to know it.

    What I do find frustrating, and imagine must have been frustrating back in the day as well, is the limit of 5 ISA slots. A combo unit like this seems like it would be a huge help.

    Does anybody have experience using these in a 5150?

    Here is an example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEC-D765AC-...8AAOSwfpVZGZYq

    It does look like it's designed around a 3.5" floppy. This would be incredibly useful for me, albeit less authentic looking as the two 5.25" drives that are in there now wouldn't function. That being said, I think it would be a worthy compromise.

    My needs for this to be at it's most useful are a CGA card, some solution for Network, my CF-XT Lite, the RAM card (it came with this thankfully, I'm at 640k), and something I can plug a joystick/controller into. That being said, that's minimum. I want to keep the Hercules card in there and would like the floppies.

    That multi card means I could use serial for network, it would handle floppy, and the game port. Then I could have EVERYTHING.

    I know, I know, I really should be keeping my eyes out for a PC-XT. Well, I have been, but it would be great if I could make it work with this 5150. And honestly, problem solving and making things fit my needs and arming them to the teeth is actually half the fun with vintage computing for me anyhow.

    Any advice, comments, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I think you're "shooting for the moon" with that wish list, but check out eeguru's ongoing development project:

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...d-cards/page13

    It seems ISA (16-bit?) cards come first.

  3. #3
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    The easiest thing is to keep an eye out for an XT but the all-in-one cards were designed expressly to overcome these kinds of limits on a 5150, so you should be fine. Everything you mentioned can coexist; there are no conflicting ports, IRQs, memory addresses, or DMA assignments with what you're proposing.

    They were not designed in the era of 3.5" drives though. You'll be able to hook up a DSDD and use DRIVER.SYS to tell DOS it's a 720k drive, but you won't be able to use a DSHD drive since there's no BIOS support for the data rates (unless there's a combo card I'm not thinking of).
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    They were not designed in the era of 3.5" drives though. You'll be able to hook up a DSDD and use DRIVER.SYS to tell DOS it's a 720k drive, but you won't be able to use a DSHD drive since there's no BIOS support for the data rates (unless there's a combo card I'm not thinking of).
    Au contraire ...

    2M-XBIOS does just that.

    http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/2M-X...M%20as%20B.htm
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5

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    Why not try a 16-bit combo if you got one, The hard drive part won't work as the 5150 has a reserved I/O range, I don't know about the game port as i always disabled them, If you have the lo-tech CF-Lite which uses the SST EEprom, Flash a HD floppy bios as well as the XUB and you'll have HD floppy support.

  6. #6

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    So much great info everyone, thanks a bunch! I'll go in order.

    eeguru's project sounds super rad, but I suspect it will be 16 bit only. Super cool to see that being worked on though. Could definitely see using one in one of my newer rigs.

    I'll continue to watch for an XT that's not CRAZY expensive in my area, but I'm not holding my breath either. I got an absolute steal on my 5150, 5151 combo, so I couldn't resist and don't regret it.

    As for the floppy stuff, I'm very glad for all that info and will keep thinking an exploring. I don't care THAT much about having a 3.5, I think now that I wrongly understood the floppy connector on that multi card as FOR 3.5, when actually it's just pins instead of a card edge. I can do file transfers fairly easy by pulling the cf card and just loading files from my modern pc, so no real issue there.

    So all in all, sounds like a combo card like I linked should work without issue for me. At less than $70, I think it's a winner. I'll use it for floppy, game port, and serial (which I'll mostly be using for bbs once I nab a wifi232 or wiModem232). I originally wanted to use ethernet for bbs because I could also use ftp that way, but really this feels like a solid compromise since it would give me everything else I want. This would give me 4 slots open for ram card, hurcules, cga, and cf-xt lite. The ports exposed on the back are parallel and gameport, so perfect for my needs.

  7. #7

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    Does anybody have experience with Quadram Quadboards? I found some reasonably priced on the bay, and I'm thinking they would make a nice dent towards me solving my problems.

    The joystick was an add-on, but it was via a weird 16 pin dip instead of a standard header. I'm happy to get a standard header --> DB-15 cable and modify the header end to work, but I can't find any kind of a pinout anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same, but if anyone knows anything about this that would be awesome. If nobody has this info, anyone happen to have the breakout cable and a multimeter? Thanks again in advance!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by that1crzywhtguy View Post
    Does anybody have experience with Quadram Quadboards? I found some reasonably priced on the bay, and I'm thinking they would make a nice dent towards me solving my problems.
    There were many different models. I suggest that you should avoid any for which you cannot locate switch/jumper setting information. Manuals for two are at [here].

    Quote Originally Posted by that1crzywhtguy View Post
    The joystick was an add-on, but it was via a weird 16 pin dip instead of a standard header. I'm happy to get a standard header --> DB-15 cable and modify the header end to work, but I can't find any kind of a pinout anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same, but if anyone knows anything about this that would be awesome. If nobody has this info, anyone happen to have the breakout cable and a multimeter? Thanks again in advance!
    There is an earlier related thread at [here]. See post #7. But is the pinout the same for all Quadboard models !! I cannot see why they would have changed it.

  9. #9

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    Perfect, just what I needed!

    The one I found has a manual online. And yeah, I doubt they would change the pinout, but I suppose it's possible.

    I'm excited now to order one and set things up. Thanks again all for the help and info. I'm pleased to be part of this forum. ��

  10. #10
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    All you need is a floppy cable that takes a female pin connector to the controller & female edge connectors for the drive. You can find universal floppy cables on eBay like this one. $8.75 & free shipping.

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