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Thread: Love err… Vintage Restoration of an AMI Enterprise III in the Time of Corona

  1. #11

    Default Installation and Testing of Components Part 2

    Continued from part 1…

    Unfortunately, the extra power did not help resolve the issues with the parity errors. The system however worked superbly with only 128MB. As such a decision was made to limit the memory to 128MB and proceed with the rest of the restoration.









    It even displays the correct speed on the case LED display:







    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  2. #12

    Default Future Plans



    For now the system is proving to be a solid performer. It is handling everything I am throwing at it, as it should, given the horsepower under the hood. With the Pentium OverDrive the system should be able to handle almost all DOS based games up to the time when a 3D accelerator became a requirement. The system should also run Win95 and probably Win98 with ease. I do have my doubts as to it performance under those OSes specially if one plans on playing games. As such WfW 3.11 is going to remain my "windows" of choice on this system. The 100mbit NIC, ZIP drive, and CD-RW allow for very easy transfer of data between this system and more current system. In fact the NIC almost completely eliminates a need for "Sneaker Net"

    Having said that a few issues remain to be addressed. Some of these are easy and some more difficult:

    1. Easy
      • Replace 3com 3C515 with an EISA 3C597
      • Install Thrustmaster ACM Game Card
      • Install LAPC-I Sound Card
      • Consider a Tape drive for a backup solution (e.g. Colorado T3000)
    2. Doable
      • Repaint the case with better quality paint. This requires mostly will power to dedicate a weekend or two to the job AGAIN. If I do repaint the case I plan on using a high quality primer as a base coat and sealing it with some flat sealant afterwards. I would also "bake" the paint using an ambient heater (or the CA sun depending on the time of the year) for a few days to ensure a proper curing and bonding.
    3. Possibly Impossible
      • Resolve memory issues: I would really love to get the system fully loaded with 256MB of RAM. However, my guess is that there is a component fault of some kind on the motherboard resulting in the parity error. This could be a result of age or it could be why a second revision of the board was issued. In either case this would be well beyond me to repair.


    If you made it through all the posts up to this point thank you for bearing with me and I hope you enjoyed the overview of the restoration as much as I enjoyed doing it.

    Shadow Lord
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  3. #13

    Default

    Is the DS1485 a drop in replacement for a DS1488? I have Nice SuperEISA that uses a DS1488 and don't really feel like drilling into it.

    The SCSI controller looks an awful lot like the VLB AMI Fastdisk.

    How well supported is the POD83 in this thing? Does it support L1 in WB mode? Is L2 enabled?
    "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

    V'Ger XT

  4. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
    Is the DS1485 a drop in replacement for a DS1488? I have Nice SuperEISA that uses a DS1488 and don't really feel like drilling into it.
    Yes, but the DS1485 is a SOIC part so you have to design a PCB ala the DS1887 replacements out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
    The SCSI controller looks an awful lot like the VLB AMI Fastdisk.
    Ha! Any information or linkage to information on this? Drivers or manuals would be fantastic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous Coward View Post
    How well supported is the POD83 in this thing? Does it support L1 in WB mode? Is L2 enabled?
    I am not sure on WB on L1. However, L2 is enabled.
    Last edited by Shadow Lord; May 12th, 2020 at 09:43 PM.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  5. #15

    Default

    Looks like DS1485 is available as both DIP and SOIC, however the DIP version is only 600mil, whereas the DS1488 is 740mil, so you'd still need an adapter for it....plus it also requires a crystal and battery. I'd definitely be interested in an adapter for the SOIC version though.

    I don't have any special information pertaining to the EISA card, but I think I might have a copy of the manual for what I think is the VLB version (AMI FastDisk). I'll see if I can dig it up again. Judging by the components on this card, I'm somewhat confident it would work with the software from the VLB.



    http://www.uncreativelabs.de/th99/c/A-B/20031.htm

    I seem to recall the PDF manual I had was for both EISA and VLB versions. The main difference between the two is that the EISA version doesn't have the switch banks. Those are probably set using the ECU, so you really need the driver disks. I can't remember if I located those or not. AMI actually still has a lot of this stuff on their server, but for some reason it's almost impossible to access it directly from their site.

    http://66.113.161.23/~mR_Slug/EISA/!AMI44C1.CFG

    Supposedly these cards are buslogic compatible, so you might not even need the original drivers.

    Good to know about the POD83. The Nice SuperEISA is somewhat of a clone of the AMI enterprise III/IV so it's likely POD83 would work okay on my board too.
    Last edited by Anonymous Coward; May 13th, 2020 at 04:06 AM.
    "Will the Highways on the internets become more few?"

    V'Ger XT

  6. #16

    Default

    Thanks for that info. The DS1485 is available as a DIP but if you want to fit everything in the same space as the original DS1488 you have to use the SOIC part.

    I am not sure if this is the Fast Disk. It matches your picture nicely but the link on uncreativelabs is different.

    I had the CFG file for the EISA card but it does not really do anything aside from auto assigning resources and telling you about the two switches (which are pretty self explanatory). If you find your copy of the PDF I would love a copy of it and any software you may have. I will check the Adaptec site and see what I can find as well.

    TIA!
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  7. #17

    Default

    O.k. Thanks to AC's info I was able to find OS/2 drivers for the SCSI Controller. They can be DLed here.

    And the love keeps coming. Apparently there is a later BIOS for the board dated: 070693. Still have not located actual file but I did find a file list for the old AMI BBS which lists it.
    Last edited by Shadow Lord; May 13th, 2020 at 10:17 AM.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  8. #18

    Default

    AMI used to have all this on their FTP site....which appears to have recently gone down. Anyone got a mirror? Regarding RAM, are you using 9 chip parity 30pin SIMMs? I know both the NiCE and the Tyan EISA/VLB boards with the SiS EISA chipset are pretty picky about memory. Manual for this board is still up: https://ami.com/ami_downloads/Enterp...sers_Guide.pdf

    Spammy driverfinder has the file.

    BIOS Release 68063093
    41-0103-004668-00111111-111192-AMIS68


    s68bios.zip


    To follow up, I might have other, possibly later BIOS files from AMI's FTP. I have to check my machine when I'm home.
    Last edited by njroadfan; May 13th, 2020 at 10:59 AM.

  9. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by njroadfan View Post
    AMI used to have all this on their FTP site....which appears to have recently gone down. Anyone got a mirror? Regarding RAM, are you using 9 chip parity 30pin SIMMs? I know both the NiCE and the Tyan EISA/VLB boards with the SiS EISA chipset are pretty picky about memory. Manual for this board is still up: https://ami.com/ami_downloads/Enterp...sers_Guide.pdf

    Spammy driverfinder has the file.

    BIOS Release 68063093
    41-0103-004668-00111111-111192-AMIS68


    s68bios.zip


    To follow up, I might have other, possibly later BIOS files from AMI's FTP. I have to check my machine when I'm home.
    Well some more digital plunking led to this mirror. It is on the archive.org FTP boneyard.

    I found the driver disks and "manual" for the series 44 controller. AMI apparently used WP5.1 to make the manuals (another tidbit of info I found during my searches). Hopefully, the files are intact. The PDF guide you linked to is for revision 2 of the board. There is a manual in three parts as well (s68man.exe is the archive). The first file seems to be corrupt. The other two will load in Word as WP5.1 files albeit with errors.

    The BIOS file you found is the 06/30/93 version which is also the same one in the mirror on archive.org. However, a file list from the old BBS indicates:

    Code:
    S68BIOS.ZIP     58774  12-13-93  S-68  Enterprise III     / Flash BIOS
                                     EC070693 update to 063093 BIOS date
                                     Fixes minor boot problems with some floppies
    So about 4 days later. I have not found this version and I have not found anything dated later. If you have this or something later that would be great.

    In regards to the CFG files for the motherboard apparently the later revision allows windows to see more then 64MB of RAM:

    Code:
    S68CFG.ZIP       2511  03-18-93  S-68  Enterprise III New CFG & OVL files to
                                           allow Windows to see over 64meg memory
    Last edited by Shadow Lord; May 13th, 2020 at 11:46 AM.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  10. #20

    Default

    Very nice system, had my eye on one of those for years, as well as the systempro. You seam to be able to get anything in California.

    I think the files for the 44 series are in this file:

    http://66.113.161.23/~mR_Slug/temp/SCSI.zip

    Read Dsc_scsi006.txt and Dsc_scsi007.txt, then look at DISK1.ZIP etc. The dir is a mess no idea where disk 5 is.

    I have a mirror of ftp.ami.com. I will try to up it to archive.org sometime, but last time with ftp.necam.com i had to split it as it timed out around 3GB. What is going on with ftp servers? They're all going down. does anyone have the Epson ftp?

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