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Thread: IBM 5150 possible inconsistency?

  1. #31
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    There's still the ALR machine, and the point remains that machines that we'd call "Baby ATs" and in fact have more common with what the term came to mean later existed before the 5162 even became publicly available.
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  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Also, most "Baby AT" cases, as opposed to XT-cases-with-AT-processor-boards in them, are tall enough to take full AT height cards
    I'm confused. In what sense or dimension are XT/286 cases not tall enough? What cards are those cases not tall enough for?
    Or did you really mean to say mainboards, not ISA cards, as in, those cases aren't big enough in some dimension to accommodate AT-style motherboards?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropersonline View Post
    I'm confused. In what sense or dimension are XT/286 cases not tall enough? What cards are those cases not tall enough for?
    Or did you really mean to say mainboards, not ISA cards, as in, those cases aren't big enough in some dimension to accommodate AT-style motherboards?
    The problem with the XT/286 case was that many 16-bit cards designed for the AT were too tall to fit. It didn't take long for new cards to be designed to accommodate the lower head room of the XT case since improving technology meant the card could be smaller.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    My 5150 PC, made in 1986, came with a 130-watt XT power supply when I got it from its original owner in the mid-1990s. But I don't know if it came that way from the factory or if the XT power supply was a later replacement.
    Oh, the plot thickens. Maybe I shouldn't have conceded so easily. Unfortunately my 5150 is currently still in pieces, but I've had a rummage around in those boxes, and here's what I can say:

    My 5150's PSU is also 130W.

    In terms of provenance, it was suggested to me that there had only been one previous owner, in the UK, and that the PSU had not been upgraded. It's not really clear how reliable that info was though.

    On the outside of my 5150's case, there's a sticker that says Made in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

    However, the actual PSU, it turns out, looks suspiciously German (and thus maybe dubiously original). It has a sticker on it with some 3rd party company's logo, which says "Schrack Elektronik" [sic]. That sticker includes a German fabrication/factory number (literally "Fabr.Nr.") of 44911. But it also has this IBM P/N on it: 1501438. Finally, it says it's a 220V 130W PSU. That's significant, because the UK's voltage used to be 240V all over, while it was 220V in some other European countries, including Germany, and then later the EU said this was all within tolerances and just defined the problem away, whereby it's now nominally 230V give or take a few percent, though in practice still 240V in many parts of the UK. The 5150 was sold before that EU-wide unification occurred. The thing I'm wondering is this: Would it have been legal in terms of box-ticker-dom and red tape to factory-assemble a UK-made UK-bound product with a foreign part technically not rated for the UK's then-official 240V? Perhaps that speaks against the idea that IBM themselves final-assembled and sold a (late?) batch of 5150s with 130W PSUs.

    Would you be willing to disclose roughly what part of the world you're in or where your 5150 was from?
    Did it also say Schrack on your PSU? Was there anything on your PSU that suggested an outside (OEM?) supplier or 3rd party replacement part?

    I think your PSU having the exact same voltage as mine and just as few other owners might at least count as anecdotal evidence that perhaps there was a bunch of 130W 5150s that originally came like that, perhaps towards the end of the eighties.

    And now for something completely different; well, almost:

    Can any owners of 63W 5150s tell me if their original PSUs perhaps contained RIFA caps?
    I've recently heard a bunch of bad stuff about RIFA caps having a tendency to blow up at the end of a shortened lifespan. Is or was this also a problem in PC/XT-land, I wonder?

    Also, would anyone, any XT owners in particular, be able to tell me if Schrack PSUs were IBM OEM parts, perhaps mostly for European XTs?

    PS: Let me be the first to say that I'm speculating.
    Because people in this thread:
    "You're speculating."
    –No, you're speculating.
    «No, you're speculating.»
    Last edited by ropersonline; October 27th, 2020 at 01:10 AM.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    The problem with the XT/286 case was that many 16-bit cards designed for the AT were too tall to fit. It didn't take long for new cards to be designed to accommodate the lower head room of the XT case since improving technology meant the card could be smaller.
    I'm still confused. What dimension are you referring to when you say "head room"? Are we talking about the length of the card, i.e. the generally longest side, as measured from the slot bracket end to the other end of the card's PCB? [For the purposes of this discussion, let's call that X.] Are we talking about the height of the card (which is mostly guaranteed to be the same because those slot covers are a standard size)? [And let's call that Y.] Or are we talking about the dimension that dictates how much room there is between cards (which was different for the 5150, but hasn't really changed since the introduction of the 5160)? [Let's call that Z.]

    If it's the first, then that's confusing to me, because to my recollection, those CGA/MDA cards were the tallest. To my recollection many of the later (16-bit) ISA cards were shorter than those and the idea of even taller cards that wouldn't even have fit the original PC/XT case on account of their length seems very strange to me. This would be the first time I've ever heard of that.

  6. #36

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    Height. Full AT cards are taller than their slot brackets

  7. #37

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    Despite the initial reviews of the XT-286 complaining about expansion cards designed for the AT being too tall to fit into it, that was a short-lived problem. Both IBM and the aftermarket moved swiftly to redesign them to fit the shorter height of the XT case.

    For example, the first-generation IBM AT memory expansion and drive controller cards were too tall to fit into an XT-sized case. But when the XT-286 was introduced, IBM redesigned all of the AT's cards to fit into it:

    http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5170...5170_cards.htm

  8. #38

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    Adaptec continued to make their 154x SCSI controllers too tall into the 90s

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by ropersonline View Post
    But it also has this IBM P/N on it: 1501438. Finally, it says it's a 220V 130W PSU. That's significant, because the UK's voltage used to be 240V all over, while it was 220V in some other European countries, including Germany, and then later the EU said this was all within tolerances and just defined the problem away, whereby it's now nominally 230V give or take a few percent, though in practice still 240V in many parts of the UK. The 5150 was sold before that EU-wide unification occurred.
    Actually, there is something very important to note on my picture: That 5150 made for Germany is from 1985 and has a 230V PSU. 1985 was the first year in which Germany no longer used 220V but 230V, so this PSU was especially updated to follow that change. That is quite a proof that IBM was keep making 63.5 watt PSUs for the 5150 and did not replace them by the 135 watt ones.

    Also, what would be the reason anyway to only give European 5150s a stronger PSU? It just doesn't make sense.

  10. #40

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    If i remember correctly, From Information that 'Yoosta' be available on IBM's website many years ago, IBM 5150's left the production line fitted with 63W or 63.5W PSU's, They were not originally designed to have a hard drive. I'm the second owner of my late model 5150, It has the original 63W PSU.

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