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Thread: IBM 5150 possible inconsistency?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Every unmolested 5150 I’ve ever seen had a 63 watt power supply. So far as I’m aware it was standard equipment right up to the end.
    That may have been true for America, but didn't European 5150 PSUs all have more watts by default? Correct me if I'm wrong. I know at least some did.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ropersonline View Post
    That may have been true for America, but didn't European 5150 PSUs all have more watts by default? Correct me if I'm wrong. I know at least some did.
    No. Have one from early 1985 made for Germany and it has the same 63 watt PSU as all others.

    PC090668.jpg
    Last edited by Timo W.; October 24th, 2020 at 12:43 AM.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Standard advice back in the day was to *replace* the PSU if you added a hard drive to the 5150, but so far as I'm aware IBM never sold one with either a hard drive or the bigger PSU.

    (They would sell you that external expansion chassis that looked like a PC with no drive bays if you *really* wanted a 5150 and a hard drive, but they never made it an internal option, that's what the 5160 was for.)

    Of course, for a while I had a ridonkulously tricked out 5150 with a full height 10MB IBM hard drive, an EGA card, *and* the original PSU, but I don't imagine I'd actually *recommend* that.
    Maybe thats what i read...or that people swapped in an aftermarket psu. Either way, i dont plan on finding an external hd for this since it was hard enough finding this relic...
    And nice job getting an hd to work with the oe supply...im guessing you strained it a bit at times?

  4. #14

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    OP, what floppy drives did yours come with? Tandon, MPI, CDC, etc.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    Maybe thats what i read...or that people swapped in an aftermarket psu. Either way, i dont plan on finding an external hd for this since it was hard enough finding this relic...
    And nice job getting an hd to work with the oe supply...im guessing you strained it a bit at times?
    AFAIK the need to upgrade the PSU was if you intended to use one of the original full height drives that was supplied with the XT at first due to the load the spindle motor would put on the supply.

    I'm sure the OEM supply was fine with later half height drives which ended up being supplied with late XTs, and it's certainly fine with newer IDE drives - I have a 3.5" IDE drive squashed into my 5150 running off an XTIDE and it's fine with the original power supply.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    OP, what floppy drives did yours come with? Tandon, MPI, CDC, etc.
    No idea yet...im tackling the mainboard first, getting the chips off and cleaning rust and corrosion of everything before i get into the drives. They have the ibm branding and identical at thr moment

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwathen View Post
    AFAIK the need to upgrade the PSU was if you intended to use one of the original full height drives that was supplied with the XT at first due to the load the spindle motor would put on the supply.

    I'm sure the OEM supply was fine with later half height drives which ended up being supplied with late XTs, and it's certainly fine with newer IDE drives - I have a 3.5" IDE drive squashed into my 5150 running off an XTIDE and it's fine with the original power supply.
    Yea I can imagine those early double height being power hogs, hopefully my board accepts xtide cards...cause a hdd would be super useful if the floppies bad

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ropersonline
    didn't European 5150 PSUs all have more watts by default? Correct me if I'm wrong. I know at least some did.
    No. Have one from early 1985 made for Germany and it has the same 63 watt PSU as all others.
    That's odd. So you mean all the 5150s sold in Germany were 63W or all the ones all over Europe too? Would there have been a difference between the ones made for and sold in certain parts of Europe as opposed to others? Specifically, does anyone know if UK 5150s in general had slightly beefier PSUs? Maybe the UK-provenance machine I'm thinking of had its PSU upgraded on the sly – but it had always been my belief that at least some of the 1983+ non-American 5150s had had slightly better PSUs from the start. Does anyone have authoritative info on this?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropersonline View Post
    That's odd. So you mean all the 5150s sold in Germany were 63W or all the ones all over Europe too? Would there have been a difference between the ones made for and sold in certain parts of Europe as opposed to others? Specifically, does anyone know if UK 5150s in general had slightly beefier PSUs? Maybe the UK-provenance machine I'm thinking of had its PSU upgraded on the sly – but it had always been my belief that at least some of the 1983+ non-American 5150s had had slightly better PSUs from the start. Does anyone have authoritative info on this?
    Unless you have some authoritative proof that the PSU in the machine you're thinking of *wasn't* swapped out, well, lacking any specific literature for a specific market that says otherwise the April 1984 edition of the IBM 5150 Technical Manual lists two possible power supplies for that machine, a 120v one and a 220/240v model, and both have a rated capacity of 63.5 watts.

    That said, here's the deal I remember with those machines: although the 63.5 watt rating was consistent the "quality" of the power supplies in the 5150 varied a lot over the production run of the machine. I vaguely recall magazine articles complaining that the stock power supply had a bad habit of blowing up even in a relatively bare and unexpanded machine, while other people said they had no problem filling all the slots with upgrades and even slapping a hard disk in. (I never noticed any issues with my ridiculously overexpanded 5150's power supply, but that was probably just dumb luck. I in fact specifically left the 63 watt PSU in it out of curiosity to see if it could take it; at the time a whole 5150 or 5160 cost about $10 from the local government surplus outlet store so it's not like I cared a lot if I melted it.)

    Since the PSUs are physically compatible I certainly wouldn't rule out that even IBM repair centers might have substituted 5160 power supplies at their discretion, so even you knew for sure that the power supply in this unit you're thinking of was in fact an IBM unit and had in fact been installed by "IBM" that still doesn't prove that there was an official "alternate spec".
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  10. #20

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    @Eudimorphodon: That sounds reasonable. You're probably right. Thanks for digging up a source.

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