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Thread: IBM 5150 possible inconsistency?

  1. #1

    Default IBM 5150 possible inconsistency?

    So...I couldnt stop myself and picked up an iconic ibm pc 5150. Its in rough shape and found a lot of nasty things inside the case, including dead mouse and lot of corrosion.
    So while mid restore...i found a few inconsistency with what limit knowledge I have on the machine. 1 is that is has a monochrome card with parallel port which is fine but theres also a a card with thr female parallel, which is odd theres 2.
    2 is the psu...its labeled 63.5w, which makes sense with the hard drive controller card...but board is stamped 64k-256k which would be rev2 and the bios chips are labeled 1983 which would make it rev3...amd the psu screws were loose on the case.
    The bios chips leads me to believe its a late revision and can let a xt-cf card and a vga card to use it....
    But the small psu tells me its a first revision since rev2 and 3 had higher watt for an optional internal hd, which makes the hd controller a normal thing but not with the higher on board ram AND bios dates...
    Any ideas? (Oh and any help on mods/upgrades, ideal software to put on this IF a xt2cf is possible)

  2. #2
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    Could you post a picture of the second card? It might be a SCSI card, some of which came with 25-pin external connectors identical to a parallel port. Two parallel ports isn't impossible if the system was used as a print server or for one of the cheap networking setups.

    5150s normally weren't shipped with the higher wattage power supply of the XT so it isn't impossible to get the same power supply as the original 5150s.

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    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.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  4. #4

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    I recently picked up two of the later B models with silver power supplies and 64-256K boards. One is floppies only and has the 63.5 watt power supply and one was upgraded at some point with lots of extras like a hard drive, EGA, etc, and has an aftermarket 165 watt power supply.

  5. #5

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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.
    I wasnt sure on the psu thing. I know the xt had higher watt ones for hd and I *thought* I read somewhere that later revision 5150 had optional higher watt one for a possible hd but not certain..i probably wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    So...I couldnt stop myself and picked up an iconic ibm pc 5150.
    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    So while mid restore...i found a few inconsistency with what limit knowledge I have on the machine.
    Lots of IBM 5150 information at minuszerodegrees.net

    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    1 is that is has a monochrome card with parallel port which is fine but theres also a a card with thr female parallel, which is odd theres 2.
    If I go to the rear of one of my 5150's, I see two 25-pin parallel ports. One is provided by the IBM MDA card. The other is provided via an 'IBM Printer Adapter' card. Per [here], they can co-exist.

    Why two? Some examples:
    1. Two printers.
    2. A parallel port based security dongle/key is interfering with printer operation (it is not meant to) and so it gets put onto its own parallel port.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jafir View Post
    I recently picked up two of the later B models with silver power supplies and 64-256K boards. One is floppies only and has the 63.5 watt power supply and one was upgraded at some point with lots of extras like a hard drive, EGA, etc, and has an aftermarket 165 watt power supply.
    I'm hoping mines a later reviosn for ega/vga and an cf adapter. The psu im not worried about since I'm not planning on trying to fit a vintage hd, but just thought the low watt was off. Learning it might be normal lol

  8. #8

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    If you don’t have the latest BIOS I can probably write you an eprom.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    ... IF a xt2cf is possible)
    Per the 'Today' section of [here], because you have the 10/27/82 revision BIOS, there are a few CF options available to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New2vtgpc View Post
    I *thought* I read somewhere that later revision 5150 had optional higher watt one for a possible hd but not certain.
    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.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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