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Mini 486 gaming PC?

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    Mini 486 gaming PC?

    Hello Everyone.

    Lately, I've been having an interest in my old DOS days. I miss a lot of the software and the games that I used to play. Tonight I sat down and thought about getting a mini 486 type board. One of those single board computers like the PC/104. I wanted to get any oppinions on those mini single board 486 systems. Let me explain what I'm hoping to accomplish and then perhaps you guys (and gals) can let me know if it is possible and worth it.

    I'd like to build a small 486 type PC in a very small case. Think a small case for something the size of a PC/104 type board. I'd like to have a floppy (external if necessary) and a hard drive (Laptop IDE) or perhaps even a CF card (if necessary). My plan would be to install DR DOS and maybe GEM or Win 3.x. I will probably install a lot of the old DOS applications and games I have from back then. I'd like to be able to hook the computer up to my monitor or possibly a TV via S-Video, VGA, or HDMI (Yea, I know that is probably not possible with a 486). I'd want the board to have sound/music capability. Again, I'd be using this for old school gaming and DOS stuff mostly.

    So, do any of you have experience with these 486 single board mini computers and if so, do they work well when used for the above reasons? I think it would be neat to have a 486 that can fit in your hand and take around with you.

    Well, thats all for now. If any of you have any advice, or might know of any sites where I could purchase the board, case and peripherals, please let me know.

    Thanks
    John

    #2
    I have a Pentium 233 SBC card with all controllers built onboard. All you need is a power supply. It's not a 486. It is a complete computer on a single ISA card. Make an offer via PM if you're interested. Shipping from 07461.

    Comment


      #3
      Why not just get a laptop?
      What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
      Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
      Boxed apps and games for the above systems
      Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

      Comment


        #4
        I've been thinking about getting a laptop. I once had an HP Omnibook 4000 CT. If I could find that laptop in great condition, I'd pick it up.

        Do you have any good suggestions for a 486/DX4100 type laptop?

        Thanks
        John

        Comment


          #5
          I have seen these 486 Systems floating around that are actually full 486 system built into a keyboard. It's not a laptop, but rather, a 486 based computer that is built inside of a computer keyboard. I wish I could remember the link that I saw these on. I'll go look for it later, it would be kind of cool, like a 486 PNP all-in-one game (sort of like those Jaks Pacific and Atari Flashback systems).

          Comment


            #6
            I have seen these 486 Systems floating around that are actually full 486 system built into a keyboard.
            I like that idea. That brings me back to memories of my old C64 or Amiga 1200 computers. Everything in a keyboard. Please let me know if you find the links.

            Thanks,
            John

            Comment


              #7
              Would a Unisys-branded CWD 486 DX2/66 work for what you're after? I'll have to double-check, but I should have an extra one somewhere...



              340MB hard-drive, 12MB RAM (IIRC), 3.5" floppy, built-in video and NIC... not too shabby. Throw a soundcard into the single ISA slot, and you're good-to-go...

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                #8
                I use 486 Thinkpads, 640x480 TFT screens perfect for DOS gaming, and they have stereo sound that is soundblaster compatible.
                What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                Comment


                  #9
                  That Unisys CWD is really a cool little machine. I picked a DX4/100 version up on eBay a month or two ago. There's also someone selling Sound Blaster AWE64 Value cards there that fit right into ISA slot for $6 with free shipping. Here's an image with my router and cable modem for scale:

                  Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
                  KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards

                  Comment


                    #10
                    First off Cloudschatze and Tiberian Fiend thanks for the pics.

                    You know I actually had one of those when I was looking to run an old DOS BBS a few years back. I went looking but can't find where I put the Unisys. I hope its in storage. If it is, then I won't be getting it anytime soon. It is probably packed well in the back with the rest of my computer equipment.

                    I do have a few questions on the Unisys though. I'm interested in finding another as I remember that first one was a nice small shape.

                    The CF adapter. does that come stock with the unit? If so I have a 5GB CF microdrive that I used on one of my TANDY 386 PCs years ago. I am curious if it can be used as a boot HDD like I did with my TANDY. With the TANDY I used a CF to IDE adapter.

                    I was going to ask what the fastest version was but I'd take it Tiberian Fiend's comment probably answers that 486/DX4-100.

                    I just searched eBay, but I don't see any available at the moment.

                    Finally, does the unit have Ethernet? I forget if mine had built in Ethernet. I doubt it, but it can't hurt to ask.

                    Thanks Again to everyone who is participating in this discussion. I've seen a lot of good ideas. I'm even going to look for a Thinkpad and see what they are going for on eBay.

                    John

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Cloudschatze View Post
                      Would a Unisys-branded CWD 486 DX2/66 work for what you're after? I'll have to double-check, but I should have an extra one somewhere...

                      What size is that little monitor? I've been dying to get a 9- or 10-inch color (S)VGA monitor for years and years! Paper white monochrome ones are a dime a dozen, but I've never seen a color one anywhere.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The CWD came with a standard 3.5" IDE drive and has the connections for it. It has a built-in ethernet port, probably 10BASE-T. I found a manual for a Pentium version of the CWD online, so I'm guessing that's as high as it went.

                        Edit: You can pick up one of those CF adapters for around a dollar on eBay.

                        Double edit: vwestlife, you might try starting here in your search for a monitor.
                        Last edited by Tiberian Fiend; March 5, 2010, 08:27 PM.
                        Searching for NEC Powermate SX/20 parts:
                        KTN-8101/2 (NEC OP-410-8101) and KTN-8102P/2 (NEC OP-410-8102+ or OP-410-8103) memory boards

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You know... I like the look of that little monitor as well. Figure a small Unisys 486 and a 10 or 12 inch SVGA CRT. That is really a nice setup. I'll have to start hunting for one of those now too. LOL

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
                            What size is that little monitor?
                            It's a Unisys DU3910-C. The visible screen area is 9", which makes it a 10" monitor, I believe.

                            That photo is a few years old. I've been using it most recently with a Tandy 1000 RLX/HD.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Darn! I searched the web for that monitor, and it appears that there are none floating around. I'll keep searching and hopefully might turn one up somewhere.

                              Comment

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