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USB in a 486 PCI motherboard

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    Originally posted by deadcrickets View Post
    I was looking around in my stash and I have a StarTech PCI2USB card that is 1.1 USB and 5 volt.

    PDF of it here:
    Hmmm, come to think of it, I've got one of these on a beige G3. That may be where to find them--in old Power Macs...
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


      Originally posted by tomasont View Post
      AFAIK the splitters only work on PS/2 ports that are designed for it. Two unused pins on the keyboard connector are used to carry the data and clock signals for the mouse. (
      Were there any 486 ATX boards? I've never heard of a regular AT board with a PS/2 keyboard connector, although many of the Pentium-era AT boards provided a PS/2 mouse port (on an expansion slot bracket).

      Of course, it doesn't make much difference, because you can easily use an AT 5-pin-DIN-to-PS/2 keyboard adapter. In fact, I'm using one to connect a Tandy PS/2 keyboard to my IBM 5150 PC. (Somewhat of a rarity, the keyboard is XT/AT auto-switch, but has a PS/2 connector.)


        vwestlife you will find at style super 7 boards that have USB on them, usually only 1 header for 2 ports, and a header for the ps/2 port, along with a standard at-keyboard

        the high-end boards even gave you headers for sound, game, video, usb, and the ps/2 mouse header
        Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg


          Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
          Maybe this or this will get you what you're after?
          Just a bit of public info...those aren't "PS/2" ports...won't work in BIOS, MS-DOS, etc, because they're on a USB converter and going through the USB circuitry of the card. Will need an OS running with the USB controller and converter (HID) driver loaded.
          Enthusiast of keyboards with springs which buckle noisily.


            Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
            Were there any 486 ATX boards? I've never heard of a regular AT board with a PS/2 keyboard connector, although many of the Pentium-era AT boards provided a PS/2 mouse port (on an expansion slot bracket).
            ATX came out well after the 486 era, around 1997 is when ATX boards starting coming out. For awhile Asus made an "AT-ATX" Super 7 motherboard (P5A-B... the B-less one is ATX) that fit both case types and had dual power connectors. I currently have one in a standard AT case. PS/2 mouse and USB is via a header. The killer is ACPI support is hampered by the lack of a soft power switch. Regarding onboard PS/2 ports, I have seen a few baby AT motherboards with PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, but unless you have a custom case to match (or Dremel), only the keyboard port is accessable.

            As for 486 PCI boards, pop the card in and see if it works. I ran a PCI video card and a Realtek 8139 based NIC card on my PC Chips M919 board for many years without issue. I never gave PCI card compatibility a second thought.


              I've heard rumor that most USB cards won't work on such an early board because of some required features, but I've had USB working on a Socket 5 Pentium, so a 486 isn't too much of a stretch - just gotta find a card that's happy with it if the rumors are true.

              Unfortunately for myself, my favorite 486 boxen are ISA only.
              More commonly known as "Yushatak" -
              Focused on 486 and Pentium Machines
              I collect All-In-One PCs and Keyboard PCs, especially Compaq.


                My 486's have USB

                I have many 486 motherboards - most are ISA or VESA Local BUS (VLB) - these, I don't use. The one's that I am currently using have PCI and VLB slots and Evergreen 586 CPU upgrades (133Mhz 586 in a 486 socket). I am using Windows 98SE with them. These machines are purposed with the task of controlling my EPROM and other device programmers which require some version of DOS to operate properly. Since Windows 98 can reboot into DOS mode, I use it. Now, for the interesting bits - I have USB 1.1 PCI cards in them, which allows me to use USB Thumb Drives (this requires the Windows 98 Mass Storage Drivers.). I also have Promise/Maxtor Ultra ATA 133 or SATA150 cards in them. This allows me to use large hard drives, such as 500gig hard drives. Windows 98 cannot normally use drives larger than 137g unless they are partitioned into 137g or smaller partitions. However, I purchased Rudolph Loew's PATCHATA which gives large hard drive support. There are also free alternatives to Mr. Loew's patch. I use his patch on one machine and the free patches on the others (search for win98se2me and somewhere on that site you'll find links to the big disk patches.) Basically, this is what I do - stick an old 2 or 4 gig drive in the system. Install windows 98 se, the USB card drivers, the Promise card drivers, the large disk access patches and the mass storage drivers. Then, attach a large hard drive to the promise controller and use an image tool (I use a norton ghost 2003 boot disk) to image the small drive onto the large drive. Remove the small drive and it's controller card (or disable the onboard ide in BIOS if it's integrated). Boot back up and the promise card should take over and boot from the large hard drive. The FAT32 file system wastes a lot of disk space, but I have tons of unused 40-500gig drives, so I use them in these old systems. If you have any difficulties, drop me a line and I'll try to help.


                  Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                  PS/2 Keyboard ports became popular at the tail end of the generic 486 PCI motherboard era, and you can buy PS/2 splitters (used for laptops mostly) so you can use a PS/2 keyboard and mouse at the same time.

                  I also like the feel of Microsoft Optical mice (the cheap 2 button with scroll wheel mouse optical 1.1A USB PS/2 capable). My setup for 486 systems (even 286/386) is to use a Belkin Omnivew SE Model F1D104 4 port KVM. The KVM has PS/2 ports (you can just use a cheap AT to PS2 adapter on the computer keyboard end), standard VGA port, and instead of a PS/2 port for the mouse you can use a serial cable to the KVM which will emulate the PS/2 port over it. On the control end I use a PS/2 IBM Model M keyboard the above mentioned USB Optical mouse with PS/2 adapter (that mouse works on PS/2 as well) and the KVM forwards the signal to the serial port on the computers (works with the standard Microsoft DOS serial mouse drivers). The PS/2 mouse port will also work with systems that have PS/2 ports while still working with serial emulation on the others.

                  The F1D104 KVMs have been pretty cheap on ebay for the last few years as people dump them for USB + DVI setups. You can gang 4 together for up to 16 system on the 4 port model (I have 2 that way), and they also have 8 port units.
                  I've received a couple of the 2 port KVM switches today, the ones with mouse emulation.
                  Unknown_K, thank you so much for posting this, your hint was golden!!!


                    Glad to hear it. I just picked up another older 4 port Belkin with rack mount kit on ebay (F1D066).
                    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


                      Do the KVMs being discussed handle both very low resolutions (320x200, text modes, etc.) and high resolutions (1920x1200, to be specific)? I've had trouble finding a KVM that would - I want to set up a 486 and my main box on the same KVM.
                      More commonly known as "Yushatak" -
                      Focused on 486 and Pentium Machines
                      I collect All-In-One PCs and Keyboard PCs, especially Compaq.


                        They have a bandwidth rating that limits the upper resolution they support before the image is degraded, the F1D066 is 1024x768 max (100mhz) the other model I mentioned F1D104 is 1600x1200. You still need decent cables.
                        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


                          I have had success with one particular PCI USB 1.1 add-in card in Windows98SE on a 486 M919 motherboard. It has the OPTi FireLink 82C861 chipset and I beleive the model number is TK-P2U022.

                          Oddly, I have tested another PCI USB 1.1 add-in card with the same chipset that did not work on the same motherboard/OS. I have tested this card in Win98SE with a USB to PS/2 mouse adapter cable for which the USB mouse functioned fine.

                          If memory serves me correct, I also had success with this same USB add-in card in two other 486 boards, a Biostar MB-8433UUD and a Shuttle Hot-433 (rev 1, 2, or 3).

                          I have also tested this PCI USB 1.1 add-in card to serve as Linux USB-flash card boot OS using DSL and a diskette as the initial boot device. DSL then loads entirely into RAM for 128MB and greater (I had 256 MB FPM ram in the Biostar MB-8433UUD and ran a socket 3, Cyrix 5x86-120).

                          This looks like the card,

                          Someone else had posted a link USB 2.0 card which had PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports. As someone else noted, it is really a USB card that has a converter built-in. If your OS does not have or does not support USB, it will not work. I have this card and have tested it on three different 486 boards and I could not get it to function properly in Win95OSR2.5, Windows 98SE or WinNT 4.0.

                          As an alternative to using the Belkin F1D104 as a PS/2-to-serial converter, Vetra Systems also makes specific single-unit PS/2 mouse to serial mouse converters which I have tested (i.e. VIP-327-PS-SW). I tested these units in Win 95/98 and NT 4.0. The conversion works, but I think the sampling rate of the device is somewhat slow, such that you do not get very smooth tracking of the mouse pointer.

                          For someone who has tested the PS/2-to-serial conversion of the F1D104, how was the mouse tracking quality? The drawback to this KVM is that it does not have audio switching. I will look for one on eBay for the soul purpose as a PS/2-to-serial converter and test it as a link to my current KVM w/audio.


                            Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                            You also can't boot from anything USB.
                            Using the plop boot manager ( on a single 1,44MB disk you can boot from any device even without BIOS support
                            Retro PC#1: K6-III+ 400, 512MB, Geforce4, Voodoo1, SB Live, AWE64, GUS PNP Pro
                            Retro PC#2: 486DX2-66, 64MB, Riva128, AWE64, GUS PNP, PAS16
                            Retro PC#3: 386DX-40, 32MB, CL-GD5434, SB Pro, GUS MAX, PAS16
                            Midi: Roland SCC-1A, MT-32, CM-32L, SC-55, Yamaha Mu-50


                              Had a great idea come to me on how to possibly do this! I own a few pci to pcmcia converters. I know there were also scsi based ones and isa slot ones.

                              Point it, if you can get a 32 bit cardbus pcmcia converter up and working, you should have no problem using a pcmcia to usb card. I happen to have both , have yet to try the combo. Perhaps this Friday / this weekend if I have time...
                              '. \ / .'
                              '. .'``'. .'
                              Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386


                                Originally posted by schlang View Post
                                Using the plop boot manager ( on a single 1,44MB disk you can boot from any device even without BIOS support
                                Thanks men! I will try it to my attemp booting flash or sd into a 386 Acer