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Ever seen a 80186 accelerator board? I have now. (and so can you)

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    Ever seen a 80186 accelerator board? I have now. (and so can you)

    After posting on another forum about my haul of IBM type 25's, another member mentions his storage locker finds. Most of which aren't very relevant here but there was on thing that caught my eye. He had, what he claimed was a 8 bit isa 286 accelerator board. After posting some pictures, it was revealed it was actually a 186. Long story short, I bought him a 6-pack and paid for shipping from Australia and it arrived! ($40 total)





    I must say, i am quite beside myself. Personally, the MOST valuable parts have to be the manual and disk with the software. Its funny. Just a month ago, I had ZERO intention of putting together a 8086 system (my 386 does fine). Now I have 5 of them, and I'm starting to collect parts to pimp one out. If the manual can be believed, the 186 does NOT turn off the main cpu. it just does work and leaves the I/O to the original processor. Also, it tells me that the 186 has its own ram, and the ram on the motherboard can mostly be made into a ramdisk, or as a print spool, disk cache or what have you. According to the jumpers, the card has 640kb installed. This board is CLEAN. Like it was only used once clean.

    That said, is there some sort of database for this sort of stuff? I'd be more than happy to grab a thrift store scanner, and copy the manual if it hasn't already been done. Naturally a dump of the bios and a floppy image. One of these days here soon, i'm going to have to test it out. I have like 5 pans in the fire at the moment that I've been putting off. (who here doesn't? )
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

    #2
    Originally posted by luckybob View Post
    That said, is there some sort of database for this sort of stuff? I'd be more than happy to grab a thrift store scanner, and copy the manual if it hasn't already been done. Naturally a dump of the bios and a floppy image.
    That would be good. I will add them to the PC family related manuals/drivers at http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manuals.htm, and the BIOS to http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm

    Comment


      #3
      luckybob indeed!

      I've never seen that particular model. Of course we have all heard of the Orchid Pro Turbo 286 and its progeny.... There was I believe a version even that was SW switchable (between 286 and 808. I wonder if this card works somewhat similarly. Of course as you said the most valuable part of this find is the manual and the SW. You should image the disks ASAP and archive it somewhere...

      I have a feeling mikey99 will be interested in that disk!

      Some info.
      Last edited by Shadow Lord; November 14, 2012, 10:33 PM.
      Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, I have heard about it, but never actually seen one. I have the equalent 286 version which works in much the same way. It even seems to be using the exact swame gate array, so the manual may even be very helpfull for me.

        These cards doesn't replace the CPU in the host computer, but it rather uses the host as a "southbridge"-style I/O manager. The turbo card is more or less it's own computer, allthough it uses some basic resources from the host. It works surprisingly well for most programs, but programs that use a lot of low-level code may have issues running on it. My 286 version can even run a program on the 286 on the card while simoultaneously running a program on the host, but then things may easily get out of hand.
        Current systems owned by me:
        Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
        Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).

        Comment


          #5
          Very cool find, Bob!

          This conversation answers an unspoken question I had: why the Orchid Tiny Turbo 286 (usually) sells for such a high price. I didn't realize that it kept the host processor "alive" for i/o - very nice!

          I need to delve more carefully into my Sota 286i and 386i. I know that these can both be used in 8088 and 8086 systems, but not whether it leaves the host alive, etc. For that matter, I don't even know that I can get my 286i working (no driver disk or manual, though I have both for the 386i)
          ---
          Currently seeking:
          * Roland MPU-401/AT (with daughter card header)
          * Magitronic K-156 Keyboard (5pin DIN w/ XT-AT switch)
          I also collect PC and C64 Sierra On-Line software!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Maverick1978 View Post
            Very cool find, Bob!

            This conversation answers an unspoken question I had: why the Orchid Tiny Turbo 286 (usually) sells for such a high price. I didn't realize that it kept the host processor "alive" for i/o - very nice!

            I need to delve more carefully into my Sota 286i and 386i. I know that these can both be used in 8088 and 8086 systems, but not whether it leaves the host alive, etc. For that matter, I don't even know that I can get my 286i working (no driver disk or manual, though I have both for the 386i)
            It seems like I've seen one of these boards. In the early very late '80's-early '90's as a teenager I worked for a local store that had all sorts of interesting unusual computer hardware (we being system builders/integrators, also carried Atari ST machines as an authorized Atari reseller), so we had all manner of strange and exotic stuff. Some of this obviously past its prime by the time I started working there.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Maverick1978 View Post
              Very cool find, Bob!

              This conversation answers an unspoken question I had: why the Orchid Tiny Turbo 286 (usually) sells for such a high price. I didn't realize that it kept the host processor "alive" for i/o - very nice!
              It's not the tinyTurbo I was reffering to. The card I was talking about was the Orchid PCTurbo 256e, which they made as a high-end alternative to the TinyTurbo 286. The PCTurbo 286e was problably the reason why the TinyTurbo 286 was called TinyTurbo after all.

              The Orchid PCTurbo 256e is a full-length ISA card with extra chips to make it (mostly) fully AT-compatible, and it has otherwise much similar functionality to the card shown here (except that the BIOS is located in RAM on the accelerator and transmitted over when the card is booted by the device driver).
              Current systems owned by me:
              Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
              Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).

              Comment


                #8
                I scored one of these Orchid boards too, from the same seller

                I have a 5150 that I was planning to stick it in although I haven't done anything with it yet.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have two of the Orchid 186 cards..... but haven't got either one to work.
                  I've tried two versions of the software, 2.1 and 2.3 on a 5150 and 5160.
                  The software runs but doesn't appear to recognize the card. I'm wondering if
                  the software version needs to match the ROM version (1.1) on the card.

                  Including a couple of pictures of one below. Need to do some digging to find the other one.
                  I think the other one has the memory extender board.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by mikey99; November 17, 2012, 07:52 AM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Maverick1978 View Post
                    I need to delve more carefully into my Sota 286i and 386i. I know that these can both be used in 8088 and 8086 systems, but not whether it leaves the host alive, etc. For that matter, I don't even know that I can get my 286i working (no driver disk or manual, though I have both for the 386i)
                    OT, but responding in-thread for future reference... I've now got the Sota 286si and 386si manuals and drivers at my site.
                    ---
                    Currently seeking:
                    * Roland MPU-401/AT (with daughter card header)
                    * Magitronic K-156 Keyboard (5pin DIN w/ XT-AT switch)
                    I also collect PC and C64 Sierra On-Line software!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I found the second card ....the components/layout is totally different than the other one.
                      This card is the same as the one luckybob has........
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by mikey99; November 18, 2012, 05:46 PM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I came across one of these a while back also. Same exact board as the first one Mikey99 located. (Rev. A - ROM ver. 1.1) I'm in the same situation as others, no software, so I have no idea if it works. Attached is a pic of it's memory expansion board for comparison.
                        Attached Files
                        "A printer consists of three main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Finally got a round to fooling around with the card a bit. It actually fits into a IBM model 25! But you lose both isa slots. unless your 2nd card is REALLY short. My sound card isnt so I'm probably going to sell this. That said, I did make an image of the floppy disk it came with, (360kb 5.25) And I'll fiddle with the card a bit more this weekend. (HAHAHAHA)
                          Attached Files
                          It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Inexpensive Taiwanese motherboards probably killed off the PC/XT accelerator market. There were 286 and 386 boards to replace the board in your 5160--and there were a very few 5-slot replacements for the 5150. They were far less expensive than the accelerator boards and worked with fewer compatibility problems. Windows probably killed off whatever remained because of its more stringent compatibility issues.
                            Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              from the manual:
                              the REV a and REv b pc turbos each have their own software and eeprom versions, all rev a boards will have eprom versions 1.X and software version 1.x. the rev b boards will have eprom version 2.x and software version 2.x"
                              So if you have a REV A board you have to stick with rev 1 eproms and version 1 of the software.
                              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                              Comment

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