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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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PC-RETRO Motherboard Kit from MTM Scientific, Inc

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    PC-RETRO Motherboard Kit from MTM Scientific, Inc

    Hello All,

    I just now put up the offer on the MTM website for the PC-RETRO Motherboard Kit. This kit would not be possible without all the help from everyone on this forum. I know we all share an appreciation of the classic PC computing platforms. My hope is that this product will introduce new people to the hobby and provide a fun pastime to those of us who might have been around for awhile.

    Obviously, there will be alot of questions and comments about this kit as people begin building it. In the documentation with the kit I have highlighted the VCF forum and the knowledge base that exists here. Thank You, Michael

    http://www.mtmscientific.com/pc-retro.html

    pckitsmall.jpg

    pcsmall.jpg

    #2
    Very cool, but where can one find a case with the old 5-slot 5150 expansion slot spacing?
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

    Comment


      #3
      Which BIOS did you end up using?

      Comment


        #4
        Wow.....

        Later,
        dabone

        Comment


          #5
          Cool kit. The price is reasonable too.
          It might be a good idea to add some documentation on the site (schematic, part list, building and debugging instructions).

          Do you have any plans to provide other components to make a functioning computer (e.g. CGA/MDA boards?).
          What about keyboard? I guess builders can use an AT2XT converter... but is it documented anywhere?

          Comment


            #6
            Are all the chips the same as the 64-256KB 5150? I'm wondering if it could be a very handy diagnostic tool as well, being all socketed chips, could make it easy to test components on dead 5150 boards.

            Epic work guys.
            Twitter / YouTube

            Comment


              #7
              Hello, These are all great ideas and comments. Yes, since all the chips on the PC-Retro are socketed and identical to the original 5150 you could use it as a diagnostic tool for specific IC's when troubleshooting. The BIOS used for the PC-Retro is the Anonymous BIOS that Plasma debugged earlier this year to work on a 5150 PC. (THANK YOU!)

              I worked very hard trying to find a source of 8 Bit VGA cards to offer with the kit... but no dice. Please, if anyone comes across the 'motherload' of ISA VGA cards, send me an email. I have a Hercules GB101 card that may be possible to reverse engineer and offer as another kit. The GB101 does not have any of the custom gate array logic used on the later model cards.

              For a 'case' for your project, you might consider the breadboard route. Here is a photo of what some well known Apple guy did...

              Michael

              apple1.jpg

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by mmruzek View Post
                For a 'case' for your project, you might consider the breadboard route. Here is a photo of what some well known Apple guy did...
                While that might work (for an Apple) a 5150 (an Orange) is gonna have several expansion cards dangling from it.
                PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mmruzek View Post
                  I worked very hard trying to find a source of 8 Bit VGA cards to offer with the kit... but no dice. Please, if anyone comes across the 'motherload' of ISA VGA cards, send me an email.
                  Michael,

                  I can suggest making Cirrus Logic GD5420 based VGA card project. It is quite possible that I'll do this as my next project (as VGA card is the only board in my 8088/V20 system that I didn't build myself (well, not counting power supply, and disk drives).

                  S100 guys (John & Andrew) are designing similar S100 board: http://s100computers.com/My%20System...GA%20Board.htm

                  While all Cirrus Logic GD5420 cards that I've seen were ISA 16-bit, the chip can operate on 8-bit data bus too. There are some complications though:
                  1. The GD5420 comes in 160-pin PQFP package... While it is possible to solder it using a regular soldering iron, etc. This endeavor is definitely not for everyone. Same for memory chips (although it is possible to use 20-pin DIP ones too). One solution could be finding some company that will solder SMT parts. Another solution could be using a adapter board (like S100 design does).
                  2. Video BIOS (at least one that I have) uses 80186+ instructions, and thus require V20 CPU, and won't run on 8088. It needs to be disassembled, 80186 instructions replaced with corresponding 8088 instructions, assembled back, etc. It is doable, but will take time.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Interesting project Sergey. Is the GD5420 still in production or in stock?
                    My videos:
                    IBM PS/1 model 2011 restored and enhanced
                    IBM PC Advanced Diagnostics Cassette load

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by nestor View Post
                      Interesting project Sergey. Is the GD5420 still in production or in stock?
                      No, it is not in production any more. Cirrus Logic quit graphics controllers business in 1996... But these chips are available from some Chinese electronic component dealers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Plasma View Post
                        Which BIOS did you end up using?
                        I wonder if it is still possible to license AMI or Phoenix's old XT BIOS today.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh my.

                          That is sexy.

                          I was alive, but very very young when computers were still being hand assembled by hobbyists. So I missed out on that era. I've never done a soldering project this large in terms of total solder joints on a single board, but I've done everything from small hobby kit projects to trace repair on modern boards with hair thin traces, so I'm pretty sure I could tackle this. And boy would I love to!

                          The kit is extremely reasonable in price too, all things considered. If I hadn't just lost my job (ugh) I'd have ordered one instead of typing this.

                          Edit: Just noticed MTM Scientific is based here in Michigan. Even better!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Has anyone build one of these yet?

                            g.
                            Proud owner of 80-0007
                            http://www.f15sim.com - The only one of its kind.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hello, Yes the PC-Retro kit has been shipping OK, and the feedback on the kit has been good. For example: Here is a photo from a customer in the UK that built the PC-Retro. Presently we are working on creating a line of items to enhance the kit, such as a kit based VGA video card (Sergey), power supply, memory, breadboard working base (instead of a metal case), keyboard adapater, etc. If people have suggestions or ideas what they think would be good to go with it, we are interested to know! We really appreciate everyone's help with the project here at the VCF. Regards, Michael

                              pc_retro_3.jpg



                              Originally posted by geneb View Post
                              Has anyone build one of these yet?

                              g.

                              Comment

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