Challenge : Old 286 motherboard

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Challenge : Old 286 motherboard

Postby jeremfg » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:58 am

I've been unable to find any information on this motherboard... So I need your help!

Here are pictures I took from it. As you can see, there's still a 286 CPU in it (already identified as AMD N80L286-16/S) and 1Mb of RAM.

Top Side (Global):
http://a.imageshack.us/img830/7996/topfull.png

Top Side (top left corner):
http://a.imageshack.us/img132/1830/topleftas.png

Top Side (top right corner):
http://a.imageshack.us/img25/6871/toprightl.png

Top Side (bottom left corner):
http://a.imageshack.us/img840/1900/bottomleft.png

Top Side (bottom right corner):
http://a.imageshack.us/img3/8867/bottomrighty.png

Under Side (Global view):
http://a.imageshack.us/img689/9383/underb.png

Under Side (Zoom on the only visible writing) :
http://a.imageshack.us/img248/1668/undersmall.png

Side view (To see computer backside connectors) :
http://a.imageshack.us/img266/3287/sideh.png

Printed on the side of the last ISA slot :
http://a.imageshack.us/img442/5948/isar.png

This is it... I guess it's pretty much all the information I can give you... If you think of anything else, please tell me!

Thanks a lot for your help.

P.S. I'd love to know how you manage to figure it out, if you do :D
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Postby evasive » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:56 pm

35-701C or something on the left -> PcPartner/Vtech board.

3 seconds, picture wasn't even fully loaded. I'll hunt down the exact model if possible.
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Postby evasive » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:20 pm

hmmm that is going to be harder than I thought. virtually nothing known online before 486 era. will have to dig in the offline archives. may take a few days...

I know I have seen that 710010A pattern before, now which OEM was that...
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Postby fussnfeathers » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:24 pm

A bit before my time, but it might have been an Oki, or perhaps an early Zeinith. Those were the two big boys back then, along with IBM.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:36 pm

Is the mobo now working or not? I note two possible problems. One is the battery, at the left edge by the processor. The end is bulging, and I note some blue stains on the mobo surface. That battery type is still available, but get it off (unsolder it) now, or the board will be useless. The second problem may be the master crystal (32.0 Mhz). Looks like there are two dents in its cover. That could damage its internal crystal oscillator.
There are two large DIPP chips just below the processor.. those are the BIOS chips, one for "high" the other for "low" bytes. Likely a Phoenix BIOS type. Just above the processor is the socket for the 287 co-processor.
At the top right are some rows with holes.. for adding memory up to 4 megs, but the modules must be the type with 30 separate pins for mounting. Very scarce. SIPP type. On the bottom right corner are the connection pins for the FP lights and switches.
Have seen something very similar to the mobo, a long time back. Will see if I have any old manuals. But on the back of the board, note the label.. with the "LOGIC**" part. Possibly a Logitech or Tectronics issue?
From noting the date code on several chips, it appears to be a 1991 late-year issue. The 286/16 mobos were not made in great quantities.
I did an enhancement of the original top view, and was all over the board. But did not note any other signs of make, only the "9036" numbers between the 2nd and 3rd ISA slots. If anyone wants the enhanced image, I can Email it.. but it is 27.3 megs in size!
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Postby Pette Broad » Sat Aug 21, 2010 5:06 pm

Hmm, I don't see any IDE connections, so either it pre dates IDE or is some kind of terminal that ran through a token ring ISA card. Not at all familiar with 286 boards, but I'd say 1990 or earlier.

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Postby fussnfeathers » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:07 am

That's why I was guessing one of those two.
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Postby evasive » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:41 am

Laser computers. Which was owned by Vtech. I just went through my own online stuff.

Anyway, as things are now I cannot make a definitive identification, you will need at least 2 exactly same 30pin SIP-modules (memory modules with pins on them) of 1MB, that will give you the biggest chance of booting this board, an ISA multi-I/O controller card and an ISA VGA card to make this puppy boot in the first place. We're not even talking about what harddisks can be fit yet, prepare for a maximum of 540MB, maybe even smaller if we only have a table and no free-range entry in there.

Date-wise we are talking early 1990s indeed. 286s were never very popular because they were expensive and did not give much extra power compared to the original PC.

The 386 was blowing away the XT for not that much extra money compared to a 286...
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Postby jeremfg » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:34 am

Karlsweldt wrote:Is the mobo now working or not? I note two possible problems. One is the battery, at the left edge by the processor. The end is bulging, and I note some blue stains on the mobo surface. That battery type is still available, but get it off (unsolder it) now, or the board will be useless. The second problem may be the master crystal (32.0 Mhz). Looks like there are two dents in its cover. That could damage its internal crystal oscillator.


As you say, it's probably not working in it's current state...

I might eventually attempt to bring it back to life, but I don't really have the time for this now!

Of course, I would first attempt to repair/cleanup the battery issue, and take a good look at the master crystal and maybe replace it.

evasive wrote:Anyway, as things are now I cannot make a definitive identification, you will need at least 2 exactly same 30pin SIP-modules (memory modules with pins on them) of 1MB, that will give you the biggest chance of booting this board


Do you believe that the currently installed memory as gone bad?
As for the rest, I think I have everything I would require to try it out, eventually!

It was given to me in this current state, along many other old computer parts. A friend of my father was collecting old computer parts and then decided to pass on his collection. It took one and a half trip in a pick-up to transfer everything...

This motherboard is, so far, the only thing I can't identify!
The only other part that as given me a lot of trouble was a memory card for an old early IBM PS/1 model wich had proprietary memoy expansion card!
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Postby evasive » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:51 am

quick test would be to put in known working ISA video card, connect monitor, connect power supply and power that on. if all goes well you get one beep and the bios message.
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