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 Found: AT or other 8086/286 system View next topic
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commodorejohn



Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm looking to get ahold of an old PC to play with. Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Pre-386 processor. Ideally an 8-12MHz 286, but I'm open to older options.
  • 640KB of RAM (or more, but that's not particularily necessary.)
  • Hard drive of some kind (PATA/IDE preferred.) A BIOS with flexible drive-size handling would be nice if it's PATA/IDE, but not absolutely necessary.
  • A 3.5" floppy driver, or just a controller capable of handling one (I have a few on hand Very Happy)
  • Any display adapter is fine, even none at all, as I've already got an EGA to put in it.
  • A serial mouse would be handy, but I can get one elsewhere if you don't have one on hand.

Owing to the general bulk of these things, shipping from outside the US or Canada would probably be prohibitive, but I'm willing to hear all offers. I'm not looking to pay a lot for this, since I'm not actively seeking a collector's item like the 5150 PC; I'd be willing to pay between $10 and $30, depending on shipping costs. Anybody looking to unload something like this?


Last edited by commodorejohn on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 568
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
Hard drive of some kind (PATA/IDE preferred.) A BIOS with flexible drive-size handling would be nice if it's PATA/IDE, but not absolutely necessary.


In a 286 or earlier, both those are gonna be a little tough to find (unless someone has already upgraded the controller card to an IDE card and maybe with it's own on-board BIOS). Most 286's and earlier were MFM/ESDI/RLL and none of them inherently supported anything over 504/528MB (most of them didn't support over 300MB, and the original XT had dip-switches to set for its' controller). It wasn't until 486's came along that IDE became more of the rule instead of the exception.

I've got an original IBM 286 here from another board member (Andrew T.) from a couple years ago, but these things weigh a ton and the shipping alone would likely be close to or maybe even over $30...
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commodorejohn



Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

T-R-A wrote:
In a 286 or earlier, both those are gonna be a little tough to find (unless someone has already upgraded the controller card to an IDE card and maybe with it's own on-board BIOS).

Well, it's not strictly necessary (emphasis on "preferred,") it would just be nice if possible.

As for the 286 system you mentioned, any idea what's in it?
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Have you tried digging around at the local recycler? Pre 486 systems are getting hard to find these days, especially for $10!

Put a wanted in the local craigslist and see what you come up with (or maybe freecycle). If your budget is small you need to find something local.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 568
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
As for the 286 system you mentioned, any idea what's in it?


Not really. I did know that it booted to a DOS prompt when I first obtained it, but it's just sat since then. I can check, but note comment below....

Quote:
If your budget is small you need to find something local.


Agreed. Again, no older system will be a cheap thing to ship...
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Puckdropper
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 749
Location: Not in Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've got a Leading Edge Model D that's just sitting here. It's an XT-class machine with hard disk and 5.25" floppy drive. I've even got the Leading Edge monitor and Keyboard for it. (No serial mouse, I found them rather difficult to use and just stuck with the keyboard.)

If you're interested, I'll plug it in and see if it still works.

It does have INTERLNK from DOS 6 on it, ready to go. All you need is a null modem cable or parallel cable.

FWIW, the Wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leading_Edge_Model_D

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commodorejohn



Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Unknown_K wrote:
Have you tried digging around at the local recycler? Pre 486 systems are getting hard to find these days, especially for $10!

Put a wanted in the local craigslist and see what you come up with (or maybe freecycle). If your budget is small you need to find something local.

Believe me, I looked. Unfortunately, my local recycling center is run by apes whose routine for handling computers consists mostly of A. throwing the machine against the floor until the case shatters and then B. salvaging any of the interior that's still intact to be busted up for scrap metal. And Craigslist has revealed pretty much nothing.

T-R-A wrote:
Not really. I did know that it booted to a DOS prompt when I first obtained it, but it's just sat since then. I can check, but note comment below....

If you wouldn't mind, that'd be great.

Quote:
Again, no older system will be a cheap thing to ship...

I'm not sure if I made this clear or not, but let me restate: I'm okay with high-ish shipping costs, but that means I may not be able to offer much in the way of compensation. That's why I explicitly stated that I'm not looking for a valuable collector's item, just a plain old pre-386 system.

Puckdropper wrote:
I've got a Leading Edge Model D that's just sitting here. It's an XT-class machine with hard disk and 5.25" floppy drive. I've even got the Leading Edge monitor and Keyboard for it. (No serial mouse, I found them rather difficult to use and just stuck with the keyboard.)

If you're interested, I'll plug it in and see if it still works.

Interesting. Do you know how much RAM is in it, and does it have any ISA slots?
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Puckdropper
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 749
Location: Not in Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Leading Edge Model D has either 512k or 640k of RAM. There's 4 ISA slots, one of which is occupied by the hard disk controller. There's another occupied with a NIC, an Intel 8/16 EtherExpress card.

Apparently the hard drive is 31 MB. A good size for this machine!

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commodorejohn



Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hmm, nice. Could you make a note of the exact amount of memory when you test it? 512KB's not bad, but having the full 640 would be nice.
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commodorejohn



Joined: 06 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Update: a member on another forum contacted me; he's only a few hours from where I live and is looking to get rid of a machine that fits my needs just about perfectly. Thanks to everyone for their offers and advice!
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 568
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
he's only a few hours from where I live and is looking to get rid of a machine that fits my needs just about perfectly


Good to hear. Sounds like things worked out for the best and now you'll have a machine to tinker with...
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wdegroot



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 487
Location: pennsylvanai

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I was stuck in forsdt the 8088 era and later in the 286 era.
I had a pait of very nice 286-12 mb that the last time I tried would not boot.
maybe another time.
Physically they will work in any moderrn AT style case
these mb had no ports on the board at all.
an IDE i/o card or an ide plus a serial/parallel card will be ok
BUT the restriction is even with type 47 in the bios,
you are likited to 1024 16 63 ( 528/534m)
with disk manager you can go beyond,
but even dos 6.22 or any 16 bit OS has a 2,048 meg limit.
no pata as the controllers are all PCI.
scsi is a possibility as the bios on the controller card handles that.
I have isa 16 bit scsi cards for 50 pin deviced.
Possibly, if there is NO OTHER hard drive in the system. you could boot from a scsi drive.
there is no "528" limit with scsi, this is an IDE linmit..

some NEC systems had a quirk about 1.44 floppies, and some other older systemsld only dealk with 260k & 1,2meg.
but a newer controller may change that.

286 systems especially those close to the original IBM AT, tend to ve rather inflexible. there is no bios flash, a chip has to be replaced.

If you have a mfm drive finme, but I would tend to use a easier to get smaller IDE drive.
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