Wanted: working 486 system

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commodorejohn
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Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:27 pm

I've been trying to get a decent 486 build going for years. I have a wide variety of parts on hand, but for some reason I've never, ever been able to get a 486 board to POST, even after checking all the jumpers against any available documentation, even with a bare board, VGA, and RAM - no display, no beeps, nothing. I'm getting a bit exasperated by this, and I'd like to at least have a working baseline system to test some of the components against. So I'd like to hear if anyone has a baseline 486 system to spare.

I don't require a lot - I've got plenty of RAM to fill 'er up with, expansion cards out the wazoo, and my choice of hard drives. I just want something that POSTs correctly and gets to the point of being able to boot an OS or bitch about one not being installed. A board with VESA slots and cache RAM that supports a 50MHz CPU would be a bonus, but not a requirement. If someone happens to be within day-trip distance of the general Folsom, CA vicinity, I could even pick it up rather than have it shipped.

Anybody? Bueller?
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

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Raion-Fox
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:45 pm

I just picked up a few Pentium boxes but I'll check with the guy I got them from if there's any 486 era boxes. I'll even strip it down to the MB and CPU so shipping isn't out the ass. I'll check back once I hear.
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johnnym
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby johnnym » Mon May 01, 2017 9:25 am

commodorejohn wrote:I just want something that POSTs correctly and gets to the point of being able to boot an OS or bitch about one not being installed.

I can confirm that OpenBSD (5.9 was the last version I tested) still works on i486 and am486 based machines. But I haven't found a current GNU/Linux distribution or Linux kernel that still works on 486 CPUs.
I'd go for a board that also has PCI slots, because this allows to use PCI based NICs with PXE boot ROMs on them and of course other PCI cards. I assume you could also create such a ROM for an ISA NIC, but that needs extra work if you don't already have it available. I use my 486 system together with an Intel e100 based NIC and network boot it. With a PCI based SATA controller with boot ROM it should be even possible to use SATA disks with a 486 system (incl. SATA SSDs).
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commodorejohn
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Mon May 01, 2017 9:43 am

It's going to be running DOS anyway, but I'm not shocked that OpenBSD still works - I was able to boot 5.7 on a MicroVAX 3000/90 of all things without the slightest trouble (slooooow as molasses, but it worked!)

Anyway, I'm not too concerned about PCI slots, the only boot ROM I need is XT-IDE (so's it can use large hard drives without any undue weirdness,) and I've already got that on an ISA NIC.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

Y888099
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby Y888099 » Mon May 01, 2017 9:54 am

johnnym wrote:haven't found a current GNU/Linux distribution or Linux kernel that still works on 486 CPUs.


I can build a complete stage3 (including gcc&c) optimized for i486, but I need two weeks of time.

At the moment I am focused on PPC4xx and PPC75x; one of my customers needs a complete stage4(including X11).
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commodorejohn
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Tue May 02, 2017 9:06 am

Well, wouldn't you know it, I pulled out one of the 486 boards I've had the longest and hooked it up and all of a sudden it's booting normally :lol: I am, therefore, no longer in need of another 486 setup ;)
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby johnnym » Wed May 03, 2017 11:14 pm

commodorejohn wrote:It's going to be running DOS anyway, but I'm not shocked that OpenBSD still works - I was able to boot 5.7 on a MicroVAX 3000/90 of all things without the slightest trouble (slooooow as molasses, but it worked!)

Anyway, I'm not too concerned about PCI slots, the only boot ROM I need is XT-IDE (so's it can use large hard drives without any undue weirdness,) and I've already got that on an ISA NIC.

How does this work? Does it enable to use large hard drives with the disk controller(s) included on the motherboard or does it use a network connection to a remote system that provides disk space and emulates a disk locally?
:Indy: :O2: :Octane: :Octane2: :O200: = :O200: - :O200: = :O200: (O200 cluster w/2 GIGAchannel cabinets)
[ ( hp ) ] 712/80 c3000 (dead) :hpserv: (J5600) c3700 c3750 c8000 rp2470 :rx2600: (rx2620) rx4640
| d | i | g | i | t | a | l | AXPpci33 AlphaStation 200 AlphaStation 255 PWS 500au AlphaServer DS20E AlphaServer DS25
C O B A L T Qube 2 Qube 3 RaQ RaQ 2 RaQ 4r RaQ XTR

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commodorejohn
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Thu May 04, 2017 7:02 am

The former. It's a patch for BIOS disk calls on systems that are too old to recognize larger disks correctly (usually 386-486 systems that only think in CHS geometry, though I've seen Pentium systems with similar issues.)
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

MrBill
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby MrBill » Thu May 04, 2017 3:41 pm

I have a literal mound of motherboards with 486's and memory in them. I was picking them up every cahnce i could at the scrapyard. Send me a couple bucks plus shipping and i will send a working one your way. That goes for anyone else that may want one as well. Also have a pentium pro board with processor.
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commodorejohn
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Thu May 04, 2017 4:01 pm

Well I'm good on that count as I also have several 486es and boards and now one working system (well, it POSTs A-okay, I still have to get disks set up and an OS installed,) but good for anyone else to know :)
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

Y888099
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby Y888099 » Sat May 06, 2017 3:02 am

486es's caches are useful for projects.
It's static fast-ram, in DIP package.
Head Full of Snow. Lemon Scented You

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commodorejohn
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby commodorejohn » Sat May 06, 2017 9:06 am

Yep, I've got plenty of that on hand. When I finally get around to the homebrew CPU design I've been scheming up the architecture for, I'm planning on using some to shadow the microcode ROM, since it's two or three times as fast as the fastest EEPROMs I've been able to find.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/HS-80/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/M1, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Emax HD/Proteus-2, Casio CZ-5000, Moog Satellite, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600

Y888099
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby Y888099 » Sat May 06, 2017 10:11 am

Image

Yup, but also for MPU-projects: this was an example of a board I made.
Note, it uses a fastram chip, pulled out from a 486's motherboard :)
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itsvince725
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby itsvince725 » Tue May 09, 2017 1:47 pm

MrBill wrote:I have a literal mound of motherboards with 486's and memory in them. I was picking them up every cahnce i could at the scrapyard. Send me a couple bucks plus shipping and i will send a working one your way. That goes for anyone else that may want one as well. Also have a pentium pro board with processor.


Is that Pentium Pro board AT or ATX?

I don't have an AT case to spare at the moment but I do want a Pentium Pro machine...
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Y888099
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Re: Wanted: working 486 system

Unread postby Y888099 » Wed May 10, 2017 12:44 am

I had a couple of Black (1MB cache) PentiumPRO @ 200MHz.
Mounted on a dual CPUs motherboard made by Micronix.

It was 2007. Sold in 2014, and bought a Kindle Paper White :)

But I still have a "Pentium Pro" manual by Intel.
If someone wants/needs it, just send me a PM.
Head Full of Snow. Lemon Scented You


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