486 EISA system
Steven N. Hirsch
shirsch at adelphia.net
Wed Oct 4 10:13:29 CDT 2006
On Tue, 3 Oct 2006, Teo Zenios wrote:
> Another Ebay find came in today, a 486 EISA motherboard and 5 cards.
> The motherboards seems to be this model:
> http://artofhacking.com/th99/m/U-Z/31111.htm , but I can't find a
> company name on it anywhere. It has 8 EISA slots seems to be setup for a
> 486 DX. it looks like there are 2 DALLAS real time clocks on it, and the
> machine complains the eisa config battery is low. Are there any cheap
> hacks to get around this?
It might use NVRAM in the Dallas module, in which case you may just be
able to replace them outright.
> The cards that came are the following (all EISA):
> HP 10Mb and 100Mb network card has a HP/AT&T 100VG chip
I don't think that 100VG "AnyLAN" is compatible with 100Base ethernet.
ISTR it's a proprietary standard that's actually closer to token ring.
The 10Mb mode "should" be compatible with ethernet.
There are a number of 100BaseTX EISA adapters available. Try to find a
3Com 3c597 (I used all mine to upgrade networking on SGI Indigo 2 boxes
> Aview 2e Video card, 1MB VRAM
> Adaptec AHA-2740 and AHA-2740A SCSI 50 pin (no floppy controller) SCSI cards
> Mylex DAC960-1/2 caching controller card with what looks like 16MB
> (maybe 4MB) of RAM installed (4x30 pin). The card has a nice big Intel
> i960 chip (first one I have).
You have a DAC-960 EISA bus controller? I thought the DAC960s were all
PCI bus. Learn something every day!
> When the machine boots I don't see any info on what processor the system
> has like you would normally see on a 486 system, and no BIOS screen for
> the SCSI cards comes up either (not that there is anything connected to
> them). The caching controller is odd looking because of the large SCSI
> connectors ( there appears to be a 50 pin SCSI internal , and 2 68 pin
> SCSI (one looks like a normal 50 pin but its long and has 68 pins, the
> other looks like a 68pin connector on newer cards but the pin spacing
> makes it look 3x longer). Is this a raid only card and do I need special
> cables for the 68 pin connectors or are there adapters for these?
> I never used an EISA machine before (one of the reason I snagged these)
> and was wondering if there is anything special about them. Is there a
> standard configuration utility for EISA cards or do you need to find one
> for each card?
It's worse than that. You need the EISA setup _application_ specific to
the motherboard in _addition_ to the config files for each expansion
board. If you're lucky, perhaps the setup app for another brand of
motherboard using the same chipset will work.
> Also since this machine is all EISA slots would putting an ISA card in
> one of them slow the BUS down? I need to find an EISA floppy and I/O
> card to complete this, anybody have one they don't need?
It should be simple enough to find an Adaptec 2742 controller with onboard
floppy. As of last Spring, I routinely saw them in the "Free" or "$1.00"
bins at flea markets.
And, no, an ISA card will not slow things down. You can likely install a
run-of-the-mill floppy IO card.
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