Old x86 "PC" SBCs (Toronto Microelectronics)

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 22 15:52:01 CST 2014

On 11/22/2014 03:08 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 11/22/2014 12:50 PM, Jules Richardson wrote:
>> I've got this ISA card sitting around which was made by Toronto
>> Microelectronics (TME), but it gives the impression that it may be a
>> complete SBC in its own right; it has a 386sx for CPU, takes 30 pin
>> simms, and has various connectors (IDE, floppy, 2x RS232 and parallel
>> are obvious, then there are another six unlabeled connectors). IC dates
>> are all around 1993.
> I've seen similar Chinese-made NOS ones being offered on eBay.  Most of the
> connectors should be obvious--including one 10-pin header at the extreme
> top left for serial comms.  Others should be keyboard, mouse and probably
> HDD indicator.  A little buzzing out with a continuity checker should
> betray the remainder.

Yes, it's got a female DB25 on the edge for parallel, along with a male DE9 
for serial - then there's a 10-pin header on the board marked as being for 
a second serial port. IDE and floppy headers are also labeled. For whatever 
reason the designer didn't label the other six connectors on the PCB, though.

There are a pair of four-pin connectors, and one of those might be speaker 
(but there is a buzzer on the PCB). There's a 5 pin connector which could 
be keyboard. A 16 pin connector which seems to have various pins tied 
together and run via fuses (likely power in or power out, I'll check with a 
meter anyway).

There are no obvious video-related ICs, so I'm thinking it probably doesn't 
have any such ability, unless it's buried within one of the custom ICs - 
but booted from a CF card it would still make a neat little 
controller/monitor for something (it was just unusual enough that I felt 
the need to save it from the recycler!)

I think I may have a passive ISA backplane somewhere, so maybe I need to 
try coupling it with a video board and feeding it power, to at least see if 
it gives me a display.



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