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SIIG MiniSys S286 Small Kind Issue PC

SIIG MiniSys S286 Small Kind Issue PC

2023-11-26 02:06:21

Subject: Cleansing up a SIIG MiniSys S286
Date:&nbsp 2018 JUL 01

I first learn concerning the SIIG MiniSys S286 on the Obsolete Computer Museum page for it round 1998 or so. Since then, I’d been casually searching for one in every of these tiny AT-compatible machines to play with. Final October, one lastly turned up on a preferred digital public sale website.

SIIG MiniSys S286, 3.5" Floppy Box for Size

It’s barely seen within the above image, however mine arrived with just a little transport harm: the smoked plastic cowl over the ability and disk exercise LEDs bought cracked. Oh properly! It doesn’t have an effect on operation. It additionally got here with its unique NiCd “barrel battery,” which did have an effect on operation: it had in fact leaked, although not badly. I cleaned up the affected space of the motherboard, gave it a wash, and despatched it by the recent air drying rack. I’d wished to exchange it with a 1/2AA holder and a Tadiran 3.6V hermetically sealed lithium thionyl chloride battery. These batteries are non-rechargeable, and should not be recharged. Moderately than put a diode in collection with it, I traced out the cost circuit and found that the outdated NiCd was merely trickle-charged by a resistor:

R32, a 470R Surface Mount Resistor

R32 is a 470 ohm (marked 471) floor mount resistor, discovered on the underside of the S286’s motherboard, underneath the realm the place the NiCd barrel battery was situated. I merely eliminated the resistor, and double-checked that cost voltage was now not current on the optimistic pad for the CMOS battery. Success! A 1/2AA cell holder with flying leads was used to exchange the NiCd, the leads have been soldered on to the pads. The holder was mounted to the aspect of the drive cage utilizing double-sided tape, which ought to present easy accessibility for eventual changeouts:

Battery Leads
Cell Holder Mounted

After changing the CMOS battery, the machine holds time and CMOS settings because it ought to. My S286 arrived with a Seagate ST351A/X exhausting drive. The ST351A/X was the final 40 MB drive to be produced, and appears to be fairly dependable – I’ve had a variety of them, each after they have been comparatively present, and inside current years. The drive labored high-quality, however I felt that leaving it within the S286 was a waste: the “A/X” a part of the mannequin quantity signifies that it may be used with XTA drive controllers, in addition to common ATA IDE controllers. XTA is the original XT-IDE interface, a local 8-bit IDE supported by the drive itself, to not be confused with modern XT-IDE controllers! Some PCs have inside controllers for such drives, together with a number of in style fashions within the Tandy 1000 line. So, the ST351A/X was changed with a 128 MB PQI industrial Flash module, and can transfer on to a system with XTA.

Clearly, the only 16-bit ISA slot was supposed to carry an Ethernet card! I selected an Intel EtherExpress 8/16 as I’ve a variety of them with 10baseT, 10base2/thinnet, and AUI connectors. It suits properly within the offered area:

Side View, Ethernet Installed
View of Ethernet Connections

I’m utilizing the Crynwr packet drivers for the cardboard, together with Mike Brutman’s mTCP package. mTCP is a extremely nice venture, it gives many helpful instruments to be used underneath DOS, together with purchasers for IRC, HTTP, FTP, Telnet, SNTP, and others. Moreover, I put in the Arache web browser. I used to be shocked to seek out it had recentish improvement work on it, I had initially used this brower on a 386 round 1997 or 1998. Right here’s a shot of Arachne loading the homepage: on Arachne

And, in fact, should you’re going to load webpages on a bit of classic {hardware}, one should load Hack a Day’s Retro Edition:

See Also

Hackaday Retro Edition on Arachne
Closeup of Hackaday Retro Edition

I’m comfortable to have lastly discovered one in every of these little machines. It will likely be put to make use of as a small utility PC, working some DOS utilities that I take advantage of regularly which require a {hardware} serial and/or parallel port. You might also see it linked to, in #vc sometimes!

tiny computer systems fastened

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