Author Topic: (Wanted) Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !  (Read 364 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
(Wanted) Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« on: October 12, 2018, 06:13:52 am »
Hi All,

This is a long shot. I have a very nice condition Dolch Flex PAC P4 luggable/lunchbox PC that has a dead motherboard.

The motherboard is an IBase IB800S with on board graphics and LVDS drive to the LCD panel.
It is a full length PC Card with both ISA and PCI edge connectors.

http://www.ibt.ca/v2/items/ib800/index.html
 
Does anyone have one of these vintage motherboards spare please ?

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 01:33:31 am by Fraser »
 

Offline Tony_G

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 487
  • Country: us
  • Checkout my old test gear channel (link in sig)
    • TGSoapbox
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 08:48:55 am »
I don't have one but picmg boards seem fairly available on eBay.

TonyG

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 09:05:31 am »
Hi Tony_G,

Yes I thought the same, but sadly the IB800S provides direct drive to the LCD panel via LVDS and I cannot find another ISA+PCI PICMG on eBay that provides such. Without the display drive I am faced with finding a converter board to drive the LCD from the 'VGA' output socket.

I hoped I could find something close that I could use in place of the IB800S and was surprised that no similarly equipped cards were available. I did find some used IB800S boards in Israel but they are asking plain crazy prices and some are not even sold as working ! I think that where these old SBC's are concerned, the sellers hope that they are part of someone's mission critical Industrial computer and so they ask silly high prices in the hope of making a killing. £200+ for an old, used, P4 board is pushing things IMHO.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 10:40:48 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 09:22:16 am »
Well having said I wanted to avoid Using a VGA to LVDS adapter I have just seen how common and affordable they are on eBay. For less than £10 I can get a universal adapter that can be configured for all manner of resolutions. This may well be the path I need to follow. There is certainly plenty of room for extra PCB's in the unit  ;D

OK, now to find a sensibly priced PICMG SBC with a half decent spec.

Fraser
 

Offline Tony_G

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 487
  • Country: us
  • Checkout my old test gear channel (link in sig)
    • TGSoapbox
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 11:30:30 am »
Good luck with the search. I'd stay away from those sellers on eBay though, most of that gear looks like it was parted after a Merkava drove over it...

TonyG

Btw I don't remember seeing LVDS on my Dolch Pac but then again it isn't a Flex.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 11:33:01 am by Tony_G »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 09:22:01 pm »
Tony_G,

I love the comment about the Merkava  ;D. So true of some stuff coming out of Israel. The IB800's did look in a sorry state..... bent, battered and missing heatsinks on the chipset showed a lack of care when handling.

I found an IBS820 SBC in China that apparently works. I made an offer on it but the seller has countered with a offer that is more than the Flex PAC is worth to me so that is a dead end. I will now keep looking with the option to use other boards like the IBS820 that do not provide LVDS. I ordered a couple of universal LVDS adapter boards to play with :) The cost was only a total of £12 for the two different versions :)

The FLEX PAC may live again but there is little point at throwing lots of money at a P4 Lunchbox. It cost me £50 so does not owe me too much as I enjoy working on faulty kit. I may take another look at the original IB800 board but I am pretty sure it's BIOS is corrupted and I cannot find a BIOS image for it.

The poor thing just makes a long sad beep repeat at power on and, unlike other BIOS makes, the Phoenix BIOS does not specify such a fault code. Others have found that it is a BIOS corruption at the heart of such a beep repeat sequence  :(

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 10:43:12 pm by Fraser »
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 11:00:17 pm »
WTB PICMG P4 SBC posting made in the forums 'For sale or Wanted' section.

Maybe someone has one knocking around in their spares ? I am not looking for freebies, just a sensibly priced SBC :)

Fraser
 

Offline Tony_G

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 487
  • Country: us
  • Checkout my old test gear channel (link in sig)
    • TGSoapbox
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 07:01:54 am »
I found this https://www.wimsbios.com/biosupdates/ibase%20-%20technoland/6A69VIL9 might be worth a shot to try reflashing.

TonyG

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2018, 07:26:51 am »
Hi,

Been there.... it seems to be a scam :(

The link takes you to a biosagent page that wants you to download the drivers search agent that so say goes to the internet to find drivers for your computer. The Biosagent service requires a subscription. Got caught by similar a while back. All that happens is they take your money and either direct you to a URL that can be found with Google, a dead link or just cannot find what you are looking for. A bit of a con really and no refunds given.

I have spent a few hours chasing down options for the SBC and have come to the conclusion that Industrial SBC's are just crazy prices and the FlexPAC P4 is now heading to the recycling centre. It is just not worth the cost and time needed to repair it. Such is life.

Fraser
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 07:30:02 am by Fraser »
 

Offline HwAoRrDk

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 444
  • Country: gb
Re: Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2018, 10:35:52 am »
The poor thing just makes a long sad beep repeat at power on and, unlike other BIOS makes, the Phoenix BIOS does not specify such a fault code. Others have found that it is a BIOS corruption at the heart of such a beep repeat sequence  :(

Have you seen this series of videos on YouTube by Curiousmarc?



Parts 1-3 are where he's trying to fix just such a problem on his own Dolch (albeit an older model). He may know where to get a BIOS image from.
 

Online Fraser

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7524
  • Country: gb
Re: (Wanted) Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2018, 01:50:51 am »
Darn it, I have to admit defeat over a poxy i845 chipset motherboard with 'issues'  :box:

My diagnostics on the board, including a POST test card suggest a corrupted BIOS as the checksum is appearing to be incorrect. The bios image is not available and replacement PICMG boards are silly expensive due to their Industrial heritage. The IB800S is actually half decent as far as P4 boards go. She contains lots of connectivity and ATI on board GPU. Sadly most alternatives are lacking in the GPU department but that was not a reall issue if I am honest.

If this was the embedded computer in a thermal camera, I would not give up so easily. It is just that PC motherboards have never interested me very much as far as repair goes. They are norm ally so cheap to replace so not worth the diagnostic and repair time. The IB800S is a little different as I really wanyed to get the Dolch Flex PAC running again.

Right so I am not willing to pay £200+ for a known good IB800S SBC, the alternatives remain expensive and would need modifications to the Flex PAC and that is still taking the easy way out   ;D

I suspect the BIOS may be corrupted and I am no expert on BIOS code but I can do "bush engineering" when needed. I am considering building a test BIOS using the BIOS image of a motherboard that uses the same chipset, video, I/O and LAN chips  :) If such does not exist, I will do the best I can. I need to prove whether the original BIOS is the cause of the problem, or it just appears that way due to another failure elsewhere on the motherboard. I have the required programmer and the flash chips are cheap. I just need tonsearch out a similar spec motherboard and use its OEM BIOS image. I could just buy a similar chipset standard used motherboard off eBay as well as some are only £10 ! I getva pre programmed BIOS chip that way  ;D

If I prove theoriginal BIOS is the failure I will see whether a new IB800S bios can be created using the donor BIOS. Not guarantee of success but at leSt I am not giving up before a fight eh  :box:

This will all take time and I have no great need to do this now so I will look for a suitable donor BIOS or Motherboard and report if I ever get the Flex PAC running.

Fraser
 

Offline Tony_G

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 487
  • Country: us
  • Checkout my old test gear channel (link in sig)
    • TGSoapbox
Re: (Wanted) Dolch Flex PAC P4 - need a IB800S motherboard !
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 03:33:38 am »
Just a thought, did you try asking IBase for a copy?

https://www.ibase.com.tw/english/Supports/TechnicalSupport/

TonyG


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf