Author Topic: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card  (Read 3190 times)

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Online Halcyon

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Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« on: February 02, 2018, 02:13:11 am »
I'm at a loss to identify this particular card I located among some stuff I had. I have a few of these. I can only assume it's a network interface card given it has a BNC connector, but it might also be video? I can't even be sure this is from a PC.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 02:23:12 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 02:29:12 am »
There's an 8088 processor, DMA, interrupt controller, NEC serial controller and what looks suspiciously like a Twinax connector. I'd lean in the direction of a serial protocol controller for one of the mainframe serial protocols, probably IBM related like a 3270 terminal emulator, SNA node or something of that ilk.
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Online Halcyon

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 02:36:33 am »
There's an 8088 processor, DMA, interrupt controller, NEC serial controller and what looks suspiciously like a Twinax connector. I'd lean in the direction of a serial protocol controller for one of the mainframe serial protocols, probably IBM related like a 3270 terminal emulator, SNA node or something of that ilk.

You're probably on the right track. It's too big to be a NIC. The date codes on some of the chips date it somewhere around 1991. When I get time, I'll read out the contents of the ROM and see if that gives any clues.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 05:59:58 pm »
 Any model numbers on the back side anywhere? Looks to be a 3270 emulator board of some sort although I did a lot of that back in the day and I don't recall them having full 8088 computers on them. It's surely an ISA card edge, although that doesn't guarantee it came from a PC. Keying off the Fujitsu label isn't finding me much of anything.

 

Offline helius

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 06:19:10 pm »
Searching for "Fujitsu C16B" turns up a lot of controllers for SMD hard drives (Fujitsu Eagles). It could be the board was used in a disk subsystem.
I also got some hits for Modbus. It wouldn't surprise me too much if it is part of a PLC.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 06:24:18 pm by helius »
 

Offline NivagSwerdna

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 06:32:17 pm »
Guessing...

Looks like a Network Adapter, possibly Thin Ethernet or similar.

The rather the over the top number of controllers could suggest that some of the protocol layers are done on the card.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 09:13:50 pm »
I just wonder what a terminal emulator would need status LEDs for. It's definitely a PC card, because of the bracket combined with the edge connector. That combination afaik is unique to ISA cards.

My thoughts are NIC. It is an interesting concept that some protocol stuff is handled on the card. Maybe it's something really crazy like a wireless communications controller needing external amplification with an antenna. I mean so many types of signals can be stuffed through coaxial, it doesn't narrow down much of anything. If it has a CPU on there, it's likely to do faster memory controlling, which could indicate some sort of high speed NIC.

It reminds me some of the PGC which was 3 board dual slot 5150 only graphics card that allowed a 640x480x8 graphics mode intended for CAD work. It had an onboard 8088 to control memory faster. I'd love to have one some day, just to mess with, but I do not perceive them to be all that common, so it may never happen.
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Online Halcyon

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2018, 05:05:16 am »
Any model numbers on the back side anywhere?

No markings on the rear at all. Just solder pads and a few mod wires.

My thoughts are NIC. It is an interesting concept that some protocol stuff is handled on the card. Maybe it's something really crazy like a wireless communications controller needing external amplification with an antenna. I mean so many types of signals can be stuffed through coaxial, it doesn't narrow down much of anything. If it has a CPU on there, it's likely to do faster memory controlling, which could indicate some sort of high speed NIC.

I thought so too originally, but it just seems way too big to be a NIC. The NE1000 card from the late 1980's is about half the size (granted the NE1000/2000's were a relatively low-cost card). I forgot to bring my chip reader home from work on Friday so I'll give the ROM a crack tomorrow.

Also, I came across another box filled with some interesting cards. I'll post a few photos next week when I have a chance to have a proper rummage through it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:19:47 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 05:18:21 am »
It's amazing the amount of effort that people in the past put into technology that isn't even usable today in any real capacity, at least not by the average Joe.

It would be interesting to see what it is, if you would like, after you figure out what it is, I could try to write some code to possibly interface with it in some way. It would be neat to see if you can use the onboard 8088 for tasks besides what was intended for it, maybe even through a reflashed ROM. Get a bunch and you have a multi-threaded 5150! So you can run calculations on your spreadsheets at speeds literally anything for any price could beat today.

I actually have the idea for a multiprocessing 68k machine. My computing skills aren't at the point where I could straight up start such a task, but it is something I could try to figure out.
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Online Halcyon

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 05:23:04 am »
I have at least 2 of the cards pictured in the original post, there might be one or two more where they came from. I just haven't had the time this weekend to continue my cleanup/organisation (I have a whole store room full of vintage tech). If you're interested TwoOfFive, I can ship one to you for keeps. See what you can do with it. I really have no use for them apart from adding to my collection of vintage computer gear.

I probably have some 16-bit I/O, FDD/HDD and video cards which might be of use to you. I have at least 15 of them already, no point in keeping them all. Shoot me a PM.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 05:24:39 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 10:47:46 pm »
elephant in the room.... whats in the EPROM?
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Offline helius

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 10:51:52 pm »
By searching for "C16B-9911", I got this picture, under the keywords "C16B-9911-0510B", which is close to the OP "C16B-9911-0500":
(perhaps they are different boards from the same system?)
 

Online Halcyon

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2018, 10:47:54 am »
Attached is a dump of the ROM. Some of the more interesting snippets are below.

Code: [Select]
..FACOM 6681PC Copyright Fujitsu Limited 1987
Code: [Select]
COPYRIGHT (C) FUJITSU LTD. 1988 WRITTEN BY T.ITOH   
Code: [Select]
MG86-V2.0 DEBUGGER SYSTEM READY....>..?....? RESOURCE FULL....? CATALOGUE FULL....? CATALOGUE DOUBLE..N. SEG:OFF    0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  A  B  C  D  E  F   0123456789ABCDEF N. SEG:OFF    0     2     4     6     8     A     C     E                       N. SEG:OFF    0           4           8           C                             ..ERROR @....PORT..AX=..BX=..CX=..DX=..BP=..SI=..DI=..ES=..DS=..IP=..CS=..FL=..SP=..SS=..AL=..AH=..BL=..BH=..CL=..CH=..DL=..DH=..OF=..DF=..IF=..TF=..SF=..ZF=..AF=..PF=..CF=.. .....ø...INTTERRUPT POINTER CRASHED...ABORT?(Y/N)...!.Copyright (C) 1988 FUJITSU LTD.........
Code: [Select]
.0.1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.9.A.B.C.D.E.F.ÿÿ:,-><+ .........AXCXDXBXSPBPSIDIALCLDLBLAHCHDHBHESCSSSDSBX+SI.BX+DI.BP+SI.BP+DI.SI....DI....BP....BX....AL,DX.DX,AL.AX,DX.DX,AX...................; \.; IMM = . '. PTR .TBYTE.DWORD.>(D(C(S(=(QWORD.[SI].[SI],ES:.ES:[DI],.[DI].,1.,CL.AX,.AL,.,AX.,AL.IN    JA    JB    JC    JE    JG    JL    JO    JP    JS    JZ    OR    AAA   AAD   AAM   AAS   ADC   ADD   AND   CBW   CLC   CLD   CLI   CMC   CMP   CS:   CWD   DAA   DAS   DEC   DIV   DS:   ES:   ESC   HLT   INC   INT   JAE   JBE   JGE   JLE   JMP   JNA   JNB   JNC   JNE   JNG   JNL   JNO   JNP   JNS   JNZ   JPE   JPO   LDS   LEA   LES   MOV   MUL   NEG   NOP   NOT   OUT   POP   RCL   RCR   REP   RET   ROL   ROR   SAL   SAR   SBB   SHL   SHR   SS:   STC   STD   STI   SUB   XOR   CALL  IDIV  IMUL  INTO  IRET  JCXZ  JMPF  JMPS  JNAE  JNBE  JNGE  JNLE  LAHF  LOCK  LOOP  POPF  PUSH  REPE  REPZ  RETF  SAHF  TEST  WAIT  XCHG  XLAT  CALLF CMPSB CMPSW LODSB LODSW LOOPE LOOPZ MOVSB MOVSW PUSHF REPNE REPNZ SCASB SCASW STOSB STOSW LOOPNELOOPNZ??    FWAIT
The code also includes some credits hidden in amongst some empty space:

Code: [Select]
.*** Project Maneger ***.. S.Simakage ..*** Hardware Design ***.. Y.Gotoh..*** CRUX Firmware Development Team ***.. Chief Programmer : N.Komatsu .. Programmer       : N.Satou.. Programmer       : K.Sakuma.. Programmer       : I.Takabe.. Programmer       : Y.Arai..*** Firmware Development Support Team ***.. Architect        : K.Hirai.. MG86 Porting     : T.Itoh.. CMT Programming  : H.Makari..*** CRUX Manual Support ***.. M.Nozawa..*** THANKS FOR ***.. C.M.Brown.. E.D.Agee.. N.Takahashi.. T.Yamazaki.. Y.Shiratori.. H.Sakuma
Any ideas? None of this is familiar to me.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2018, 11:05:40 am »
FACOM is a name used by Fujitsu for many of their computers. Everything from old relay computers through desktop computers to super computers. Perhaps a communications card for some FACOM mainframe?
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 11:25:16 am »
yea or an expansion card for one of their business machines like:

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/corporate/history/products/computer/businesscomputer/facomk.html

as others already suggested, it looks like some kind of serial interface?
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Offline glarsson

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 11:29:49 am »
Yes, put card in small FACOM PC and connect to big FACOM mainframe. Just like IBM did.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2018, 11:42:36 am »
looks like a Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal: "The Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal compatible with IBM's 3270 terminal with additional enhancements."

so i guess the 'FACOM 6681PC' means it a terminal emulator for the PC
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2018, 01:47:02 pm »
Interesting. I'll have to look into decompiling this, and see if I can hack it into doing something interesting.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 02:48:56 pm »
The decompiled code is definitely strange. It's entirely possible I'm not translating the opcodes right, but it doesn't seem to be offset incorrectly.

It would be interesting to see if the card is just straight up an 8088 computer tied to an ISA bus and serial jack.
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 05:32:17 pm »
looks like a Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal: "The Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal compatible with IBM's 3270 terminal with additional enhancements."

so i guess the 'FACOM 6681PC' means it a terminal emulator for the PC

There's an 8088 processor, DMA, interrupt controller, NEC serial controller and what looks suspiciously like a Twinax connector. I'd lean in the direction of a serial protocol controller for one of the mainframe serial protocols, probably IBM related like a 3270 terminal emulator, SNA node or something of that ilk.

I'm just going to have two minutes of sitting here looking smug, I don't often get the opportunity...
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2018, 06:55:46 pm »
No, seriously good going for getting the call right. We just didn't know until the ROM was ripped.

It does have everything that's really needed for just a generic 8088 CPU, I wonder if I could just straight up write my own code to it, and have it talk right through the ISA bus. I don't see why I couldn't.

Perhaps a true multitasking version of DOS?
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2018, 11:07:26 pm »
I may have one of those cards.  It seems like we used that to talk with some mainframe.  If it is the same card, I may actually have the software that went with it.  If you are interested,  I will have a look. 
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Online Halcyon

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2018, 09:34:56 am »
I may have one of those cards.  It seems like we used that to talk with some mainframe.  If it is the same card, I may actually have the software that went with it.  If you are interested,  I will have a look.

That would be amazing. It's one of a box of cards I have which are "unknown". I had 2 of these cards. One I have shipped off to TwoOfFive just today (along with some other gifts) and one I kept for myself. I might not ever find a meaningful use for it, but someone, somewhere might.
 
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Offline rrinker

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2018, 05:17:35 pm »
looks like a Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal: "The Fujitsu 6681 is a terminal compatible with IBM's 3270 terminal with additional enhancements."

so i guess the 'FACOM 6681PC' means it a terminal emulator for the PC

There's an 8088 processor, DMA, interrupt controller, NEC serial controller and what looks suspiciously like a Twinax connector. I'd lean in the direction of a serial protocol controller for one of the mainframe serial protocols, probably IBM related like a 3270 terminal emulator, SNA node or something of that ilk.

I'm just going to have two minutes of sitting here looking smug, I don't often get the opportunity...

 Notice I also agreed with you, pre-ROM dump.
 
I think that just means we are old and have seen these things before, not anything special otherwise   :-DD :-DD :-DD
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Identifying an 8-bit ISA card
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2018, 05:58:10 pm »
I had a look and the one I was thinking of is different.   Rather than muddy your search for info on your specific card, I started a new thread for old PC cards in general.  Good luck.
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