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Fresh Air

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Allan Adler, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    While on my way to study this evening, I passed someone moving out of
    his apartment and discarding a computer, a monitor, a printer and a
    radio tuner. Since I'm interested in acquiring parts, connectors, etc.,
    I took a look at the stuff. I decided not to let it distract me from
    studying, which has higher priority, but instead to return later with
    screwdrivers, a shopping cart, etc., and take the parts I was interested
    in. Unfortunately, the stuff was all gone when I returned, but I decided
    to keep walking, since a lot of people had put garbage out, and only a
    block away found another discarded computer. Its interior was partly
    exposed and some peripheral removed. It was too big to fit in the
    shopping cart, so I went to work on it with my tools. It took me a long
    time to figure out how to remove stuff from it, but eventually removed
    everything that was not riveted in place. That includes the motherboard
    and its plug in cards, the power supply and 3 drives of some kind,
    as well as a ribbon cable. I left the chassis behind.

    I don't know how useful this stuff will be in connection with my search
    for DB15 connectors to plug into the game port of my PC sound card
    and for MIDI connectors, but it is still probably useful. At the very
    least, it motivated me to get some fresh air and walk around. It is
    quite possible that the machine was better than any of the ones I own.

    The old machine I'm planning to use for writing boot sector programs
    is expendable and might also be useful for examining and testing
    some or all of the parts I brought home with me this evening. For
    example, I could try plugging in one or more of the plug in boards
    and seeing what I can find out about them by examining the BIOS.
    Or I can connect one of the new drives and try to use it. I'm not
    sure what to do to test the new motherboard. The power supply is
    useful even if I don't use anything else that I found: I can use
    it to power projects built on a solderless breadboard, for example.

    What is the best way to inventory and evaluate what I brought home,
    given that I have no test equipment, not even a DMM?

    For the breakout box I might need to build for the interface between
    the game port of my old PC and the Casio CTK 571 synthesizer, I'll
    need certain diodes, optocouplers and other chips. I'm not sure what
    to look for while scavenging that might contain the parts I want.
    The design of Jeff Glatt's breakout box
    http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/hardware/pc_intfc.htm
    is pretty simple: the signals to and from the game port are buffered
    by double negation via a 74LS00 chip, and there is an optocoupler to
    isolate the input line. This uses a diode and some 220 Ohm and 2200
    Ohm resistors. What kinds of garbage will I find these in?
    Ditto for the John Loadsman
    http://www.usyd.edu.au/anaes/rpa/Loadsmanextras/PCmidi.html
    which uses various resistors, capacitors, a 1N914 or 1N4148
    diode, a 4049 CMOS hex inverting buffer, as well as an optoisolator.

    Possibly I'll find some of these in the parts I brought home, but maybe
    it would be wasteful to take them from there.

    I don't know whether I'll go as far as making the printed circuit
    boards for these breakout boxes, even if I do decide to build one of
    them. I might instead just put it on a solderless breadboard for the
    time being.

    Practically everything has at least one printed circuit board in it and
    maybe careful desoldering of components from one will give me the parts
    I want. But maybe there is some plentiful garbage that has the needed
    components in a more accessible form.
     
    Allan Adler, Nov 12, 2007
    #1
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  2. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    [discovery process deleted]
    This evening, I looked over what I had removed from the discarded PC.
    Loose items were:
    (1) Seagate Model# ST32430N, Part# 9B1001-026, Ser.#: WX068288,Firmware 0300
    (2) Antex Model No: PP-303X 300W Switching Power Supply, with fan
    (3) CD-ROM Drive Model LTn-301, Lite-On Technology Corp (Mfd. Dec. 1997)
    (4) Floppy drive: Newtronics Co. Ltd. Mitsumi Model D359T3 S/N 3172040

    I haven't removed anything from the motherboard and have been just gazing
    at it trying to recognize things. I recognize, more or less, the following:
    (5) Memory chips: NEC JAPAN D4516821AG5-A10-9F 9846PY001 (16 of them)
    (6) Sound card is Sound Blaster 16, plugged into long black card receptacle.
    (7) Two other cards plugged into short white receptacles.
    (a) One has 3 holes for in, out, mic and a hole that looks like it's for
    a plug-in jack but seems to be too big for a phone jack and too small
    for an ethernet cable, and a 3-rowed D connector with 5 pins per row.
    (b) The other has a connector in a thin D shape with roughly 47 pins in
    two rows (they're hard to count).
    (8) I can't identify the motherboard visually. Somewhere on it is written in
    large letters, AB-BH6. Somewhere it has a chip on which is written,
    "Award 1998 PCI/PNP 686 151126431". It has an Intel Celeron Processor.

    According to a Google search for AB-BH6, that refers to an ABIT AB-BH6
    motherboard.
     
    Allan Adler, Nov 16, 2007
    #2
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  3. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    I'm informed that floppy drives contain opto-isolators. So, maybe I can
    use the ones from this drive to build the break out box for the sound card's
    UART if the need arises. Also, I opened up an old mouse and found a couple
    of opto-isolators in it. I'm now trying to make sense of them by studying
    the ambient circuit, since there are no markings on the opto-isolators to
    identify them. It is an old Hewlett-Packard mouse.

    There is a chip on the PCB whose markings produced Google hits, but so far
    I haven't found any data sheets.
     
    Allan Adler, Nov 28, 2007
    #3
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