[aprssig] Interesting setup ... but will it work?

Dave Baxter Dave at emv.co.uk
Mon Dec 1 03:22:27 CST 2008

You can get modern P4 motherboards with ISA slots in addition to PCI,
look at the industrial PC parts vendors...   

I own such a beast.  A modern ATX format P4 1.8G, max 2G Ram, 3PCI +
3ISA + AGP + onboard 10/100 LAN, USB, USB2, COM1 to 4, LPT1, Sound etc,
in my main shack PC, with old GPIB and digital IO cards in.   Works well
with Win2k (and all updates.)

OK, so it's about 3 years old now, but they are still being made if you
go looking for them.  Just don't ask Dell or your local PC supermarket,
they dont even know what a USB to RS232 adapter is!

As an asside, Dell will build a batch to whatever spec you want, for
corporate customers, at a cost.  If you look at even their latest
machines, there are spaces marked up on the main boards for COM and LPT
ports for example, they are just not populated as standard...

If anyone wants, I'll find out where my mobo came from.   I had the PC
ready built to my spec, the request for at least 1 ISA slot didn't raise
any comments, and the cost was no more than a similar PCI only mobo at
that time.


Dave G0WBX.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen H. Smith [mailto:wa8lmf2 at aol.com] 
> Sent: 28 November 2008 23:15
> To: TAPR APRS Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [aprssig] Interesting setup ... but will it work?
> Arte Booten wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> >      I have the following two interesting pieces of 
> hardware, which I 
> > bought specifically to set up a computer dedicated to APRS. 
>  The first is an A.E.A.
> > PCB-88 TNC (the equivalent of a PK-88, with a twist).  The other is 
> > from HAL Communications, a P-38 HF modem (precursor to 
> their DXP-38).
> >
> >      The twist with both of them is that they're each 
> full-length ISA 
> > cards, taking their own com ports and IRQ's.
> >
> >   
> The biggest problem is that no machine has had ISA slots for 
> the last 7 
> years or so.   You are going to most likelhy have to scrounge an 
> ancient  Pentium I or '486 machine to find one with ISA slots.   I 
> happen to have one of the (very) few P-III machines with a single ISA 
> slot alongside 4 PCI slots -- a 500 MHz Compaq Prosignia.    
> You will then discover that such an ancient machine can't be 
> expanded to enough memory to usably run Win2K or similar 
> current OS.  Remember that
> Win95 was just getting off the ground in this era and 
> required the then-staggering 16 or 32 MB of RAM.  Machines of 
> the era typically maxed out at 64MB -- impossibly small for 
> Win2K or similar.  If it can be expanded, it will most likely 
> require high-priced obsolete RAM modules. 
>   You could buy an entire new machine with 2 GHz dual-core 
> CPU, 1GB of RAM, DVD-RW drive, 150-200 GB hard disk,etc for 
> what you will pay to upgrade the RAM in an old machine 
> (although it won't have ISA slots.). 
> If this machine is going to be exposed to the Internet and 
> run Windows, you simply must run proper security software 
> (anti-virus and firewall/anti-malware).  Current security 
> products consume so much RAM and so much CPU "horsepower" 
> that such an older machine will become impossibly sluggish 
> and essentially unusable  for anything once it is 
> secured.   [Most current security products won't run on 9x Windows or 
> earlier -- you must have Win2K, XP or Vista.]
> Essentially, if a machine is old enough to have ISA slots, it 
> probably can't safely be used on the Internet since you can't 
> run  modern OS'es or security on it. 
> --
> Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
> EchoLink Node:      14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
> Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.com  --OR--   http://wa8lmf.net
> World Digipeater Map
>   http://wa8lmf.net/APRSmaps
> JavAPRS Filter Port 14580 Guide
>   http://wa8lmf.net/aprs/JAVaprsFilters.htm
> "APRS 101"  Explanation of APRS Path Selection & Digipeating
>   http://wa8lmf.net/DigiPaths
> Updated "Rev H" APRS            http://wa8lmf.net/aprs
> Symbols Set for UI-View,
> UIpoint and APRSplus:

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