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Old computers running machine tools and ISA slots..

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  • Old computers running machine tools and ISA slots..

    My latest "antique" computer problem...1996 vintage Starrett DCC CMM joined at the hip to 1996 Dell PC via ($3,000) interface card in ISA slot of same. Starrett Apogee software was upgraded to the point that the old computer just can't handle it, but I can't upgrade the computer because they no longer have ISA slots !

    Any (cheap) solution to this ?


  • #2
    You should still be able to buy a PCI to ISA bridge card. The PCI to ISA bridge is a PCI card that plugs into a PCI slot and provides one or more ISA slots. There might be some mechanical issues depending on what motherboard/case you use.

    -Adrian

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    • #3
      What are your minimum requirements for the software? There are tons of motherboards out there for the high end PIII coppermine cpus using a slocket adapter that will run XP just fine and have ISA slots. The ASUS P2B and the SOYO 6BA series will work and have 2 or 3 ISA slots.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        I'll check the software for min requirements and get back...thanks.

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        • #5
          You're probably restricted to pentium 3 or Thunderbird class systems, topping out at 1.4mhz:

          http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138015
          http://www.shopontheweb.net/biostar-...nd-p-9907.html
          http://froogle.google.com/froogle?nu...=motherboard+i sa+usb+%28%22pentium+4%22+OR+athlon%29&btnG=Search +Froogle

          Honestly though, with what you're going to pay in surplus prices, you're probably better to buy an old gateway or dell at 1.4mhz, put in fresh RAM, HD and Win2000, and blow it out with compresssed air.

          Cheapest and better off.

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          • #6
            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">put in fresh RAM, HD and Win2000,</font>
            That's kinda what I was hoping, as the OS doesn't matter much..just need to get it to handle the newer software. So adding RAM to the current computer might do the trick ? (I need to check the processor speed on this one first of course..wonder what was typical back in 1996 on a mid range Dell PC ?)

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            • #7
              Take a look at the offerings in the PC-104 world. This is a huge assortment of Intel-based industrial computers which conform to a standard form factor (about 4 x 4.5 inches). Google on PC-104 and you'll get over 1.5 Million hits

              They have adapters which will accept ISA cards. You could use a single-board PC-104 computer and an interface for the ISA card.

              And you can get any processor you want, from an 8085 up

              ------------------
              Leigh W3NLB

              [This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 10-17-2005).]
              Leigh
              The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
              of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

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              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by D. Thomas:
                ...wonder what was typical back in 1996 on a mid range Dell PC ?)</font>
                Windows '95, of course. Could have been Win3.11, but I doubt it.

                ------------------
                Leigh W3NLB
                Leigh
                The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
                of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Windows NT 3.51 was my weapon of choice back then. I tri-booted into NT 3.51, OS/2 Warp, or MS-DOS 6. All the software I made worked on all three.

                  -Adrian

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                  • #10
                    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb:
                    Windows NT 3.51 was my weapon of choice back then. I tri-booted into NT 3.51, OS/2 Warp, or MS-DOS 6. All the software I made worked on all three.

                    -Adrian
                    </font>

                    I was an OS/2 guy myself :-)

                    There are actually plenty of current motherboards with ISA, you just need to know where to look. I work for an industrial PC company, we sell Pentium 4 based systems with ISA (passive or active backplane). Of course they're pricey, but sometimes it's worth it (like the many customers with those Allen Bradley $1500 ISA cards). If you want a new PC just look us up :-)

                    Other wise look used, I think I (and many others) have a 1Ghz'ish AMD board with ISA. Depends if you want new or used I guess.

                    Avery

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                    • #11
                      Possible bad news...I'm not at the point where I can hook it up yet, but took a better look and the original (1996) computer was replaced back in 2000 with a Dell Optiplex GX1. Sticker on the front of the case says Pentium III "configured for Widows NT and 98"

                      So, I say "bad news" because the CPU may in fact be "too new" and already near the limits of ISA slot technology motherboards ??

                      Looked inside the case and what I assume is main processor chip..on the board where the ISA slots are... is Intel 21152-AB, 1997 date. On the board this board plugs into is a "Parallel Tasking II, Performance" chip..apparently by 3COM, and a Intel PCIset chip...if any of that means anything for this dilemma.

                      Hard drive is Western Digital 102BA, 10.2 GB "enhanced IDE" type. Year 2000 on that one.

                      As to RAM..dunno..have to hook it up and see I guess...

                      Software CD's and documentation have no "requirements" printed on them anywhere. Since this is propriatary Starrett stuff I presume they felt no need to reveal this sort of "secret" as they would handle all that themselves in the CMM maintenance contracts.

                      Starrett themselves are little help with this sort of thing, as their goal is to claim the whole deal "obsolete" and sell a whole 'nuther "package" for $6,000 and up (even though the latest edition is dated 2002)

                      [This message has been edited by D. Thomas (edited 10-17-2005).]

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                      • #12
                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb:
                        Windows NT 3.51 was my weapon of choice back then. I tri-booted into NT 3.51, OS/2 Warp, or MS-DOS 6. All the software I made worked on all three.</font>
                        That's because NT was OS/2, and OS/2 was the best multi-tasking RTOS ever designed.

                        ------------------
                        Leigh W3NLB
                        Leigh
                        The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
                        of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What about this puppy ?

                          www.soyousa.com/products/proddesc.php?id=194

                          $175 from Tiger Direct

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                          • #14
                            Don-
                            The thing to look out for is driver problems. If the software you are running needs a special driver to run the ISA board, you may be hosed. Everything in the new system may work except for that board.

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                            • #15
                              Bruce...it has a "dongle" as well...could that further complicate matters ? I'm not even sure where the dongle plugs in yet...

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