Author Topic: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer  (Read 4812 times)

Offline ArcadeAction

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Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« on: January 19, 2017, 12:20:47 AM »
I picked one of these up for free to run old DOS Sierra games in 16 color glory. Works except the little monitor only shows a blue shade. Like a VirtualBoy, but in blue instead of red.

When powered off you can see colored red and blue and maybe green guns fading out in the center (as many CRTs do) so it seems the monitor is working, however the display on screen is just blue.

Is the bios or something set perhaps in a low color mode? I've entered the bios and see video mode is set to 03H, which seems correct.

Thoughts appreciated. I've attempted to dismantle and check the wires but case around monitor seems stuck. Still looking for a manual.

It's an all-in-one CPU and monitor and runs DOS and Windows 3.1. Has 4MB RAM, floppy, built in HD, and 25Mhz like a custom 486.

Here's what the machine should look like running:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePS5bBJfKZ4

Offline number six

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 09:58:39 AM »
Not familiar with this model specifically but found some specs.

Is it so integrated that you can't unhook the monitor from the video card? It apparently has a Cirrus Logic VGA card in it.

If you can then you can check to see if it does the same thing hooked up to another monitor. Many LCDs still sport a VGA D-SUB connector.

I'm not aware of the use of a '1 color' mode in a computer that new so I suspect its a problem with either the monitor or the video card.  Even if its all in one there has to be some connection between the two components so its possible theres a problem there as well.

My first IBM was a PS/1 that was also weirdly integrated. The VGA monitor housed the power supply for the entire computer (go figure). When the computer got too old to be useful I ran the Village host computer with the monitor until the monitor blew up. Not sure if it blew because it just died or if it didn't like running power to just the monitor. It could also be that IBM used crappy monitors. I went back to a mid-80s monochrome after that and it ran fine for years longer (until the dial-up village was retired).

Offline ArcadeAction

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 10:31:12 AM »
There is a 9-pin unlabled connector on the back that might be video out. I'll need a 9 to 15pin adapter to test on monitors I have (if that will work).

The motherboard slides straight out the back. There's one multipin power-type connector perhaps going to the monitor that I'm having trouble removing to get the motherboard to fully slide out which may then make it clearer.

This computer is otherwise just perfect for running these games as they can be copied over from another computer using a USB 3.5 floppy. Kind of fun to use DOS and a lot of the enjoyment will be playing on this little built in IBM CRT. I'm definitely seeing red, green and blue guns when turning off the monitor.

Offline number six

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 11:30:39 AM »
There is a 9-pin unlabled connector on the back that might be video out. I'll need a 9 to 15pin adapter to test on monitors I have (if that will work).

The motherboard slides straight out the back. There's one multipin power-type connector perhaps going to the monitor that I'm having trouble removing to get the motherboard to fully slide out which may then make it clearer.

This computer is otherwise just perfect for running these games as they can be copied over from another computer using a USB 3.5 floppy. Kind of fun to use DOS and a lot of the enjoyment will be playing on this little built in IBM CRT. I'm definitely seeing red, green and blue guns when turning off the monitor.

The 9-pin connector is most probably a serial port.

This computer is 486-era so pretty modern all things considered. The only video out really used during that era is going to be your standard VGA out, so if it doesn't have that plug then its routing the signal inside the box somewhere. IBM was stupid when designing these types of systems sometimes.

You definitely need to get inside it to check the connections.

I thought about building a 'classic PC' game system. If I do I think i'll go for a Pentium II running Windows 9x. That will give you access to old Windows games and still remain fully DOS compatible since 9x sat on top of DOS and you can easily boot between the two. You'd also get modern amenities like an easy IDE CD-ROM drive or PCI card slots. The Pentium II would of course be too fast to run some DOS games designed for a 286/386 but then again 486s were too fast as well so either way you'd have to use some sort of slow-down TSR in some cases (not that big of a deal as there were a bunch back in the day).

Then again I'm kinda lazy and just use DOSBOX when I want to boot something old.



Offline ArcadeAction

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 12:42:25 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I managed to take it apart further and vacuumed it thoroughly and unplugged connectors and wiggled ones that wouldn't budge. On the monitor I turned a color gain pot a bit back and forth.

The colors are now perfect. Single channel mono sound. Awesome. Case is a bit beat up but it runs like a champ. This is such a small unit and is like moving a Vectrex around almost. KQ3 was the first Sierra text game I bought myself. I used to have a shelf full of mint Sierra boxes but had to part with them during a move.

Looking forward to playing Quest for Glory again.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 12:56:26 PM by arcadeaction »

Offline HammysHangout ( Hammy )

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2017, 12:54:28 PM »
its also recommended to do a cap replacement on it, common issue on vcf.
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Offline ArcadeAction

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2017, 12:59:45 PM »
its also recommended to do a cap replacement on it, common issue on vcf.

I'll look into doing that also. It can be frusterating at times, but doing monitor repair work is some of the most satisfying parts of the hobby when things turn out.

Offline HammysHangout ( Hammy )

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2017, 01:03:30 PM »
I'll look into doing that also. It can be frusterating at times, but doing monitor repair work is some of the most satisfying parts of the hobby when things turn out.

i believe its the mainboard / smt caps that need to be replaced more than the monitor caps.
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Offline ArcadeAction

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2017, 03:03:39 PM »
i believe its the mainboard / smt caps that need to be replaced more than the monitor caps.

Ok, thanks. I located my original 3.5" disks for many Sierra games. About a year ago all the ones I tested still worked ok.

Offline HammysHangout ( Hammy )

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 03:07:30 PM »
the SMT caps on the mainboard can/will leak destroying the pcb, it may work now, but if not replaced you will eventually own a paper weight.
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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 03:24:07 PM »
the SMT caps on the mainboard can/will leak destroying the pcb, it may work now, but if not replaced you will eventually own a paper weight.

I may have to search for a cap kit or make up a list for that and order them. My original 1989 MacSE is currently having power issue on start up, can hear a type of power up surge noise, but then nothing further. I should dismantle that and have a look.

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 03:26:44 PM »
SE 30 is a failing HDD, the miniscribes like to drive lock, and yep, same issue with smt caps here as well, i have a few IIci(s) i need to order 47uf 16v smt caps for.

best to replace the hdd with the scsi2sd boards.
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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 03:50:45 PM »
SE 30 is a failing HDD, the miniscribes like to drive lock, and yep, same issue with smt caps here as well, i have a few IIci(s) i need to order 47uf 16v smt caps for.

best to replace the hdd with the scsi2sd boards.

The IIci was one of my favorite machines back then. A friend of mine who worked with Apple has his original Lisa computer running well.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 08:59:21 PM by arcadeaction »

Offline ArcadeAction

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 10:47:53 PM »
Using these older computers with a command prompt OS is a lot less distracting compared to today's computers with a million windows open. Commands seem to happen immediately as well. Mostly just disk copying takes awhile. Yes, these games and programs can be run on newer systems, but it is fun to use the same monitor you used back then so the graphics truly look the same and you can just focus on having fun with your dedicated task (or game).

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Re: Question: Enable color on IBM EduQuest 30 computer
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2017, 11:17:40 PM »
For a lot of functions I find DOS to be easier and faster than a GUI,