The 100% 386 DX40 aka The Albatross Part 2

… is not dead!!!  


If you haven’t read the previous article on The Albatross Check it out HERE!

386DX aka “The Albatross” Part 2


Welcome back!  Last time we sent The Albatross, our 386, off to Infinate, our super-duper-uber technical guru. He has some test cards and knowledge to help determine why I wasn’t getting video.
As I feared it was the video card.  In a moment you will know why that is the worst issue in this case    🙁   Frowny faces indeed!   

I have retrieved The Albatross from Infinate who has determined pretty much all the cards in the 386 are poop and need to be replaced. 

Specifically this important one:  The everything card!!   The Multi IO Super

Controller Card


This lovely card holds all the keys. It has the floppy and hard drive controllers, the 15 pin video port, and a VGA video port, 2 serial port, and 2 printer ports.  And… it doesn’t work.   With it installed we just get the no video beeps.  This is going to be a hard find to replace this all-in-one  card.  

From the back the ports looked like this.  Everything between the AT Keyboard port and the Sound card / modem card is tied to this Multi IO Card ( that still doesn’t work )



Let’s break The Albatross down and get some stuff done!


Unknown Board / Model A340C-H

Built In AMD 386DX40 and optional Math Co Sockets


I haven’t found reference to this exact motherboard but as stated in a previous article I found some similar model numbers and designs.  Notice those extra sockets even though this has an integrated AMD 386DX40 CPU, it’s good to have choices!  This would be the fastest 386 we ever had in the lab and a fine specimen.


Check out the Bios chip.

There is also some interesting information on AMI Bios post codes etc here: BIOS Central


We need to contend with that barrel battery.  It was starting to leak but is not very bad yet. Notice the 4 pins next to it are for an external battery.  We will only need the two outer pins, positive and negative for the external battery connection.  A cleaning of the battery area was performed after these pictures with white vinegar followed by 91% isopropyl alcohol.

30 pin simms and that stinkin’ barrel battery

We clipped the battery at the posts because , easy!

clock battery removed

Corrosion wasn’t bad enough to be on the bottom side

back of board beneath the clock battery


Now that we have the board hanging out time to clean up the dust that was under the board in the case.  Also, going to replace the plastic standoffs. I Had to cut some of the old plastic ones to remove the board.  Sometimes that old plastic just doesn’t flex when pinching them to release the board.


A340C-H hanging out withthe ER lab team!


Next time: We work on the rusty case!!!



… And see if we can get some hard drive working and some basic testing of components.

It’s happening! The Albatross refuses to give up or we refuse to give up on The Albatross.



So, check those biscuits in the oven so you don’t burn your buns and stay tuned!!



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