Athlon 2600+ survives the ride of it’s life

I thought people made this stuff up!

So apparently this really does happen. An ebayer listed a motherboard bundle as Spare PC Parts or something completely vague like it. The listing was in the Campervan and camper section, believe it or not. Condition was faulty not working and there was zero description as to what the parts were, other than the photos.

So with all that in mind, it’s not surprising I was the sole bidder and won the auction for £2.99 with £5 postage.

CPU yanked from the socket.

I was disappointed when I removed the bubblewrap from the motherboard and saw there was no CPU in the socket. When I opened the bubblewrap surrounding the cooler, I was surprised, happy and shocked all at the same time.

It defies logic, why do this? Just leave everything in place, where it is safe.

With a firm but gentle twist, the CPU was carefully released from the grip of the cooler.

Reinstalling the CPU

With my heart pounding I gently lowered the CPU into the socket. It would not go in. A bit of wiggling, blowing on the socket, waggling the socket lever and more wiggling, it eventually found it’s home, on the K8T8AS Jetway motherboard.

AGP Goodness

This is what attracted me to the auction, the asking price on this card is ridiculous. I don’t know if they sell, but you never know, it’s worth a shot anyway.

Hercules 3D Prophet 4500 64Mb 631 5058605

Also included in the bundle was a PCI Soundblaster card, PCI Firewire, PCI TV tuner and PCI network adapter.

Firing it up.

Despite the sellers attempt to damage the CPU pins with stupidity and lack of common sense, it did boot to bios.

What a good result. This will be a nice little retro gaming PC for anyone who’s looking for an older system. IDE and SATA are both supported, so you can mix older and new drives with ease.

I’ve listed the GPU on ebay for a silly high price, to see if someone will take it. Failing that, I can list the whole bundle for a 99p start and take my chances on it earning more than the £8 I paid for it.

A nice find.

Dell Poweredge 1300 Pentium III find.

Can you believe someone threw this out? Well yeah, I can. It is over 20 years old and it weighs the same as a small car. But, it is interesting and so I thought, it would be good to see if it had survived the elements after being outside for at least 2 weeks.

Stripped bare

This isn’t something I wouldn’t normally do first, but I wanted to check for any obvious signs of corrosion, especially inside the power supply. So the first job was to remove all the parts and blow out the dust with a computer blower.

The motherboard is an 0161E and this one can ideed survive being left outside.

The OS is on a 9GB SCSI HDD which makes a hell of a racket. It boots up to Windows NT Server 4.0 which is password protected.

Also included was a tape drive for back ups, with an 8GB tape still in the drive.

The customary floppy drive and cd rom were also present.

Additional cards were a PCI SCSI adapter (Adaptec AVA-2904) and a PCI network card.

Putting the beast back together was a challenge, finding which tab or lever you had to push or pull wasn’t easy. Bloody Dell.

It went back together eventually and booted to BIOS and WindowsNT Server just fine.

A morning of fun, learning and some mild frustration

All in all, I’m glad I picked it up. Although I don’t have a use for it, it did provide and mornings worth of entertainment, learning and some idle curiosity.

Silver Gameboy Advance SP

A few days ago while browsing ebay someone had just listed a faulty Sony PSP for the low price of £20. I’m not too interested in PSPs ate this time but looking through the photos of the item, and something caught my eye.


The last photo for the PSP actually showed the back of a Gameboy SP, with the PSP in the background. This gave me a good idea that the very next thing they were going to list was that Gameboy.

The missing Gameboy

A few minutes later and lots of F5’ing, sure enough they listed a silver GBA SP with a buy it now price. Thankfully my immediate offer was quickly accepted and I am now the new owner of a silver GBA SP.

Good cleaning and free gaming

There was some cleaning to do when it arrived, a previous owner had customised it with an Apple logo sticker on the top of the case which left a lot of glue to remove but the seller did send out a game with it too, which I wasn’t expecting.

Apple logo glue

After a good clean with Mr Sheen (don’t use alcohol on plastics), here it is tested and working. Although being sold as faulty, it does power on, play the included game, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and the charging light illuminates when connected to the mains.

GBA SP playing Super Mario Land 2

The game cartridge has seen better days, you can tell someone has enjoyed playing this game a lot. It’s not the correct format for the SP but it is my first gameboy game cartridge, which I will be keep for testing gameboys I own in the future.

Super Mariu Land 2 6 Golden Coins

Happy ebay hunting guys

So I am of course very happy with my purchase. It goes to show it’s worth browsing people’s listing and having a good virtual rummage if you have the time.

It’s going to hard to find a better bargain in the future.

The Tale of Two GBAs SP NES editions

During February 2021 I have been buying and selling a few games consoles, with the goal of making enough profit to buy myself a hot air re-work station and then hopefully an oscilloscope.

Handheld devices are new to me, as I have never owned a Gameboy, DSI or similar, but I know they are still very popular.

So I took a chance and picked up these two Gameboy Advance SP NES edition, the pair were being sold as ‘faulty batteries, won’t turn on’, and I paid £50 for them delivered.

Game Advance SP

When they arrived, I was pleased to see they were in good condition and the housing was original too. It wasn’t until I paid the money, did I learn there were reproduction ones being sold too.

Supplying power through the bench top PSU

My first step was to remove one of the batteries and hook up my bench top PSU to the battery terminals on the GBA, carefully dialling in the correct voltage and amps from information on the battery.

The GBA turned on and was games loaded without any issue. Sound was also working, I will come back to that later.

GBA SP and bench PSU

Battery Charging with the TP4056

Using the TP4056 li-on charging board and an USB volt/amp meter tester, I could see the battery was charging. Both consoles turned on and played games from the charged battery.

Testing the charger

So both Gameboys work with a charged battery, but the charger won’t charge the battery. So I’m beginning to think there is a charge problem inside the GBAs, but it’s unlikely both would suffer the same fate.

Not a GBA charger

If you know about GBA SPs you might have already figured out what’s wrong with the above photo.

I snipped the jack plu off the charger the ebay seller provided, plugged it back into the above adapter and powered the GBA using my bench top PSU.

The penny dropped

Two things seemd odd. 1. The GBA didn’t take any amps from the bench top PSU (which meant only the battery was providing power). and 2. There was no sound coming from the speaker.

After some research I learnt the adapter in the above photo, is not a power adapter, it’s for headphones. The previous owner had been trying to power both GBAs through the headphone adapter.

Thankfully no harm seems to have been done to the consoles. There is a new charging cable on the way and it seems I have been lucky with these two.

A lot of time could have been saved, if I had a proper charger and not relied on what the seller provided but with the help of the TP4056, USB meter and bench top PSU it all worked out in the end.

I’ll test these properly and sell them on the add to my hot air re-work station fund.