Problems with old DEPCA-board

Problems with old DEPCA-board

Post by Matthias Vit » Wed, 20 Nov 1996 04:00:00

Hi there,

I have an old DEPCA-board (that what it says on th board). The kernel
(which is compiled with support for DEPCA) recognizes the board at
boottime at the right I/O address but gives a message:

card needs 32 kb RAM only 16 kB available.

It looks like LINUX doesn't supply enough RAM for the card. Does anyone
have the right parameters which can be used to intialize the board ?

When I look into /proc/net/dev theres is a device called "tunl0" (Never
seen that one before..) ifconfig knows this device but if I send a ping
to another host I get something like "sending x bytes to nowhere-land"

Any help is appreciated.
.......(o o)........      


Problems with old DEPCA-board

Post by Ramo » Mon, 25 Nov 1996 04:00:00

Matthias Vitt wrote:

> Hi there,

> I have an old DEPCA-board (that what it says on th board). The kernel
> (which is compiled with support for DEPCA) recognizes the board at
> boottime at the right I/O address but gives a message:

> card needs 32 kb RAM only 16 kB available.

> It looks like LINUX doesn't supply enough RAM for the card.

It means that the DEPCA card has an on-board RAM buffer.  The
DEPCA card you have has a 16K memory chip in it, but Linux wants
the 32K version of the card.

I have here a stack of DEPCA cards, docs, disk, etc.  Maybe I
can help you....maybe not.

Place the card flat on the table.  The edge connector should be
towards you, chips up, and BNC connector on your right.

Towards the lower left corner should be two BAR-CODE labels.
One has a long bar code, the lower one should have a very short
bar code, and a letter and numbers on it.  Mine says F02.

The manual states that boards with revision numbers with E and up
are 32K capable.

Look at the card.  Find the edge connector, then go up from the
middle of it about 2 inches (1/3 of the way up) and there are
three jumpers labelled W6, W7, W8.

Only W7 and W8 are pertinent here.

W7        W8       Mode        Memory Address

short    short     64K         D0000  Primary
open     short     64K         E0000  Secondary
short    open      32K         D8000  Primary
open     open      32K         C8000  Secondary

note that W8 = short is for 64K, and open = 32K
note that W7 = short is for primary and open for secondary
               starting addresses.

However, jumper W6 might be useful for other things.

W6  short  =  primary port range   0x300 to 0x30F
W6  open   =  secondary port range 0x200 to 0x20F

Note that on most 486's etc. the E0000-EFFFF memory position
(secondary) will crash into the BIOS; and that C8000 might
crash into some video.  With the card out you should check
your system memory (use MS DOS MEM command or equivalent to
get a reading of what is where in your system.  Pick 32K or
64K mode accordingly.  The DEPCA card will rob a chunk of
your memory in the area between 640K and 1024K (upper
memory) address space, just like VGA cards, BIOS chips, etc
also will.  The trick is to avoid conflict here.

You might have your card set up for a memory range that
conflicts with some other card.  Probably a BIOS chip
in the E0000 and up range, or a BIOS chip on a video
card, sound card, etc.  Anyway, the conflict has to be
resolved by moving the DEPCA memory address or by
moving the other conflicting BIOS or card's memory map.

The reason you are getting a 16K reading is most likely
a memory conflict, not a lack of memory addressing space
on the DEPCA.  Say you are set up for 32K, but find a
VGA bios chip stealing 16K of it....since the BIOS is
just ROM memory, and cannot be written to, your Linux
will report your total available memory as 16K.  The
other 16K will basically phantom the conflicting ROM chip.

If your card is revision D, then there is only 64K
memory option.  No 32K.   This is bad because it is hard
to fit 64K in the memory map of some computers!
W7 controls this in the revision D.  Primary (shorted)
is D0000 - DFFFF, and secondary (open) E0000 to EFFFF.
Note that E0000 secondary is probably not available to
you due to main BIOS conflicts.

So, as you can see, the 32K capable card, revision E and up
is much more desirable than revision D.

Assuming you can resolve the memory conflicts, here are
some other pins and jumpers for you to play with:

Along bottom edge, left of edge connector, jumpers W1 thru W5
set the IRQ of the board for networking and mouse.  This is
a DEC mouse.  Note the jumpers have 3 pins.

The upper pair of pins shorted is the MOUSE IRQ.  The lower
pair shorted sets the network card IRQ.

                W1 =  IRQ 2
                W2 =  IRQ 3
                W3 =  IRQ 4
                W4 =  IRQ 5
                W5 =  IRQ 7

Note that on 8088 computers, the IRQ 2 option is available.
On the 286 and up computers, including Pentiums, 386, 486
etc. that have IRQ's 8 and up as well, IRQ 2 is mapped to
IRQ 9.  Thus the real sequence for you is IRQ 9, 3, 4, 5, 7.
However, you should be able to tell Linux its IRQ 2 and it
might understand it as meaning 9.  Do I make myself
clear here?

In Linux, IRQ 7 is available, but in DOS/Windows the Printer
Port uses this for printer interrupt.  Keep that in mind if
you are tempted to use 7.  Also, 3 and 4 are COM ports, or
cua0, cua1, cua2, cua3 under Linux.  Normally both are tied
up with mouse and modem.  IRQ 5 is generally free, but some
sound cards, CD drives, or additional printer ports might
just land there.

Since you have no DEC mouse (propietary), leave the upper pair
of pins unshorted.  Only short one pair of bottom pins for the
network IRQ.

On the extreme upper left corner of the board is W17.  And
on the right, near and above the BNC connector is W9 thru W14.
These select AUI or BNC operation (9-14) and power to cable (17).
The AUI connector is internal in this card, but you probably
will not use it.  Note the W9-W14 are three pin jumpers like the
IRQ ones, but the W17 is a single pair.

For BNC:  W9 thru W14, all six, in LOWER pair position.
          W17 shorted.
For AUI:  W9 thru W14, all six, in UPPER pair position.
          W17 open.  You also need the ribbon cable for AUI socket.
          AUI generally is used to tie to a thicknet transceiver.

Above the W9-14 jumpers is the header for the AUI ribbon cable,
which you will probably not use.  It is a 16-pin header with
one pin missing.  Farther up, aligned about half inch above the
left edge of the AUI header is berg jumper W15.  This is the
trasnceiver grounding cable.  This is for AUI use.  "If the
transceiver AUI cable has 9 pins, remove W15.  If it has 15 pins,
leave W15 shorted."  This W15 has no effect on BNC thin net.

There is one last jumper, W16, the boot jumper.  It is located
left of the CPU, the large chip at the top edge of board.
From the CPU chip go left to the far side of the first column
of chips left of CPU.  Go down to the 3rd chip.  You will see
W16.  Jumper shorted = boot disabled.  Jumper open = boot enabled.

You will probably want W16 shorted as the boot code is for some
kind of DEC networking thing.

The boot chip is a socketed PROM about 5 chips down from the CPU
and a bit to the left of the edge connector.  The IRQ W5
header almost touches its left edge.  It is a 27128 PROM.
This is factory programmed with a mask.  However, you can
substitute a regular EPROM here if you want.  It is not clear
if any of this ROM is mapped into the address space, or the code
is transient only.  The manual does not state the memory range
for this PROM.  Too bad, because it looks like a ready-made
place to put in a 16K PROM with some code you do not want
tampered with, etc.  I've always been interested in this,
but never had a chance to play with.  

If your board is revision D or earlier, the jumper W8 is
different from E and up.  W8 enables (short) or disables (open)
the DLL ROM Decoder.  Manual says not to tamper with it, etc.
but leave shorted.

Therefore, the differences between rev D, and the E and up are:

W7= selects primary/secondary 64K space on rev D.
W8= selects DLL prom. on rev D.
W7= selects primary/secondary memory space per table, on E and up
W8= selects 64K (short) or 32K (open) space on E and up.

All other things remain equal.

LED indicators on back panel.  They look white, but will shine
yellow or red.

LED activity:            Cause:               Recommended:

Red on 20 seconds,
then OFF.               Normal self test.     None

Red stays on            A fault has occured     See list of
after 20 secs.          and error # displayed.  Error codes.

Yellow slowly or
rapidly blinking.       Normal network use.    None

Red on and              DEPCA preventing       Remove coax
yellow on solidly       CPU from operating     from card, turn
for 30 seconds or       correctly.             computer off, then
more, no Keyboard                              on again.  If
Response                                       problem persists,
                                               DON'T CALL ME!

Note:  Error codes are displayed upon computer boot up at
power on (or reset?).  Most simply state that problems with
DEPCA board and call your DEC representative.  Heh heh.  But
some are useful to you.

Error code 80, 82, 83 signify memory problems.  Check the
configuration of W7 and W8 (only W7 on rev. D), or check
for memeory conflicts with other cards.

Error code 86.  I/O setting may be wrong.  Check W6.  Analyze
                    i/o settings for possible conflict.

Error code 88.  Problems with Network IRQ setting.

Error code 72.  Problems with mouse IRQ.  I warned you to leave
                this jumper OFF!

Error codes 81, 84, 85, 87, 89, 8A, 8B, 8C, 71, 73, 74:  Problem
                 exists with the board, call your friendly DEC
                 representative.  This is the mid 1980's version
                 of "Plug and Pray".

Before we get too far along, I'll say I never networked anything
with these cards.  They are full size cards, and in my Pentium
system the only way I can fit one in is to bend it slightly
sideways so it clears the Pentium cooling fan.  Fortunately
no DEPCA circuit board traces land on the fan housing, just the
area where the labels are.  But I am not too keen on having a
card with a bend in it, might cause problems later on for the
card, the Pentium Chip it pushes against or the ISA socket. A
friend of mine suggested grinding off a fin or two from the
Pentium heat sink.  This looks as if it would work, but I am
not going to try it until I have to change the Pentium cooling
fan (getting real noisy, I have a ball bearing one to go in next).

My normal card is a real NE-2000 (With Novell label on it).  I
have a stack of these cards as well.  

Let me know how you make out, or if you need further help.


Ramon Gandia.  E-Mail real address is:    rfg AT nome net
Nome, Alaska.  (For anti Spam purposes.  Edit by hand).
Nome weather:  Sun 11/24/96

read more »


1. X Windows and my old old old old video card

Hi. The card in question is an ISA ATI Graphics Ultra Pro (with the mach32
engine). The particular monitor that I'm using is an AST Vision 4L, and I
managed to root through the AST website (talk about counterintuitive!) so
I could get the horiz and vert scan lines etc. I can't seem to get X setup
right, when I run probe, it complains about a missing clocks line. Is
there any doc which can EXPLAIN xf86config? A man page helps, but getting
the theory fundas would be even nicer.

I'm pleasantly surprised at the level of support the linux community
provides. Also, being something of a DOS/Windows junkie ;=( in the past,
i'd appreciate it if I could be told where to get my hands on info that'll
help me migrate better.

Aniruddha Shankar
BAngalore, India

 Sent via
 Share what you know. Learn what you don't.


3. ufstype=old = how old? SunOS fstype=4.2 old?

4. Misc questions about Mitsumi CD

5. Help with old freeswan and old linux on old hardware.

6. how to watch for logfiles size?

7. Missing a serial number for SCO OS 4.2 (old-old-old...)

8. sd:sd_ kernel parameters

9. Problem With On-board Video Card For Intel Desktop Board D865GBF

10. Problems with DEC DEPCA in 2.8

11. old mach32, old sb-pro, supermicro p5ste motherboard, problems

12. depca problems with 1.1.70

13. Old SiS 85C496 486 board and New wd300bb-00aua1 EIDE