EduQuest Common Devices

XT-IDE Card
Power Supply
Option Cards

Content by William R. Walsh


Referring to these systems as though they were related to the PS/2 Model 25 is technically incorrect. However, it's quite obvious that at least some of the same designers worked on both (Ed. or they shared some of the design documentation). EduQuest systems are much bigger in size than your average Model 25.

Models 30 and 40 come with DOS 5.0 in ROM. A Setup utility is built in, there is no reference or starter disk I know of. As with the other models, the only way I've found to get into the BIOS setup utility is to cause an error during the power on self test (POST). Holding down a key on the keyboard is quite effective for this. All EduQuest models that I've worked with produce a distinctly unhappy "beep boop" sound when a self test failure occurs, so you'll know when you've managed to trigger an error.

I have found that use of a disk manager (those based on Ontrack software) requires a "cooked" diskette as the EduQuest Models 30 and 40 (and possibly all other EduQuest models) cannot boot the DR-DOS used with Ontrack's solution. Why I don't know. Replacing the DR-DOS system with MS (or possibly even PC) DOS might work. Whether these machines can boot FreeDOS or not is unknown.

528MB disks are the maximum supported by the on-board IDE. Higher capacity is possible if you use a disk manager program. However, there is also a hardware solution to using larger disks or CompactFlash cards in the form of the XT-IDE board.


XT-IDE and the EduQuest

(This is primarily relevant to the EduQuest Models 30, 40 and others that have DOS-in-ROM present on the motherboard. By the time of the EduQuest 55, this seems to have been dropped.)

It is reported that when used normally, an XT-IDE adapter is not compatible with the EduQuest as its option ROM is not allowed to load. Chris Esch discovered that there is a solution in the form of removing the expansion ROM that contains the EduQuest's DOS-in-ROM functionality. From that point, the XT-IDE adapter's ROM can be placed into the socket from which the original DOS-in-ROM chip was removed. Be careful that you insert the chip correctly. Otherwise you may burn it or your EduQuest system out.


Power Supply

I noticed at times of changing load, that the power supply in all of my EduQuest systems would sometimes behave in an unstable manner. The screen image would shrink or "vibrate" noticeably if something like an internal CD-ROM drive were to spin up. None of them ever failed as a result of this, and I never got so far as to diagnose it. My best guess would be faulty or dried-out electrolytic capacitors that had changed in value, particularly any that were being used as power filters.


Option Cards

There are some special option cards for use in the EduQuest systems. While they are in fact normal ISA cards, the component side and connectors on the card are flipped from their normal orientation to fit special "EduQuest slots" in the EduQuest machines. The EduQuest machines that supported these cards also had standard ISA connectors for use with conventional ISA expansion cards.

I'm sure there are more of these around, but all I have run into so far is the EduQuest sound card and the Token Ring network interface card.

The following pages cover these cards and any related components in more detail:

Sound
Token Ring


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