Based on content by William R. Walsh (original HERE). Modified by Major Tom.
The EduQuest models covered here include Thirty, Forty and Fifty. I don't
have any other EduQuest at the time, so if yours isn't listed, have a look
inside and compare to the notes here. Your system may only be slightly
different and might be able to use the same memory that a model listed here
Models 30 and 40 both use the same type of memory. They take 30-pin SIMMs
with or without parity. There are four SIMM slots on-board. You can use up to a
4MB 30-pin SIMM. These models also have soldered memory chips (they're located
underneath the floppy drive) and these can give you either 1MB or 4MB of RAM
depending upon model. The easiest way to check and see how much soldered memory
you have is to power the machine with all SIMMs removed or look carefully at
the planar — sometimes there is a small table with two RAM configurations
in it and it will have one of them marked with a dot.
The EduQuest Model 50 is a vastly different design internally and uses
72-pin SIMMs, parity or non-parity is your choice. I don't know at this point
what the maximum size is, but I would think the machine could handle at least
2x16MB SIMMs in the sockets. There is no on-board memory in this system.
For the Model 30, no upgrade for the soldered IBM 486SLC CPU is known to
exist. IBM doesn't seem to have implemented the disable pin as Intel did with
the 386SX and clip over upgrades don't work.
Model 40: In addition to the soldered 486SX CPU, IBM provides what is called
a 487 socket. This socket can be used with any 486 CPU — in fact, the 487
chip is just a 486DX with a different name and it turns the soldered CPU off.
While some systems may require the use of a 487 or a CPU that is wired to
ground the soldered the 486SX CPU's disable pin, IBM seems to have taken a more
"intelligent" approach with this system and any 486 CPU that can be inserted
into the socket should work just fine.
Warning: To avoid damage to your CPU, make sure
that if it runs on 3 volts that you have an appropriate voltage regulator
installed. Otherwise the CPU may be destroyed over a period of time or
immediately when the power is turned on.
The Model 50 is by far the most upgradeable EduQuest. It features a Zero
Insertion Force (ZIF) CPU socket and it has the needed extra pin row to
accommodate the Intel Pentium OverDrive 66 and 83MHz processors. This socket
can also handle 3 volt 486 CPUs with no additional voltage regulator as one is
built on the board.
Note: While it is believed (at this time) that the
EduQuest Model 50's 3 volt regulator for the CPU is automatically enabled when
needed, this has not been proven. Proceed at your own risk.
For the Models 30 and 40, video is provided with an on-board ATI video chip.
For the Model 40, this is an ATI Mach32 Graphics Accelerator chip. 512K of VRAM
is provided with both systems, and an open socket exists where you can install
an upgrade memory chip to presumably reach 1MB VRAM, which will give you more
colors on screen at once for all supported resolutions. However, it is
questionable as to whether or not this upgrade VRAM socket is usable or not. I
have installed countless VRAMs into it with no change in the detected amount of
video memory by ATI diagnostics. These same VRAMs have worked in many other
video cards with no problems, so it is possible that the feature was provided
but never implemented in these systems.
The Model 50 uses a Cirrus Logic 5434 video chip. This comes with 1MB VRAM
and you can upgrade to 2MB. I have attempted this upgrade using VRAMs that
didn't seem to work in the 30 & 40 and the new VRAM was detected and set to
An external monitor can be plugged into all models for dual display of the
same screen or the internal display can be disabled in setup if desired. This
is handy if you want to run a display mode beyond the abilities of the built-in
With the exception of the Model 40 having on-board SCSI and IDE, all
EduQuests can use any standard IDE hard disk you can find. For sizes larger
than 528MB, you will need to use a disk manager program to help the system use
your hard disk to its fullest capacity.
Note: For some reason the EduQuest 30 and 40 are
unable to boot the DR-DOS operating system as used by many disk manager
programs. This issue can be resolved by hacking the boot disk on which the disk
manager is stored and replacing the system files with those from DOS or Windows
9x. I had originally intended to place a disk image up here, but it would only
work for a limited brand of hard drives and might be subject to copyright
protection or some other condition which would not allow redistribution. So
you'll just have to make your own if the disk manager available to you doesn't
boot on the EduQuest like it should.
The EduQuest Model 40 has on-board Future Domain TMC-950 SCSI. This SCSI
system is bootable, but maximum size limits for the hard disk are not known at
this time and it may be better suited to devices like CD-ROM drives as opposed
to actually being used as a bootable device.