Indigo XS24 4000 - not working

RDP

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I've been meaning to fix my dead Indigo XS24 4000 for many years, but been too lazy to get around to it. No more! I'll fix it or move on, no more expensive doorstop.....

It doesn't boot. That's fine as I used the HD on another machine when I needed space, and therefore it needs a new OS install, regardless, however, it really doesn't boot as:

Knowing to expect a trip down serial port lane to get things back up again I've bought a MINI DB8 to DB25 connector, and in between have got three wires connected in a way that gives me ECHO (of what I type at the terminal) when its connected to the Indigo Port 1, but from the Indigo I get nothing at all except a single character on the terminal when I engage the power switch: ▒

When I turn the machine on I get the statrup sound and the Seagate HD spins up. When the graphics board is installed the LED on the CPU goes Amber, and stays that way. If I turn the power on with the graphics board removed I get a green led for one second, then two amber flashes, then the LED goes out.

I admit my serial connection might be bad, but then why do I get the ECHO working when it's plugged in to the serial port, and no ECHO when it is removed from the serial port?

Q: I probably need to get the special VGA cable (with swtiches) that's on the sticky of this forum, but I assume with a HD with no install there would be no graphics anyway, and I assume I need a new clock battery anyway.


many thanks for any insight.

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Elf

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Feb 4, 2019
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It would be worth looking at the video output; even with nothing on the hard drive (or no hard drive at all) there should be a graphical PROM menu at boot.

I'm not completely sure whether the Indigo 1 naturally gives PROM serial output at boot time without being set to serial console output in the PROM, so perhaps that might be the issue? The single character sounds like an artifact of being switched on more than data output from a UART, etc.

I have also attached the Indigo Workstation Owner's Guide which has hardware troubleshooting steps regarding the boot sequence and interpretation of the LED status, hopefully that helps.

As preventative (or needed) maintenance, you should also consider replacing the clock battery and recapping the power supply, as both of these things are well over failure age now.
 

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RDP

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So, with heavy heart I took your advice; yes a recap of the PS; probably the MB could do a go around as well. I needed to start at zero. *sigh*. First of all I went up to the main hardware page here and ordered the VGA cable with the 12 dip switches as I had no confidence in my current 13W3 to VGA cable with no switches, I mean, what was that meant to connect to back in the day??? Since I'm troubleshooting I need all the flexibility I can get to try different options. $50 later (shipping to Japan costs more than the cable itself...) I have a cable on route to me, estimated delivery Nov 25.... I guess nothing to do in the meantime, However, today a null modem DB9-DB9 adapter arrived in the mail, and after a quick trip to my local electronics store I got a DB9 male male adapter, and added it to my Frankenstein setup (picture attached for laughs), and I got garbage text with the graphics board removed! After much playing around I realized the ground was on a wire, and I had been connecting the shield of the cable or something, never mind, my fault, but the big news is........

Running power-on diagnostics...


Initializing tod clock.
setting secs=0 min=0 hour=0 day=1 month=1 year=0

Initializing tod clock.
setting secs=0 min=0 hour=0 day=1 month=1 year=0
Can't set tod clock.



I really cannot explain how happy I am to see this error message!!!! So, I don't think I can get interactive at this stage (Control Break, or something else), so I assume a battery swap is first up. This is the only text that comes up, and it just repeats the tod endlessly in a slow loop.

Very excited!!!!! I really wasn't expecting any sort of success.


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Elf

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Ah excellent, maybe it only activates serial PROM output when there is no graphics (or if the env var is set for that)? The TOD clock message is definitely related to the replaceable battery, which is pretty much a given on all Indigo 1s now. Glad to hear there is progress :)
 

weblacky

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Wait, I thought Indigo machines required a work battery to even BOOT! I am right? Why don't use replace the battery (either solder in a new battery, they still make them) or put in a COin cell battery holder.
 

RDP

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Wait, I thought Indigo machines required a work battery to even BOOT! I am right? Why don't use replace the battery (either solder in a new battery, they still make them) or put in a COin cell battery holder.
I think the Indigo will dump text to the serial port even if the PROM is not set properly on the condition you remove the graphics card.

I regards to the battery change, I think I will try this: http://archive.irixnet.org/apocrypha/nekonomicon/forum/3/16726643/1.html

I only wonder about the CR3032 3v vs. the 3.6v of the original.


thanks!
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weblacky

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Yeah the OEM battery is still made, or you can do coin cell. Your choice. you don't need a "full" voltage...just not low voltage...hence 3v is OK.
 
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weblacky

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I could be wrong, the picture are disorienting. However, it looks hooked up backwards. The Square via (square pad with hole) is the + and the other is -. If I'm seeing this correct the side towards the LARGE LOGIC IC is the - of the holder, the + is towards the RAM slots...which is hooked the the - via.

Again, I'm not 100% certain because landmarks is are hard...but I take the LARGE GRID of pins to be the LOGIC chip and the rows of soldered pins to the the RAM slots.

So the battery holder is likely wired backwards. Since this wasn't possible with the original part, it's unknown if real damaged has occurred or if a protection diode was placed in (because the orientation of the original battery part prevented this scenario) to still protect the circuit from reverse polarity.

Your friend didn't pay attention...it may have cost you the board...but switch the wiring around and cross your fingers.

Best of luck.

FYI, Square vias are the practiced convention (not a rule to be followed) but SGI did often follow this rule. Square via denote VCC (or + DC power).
 
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Elf

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Hopefully it is alright, those coin cells can't push too much current. Good luck though!
 

RDP

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Well, that would explain a lot, wouldn't it, as I measure +3v when I probe black on the square, and red is on the circle. I'll need to see him again to do the swap.

Note: I also thought to check things when I was taking the picture, but since the circle connects to C639 (with C105 attached) with a clear + indicated there, I thought that meant that things were connected correctly!

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weblacky

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I can understand that. It was my opinion is the plus you just mentioned is totally related to the capacitor’s pad I had nothing to do with the battery rail.

Again, I can’t be 100% certain, if that capacitor’s a tantalum, tantalum capacitors mark they’re positive and unlike every other cap which marks it’s negative end.
 

RDP

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I'm in! To console..... huge progress!

Now I have to figure out what I need to do next...... maybe install the OS? Now looks for install media to burn. I think I need to reset my graphics as well? I need to search some of the old threads around on the net to try and get my graphics back.


RDP
 
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weblacky

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Sometimes on the older systems you MAY need to do a resentevn...but most of them don't have one without an Irix Install. Most of the time defaults are correctly filled in on NVRAM on battery removal/replacement anyway. There shouldn't be any issues unless you need something non-standard.
 

RDP

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I've installed 5.3 w/xfs from CDROM, and I'm very happy. I also have a AUI Transceiver that should arrive in a few days. Things going well!

I'm only a little stumped right now where to find the demos, I only have X and Buttonfly installed.

update: Found demos, just needed to do a full (all) install.


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RDP

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My AUI Transceiver arrived. Now working on getting networking up.

For a non-IRIX/UNIX user I'm doing ok.....


RDP
 
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RDP

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Networking is up. Downloaded NFS to try with my Synology, but gave up and am just using FTP to get files back and forth, which is just fine for my current needs.

Next I think I need some more RAM (I only have 16meg.....), then, I'm finally able to say I got this baby back up and running.


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