Microelectronics | Siemens 80386DX ISA Single Board Computer


Honestly, I bought this board for spare parts. I originally wanted to extract the CPU and FPU sockets and also the cache controller for my experiments. It was fairly cheap and very corroded under the parallel port. Also, some traces of heavy corrosion were underneath the PCB, in the same area. So it was cheap. Very cheap, I would say. The parallel port connector was an old style Harting part with elongated pins. Since I had one of these in my spare parts box (extracted from my defunct Micro Z80 project), I decided to attempt to replace it.


The operation was straightforward. I struggled a little bit with the rust on the PCB, but I cleaned it up in the end. A phosphoric acid based solution did miracles. But then I had to quickly clean with acetone. All this without touching the solder points. I applied these solutions only on the dirty soldermask.

I'm pretty happy with the results.


Here are some pictures that I took during this operation.

As a curiosity, this PCB was factory repaired at some point. The job appears to be done by a skilled technician. But it still looks ugly. I've seen better digital PCB repair jobs. Now I'm thinking about using this single board computer somehow.

There is very little rust left on the PCB.

The new connector looks very old-school.

On the solder side there is almost no rust near the parallel port pins.

Overall, the PCB assembly is very crowded and packed with components.

Detailed view on the said repair job. This chipset appears to be an early one as there are a lot of logic ICs and PALs involved in the implementation.

Junk parts. The metal bracket can be cleaned to a certain extent. But since the chrome (or nickel) plating is cracked in multiple areas, rust will resurface.

For the moment, this ISA card will return in the drawer. But it's ready to be used for a nice retrocomputing project.

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