Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

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Thinkpad4by3
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Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#1 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:50 pm

This is a Magnavox Metalis 286. It is a crappy computer from 1990. It was cheap then, and it still is. It still is an interesting machine none the less.

Unsuspicious black baggie.
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Hmm...a Magnavox Logo...Not your usual brand.
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It is a 286. Such speed.
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1.44MB Floppy, PS/2 Ports underneath the cover.
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VGA and optional modem underneath over.
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This battery hole has more square footage than my house!
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8.3" of TSTN Goodness. The screen is a paper-white display. Better color representation than most color displays.
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This battery looks like something.. Hmm..
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Exactly!! 4 D batteries. I knew it was a familiar size!
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Yep! It fits alright.
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No old computer is without its memory check.
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TSTN LCD is showing its ghosting abilities for Halloween.
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Classic BIOS data gone.
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Hey look, indicator lights. Lenovo, write some notes down!
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*TSTN display is a triple-twist super-twisted nematic display. Used for better transitional color representation.
Only works with NiMH and NiCD. Not Alkaline due to some fancy electrical stuff.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

oeuvre
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#2 Post by oeuvre » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:19 pm

Lovely pickup! How well constructed is it? Keyboard?
HP EliteBook 820 G2 i7 5600U, 16GB, Intel HD5500, 256GB SSD, Windows 7
i7 6700K, 32GB, NVIDIA GTX770, 256GB M.2 SSD + HD, Windows 10

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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#3 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:25 am

Construction is nice. The hinges are beautiful and extremely tight, good TP hinges. Pretty solid machine. The plastics are quite flexible and strong like they should be unlike the 701C.

The keyboard: the feel is AMAZING. Beats a TP NMB keyboard anyday. The problem is that the rubber membrane that detects the keypresses is wearing down and sometimes it registers twice. Othertimes, it takes a nice long press for it to register. More often than not its the double key problem. For a machine I wont use often, its not the end of the world. Im likely getting a HyperBook 2200SX that runs on 8C batteries and has a working HDD. That will need a restore on its paint.

The other biggest problem is a dead HDD. It spins, but FDISK doesnt detect it.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

oeuvre
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#4 Post by oeuvre » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:57 am

How hard would it be to source a replacement drive?
HP EliteBook 820 G2 i7 5600U, 16GB, Intel HD5500, 256GB SSD, Windows 7
i7 6700K, 32GB, NVIDIA GTX770, 256GB M.2 SSD + HD, Windows 10

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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#5 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:59 am

I don't know, but Ill try a CF card. Im not sure how the BIOS will play because you cant enter the settings(cyls,heads,etc.) Only 4 presets for 20,30,40 and 60mb drives. Ill see what I can find.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

thinkpadcollection
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#6 Post by thinkpadcollection » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:38 am

Any PATA 2.5" HD will do if carefully insulate the circuit board and set bios to 60MB using a 10GB PATA HD. Otherwise, look for 2.5" HD like this with old mounting pattern. 1GB or less still work as 60MB mode thanks to PATA autotranslation sectors. I have done this before.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/TESTED-WIPED-IBM ... Sw5rdZeOum

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 am

One problem...it uses 3.5" disks. Its a laptop with a 3.5" disk.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

thinkpadcollection
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#8 Post by thinkpadcollection » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 am

thinkpadcollection wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:38 am
Any PATA 2.5" HD will do if carefully insulate the circuit board and set bios to 60MB using a 10GB PATA HD. Otherwise, look for 2.5" HD like this with old mounting pattern. 1GB or less still work as 60MB mode thanks to PATA autotranslation sectors. I have done this before.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/TESTED-WIPED-IBM ... Sw5rdZeOum

Quantum, Hitachi and IBM are excellent picks, avoid Conner. Last resort is Seagate.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#9 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:51 am

Its XTIDE. Will it still work? The 40MB drive is a Conner 4044XT drive.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

thinkpadcollection
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Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:13 pm
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#10 Post by thinkpadcollection » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:40 am

XT? I doubt that for an 16bit 286, I think this HD is set as AT mode (16bit mode) This SH260 chipset by cirrus logic is high failure rate and selectable between 8 or 16bit mode, majority of Conner with SH260 chipset are AT mode. See if you can try any PATA HD 10GB-20GB first set as 60MB via BIOS. The standard of PATA extends back to early days of Conner who created PATA in early days.

And like I said about Conner they had high failure rate and slow. I was early adopter of computing stuff back then around 1988.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection
Last edited by thinkpadcollection on Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#11 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:43 am

Afaik it uses a JVC 26pin drive that is some propreitary junk or something. Thats what someone said who had one 7 years ago. This machine is wierd. It uses those oddball drives(i think), it uses an alps keyboard with two distinct switches, it uses a rare tripletwist STN display. It uses D batteries for all means and purposes. This isnt your normal Compaq LTE 286 were playing with here.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

thinkpadcollection
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Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:13 pm
Location: kingston, ontario, Canada

Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#12 Post by thinkpadcollection » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:55 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:43 am
Afaik it uses a JVC 26pin drive that is some propreitary junk or something. Thats what someone said who had one 7 years ago. This machine is wierd. It uses those oddball drives(i think), it uses an alps keyboard with two distinct switches, it uses a rare tripletwist STN display. It uses D batteries for all means and purposes. This isnt your normal Compaq LTE 286 were playing with here.
Not this generic 286, this is standard 2.5" ATA/PATA. The JVC using 26 pin connector is extremely rare and I only seen this in Toshiba luggables and is extremely high failure rate as well. Zenith notebooks at one time used this as well.

By the way, I had LTE 286 before and fixed one other LTE 286. This uses PATA 3/4" height 3.5" Conner CP-4021 using also SH260 chipset only even the connector is different pin pitch but actually ATA/PATA pin out this one had HD failure and swapped out for 2.5" ATA by soldering wires in does work too. I eventually used LTE 386s/20 and had L40 SX (both are using standard 2.5" ATA/PATA using old pattern mounting pattern.).

Linky to CP-4021:

http://www.alexandrugroza.ro/olddiscdri ... /hide.html

Reason I had LTE and SLT for short time was poor form factor especially LTE 286 LCD is retangular and extremely poor visibility and oddball parts while SLT is bulky and funny to use with separate keyboard place you farther back from smallish LCD, L40SX is much better but I prefer LED status over LCD status indicators.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection
Last edited by thinkpadcollection on Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#13 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:58 am

Where did u learn so much about this machine, but the advice and information is so helpful. Thanks. I have a spare working 810mb drive from a Toshiba Satellite 200CDS. That should work, right?
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

thinkpadcollection
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Posts: 592
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:13 pm
Location: kingston, ontario, Canada

Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#14 Post by thinkpadcollection » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:01 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:58 am
Where did u learn so much about this machine, but the advice and information is so helpful. Thanks. I have a spare working 810mb drive from a Toshiba Satellite 200CDS. That should work, right?
Perfect, try this 810MB HD, lucky you. :)

Since I was deaf, and computers was my butter and toast life as well for decades and assisted with repairs with some computer shops over the years. I collected computers over the years but down to thinkpads, the oldest I have now is 600 using Pentium 233MMX, just right. Still searching for mono notebook someday. Suggestions?

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#15 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:08 pm

thinkpadcollection wrote:
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:58 am
Where did u learn so much about this machine, but the advice and information is so helpful. Thanks. I have a spare working 810mb drive from a Toshiba Satellite 200CDS. That should work, right?
Perfect, try this 810MB HD, lucky you. :)

Since I was deaf, and computers was my butter and toast life as well for decades and assisted with repairs with some computer shops over the years. I collected computers over the years but down to thinkpads, the oldest I have now is 600 using Pentium 233MMX, just right. Still searching for mono notebook someday. Suggestions?

Cheers, thinkpadcollection
Ok 286 Wizard,

Do you know how to disassemble it? I dont want to break it :) .

-Thinkpad4by3

I would recommend getting an L40SX. Its a nice looking machine, its quite modifiable, fast for a mono machine. 386SX20 and 10.4". This machine is quite rare and hard to find. Wouldn't recommend it. I wanted it for one sole purpose: to bring around and look like a hipster. All my other DOS needs are done in my 755C or Dosbox. The 755C has more power, a sound card, and a color LCD. Quite cheap too!

If you would like a cheap machine NOW, a good option would be the SunRace HyperData 2200SX. It is pretty beat up on the paint job, but works well and can be run on 8 C batteries if you so choose to. Loaded with W3.1. 40$ plus free shipping. On eBay now.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

Thinkpad4by3
ThinkPadder
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Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:25 am
Location: N. Bellmore, ny

Re: Magnavox Metalis 286. It's older than Thinkpads.

#16 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:07 pm

Popped the RAM slot. No question of a doubt it is a standard IDE 2.5" drive.

EDIT: Got the machine apart. I figured out that drive is a CP-2024 drive. Going to replace it with a 3.2GB drive because the 810MB one has stripped screws. Maybe a CF Card in the future.

EDIT #2: The 810MB is installed. Problems with the drive. The BIOS is trying to set its settings regardless of what the drive's compatibility mode is. It is forcing the drive into standards it can't handle.
Welcome to the jungle, we have FrankenPads
If you want it you're going to bleed, but that is the price to pay
And you're a very rare mobo, very hard to get
You can see the blinky lights, but you won't get them for free.

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