This unique unit was given to me back when I was in high school circa 2003, but finally got around restoring it in 2017!
This is an original Compaq Portable II 80286 from February 1986!
This was the second portable system designed by Compaq, after the original Compaq Portable, which is still 100% IBM-compatible.
This unit is running with the following hardware specifications:
- Intel 80286 16-bit CPU @ 8MHz (released circa 1982)
- Intel 80287 16-bit FPU @ 8MHz ~ 190 KFLOPS computational processing capability
- 640KB of DRAM (20-bit address bus - lower 640KB used for system memory - upper 384KB reserved for hardware - capable of Protected Mode up to 4.2MB in this unit)
- ISA 16-bit Compaq CGA Video Processor w/ 16KB VRAM
- ISA 8-bit 3COM 3C503 10BASE-T/10BASE-5 NIC from 1989 (the very first 3COM NIC to feature a built-in Ethernet transceiver)
- ISA 16-bit Winchester IDE Controller with 4GB Industrial DOM SLC SSD (~3.2MB/s on IDE bus)
- ISA 16-bit FDD Controller w/ single low-density 360KB 5.25" FDD
- ISA 16-bit Serial/Parallel I/O Card
- Type-1 MiniScribe MFM-to-IDE 10MB 3.5" HDD
- Integrated CRT Computer Monitor 80 composite green monochromatic monitor
- 65 watt AT-compatible integrated PSU
- MS-DOS 6.22 & BIOS Setup Diskette
I have to say that this is a really fun system to work with, and has quite a solid design despite it's advanced age (31 years as of 2017!).
A word of warning with the XTIDE 8-bit ISA IDE/ATA/PATA adapter, this system refused to make it past the XTIDE firmware screen, so use with caution!
The XTIDE adapter works great on nearly every other system I've set it up with, so I'm thinking that it isn't the XTIDE itself as much as it is the BIOS disk controller detection hanging up on it with the Portable II itself.
DOM IDE/PATA SSDs and compact flash adapters work great with the original controller, though, and despite the height of the Winchester IDE controller card, a short DOM SSD can fit within the enclosure comfortably without touching the outer shell after installation.
If the Tadiran TL-5104 3.6v BIOS backup battery is dead, they can be found easily on Amazon
The one in my unit was from 1989, but must have died long ago; the battery replacement took about 10 minutes in total.
Also, the original OS to be released with this unit was MS-DOS 3.1, but it is possible to boot it with MS-DOS 6.XX as well with full functionality.
I have not tried FreeDOS, but if it can be ported to 360KB low-density 5.25" diskettes, then I would imagine it would work, too.