AST Advantage! Pro 486SX/33

This AST Advantage! Pro 486SX/33 was an ebay purchase from a very nice guy named Jon who did a great job of packing it and threw in an original AST mouse. I think it dates from around 1993. It has quite possibly the worse example of yellowed plastics i've ever seen! Initial investigation revealled that it was in very good condition, inside and out. The only faults being a U/S CD-ROM drive and a U/S 5 1/4" floppy drive, both easily fixed.

There is a first look video here.

From left to right we have, VGA connector, keyboard 5 pin DIN, parallel port, 2 serial ports and the mouse port. Interestingly this motherboard has it's own mouse port. The one card slot occupied has a modem fitted

Here's some shots of the internals.

The whopping 212.6Mb (yes megabytes not gigs!) hard drive.

First upgrades, a 486DX2/66 CPU has been fitted, along with an Audicain 32 Plus soundcard. During the course of restorations like this you have to do a lot of digging on the Internet and sometimes you find a gem! This is Arvutimuuseum an excellent resource for information on older motherboards and other hardware. Here is the page for my motherboard.

The CMOS battery was also on it's last legs, a CR2032 but the type with 3 pins designed to be soldered into a PCB. This one was plugged into sockets but i really wanted to use a standard CR2032 as a replacement. Here you can see my solution.

Time to deal with the yellowed front panel. I have a video covering the version of the Retrobrite Process that i use on my YouTube Channel here. We also need to use the same process on the floppy drive panel. Due to the superb UK summer weather it actually took 3 attempts but the end result was very good.

There is a short video showing the results here.

Here it is reassembled with a new CD-ROM drive and a replacement 5 1/4" floppy drive. Although the original floppy appeared to work no matter what disk i tried it refused to read or format. So it was changed out for this spare i had.

First boot after restoration, video here

Several more upgrades are planned, it only has 4Mb of memory at the moment so a memory increase is a must. I also want to source a suitable cream CRT Monitor and a decent keyboard for it.

The extra memory has arrived and works ok with the original module so the AST now has 12Mb.

More upgrades. Very lucky to find on ebay an actual AST Keyboard. It's a bit more modern than the 486 as it's a PS2 keyboard but it will do nicely. Have also added to the system a little Denon UD-M30 CD/Receiver and a couple of Teac LS-600U bookshelf speakers.

There is a short video of it all in operation here.

Retro Man Cave can be found here.

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