Kingston MCMaster &
Aox MicroMASTER 486

@006F.ADF AOX MicroMASTER 486 ADF v1.5 (no VESA video slot)
I006F.ADF Optional Initialization file for @006F.ADF - see inside ADF

@008E.ADF Kingston MC MASTER 486 ADF v2.23 (VESA video slot)
I008E.ADF Initialization file for @008E.ADF

Not sure of these:
@706D.ADF Aox MicroMASTER 486/386 ADF v1.4
I706D.ADF Initialization file for @706D.ADF
@706E.ADF Aox MicroMASTER 4386 ADF v1.04 (damaged...)

MC66PD and MC133PD Installation Guide for MCMaster

MCMaster Utilities
Kingston MCMaster 486
   MCMaster 486 MC33PD/0 "REV.D4"
   MCMaster 486 MC33PD/8 "REV.?"
   MCMaster 486 MC50PD/1 "REV.E2"
Overclocking the 25 MHz to 32 MHz
Supported Memory
Jumper Settings
   J801 Function
ADF Sections
   Memory Options
MCMaster Errors
Incompatible Systems
Incompatible Adapters
Aox MicroMASTER 486
Super Server
AOX OS/Master

MCMaster Utilities

MCMR236.EXE MCMaster Utility Diskette v2.36
MCM235.EXE MCMaster Utility Diskette v2.35
MC235I.EXE MCMaster Utility Diskette v2.35I
MICROADF.EXE MicroMaster .ADF files

PORT73.EXE displays various info about host system, installed SIMMs and memory mapping entries.
MMPIDD.SYS is the v1.04 Installable Device Driver (IDD), required for recognition of the later (Version 2) adapter IDs. Internal name is MMIDD, as per the earlier v1.03 which appears to have been for the Version 1 adapters.


  • Uses 5 V 486-class microprocessor
  • Daughtercard connector for VESA Local-processor
  • Two 72-pin SIMM sockets - IBM or non-IBM SIMMs
    • up to 64 MB of onboard memory on 32-bit PS/2 Models
    • or 16 MB on 16-bit PS/2 Models
  • Internal math coprocessor
  • 8 KB internal cache and 128 KB external zero-wait-state cache
  • Onboard clock
  • Full access to all of the PS/2 computer's Extended Memory
  • Support for all PS/2 compatible operating systems
  • Supports Micro Channel multi-busmaster capability

All MicroMASTER 486 boards are 32-bit boards.

Kingston MCMaster 486

MCMaster 486 MC33PD/0 "REV.D4" [P] [P] (photos by Alex Paterakis)

J100 DX/SX select jumper
J700 3-pin jumper
J801 Memory type jumper
J1100 Local Bus Video connector
J1101 3-pin jumper
U200-203 IDT 71589
U299,301 IDT 71B74
U300,302 IDT 7201
U400 AOX DIMM 06210-001
U401 AOX MISC 06215-001
U500 Altera U500V48
U501 AOX MMCC 06225-001
U600 AMD AM28F256-150JC
U601 ISSI IS61C64AH-20J
U608 PAL "1338 U608A"
U708 486 CPU socket
U900,901 72-pin SIMM sockets
U1000 AOX MM1000
Y100 33.0000 MHz osc

U200-203 IDT 71589 32Kx9 Burst Mode Sync. SRAM
U299,301 IDT 71B74 8Kx8 SRAM Cache-TAG RAM
U300,302 IDT 7201 512x9 AsyncFIFO

IDT 1992/93 High-Performance SRAM Data Book

MCMaster 486 MC33PD/8 "REV.?" [P]

Same as MC33PD/0 "REV.D4" above except for the following items:

J102 pads for clock jumper (1-2 shorted)
J501 pads for 2-pin jumper (open?)
J700,1101 not present
U502 74??
Y100 25.0000? MHz osc
Y101 33.0000? MHz osc

This version has two oscillators yet the clock select jumper appears to be soldered in.

MCMaster 486 MC50PD/1 "REV.E2" [P]

Same as MC33PD/8 "REV.?" above except for the following items:

J102 pads for clock jumper (2-3 shorted)
J501 pads for 2-pin jumper (shorted)
U502 pads for 74??
Y100 25.0000 MHz osc
Y101 pads for 33.0000 MHz osc

J1100 Local Bus Video

Jeff Marden wrote:
   The VESA slot on the Kingston board is indeed for video. An S3 805-based board was designed, but not marketed. While an IDE or SCSI disk controller is feasible, none has yet been designed.

If you know more about it, Tell Us!

25 MHz Base Speed

From Dr. Jim:
   The 25/33 version should work with a wider range of CPU's. The 25 MHz only version that is modded to be 25/33 seems less than 100% reliable at 33 MHz. The most likely reason is that the ASICs were speed-sorted by the manufacturer, and ones that didn't pass spec at 33 were tested for use at 25. The mod is easy to do for us soldering gods, though.

Hacking the 25 MHz MCMaster

Jim Shorney took a 25 MHz adapter and installed a 32 MHz oscillator in Y101 and replaced the hardwired jumper with a jumper block and connected (1-2). The MCMaster worked with a base rate of 32 MHz and could potentially support one of the various 5x86-133 upgrade processors. Jim used an oscillator from one of the newer 8570 planars, as the oscillator physical size and pin configuration does not match the size and location of the more common larger DIP style oscillators. (Ed. There are NO holes for mounting a thru-hole oscillator, SMD only).

Jim found a stable combination for the 25 MHz MCMaster overclocked to 32 MHz. To recap, the machine would lock up over a period of several hours running Win3.11 and Logstat 5.1 as a test program. This behaviour occurred with an Intel DX2-66 CPU and an AMD 5x86-133ADZ, and did not appear related to cooling. The current combination has a Cyrix/IBM Blue Lightning 486-100 CPU with interposer, and over the past several days, has proven to be stable. It has run 24+ hours without lockup, but must have the planar memory disabled in the MCMaster setup or it locks up almost immediately."

Supported Memory

MCMaster uses 80 ns or faster FPM, or IBM PD coded 32-bit wide, 70 ns 72 pin SIMM memory modules.

As per UZnal:
Re the Kingston Upgrade book (1995): "80 ns or faster".
Re the Kingston Upgrade book (1996): KTMxxxxx-70T modules, 70 ns.

Size Speed Configuration Kingston Part No.
4 MB 70 ns 1024K x 32 KTM1x32L-70T
8 MB 70 ns 2048K x 32 KTM2x32L-70T
16 MB 70 ns 4096K x 32 KTM4x32L-70T
32 MB 70 ns 8192K x 32 KTM8x32L-70T

Note: The MCMaster DOES NOT support 1MB or 2MB SIMM modules.

MCMaster can also function with no onboard memory installed, using only memory that is already installed in the system. Be aware, however, that running MCMaster with only off-board memory extracts a performance penalty, especially in a 16-bit PS/2 system like the model 50 or 60.

Jumper Settings

Jumper Settings Function
J100 1-2 486DX CPU
  2-3 486SX CPU
J801 1-2 Non-IBM SIMMs
  2-3 IBM SIMMs

   If only one SIMM is installed, it must be installed in location U900.
   If 16 or 32MB SIMMs are used, Jumper J801 is connected to 1 and 2.

Function of J801

William R. Walsh has a flashback and screams:
   While diddling around over the weekend with the MCMaster I have here, I discovered at least one thing the J801 "SIMM Jumper" does. I swapped out the 2x4MB Kingston 80 ns SIMMs for 2x 4 MB IBM 70 ns SIMMs. Upon rebooting I found that only 4MB of memory was being seen on the MCMaster. So I changed the jumper from 1-2 (non IBM SIMMs) to 2-3 (IBM SIMMs) and the memory counted up correctly afterwards.

Tim Clarke talks him down from the ledge with:
   It switches between "PS/2 PD recognition" and "Industry Standard PD recognition".

MC MASTER ADF v2.23 (AdapterID 008eh)

There is a need for the unusual size of the ADF description. This adapter can "take over" and has a lot of features that are found in few other adapters. I have also gone wild on the differing memory options, because people want to use the planar memory on 8560s or 8580s and don't understand the performance hits.

;remove semicolon from next line if you wish to use INITPROG
;initprog 80 

Not sure of the function of the following stuff. 
;ps2 record IOS:5,IOBNK:1,UNUSEable:1,CDEN:1
;ps3 record INT19:1,ENPROG:1,INTSEL:2,ALVL:4
;ps5 record UNUSED5_1:2,ROMSEL:3,ADDMEM:1,MEG16:1,OLDKBD:1 

Operating mode
   Standard will work in most cases.  See the manual for IDD and INITPROG modes
   <Standard>, INITPROG or IDD, Don't start, Special start 

Standard Mode 
By default, the MCMaster takes control of the system immediately after POST (Power On Self Test) is completed and becomes, for all practical purposes, the main system CPU. 

   The MCMaster can also be set to delay its startup until it is started by a Track 0 initializer (INITPROG) or an installable device driver (IDD.) This is required to accommodate some third-party memory boards that start with an installable device driver or an initializer on the system's boot track. Since the MCMaster.installs its memory at the top of the memory map (from the host's point of view) a memory board that is unaware of the MCMaster might conflict with the MCMaster's memory. With this option set to "INITPROG or IDD" the MCMaster won't add its memory to the system total until its device driver or boot track initializer is loaded.

   If the device driver is loaded in the CONFIG.SYS file after the memory board's driver, or the boot track initializer comes after the boot track initializer for the memory board, the MCMaster will be aware of the third-party memory and install its own memory above the third-party memory. The  installable device driver is on the MCMaster option disk. It's called MMPIDD.SYS.

   If you use the MCMaster driver, place it after the driver for the memory board in your CONFIG.SYS file. For example:
DEVICE = [Memory board driver].SYS

IO selects
   MC MASTER I/O base address in hex.  The MC MASTER uses a 16 byte I/O block.  Under normal circumstances, select <390>
   Helluva lot of choices- 

Note: 3b0, 3c0 and 3d0 are normally used for video. Rem out the ";" if you want to use them. 

Arbitration levels
   This selects the MCA arbitration level the MC MASTER will use
   <Level_14> and down to Level_1 

Interrupt level
   This selects the interrupt level the MC MASTER uses
   <level 15>, level 10, level 12 

Option ROM address
   The MCMaster has an option ROM (Read Only Memory) that contains program code to control the MCMaster's startup and operation. This entry allows you to change the address to prevent conflicts with other adapters' option ROMs. Note that the option ROM only takes up 16K (16384 bytes) of option ROM space, even though its base address must be on a 32K boundary. 

   The "Disable board" option renders the MCMaster's ROM invisible to the Micro Channel bus: don't select this option unless instructed to by Kingston Technical Support for diagnostic purposes.
   <D0000 - D3FFF>, D8000 - DBFFF, C8000 - CBFFF, Disable ROM 

   The AIX operating system does a system check (INT 15h, Function C0h) at boot time. In a Model 50 or 60, it will "think" that it is in an 80286-based system, and not boot. Selecting "YES" causes the MCMaster to return the system ID of a PS/2 Model 80.
   <No>, Yes 

Flush Mode
   This controls the method that the MCMaster uses to maintain hardware cache coherency when the MCMaster is being used with other busmaster adapters including a number of SCSI disk controllers.

   For most installations with no other busmaster adapters in the system, Mode 1, the default, will function perfectly well. If another busmaster is present, select Mode 2. IBM SCSI controllers require Mode 2. In a small number of cases, if Mode 2 does not perform correctly, use Mode 3.
   <Mode 2>, Mode 1, Mode 3 

Keyboard emulation
  The MCMaster incorporates hardware emulation of the system's keyboard controller.There is a  option to disable this hardware emulation and use the same software emulation that was used on previous generation busmaster upgrade products.

   If your application experiences unexpected keyboard behavior, try switching to software emulation.

Video Option board
   If a Video Option Board is attached to the MC Master select <enabled>
   <disabled>, enabled

Memory options
   This has no effect if there is no memory on the MC MASTER. 

Note: OS/2 2.0 and higher is "aware" of the MCMaster and will load itself into its onboard memory regardless of the memory configuration. 

 <Mapped, report all> 
   In this configuration, the MCMaster remaps memory so that, from the MCMaster CPU's point of view, its own memory appears "first." This means that DOS applications that run in low memory will be running in the MCMaster's onboard 32-bit memory. Planar memory, and any other memory boards, are mapped above the MCMaster's memory.

   The disadvantage of mapping is that another busmaster adapter in the system sees memory from the host system's point of view, while the MCMaster has its own viewpoint. We supply drivers to allow mapping to work under Windows 3.0/3.1 or OS/2 1.2/1.3 with busmastering SCSI controllers. Their use is explained in "Special Drivers for SCSI Adapters." 

<Mapped, report all, <16meg>
   This works the same as "Mapped, report all" except that system memory is limited to 16 MB regardless of how much memory is physically installed in the system. This is required in a 32-bit system (e.g. Model 70, 80, 95) with 16-bit adapters installed.

   The 16-bit version of the Micro Channel bus allows only 24 bits of addressing. If a DMA device, such as the floppy disk controller, attempts to write past the 16MB boundary, errors can occur due to this limitation. 

   "Unmapped" mode is just what it says. If you select "Unmapped," the MCMaster's memory is at the top of the memory map from its own point of view as well as from the host point of view, thus eliminating the need for special drivers.. 

<Unmapped, <16M>
   This works the same as "Unmapped," except that system memory is limited to 16 Megabytes regardless of how much memory is physically installed in the system. This is required in a 32-bit system (e.g. Model 70, 80, 95) with 16-bit adapters installed. 

<Report all> reports all useable memory (planar and MC MASTER) to the operating system.

<Report MM>
   If you select "Report MCMaster memory," any memory other than the MCMaster's memory is ignored by both the MCMaster and the host CPU. This combines the benefits of "Mapped" and "Unmapped" modes. Your applications are guaranteed to be running in the MCMaster's 32-bit memory, and the MCMaster's memory starts at address 0000 from both the MCMaster and the host point of view...

The disadvantage is that you can't have any other memory boards in the system. If your system has only 1 megabyte on the planar, this is not a great loss. However, if you have a lot invested in Micro Channel memory boards, you probably want to keep using them. To use this other memory, you need to select "Mapped" or "Unmapped."

Note: In some systems, the MCMaster cannot disable motherboard memory. If the MCMaster signs on with "Hardware Rev 00.11," you have one of these systems. In this case, the MCMaster behaves as it would in "Mapped, Report All" mode except that the MCMaster uses only its own memory. The host CPU (and any other busmasters) still see system memory first, followed by MCMaster memory.

<Mapped, report MM, <16meg>
   This is not the same as "Report MCMaster memory." In this mode, planar memory is still visible from the host point of view, and the same advantages and disadvantages of "Mapped, report all" apply. 

<SS> and <SS16> are reserved.

MCMaster Errors

MCMaster Error 01: DMA Set to greater than 16Meg
   The DMA Controller on the PS/2 Motherboard is limited to 24 bits of addressing, imposing a 16 Megabyte limit on the address range in which DMA transfers can take place. If the system tries to do a DMA transfer beyond this range, data can be corrupted. If this error occurs, reconfigure the system, selecting one of the "<16M" memory options.

MCMaster Error 02: DMA Set for non-contiguous boundary crossing
   This occurs when memory regions that appear contiguous from the MCMaster's point of view are not contiguous from the bus's point of view. This is most likely to occur if you attempt to boot OS/2 with the memory option "Mapped, Report ALL" selected. To fix the problem, select "Report MCMaster" or "Unmapped."

MCMaster Error 03: Invalid Status
   Might indicate a hardware error on the MCMaster. If you see this, it will also display a group of numbers. Make a note of the numbers, and contact Kingston Technical Support.

MCMaster Error 04: Bus Timeout
   This indicates that an adapter on the Micro Channel bus is holding the bus too long, causing problems for the MCMaster. If you see this, take note of what adapters are in the system and contact Kingston Technical Support at [number redacted].

Incompatible Systems

Some early Model 80 planars do not support busmastership. Needless to say, this creates problems for the MCMaster. IBM has issued two different ECA's (engineering change announcements) ECA #048 and ECA #031, which cover a specified range of planars. 

Systems Affected by Serial Number:
   Systems with serial numbers equal to or below the following MAY have the bad planar (Ed. My 8580-111 SN# was included, BUT they had already swapped out the planar with the up-level 20 MHz one):

US Systems Australian Systems Scottish Systems
Model Serial # Model Serial # Model Serial #
8580-111 72-6101500 8580-121 90-3100250 8580-M21 55-00LFVW0
8580-121 72-9015000 8580-321 90-3400600 8580-X21 55-00WMZ45
8580-311 72-6553500

8580-111 55-00F6001
8580-321 72-9215500

Problem Planar FRUs
   If the system boards' FRU number (part number) is 90X7390 or 33F8415, or with no FRU number label, then it will have the problem. (The FRU number is located near the rear edge of the system board near slots 3 and 4.)

Incompatible Adapters

IBM 386 Enhanced Memory Adapter
   This adapter comes in two types. One uses a track 0 initializer, and the other has a ROM. To determine which is which, boot from your Reference diskette and go to the configuration screen. The adapter with a ROM will be identified as such in the configuration screen. The adapter with a ROM will work with the MCMaster without any special attention. To work with the other type, the MCMaster operating mode will have to be set to "INITPROG or IDD." Refer to the Appendix A "operating mode" section for details on using either initprog or installing the IDD, MMPIDD.SYS.

IBM SCSI Adapters
   There is an IBM ECA (number 032) on certain SCSI adapters found primarily in Model 80 25 MHz and Model 95 machines This SCSI controller appears to be very noise sensitive. If the SCSI adapter is FRU part number 15F6561, it must be replaced with FRU part number 85F0002.

IBM SCSI Adapters with Cache
   If you are using the IBM SCSI adapter with cache and aren't connecting any external SCSI devices, you may need an external SCSI terminator. Please refer to the documentation supplied by IBM with the SCSI adapter for details.

About Third-party Memory Boards
   The IBM PS/2 systems feature built-in BIOS support for most IBM memory boards. Some third-party memory boards use installable device drivers in the CONFIG.SYS file. You will note in "Appendix A Manual Configuration Options" that there is a device driver for the MCMaster to work with these memory boards.

Other memory boards add a small configuration program to the boot track of your hard drive. Such a program is called a TRACK0 INIT. To support this feature, IBM has a new version of the Set Configuration program, SC.EXE. If you've already installed a board that uses this feature, you probably already have the new SC.EXE. You will find detailed instructions for using it with the MCMaster under the heading "Operating Mode." If you haven't installed such a memory board, you don't need to worry about this feature.

Aox MicroMASTER 486 (Card ID 006F) [P] [P] [P] [P] (scan by Jim Shorney)

U0201 486 Socket, 5V
U0301,302,603 AOX MM1200 Bus Iface
U0401 AOX MM1100
U0505 Flash ROM
U0508 TC5588J-35 8Kx8 SRAM (Tag?)
U0601 AOX MM1000 Cache Controller
U0701-704 TC55328J-25 32Kx8 SRAM
U0705,706 TC5588J-15 8Kx8 SRAM
U0903,904 72-pin SIMM socket
U1201 Plus Logic Memory/DMA Controller
Y1 25.00 MHz osc

Note the similarity to the 386 version where the memory SIMMs are to the right. There is no local video port. The latest Kingston flash BIOS files *do* work with this card.

Micro Channel "Super Server"

The term "super server" is one that IBM uses to refer to a number of possible application-specific LAN server configurations. The configurations are a combination of hardware and software products designed to deliver maximum performance for PS/2 Micro Channel systems in server applications.

One of these potential solutions that IBM has shown in business shows as a technology demonstration is based on the PS/2 Model 95 XP 486, combined with several high-performance bus master adapters and OS/2 operating system software. It uses an asymmetrical multiprocessor implementation with a unique function split between the 486 microprocessor of the base system and a second processor, the AOX MicroMaster 486. The configuration features a huge amount of both internal and external storage capacity using SCSI bus master adapters, 3.5 inch 320MB disk drives, and the PS/2 3511 external enclosures.

Figure 5.39 illustrates one of the possible IBM "super server" configurations that was demonstrated as a technology in business shows in 1990. There were six bus master adapters in the system: two 32-bit SCSI boards, two 16/4 Token Ring adapters, one Ethernet board, and the AOX associate processor. The software included OS/2 Extended Edition 1.2 and a customized version of 32-bit LAN Server designed to support the two 486 microprocessors.

The SCSI bus masters used SCB architecture to provide chaining of commands. Up to 16 commands could be chained together and sent to the SCSI adapter for execution. The adapter also supported scatter-gather operations, which permitted the data to be scattered anywhere in memory and gathered by the SCSI adapter into it's cache for execution. This process reduced the overhead required for data transfers by eliminating a number of steps. The LAN adapters used are also capable of command-chaining and scatter-gather operations.

In the demonstration, each of the 486 microprocessors in the system had a copy of OS/2 loaded onto it. The associate processor was responsible for managing the file system portion of the OS/2 kernel and the LAN requests. The system board processor ran the Presentation Manager portion and user applications. The implementation also supported medialess workstations by loading OS/2 in the memory of the workstation.

In another technology demonstration, another "super server" configuration connected two servers to the same disk array, illustrating the ability to recover from a failing disk drive or a failing server. In addition, a PS/2 Model 95 was configured with four additional 33 MHz 486 processors on expansion boards to provide even higher levels of performance.

Aox OS/Master

Darius Vaskelis wrote:
   As for multi-processing with Aox MicroMASTER adapters, it can be done. Currently, the only means to do so is with the Aox OS/Master program. It allows the motherboard CPU to run one operating system, and the CPU on the MicroMASTER to run another. Commercial applications include running a joint OS/2 LAN Server/Manager and Novell Netware server, or as mundane as two isolated DOS machines in one box. OS/Master requires the Aox MicroMASTER 386-33 MHz or the Aox MicroMASTER 486-25 MHz adapter, and does NOT run on the 386-20/25 MHz versions.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

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