Home Computer Collection

Metal Mickey

Amstrad ALT 386SX

Named for the 80's British sitcom starring a robot.

I got this circa 2016. My brother found it at a Goodwill. The original hard disk contents had records for a small business that had addresses in the UK and in Florida, not necesssarily at the same time. Since it's a UK-only product as far as I can tell, I assume the owner moved and brought it with them. The power-supply is universal with a standard IEC cable.

The clock battery was a soldered-on rechargeable that leaked. I cleaned and resoldered the affected components. The internal speaker is silent. The speaker works on it's own, but the motherboard seems to have been damaged. I checked the wires for a short, as another owner has seen them short on the case, but that didn't solve it. The hard disk failed after a while, but I was able to XModem the main manufacturer-provided files off before that happened. The floppy drive also doesn't work. I removed both drives and put a CF card adapter in the floppy bay. It boots using an OnTrack drive overlay program from Phil's Computer Lab. I attached a 3x NiMH AAA pack for the clock battery. I also rebuilt the main battery pack with some LiFePO cells and a protection circuit. That worked for a while, but now the protection circuit shuts down every time.

Detailed information I've collected about this computer.

OSWindows 3.1, DOS 6.22
CPU16MHz 386SX (switchable to 8MHz)
RAM1MB on removable proprietary modules
Internal StorageNon-LBA IDE, 4GB CF
Expansion1 short ISA