BeBox Prototype initial look (large photos)

A 1mbit am29f010 5v flash appears to be the rom. This is a dual 66mhz 603 BeBox. Serial PPC950041, no serial on the board itself though there is an area to mark one.

Pals with handwriting on them?

in front of the IO board

Definitely needs an air blast before booting…


I love how this had “Be” imprinted in the board. :smile:


Both boards actually have Be screenprinted on them in huge letters, as I read a bit more about it should be possible to implement the LED bargraph for the front panel… since it relies on the 82378 IO chip which is already there as the PCI/ISA bridge I would imagine it would just work when running the correct software / firmware.

I put the company logo on almost all the boards I make at work… :slight_smile:

I may have a go at outfitting it with 1GB ram … as apparently the MPC105 chipset used supports 72pin FPM SDRAM or DRAM (what was in there stock)

Edit I would be curious if other BeBoxes used Flash Rom or regular ROMS (1Mbit is the max flash rom the MPC105 supports, and 16mbit is the max ROM it supports)… if BeBoxes all had flash roms then… I should be OK as this would be an updated machine.


Also worth noting is that The logo and part # on mine is right above the flash rom, not between the PCI and ISA connectors.

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Two of these have never even been opened…


Thanks for the pictures!
So that’s a Rev 03 BeBox, you can’t use versions of the BeOS post-PR2 due to the size of the BootROM.

That was only the case for boards that had not been upgraded… so I’m not sure, the flash that is installed is the largest flash that can be installed I’m not sure what flash the later boards used.

Just checked mine, which seems to be a rev 06, the ROM has “505F040” on it. There’s a nice round sticker on the rest of the text… Although it’s clearly marked © Be directly on it.

Perhaps that is an AM29F040 4mbit flash rom then…I haven’t checked but probably the same pinout as the 4mbit one, I guess the info I was reading was probably out of date… they are both PLCC 32 chips.

So probably I can dump mine, flash a new rom and pop it in there.

I think the mame BeBox roms are a bit bigger than 128k so they wouldn’t fit in the chip I have…

All use flash ROMS. The older ones used smaller flash ROMS. Yours looks to be older.

A new boot ROM was loaded via a floppy then flashed or there was a util included in the OS that flashes from Tracker. If you can get the PR2 boot ROM on it, it’ll boot R5. Mine used to have the PR2 Boot ROM as it supported the Matrox card I had better (got the boot logo, you don’t with later ROMS and the Matrox cards.)

The boot ROM has a nub which it not overwritten, and the actual ROM code - you might be able to hack one together that supports later BeOS releases, but you’d need the original source to do that without a lot of pain. You can PM me if you want more info.

Also : bebox teck info BootROM info

More BootROM (source code)

(The BootROM source is in the wild by the way… if you look at the last article, you can see some of it.)

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Yeah I used those to write code to extract the rom image from the update data for QEMU long ago.
Didn’t get any further though.

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Any idea if a PS/2 keyboard works on the mouse port with a splitter? Or PS/2 keyboard + Serial mouse?

Cleaned it out pretty well tonight… I should probably put something on the case to prevent further corrosion also.

No, PS/2 ports are not shareable, but the AT keyboard port (the big DIN on the motherboard) is compatible, just use a PS/2 to AT adapter.

Right, I think I may have one actually… now that I think about it… I was just wanting to avoid the AT keyboard if possible. I’m drawing the line at XT / ADB / PS2 and USB keyboards!

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If you don’t, I found one last night looking for another cable (actually, 2 - PS/2 -> AT and AT -> PS/2.) Happy to send you at cost of shipping (though I’m in the UK, so that might not be the fastest option.) It was previously used on my BeBox, so should be good :wink:

$6 on amazon so thanks but no need for now!

May have some time to play with it friday night/saturday.

Tried the 2 128MB sticks first, no dice then again maybe I didn’t wait long enough, perhaps the firmware isn’t setting up the mpc for sdram either.

Powers up to the be logo with the original 4MB dram simms installed I think it has about 24MB of ram in it well at least 2 sets of sticks are 4MB each. The set in 1/2 slots I’m not sure.

Don’t have a keyboard attached at the moment since I don’t get the adapter untill tomorrow. It could be that it just doesn’t boot without a keyboard (Sun’s for instance boot to console only if they lack a keyboard they don’t even power up the framebuffer).

The hard drive makes a racket when powering up, can’t quite tell if it’s the head rapping on the side or the usual sound. Does it when the drive powers up and again when the BeBox tries to acess it.

Tried inserting a DR8 CD, this didn’t go anywhere either. Going buy the install manual something must be going wrong, or the CD rom is just too slow…


I did get it to a point where the “signal was out of range” on my LCD which typcially syncs with most vintage PCs… with a few exceptions… I think it might have booted at that point from the CD.


That might just be normal operating noise. In the past, I’ve had a few old (i.e. circa 1995) machines whose hard drives were fairly loud. If the noise is a loud, rhythmic “click,” that’s one scenario in which one knows that a hard drive has gone bad; however, from your description, it doesn’t seem like that kind of sound.