Motherboard with ISA slots

Yes. I know, I know.

Why in the world would anyone want/need to support ISA slot boards these days???

Well, there are a lot of industrial controls and data acquisition systems that use ISA boards and plenty are still being made (believe it or not).

But the problem is that at this point, you generally need to pay huge money to buy motherboards with ISA slots because the "industrial computer" companies have you right where they want you :)

So the question is:

Are there any reasonably priced motherboards being made (or still available) which have legacy ISA slot support. For our systems, we require three ISA slots.

A motherboard with integrated video and ethernet is a plus.

They don't need to be fast. They don't need to support much RAM. But it'd be nice if they were reliable :)

These would be used to replace failing old motherboards in existing data acquisition systems.

Replacing the ISA boards with PCI or USB-connected equipment would cost a lot not only because the hardware would be expensive, but also because the operating programs would need to be rewritten and custom interfacing would need to be built to link the available newer hardware to the existing field equipment.

We may have to bite the bullet and go with the outrageously priced "industrial" motherboards, but, of course, we'd rather not pay $1,000 for what amounts to a $100 MOBO.

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  1. You need them new with warranty and all I take it?
    If not you could probably get your hands on hundreds of them second hand for next to nothing.
  2. It would be best to find new-production boards because we'd like to buy ourselves reliability and maintainability for at least a few years into the future.

    Keeping all of these systems identical would ease future maintenance as well as make setting the systems up consistent. Having to deal with a bunch of "one off" setups would be very time consuming.

    So if we go with used gear, we'd still want a batch of identical units to work with, and we'd run the risk that they're "worn out".

    Ideally, we'd get new boards that use modern processors and RAM so they'd have a more assured future.

    But desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess :)
  3. Hyper microsystems has at least one new 440bx chipset board with 2 isa slots, if that helps. It's around $67 plus shipping.
  4. I only know of one new board that can be had with ISA slots...and it'd be this one.

    It has integrated sound, networking, and video, as you said, and pc133 ram is still pretty easy to come anyway. Only problem you'll probably run into is finding P3's. eBay has a few, but they're all used. IMO P3's are built like the Roman Colosseum, to last forever, but you would be forced into buying used stuff. Amazon seems to have one new.

    Also, beware, P3's came in many different speeds, from 450 MHz to 1.4GHz, I'd avoid anything less than 800MHz today, and that's pushing it...but then again I don't really know what you'd do with the machines.

    Problem originates with the pc99 compliancy or something like that. They basically told dell, hp, packard bell, emachines etc... they had to color code the ports, and ISA slots were discouraged. This saved them money, so they got on board the bandwagon.
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