Adding an I/O card to the Epson IM-403

The IM-403 contains a single empty 16-bit ISA slot.  If you don't need to add a floppy disc, this makes a great place to drop a network card.  But I needed a floppy disc drive and don't have the mandatory Epson SMD-1140 unit, so I used the ISA slot to add a floppy disc controller.

Actually, I added the SIIG SI-1132+ I/O card, available from Computer City for $29.95 in April of 1998.  This card has two serial ports, one printer port, IDE controller, floppy controller, and a game port.  You can enable, disable, or move nearly any port on this board, so you can jumper your way around any conflicts with ports already on the IM-403.

Start by removing the two blank I/O brackets on the back of the IM-403 chassis.  Bolt the SI-1132's second I/O bracket, with the game port on it, into the lower bracket position.  Then seat the card in the ISA slot and bolt it down.  Finally, set up your jumper switches for the I/O devices you want.  After I installed DOS on my IM-403 and the modifications were all finished, my SI-1132 settings were:

SIO0 enabled as COM1;
SIO1 disabled;
LPT2 enabled (IRQ 7), appears in IM-403 system as LPT1;
game port enabled;
floppy drive controller enabled;
IDE controller disabled.

This configuration lets me work around the IM-403's COM1, which is wired to that nasty telephone-style connector on the back panel.  By using the System Configuration Utility to disable the IM-403's COM1, I get all four serial ports (COM2, COM3, and COM4 are on the IM-403).

Note that adding a floppy disc drive requires soldering some wires to the I/O card.  If you intend to add your own PC floppy drive, check this page first!

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