PIP8-1/2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please notice: The following information and downloads are valid for the PIP8-1 and PIP8-2 only. Please go to the PIP8-1x FAQ Area for the most recent PIP versions.

PDF Manuals, Data Sheets, and Press Releases can be found in the MPL Documentation area of this homepage.

Question #297: What's the MTBF of your PIP products?
Answer: Please note that the whole story of MTBF (and especially MTBF numbers) is a lot more complicated than it may look at first sight.
Please check No MTBF for more information.

If you are still convinced that MTBF is really what you are looking for, please see below:
Based on the experience of the past few years, the typical MTBF is above 100'000 hours.

Question #325: How can I reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults?
Answer: There is a special menu entry in the BIOS setup screen, which will reset all BIOS settings to their factory defaults.
If entering the BIOS setup screen is not possible, the recommended way is to switch off the CMOS backup power (either by removing the CMOS battery completely from its holder or by using the corresponding DIP switch as described in the product "User Manual"). That way, the BIOS settings are gone and the default ones are loaded at next system boot. After the system has booted successfully, don't forget to connect/switch on the CMOS backup power again.

Question #291: I would like to "communicate" with a PC104 card installed on a MPL SBC, but it does not work.
Answer: First, please check what ISA resources (MEM, IO, IRQ) the PC104 card supports and/or uses at the moment. Read the "BIOS User's Manual" carefully and use the information therein about available ISA resources on the system to figure out a conflict free set of values for the various ISA resources. Make the necessary adjustments to the card configuration and / or the BIOS settings. The "BIOS User's Manual" suitable for your MPL SBC can be downloaded from the "Documentation area on the MPL homepage".

Question #143: How many PC/104 modules can be installed inside the PIP?
Enclosure Height [mm] PC/104 only slots PC/104 or PC/104-Plus slots PCI slots
Standard PIP 62 - 1 -
PIP80 78 - 2 -
PIP83 82.5 1 2 -
PIPPCI-1 62 - - 1
PIPPCI-2 82.5 - 1 2
PIPPCI-3 82.5 1 1 2
PIPPCI-4 120 2 1 4
PIPPCI-5 120 4 1 4
PIPPCI-L1 120 - 2 1
PIPPCI-L2 120 - - 2
PIP104PLUS-1 120 2 4 -

Question #290: My MPL SBC does not boot from CD-ROM. What I am doing wrong?
Answer: First, please verify that the hardware (SBC, drive, cables) is in working condition and the CD/DVD you are trying to boot from is really bootable. If the problem still persists, then most probably some BIOS settings are not correct. Please read the corresponding chapter(s) in the "BIOS User's Manual" carefully and make the necessary adjustments. The "BIOS User's Manual" suitable for your MPL SBC can be downloaded from the "Documentation area on the MPL homepage".

Question #345: I'm having trouble to get an USB device to work with one of your SBC. Either the USB device is not working reliable (or not at all) or the MPL SBC is even being reset if I insert the plug into the USB port or if the device is activated. The same USB device works without problem if I connect it to my laptop/desktop.
Answer: Is the USB device powered from the USB port only (no external power supply is being used)? If yes, your USB device most probably needs more power than it is allowed to do. The USB standard specifies that an USB device must not consume more than 500mA for USB2.0 / 900mA for USB3.0 (even not more than 100mA before being successfully initialized). For all USB peripherals with higher power requirements than the values mentioned above, the use of an external power supply is mandatory.
So please make sure that you use an external power supply or try to find another, standard conforming USB device.

Please note that the use of an "Y" shaped USB cable to "steal" power from a second, unused USB port is NOT a solution!

Question #329: I have attached a PC/104 or PC/104-Plus card to the [PIP | MIP] and I am sure that the card is configured correctly both from the hardware and the software side. Nevertheless the card does not work as expected, but shows erratic behaviour.
Answer: Does the card need +12V, -12V or -5V from the PC104/PC104-Plus bus? If the answer is yes, chances are that the I/O drivers and/or some A/D or D/A circuitry are not properly powered.
By default the [PIP | MIP] does NOT provide the voltages mentioned above on the PC/104 or PC/104-Plus bus.
Please check the corresponding "User Manual" and/or "Technical Reference Manual" for details.

Question #250: I want to use the watchdog on the PIP. I programmed it according to the example in the user manual. If I test my program, the system resets immediately, freezes after disabling and reenabling the watchdog, or shows some other strange behaviour. What's the problem?
Answer: Unfortunatly there are two race conditions in the example code published in the PIPx user manual.
In the procedure "Start WDT with 30 second timeout", the Watchdog Control Register (Addr. 808h) in the PLD must be written (Data 01h) after configuring the SIO chip as shown below:

_outp(0x3F1,0x1E); /* start counting down 30 secondes */
_outp(0x3F0,0xAA); /* exit configuration state, return to run mode */
_outp(0x808,0x01); /* enable reset generation on IRQ15 */

In the procedure "Stop and disable WDT", the Watchdog Control Register (Addr. 808h) in the PLD must be written (Data 00h) prior to configuring the SIO chip as shown below:

_outp(0x808,0x00); /* disable reset generation on IRQ15 */
_outp(0x3F0,0x55); /* enter FDC37C672 configuration state */
_outp(0x3F0,0x07); /* point to logical device number register */

Question #151: What option do we have with the serial ports in the PIP8?
Answer: All PIP8 offer 4 x RS232 ports. COM 1 and 2 are RS232 ports available on two independent DB-9. Two RS232 (COM 3 & 4) can be upgraded to either two half duplex RS485 lines or a full duplex RS422 line with the option PIPCOM-1. COM 3 & 4 are available on a DB-25. The installation of PIPCOM-1 can be done during production or in the field.

Question #302: After a change to some BIOS settings or a BIOS update, my Windows [200x | XP] installation does not work any longer. The system hangs or resets during startup.
Answer: Please check the ACPI setting in the BIOS setup and make sure the setting is the same as at the time the OS was installed. Once Windows [200x | XP] is installed with ACPI support enabled, it will normally no longer work on a non-ACPI system.

Question #296: I'm trying to install Windows 2000 / Windows 2003 by USB CDROM on a PIP, but after a while the installation process stops with an "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" blue screen.
Answer: This is a known problem with Windows 2000 / Windows 2003. Please take a look at MS Knowledge Base Article 883114 for more information.

Question #141: What operating system is installed on the PIP8?
Answer: Normally, FreeDOS is preinstalled on the PIP8 so you can start it up right away.
Upon request, can deliver you PIPs pre-installed with an operating system of your choice. Details have to be discussed and offered accordingly.

Question #153: Why can't I change the monitor resolution?
Answer: Most probably, the "CRT/LCD" setting in the Custom Configuration Menu of the BIOS is set to "Both". In this case, the screen resolution is determined by he settings of DIP Switch 1 (Display Settings) and the VGA drivers respect this setting. If you don't have a LCD connected, change the BIOS setting to "CRT".

Question #152: Help, my monitor goes black after the operating system starts up!
Answer: Most probably, the "CRT/LCD" setting in the Custom Configuration Menu of the BIOS is set to "LCD". In this case, the interface for the monitor is shut down.

Question #123: What operating system runs on the PIP7/PIP8?
Answer: So far, we have tested DOS, Windows 9x, Windows NT4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Embedded and various Linux Distributions. All other OS that will run on a standard PC should work also on the PIP7/PIP8 as well as it is 100% PC/AT compatible.

Question #146: Does the IDE Flash Disk/Module require any special drivers?
Answer: No, the IDE Flash is seen by the OS like a standard IDE hard disk.

Question #137: Is the PIP board available without the housing?
Answer: Yes, all PIP boards are available without the housing. Compared to equivalent boards like Little board or similar, the PIP still has the big advantage of the standard connectors. Wiring costs a fortune!

Question #281: I wanted to use Norton Ghost to build an image of my PIP. However, Norton Ghost does not see the hard disk even though FDISK can see the NTFS partition fine.
Answer: Use the -fnx switch of Ghost to disable the extended INT13 functionality as the Ghost and the PIP BIOS have some discrepancies of the extended INT13 functionality.

Question #266: How many PC/104-Plus cards can I use on a PIP?
Answer: Without using one of the PIPPCI Extensions, two PC/104-Plus slots can be used on a PIP.

Question #138: What is delivered with the PIP?
Answer: There are several differently equipped base versions available. Additionally, you can choose the amount of DRAM, the type of mass storage (Hard / Flash disk) etc. according to your requirements. Please see the "PIP8 Options" entry in our Homepage for further information or contact one of our distributors for assitance.

Question #252: What type of power supply connector is used for the PIP?
Answer: All PIPs will be delivered with a power connector. If you need additional connectors, MPL AG will supply them as well upon request. If you insist on buying them yourself or if you need technical information, here are the purchase details:
ManufacturerPhoenix Contact
Order Number1827729
TypeMC 1,5/ 4-STF-3,81
Wire gauge diameter1.5 mm2

Question #139: Is the PIP8 being supplied with the CE mark?
Answer: The tests neccessary for the CE conformity declaration are currently carried out. Please contact MPL AG for further information.

Question #142: What type of PC/104 can be installed in the PIP8?
Answer: Any type and any function including custom PC/104 and PC/104-Plus can be installed as the PC/104 interface is fully compatible with the PC/104 specification.

Question #144: If a PC Card slot is installed, on which side is the opening?
Answer: On the right hand side looking from the front

Question #145: Is 32MB the biggest Flash that can be installed in the PIP?
Answer: No, you can install standard available IDE Flash disk. Such disks are available from 4MB – 1GB at a reasonable cost. We can offer you those on request with a good price.

Question #148: Can the PIP8 be booted via SCSI?
Answer: Yes, the PIP8 has an integrated SCSI BIOS that allows this.

Question #149: Is the Ethernet on the PIP8 a standard solution ?
Answer: Yes, the PIP8 has a 10/100 MBit Ethernet with a RJ45 connector on board.

Question #150: What CAN standard does the PIP8 support?
Answer: The PIP8 has a built in Intel 82527 with CAN Protocol V2.0B (extended CAN).
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