Hardware, Rampage 286 (AST)


Expand your conventional DOS memory with EMS, HMA and UMBs

-> Rampage 286 Expanded Memory Card for the IBM Personal Computer AT and XT Model 286 <-
This is the title of the user manual. The focus is on IBM.

The model Rampage 286 is the first version. The next version is the Rampage Plus 286, which is also intended for compatible 286 AT computers. But! Also the first version seems to run on compatible 286 AT computers. At least this is the case for me.

Rampage 286 is a flexible and powerful memory enhancement board, which represents a new generation of products to expand the available memory for your Personal Computer XT (PC XT) Model 286 or PC AT.
User's manual, p. 1-1, 1986
The RAM chips used with the Rampage 286 board must be 12O-nanosecond access time or faster (such as 100-nanosecond).
User's manual, p. 1-3, 1986

If you look at the following picture, you will notice that only bank 0 has 100 ns RAM chips. The other 3 banks are populated with 150 ns RAM chips. But so far my system has worked. For this reason I switched off the turbo mode, i.e. the 286AT runs only at 6 MHz. I used the 150 ns RAM chips because I had so many of them left.

Rampage 286 (AST)
Rampage 286 (AST), 2MB

My 286AT system configuration

Here is the memory map of my 286AT. You will notice that the E area (E000-EFFF) is unused and could actually be used. But it is unmappable; you can check with MANIFEST (MFT)! REMM.SYS cannot provide this area, because it is or could be used on the original IBM AT and IBM XT/286, see minuszerodegrees.net.

The manual explicitly states that only the C000-E000 range can be used. The E area is not mappable by REMM.SYS!


My settings: To use all of Rampage 286 memory as expanded memory set SW2-1 through SW2-7 to OFF. SW1-1 through SW1-4 will then be ignored. I didn't set much more than that.


To use the Rampage 286 properly for memory optimization, you need two more programs. One for the HMA and one the UMB management. For the HMA I use HIMEM.SYS for the UMB management I use QRAM.SYS from Quarterdeck.

This is my CONFIG.SYS