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another SE/30 restoration

chillin

Well-known member
Not know what was what, recapping always sounded intimidating to me. Then after reading JDW's thread about tantalum caps, I realized it was straight-forward, and so many had been there before, all the information necessary was available. So I was considering attempting myself. Now after struggling with these 2 minis, I know I can't. I can barely get a screw in the hole; that is what is left of my manual dexterity.
 

chillin

Well-known member
The funny thing about this machine is that the logic board says it's a Quadra 950, yet the front facia is labeled "Workgroup Server 95".

I'm sort of fascinated with the WGS95, but I have no personal experience with one. My understanding is that the only differences between the Q950 and WGS95 is the faceplate, the wide SCSI card, and possibly the ROM. I'm not certain, but I believe the wide SCSI card was a PDS card, and it blocked the NuBus slot nearest the PDS, leaving only 4 available NuBus slots (room enough for, say, a 100BaseT network card, a 486 PC card, and couple of Rockets, though would need to run Mac OS rather than A/UX). It is common to see the Q840AV or even the Q950 touted as the fastest 68k Mac, but I believe the wide SCSI card made the WGS95 the fastest 68k Mac.
 

chillin

Well-known member
replied to wrong thread... ignore LOL

I am a little confused about the programmable ROM SIMMs available. First of all, pretty cool projects, I believe started here at 68kmla. But I am sure I do not want the Mac ROM-inator II, as I don't want to see someone else's idea of a cool boot splash. My preference would be Garrett’s Workshop GW4402A 8MB ROM, as I suppose most would want, but it is out of stock and unavailable, leaving MACSIMM. Fine fine.

So I can order MACSIMM from tindie, but the sales page doesn't say anything about what programming will arrive on it. I understand it can be programmed with a SIMM programmer, but I don't really want to get into that, and I think the less expensive programmers dedicated to these are sold out, long gone, and unfortunately not coming back. So an unprogrammed ROM would be pretty worthless to me.

I could have sworn I saw an image of the original custom ROM project here that had a microSD card reader on it. Did I? If so, what happened with that?

What bandwidth could the ROM SIMM slot in an SE/30 have? I suppose it couldn't be too difficult to exceed that of its SCSI-1 bus.

It is doubtful I'll see a ROM SIMM with 80MB (about the minimum needed to install A/UX, leaving hardly any room left to do anything with it), unless that microSD card ROM exists and can be had.

And because my goal here is running A/UX and NetBSD, I'm pretty sure I don't need a ROM that provides 32-bit clean compatibility. I am reasonably certain both OS will see all the RAM I want with the stock SE/30 ROM.

But still, a custom ROM is a neat thing, neat idea, so I'll keep it under considetation.

What's the consensus on the custom ROMs? Anyone know how a MACSIMM will arrive if I order one? (pre-programmed? blank?!). Thanks.
 

chillin

Well-known member
hdd spins, but I don't hear any activity, and the LED stays lit, no blinking. This is the first amber LED I've come across (seen pictures, just not IRL). Previously, I've only seen green and red.

The brightness knob was all the way down, so either the logic board was not connected to power, or the seller didn't turn up the brightness knob, leading to the description that there was no picture.
 
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cheesestraws

Well-known member
And because my goal here is running A/UX and NetBSD, I'm pretty sure I don't need a ROM that provides 32-bit clean compatibility. I am reasonably certain both OS will see all the RAM I want with the stock SE/30 ROM.

You don't need it for MacOS either. MODE32 will work fine. Custom ROMs are nifty if you want custom drivers or bootable ROM disks, but they can cause hardware incompatibilities. Personally I don't bother with them.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
I have an amber LED on my SE FDHD. Original HD was toast, so I took the original LED from it and soldered it to the LED header on the SCSI2SD I put in there, so you can't even tell the difference. You can go that route to maintain the same look.
 

chillin

Well-known member
I'd like to do that twice with this machine, with two SCSI devices and two (now amber) LEDs (which means I'll have to find a matched amber LED for the floppy slot cover I have). I have the SCSI2SD, so that is one device. If I can't revive this hdd, I have a second 50-pin drive here of unknown functionality to check. If that doesn't work, I'll go for a MacSD.

But my next priority is finding a recap service.
 

chillin

Well-known member
Looks like I missed the first response from a recap service >< But thankfully, they followed up, and I caught the second contact. Very reasonable quote for full SE/30 clean and recap. This has been a good day.*

Anyone know where I can get appropriately-sized antistatic bags to fit these boards? Thanks.


* Not only does the SE/30 boot, I completed my macports builds on the minis, and benched the SSDs (with a one liner dd script):
2012 ssd RAID 0: write 1007.12 MB/s; read 970.37 MB/s
2011 ssd RAID 0: write 582.04 MB/s; read 822.32 MB/s
Close enough. To really know accurately, I'd have to run the test a number of times with different block sizes, which I'll probably never do. FWIW, I really don't want to use the App Store to install Blackmagic. Any applications that can live in ~/Applications/ I'd prefer there, and App Store probably won't ever do that, and I can't find Blackmagic anywhere to download on dmg or whatever. Also, it was sunny and warm, 66° F -- though climate change is very bad, the temperature today saves me money (baseboard heating -- the worst!)
 
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chillin

Well-known member
Not all electric heating is as inefficient as baseboards... but all around it is a poor solution. I asked the property manager if I could install a seasonal little pot-belly wood stove, run it through a top sash. She went nuts, has strange ideas about wood stoves. I shouldn't have asked and just done it.
 

chillin

Well-known member
My place is small, I think the pad is 500sqft, but half of the house is a utility room (laundry and storage). So the smallest wood stove available would allow me to heat the place comfortably with the windows open.
 

CC_333

Well-known member
Electric heating is the devil!
Yes, even the supposedly efficient ones are extremely expensive to run because the power co. here in NorCal (PG$E) likes to charge exorbitant rates for basically minimal use, which makes using almost any form of natural gas/electric heat or A/C impractically expensive to run for more than brief periods. So basically, our house is like a furnace during summer and a freezer during winter, unless we want to go broke.

And now SF has an ordinance requiring new construction to use exclusively electric appliances (I'm sure the state isn't far behind), which is fine, if you're a fancy tech executive or some such with a high 6-figure or 7-figure salary, but for all us common folk, it hurts quite badly (a yearly income of ~$200k after taxes is practically a minimum if you want to afford pretty much most of the good places in CA anymore, let alone elsewhere, and that's if you penny-pinch).

Anyway, enough of that!

@chillin If you decide to get a programmable SIMM, I'd be willing to help put a ROM on it since I have a SIMM programmers; any newly sold SIMM, be it a ROM-inator II, Garrett's Workshop or MACSIMM should work on it, as they're all, as far as I know, based on the original design as released by @dougg3 about 10 years ago (he also designed the SIMM programmer I have).

But I am sure I do not want the Mac ROM-inator II, as I don't want to see someone else's idea of a cool boot splash
The ROM-inator II's idea of a "cool boot splash" is just a place holder and is completely optional. If you have a programmer (or access to the sevices of someone who does) and know how to modify the ROM image, you can put whatever you want on there. You can even put a stock SE/30 ROM image on it if you want to, but that would be kind of pointless....

Anyway, those who don't want all the bells and whistles (like bootable ROM disks and fancy boot splashes) generally put a stock IIsi ROM image on the SIMM so they can benefit from its 32-bit cleanliness (there exists a lightly modified copy that disables the power on RAM check, which can significantly reduce boot times if you have lots of RAM.

However, for the simplest, 100% stock experience, a stock ROM with MODE32 would probably be best, as it has the fewest variables and "Just Works."

c
 

chillin

Well-known member
Thank you, that is excellent of you, CC_333. I will have to give it some thought, especially for a ROM with a disk built-in. Buy I don't really remember the size of System 6/7 installs, so I'm not sure what can fit in ~1.5MB that's bootable.
 

CC_333

Well-known member
Of course!

A basic System 7 install with some diagnostic and hard disk tools will fit easily within the space provided in an 8 MB SIMM, but a 2 or 4 MB SIMM will probably be limited to System 6, which is smaller.

The "standard issue" placeholder image also comes in a version with a preconfigured disk image built in, so if you decide to go that route, most of the work has already been done for you. I think you can change the boot splash icon to whaver you like, too (I vaguely remember that there may even be a nice, GUI-driven tool that automates it, if editing hex is something you don't want to do).

The exciting aspect of this custom SIMM is that you can do whatever you want with it, so again, don't be put off by the standard packages and pre-programmed SIMMs with their own boot splashes and such, as those are there mostly for people who don't want to do the work themselves and just want an easy plug-and-play solution.

c
 

chillin

Well-known member
Though running System 7.0.1, A/UX & NetBSD is a given, I'd also like to try Mac OS 8.1 on this machine. I know IIsi and IIfx ROMs have been successful with 8.1, and I know I have a few IIfx ROMs and a decent possibility of one IIsi ROM, neither immediately available to me (in storage with the rest of my modest classic collection). Some day I'll get my stuff.

Not just in the meantime, but control of the ROM is interesting regardless. Though flashing a IIsi ROM onto it is obvious, I wonder what finer control over it there is, such as whether it can it be customized to post as an SE/30 yet with 32-bit clean memory.

System 6 is functional, and I wouldn't mind having an emergency boot to ROM. I will consider it.
 

CC_333

Well-known member
I wonder what finer control over it there is, such as whether it can it be customized to post as an SE/30 yet with 32-bit clean memory.
My understanding is that with a proper knowledge of 68k assembly and a reasonably well-documented disassembly of the ROM itself, almost anything is possible.

Go take a look at this thread to learn everything there is to know about custom ROM SIMMs (it's in this thread where basically every aspect of the hack was discussed for the first time, all the way from the initial groundbreaking experiments to the exciting completion of the first commercially available custom SIMM and programmer): https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?threads/another-iici-rom-hack.23519/

Also, a IIsi ROM, when installed into an SE/30, already poses as an SE/30 (System 6 and 7 seems to have other metrics it uses to determine the machine it's running on; in my experience, what ROM is being used doesn't seem to matter, which makes logical sense to me: an SE/30 with a IIsi ROM is still an SE/30, so why report it as anything else?).

While the IIfx ROM is also known to work, I don't know if my above statements all apply identically to it. However, I see no reason why it would be substantially different.

c
 

chillin

Well-known member
Thanks CC_333. That thread is going to take some time, 51pages on my device.

I know I own a IIsi ROM and several IIfx ROMs, but they're out of reach. I could not get my other SE/30 to install with or boot with either in NetBSD or A/UX, so that SemasiMac SE/30 has a stock ROM.

I shipped all the boards from this thread's SE/30 to Amiga of Rochester for recapping, still in transit.

Curious finds this morning... available is a NIB Asante network card and a 68040 accelerator, and, according to the image on the back of the box, apparently socketed. Claims to be from 1991, which seems crazy to me because Q700 wasn't released until Oct. 1991 and only 25MHz. If true, a lucky few had a crazy fast SE/30 to gloat over new owners of Q700
 

Winters

New member
I know Im a little late to the party but I had used this guy (https://amigaofrochester.com/) back in late March and he was really good and knowledgable. He was pretty open about everything and really had a lot of trouble with my se/30 board but talked me through everything and sometimes Id just hangout on the phone with him and chat while he was working on it lol. Good luck!

Dont know why I didnt see the above message before I posted this but just saw it after posting lol. Thats funny, hes a good guy.
 
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