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Daystar Quadra 900/950 Adapter (Slot-free adapter for Quad 040 and Image 040 PDS cards)

jeremywork

Well-known member
I've gotten around to testing this board, which is advertized as compatible with Daystar's 'Quad 040' or 'Image 040' CPU upgrades which otherwise consume the PDS slot. It presents what looks like a second 040 PDS slot above the built-in one. I bought it sealed in retail packaging, though I don't have one of the Quad 040 or Image 040 upgrades, so I can only test it with some miscellaneous PDS cards for the moment. The installation manual warns against using any PDS cards other than the two aforementioned, stating irreversible damage can occur.


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The Daystar QuadraCache is a 128k cache module for the 040 PDS which is controlled by the same control panel as the Quad 040 and Image 040, so I guessed it would be the most likely 'unsupported' card to work, and yet it doesn't. Installing the QuadraCache on the slot-free PDS left the primary PDS fully functional, but it wasn't detected by QuadControl. The card heated up as it usually would, and still functions properly after being reinstalled in the motherboard PDS slot. For fun, I tried the Diimo 040 cache control panel (since they made some slot-free cache modules) but no dice.

It's the same story with the Houdini II card. Starting in the adapter didn't seem to break anything, but it didn't work either.

Based on the intended uses being full CPU replacement PDS cards, I thought perhaps this only works when the main CPU is not needed. The PowerPro 601 card can run without an 040 in the socket so long as the PRAM doesn't reset. I tried it in the slot-free adapter with the 040 installed and the computer wouldn't chime. If I enabled the 601 in the motherboard slot and then moved it to the slot-free adapter, it still didn't chime. Finally, removing the 040 from the slot-free adapter, the PowerPro still caused the machine not to chime in the slot-free PDS, but then booted mostly happily without the 040 upon being moved back to the motherboard slot- the finder would lock up before the desktop was drawn, however. PowerPro worked perfectly again with the 040 reinstalled.
(although precarious, the slot-free adapter can be removed and reinstalled without removing the 950's power supply assembly, useful at least for quicker CPU swaps. Daystar's included PGA puller makes it a cinch.)

The Sixty Eight Thousand RAID Warrior was the last card I intended to test, but even with the bracket and port removed, the slot-free card's offset pushes the RAID Warrior PCB just a bit too close to the rear panel to clear the plastic corner brace installed in the case. It would be trivial to mod, but I don't have any evidence to suggest this card would work with the adapter anyways, and irreversible damage to the RAID Warrior would be extra sad. If there was a way to make these two work together, combining them into a single board design would make a nice upgrade.
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Besides this uneventful round of blind tests in which luckily nothing broke, I did my best to tone out the adapter's contacts (seemed simple enough as PCBs go) and compiled them into a photoshop document. It's bound to be a little wonky as it was my first time doing this, but I'd be glad to hear pointers or clarify things on the document.
Hopefully it helps someone somehow....

A PDF of the installation manual is also attached. No software was included in the box.
 

Attachments

  • DaystarSlotFreePDS.psd.zip
    17.9 MB · Views: 0
  • DaystarSlotSaverManualOCR.pdf
    15.5 MB · Views: 2

olePigeon

Well-known member
Oooooooo. Daystar CPU puller. I'd pay money for just that part. :D

I was trying to think why you'd use this, but then I remembered it could be useful in a WorkGroup Server 90 or 95, or in any Quadra with a rare PDS SCSI card. Then you could use this adapter instead, and still get a slightly faster CPU + cache card without giving up your WGS card or SCSI card.

Edit: Oooo! According the manual, it works in the 700. Now THAT is fantastic considering that any Quadra PDS card installed in a 700 will also render one of your precious 2 NuBus slots useless (it overlaps the NuBus slot.)

So in retrospect, this little adapter is pretty darn useful for WGS 90 & 95s, and 700s.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@jeremywork As noted in my ramblings above, I think the intended idea is to leave your RaidWarrior in the original PDS slot, and then use the Slot Saver for the CPU accelerator. It's a solution to let you use both an accelerator & the original PDS slot; or if you have a 700, use an accelerator while still being able to utilize the second NuBus slot.

So I wouldn't put anything but an accelerator in that adapter's slot just to be safe. Keep the RaidWarrior in its original spot.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
Further ramblings: I think you're aware of everything I just said after re-reading your post. :p Sorry about that. But, yeah, I'd still keep to accelerators for the adapter. It might use some non-standard wiring or something. Who knows.
 

jeremywork

Well-known member
It'll still be very handy if I ever find one of the compatible 040 cards. I had just hoped it might do more...

Maybe something in the pinout can point to how it's intended to function, or even lead to modification to expand its uses.
 

jeremywork

Well-known member
Edit: Oooo! According the manual, it works in the 700.
I'm guessing the 700 adapter is a different part, though I don't know why it would have to be...

I think the intended idea is to leave your RaidWarrior in the original PDS slot, and then use the Slot Saver for the CPU accelerator. It's a solution to let you use both an accelerator & the original PDS slot; or if you have a 700, use an accelerator while still being able to utilize the second NuBus slot.
I'd love if the QuadraCache had worked as an 'accelerator' for this case. I had recently entertained trying to build a CPU socket based SCSI II add-on similar to the boards for Radius Rockets, so I was holding out hope it might *just work* with the RAID Warrior. Seems highly unlikely after testing with the other cards. https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?threads/radius-rocket-daughterboards.40872/post-442709

Oooooooo. Daystar CPU puller. I'd pay money for just that part. :D
They built it very nicely, despite its simplicity.
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