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Houdini II DOS compatibility card 486-66 with SB16 - software, hardware considerations on 68K

Byrd

Well-known member
Hi all,

I've a Quadra 610 I'd love to get up and running with a Houdini II Apple DOS Compatibility card - this is the 486DX2-66 card with SoundBlaster 16, not the 486SX-25 with beeper/no sound ("Houdini I") card the original Quadra 610 DOS Compatible shipped with.  

I'm not having much luck getting the card fired up testing these PC Setup releases:

- V1.01 (which the Q610 DOS Compatible shipped with and is stated only for this model),

- V1.5 (an update) or;

- V1.6.4 (a fairly significant update covering PCI DOS Compatible cards).

... all result in a blank display.  Once I heard a few PC beeps using V1.01.  Mind you, the 486 CPU was roasting hot (it has a heatsink, no 486 I've ever felt had been this steamy!) after all this so I suspect I have a hardware issue ...

Recalling this card could also be used, hacked in Quadra 800, 9x0 68K Macs - has anyone tried this card in other 68K Macs, what version of the PC Setup software did you use and try working with?  If no luck in the Q610 I have a Quadra 950 I could test it in but am unsure of what software release to try.

Thanks

JB

 
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AlpineRaven

Well-known member
Hey mate -

I did try doing it on Q660av - same issue what you're having - ditched it and moved back to Q800 in Q700 shell (I did have it running in Q950 but I rather Q700 shell with 800 board in it). Running 1.6.4 with Mac OS 7.6.1
Cheers

AP

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
Are you totally sure a unit from a 6100 will work in a 68k box? I've never tried it. I can't readily find a user manual for the card, just a blurb in the 6100 Service Source (btw, try to set J10 to SX mode if it isn't). If they are interchangeable I imagine there may be a jumper or something to set to tell it which bus protocols to use (60x or '040). Maybe see if it works in a 6100 if you have one handy.

 

Byrd

Well-known member
I did try doing it on Q660av - same issue what you're having - ditched it and moved back to Q800 in Q700 shell (I did have it running in Q950 but I rather Q700 shell with 800 board in it). Running 1.6.4 with Mac OS 7.6.1
Thanks for the info - this is your Centris 610 board by the way, working a treat having cannibalised parts from my dead Quadra 610 board (CPU, NIC oscillator, resistors).  Good to hear the earlier Houdini II card works with the last 1.6.4 version; have you ever tried PCSetup 2.1.7?  I have dreams of getting Windows 98 running.

Are you totally sure a unit from a 6100 will work in a 68k box? 
I'd like to think so - this card is not much different from the original Houdini I apart from CPU and sound, but I'm still not sure what release of PC Setup I should be using.  For some reason I'm really keen to get it going in a 68K Mac, a 486 seems a better match for an '040 and the unit I have is really pristine.

However, I'm getting closer.  I reseated the 486DX2-66 CPU, pulled the RAM, reinstalled Mac OS 7.6.1 and PC Setup 1.0.2 (some update from V1.0.1 mentioned video issues/blank screens).  There was an option to set the Display to VGA, which was never offered before.  Can get it to finally POST but it won't boot from floppy, using the recommended Apple DOS boot disk.  CPU doesn't get scorching hot any more.

Next up I think I'll try 1.6.4 to see if any quirks have been ironed out, notably with more reliability.  

I've a Kensington Turbochip (AMD 586-133) I'd love to try in this once it's all up and running.  The same upgrade never worked properly in an LC630 DOS Compatible though.

 
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Byrd

Well-known member
Am getting further with it now - card booting using PC Setup 1.6.4 and installing Windows 98 SE as I type this, alongside Mac OS 7.6.1. You need Mac OS 8.1 installed to get FAT32 support, which might be useful but it’s going well so far. Card is very picky about RAM, tried several 72 pin modules before a very generic double sided Siemens chip worked - 32MB.

There exists a video corruption

bug (perhaps for this non-standard setup) where switching back to Mac results in random coloured dots

on screen. Turning on the “fade screen” option when switching stops this.

 

jeremywork

Well-known member
I have a Houdini II running in a Q700, so yes it runs fine from a 68k host system. I was having a hard time using it in my Q950 though; Mac OS would lock up several seconds after starting the PC, whether I switched to its display or not (switching revealed the 486 was operating, but never proceeded past the RAM check.) @AlpineRaven, did you have to do any trickery to get yours working in a 950? 7.1, 7.5, 7.6, 8.1, and the Serial Switch control panel made no difference, and the same config worked perfectly in the 700.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
Yes, the Houdini II fits 040 machines. The card comes in a PPC601 to 040 PDS slot adapter raiser. This bottlenecks the card pretty badly, especially if you use the Mac's memory for PC memory instead of installing a SIMM.

 

AlpineRaven

Well-known member
I have a Houdini II running in a Q700, so yes it runs fine from a 68k host system. I was having a hard time using it in my Q950 though; Mac OS would lock up several seconds after starting the PC, whether I switched to its display or not (switching revealed the 486 was operating, but never proceeded past the RAM check.) @AlpineRaven, did you have to do any trickery to get yours working in a 950? 7.1, 7.5, 7.6, 8.1, and the Serial Switch control panel made no difference, and the same config worked perfectly in the 700.
I think I was running 7.5.5 on it - it has been a while and I didnt have it running for long term as it was short term.

Cheers

AP

 

jeremywork

Well-known member
I think I was running 7.5.5 on it - it has been a while and I didnt have it running for long term as it was short term.

Cheers

AP
Thanks, in any case I'm glad to know it's possible! I'll try it again at some point..

 
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Byrd

Well-known member
No issues now with the Houdini II card in my Q610.  Just needed some coaxing of finding the right software and appropriate OS.  Mac OS 7.6.1 works well, I had some quirks with 8.1.  The sound card isn't properly detected under a vanilla install of Windows 95B, so I'd recommend you start with a DOS 6.22 install, put on the Apple SoundBlaster 16 drivers (as found on the Apple Legacy CD), then install Windows 95 which picks up the correct SETBLASTER settings.

Windows 98 has performance issues - not because of it being on a 486, it installs fine but was unusable on the desktop.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
The Soundblaster 16 Vibra should be set to 220h, IRQ 5, DMA 1 & 5.

SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 T6

Same defaults the cards are set for in PCs. The Apple SB16 drivers are just the Creative drivers from period SB16 Vibra cards. WIndows 95 OSR2 is likely the best OS for these cards. The Vibra chip likely needs DIAGNOSE.EXE run on boot to soft configure the card.

 

MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
I have several Houdini II cards that all don't work.  The Mac shows that the PC is running, and switching to it fades only to black.  What did you do that worked to make yours work again ?  I'd love to know which steps worked!

 

jeremywork

Well-known member
I have several Houdini II cards that all don't work.  The Mac shows that the PC is running, and switching to it fades only to black.  What did you do that worked to make yours work again ?  I'd love to know which steps worked!


Just to confirm, you're using the 4-ended cable with your Houdini II?

17125b1ed6bff96b8fe1f514bfe4c293.jpeg.b83661dcbff1843a0aa0341a2c36eae5.jpeg


 

Byrd

Well-known member
I have several Houdini II cards that all don't work.  The Mac shows that the PC is running, and switching to it fades only to black.  What did you do that worked to make yours work again ?  I'd love to know which steps worked!


As it fades to black, it suggests the card is detected - I'd pull whatever RAM is on the board, and reseat the 486 CPU.  I had to reseat the CPU in mine before I got the familiar boring PC BIOS screen and lots of beeping.

 

MrFahrenheit

Well-known member
Just to confirm, you're using the 4-ended cable with your Houdini II?



Yes, I have the half octopus cable. What a cabling nightmare!

I’ve tried the non-working cards in the same machines that also have working cards and I’ve even switched the Pds adapter to see if I could narrow down the cause. 

As it fades to black, it suggests the card is detected - I'd pull whatever RAM is on the board, and reseat the 486 CPU.  I had to reseat the CPU in mine before I got the familiar boring PC BIOS screen and lots of beeping.
Yes, they’re all detected but don’t function beyond the Mac saying they’re running and a fade to black. I have switched ram around and also tried without additional ram. The CPUs get incredibly hot. So hot it makes the backside of the card untouchable. 
 

is it hard to remove and reseat the 486?  Anything I should be cautious or aware of?

 

jeremywork

Well-known member
is it hard to remove and reseat the 486?  Anything I should be cautious or aware of?


There are tools to help with this, but I've found it's not too hard with a nylon spudger(pry tool.) Be careful to work around the CPU evenly, as it'll be easy to bend pins if one end comes free while the other is still seated. Just focus on inching it out slowly as you circle around and it should come out in 2-5 minutes without issue. The proper tool makes it much easier, and looks like this:

https://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/File:Intel_CPU_removal_tool.jpg

 

Byrd

Well-known member
Yes, they’re all detected but don’t function beyond the Mac saying they’re running and a fade to black. I have switched ram around and also tried without additional ram. The CPUs get incredibly hot. So hot it makes the backside of the card untouchable. 
I had the exact same issue when resurrecting my DOS card; red hot 486DX2-66 CPU (as in; took 15 mins to cool down in a cold garage!).  I pulled it, sprayed the pins with electronic contact cleaner + socket, reseated and all is well.  Keep in mind the 6100 has terrible cooling I'd put a small fan somewhere nearby.

 

BadGoldEagle

Well-known member
I had my Houdini II installed in a Q950 (before the thing blew up) and although the card was recognized by 8.1 (I remember checking with a program called Slots that it was correctly identified), the control panel simply would not start (if I double clicked it, it would simply reset the Mac desktop... I tried 1.02, 1.6.4 and 2.1.7 with no avail. I did not check the CPU at the time (maybe it was also running too hot?). Could it be an OS incompatibility?

This morning I got the card out of the storage cabinet and tried to reseat the CPU. Unfortunately, I can't test it right now (the Quadra is still dead), but it looks more flush than it did. But now I'm having doubts about the orientation of the 486. Can someone confirm that the notch should be in the bottom right corner when the D-sub connector is on the left? 

ie here?

apple-dos-compatibility-card-power_1_c4313a028baed1f8727729749a1b32e1.jpg

Thanks!

 
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