• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

IIfx and Radius Rocket 33i no boot

Byrd

Well-known member
Hi,

Spurned on by @hyperneogeo's new IIfx RAM modules, I've set out on building my ultimate IIfx setup, which I'd like to have a Radius Rocket (stage 1 33Mhz) providing some 040 acceleration alongside a nice '030 setup I can switch between.  It's also the only other Mac I have that can use this Radius Rocket - this card needs a nice home - I've a Rocket 40Mhz Stage II in my 840AV which is fun.

I've read elsewhere on the forums about Rockets being temperamental to initialise in certain Macs (IIci etc), I'm having the same issues getting anything to boot - Mac OS 7.1, IIfx @ 32MB RAM currently, Radius Precisioncolor 24X graphics card, Rocket has 64MB RAM.  Would anyone be able to share their experiences - quirks and fixes found?

- I thought the Rocket was faulty (did things like pulling RAM, CPU, ROM), but to my surprise it works perfectly fine in my 840AV with RocketShare. 

- Installed in the IIfx (+ RocketWare V1.5), I can only get to the Rocket boot logo and it freezes.

- Move the card around in IIfx - in certain positions it gets past the Rocket boot logo, but then the monitor loses sync and nothing else happens.  Switched graphics card to Apple OEM with the same result.

Thinking a PSU issue, I got out my multimeter and tested all rails with the Rocket card installed IIfx under load and voltages do not fluctuate - ~ 5.2V @ 5V, -12.1V and +12.1V - no change from this at any time.

Next up is to install System 7.01.  The IIfx is recapped.

JB

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Byrd

Well-known member
Contrary thing!  After testing the Rocket card working in an 840AV, I pulled and placed it in the slot closest to the PSU in the IIfx - NIC in the middle slot - graphics on the far slot 5 - does the usual chime, then resets to Rocket and it works fine!  Having the card here does block the PSU fan so I'll see if I can move it up a bit, but either way I'll put in another slow fan nearby for extra cooling.

I can't help thinking that putting the card into another Mac running RocketShare has somehow reset the ... PRAM, or something ... to some sort of factory default.  Hope this post serves as reference to others with Radius Rocket problems.

JB

 

Byrd

Well-known member
Coming back to this, for more info the reason the Rocket booted in the IIfx was due to 24-bit addressing being set when the PRAM was reset; kind of useless having an '040 card with only 8MB addressable.  Setting 32-bit addressing either running as IIfx or Rocket mode results in a freeze straight after the Radius Rocket logo coming up at startup.

A read through the RadiusWare V1.5 documentation reveals an incompatibility between a IIfx and 32MB or above RAM will not allow the Rocket to boot.  Note that's 32MB or above - 32MB will not work.  That leaves 20MB RAM in the IIfx as the next step down, thankfully I scrounged some modules to get this.

I'll play around with RocketWare and see if there are minimal sound and application incompatibilities unlike RocketShare.  If it works well, it'll stay and not not I'll try it in another Mac that might utilise it more effectively (might find a Iici, II or IIx one day).

 
Last edited by a moderator:

s_pupp

Active member
I’ve never been able to get my Rocket to work in 32 bit mode.  Thanks for the info; I’ll try reducing RAM on the IIfx I have it installed in.

 

Byrd

Well-known member
The Radius documentation could have been clearer; the card was not supported in a IIfx at all earlier than RocketWare 1.5 so let's see how it fares running natively.  A card way ahead of its time in 1991 however with some quirks.

The RadiusWare control panel for the PrecisionColour 24X is also detecting the Rocket combined together as "accelerated", it'll be interesting to see any performance boots with it on or off in benchmarks.

JB

 

Mk.558

Well-known member
I was going to say if you thought the Rocket was the problem you could borrow mine. I don't have a machine for it.

Do you have by chance a SCSI-2 daughter card? From my experience with the Rocket, the DSP daughter card is pointless since only Photoshop can use it, leaving the SCSI-2 a good idea for running your RocketShare machine on a different SCSI bus since the NuBUS is a bit of a limitation on the Rocket itself.

Another thing with my Rocket 33 is it didn't have a heat sink on the '040 chip. That bugger would get HOT. So I found a low profile 386 CPU heat sink and had mcdermnd slap it on. Ran much cooler.

AFAIK the Rocket should always be in the slot closest to the PSU since it draws a LOT of power. Good on you for testing the current draw, I was going to say IIfx / IIci machines make great Rocket host machines.

 

Byrd

Well-known member
@Mk.558 Thanks, I'm just so pleased this card works - I picked it up from a 68KMLA member years ago and never put it into use.  Couldn't find the right machine to match it in.  Seems my track record so far resurrecting accelerators is that they don't stand the test of time which you'd expect, like the engine of a highly modified car!  My pandemic lockdown tested upgrades like Sonnet G4, Apple 601 PPC card all had issues of late.

No, I don't have the SCSI-2 daughter card but would love one.  Yes, this one always had a heatsink and I put a small 12V 40mm fan on it, currently sitting in the centre slot as it was blocking the IIfx PSU fan.  Doesn't seem to get hot at all.  I'll put up pics of it all soon, once I've thrown a pile of software onto it.

JB

 

Mk.558

Well-known member
Cool. I'd be happy to see it.

IMO the IIci is one of my 68k top machines because it can boot System 6 (to me, any 68k machine that can't boot System 6 is useless), has a powerful CPU, generous RAM and storage options, and has all the slots I'd need: a graphics card, a Rocket, and a Ethernet card. IIfxs are cool too, having dual floppies was a treat back in the day, because if a floppy didn't work in one drive, I'd simply put it in the other one.

 

Byrd

Well-known member
Some more observations:

- Don't bother installing any System above System 7.1 for RocketWare; System Update 3.0 installs Sound Manager 3.0 which crashes the system even when system sounds are is played.  Removing Sound Manager 3.0 from startup sound still crashes.

- The QuickColor control panel which detects both Rocket and PrecisionColor graphics card accelerates video considerably

- Sound is very poor on the Rocket.  You will have the exact same sound issues as if you were running RocketWare over RocketShare.  Sounds will not play for any game/program that directly accesses the sound hardware, QuickTime and MIDI based sound is also non functional.  So while all games run, it becomes a gamble in what sounds you'll get - for example Marathon I sounds are OK, Marathon II is not!

- Performance is of course magnificent, exceeding performance of a Quadra 950, so the card will remain in my IIfx with said issues!  At least I can disable it for older applications.

JB

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mk.558

Well-known member
And one final one: Make sure you have a decent graphics card. A Rocket running off internal graphics with 8MB of system RAM is brutal.

 
Top