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NuBus Processor Upgrade Hardware revamp?

Newer's gone, a couple of the guys (oP?) managed to contact the owner and got some nice goodies from him IIRC.

I have several mixed sets of NewerTech's Cabled G3 Accelerators, NuBus Slot adapter contraptions and HPV/A/V cards in a "to distribute maybe" box. If someone competent is ready to take this challenge on I'll loan out a working setup and a non-working setup for the project.

Given the number of PCI cable extender solutions out there, I can't imagine cabling the length of Newer's would prove impossible, if non-trivial. I wouldn't touch Sonnet's overly long Active Component Contraption as a hacks project with a ten foot chip puller and I'm of questionable sanity. 🙄
Yeah, I kinda figured that since they didn't respond to my initial query.

Realistically, these upgrades /can/ be used on these machines without the extender cables and frames, but it's one of those challenges that I figure is worth tilting at. I'm no EE by any means, but I'm sure there's folks in this forum that could reconstruct this sort of thing.

As for the extender solutions that Newer/Sonnet/et al went with, yeah, they look pretty simplistic with a bit of GAL logic to do the bus delegation to prevent the video card from colliding with the processor upgrade. The hard bit has been done, it's just finding a way to replicate it with contemporary technology and economies of twenty years of advancement.
 

jeremywork

Well-known member
Yeah, I kinda figured that since they didn't respond to my initial query.

Realistically, these upgrades /can/ be used on these machines without the extender cables and frames, but it's one of those challenges that I figure is worth tilting at. I'm no EE by any means, but I'm sure there's folks in this forum that could reconstruct this sort of thing.

As for the extender solutions that Newer/Sonnet/et al went with, yeah, they look pretty simplistic with a bit of GAL logic to do the bus delegation to prevent the video card from colliding with the processor upgrade. The hard bit has been done, it's just finding a way to replicate it with contemporary technology and economies of twenty years of advancement.
I’m not sure the GAL is used this way, since on the 6100 the video card goes straight into the upgrade board. My uninformed guess is it was more likely implemented to reduce signal degradation over the length of the cable.

Despite being a shielded PCB with 2/3rds of a Nubus connector soldered to it, you could probably recreate a suitable frame using the measurements I took and some creative ingenuity at your local hardware store.

Ordering a Nubus connector would make it more straightforward. I believe this is the right one:
 
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Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Sonnet's cable is stupid long and needs all the help it can get over its excessive length. Sonnet only ever made low profile 6100 form factor accelerators, hence the fancy, active component cable.

Also the PDS flatflex cabling only allows you to use the HPV card while the Sonnet processor is in the PDS slot. All it does is save the need to get a NuBus card. And while these are becoming pricey anyway, I find that for gaming any card that can give me 1024x768 @256 colours is more than enough. The HPV is a good card but it's not that much better. It might help avoid flooding the NuBus-90 bus though.
If you test the low end PDS Video Capture card against any NuBus card the metrics will prove it blows the doors off any NuBus Card, accelerated or not. HPV 1/2 allows higher resolutions at built in video speeds. HPV 2/4 is the bombe in 4MB configuration, that much VRAM allows far higher resolutions. Was any 68K Mac upgradable to 4MB VRAM?

Last I looked A/V and HPV 1/2 were very reasonably priced and well worth the NuBus slot their dummy connector occupies in terms of performance. I only have one Nubus card that can push that many pixels, even supporting 1600x1200 with its 6MB of VRAM. When a seller knows what they're listing, HPV 2/4 commands a premium. 2/4 was the stock board in the high end 8100 config IIRC.

I have both the cable and the processor from Sonnet and I'll take pictures of them for you but I'm not sure how much they will help. I would very happy if you made them available for sale to the general NuBus-mac owning market. There is surely a small but steady market for these.
Sonnet G3 Cards usually run at a higher clock rate than the NewerTech variety and so command a higher price.

NewerTech's Accelerators have seemed to be available at much lower pricing levels in the full height, attached passthru cable configuration. Most, if not all of the several cables I have work, but they're reported to develop problems if roughly handled. The two that "don't work" would be due to Accelerator problems AFAIK. They induce a PSU "click/clunk" and fail to boot IIRC.

Love my Sonnet kits, but cables, especially in full kit bundles are pricey. But as I think I'd agreed upthread, building the carrier for dummy NuBus slot positioning would pose no real problems if the cable is available.

@Simon_Bitdiddle Pursuing the NewerTech option could cost you much less than what you could recoup by selling your Sonnet. That's low hanging fruit in the PDS/dummy NuBus Slot passthru game.

As I offered upthread, I've got working and non-working units to put out on loan to a competent 3D printing/PCB development type. If the Accelerator can be brought back to life I wouldn't expect to get it back. Lets call that a carrot on the end of a meter long chip puller. ;)

The adapter might be configured to support both Sonnet and NewerTech cables.

On a side note, if anyone has the Big Metal Can from Radius, available overhead cubic allows for either adapter for passthru PDS video to be installed without tying up a NuBus slot. The Radius 81/110 was the cream of the crop in the NuBus architecture PPC era.
 
I managed to pick up a Sonnet 7100/8100 G3 upgrade, complete with cable and card. Let me tell you, going from a 601 to a 750 is a hell of a thing. If there's still interest in doing a reverse engineer on the card and cable, I'll see what I can do.
 
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