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Radius Color Pivot LC PDS Video Card

David Cook

Well-known member
I recently picked up an LC PDS-slot video card, specifically the Radius Color Pivot LC.

It isn't a particularly powerful card. It is unaccelerated and can only display 640x480 (13" standard), 640x870 (Apple Portrait), and 870x640 (Radius Pivot on its side) at up to 256 colors. Still, this provides an second monitor option for the LC series.

I thought I spotted a typo in the Macworld review. Without the memory module, I assumed Macworld meant to say this would display in B&W, rather than "2-bit".
Color-pivot-Macworld-June-1991.png

They were serious about two bit (4 "color") video. I am surprised that Apple's default palette includes two grays, as opposed to red/blue or a highlight color. But, there you are.

Two-bit-video.png

Fortunately, this card comes with the extra RAM SIMM to provide 8-bit color. Since the memory was an expensive original option (it cost more than the card itself), and it is an unusual 84-pin SIMM, be careful to check if the memory is included if you have an opportunity to purchase a card second-hand.
1687049576820.jpeg

Below is the card with the memory in place. I don't know what the empty chip socket is for. 68881 FPU?

Radius-Color-Pivot-LC.jpg

The ROM is version 2.6. Let me know if you need a copy. I will upload it when I next hook up my EPROM reader.

Pivot-LC-26-ROM.jpg

Here is the card installed in the LC. Notice the video card has a slot for the large capacitor (recapped in my photo) that appeared on early LC models.

Space-for-LC-capacitor.jpg

The card does not need software installed to work. If you want to, you can use up to the latest version of RadiusWare 3.4.1 for some optional features. Note that the name of the control panel changed from RadiusWare (with a little pivot icon) to Dynamic Desktop at some point. You just need to drag Dynamic Desktop to your Control Panel folder and reboot.

You do not need a Radius Pivot monitor. LCDs display the 640x480 crisply (left image below). However, I couldn't find a monitor that supported 640x870. It keeps trying to display 1280x870 (right image below) poorly.

Monitor-output.jpg

If for some reason you see the Radius logo on the screen after boot, go to the Monitors control panel. On cold install or PRAM clear, it just needs to have the video mode selected by the user to hide the logo. However, if the display doesn't show up in the Monitors control panel at all (even if displaying the logo), it could be because of the VGA adapter. I noticed it was a little finicky and needed exactly the right dip switches for the card to recognize a connected display. I swapped to my "Liberty" brand adapter and it works fine.

Liberty-video-adapter-settings.jpg

The Low End Mac description indicates this card works up to System 7.5.1 but may not be compatible with the LC III. Are you ready to be amazed???

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.LC-Family-Pivot.jpg


The Radius Pivot works in the LC, LC II, LC III, LC 475, and Quadra/Performa 630 series. It works with a 68020, 68030, and 68040. It works all the way up to System 8.1!

Kinda.....

Unfortunately, the video card is so wide that you have to remove the memory modules from the LC 475 and 630 series. That only leaves 4MB of motherboard RAM. But, technically it works.

Video-card-does-not-fit-on-LCIII.jpg

Impressive coding and hardware compatibility by Apple and Radius. A cute card worth picking up if you are an LC-series fan.

- David
 
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