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Radius Pivot DB-15 to DB-9 pinout?

Kouzui

Well-known member
I have a monochrome Pivot monitor (0194) with the DB-9 video connector, but I do not have the cable. I've seen people talking about finding the pinout for the DB-15 to DB-9 that goes between the card and the monitor, but I cannot for the life of me find anywhere that someone actually posted it.

This thread has @oldappleguy seemingly DMing @CircuitBored about it, but that's the closest I've gotten to a solution.
 

CircuitBored

Well-known member
I think I have sussed out a majority of the pinout by analysing the pivot card and the monitor itself. Unfortunately my monitor isn't in a functional state so I haven't been able to confirm anything. Annoyingly the notepad I have the pinout written in is currently a hundred miles away so I can't post it right now. I'll share it when I'm back home at the end of the month, or if I can get ahold of it by some other means.
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
I think I have sussed out a majority of the pinout by analysing the pivot card and the monitor itself. Unfortunately my monitor isn't in a functional state so I haven't been able to confirm anything. Annoyingly the notepad I have the pinout written in is currently a hundred miles away so I can't post it right now. I'll share it when I'm back home at the end of the month, or if I can get ahold of it by some other means.
Please let me know when you do! I have the parts for a DB-9 to DB-15 cable (bought a solderless, wired up DB-9 as well as a db-15 end connector) coming on Monday, and might have a look myself, but I'm hesitant to go disassembling the Radius monitor due to being unfamiliar with it.
 

CircuitBored

Well-known member
Please let me know when you do! I have the parts for a DB-9 to DB-15 cable (bought a solderless, wired up DB-9 as well as a db-15 end connector) coming on Monday, and might have a look myself, but I'm hesitant to go disassembling the Radius monitor due to being unfamiliar with it.

The monitors are actually quite sensibly designed inside but there are a ridiculous amount of screws to be removed just to get access to the PCBs.

Out of curiosity: when you power up your monitor with nothing connected, does the tube charge up and the power LED come on or does it just sit there doing nothing? I fixed the power supply in my Pivot but the net result was just the absence of an exploding fuse rather than a functional monitor, hence some uncertainty that my deduced pinout was actually correct.
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
Sketched out the pins for the video card. I do not know what any of them actually do.

cablepinout.jpg
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
Drat, I guess I still have some more tinkering to do then! I'm looking forward to getting back to this thing in the Easter break (and sending you my pinout to see if it works).
Let me know if you need help confirming anything! I'll be available this weekend.
 

CircuitBored

Well-known member
Here are my manic scribblings.

On the right hand side, the black labels are the ones I ascertained from following traces from the components and the red labels are the normal DB-15 VGA pins. Composite sync was a bit of a mystery, apparently. The shoddy second attempt at a layout diagram is, I believe, a female connector like the one on the left.

On the left, pins 1 and 6 are the only ones that baffled me a bit. TTL and V-select are how those pins are labelled on the monitor's video PCB but I couldn't make an educated guess as to what they might connect to on the Mac side.

IMG_7377.jpeg

Fun side note: while looking up components on the graphics card side I noticed that practically all of the chips used have lines for colour output. I strongly suspect that the greyscale pivot card could be modified to operate as a generic VGA colour card, potentially with just a ROM swap, some oscillators, a tad more RAM and some more lines run to the video output. How hard could it be‽
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
All right. First off, I got the video card installed:

installradius.jpg
Easy enough.

Next I got the video cable wired up using the diagram provided by @CircuitBored, and made a couple educated guesses:

videocable.jpg And the key for the pins: db9pinout.png
Note: Blue was marked as "Ground" but as I didn't have a matching pin to connect it to on the card I left it unconnected. Grounding it to the shell seems to make minimal difference.

I powered up the SE/30, but didn't get any video at first.

I forgot to plug the video cable into the monitor.

After I did that:

eurekaitworks.jpg
Look at that! A video signal! However, I couldn't get any windows or the mouse cursor to actually display on it.

I restarted the computer:

maindisplay.jpg
It switched to this screen automatically.

So, sweet, everything seems to work, right?

Well, not quite.

tiltdoesn'twork.jpg

First issue, and one I expected, is the tilt doesn't work. That's fine, since I read earlier that you need the radiusware software for it to work. I don't have it right now, but I will later, so whatever.

Unfortunately, that's not the only issue. There's actually two more, and they're both quite annoying.

Firstly, while the radius monitor is connected and usable, I don't seem to be able to use the normal SE/30 screen. It's on, and it's on the typical gray screen (sans menu bar), but I can't mouse over to it or pull up any windows there. This may also be solved with Radiusware, or it may be that I connected the sense pins in a way that disables the SE/30 display. I don't know.

The other, and probably more annoying issue, is that the Pivot has a ghosting issue. It gets better when I turn the contrast down, but seems to get worse the longer I have it running.

Over the course of my typing this post, it has gone from:

fresh.jpgto waitworse.jpg
And of course, if you crank the contrast, you get:
Pivotinnocent.jpgpopeinnocent.jpg

I don't know what the fix is. If I had to guess, I'd say capacitor replacement, but I don't know. It does get better again if you turn it off and let it rest for a moment. I don't think it's anything to do with my video cable, though.

So there we are. It works... kinda. Hopefully we can get some other people to test, and I will post an update when I get my radiusware.
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
Got the radiusware software.

Took a couple of restarts, but everything works now. The ghosting issue is still happening, so I assume I must need to recap it or something like that.
 

beddy

Member
Hello everyone,

after reading this post I tried to connect my 2 Radius Pivot SE/30 cates to my LCD screen. Thanks to CircuitBored for his technical notes.

However, I have a problem. on the majority of my LCD screens, the image is very dark and pale. Then I have a black vertical bar on the left part of the screen. On certain screens, this bar results in the darkening of 1/10 of the left of the screen.

Does anyone have a solution to improve the image? Does anyone have ROMs newer than 1.0?

I tried to flash the 632-0070 ROMs but it doesn't work on the 632-0040. (Unless I'm mistaken).

FYI: In 32bit mode the mouse does not work. If you connect pin 4 of the pivot board to ground you can rotate the screen.
 

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CircuitBored

Well-known member
@Kouzui Sorry that I completely missed your update! I am really thrilled that the pinout works. It seems that, after the better part of three decades, the elusive DB-15 to DB-9 pinout for the Pivot is finally available online.

Fingers crossed that I can one day get my (well, my brother's) Pivot display working.
 

Kouzui

Well-known member
Fingers crossed that I can one day get my (well, my brother's) Pivot display working.
Post here if you need help! I'm probably going to need to recap my display at some point (though the contrast issue seemed to have been mostly related to dirty power), so I'm fine with pulling it apart to help with some troubleshooting sometime.
 
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