Jump to content

JDW

68000
  • Content Count

    1652
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JDW

  1. The holy grail of SE/30 computing. What compact Mac user among us hasn't lusted after this elusive upgrade combo? I myself certainly have for years. Well, today I am pleased to announce that thanks to an extremely considerate tip by my friend Gary_W in this forum, I am now a proud owner of this truly "rare" setup and I wish to share some details about it. First some historical tidbits. Although I had previously used C-64's and Radio Shack computing devices in the early 80's, my first introduction to a "real" home computer was the Macintosh 128k and ImageWriter I that my father purchased for our family in early 1984. Being only 13 at the time and a techno-geek, I had no need for computer classes to teach me all the ins-and-outs of this revolutionary new machine. Of course, I supplemented my hands-on knowledge with tech news from various sources, including Macworld, MacUser, Byte, and MacWeek magazines. Unfortunately, I never got onboard the DTP bandwagon because I couldn't afford a Laserwriter. But I always loved wowing school teachers and friends with reports and printed graphics on my ImageWriter I (and later ImageWriter II) that were impossible to reproduce on any other kind of home computer at the time. Then in 1989, a tidal wave of new, jaw dropping machines came out, starting with the SE/30 and concluding with the IIci and Mac Portable a few months afterward. That was the year I began working as a service tech at the now defunct Micro Age Computers in Fresno, CA, and allowed me some serious hands-on. Suffice it to say I was green with techno-lust while working there. It was only "window shopping" for me though because even the black-and-white SE/30 cost in excess of $5,000 with hard drive at the time. Ownership of those glorious 1989 machines was merely a dream for me. Skip forward to 2004. Now living in Japan, I found myself nostalgic for the glory days of computing back in the '80s. I opened an EB*Y account and made my first purchase from Sun Remarketing. (I had known about Sun for many years, seeing their ads in Macworld and MacUser magazines in the early 1990's.) It wasn't long after that I had acquired my first SE/30, and for less than 6% of original cost in 1989. In the months that followed I studied up on the SE/30 and spent way to much money on enhancements for it. Specifically: • DayStar Turbo 040 40MHz PDS card • The outlandishly expensive TS Adapter from Manabu Sakae at ARTMIX in Japan that allows you to install multiple PDS cards at once. • DiiMO 50MHz 030 PDS accelerator (because it's more software compatible than the Turbo 040, albeit slightly slower) • MacCon PDS Ethernet card (connects great with my G4 Cube and gets my SE/30 on the internet) • 128MB RAM (16MB SIMMs) • 4.5GB SCSI IBM DGHS hard drive mechanism originally used in servers back in the day • External Apple HD20 SCSI hard drive enclosure • Apple IIgs ADB keyboard • Apple Pro powered speakers • PowerKey Classic (purchased new from the manufacturer) • Replacement logic boards • Replacement 1.4MB internal floppy drive • External 800k floppy drive (Apple) • Floppy drive cleaning kit • Recapping kits from our very own Trag • Silenx fan to replace the mind-numbingly loud stock Elina • Secondary PSU to allow me to install lots of upgrades and the SCSI drive internally without overtaxing the primary PSU • Another fan to cool the Secondary PSU inside the SE/30 • All topped by some RetroBrighting, 3% H202 courtesy of our very own Lumpydog Despite having built a very tricked-out SE/30 system, I still longed for more. The upgrade to lust after was the Micron Xceed + Grayscale setup that I had seen twice on EB*Y from about 2005 through 2008. But alas, they were priced into the stratosphere ($700 or so). It was after this that our very own Gary_W acquired the coveted Grayscale setup for his SE/30, and I while reading of his purchase in these forums, I was happy for him while green with envy at the same time. I wrote to Gary privately to ask if he had seen any other sales of such devices. Being the kind soul Gary is, he promised to keep an eye out for me and let me know if he ever saw another grayscale setup for sale. And you know, those were not just idle words. Gary kept his promise. The first recommendation I received didn't work out, but the second did. I was skeptical at first because Gary's second recommendation was a Craig's List sale for the San Francisco area, and I didn't know anyone in that area. But I spoke to the seller and it just so happened that he was driving down South for vacation, and he kindly agreed to deliver it to one of my family members in Fresno. Knowing that I would take a vacation in June this year to visit family at home, I made a deal with the seller. And even though I paid the seller a bit extra to drop it off in Fresno, the total sale didn't come anywhere close to the outrageous $700 I'd see on E*BAY for the Xceed grayscale setups alone. With the socketted Daystar boards being even more rare than the grayscale Xceeds (I myself not having spotted a single one on E*AY through the years), I would expect their value to be at least as much as the Xceeds, if not more. Prior to purchasing from the seller in SF, I knew only two things about what he was selling: (1) This setup couldn't be booted due to SimasiMac (which is no surprise as virtually every SE/30 these days is now in need of recapping), and (2) his Mac definitely had the Micron Xceed PDS video card and CRT yoke board that would drive grayscale on the internal monitor. However, what I wasn't told was the extra bonus that I only discovered upon opening up the Mac in Fresno last month -- the elusive Daystar 50MHz 030 accelerator that attaches directly to the logic board via the CPU socket. That is a goldmine find because it means one can then add an Ethernet card to the mix, making the ultimate SE/30 experience. I have since returned to Japan, and I am having the machine shipped to me now. As such, I cannot report on anything further until I have recapped the logic board and got it booting. For now, I would like to share the Micron Xceed photos I took while in Fresno last month: https://picasaweb.google.com/jameswages/SE30MicronXceedGrayscaleVideoWithDaystarSnapOnAccelerator (I put these on Picasa instead of my normal Flickr account since Picasa allows me to upload larger photos than Flickr without being forced into a paid PRO account. So be sure to click the magnifying glass icon to zoom in on the photos.) I will provide more photos and screen captures of the grayscale once I get the Mac up and running, which may be another month or so in the future. I post this not to gloat, but to share an important find. I also seek to share this information to show that perseverance, patience and friendships here on the 68kMLA pay off. If you have been seeking something rare, don't give up. It's still out there somewhere. And even if you cannot find it yourself, perhaps a kind soul can lend a hand. Once again, special thanks to Gary_W for being a true friend. You promised me you would keep an eye out for an SE/30 grayscale kit, and that you did. Bless you, Gary! And thanks to the owners of the 68kMLA for giving vintage Mac enthusiasts a wonderful venue to share useful information and enhance their computing experience!
  2. Question for those of you SE/30 owners who use a PDS video card with an external display. I have a Micron Xceed video card and grayscale setup. Grayscale works great on the internal CRT, but I've never used the DB-15 port also offered by the video card. I have a 15" Color VGA LCD that's about 10 years old. Would this adapter on Amazon be all that I would need? (Not sure how those DIP switches on the adapter are used in case like this though.) Note the horizontal scan rate mentioned in the Xceed manual page below of 31.5kHz, which seems rather odd (maybe common for Apple though?). Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
  3. When Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh 128k on stage for the first time, there was a voice synthesizer scene where it said, "Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag." What font was used for that? It isn't Chicago, and it's too thick to be New York.
  4. You really have 1500 CD's full of data, Alex?
  5. Here is a new video I just made for you 400k floppy drive owners. A fairly easy but effective task we should all perform on these old drives. https://youtu.be/Se10T6gPl-c
  6. JDW

    400k Floppy Drive Lube Repair

    You are in Japan like me so it would be easy for us to do that. I do want to get my 60mm boxer fan video out before I begin that 800k drive lubrication video though. So if you don't mind waiting a couple weeks we can take the subject up at that time. I'd rather you not send me anything right now as I don't want you to wait and wait with me holding your drive all that time. In the meantime feel free to tell me any specific problems your drive has right now as that would help to diagnose the problem. I could be a lubrication issue, but it could also be a broken part or even a bad head.
  7. JDW

    400k Floppy Drive Lube Repair

    Not only do I intend a lubrication video for newer floppy drives, I also intend a recapping video as well. The lubrication procedure is quite similar to the 400k drive, it's just the lubrication points are different.
  8. Friends, my heart is in the depths of despair at the moment. I was swapping multiple PDS cards in and out of my SE/30 today at a rapid pace and made an epic blunder. I say "epic" because in all my years of using these Macs I've never done something so thoughtless and stupid. I have a TwinSpark TS Adapter (click for photos) from ARTMIX Japan which allows use of various accelerators in the SE/30. My epic blunder was that I accidentally inserted my 40MHz 68040 Daystar Accelerator card into the "PDS" passthrough connector at the top of the TS Adapter, rather than insert it into the "Cache" connect on the side of the adapter. When I switched power ON the switching power supply (SEASONIC) started to bring up power but then immediately shut everything down. The screen didn't even partially come on, the shutdown was so quick, and even the SE/30's fan jiggled a tad but didn't spin. It was at that point I realized my stupidity. Wrong Connector!!! I switched off the power. I then removed the adapter and accelerator and switched power on, but nothing. I then waited 5 minutes and tried again (nothing in the PDS slot) and then the SE/30 made a bong and booted, to me great relief. So I guess there is a PTC or similar fuse inside the PSU that takes time to cool down. The SE/30 now boots fine and recognizes my MacCon Ethernet PDS card and DiiMO PDS accelerator, but when I put the TS adapter & Daystar accelerator (this time properly inserted into the Cache slot on the adapter), I get the chimes of death and horizontal lines. Removing those 2 boards makes the Mac happy again. So either the TS Adapter is now bad or accelerator or both. I feel like a complete idiot. There was no smoke or bad smells. Nothing is noticeably burned on the TS Adapter or Daystar card and I did a very detailed visual inspection with a closeup lens. The TS Adapter does have a socketed GAL16V8D chip, so I am curious if that chip could now be bad, the mere replacing of which would resurrect the board into working condition again. I don't have a spare GAL to check, however. All said, those of you who have an adapter (TwinSpark or similar PDS adapter card) and compatible accelerator, have you ever accidentally connected your accelerator into the PDS slot at top instead of properly connecting it into the Cache slot? Probably not, but I wanted to throw the question out there to find out. Perhaps someone else has gone through this pain and subsequent troubleshooting before. Any troubleshooting suggestions you kind souls could kindly share would be greatly appreciated. (I feel absolutely awful.)
  9. JDW

    SE/30 PDS Adapter Epic Blunder

    Your statement above means you confirmed your TS Adapter is undamaged, correct? There are varying degrees to electronics knowledge even among electrical engineers, and I give the humble nod to @Bolle as being far more practically savvy when it comes to vintage computing repairs. Indeed, that is why I have obtained his very kind permission and cooperation to ship my TS Adapter and Turbo 040 (alongside 2 other boards) to him for detailed examination. Bolle has the means to test the TS Adapter whereas I do not. He also has some ideas about a possible chip-swap fix if my 040 is determined to be damaged. My hope is that his findings can help you and others who find themselves newly initiated into our growing Epic Blunder Club. When doing a lot of parts swapping and testing in a vintage Mac (like my SE/30), the human brain can get so focused on doing things quickly it forgets the basics like never plugging in an accelerator PDS card into the top connector of the TS Adapter. It's a blunder just waiting to happen to anyone, not just those of us with the name "James W."
  10. JDW

    SE/30 PDS Adapter Epic Blunder

    Interestingly, my name is “James“ and my last name starts with a W as well. What are the odds? In the name of science and getting to the bottom of this once and for all with no more years and years of endless waiting around, I am willing to ship my TS Adapter at my expense to any responsible and trustworthy veteran member of this forum who has the means to test the adapter with a known good accelerator card. In fact, I can include the 040 card too, if you have a machine in which you can test it, because I do not. The results of that test may assist the other “James“ in knowing which of his two cards is bad. To be honest, I’m not sure how my reaction will be in either case. If the 040 card tests good in someone’s machine, that would be a tremendous relief to me; however, my TS adapter card cost me $200, so knowing that adapter is bad would still be a great loss. Even so, the TS adapters are still built-in and sold whereas the 040 cards or not. Anyone willing? Bolle?
  11. JDW

    SE/30 PDS Adapter Epic Blunder

    Tragically, no, I’ve not found a fix; and as evidenced by the lack of replies over the last year, everyone here appears stumped as well. I created the following to show what possibly was shorted: I have no other accelerator I can use to test my TS Adapter, but I suspect it is still fine and the root problem lies on the 040 accelerator. I’m still shedding tears over that because I’ve not the faintest idea how to fix that valuable and rare card. For the past year I held out hope that somebody might come along and offer some specific guidance for me on what to do next, but so far I’m still waiting. My wait may be eternal. The only thing I can say for certain right now is that the TS adapter is fundamentally flawed in that it has no means of protection against PD cards being accidentally placed on the wrong connector. Not even a PTC fuse! That, to me is a serious design flaw.
  12. I just uploaded a 400k drive LUBE video. I used Silicone Grease rather than Lithium since Silicone won't damage rubber or plastic.
  13. Great! Feel free to comment under my video on YouTube to let me know how well it worked for you!
  14. Getting the actual software used to create that full screen "Hello, I'm Macintosh..." running on a Mac 128k or 512k isn't something I've been able to obtain, so I'm trying to creatively incorporate about 10 seconds or so of that old 1984 Intro video into a forthcoming video about vintage Mac cooling fans. My intention is just to use it in passing to very briefly mention the original compact Macintosh series (until the SE in 1987) lacked an internal fan due to Jobs insistence and proactive role in shaping the machine's design. Having it display on an actual Mac rather than display the clip full screen is my goal. I've actually been able to achieve it to my satisfaction, so I'll post the link when the video is finished, before it goes Public, so you gentlemen can give me feedback. I still have a lot more work to do on that video, so it's still more than a week away from being finished.
  15. Alex, here's a still taken from the original intro video (left) compared to the version I made (first sentence only, at right) using Athens...
  16. One related question for you gentlemen... That Mac was either a 128k or 512k with the original 64k ROMs. Was there a word processor or another application that could put text on the screen like that without any menu bar, filling the entire screen? It probably was a custom piece of software specially made for that demo, but I'm just curious if there is an application program that could run that early System software and hide the menubar.
  17. Just uploaded my Apple Hard Disk 20SC recapping video, which also covers the 40SC, 80SC and 160SC since they all use the same SONY CR-43 PSU. Check the text description for a Mouser Cart and useful info. At the end, I do a boot test with a 2015 15" MBP.
  18. Sorry to hear about the broken tab. Except for that fundamental design flaw, it's really a great external HDD enclosure. Look like you have a Miniscribe 5.25" drive in there -- small, slow, loud and now unreliable. There are still some 3.5" 50pin replacements sold on EBAY and other places around the net like MacPalace: https://www.macpalace.com/st34572n-seagate-st34572n-43gb-7200-rpm-ultra-scsi-35-inch-low-profile-10-inch-hard-disk-drive.html I have a 4.5GB IBM DGHS in my enclosure, partitioned so I can use it even with System 6. System Picker let's me switch from 6.0.8 to 7.1 to 7.5.5 (even 7.6 and OS 8.1 with the appropriate ROM). I prefer to keep my drive inside the HD20SC rather than inside my SE/30 to reduce heat and power consumption in the SE/30.
  19. I finally kicked out my Apple TechStep video today. This has been long in coming. Be sure to check out the text description beneath my video on YouTube because it contains a link to a SIT file containing Disk Copy images of the two included floppies, one of which has a pretty neat HyperCard stack.
  20. JDW

    Apple TechStep Overview Video

    Thank you for making time to do those tests and for sharing, Jeremy! Does the SE and/or Classic have any non-Apple upgrades (upgrades other than memory)? The presence of such could explain the TechStep errors, and that is why I covered that in my video. Most tests pass on my SE/30 with upgrades but not all.
  21. Thanks. Take it slow so you don't crack the plastic tabs shown in my video. And after opening, if you find you have a 5.25" drive (loud and slow, and probably not reliable anymore either), you can swap that out for a more modern 3.5" drive, but it will need to be SCSI. You could opt for a SCIS2SD too, although why you'd want it in such a large case is anyone's guess. But I believe SCSI2SD can use power from the SCSI connector, eliminating the need for the power supply inside the 20SC. Anyway, let me know how it goes!
  22. JDW

    Apple TechStep Overview Video

    Will one of you TechStep owners please test your TechStep on a non-IIci Mac? For example, on a Mac II or IIx or Classic (with the correct TechStep ROM module, of course). I'm curious how many have trouble getting the TechStep to enter Test Mode. Thanks.
×