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DB-19 Hot Juicy Awesomeness

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Oh man, this is good! You're looking at the first DB-19 connector to be made in the 21st century:

 

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Most of you know that the DB-19 disk connector found on vintage Macintosh and Apple II computers was an obscure part, and you've heard me whine and moan about how impossible they are to find. Nobody has made them for decades, and I pretty much bought up the entire world's remaining supply of new-old-stock parts. So I finally took matters into my own hands, found a willing Hong-Kong factory, spent a big pile of money, and this is the result. Soon to be joined by 10000 more just like it!

 

Assuming Floppy Emu sales continue apace, I'll eventually make back my investment some years down the road. If not, it'll at least make a good story! Some early NeXT and Atari ST machines also used the DB-19 connector, so I was able to share the cost with a few other people and reduce my risk somewhat. But I'm definitely breathing easier after having the first piece in my hands, and confirming that it actually fits Apple's hardware.

 

So here's the thing - how do you go about having something like this made? I had no clue, and it took me over a year. All of the US-based manufacturers that I talked to blew me off, or wouldn't even talk to me at all. I knew I probably needed an Asian manufacturer, but had no idea how to go about it. I ended up going through Alibaba listings for companies that made DB-25 connectors, and contacted several dozen of them to ask if they could make a DB-19. Only a few replied, and only two said they could. 

 

Then they wanted mechanical drawings and specifications for the part. Umm... apparently telling them "just make it like a DB-25 but with fewer pins" wasn't enough. They asked for information from my "engineering department". Finally I found a mechanical drawing of a DB-25, and I photoshopped that sucker, and that was what they used for the very expensive mold-making process. I'm still kind of stunned that this actually worked.  8-o

 

Let the retro-hardware celebration begin!

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It's the die that's the expensive part, be it metal stamping or injection mold.  Good thing is that they're cheap to make now that the expensive part is done with.

 

You can always ask them to send you the mold.  I don't know if they'll do it.  Then you could have them made locally. :)

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Bravo! As you say, the NeXT folks at nextcomputers.org would likely be a market for these connectors as well - maybe you've seen it, but there's been some grumbling that you cornered the existing supply :)

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So some random factory in Asia could knock out the tooling for this with a photoshopped drawing, but IEC (who likely has the tooling already) couldn't be bothered. Brilliant.

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Haha, no I hadn't seen the NeXT grumbling. One of my partners in this purchase is a NeXT guy, so they'll get what they need. IEC is another one of the partners, so you'll see new DB-19 connectors available there again soon. As far as I know, they don't directly manufacture this kind of stuff themselves, so they were at the mercy of the same lack of supply that I was.

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Well I guess someone (IEC?) has to supply all those endless storefronts that claim to have these in stock. I know the Atari ST folks were grumbling too, now people can DIY their SatanDisk adapers agaiin.

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Well I personally hope to be buying more Floppy EMUs soon, when I can budget for it! They're so useful. Congrats on the achievement.

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Heck yeah this is a good one, maybe now he will make the forever wanted HD20 only simplicity budget product?

because i would like a smooth pop on solution i can leave on and forget.... 90 degree of corse.

 

Same with the scsi2sd... a pop on and forget bus powered solution. that way like doug from above i don't have to scramble to find my floppy emu... i know its on the back where i left it.  across all the machine that i have bought one for.... including the portable....  then we could just completely forget about the internal scsi crap... just pop on a hd20 90 degree solution and your portable is rocking....  ultra low power..........  no scsi adaptation mess... i mean its only a 16mhz 68000 any ways...  just like with the plus/ se / classic and Classic II... HD20  vs scsi... a solid solution for the 8mhz machines...

Edited by uniserver

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Now that is dedication to the cause! 

Aren't these used on the IIGS as well, for video out or something?

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Aren't these used on the IIGS as well, for video out or something?

 

IIgs uses them for the floppy drive. ;)

 

Video connector on that machine is a 2-row DB-15. Not the *most* common connector in the world (compared to the three-row VGA 15-pin) but it still seems to be relatively easy to find. (In the computer world it was both the standard PC analog joystick jack and, with different anchors, used for AUI ethernet transceivers.)

 

Old Amigas use a DB23 connectors for both their floppy and video ports, (different gender) wonder how hard that is to source these days.

Edited by Gorgonops

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BadGoldEagle: If you decide to do that, I'd be super interested, as my M5126 has a rip in the cable such that the backlight doesn't work (I still have a clean picture with no artifacts, so at least it's kinda usable, but I'd like to be able to see it in the dark).

 

c

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Mine's the same. Screen's perfect but no backlight  :(

 

It would be quite expensive though as I doubt the demand is quite as high as for a DB19 connector...

I don't know why one can't build a cable that would be similar to the one of the M5120 but with different wiring to accommodate the backlight....

Anyway... This thread is dedicated to the DB19 and I don't want to hijack  :)

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The 10K pieces they're referring to are the same 10K that I'm having made. Part of this order is going to IEC (an electronic parts vendor) who is affiliated with Hello Cables and Connect World.

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:scrambled::D8-o 10000 PIECES!!!!  8-o  :D  :scrambled:

 

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These DB-19 connectors were a LONG time in the making, figuratively and literally. I think I'm going to fill the bathtub and swim in them.

 

Next step: re-ship half of them to the other people in the group buy. They should start becoming available in small quantities at electronics parts suppliers in a couple of weeks.

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