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This is an anchor thread for a Quadra 630 project I am starting, which will receive periodic updates as the project progresses.

 

The primary goal of this project is to build a custom, minimal vertical case for the Quadra 630 logic board. The case will not support internal expansion except for the PDS slot. All other peripherals and devices (CD-ROM, Floppy) will be made external. I have already created a 50-Pin to C50/DB-25 SCSI adapter for the CD-ROM drive.

 

For materials, I want to use wood and perhaps black acrylic. I recall seeing a similar wooden AIO project once- a replica of an actual Apple design that never came to fruition -but I can't find it for the life of me!

 

The project's main goals, in order of importance:

  • Find a working CF Card (or SD Card) to IDE adapter. (There will be no room for a traditional hard disk in the case)
  • Construct a minimal vertical case that will house only the logic board, PSU, CF/SD Card, Video-out board, and Front Panel Controller.
  • Construct or hack together a smaller PSU. (Not required, but very convenient!)
  • Create matching external enclosures for the Floppy and CD-ROM drives.
  • Create a special cable and ports for the Floppy drive.
  • Create a special audio cable and port for the CD-ROM drive.
  • Modify the Front Panel Controller, repurposing the rear programmer's switch to create a light-up power button.
  • Modify the video-out board for integrated VGA output.

But why the Quadra 630?

Along with other Macs that use the edge-connector and wiring harness, the Q630's internal design is very modular; a prime target for a custom case. It's also worth mentioning the Q630 has one of the worst designed cases I've ever seen Apple produce. In terms of ergonomics and usability (You can put your monitor on top of it...), it scores very high; but from an engineering perspective it's unnecessarily bulky for the amount of expansion it offers. If you never utilize the video or communications slots, you have a lot of dead space. There's also the fact that I generally dislike horizontal computer cases nowadays: LCD monitors are small enough that finding space is now a non-issue, resulting in the Q630 taking up way more space than I prefer.

 

Expect some chunky photos of the early prototype soon! Cheers. :)

Edited by Floofies

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Sounds good, it's been a while since I've heard of a vintage Mac case mod.

 

I'd also not bother about running the floppy and optical drive externally, when you could always plug in an external floppy or SCSI CD-ROM drive easily enough. A smaller external PSU might also be worthwhile looking into.

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Suppliers like Digikey and Mouser. For reference they're 3x derated.

 

Some initial work! Starting to understand the wiring harness and Q630 PSU. I found a Dell SFF PSU that looks to be a great replacement candidate. The 5v Trickle output will have to be replicated somehow. Lucky me, I actually have 2 Q630 PSU's. Experiment time :)

 

The CF to PATA adapter arrives on Monday.

 

 

post-4627-0-58242800-1479666034_thumb.jpgpost-4627-0-98688000-1479666113_thumb.jpgpost-4627-0-53014800-1479666092_thumb.jpg

Edited by Floofies

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Is that the 5vFP (Flea Power) 2A output on the Dell PSU? I'm pretty sure it must be switched to this mode, and cannot output normal voltages while doing so. This begs the question, when does the Q630 need the 5v 0.08A TRKL output?

Edited by Floofies

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Doing some late-night open testing with the volt meter. It was a great rear-end clencher when I shorted some of the pins on the Valkyrie chip with the test leads. :D

post-4627-0-01805000-1479691699_thumb.jpg

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The video output went nuts and the chip crashed, but all is well after a reboot.

 

I have partially mapped out the power architecture on the logic board. There's some odd stuff on there! For instance, there are whole areas that are completely disconnected from the PSU on the board, with unpopulated resistor pads and the like. I've got a good stock of mystery questions for the hardware engineers now, lol. I also found that parts of the RTC system were totally unused, including blank space for a rectangular oscillator.

 

That's a tangent, of course... Now to get back on track. I am ordering one of those 24-pin ATX extenders to make an adapter out of. I read some of Trash80's ATX conversion adventures, so I have a general idea of how to let the logc board control the ATX PSU.

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Have you considered a picoPSU DC-DC ATX converter board and an external 12V power brick?  It's sort of cheating, but you could save some space in your tower and hide the brick behind the desk.  NB they can be found a lot cheaper on eBay than via that link.
 

The case will not support internal expansion except for the PDS slot.

 
No AV card? CommSlot ethernet?
 

Find a working CF Card (or SD Card) to IDE adapter.


Get an IDE to single CF card converter with no electronics on it. CF is a subset of IDE, so it just needs a pin-to-pin converter and you're golden. An SD card converter has a controller/converter IC on it, which will be a bottleneck and a possible source of headaches.
 

Modify the video-out board for integrated VGA output.

 

To save having to use a Mac-VGA converter?
 
 Are you planning to use the wiring harness from the 630, modify it, or make up your own?

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The PSU sure is a puzzler to me, but I am anything but an electrical engineer. The 12-pin plug was easy to map out, but the 6-pin header is another story. I was only able to identify the 5v TRKL line... It is on the 6-pin header, among other things. I have no idea what's going through the rest of the cable, and finding resources describing the power circuit is almost impossible, so I may not be able to replace the PSU at all. Maybe someone who has done this can chime in?

 

I went with this CF/PATA adapter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0026OYEEQ

 

I was able to format and mount a 32MB tester! I will now purchase a larger CF card.

 

To clarify some things:

I will be uncrimping the A/V header and SCSI from the cabling harness completely. The old CD-ROM drive will instead use the DB25 SCSI port. The Comm. slot and Video slot are not in use, and probably never will be.

 

I had not considered the picoPSU, although having an external PSU was an idea I had early on. For now, I want to stick to internal.

 

The integrated VGA thing is more of a side project. It's a little idea to make a drop-in replacement for the video-out board itself. We'll see how far I get with that after the main project is completed.

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Well, that didn't work out too well. The CF card formatted and mounted using a Disk Tools 1 floppy... then it stopped working. HDT and Drive Setup can scan and identify the device just fine, but now formatting fails and it won't mount anymore, even on my MDD. HDT now says it has a 1024GB capacity, wat.

 

I'm not sure where the problem is here.

post-4627-0-78393700-1479848265_thumb.jpg

Edited by Floofies

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You shouldn't need to go out of your way to make a custom VGA adapter if you have adequate depth behind the port. Use a rectangular VGA adapter with its ass sticking out the backplane and the stock card bolted up to it inside your case.

 

vgaadaptersswitches.jpg

 

I've used the ENHANCE "Liberty" adapters inside a couple of Quadra 630 based Macs to get them "closer to the wall." [:)]]'>

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Hehe, yeah, that is my backup plan exactly! It would be very convenient, but if you want to switch resolutions to the point that you need to adjust the adapter (DIP switches on the thing), you would have to open the case to do so. My "plan" (in quotes because there isn't really one!) would be to bypass the video-out board completely, foregoing the need to manipulate whatever kind if signal the board outputs. The desired result would be a working replacement that doesn't need adjustment. I'm not sure if it's possible at all, but I'm very interested in trying.

 

As for CF... I had a big "uh oh!" moment when I found Elfen's post here: https://68kmla.org/forums/index.php?/topic/26798-cf-as-a-hd/?p=288691

 

The Syba adapter he says to avoid (and indeed, it's been reported to have issues) is the exact adapter I have! I ordered it from Startech.com and had no idea it was the same one until I saw his picture of it. The adapter's "Slave present" LED lights up on the Q630, even though there is none! There's even a review or two that states master/slave detection issues. I'll probably try the adapter that was reccomended in this thread.

 

After looking at some CF cards, there are some things bugging me. Industrial grade cards, while best suited for an IDE replacement (designed for it, in fact), are way more expensive than "consumer" CF cards, and offer way less capacity per dollar. I also found out that there is a way to put CF cards, which are in an OEM removable disk mode, into fixed disk mode. This means, as long as the card is ATA compliant and supports PIO 3 (or lower), I may be able to put it in fixed disk mode, and get it working in the Q630. I'm not even sure if it's something I need to worry about in the first place, though.

 

What I'll do now is purchase a cheaper, higher capacity "consumer" CF card that fits the bill. If it doesn't work, I'll try the industrial grade card I posted about earlier.

Edited by Floofies

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Once you've built your own or matched an adapter to the native resolution of your display, there's no need for tweaking. If tweaking might be necessary, the easiest thing would be to place the VGA port vertically on the very edge of your case and use a hole saw in just the right spot for access to the "Liberty" dial. :quadra:

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For old systems a consumer card should work fine. The old mac os versions arent constantly writing to the disk and the files themselves are fairly small. I've has a few in cameras that had hundreds of full capacity writes and never dies.

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Thanks, it's certainly motivating to hear that.

 

The ATX PSU adapter is coming together now... I hacked apart one of the Q630 PSU's for the main socket, and I'll continue to use that PSU to figure out what else goes over that other small cable. I think I'll desolder the socket for it, and break out the conductors so I can test with it powered on. I'll need to desolder that connector anyways to complete the adapter.

 

Here's the ATX PSU. I trimmed the long cable back and I'm now rebuilding the plug, converting it from 20-pin to 24-pin in the process.

 

 

post-4627-0-63230800-1480396260_thumb.jpgpost-4627-0-58662000-1480396362_thumb.jpg

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Here are my findings! I made a little pinout guide, but it's not finished! I'm going to need some advice on how to proceed, actually.

 

post-4627-0-90727100-1480537590_thumb.gif

 

Some things to note about that 6-pin header:

  • Shorting Pin 2 to +5VDC (TRKL) while system is OFF = system power ON.
  • Shorting Pin 2 to +5VDC (TRKL) while system is ON = system power OFF.
  • Shorting Pin 2 to Ground while system is ON = system power OFF.
  • Shorting Pin 5 to +5VDC (TRKL while system is ON = system power OFF.
  • Shorting Pin 5 to Ground while system is ON = No effect.

I do not understand these results 100%, and as you can see there is one pin I could not identify.

 

I believe it is obvious that Pin 2 is the power-on circuit, however I am not sure I understand how the system powers off. The only documentation I can find relates to the Macintosh II. Are there any Powermacs/Other Macs that use the same or similar PSU? Maybe they will have the documentation I need?

 

Here's my janky-looking test port.

post-4627-0-16306500-1480538094_thumb.jpg

 

I also custom made a Q630-compatible power plug out of a 20-Pin ATX plug, apparently they are physically compatible if you snip off an end.

post-4627-0-11083900-1480538107_thumb.jpg

 

Of course, had to test the ATX PSU after mutilating it! :) It still works.

post-4627-0-81196500-1480538120_thumb.jpg

 

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Yeah, there's no need for industrial-grade flash on an OS that doesn't use a swap file.

Have you checked the dev notes for the 630 to see if that power connector is documented?

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DevNote usually doesn't get into that low level type of hardware IIRC, neither does ServiceSource other than plug and play of undocumented system components. PaperDocs like GttMFH2e never did either AFAIK.

 

Check out the Power Color Classic project. There was a graphic I called (dunno about others) the "frogeye diagram" that had pinouts for adapting the CC Plug to 630/6360/6400 plug/cable/harness which might to tell you what you need to know. The link there is 404, but maybe someone has a copy on hand? IIRC it being a harness<->harness hack, but buzzing connections should provide the values you need.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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