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EvilCapitalist

USB/Firewire cards (or chipsets) that work in the TAM

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I'm itching to finish upgrading my Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh.  I've already got the coveted 500MHz Sonnet G3, have maxed the RAM, and just picked up a CF card to replace the stock 2GB HD.  Presently I've got a 3 port Firewire card which works just fine but I'm looking to replace it with a combo USB/Firewire card if possible. 

 

I know the Sonnet Tango 1.0 works (but I can't find one anywhere) and the Sonnet Tango 2.0 does not.  Are there any combo cards out there that are known to work in the TAM, and by extension the 64xx/65xx series, aside from the Tango 1.0?  Any chipsets I should hunt for, and on the flip side any chipsets that are known not to work that I should avoid?  I've already run into the PCI-PCI bridge problem when I tried a generic combo card I had lying around as well as the SIIG USB/Firewire/Ethernet card combo card.

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I can confirm that a USB 2.0/Firewire 400 combo card I picked up from CompUSA ages ago works in PCI PowerMacs on OS9 and OSX. It has ULi brand USB and Firewire controllers on it. Generally all Firewire cards work, but USB controllers MUST be a OHCI compatible controller to work with Apple's driver, which eliminates VIA brand controllers (they used UHCI, along with Intel).

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That OrangeLink card I can confirm for sure will work. It's the same card I have in my Powermac 9600. I don't recall what the Firewire chipset is but the USB chipset is the same one used in the original iMacs meaning it has native OS 8 and 9 support without much fiddling.

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I just want to make sure they'll work in a TAM.  The TAM and 64xx/65xx have issues with PCI-PCI bridges which prevent many of these cards from working, even though they work fine in most other Macs.  I've taken the card that works great in my G3 AiO and tried it in my TAM and ended up with a machine that either wouldn't boot at all or if I managed to get it to boot it wouldn't recognize the card.

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Get ready for lots of trial and error finding any combo card that works in a TAM - it's an incredibly tricky beast to find any card that works properly in there.  I've only had success with the most generic 2 port USB card in mine (anything 3-4 port USB cards do not work, I've tried many chipsets), and looks like I'm sticking with it, having found an OS 9 compatible USB ethernet adapter for the card. I don't have a CSII riser card in my TAM, hence need for multiple functions on the single PCI slot.

 

- OrangeMicro USB/FW does not work (even with the 6400 patch)

- KeySpan USB/FW does not work

- Generic USB/FW/Ethernet, bridge mode enabled cards do not work - they're great in anything beige G3 and above, though

 

I can double check revisions of the cards I still have if you like to confirm incompatible status.

 

JB

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Get ready for lots of trial and error finding any combo card that works in a TAM - it's an incredibly tricky beast to find any card that works properly in there.  I've only had success with the most generic 2 port USB card in mine (anything 3-4 port USB cards do not work, I've tried many chipsets), and looks like I'm sticking with it, having found an OS 9 compatible USB ethernet adapter for the card. I don't have a CSII riser card in my TAM, hence need for multiple functions on the single PCI slot.

 

- OrangeMicro USB/FW does not work (even with the 6400 patch)

- KeySpan USB/FW does not work

- Generic USB/FW/Ethernet, bridge mode enabled cards do not work - they're great in anything beige G3 and above, though

 

I can double check revisions of the cards I still have if you like to confirm incompatible status.

 

JB

 

That's about what I figured.  She certainly is an incredibly picky machine!  I've tried three different cards already (what I had on hand from various machines) and I've got four more cards on the way, all with different chipsets, so hopefully something will pan out.  I've avoided anything with a VIA chipset since I've heard nothing positive about them on the Mac side and remember having major issues with them on the PC side back when USB first came out (SiS and VIA...shudder)

 

In any event I'll be posting all the cards/chipsets I've tested afterwards so that if one of them happens to work other folks won't have to play guess and check.

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After a few of the cards took an annoyingly long time to arrive I finally have the results for the eight cards I tried (this is going to be a long post, skip to the bottom if you don't feel like reading all the way through):

 

Card 1:  Evergreen Technologies FireLine USB 1.1/Firewire combo card

 

I had high hopes for this card until I re-read the page on The 6400 Zone that said it wouldn't work because it drew too much power from the PCI bus.  Indeed, when I installed the card my TAM refused to boot at all, just freezing at the Happy Mac or right after it started loading extensions.

 

USB Chipset - CMD 670

Firewire Chipsets - Texas Instruments TSB41LV03/TSB12LV23

PCI Bridge - Intel 21152

 

post-2488-0-59978100-1485110965_thumb.jpg

 

Card 2: Sonnet Tango 2.0 USB 2.0/Firewire combo card

 

I didn't figure this card was going to work, but I picked up one anyway just in the off chance I'd get lucky since both the USB and Firewire chipsets were NEC.  No such luck.  Even with the Sonnet-provided PCI bridge patch the only thing that showed up in System Profiler was "pci-bridge".

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720102GC

Firewire Chipset - NEC D72874GC

PCI Bridge - PLX PCI6140-AA33PC

 

post-2488-0-09958200-1485111828_thumb.jpg

 

Card 3: SIIG JU-2NE012 USB 2.0/Firewire/Ethernet (10/100) combo card

 

I bought this for a different machine but gave it a shot here.  No dice, just showed up as "pci-bridge".

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720100AGM

Firewire Chipset - Texas Instruments TSB43AB23

Ethernet Chipset - Realtek RTL8139D

PCI Bridge - HiNT HB1-SE33

 

post-2488-0-98600300-1485112273_thumb.jpg

 

Card 4: SIIG JU-2NG011

 

Given that the 10/100 version didn't work I didn't think I'd have any luck with the gigabit version, and I was right.  Just showed up as "pci-bridge".

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720101GJ

Firewire Chipset - Texas Instruments TSB43AB23

Ethernet Chipset - Realtek RTL8169S-32

PCI Bridge - HiNT HB1-SE33

 

post-2488-0-60520100-1485112533_thumb.jpg

 

Card 5: Adaptec AUA-3020 Rev A

 

I was hopeful for this card since Adaptec has made a lot of Mac products.  Nothing, just "pci-bridge".

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720100AGM

Firewire Chipset - Texas Instruments TSB43AB23

PCI Bridge - HiNT HB1-SE33

 

post-2488-0-06952300-1485113038_thumb.jpg

 

Card 6: Adaptec AUA-3121

 

It was out there, figured I'd give it a shot.  Same result, "pci-bridge".

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720100AS1

Firewire Chipsets - Texas Instruments TSB41AB3/TSB12LV26

PCI Bridge - HiNT HB1-SE33

 

post-2488-0-15297800-1485113236_thumb.jpg

 

Card 7: Adaptec AUA-3020 Rev C

 

Maybe a different revision would be better?  .Different, but not better.  Usually froze on startup, but very occasionally would show up as "pci-bridge" and the Firewire ports would work.

 

USB Chipset - NEC D720100AGM

Firewire Chipset - Agere FW323-06

PCI Bridge - Pericom PI7C8140A

 

post-2488-0-90876000-1485113371_thumb.jpg

 

Card 8: Belkin F5U508 PCI rev 3.0

 

This card was the best of the bunch.  It was off to a good start since it actually showed up as two USB ports and one unknown PCI device (what turned out to be the Firewire part) in System Profiler.  Unfortunately only the Firewire side worked.  Even though USB showed up, nothing plugged in to either of the ports was ever detected.  I have to wonder if this is because it's not getting enough power to drive both the Firewire and the USB ports.  If there was a way to piggyback a molex connector off of something else in the machine to run to this perhaps it would fully work.

 

USB Chipset - ALi M5271

Firewire Chipset - Agere FW803

PCI Bridge - None?

 

post-2488-0-77730300-1485114360_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

Results:

 

So after all that, I'm back where I started for the most part.  If anyone has a Sonnet Tango 1.0 they'd be interested in parting with I'd love to buy it, or if you would let me know what chipsets/PCI bridge it uses I might luck out and find a generic version.  On the flip side, if anyone sees a card in the group above they'd like, let me know.  They should all work in Macs besides the 54/55xx, 64/65xx and TAM since they all mentioned Mac compatibility (though most said the B&W G3 was the minimum required).

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Second the desire to know what chipsets are used on the Tango 1.0...

 

I'm surprised the cards with the NEC USB and TI Firewire don't work.   Could be the Hint bridge, but I doubt it.  That Hint bridge also comes in a larger QFP just like the Intel 21152.   I swapped out the 21152 on the Umax S900 many years ago and installed the Hint bridge and the resulting machine had exactly the same functionality and problems as the original.    The Hint seems to be functionally identical to the 21152.

 

I think the problem is really in Apple's Open Firmware implementation.

 

On the S900, if one installs a PCI card with a bridge in one of the PCI slots that is already behind the motherboard bridge, it will freeze at boot time, unless the card does not have on-board firmware, such as ethernet, firewire and ethernet cards.   In those cases, the machine freezes after it loads the driver for the device in question.    However, if the bridge bearing card is the *only* card in one of the bridged PCI slots, then it's okay.  Lots of other weird conditional behavior pointing to a software logic flaw rather than a hardware failure.  Some cards don't have a bridge, but seem to set themselves up as if they do and exhibit the same problems.  The VST UltraTek 66 IDE card was one.  

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Nice work on all the sleuthing, it will come in handy for future TAM+6500 owners. 

 

Having owned the 6400 back in the day, i lived thru PCI bus mayhem. I have no idea what the designers were thinking with that line and they made it even worse in the 6500s. The patches were nice, but so temperamental. Both Sonnet and Orange ended up un-supporting the Alchemy/Gazelle lines.

 

Unless you deem FireWire important, the USB only cards might be a good compromise. I finally got a 10/100 Farallon Comm Slot II card, making file transfers a little smoother, and less reliant on external drives.

 

Another card that might be worth trying is the Sun FireWire USB Card (It is NEC/TI based):

 

sun-375-3140-i-o-combo-card-sun-parts-16

Edited by omidimo

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I've got three more cards on the way, one of which has a similar chipset combo (I think it's TI for the bridge and NEC for everything else), so I may have to look into that Sun card. 

 

I would love to find a 10/100 CSII card but I suppose I should count my blessings that my TAM came with both the CSII riser and the Apple 10base-T card since the card itself (or rather, ANY CSII Ethernet card) seems to be pretty hard to find and the CSII riser seems to be nigh on impossible to find.

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The Farallon card was a bargain too!

 

The Apple CSII cards common enough, I had a harder time finding an Apple CS1, but sometimes you get lucky and land a mobo/cs card combo. I got a 68040 upgrade out of a deal like that. 

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I'm surprised to hear Sonnet discontinued support for Alchemy/Gazelle. ISTR my Tempo Trio working just fine with the 6360/w Sonnet cache slot G3 upgrade. Not positive I tested FW and IDE, it's been umpty years. Though I snagged a second one a few years ago based on those memories.

 

Could the processor upgrade/drivers have anything to do with compatibility with their USB/FW cards? I'll need to check the USB/IDE/FW chipset, test it in Alchemy/Gazelle configurations and post the results.

 

 

edit: bought the first one new while it was listed as supported for the 6360. The Trio's way overkill for a TAM, no cubic for additional ATAxxx drives, though I wonder if HDD throughput might get a nice kick in the pants from re-cabling the OEM drive or a much faster replacement to the card?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Sonnet has a habit of refining products which has lead to support changes. I have a very strange Sonnet Tango 2.0 card that is based on the Tempo Trio:

 

50838808649_3_C78_E920_D47_E_4_C30_875_D

 

This card worked in my 6400/200 VEE, but only if no Avid Cinema card was installed. I had never seen this card before, and I assume it was a filler product while they perfected their Tango design.

 

The Tempo card itself was quite a fascinating card albeit in niche product in 2002. If you look at their product page, they scrubbed all mention of Mac support. I assume this was due to numerous issues that users ran into, but if you look at the Tempo support page, you do find legacy documents showing Mac support.

 

RE: IDE drives - I thought about getting one or two of those IDE Flash Modules and using them in my 9600. A card like this might work in a smaller Mac.

 

Sonnet's support is pretty amazing when the product is current and generally trouble free, such as their TB chassis, but legacy support is flat. I could not find a dedicated page on their legacy section for the Sonata Pro NuBus card, but they do have the manuals that can be found via search. Drivers are no where to be found, unless you go looking for the source of the card, the VillageTronic MP340. I can't really blame them for not having drivers to a decade old product, I am just glad they have survived this long. 

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That's pretty amazing! I've got the empty box for my Tango 2.0 in hand with support for the Power Macintosh G3 B&W and OS9 (at USB 1.1 speed) printed for all to see!

 

Mine is spec'd as Part# FWUSB2A and the pic on the cover looks nothing like yours!

 

Gotta find which box that little sucker is using as a hideout! :rambo:

 

 

 

edit: finally spotted the date on the box: ©2007

 

Does yours allegedly support Alchemy/Gazelle?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Sonnet has a habit of refining products which has lead to support changes. I have a very strange Sonnet Tango 2.0 card that is based on the Tempo Trio:

 

This card worked in my 6400/200 VEE, but only if no Avid Cinema card was installed. I had never seen this card before, and I assume it was a filler product while they perfected their Tango design.

 

Missed that bit, hoping to find the box for my first Trio, but doubtful about the prospect.

 

edit: LOL! Just checked the file drawer right next to me, no Trio box, but I found the file folder with the flattened box for the Crescendo G3 466/1M that's in Beater along with the original 166MHz ProcCard and a nice Sonnet philips screwdriver sized just right for the 1400 stack deconstruction project!

 

Looked in the recently unearthed box of "Boxed Accelerators and Upgrades" and no go for Trio. Just a PCI G3/500/1M, a PCI G4/400/1M and the empty box for the PCI G4/800MHz/1M that's in the PEx drawer.  Also found a lonely, pathetic little L2 G3/400MHz/512 with a couple of ComSlot II Ethernet cards and a woebegone CSII modem stuck in there with it.

 

When Radius went out of business, guess who's Accelerators and expansion cards I began to use and collect? [:)]]'>

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Here is the box, the date of the copyright is 2003 (PKG-FWUSB2-T-03-03)

 

50839927369_F2948780_5567_4_BBE_A1_BB_02

 

The box displays the generic list of supported computers and in the manual states 6500/TAM needs the PCI Patch. That patch was pulled due to problems and thats when Sonnet gave up on that line. The support page has no sign of the patch, but old manuals still state it is needed. 

 

My card has a PLX controller while other versions of the card used the HINT bridge:

 

52918de562f17_317629b.jpg

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That makes me think that my Trio must have worked fine in the 6360, once I unearth them we'll see. Hopefully the HDD has any patches required on it. I'll dig it out from under the HackStation and fire it up tomorrow to check.

 

I tried to chop a nice sized bite out of my left index finger Tuesday, so I'm home until Monday with a throbbing finger on a hand hanging in a looped power cord on a door hook and typing with the hand on the arm achy=ubg from a Tetanus shot. Left that bit on purpose, editing one handed is a beyotch and the Honey Bourbon nightcap ain't helpin' one little bit. :lol:

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The interesting thing is when I bought the Tango 2.0 that I tried it was pretty clear Sonnet had put a sticker on the front of the box saying that B&W G3 and up was all that was supported. 

 

post-2488-0-10360700-1486732395_thumb.jpg

 

When I very carefully peeled the sticker off it showed that same full list yours did.

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Yep, that'd be the one. Now I don't need to take a pic, THX! :D

 

I half-heartedly tried to get it running in the 6360/Alchemy/G3, wasn't surprised it didn't work. Mostly it's used as a surrogate for the precious Trios during hacks.

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Looked in the recently unearthed box of "Boxed Accelerators and Upgrades" and no go for Trio. Just a PCI G3/500/1M, a PCI G4/400/1M and the empty box for the PCI G4/800MHz/1M that's in the PEx drawer.

You wouldn't possibly maybe be willing to sell one of those PCI accelerators, would you? ;)

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Prolly not anytime soon. Hoping one of them will work in the PEx after I finally get a ROM card squared away. L2's spoken for too, it's the only one I've got with only 512K of cache, but I've got Alchemy/Gazelle based hacks up the wazoo. I listed the contents as a counterpoint to this thread's project. It's interesting to me how different folks wind up with boxes full of one thing or another.

 

BTW: which is which? LEM has 6400 and 6500 both listed as Alchemy, no surprise there. :-/

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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