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IIsiColorPivotII_PDS_Card_HackProject™

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It looks like the two different versions of this card have the 15-pin video connector reversed.

 

I used your photo to determine which side was pin 1, but after a closer look, I realized my connector appears to be flipped from yours. Testing with a multimeter seems to confirm this. But when I connect the NEW pins 4 and 10, I still get nothing. I fear I may have fried the card by running it with the wrong pins shorted, while I thought pin 1 was on the wrong end.

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I doubt you killed anything on the card, there's no appreciable voltage (any?) coming from the Monitor to the card or vice versa and mixing up the wires shouldn't do it either AFAIK. Dunno much though, I leave that stuff to you electron pushers, I'm just a lowly electron plumber.

 

RCPII/IIsi Playtime is up next, I'm going to try one (all?) of my cards on all four Apple CRTs in the collection. It's been a long time . . .

. . . 8-o exactly TWO friggin' years and four months ago tomorrow, since I started this hack!

 

My card(s?) just work when I hook them up. I've had a slew of Radius CRTs, now LCDs and almost a drawer full of Radius VidCards, VidCap cards, Accelerators, etc. IIRC I've never installed any software, everything just worked.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a really Macintosh collector or a radius junkie? :?:

 

I'll report back real soon now, just gotta clean up some space so I can fill it back up again with this stuff after one or two more tests on the current project setups.

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Oh snap, I got it to work! I had to connect a real monitor to the Pivot card before I could see anything - simply putting jumpers on the sense lines and then looking in the monitors control panel didn't seem to be enough. I haven't been able to test a dual-head setup yet, since I only have one monitor, but I was able to boot and run at 832 x 624 x 256 colors @ 75 Hz with the Pivot card as the sole video card.

 

For future reference, pin 1 on the Pivot card is the pin adjacent to the "J2" text on the board's silkscreen. The pins are:

 

1        RED GND
2        RED
3        C SYNC
4        SENSE[0]
5        GREEN
6        GREEN GND
7        SENSE[1]
8        N.C.
9        BLUE
10       SENSE[2]
11       C & V SYNC GND
12       V SYNC
13       BLUE GND
14       H SYNC GND
15       H SYNC

If you want to build a video cable to connect to a Mac-standard DB-15 monitor, then just wire those pins straight to the DB-15, matching them up pin for pin. Pivot card pin 1 connects to DB-15 pin 1, Pivot pin 2 connects to DB-15 pin 2, etc.

 

If you want to build a combo video cable and VGA adapter with a hard-coded 832 x 624 sense code (which seems to be the highest possible Pivot resolution that's also supported by modern LCD monitors), here's the pin mapping:

 

PIVOT   VGA

1,6,13  4,5,6,7,8  VIDEO GND
2       1          RED VIDEO
4,10    NC         PINS 4 & 10 JUMPERED TOGETHER ON PIVOT END OF CABLE
5       2          GREEN VIDEO
9       3          BLUE VIDEO
11     11          C & V SYNC GND
12     14          V SYNC
14     10          H SYNC GND
15     13          H SYNC

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Dynamite! Way to go bigmess! :approve:

 

You'll not want to use the onboard video, if the IIsi senses that no monitor is hooked up to its DA-15, all of Bank A's lifeblood stays in place, none of it gets sucked into the Vampire Video buffering setup. Better performance, more Pixels a/o higher bit levels.

 

Now I don't have to pull the Rocket out of the IIsi or haul out all the Mac Monitors! [:D]]'>

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OK, I scrounged up a second monitor. Here's my victory photo, showing the IIsi with dual monitors.

 

dual-head.thumb.jpg.f17423a191bef9ae4f8a53845a5dc1b5.jpg

 

That's with onboard video running 640 x 480 x 256 colors, Pivot running 832 x 624 x 256 colors. The image from the Pivot card is somewhat washed out compared to the onboard video, but I'm not sure if that's because of my jury-rigged wiring setup, my old junky monitor, or the Pivot card itself.

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Shorter, grounded Co-Axial cables for RGB! ;)

'grats, buddy, you've done in a couple of days something that's been puzzling for quite some time! :approve:

 

I think all my cards are identical, at least they're all keyed the same for the cable.

 

RCPII_IIsi_Triplets_2p.thumb.jpg.b172b7d735941c4c6656ad9f72667e17.jpg

 

Meanwhile, snag another card and a wrong angle connector for a "two cards across the attic" hack.

 

Twin-Slot-Twin-Card-IIsi_2p.thumb.jpg.b9ebcca9da62f7b26dbc34795a4f33cb.jpg

The RCPII/IIsi card is the same size/configuration as the modified SuperMac Riser in the piccie. The NIC so close to fitting that you'll only need to cut away part of the white fan cage for clearance and file a dado into the muffin fan's grille/edge for support. "Stack" the two cards onto your twin-Slot riser and then add a PowerCache Accelerator plug 'er in and power it up and let 'er rip! [}:)]]'>

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Aughh! The second pinout I posted for the combo video cable and VGA adapter was completely wrong, and doesn't describe what I built. Copy-paste error! Can Trash or another mod please replace it with this one?

 

PIVOT   VGA

1,6,13  4,5,6,7,8  VIDEO GND
2       1          RED VIDEO
4,10    NC         PINS 4 & 10 JUMPERED TOGETHER ON PIVOT END OF CABLE
5       2          GREEN VIDEO
9       3          BLUE VIDEO
11     11          C & V SYNC GND
12     14          V SYNC
14     10          H SYNC GND
15     13          H SYNC

And thanks trash, it was fun tinkering around to get it working!

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Like, so? :?: I'm lovin' the way you've done the VGA conversions in-cable. :approve: I freakin' HATE how far VGA adapters stick out the back of Macs. That's almost as stupid as Apple's cable adapter for that lame@$$ video connector on the X100 series.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the puzzle. The next brain teaser for you and your breadboard setup would be to noodle out how to implement the pivoting feature. Changing the resolutions from 16" landscape res to Portrait res on the fly at the flip of a switch would be fabulous for pivoting LCDs. [:D]]'>

 

I'm guessing that's what the Pivot signal does or the card could be outputting an as yet undiscovered resolution in both orientations? Gotta check the resolution specs on the Color Pivot CRTs. Dunno if we could do it in real time or if it would require a re-boot? I'm guessing the former, especially if it's a custom resolution, but it could be either way. Only the card needs to know what to do I would think. That ThinNet connector on the NIC's I/O board is just begging to be de-soldered and replaced with a switch sticking out its nice round hole in the backplane plate. [:)]]'> Building a short little M->F mercury switch(?) for the VGA connector on the LCD would be even better.

 

Is there an unused line on the HD-15 VGA cable available to throw 5V at such an adapter? zuiko appears to have found the on-off signal line from the monitor, so with power applied to the VGA cable . . . maybe hijack one of the ground lines . . . hrmmm????

 

Besides the co-ax upgrade, check your cable collection/junk bin for a ferrite ring about 30mm in diameter. RFI within the IIsi's metal lining could be dissipating some of the signal if I understand it correctly. That could be the reason the ring is positioned as closely to the DA-19 connector as radius could possibly put it?

Dunno, those are only WAGs from this electron plumber, I don't really understand the workings of this crap as well as I'd like. :-/

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I'll see if I can figure out how to trigger the pivoting feature, once the other parts arrive. From what Arkku described, it sounds like it's just another one of the sense lines, but I'm not sure which one. From my understanding of the Pivot, the resolution doesn't actually change, it just rotates everything 90 degrees in software. I like the idea of putting a tilt switch in there somewhere, to automatically trigger the pivot feature if you turn your LCD on its side.

 

I was able to make the Pivot display come out sideways by disconnecting pins 4 and 10, and connecting pin 7 to ground, then rebooting. That's the sense code for a Pivot display, according to the pinouts.ru page you linked earlier. It doesn't change the display on the fly when you change the sense code, though - you have to reboot. The sideways display also came out looking kind of squashed on my monitor, and the monitor showed an error about the display being out of XGA range.

 

I'm not sure what you mean about throwing 5V at the video adapter. Which of zuiko's posts are you referring to?

 

I'm sure my image quality isn't helped by all those breadboard wires sticking out everywhere, so I'm not going to worry about it much until I have a chance to build a better cable. I'll probably just use twisted pair wire for the three video signals and their associated grounds, not coax. Even regular individual wires would probably be fine, if I kept them short and held them all bunched together with a couple of cable ties. That's what I did for BMOW's video, and the quality was fine.

 

I still need to figure out where to mount the video connector. Your solution of using the thicknet hole in your network card is great, but I don't have one of those cards.

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Just get one, I know somebody who needs to test a pair of them. He's open to barter arrangements . . .

. . . for sweat equity or VGA adapter switcharoothingamajigger type stuff from a real electron pusher. :lol:

 

The 5V line from the Mac end of the VGA Cable would be to power the mercury switch(?) module doohickie's circuit board on the pivoting LCD's VGA connector at the end of the cable.

 

I think I've figured a way to use all three interrupts for a double monitor setup that doesn't bork Bank A . . .

. . . unless running a third monitor would be useful. }:)

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Good news. The washed-out image was entirely due to the cruddy second monitor that I scavenged. When I connected the Pivot card to my primary monitor, the image was clear and colorful. It really looks very nice, which is amazing considering that my breadboard video wiring hookup is about as bad as you can get for signal quality.

 

I also installed the Radius DynamicDesktop control panel, which allows for on-the-fly switching between 640x480, 832x624, and "Full Page Display", the last of which comes out all goofy on my LCD monitor. So I agree with everyone who's said 832 x 624 is as high as you can go, unless you have a real Radius monitor to connect to this beast.

 

The 5V line from the Mac end of the VGA Cable would be to power the mercury switch(?) module doohickie's circuit board on the pivoting LCD's VGA connector at the end of the cable.

Ah, I understand. I don't think you'll need 5V. Depending on the monitor type, the sense lines are variously connected to ground, to each other (sometimes with a diode and sometimes not), or left unconnected, but you never need to connect them to 5V. The mercury switch would probably be a tilt switch, which does the same thing but with a rolling ball instead of a blob of mercury. It's just a switch and doesn't need any power.

 

I know somebody who needs to test a pair of them. He's open to barter arrangements . . .

. . . for sweat equity or VGA adapter switcharoothingamajigger type stuff from a real electron pusher.

:) I'll see if I can figure out how to trigger the pivoting action - so far it's eluding me.

 

I think all my cards are identical, at least they're all keyed the same for the cable.

Maybe the close-up photo of the connector wiring that you posted here is actually a photo of the SE/30 card?

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Pivoting success! The on-the-fly pivoting feature doesn't work unless you have the Radius DynamicDesktop software installed. Once you've got that, grounding Pivot pins 4 & 10 will cause the display to rotate to portrait mode. Disconnecting ground will cause it to rotate back to landscape mode. The monitor never sees a change in resolution - the pivoting is all done in software.

 

pivot.thumb.jpg.472926c86258b0d7e914403fc4245fa6.jpg

One big drawback, though - it only works if you boot in landscape mode, and then switch to portrait mode. If you boot in portrait mode, the Mac thinks you've got a 512 x 384 12" display. It boots OK, but my LCD monitor won't display that resolution. There are some hints about this issue in this old Radius doc, but not much detail. Possibly real Pivot monitors always identify themselves as a landscape display at first, then change their sense code to indicate portrait mode only after the Mac has booted - but how would they know when that is?

 

With this information, it should be easy to build a video cable with a "pivot now" switch, but you'd have to make sure the switch was initially off whenever you booted up.

 

So to recap: connecting sense code pins 4 and 10 on the Pivot side will give you 832 x 624 landscape video. You need to boot with that sense code. After booting, grounding either pin (while still keeping them connected to each other as well) will pivot the display to portrait mode, but this is a software feature and the video signal remains 832 x 624. The pivoting to portrait mode only works if the Radius software is installed on your Mac.

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Woohoo! [:D]]'> Props, bigmess, you are a W-I-L-D Man!

 

Looks like I've gotta test the three IIsi NICs a lot sooner than anticipated, how long will it take to whip up a couple of those HD-15 ball switch doohickies for me? I know you've got the soldering skills, if you have a good de-soldering rig I'll send you a pair of Pivot cards and the connectors to mod them for flat stacking, one card for you and one for me. Meanwhile I'll hack one of my fans/housings for a swap so you can install the NIC and the flat stacker RCPII/IIsi on your twin-slot adapter. [;)]]'>

 

I'm not worried about the bonus pixels, though I really should try them on for size with the 20" 1600 x 1200 Multisync Pivoting LCD. For now I run them upright on the Portrait, that thing is a friggin' beyotch to pivot.

 

Now if someone would just build a USB KM(only) converter to ADB, we could get the IIsi hooked up to a main workstation's KVM switch. [}:)]]'>

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Ah well, it was good while it lasted... for all of about an hour. :-(

 

After fiddling more with the sense lines, I'm now permanently stuck in a state where the Pivot card puts out an 1152 x 870 video signal while the Mac thinks it has a 832 x 624 (?) display, and everything looks garbled. The Radius DynamicDesktop software no longer offers any resolution-switching options either.

 

- I put all my wiring back how it was originally, and rechecked it several times, even beeped it out with the multimeter.

- I tried changing the sense codes to many other values, even tried leaving the sense lines entirely disconnected, but it always comes out with a 1152 x 870 video signal.

- The video is wrong at the first moment of booting, before the Happy Mac appears, so it can't be a software problem.

- I thought maybe some monitor setting in PRAM got messed up, but zapping PRAM didn't help either.

 

I am really stumped. If it's not a wiring problem, or a software problem, or a PRAM problem, what is it? It seems unlikely that the card broke somehow, but I'm out of ideas for other things to try to get it working again.

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OK, I think I finally have this figured out. I received all the parts needed to make a real adapter instead of my breadboard hack, and the Pivot card is working again. My setup is:

 

1. Straight-through connection of all 15 pins from the Pivot card's header to a DB-15

2. Standard Mac-to-VGA adapter connected to the DB-15, and configured to identify itself as an 832 x 624 monitor

 

Once you've installed the Radius software, grounding/ungrounding pins 4 and 10 will cause the display to pivot/unpivot. This is the same as changing the Mac-to-VGA adapter to identify as a 12" 512 x 384 display. However, if 4 and 10 are grounded at bootup time, it will actually show a 512 x 384 image and not a pivoted 832 x 624 image. So the display always needs to be unpivoted when booting. Bummer.

 

Image quality is excellent using plain old wire. No fancy coax stuff or shielding.

 

I still need to build a permanent adapter cable. The one I made from these eBay parts is too short, and I need a IIsi ethernet card or some other way of mounting the DB-15 connector in the rear case opening.

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Very nice, great work.

 

I'm about to test a couple of the NuBus Radius Color Pivot Cards for just that teensy weensy Compact Mac's periscope view.

GAWD how I hated doing graphics on that tiny CRT! :p

 

I'll be testing prospective backplane plate candidates for you this week as well. Are ball switch parts on the way yet? [}:)]]'>

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Hehe, unfortunately I don't think the ball switch connector would be very useful, given the circumstances. Since you have to always boot in landscape mode, and modern LCD monitors won't stand on their side without some kind of extra support. It might make a fun party trick though!

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Actually, I've got two or three(?) Pivoting LCDs, including the 20" 1600 x 1200 staring me in the face ATM!

I just love having discovered a way of running this sucker in 24bit at that res off my Pismo! [:D]]'>

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Veering off topic here, but speaking of higher resolutions for older machines... The PCI ATI Radeon 7000 64MB can drive 1920x1200 over DVI. The PC version of the card can be had for cheap, but the EEPROM on the board is too small and needs to be swapped for a larger version. After that, it can be flashed for System 7 use. System 7 at 1920x1200 DVI is niiiice.

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I had some difficulty following this thread. On my IIci, it won't boot with a monitor connected to both the onboard video and my Radius card, is that what you guys were able to bypass here?

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Nah, this is only peripherally related to the NuBus version. I'll have to take a look at mine in the IIx to see if it will do 16" because I just peeked and it looks like the IIci's Vampire Video is almost as awful as the later IIsi BloodSucker.

 

I've got two versions of the RCP/NuBus and I just tested them for 12" RGB compatibility, so they're close at hand and the IIcx is in battery.

 

Your issue could be either Card Version (Radius custom 1991 IC on the later card) related, ROM version related or both as the case may be.

Unfortunately, no IIci in da houze. :-/

 

I had some difficulty following this thread.
Join the club, buddy, even I don't go back there unless I really need to. :-/

 

Are all my hacks threads as indecipherable as this one is reported to be?

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I was thinking more about an adapter cable with a ball switch for pivoting like Trash suggested, or maybe just one with a regular hand-operated switch. But then I realized - where would that switch actually go? The adapter cable would go from the 15x1 header on the Pivot card to the video connector on the IIsi's back panel, so it would be entirely enclosed inside the IIsi. Having a switch inside the computer itself isn't all that useful. :-)

 

Maybe you could drill a little hole or use some other opening for two extra wires, so you could put a hand-operated switch on the outside of the case. That would work if you're willing to drill. But for the ball switch, it needs to be mounted on the monitor, not on the Mac. That's maybe another 4 feet away down the video cable, at the other end where the cable plugs into the monitor. I suppose you could use 8 feet of wire to build an out-and-back connection to the ball switch, and thread it through a hole drilled in the case, and then glue or zip-tie these new wires to your Mac-to-monitor cable. But that sounds pretty yuck to me.

 

Another possibility would be to split this into two parts: a 15x1 header to DB-15 adapter cable that lives inside the Mac's case, but doesn't do anything related to pivoting, and then an external pass-through dongle with the pivoting switch. If you put this at the Mac end of the cable, then it's basically just like building your own Mac-to-VGA dongle, like the MacFly or any of the others you can find on eBay for a few dollars. It could be a little simpler, with just a single "pivot" button instead of all those DIP switches, but it would basically be the same idea.

 

If you wanted a dongle thing at the monitor end of the cable, so you could use a ball switch for pivoting, then you'd need a Mac monitor cable (DB-15 cable) to connect the Mac to the dongle. I don't know how common those are, but certainly less common than standard VGA cables.

 

This all seems a little complicated. Anyone see a simpler way to do it?

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