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Samana76

Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 in TAM Not Working

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Hello Everyone,

 

This is my first post here, however I have used this excellent forum to gather information on vintage Macs and Newtons for quite some time now

 

A few months ago I acquired an Apple Twentieth Anniversary Mac (TAM) and have been having fun fiddling with it and upgrading it. I love the sound this thing produces and my intention is to use it as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with Opcode Vision and Galaxy connected to my Kurzweil K2600xs and Teenage Engineering OP-1. Since I received the computer I have installed a fresh PRAM battery, upgraded the RAM to 128MB (max), replaced the HDD with a 120GB SD card, replaced the noisy fan on the HDD bracket with a super silent one, replaced the 256kb of cache with a 1MB L2 Cache card (this accelerated the 603ev quite a bit) and installed MAC OS 9.2.2.

 

I recently acquired a Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 350 Mhz/1MB card and wanted to upgrade the TAM with this card. I installed the software v.2.3.1 (which came on floppy with the card) and replaced the 1MB cache card with the Sonnet. I made sure the card was firmly pressed in the slot, however when I turn on the TAM it does not boot. I get the boot chime but the "Happy Mac" icon does not come up (screen does note even light up). I have tried removing the RAM and the IDE HDD to see if these were conflicting with the Sonnet card, but there is no change. I disconnected the PRAM battery so that the PRAM would be wiped clean (and even pressed the little black round button next to one of the RAM slots), but again this made no difference. When I reinstalled the 1MB L2 Cache card the TAM boots normally. I tried installing the Sonnet card several times, but I get the same result.

 

I don't know what else to do. Did I receive a bad Sonnet card? Physically the card looks pristine. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

 

Cheers,

Igor

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Hi Samana76,

 

welcome to 68KMLA!  Sonnet cards are usually rock solid in my experience, I've had similar issues (chime but no display) and it was solved by a PRAM and CUDA reset, using a Sonnet G3 400 L2 card with 1MB cache.

 

With yours, I'd try cleaning the CPU card contacts with isopropyl alcohol (use a cotton tip to apply), unplug the TAM from the power supply/sub, disconnect PRAM battery and press the CUDA switch for a few seconds.  Leave as it, unplugged, and try again after 30 minutes.  I'd also try stripping the machine down to 1 stick of RAM.

 

JB

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Hi JB,

 

Thank you for your suggestions. I tried exactly as you said - cleaned the contacts of the Sonnet card (they were pretty dirty actually), unplugged the TAM, disconnected PRAM battery, pressed the CUDA switch for 10 seconds, removed one of the two RAM sticks, and left it unplugged for more than 30 minutes. I was really hoping this would work, but, alas, no change: I get the chime, the led light next to the headphone jack turns green, but no "Happy Mac" icon and the screen remains off. I replaced the Sonnet card with the 1MB L2 cache card and it booted right up as usual. I really think I have a bad Sonnet card...

 

Igor

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Hi Igor,

 

have you tried to do a keyboard PRAM reset (hold down command + option + P + R after each chime x 3)?

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Welcome aboard, Igor.

 

Have you or another member near you got another L2Cache machine to test the card? Giving you location might lead to some help, mailing it off for testing is an option. Like JB, I've never had a problem with the L2 accelerators, the original has been in service since the 6360 was my main machine in the mid-nineties.. I had one for the x100 series fail.

 

Didn't see it mentioned: the TAM still works well without the Crescendo?

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That’s a good suggestion about having the card tested by another member. I am located in Burlingame, California, zip code 94010. Just south of San Francisco. If anyone is near me and willing to meet let me know, otherwise I can send the card by mail to have tested.

 

The TAM works flawlessly without the Sonnet card installed, and with the 1MB L2 50Mhz cache I have installed in it, its actually rather snappy. I was just hoping for an additional speed bump with the Sonnet card.

 

Cheers.

Igor

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The Sonnet Card modifies the PRAM so that the C-L2 card would be seen. 

 

In case you are looking for different versions here they are. Try version before 2, as they might work better on 9.

Edited by omidimo

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Thank you for the link. I tried downloading versions before 2.0, however the TAM does not recognize the file. I download through my PC, and therefore lose the creator of the file. Is there another location where I can download the files in .sit format?

 

I tried to install the Sonnet under OS 8.6 (I have this on another SD card - it’s so easy to swap them out) and have the same problem as described above. You mention that the Sonnet card modifies the PRAM, I think this is where the issue lies because it’s as if the computer does not have a cpu installed when the Sonnet card is inserted. When installed I think it  might create a conflict with the 603e processor since the instructions are not redirected to it and the TAM just hangs. Is it possible that somehow the Sonnet software is not able to write to PRAM? If so what can I do to correct this? (I did zap the PRAM with the 1MB L2 cache card installed before installing the Sonnet software). I tried installing Sonnet software version 3.1 (the only other version I was able to download and install), but I get the same results as v2.3.1.

 

Thank you all again for your help.

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Is the PRAM battery a fresh one or an older one? If the PRAM is not being modified correctly, then you might have a problem. I had so many problems with my 6400 and battery issues. If its an original battery then its long past replacement as the original ones were discontinued a decade ago, here is a replacement

 

Also you might consider downgrading to 9.1 as that was the last official version supported and seeing if that helps. 

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Dit you solve the problem, Samana76? I've got exactly the salme when trying to install an Crescendo L2/G3 upgrade in my TAM: TAM powers up; chimes, green light, but black screen and no disk activity... Let me know.

 

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Hi Foxx,

 

Unfortunately I was never able to solve the problem. I tried everything imaginable: reset PRAM, reset CUDA, replaced the RAM with the original one, installed original HDD, tried Mac OS 8.6, 9.1, 9.2.2, installed  (and removed) various versions of the Sonnet drivers, let the computer sit unplugged and with PRAM battery disconnected for hours... everything I could do to get it working I tried to no avail.

After all this I think the problem lies with my Sonnet card. The past few months I’ve been looking for another Sonnet card to try out, but have been unable find one.

I hope you have better luck than me and find a way to get your card to work. What model/specs is your card? Keep us updated, I’m curious to know if you get yours to work.

 

Cheers,

igor

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Never had one of the L2 Sonnet upgrades, or a TAM, but from the pictures I can't see any caps on the card.

 

One would think, with a card this age, that failed capacitors would be an issue, however if the card doesn't have any, the other thing to check would be the thermal compound between the CPU and the heat sink.

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23 hours ago, DarthNvader said:

Never had one of the L2 Sonnet upgrades, or a TAM, but from the pictures I can't see any caps on the card.

 

One would think, with a card this age, that failed capacitors would be an issue, however if the card doesn't have any, the other thing to check would be the thermal compound between the CPU and the heat sink.

They have a few tantalum capacitors on the back from what I could tell on the one I had (sold it here on 68kMLA earlier this year). One thing could be that the G3 chip might be dead from overheating, these things have fairly pitiful heatsinks, and dried out thermal compound might have pushed some over the edge. 

 

But another thing is that these Sonnet upgrades use a FPGA for several functions usually done with discrete components. I do wonder if these FPGAs haven't fallen over and died on these failed cards. Maybe the card overheating could cause it? Anyways, I do recommend people using these cards to reapply thermal compound, specifically with good quality compound, and mind the cooling situation on the Mac it is installed in. Especially the TAM.

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2 hours ago, Daniël Oosterhuis said:

Anyways, I do recommend people using these cards to reapply thermal compound, specifically with good quality compound, and mind the cooling situation on the Mac it is installed in. Especially the TAM.

Sorry to intrude on this thread, but what would you recommend as “good quality” thermal compound? I was just thinking about getting some for another project. 

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On 21-6-2018 at 1:33 PM, tanaquil said:

 

Sorry to intrude on this thread, but what would you recommend as “good quality” thermal compound? I was just thinking about getting some for another project. 

Arctic Silver makes high quality compound, but there might be other good brands out there. Just avoid AliExpress/eBay cheapo compound, and you should be good.

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I use Arctic Silver MX-2, and it works pretty well on everything I've applied it to so far.

 

c

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On 12/5/2017 at 4:59 AM, Samana76 said:

Hello Everyone,

 

This is my first post here, however I have used this excellent forum to gather information on vintage Macs and Newtons for quite some time now

 

A few months ago I acquired an Apple Twentieth Anniversary Mac (TAM) and have been having fun fiddling with it and upgrading it. I love the sound this thing produces and my intention is to use it as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with Opcode Vision and Galaxy connected to my Kurzweil K2600xs and Teenage Engineering OP-1. Since I received the computer I have installed a fresh PRAM battery, upgraded the RAM to 128MB (max), replaced the HDD with a 120GB SD card, replaced the noisy fan on the HDD bracket with a super silent one, replaced the 256kb of cache with a 1MB L2 Cache card (this accelerated the 603ev quite a bit) and installed MAC OS 9.2.2.

 

I recently acquired a Sonnet Crescendo G3/L2 350 Mhz/1MB card and wanted to upgrade the TAM with this card. I installed the software v.2.3.1 (which came on floppy with the card) and replaced the 1MB cache card with the Sonnet. I made sure the card was firmly pressed in the slot, however when I turn on the TAM it does not boot. I get the boot chime but the "Happy Mac" icon does not come up (screen does note even light up). I have tried removing the RAM and the IDE HDD to see if these were conflicting with the Sonnet card, but there is no change. I disconnected the PRAM battery so that the PRAM would be wiped clean (and even pressed the little black round button next to one of the RAM slots), but again this made no difference. When I reinstalled the 1MB L2 Cache card the TAM boots normally. I tried installing the Sonnet card several times, but I get the same result.

 

I don't know what else to do. Did I receive a bad Sonnet card? Physically the card looks pristine. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

 

Cheers,

Igor

Hi Igor,

 

Can you tell me what fan you used as a replacement? I'd like to do this as well.

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Farhad

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Glad to see this thread reappear! I've been playing with two 400/512K L2s in a 6500 and what I'm hoping is my 6400 board. I'm also hoping it's just a corrupted driver as both machines boot fine with either card installed, but the driver shows up as disabled.

 

I'll have to try thermal compound, but that wouldn't be an issue until cards warm up a bit would it?

 

Don't recall info on paste being the culprit at boot, IIRC it's associated with erratic behavior under use? That's what has me confused here, I'd think it would stay cool enough to pass POST and the boot process before wigging out? Does the accelerator shut itself down to avoid damage when it exceeds safe operating temperature? Wondering if I might have cooked both cards during testing?

 

From the box and spec, pretty sure I picked these particular cards up as NOS from Sonnet when they cleared out accelerators. Hoping to find the 6360 board with the original Crescendo ???/1MB L2 in working condition.

 

edit: Oopsie, forgot to mention I'm running with/without a dead PRAM bat. Gotta build a couple or three, Does it really matter so long as the machine stays plugged in, other architecture seem to retain PRAM setting in that state?

 

I'd feel sorry for the TAM gang because you don't have room for a battery holder, but if you've got the money to be messing around with a TAM, those batteries don't seem all that expensive. ;)

 

One more! Both my boards booted right up with chimes a time or two, then sound died entirely. Is that "normal" behavior for a board that needs a recap? I have cans on my 6500, did Apple use leak-free caps on the TAM boards or are you folks recapping? There's a can right next to (for?) the Cache slot. Could this be the culprit? Low voltage/instability of its slot would seem a more likely nasty at boot than paste to me. Cache cards use a piddling amount of power as compared to an accelerator and haven't got the intelligence to shut themselves down. Forgot to mention that my Cache DIMM appear to function fine where the Sonnets don't.

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
I'm an idiot. :-/

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Hello Everyone,

 

Sorry for my absence from this site. I have been busy with work and have not had a chance to work on my TAM for a very long time. In fact I have decided to put it up for sale in the hopes that it will go to a good home.

If you are interested you can find the auction of eBay by searching "Apple Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh TAM in excellent condition + many extras" (hopefully me announcing this here is not breaking the rules of this site).

 

Cheers,

Igor

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