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ProtoCache1.1 - IIsi/SE/30 PowerCache Adapter Prototype

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The overlong ProtoCache1 Development Thread has finally drawn to a close with the arrival today of Bolle's ProtoBoards:

 

yyRRXWZ.png&key=ed7018e813fa4607770e22ed

 

It's time for first round testing results and updates from the dynamic duo of joethezombie and Bolle who've pulled off an incredible feat in a project that was abandoned back in the day by gamba & company.

 

The quest continues  .  .  .

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Alright, so here we go...

 

 

IMG_3511.thumb.JPG.35e92087f85fe82cd6273786650e4c93.JPG

 

I designed the card so you can choose between two main configurations. One will lay out all signals the way they are found on the single GAL Daystar IIsi adapter. The equations for said GAL had been found out by Joe in the old thread.

The second configuration will put the signals the way they are on the DiiMo (or Artmix) adapter for the SE/30. I took a guess on the code for the GAL and it seems to work ok for now. The goal might be to get the best out of both worlds and fuse this into a single GAL solution.

 

The schematics Joe buzzed out have been correct - using just an accelerator worked right out of the box.

Using only PowerCache or Turbo040 works fine with the Daystar setup.

Having the MacCon stuck into the bottom of the stack with the adapter+accelerator on top is working fine with both PC and T040 as well.

Having a second PDS card on top of the whole stack is where things start to get ugly.

Putting in the IIsi Pivot gives garbage on the CRT while the Mac itself still works and even boots fine as seen on the external screen. This seems to be related to the clock signal not being able to drive all the loads that are connected which messes up the timing for onboard video.

 

IMG_3514.thumb.JPG.f7b8bc4cbc5e5c558247dd8c0b8ffeed.JPG

 

I figured that with the DiiMo setup at least the clock signal has to be buffered by the GAL. Not knowing what is going on with the other two signals going through the GAL on the DiiMo I set them up to just get buffered as well as a start. I was surprised that it might have been so easy... The DiiMo configuration worked right away now with the Pivot, however only when using the PowerCache. The Turbo040 won't even POST now with two cards stuck in (it did before with the Daystar config)

Just along the way of fiddling around with jumper wires on the several signals which are broken out at the PLD sockets I discovered that you can run the whole thing without having any GAL at all. You can run at least one PDS card and an accelerator in the SE/30 using only a passive adapter.

Both configurations (or should I count the passive mode as a third one?) seem to work with different variations of PDS cards and accelerators and some combinations are not running super stable. I hope that we can find a setup soon which is running two cards and an accelerator reliably.

 

The next steps for me will be fiddling with mixing the approaches of the Daystar and DiiMo adapters.
 

 

 

*bonus*

I know what you have been waiting for:

 

IMG_3517.thumb.JPG.496192a8f9cd881256514c3e60f59574.JPG

 

It works and fits into the case :evil:

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On 8.12.2017 at 6:52 PM, Unknown_K said:

Cool. How much are those adapters going to cost?

Well... like not too much I guess. Will have to do a calculation after knowing the first demand. I have a TwinSpark-like taller version on the way as well for people who do not have a MacCon or do not want to modify it with a right angle connector.

After adding up parts (those Euro DIN connectors are expensive :O) and adding in some beer money (cards will be put together and tested by me - demand is hopefully not going to be in the hundreds :p) we will end up in the $60-$70 ballpark - but really depends on how many I make at once and order connectors for.

 

If you want one send me a message which one you would like (MacCon topper or the taller DiiMo-style)

It is going to be a while before those are ready to be shipped out since testing is still going on but I can already start to scratch together some money then for ordering parts :evil:

Edited by Bolle

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As said I decided to make a tall version as well because the IIsi Pivot can not be made to work together nicely with the Turbo040. There seems to be a timing issue that does not occur when the PowerCache is used instead of the turbo.

Problem also does not occur when the two PDS cards are connected directly to each other.

So:

 

MacCon->IIsi Pivot->adapter+Turbo040 = works

IIsi Pivot->MacCon->adapter+Turbo040 = works

adapter+Turbo040->IIsi Pivot->MacCon = works

adapter+Turbo040->MacCon->IIsi Pivot = works

MacCon->adapter+Turbo040->IIsi Pivot = does not work

 

The GAL is buffering the clock signal and introduces a really small delay which seems to be enough to throw things off for the Turbo040 as it seems to be operating on a tighter timing than the PowerCache.

And even though this...

IMG_3524.thumb.JPG.83905ef3956a98d13a1104bbba59550a.JPG

...might look funny it is not actually useful :p

 

I went ahead and just made the base of the adapter longer to go with the traditional route of putting things into the SE/30:

diimo_full.thumb.png.d5b4add07611fc04c7eb56056173dc15.png

 

The IIsi Pivot and MacCon will still fit nicely on top of that, so no problem if you do not need to run big cards like the XCeed.

The Cache slot is moved a little bit more towards the back of the machine than on the TwinSpark, so the Turbo040 will fit way better as its heatsink will not be coming so close to the tube anymore.

It will also have the option to apply external power for the cache slot so you do not overload the PDS slot on the SE/30.

 

 

*and now that I think of it there is a lot of unused space - might as well throw a 12V->5V stepdown converter on there. The 5V line is bugging down quite a lot under the load of three cards. Measured 4,7V and 12,7V while running on a non-recapped PSU. A recapped one looked better though.

Edited by Bolle

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2 hours ago, Bolle said:

Well... like not too much I guess. Will have to do a calculation after knowing the first demand. I have a TwinSpark-like taller version on the way as well for people who do not have a MacCon or do not want to modify it with a right angle connector.

After adding up parts (those Euro DIN connectors are expensive :O) and adding in some beer money (cards will be put together and tested by me - demand is hopefully not going to be in the hundreds :p) we will end up in the $60-$70 ballpark - but really depends on how many I make at once and order connectors for.

 

If you want one send me a message which one you would like (MacCon topper or the taller DiiMo-style)

It is going to be a while before those are ready to be shipped out since testing is still going on but I can already start to scratch together some money then for ordering parts :evil:

Which style do you recommend for a Daystar 040 and Ethernet? I think I might be down for 2 units for both my machines.

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If you do not plan to add another full size card to the stack you are good to go with the tall card.

This will also let you use a IIsi Pivot as a future add-on with the 040.

 

For the MacConTopper the following cards have been tested so far (I assume you always have the MacCon connected below the adapter)

 

Micron XCEED Color 30

030: ok 040: not ok

 

Kinetics/Shiva/Excelan Etherport SE30 - dual NIC SE/30 router anyone? :evil: 

030: ok 040: ok

 

Radius IIsi Pivot

030: ok 040: not ok

 

 

 

The tall form factor will let you use two PDS cards connected directly to each other which seems to be important in the case of the IIsi Pivot in combination with the Turbo040.

This however rules out full size PDS card as a secondary choice. I would guess that most of the other full size video boards like the Lapis or Radius cards are not 040 compatible anyways.

Edited by Bolle

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4 hours ago, Bolle said:

After adding up parts (those Euro DIN connectors are expensive :O

That is EXACTLY why I've insisted from the very beginning that no one should be expecting "cheap" adapters. "Far more reasonably priced" is the only possible goal. TANSTAFL.

 

Fabulous work, Bolle. :beige:

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2 hours ago, olePigeon said:

How much are they?

 

8 hours ago, Bolle said:

we will end up in the $60-$70 ballpark

 

Let us know when the soft pre-order phase starts so we can give you our desired quantities and/or styles.

 

I know that some people have straight connectors on their networks cards and some have angled. I am probably going to get at couple.

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It will be a while before that can be determined. He ballparked it in the $60-$70 range in the post above. Depends on parts costs, board run quantity breaks and whether any economies of scale come into play.

 

Too soon to tell, he's just reported some test results and a couple of possible options so far. Patience! ;)

 

Heh! You beat me to it, o!

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
hehehe

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I have a source with low cost and unlimited quantities, hint, it starts with C and ends with ina. Alibaba exists :p

Just get a proxy to talk to a connector company, there are still ones who produce eurodin connectors. Min quanties are usually a thousand, but at 0.90 per piece.

If you needed the 3 different connectors it wouldnt be more than 300 and you'd be able to make a 1000 adapters OwO

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Does the quality of the connectors differ from the established brands compared to the no-name Chinese ones?

 

The only connector that needs to be up to snuff is the cache one as the horizontal angle could add some stress over time.

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12 hours ago, K55 said:

 .  .  .  you'd be able to make a 1000 adapters OwO

The way we're looking at it, that'd be something like 900-950 units over max possible demand. ;) How many 030/ci architecture accelerators are still out there?

 

Are there even 1,000 SE/30s (or IIsi) still in active service?

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
the usual

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I contacted one of the seller/manufacturer/whatever with minimum quantities not in the thousands on alibaba.

Let's see what they say.

Edited by Bolle

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I also did some extended long time testing running both systems for a few hours.

The Asante->PowerCache->Micron setup is wonderfully stable.

The Turbo040 however has issues with running stable as soon as it is not the first card in the stack. So we are left with the tall card as the only option for the Turbo040. Ethernet and IIsi Pivot stuck on top of the Turbo040 runs like a champ and has been stable for a few hours.

Did I mention the SE/30 is awesome with a 40MHz 040?

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Boards for the large version just arrived:

 

Vq1DKB1.jpg

 

 

None of the sellers from china could supply me with 120pin connectors so I went and bought a few from mouser.

 

I plan to have a few cards ready to be shipped out in January.

Price will be 70$ per card - each one put together with love :p and tested in a 2 PDS card + 1 Accelerator setup.

 

 

Compatibility as far as I was able to test myself:

 

Topper  
   
PowerCache

ok

Turbo040*

 

works but gives bus errors now and then – might be a driver/settings issue I could not resolve

 

Asante MacCon 30si

 

always needed/ok

Radius Iisi Pivot

 

ok – needs cutting to fit into case

 

Micron Xceed Color30

 

ok

 

Excelan/Shiva/Kinetics Etherport SE30

ok

   

 

 
Full size adapter  
   
PowerCache ok
Turbo040 ok
Asante MacCon 30si ok
Micron Xceed Color30 ok
Excelan/Shiva/Kinetics Etherport SE30 ok
Radius Iisi Pivot ok – needs cutting

 

 

The Topper will be shipped with the DiiMo configuration and a GAL with my guess of the equations the original DiiMo card used as it has been proven to work better than the Daystar approach with multiple PDS cards.

Configuration can be changed with jumpers and GAL can be reprogrammed for those of you who are curious ;)

The full size card only uses the DiiMo setup.

 

Both cards also work as simple PDS extenders without an accelerator if the /BR jumper is removed. You could for example use the large card to fit an ethernet card and the IIsi Pivot into your SE/30.

 

 

*Gamba was basically running this setup back then with his IIsi adapter wrong angle hack. Running 4.11 on my Turbo040 - I did not yet go through testing the older firmwares or fiddling with the various settings in QuadControl extensively.

So it might still be possible to get the Topper to run reliably with the Turbo040.

Edited by Bolle

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Testing showed that the external power is not needed even for the Turbo040.

Got absolutely no differences in stability with either method of supplying power to the accelerator.

 

You can always just remove the solder bridges and feed in 5V through the AUX power port in case you want to start crazy experiments.

I would rather send out cards configured the standard way and set a small hurdle to jump for those who want to experiment. Applying power backwards to the AUX power will likely do damage to your logicboard and accelerator if using an external power supply.

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Probably not going to work with the Carrera.

The adapters for the Carrera (and Sonnet I think as they just rebranded the Carrera?) are slightly different.

 

Also the Carrera was never supposed to be used in a SE/30 and will refuse to boot and say that the machine is not supported.

It would need modifications to either the ROM on the Carrera or the driver to work.

 

 

Edited by Bolle

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