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IIfx

Blackbird. Stealth. F-16. Wicked Fast - the Macintosh IIfx/40 DP AV

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Thought I would do a write up on my absolutely loaded Macintosh IIfx, now that the build is largely complete. Last night I got around to recapping the board, removing SMD electrolytic caps that were starting to leak. I also replaced most of the radials, leaving the yellow ones in as I had no equivalent on hand.

 

Specifications:

 

  • 80mb Host System RAM, 16mb in Bank A, 64mb in Bank B
  • 64mb Rocket StageII RAM
  • 40mhz 68030 & 68882 FPU + 40mhz 68040 on Radius Rocket StageII
  • Radius/Apple 24AC Quickdraw Accelerated Video
  • Radius PhotoEngine DSP Card
  • Apple Ethernet NB, 10mhz 68000 on card
  • SuperMac VideoSpigot
  • AudioMedia II sound card with Motorola DSP
  • Radius Rocket StageII with SCSI-2 PDS Booster
  • 2gb IBM SCSI HDD
  • 1 1.44mb SuperDrive
  • BMOW Mac Rominator II MEGA 8mb ROM SIMM
  • Radius Precisioncolor/17 CRT display
  • System 7.1.1 Pro
  • Manufactured 3-4-1992 in Freemont, CA

 

This machine is a blazing fast 68k, no other way to put it. The special accelerated architecture makes mundane tasks like writing floppies a breeze where other 68ks would slow down and choke.

It was owned by an aerospace engineer and investor/businessman. I am the second owner, so the machine has been well cared for. No idea how much this all would have cost back in 1992, no doubt it earns the name of "freaking expensive".

 

Why did I name it the IIfx 40/DP AV? It has dual processors, albeit differing generations. Both CPU's run at 40mhz. The AV portion comes from the Spigot and the Audiomedia II card.

 

Recap Process:

 

OEM-like Nichicon caps were selected for the recap. Interestingly the IIfx logic board has pads underneath the axials for a very large surface mount can cap. So every cap pad in the IIfx is duplicated!

9rQb4W4.jpg4WIWtMo.jpg0KDvsql.jpgsthsC4u.jpg

 

The overall logic board post-repair:

LNVJUDF.jpg

 

The system was stability tested by processing high resolution 1200dpi scans in TIFF format, simultaneously on the Rocket and the host machine. No crashes!

 

Loadout:

GkCc4u4.jpg

D4MqtmE.jpg

 

For per-slot card photos, see the following imgur album:

https://imgur.com/a/BrHX8

 

More to come soon. Screenshots, overall case photos, etc.

 

 

 

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On 12/10/2017 at 4:50 PM, IlikeTech said:

Best thing ever.  10/10

I agree! It's my favorite Macintosh.

 

Here are some screenshots of the beast running. I ran 250000 runs of Dhrystone on both the IIfx host and the Rocket StageII. Benchmark was run with AppleTalk and File Sharing active.

 

IIfx 40mhz 68030/68882: 5681.8 Dhrystones per second

Radius Rocket 40mhz 68040: 22727.3 Dhrystones per second

IIfx desktop with Mission Control.png

IIfx-Rocket StageII Desktop.png

Dhrystone Rocket StageII.png

IIfx Dhrystone.png

Edited by IIfx
Added mention of AppleTalk/File Sharing On

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Favorite pic: Loaded and ready to launch

Nifty increasing (or decreasing depending on pov) card length installation arrangement!

 

Any room to improve on the HDD? (Those little 10k drives came to mind). 

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35 minutes ago, MJ313 said:

Any room to improve on the HDD? (Those little 10k drives came to mind). 

Plan is to get a SCSI2SD v6 RevF with a fast 16gb SD card. Testing that others have done indicates that the SCSI2SD v6 should be able to completely saturate the IIfx SCSI bus.

HDD in there now is an IBM 2gb drive from 1996.

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The drive in there now will saturate the IIfx'SCSI bus. Gotta get your Rocket's local bus Fast SCSI 2 Card hooked up to that v6. Just got a 4" loopback cable for my setup.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

It'll be ugly as sin on the ass end of the SuperIIsi if that winds up how I do it. But mounting an external<->internal adapter to a modified blank backplane plate attached to the connector unencumbered PhotoBooster should look really nice on the pet IIfx.

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Any way to delegate the SCSI-2 on the StageII off to the host system? I'm assuming no.

 

I will probably get a 3D printed case for the SCSI2SD so it can be mobile and hop from machine to machine. I have an OEM Radius SCSI-2 cable that came with the Rocket, it has a large rounded end on one side and a small SCSI-2 end on the other.

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Doubtful.

 

I play around with building stonkingly fast system setups one at a time. I'm moving the Rocket/SCSI 2 DaughterCard and the NuBus SCSI 2 cards around along with the drives as I go, so a small external solution doesn't matter to me. Might set v6 up in the spare StudioArray some day though.

 

The Radius 81/110/G3/ThunderIV GX1600/4MB HPV/JackHammer/StudioArray for VideoVision Studio is likely to be the only static system. But RotaryRAID on those boxen would be the project. :ph34r:

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
editing for grammar and typo correctioons

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The reason I thought you could delegate the SCSI-2 Booster is due to a blurb in the PhotoBooster manual. The PhotoBooster manual claims the host Mac can access the PhotoBooster, although I have not figured out exactly how that would work. It doesn't say how either. Just says that it can be done. Manual error? :huh:

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What a magnificent build ... with a nice CRT to drive it, any pics of the complete setup?  May I suggest dual floppies as another upgrade?

 

I've a IIfx I plan on kitting out soon, with a Mac286 card and I think a RadiusRocket too.  This card uses dual NUBUS slots, and to be honest 68K x86 emulation might be faster (and support VGA), but I've no other machine with enough spare NUBUS slots to take it.  It'd be interesting to see if the Rocket plays nice with the Mac286 card running concurrently! :)

 

JB

 

 

 

Edited by Byrd

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Pics of the whole external setup won't be coming until I organize my office. It's a cluttered disaster at the moment and I would be embarrassed to post it. Soon!

 

The Rocket should be fine with the Mac286, so long as it's display mechanism won't conflict with RocketShare. No idea about RocketWare, that would be interesting to see if it works.

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5 hours ago, IIfx said:

The reason I thought you could delegate the SCSI-2 Booster is due to a blurb in the PhotoBooster manual. The PhotoBooster manual claims the host Mac can access the PhotoBooster, although I have not figured out exactly how that would work. It doesn't say how either. Just says that it can be done. Manual error? :huh:

Just guessing here, but they appear to be different animals entirely I would think. SCSI is an I/O interface dedicated to a particular processor in the Mac world AFAIK. There are no direct parallels and no drivers at the system level for mobo access. The PhotoBooster is a DSP Coprocessor card not at all unlike the PhotoEngine for which there are drivers which should be compatible. Seems an easier exercise to share that type of resource. Shared access to a SCSI bus would seem to be particularly contentious.

 

Now you've got me wanting to play with my six slot toy! :mellow:

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17 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

The drive in there now will saturate the IIfx'SCSI bus. Gotta get your Rocket's local bus Fast SCSI 2 Card hooked up to that v6. Just got a 4" loopback cable for my setup.

Where are you finding all these SCSI-2 Boosters?

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On 12/13/2017 at 9:19 AM, defor said:

Where are you finding all these SCSI-2 Boosters?

Late reply, but I will explain.

 

The prior owner of my IIfx was a power user. I had obtained a large number of Radius Rocket cards in that lot. This was the haul:

I decided that it was irresponsible for me to hoard all of the Rocket cards for myself, given the rarity. If something were to happen to my collection due to a natural disaster or theft the cards would be lost for good. So I sold some off to members here who appreciate them as much as I do. Trash80 got my only other SCSI-II boosted Rocket. I had 2. I still have 1 StageII with SCSI booster, 1 StageII with DSP, and a plain 33mhz Rocket with DSP.

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Thanks for the reply- is there any chance you can get me some scans of the SCSI Stage II booster card's front and back in as high res as you can?

I for some absolutely crazy reason sold the scsi I and II boosters I had to another member here, and I'm regretting it.. I have a DSP booster card still, and a few of the PCI booster adapters from an image rip made from the remnants of Skylab project, but clearly neither are really that useful these days (unless there's some DSP-accelerated system 7 MP3 player that will run stable inside a rocket, or something equally as obscure and stupid waste of hardware.

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Unfortunately there is no System 7 MP3 player that can use the DSP's. From my understanding no such thing exists because there is little to no documentation regarding how to develop of the Radius implementation of the AT&T DSP. The effort to build such an app would be tremendous. Running a regular MP3 player on a Rocket results in system crashes due to the weird issues Rockets have with sound.

 

I can scan/photograph the SCSI StageII booster for you; I have been very busy lately but will try to remember to do that.

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14 hours ago, IIfx said:

Unfortunately there is no System 7 MP3 player that can use the DSP's. From my understanding no such thing exists because there is little to no documentation regarding how to develop of the Radius implementation of the AT&T DSP.

There's a thread somewhere in the archive where I was working with MPEGDEC's author on acceleration by utilizing the DSP on the Sound Accelerator II. IIRC, it didn't work out at all, vanilla CPU performance was better.

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