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Novy Systems accelerator for SE from 1987 at 50MHz?

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Anyone know anything about this card?  I thought I was purchasing an accelerator for the SE / 30 but clearly not. 

 

It is a 68020 as it is marked, but with a 50 MHz crystal?  That seems blazing fast for an 020.  Is it clock splitting to end up at 25 MHz?

 

Any ideas?  What about drivers?  Anyone know if there are drivers required for this guy?

 

 

IMG_5760.jpeg

IMG_5761.jpeg

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Oh, and, how much memory can it take ...

 

For kicks, I plugged it in and tried to boot.  No video and no chime. 

 

The jumpers seem to indicate max ram is 4M if that is what it is for.  But what are the 1W and 2W jumpers?

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the "W" jumpers are for setting wait states for the RAM. At 25MHz (pretty sure the 50MHz from the crystal are divided in half) you want at least 70ns RAM for 1 wait state or 110ns for 2 wait states. Anything slower probably won't work. 4M on the accelerator seems about right. Upgrades capable of 16MB weren't a thing until around 1991/92-ish.

You will also need memory on the logicboard for this upgrade to work.

 

Usually you don't need any drivers to get at least some basic functionality out of those upgrades. If you don't even get any video (even garbled static pattern) there must be something broken on that upgrade.

Edited by Bolle

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Memory on the logic board meaning memory on the original SE board, yes?  I did pull the ram off that board and put it on the Novy.  So perhaps set to 2W to insure it will work if the RAM isn't fast enough, and populate both SE mainboard and Novy board.  I'll try.  That would give me 8MB.

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I put two RAM sticks on the SE motherboard, same results.  I do see a dim image that flickers somewhat.  Thinking perhaps the power supply wasn't strong enough, I unplugged the hard drive, with same results.

 

 

IMG_5762.jpeg

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Probably all four slots on the accelerator need to be populated with same capacity SIMMs.  Plus, at least two on the SE, with the SE jumper set appropriately.    So you need to be testing with at least six SIMMs.  You might have been, but it sounds like you were only using four.

 

I could be wrong about the accelerator needing four.  It depends on whether they built it with a 16 or 32 bit data bus.

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Never seen one with a 16bit bus. Would kind of defeat the whole purpose of the RAM being  on there in the first place.

4 of the same size it is.

To keep things easy I like to add 4 to the logicboard as well just to be sure. Most accelerators will run without any RAM as well, might want to try that.

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I've never seen one with  a 16 bit bus either, but this one is really old and based on the 68020, so I was allowing for the unlikely case that they did and that that model came and went before I started paying attention to Macintosh upgrades.  :-)   I keep making mistakes because of edge cases, so now I hedge my bets...

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The eprom missing the sticker over the window could be an issue.

 

Also, don't know about this particular card but the Novy card in my Plus requires all the ram slots filled, either on the card or in the Mac.

When the ram on the card is used any ram in the Mac can only be used as a ram disk.

Edited by MOS8_030

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It's tough to erase an EPROM, so that's probably not it. A chip tester might tell that story?

 

What makes me really curious is the way out of spec form factor of that board. I've not seen one exceed the "PDS foot forward" max.  board spec. outline. How do you even install SIMMs under that overhang? It almost has to be designed for use without SIMMs on the logic board?

 

Makes a world of sense, no PMMU on the card for using SIMMs on the logic board for anything. They put the standard 4MB of system memory on the 68020's faster bus, avoiding the PDS thruput bottleneck. The Radius cards from the 68020 accelerator generation used the SIMMs on the Logic board and SRAM cache to make up for the slower memory bus. Is there any cache on that board?

 

Crystal would be for the asynchronous FPU and CPU clock would be generated from the PDS clock in the PALs, no?

 

Is there any record of a 68020 accelerator for the SE ever being made that could address more than 4MB? All that I recall having that capability were based on the 68030 with its built in PMMU. 8MB meeting max RAM spec of Portable and PB100 in the SE might be possible, but there could well be memory mapping issues in ROM to prevent that being done?

 

I'd say 4MB in the sockets of the card and none in the four on the floor would be your ticket.

 

Lovin' that funky, low profile,hack friendly standard header connector PDS passthru! :approve:

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I've tried 4 in the card and none on the main board, with the results above. 

 

I tried two in the main board and 4 in the card, with the same results.

 

I haven't tried the main board full and none in the card yet. 

 

I was originally thinking the same thing, this thing hugs the board too tightly for SIMMs to work, but there are some that are pretty short, and those seem to fit fine.  The taller ones I haven't tried yet. 

 

Perhaps the board is just trashed and doesn't work.  I dunno. 

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I'm liking your word choice there! :lol:

 

If it overhangs the SIMM slots I can't imagine it would be designed to use memory installed there whatever the profile. The SIMM memory spec cubic wouldn't have been encroached upon.

 

2 hours ago, MOS8_030 said:

Also, don't know about this particular card but the Novy card in my Plus requires all the ram slots filled, either on the card or in the Mac.

That would be a 68030 card by your description? I don't think many 68030 accelerator comparisons will be applicable.

 

 

edit: have you tried it with the FPU pulled yet?

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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2 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

That would be a 68030 card by your description? I don't think many 68030 accelerator comparisons will be applicable.

 

Yes, mines an 030 but as I mention above, I am assuming the cards might share some similarities in configuration.

Perhaps someone, somewhere has a manual for the Mac20 they would share.

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Those windowed chips aren’t EPROMs but really old PALs. They probably are on if nobody put the board under an UV lamp though.

You can’t erase those easily with just sunlight.

 

The logicboard has to access RAM as well because video data is stored there. It can’t access RAM on the accelerator so you need to have RAM on the logicboard.

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Given how this looks with a very low profile SIMM in it, I don't think it looks as if RAM on the motherboard was intended.

 

 

IMG_5801.jpeg

IMG_5801.jpeg

Edited by pcamen

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Another Novy Mac20 thread from 2015:

 

 

If you click through to the IMGUR Link, it's got RAM on the motherboard, all slots filled. 

 

I've got two in the back slots.  Do these work in left / right banks? 

 

https://imgur.com/a/8zllW

 

Also note the standoffs which mine is missing.  Perhaps that keeps it from going do deep into the PDS connector (which makes it a bitch to get out).

Edited by pcamen

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From another thread:

 


 

Quote

 

Novy Systems were a popular manufacturer of accelerator cards, notable for the quality of their support software. The company was founded in late 1985, and the first product of note shipped in late 1987. Their last new products shipped in late 1993.

 

Compact Mac Accelerators

Novy launched the Mac 20 accelerator board for the SE, Plus and 512Ke in September 1987. It features an external oscillator that allows the owner to upgrade to a faster 68020 processor. 12, 16 and 24MHz versions are known to have shipped. The SE version uses the PDS slot while the Plus/512Ke version uses a Killy clip. Like competing products, a 68881 FPU is optional and the Mac 20 MX version has four SIMM slots to provide faster RAM access (max 4MB RAM). A control panel is required to provide software compatibility and a sound driver patch.

 

The same board was sold by Total Systems Integration as the TSI 020.

 

A 68030 accelerator was pre-announced shortly afterwards. It eventually shipped as the Mac 30 MX and Mac 30 MX-SE, running at 16MHz or 25MHz.

 

In 1990, the accelerator was reworked with new FPU, RAM and SCSI options and was renamed Novy Quik30. The next generation added support for external monitors and was called ImagePro. The 68030 ran as quickly as 33MHz. You will need very fast RAM SIMMs for an ImagePro to work reliably.

 

The relationship with Total Systems Integration continued, with Novy cards rebranded as Gemini 020 and Gemini 030. The Quik30 family cards were rebranded as the Railgun from MacProducts and as Digital DayStar cards. It is always worth experimenting with drivers from all companies to find the best solution.

 

 

I've looked for the Gemini 020 manual as well, with no luck. 

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1 hour ago, Bolle said:

The logicboard has to access RAM as well because video data is stored there. It can’t access RAM on the accelerator so you need to have RAM on the logicboard. 

HRMMM? RAM on the Accelerator would be loaded with the video data by the 68020, no? Does the logic board really care whether the frame buffer data it accesses from the same mapped location is physically located on logic board or PDS? I don't recall there being any portion of SE memory buffered expressly for the purpose of video like there is on the IIsi.

 

Just referenced the SE block diagram and it looks like BBU (Custom Gate Array) is fed data from either RAM Data Bus Buffers or SIMMs and RAM Address MUXs before sending the frame buffer data off to the A/B? But there is some hinkiness to be found in the address lines split between RAM Address MUXs and BBU on the CPU/PDS side?

 

2087603342_MacintoshSEBlockDiagram.thumb.JPG.0deeaa5d5c28c97b0b24ee4c798ea6b6.JPG

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11 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

 

Just referenced the SE block diagram and it looks like BBU (Custom Gate Array) is fed data from either RAM Data Bus Buffers or SIMMs and RAM Address MUXs before sending the frame buffer data off to the A/B? But there is some hinkiness to be found in the address lines split between RAM Address MUXs and BBU on the CPU/PDS side?

 

It looks pretty clear from that diagram that the display address generation is fed from the BBU directly onto the RAM's RAS/CAS lines, not onto the CPU bus. If that is the case then, yes, you will need RAM in the motherboard for video to work.

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On 3/22/2019 at 12:45 PM, trag said:

...I keep making mistakes because of edge cases, so now I hedge my bets...

Same here. Edge cases will get you every time.

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17 hours ago, Gorgonops said:

It looks pretty clear from that diagram that the display address generation is fed from the BBU directly onto the RAM's RAS/CAS lines, not onto the CPU bus. If that is the case then, yes, you will need RAM in the motherboard for video to work.

That may be why a set of low profile, 256K KeyChain SIMMs will just barely fit under that overhang. I wonder what's required and where on the map? Might the Accelerator be using all of the SIMM capacity on board, but for memory locations dedicated to use as frame buffer on the logic board SIMMs? Makes no sense from the standpoint of some Accelerators woeking with SIMMs located on the Accelerator OR on the logic board though? But that could be the 68030 vs. 68020 implementation thing.

 

I've finally got Inside Macintosh in da house! [:D] Too bad it's only Volume IV covering 512ke and Plus. Volume V for SE and Macintosh II should be at the rental office, but can't get there until Monday. :/

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