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UnaClocker

My quest to see video output

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Apple's spec sheet for the color Plus says it runs at the correct 67hz instead of the 60hz of the Basic, if it doesn't work on the IIci it must be because of sync format issues. That's frankly pretty bad if Apple actually omitted that support. If you've already bought it try it, I guess.

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One of the surprising things from the Gamba matrix (RIP) is how relatively unsupported the Portrait Display was -- lots of NS registered there. It's easy to see how a newfangled 17" screen would be unsupported c. 1992, say, but why not an older 256 greyscale screen? 

 

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Reviewed the chart. Overall, re FPD/Portrait and 2PD/21"mono support, I'm not all that surprised.

 

In the early years, almost every single "NS" I see is machines that have a hard maximum limit of 640x480 for whatever reason. ("cost" being the reason close to 100% of the time in this case.) The IIci/IIsi seem to support it, which is good. The IIvi/vx/P600 was limited to 640x480 because they were explicitly built as cost-reduced computers. Same with the LC series.

 

The 630 is probably the weirdest, but it's both cost-reduced compared to everything else shipping at the time and (if I'm remembering correctly) it's graphics were a new design relative to the 475/605 on which most of its architecture was based. If it truly doesn't work, I'm guessing it's because Apple figured most people would be using them with new or displays or slotting them into the spaces occupied by older cost-conscious systems. 6200/6300 follow directly from 630 because they are the same overall architecture but with a PPC upgrade integrated.

 

The later years (at which point the FPD/2PD would've been ~10 years old) seem to show mostly good support except for systems that were cost-reduced. 4400, 6500 kind of makes sense. The 7300 stands out to me as weird.

 

The 4400/6500 claim not to support the Portrait Display or the 2PD, and the 7300 claims not to support the Portrait Display, but does support the 2PD, even though, say, the 8600 supports both.

 

I don't know what's going on with the 7300, I'm kind of tempted to say it should actually work. My guess with the 4400/6500 and the related machines there is, again, cost reduction. Plus, the 6400/6500 switched to ATi graphics.

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WooHoo! The 14" Color Plus display works. Came up just fine in Grey scale mode, 16 color works excellent. 256 color the screen gets dim and the Apple logo in the top left has some distorted strange colors. So I'm thinking either the monitor or the machine in general doesn't want to run in 256 color mode. Fine by me, 1989, 16 colors was just fine. :) So I'm not sure what NS in that chart meant, but this monitor is most definitely supported. 

IMG_2019.jpg

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25 minutes ago, UnaClocker said:

So I'm not sure what NS in that chart meant, but this monitor is most definitely supported.

If I had to hazard a guess Gamba wasn't totally clear on the difference between this monitor and the "Basic"? As I said I would have been legitimately surprised if this hadn't worked since the Plus appears to have been the exact replacement of the original High-Res 13" in Apple's product matrix.

Congratulations, in any case, although I do wonder what the heck is up with 256 color mode. I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work when 16 color mode does.

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Yeah, I know that one time I got my LCD to kind of work (never could get it to work again, it was some kind of fluke), when I clicked 256 color, the sync went nuts and I had to click blindly to get it back down to 16 and sync back up. It seems like it's selecting a different refresh rate to me, one that the monitor is barely able to display at all (hence the dimming). Maybe I'll hook up my oscilliscope and check out what frequency the sync is running at in the two modes.

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On 4/8/2019 at 12:47 PM, Cory5412 said:

The 630 is probably the weirdest, but it's both cost-reduced compared to everything else shipping at the time and (if I'm remembering correctly) it's graphics were a new design relative to the 475/605 on which most of its architecture was based. If it truly doesn't work, I'm guessing it's because Apple figured most people would be using them with new or displays or slotting them into the spaces occupied by older cost-conscious systems. 6200/6300 follow directly from 630 because they are the same overall architecture but with a PPC upgrade integrated.

Yeah, I was kinda upset that my Q630 didn't support the Portrait, but did a double take. Remember that the cooling fan blows hot the air straight up and out the top at the rear of the case. If that case form factor were to literally support a Portrait Display the computer would die of heat exhaustion right quick from the damping effect of the Portrait case bottom's close proximity. The case and any board that can be installed in it needs to be Portrait hostile by design for the cooling budget and its peculiar hardware setup.

 

The setup was spot on perfect for the computer desk I built for the rug rat's room, but still an odd setup nonetheless. It probably has a lot to do with parts commonality between the 6xx desktops and 5xxx AIOs. The way cooling is set up in those taller boxes made the exhaust fan in the lid trick by far the easiest solution. The back of the desktop machine is pretty much a little tuner drawer, a big CPU drawer face, a Power Plug, a DA-15 connector and a tiny inlet(?) vent for the PSU. No room at all for the usual fan blowing out the back deal. Very strange, but I've never had a one of my several iterations of that box fail.

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17 hours ago, UnaClocker said:

Maybe I'll hook up my oscilliscope and check out what frequency the sync is running at in the two modes.

Be sure to post the results, as there *should* be no difference in the sync output between those two modes since the system was designed for a fixed sync monitor. South of the RAMDAC, of course, the speed at which the video address circuitry is walking through RAM is going to double since the 256 color mode is going to go through twice as much memory in the same amount of time.

 

Not knowing anything about how much discrete circuitry there is between the various ASICs in the IIci I wonder if it's possible there's something wonky that's causing a clock to be stable when running at one divisor but unstable at another.

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On 4/6/2019 at 4:27 PM, Gorgonops said:

FWIW, I started thumbing through the Mac II review in the April 1987 issue of Macworld where they're reviewing the Macintosh II, and it does mention the possibility of configuring a Grayscale system using a, quote, "12-inch Sony Monochrome Display". This legitimately raises questions about the Apple spec sheet since the 13" color display is *also* described as being a Sony device. Perhaps for some reason Apple just resold the Sony display for two years without slapping their label on it but did rebadge the color display the day the Mac II actually went on sale? (The various references pin the intro date for it as March 2nd, same as the Mac II itself.)

 

Not unless there was a completely undocumented video card to go with it, as the original Apple video card *only* did 640x480.

As to the one-bit display card, the PDF specifically supports the 1989 date. So... *shrug*, maybe the introduction of the explicit 1-bit mono card was the motivating factor to finally relabel the monitor?

As to what the one-bit card was for, my guess is it was sold specifically to be a cheap-as-possible option for Mac II-family machines acting in "basically headless" roles like file servers. That's the one thing that really makes sense.

This card just popped up in my eBay searches: Macintosh II Monochrome NuBus Video Card 820-0285-A 630-4385

 

s-l1600.jpg

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