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jessenator

Jessenator's conquests

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Figured I'd start a unified thread...

 

This got delivered today! It will definitely need a re-cap on both boards, probably, but it booted right up. and WOW that HDD is loud. SCSI2SD FTW.

gO78rOR.jpg

 

When I confirmed it would boot, I got right in to take the battery out, then I saw this first and got a little worried. Turned out thankfully not a Maxell red bomb, but a Tadrian, though still an '89 cell:
9fItVTG.jpg

But aside from dust, the board was pretty fair. Going to soak it tonight:
5ZxKrz0.jpg

Back of the board is flawless, so I don't know where that staining came from. Maybe the shield did its job in more ways than one :lol: 
A18idpx.jpg

 

It's pretty tan, but not the worst I've seen. Haven't decided to retrobrite it or not, but I'm leaning not.
3X4wvnP.jpg

 

 

All things considered, I'm pleased with it :) It must've been a fluke or something, but it came up in a search as a BIN for an insanely low figure (lowest I've ever seen), so I chomped right at that bit! It had been up for only an hour, if that.
 

 

Edit: bonus pic to showcase the brown next to my relatively unmarred G3 MT:

ZrxQUeL.jpg
much browner than the listing photos made out, but oh well :) 

Edited by jessenator

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Nice SE/30!  Should clean up well.  The marring on the bottom of the casing/shielding suggests it sat in water at some point, not from battery acid

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Thanks, Byrd!

I wondered if that was the case, but I won't go licking it to test the theory ;) 

 

Well, looks like I'll finally be able to put that MacSimm to use, and get a nice RAM bump with the SIMMs I've got (32 MB) over the odd 5 MB config that's in it currently. Hopefully I won't be changing SIMMs because I just noticed I have the plastic clips :/ surgical precision time.
Although I'm guessing as a terminal it didn't do anything terribly high-RAM-intensive in its day-to-day. I wonder, since the back panel is missing, if it had some PDS ethernet for that terminal use case. One day I'll get a PowerCache or a Turbo 040 (again :(), but it felt zippy, even more so than the IIsi, but that's all subjective I guess.

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Am I missing something? I got the GGLabs MacSIMM ROM, but it doesn't boot. Is there a keystroke or keys I need hold down on startup to boot from the ROM's startup?

 

Okay, found it buried deep- wasn't immediately on the GGLabs page, so hopefully mine has it already written to the ROM :/ 
http://synack.net/~bbraun/macromboot.html

Edited by jessenator

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My PowerWave arrived today!

 

Here are some (terrible) initial shots. It does indeed have a PowerLogix G3 400/200 daughtercard. Strangely, it's lacking a heatsink, which I don't think is standard :)

 

Also, I need to brush up on this architecture, but only one bank appears to be completely filled, so not sure if those two SIMMs are doing anything. Again, I had to run right after getting home, so I'll update over the next day or two.

 

Also, bummer, but the RAM I got to upgrade the 4400 won't work :/ different notch pattern. Maybe I'll post them up as they should work on IBM systems (that's what they were pulled from).

 

I'll definitely need to do a clean install. The boot time is atrocious :lol:

 

PowerWave initial https://imgur.com/a/aqTKhTx

 

Also, don't know if it's a driver thing or what, but my d-15 connected monitor didn't show anything first time attempting a boot (it's got a Mach64 with both PC style and Mac style connectors, dunno if that was standard or not in the day).

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OQApUOfh.jpg

So I tried booting again and got a chime, but just a blank screen. Reset a few times and the same thing. Swapped GPUs for the Rage128 I had sitting around. Still nothing. Hrmmmm
Hopped over onto MacGurus and got the RAM (and weird booting) situation figured out: the RAM was all kinds of not installed correctly. Also, this machine only takes FPM. No EDOs like I've got spares of.

So I decided to start with RAM—pulled them all out and the two bigger sticks were 64MB each, so I put them in A1 and B1 and it was a lot smoother and no weird chime but blank screen problems. the others I'm guessing might've been the original configuration and then they just added in more RAM without really thinking. I think it originally registered some odd amount, like 82 or something like that, so I'm fine with 128 for now.
CPh2lKX.jpg

 

QIAwcfeh.jpg
LBCtvjd.jpg?1

I find it funny that the on-board ROM IDs this as an 8600... is that what the clones would have?


jpcKDHP.jpg?1

brrhmFh.jpg
5ZU1drC.jpg

 

So far the Quantum SCSI drive is doing ok, especially ok for having not been screwed into the swing-out drive caddy :/ but nothing appeared to be broken.

It was however in a smoking environment, which makes my hands smell as if I've been cheating on a new years resolution... it's alllllll gonna get a IPA bath at the very least. I thought about an ozone generator, but part of me thinks that would start some kind of corrision. Also, probably apparent from the pics, but this thing is DIRTY, like I'm not cleaning anything off with compressed air


Now I've just got to nab that PowerComputing keyboard and mouse set! Also, if anyone has the original (or faster) 604 daughtercard, I'd be interested in it.

 

Also, question for those who know, it doesn't have the supplementary L2 cache populated on the board, and the PowerLogix control panel (program?) shows it not present, so I wonder if there's any benefit at all to having it populated when the daughtercard's backside cache is well above when the logic board cache would be.

Edited by jessenator

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It's recommended to remove the MB cache when a G3 card is installed.  I'm pretty sure that the CPU should have a heat sink.  I'm surprised it manages to boot before overheating, but I guess the 750 is parsimonious with power.  On the other hand I see no lower mount points for a heat sink, just two holes on the top edge.

 

PM8500 is to be expected from this class clone.  Even the six slot Umax S900 presents as an 8500, because it has only one Bandit chip like an 8500.  Not sure why ASP doesn't report 7500, though.

 

The PowerWave and PowerTower Pro should work fine with EDO RAM.  Other PCC models are based on Catalyst (7200) and won't tolerate EDO, except the PowerBase.

 

I like the PowerWave.  That's a nice looking example you have there.

 

If you want a white whale type obsession, try to find a "Stargate" riser card which supports both PCI and NuBus cards.  It never worked well though.

Edited by trag

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1 minute ago, trag said:

If you want a white whale type obsession, try to find a "Stargate" riser card which supports both PCI and NuBus cards.  It never worked well though.

I saw that oddity just today on EveryMac! Or at least that it existed. Strange. It would be a sight, for sure.

 

I'm also surprised to see no IDE connector whatsoever on this board. I guess, being 8600 based, it was a tad pedestrian?

 

I gingerly put my fingernail on the center and while warm it didn't feel dangerously hot. I might find some way to get a heatsink on there... Guess I need to find one first.

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If there are no attachment holes for a heat sink, that means it had a plastic frame that

had two edges on it that slide under the edge of the cpu. The plastic frame has a

centrally located, threaded hole in its center

that sits over the chip die. An appropriately

designed aluminum heat sink will screw in there, and as it is made snug against the die, pulls on the plastic frame edges that are

under the chip edges, thus making the

heat sink secure.

If I recall correctly, the heat sink is blue or

black in color, and it is a rounded shape.

Edited by ppcoutlaw
spell check stabbed me

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Don't know if these are for heatsink mounting or for the stabilizing bracket I've seen on some cards:
Uqnx4Lth.jpg

 

I wonder if zip ties are too plebian for this application :lol: 

 

10 hours ago, trag said:

The PowerWave and PowerTower Pro should work fine with EDO RAM.

And MacGurus seems to contradict themselves??? here's their motherboard overview: https://www.macgurus.com/products/motherboards/mbpcpwave.php  and then their store: https://www.macgurus.com/Item/MemoryVintage1 My EDOs are 3.3V (I bought them for my PM 4400, but even though they're single-banked, they don't register all 64MB on each module).

 

10 hours ago, trag said:

I like the PowerWave.  That's a nice looking example you have there.

Thanks! There's a small corner piece missing on the lid, but it's on the back side, so not visible for the most part. But I concur, plastic is in decent shape, just need to get the cigarette smell out of it :wrinklednose: 

Edited by jessenator

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Yeah, I think that MacGurus got confused.   It is convievable that there's some timing oddity in the PowerWave that makes EDO not work, but there shouldn't be.

 

The first several PowerComputing PCI class machines were based on the Catalyst architecture, which is the architecture of the PM7200.   The 7200 and related clones cannot used EDO memory, and Apple even claims that running with it installed could damage the machine.     The PowerWave and the PowerTower Pro came a little later.

 

My guess is that by the time the PowerWave was out, folks had a blanket belief that PCC machines don't work with EDO.

 

Anyway, that's what I think, but I could be wildly wrong.   I generally trust MacGurus and think that they tended to have better advice than the run of the mill, but  they made mistakes too.   Hee, hee, apparently I'm still a moderator on their forums.

 

Here's a thread about someone going through a similar process to you with a new PowerWave.   There wasn't anything in there particularly useful and/or interesting though.   

 

https://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?20572-Raising-the-Almost-Dead&highlight=wave

 

I jump in late on the 4th page.

 

Later Edit:    Looking at MemoryX's page, they also only list FPM for the PowerWave.

https://www.memoryx.com/pcclones.html

 

However, they also only list FPM for the Umax S900, and I know from personal experience that it will use EDO memory just fine.  

 

So the issue is murky.    The machines use Apple's chipset and Apple says their machines can use EDO memory.  So again, absent some weird timing issue, the clones based on teh PowerSurge architecture should be able to use EDO memory.

Edited by trag

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13 hours ago, jessenator said:

I'm also surprised to see no IDE connector whatsoever on this board. I guess, being 8600 based, it was a tad pedestrian?

 

At that point in time Apple only put IDE on their economy models.     The next generation of professional machines, the Beige G3, would make the switch to ATA as the primary disk bus.

 

You're pretty slot limited with the PowerWave, but you could add a PATA or SATA card with Mac firmware.

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I guess I never really put much thought into where the PowerWave sat in the budget range. Is the PowerWave comparable to the 7x00 series (even though it's based on Tsunami boards)?

I've read clone makers were most successful in scalping the high-end sales from Apple.

Yeah, I've thought about an ATA card. It has a USB card, but I'm going to keep this a strictly 7.6.1–8.6 or whatever classic machine so I might offer that up once I confirm it works.

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Yes, the PowerWave is nearly identical to a 7500/7600/7300.   The big difference is that PCC left off the video chip which provides the monitor connection and the video-in (or was it out) capability.

 

The PowerSurge family (x500, x600 + related clones) has the following architecture:

 

CPU/Memory bus:   

  1. The CPU card is on this bus.  
  2. The Hammerhead chip provides memory control functions and also arbitrates who gets to talk on the bus at which time.
  3.   One or more Bandit chips.   These provide a bridge from the CPU bus to a PCI bus.
  4.   zero or one CHAOS or CONTROL (can't remember which) provides the video functions.  The 8500/8600 adds the other chip (so 8500/8600 has both CHAOS and CONTROL) to add the additional video functions.

PCI Bus:  The PCI bus receives data from the rest of the computer through the Bandit chip.    There's a separate little chip that handles arbitration for the PCI bus.     Every PowerSurge machine has at least one PCI bus.   On the first PCI bus there is always the Grand Central chip.  

 

GRAND Central:   Unless the Linux folks or other hackers have figured it out, this chips is undocumented outside of Apple.   Grand Central sits on the PCI bus and provides a bridge to all of the motherboard's built-in I/O, such as SCSI, serial, enet, floppy, etc.   Grand Central also contains an interrupt handler.   The interrupts each have a physical signal line, one per PCI slot, Bandit and CPU and those signals go to Grand Central.   It appears there are only ten, but there might be other undocumented ones.

 

So, for example, the 9500/9600 has two Bandits on it's CPU bus and  no CONTROL chip.    So it has two PCI busses (six slots total) and no built-in video capability.

 

The 7500/7600/7300 and 8500/8600 each have one Bandit and one CONTROL (still not sure that's the right name) providing one PCI bus with 3 slots, and some built-in video capability.

 

The PowerWave is simpler.  It just has one Bandit and no video chip.    You could look at it as either a truncated 7500 or a reduced 9500, depending on whether you want to focus on the lack of built-in video or the lack of a second PCI bus.

 

The 7200 is based on the Catalyst architecture, which uses some of the same components as PowerSurge but is a little different.   Catalyst doesn't use Hammerhead as the center of the CPU bus.   And it doesn't have the separate video hardware on the CPU bus.    The CPU bus arbiter, memory controller and video output functions are all combined in the main chip, whose name I've forgotten at the moment.     But the PCI bus is provided by a Bandit chip on the CPU bus.  And there's a Grand Central behind the Bandit and the same I/O components.  

 

The only different in I/O for Catalyst and PowerSurge is that Catalyst lacks the 10MB/s Fast SCSI bus that PowerSurge has.     However, the fact that Grand Central is present implies that the Fast SCSI bus could be added back in.   There was a rumor that PCC was considering adding a Fast SCSI bus to its Catalyst clones, but they never did.

 

Most of PCC's clones were based on Catalyst, except for the PowerTower Pro, PowerWave and the PowerBase.

 

Given that PowerSurge was Apple's high end, and Catalyst (7200) was the low end of Apple's high end, I'd say it is true that PCC was cannabilizing Apple's high end sales.   But they were doing it for economy (at the time) prices.    The PowerWave was a little less capable than any of Apple's professional machines, but also much more affordable.

 

For the consumer/education end, Apple had machines like the 6400/6500 and the 5400/5500.

 

Comparing PowerWave to a Catalyst clone is kind of interesting.   The Catalyst clone comes with built-in video, so one more PCI slot is available.    Catalyst has four memory slots instead of eight and does not interleave memory, so memory support is a little better in the PowerWave, and back in those days when higher capacity DIMMs might command a premium, having eight slots in which you could install more, smaller DIMMs might have been a big advantage.    And the Catalyst clones lack the Fast SCSI bus that PowerWave has.

 

In theory, Catalyst can use 256MB DIMMs, so the theoretical maximum memory capacity is actually the same, but no one (AFAIK) ever built a 256MB FPM DIMM for the Catalyst machines, so in practice it's one half.

 

 

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Wow! Thank you for that descriptive reply. I figured it wasn't an exact 1:1, but that's neat to see the similarities and differences, even if some of that functionality goes over my head a bit.
Part of me is glad that there's no on-board video. I've been able to find more PCI graphics cards than I've been able to find VRAM upgrades. I wonder if a NuBus graphics card would even work with one of those Stargate card risers :lol: those had to have been meant for people who had DigiDesign or other HEAVY front-invested hardware they didn't/couldn't replace or something, but then again, it would still be a bottleneck with a 604-based system I would think.

 

Talking about price points and performance tiers, I was surprised also to find that there were files modified as late as 2004 on the drive. Guy got his money's worth to be sure.

 

My brother in law at one point after graphic design school contemplated a PCC or Starmax system, but opted for a 7300 (I think).  Although he might've gone with a 7200 since money was tight back then.

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CLEANING TIME! :D 

Here are some shots of the (years of cigarette smoke and) dust. The smell was unbelievable... (links to full-res versions)
JEnaFTam.jpg
hard to see, but not even compressed air was taking this off...
iS3rJmzm.jpg
just from the motherboard soak and scrub... I tried to filter it
e021SGvm.jpg
yuck... why do I feel compelled to recycle?
MbojnKqm.jpg
from cleaning the case/chassis
D9iGYAdm.jpg


And here's the AFTER shots
KlY0dqmm.jpg
Needed a new foam holder for the speaker, so unused yoga mat to the rescue!
8JAa9iAm.jpg
HgrxXNnm.jpg
WNsdoTBm.jpg
Fascia back on!
Ugzzvrjm.jpg
SO much cleaner
P9LzXjbm.jpg
NzZF6iOm.jpg
nFAYQ9Tm.jpg
Yay, I didn't break it :) 
uado1CIm.jpg

XG5MkQJm.jpg

Edited by jessenator

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12 hours ago, jessenator said:

Been cleaning the PowerWave and got to the drives. Found a nice little relic in the CD-ROM tray, I really like the disc retainers on this drive as well.
hXhKFm6.jpg

Ooo! Those are hard to find!

 

Speaking of finds, this PowerWave is incredible! I've never seen one, and it looks to me kinda like a sideways PowerTower Pro with half as many drive bays.

 

c

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8 hours ago, CC_333 said:

this PowerWave is incredible!

Thanks! Even after all that cleaning, it still has the smoke stank :/ I sprayed some fabric febreeze on the case exterior pretty liberally and it's better. At least I can't smell it when I'm nearby. I really wonder if an ozone generator would cause corrosion, because I know those things are magic, especially with car interiors.

From what small amount of research I've done, it was replaced by the PowerCenter a year or after its release, so semi-rare? I wonder if PCC saw the PowerWave as encroaching on PowerTower territory a bit too much and scaled it back. 
lCxdN85.png

Yeah, fewer RAM slots, non-fast SCSI, cheaper intro price, etc. And LEM shows the PowerCenter with the same gestalt ID as the 7200 (108) while the PowerWave had the 9500's ID, as pointed out by trag. They must've been the Catalyst board, only with daughtercard CPUs, while the PowerWave was the Tsunami variant board, like trag pointed out. Yeah, I found this German mac site and the PowerTower Pro also used the Tsunami board. I'm thinking it was just an oddball market group that didn't sell like they hoped, so they scrapped the PowerWave.

Speaking of those spec charts, was the PowerWave originally a tower? or was is BTO as either a desktop or tower? Man, I wish PCC's website was completely archived on the WaybackMachine :( they had some funny (edgy?) marketing, that's for sure.

I'd looooove to find a PCC monitor someday and have a complete set!

Edited by jessenator

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On 9/8/2019 at 8:34 AM, jessenator said:

Thanks! Even after all that cleaning, it still has the smoke stank :/ I sprayed some fabric febreeze on the case exterior pretty liberally and it's better. At least I can't smell it when I'm nearby. I really wonder if an ozone generator would cause corrosion, because I know those things are magic, especially with car interiors.

You're welcome!

 

I guess the ozone generator could be OK to use if you use it briefly, like for a day or two? It shouldn't corrode stuff *that* quickly, even with the tight spaces involved?

 

On 9/8/2019 at 8:34 AM, jessenator said:

I wonder if PCC saw the PowerWave as encroaching on PowerTower territory a bit too much and scaled it back. 

Could be?

 

On 9/8/2019 at 8:34 AM, jessenator said:

Yeah, fewer RAM slots, non-fast SCSI, cheaper intro price, etc. And LEM shows the PowerCenter with the same gestalt ID as the 7200 (108) while the PowerWave had the 9500's ID, as pointed out by trag. They must've been the Catalyst board, only with daughtercard CPUs, while the PowerWave was the Tsunami variant board, like trag pointed out. Yeah, I found this German mac site and the PowerTower Pro also used the Tsunami board. I'm thinking it was just an oddball market group that didn't sell like they hoped, so they scrapped the PowerWave.

Possibly?

 

On 9/8/2019 at 8:34 AM, jessenator said:

Speaking of those spec charts, was the PowerWave originally a tower? or was is BTO as either a desktop or tower?

It's hard to say, but it looks like it could've been configured as either? Not sure how that would've worked, though...

 

On 9/8/2019 at 8:34 AM, jessenator said:

Man, I wish PCC's website was completely archived on the WaybackMachine :( they had some funny (edgy?) marketing, that's for sure.

Yeah, from what little of it I've seen, I can agree that it was definitely edgy! It seems so ironic that, while they were preserving and advancing the Macintosh as an architecture, they were actually driving Apple, the originator and chief maintainer of the architecture, out of business because they were making better-configured PowerMacs without the Apple Tax that makes them so expensive, and thus severely cannibalizing Apple's sales in pretty much all areas aside from perhaps education and the ultra low end. PCC was a really ingenious company, and it's too bad they and Apple couldn't coexist better. On this basis, I can understand why Steve Jobs pulled the plug on the clone makers, because, even if they did survive somehow, Apple likely wouldn't be the $1 Trillion dollar company they are now had he not made that decision.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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Oh, and the PowerCenter looks strikingly similar to the PowerBase. I think they must've shared the same case.

 

c

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19 minutes ago, CC_333 said:

Oh, and the PowerCenter looks strikingly similar to the PowerBase. I think they must've shared the same case.

Oh totally they did. I noticed on mine that the model plate actually can pop out! It's not glued in. Even the original (601) Power series desktops utilized the same case as well. I think they had 2 desktop designs and 2 tower designs. The PowerBase/Center was a lower profile, with the floppy drive adjacent to the other drive bays, and that tower in the EveryMac article looks shorter than the PTP height. Fun stuff.

 

23 minutes ago, CC_333 said:

I can understand why Steve Jobs pulled the plug on the clone makers, because, even if they did survive somehow, Apple likely wouldn't be the $1 Trillion dollar company they are now had he not made that decision.

I couldn't sleep last night so I was reading up on them. PCC was completely done with developing the G3 models by the time the plug was pulled (!) and the "core assets" Jobs wanted from them was their sales strategy and BTO approach. He definitely didn't give 2 ****s about anything of theirs beyond that, especially design. There's a bit of a black hole though beyond what periodicals of the day wrote about the quasi-purchase and closure of PCC; definitely some inside stories left to be told…

But still, $1,997 base price for a G3 machine that rivaled the 9500 in performance*? I wonder how much cheaper PCC, or anyone else, could've actually sold machines for had the deal been left in place. But I agree, Jobs knew the market share via licensees was a sailed ship, and he had to niche the Mac out of the PC space, and despite my own observations, he did lead the company well. 

*parroted from a 65scribe video

Edited by jessenator

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