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SE/30 Xceed greyscale adapter cloning thread

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Lack of schematic in the "open source/confidential documentation" is the only problem at present, which will be fixed when a 306-48 wends its way onto Bolle's bench. Once that's done, as I understand it, it's a question of:

 

1) tweaking the 640x480 DA-15 external video output of the 306-48 to match internal resolution. in the formulas/clocks/electronics present.

2) modify the card to use  internal video VSYNC output as the trigger to keep the clone output in step with the A/B

 

At present the only visual documentation of the process I know of is the baseline function simplification of the Color30 harness I slapped together to illustrate those interconnections.

 

FhlrKC.jpg

 

The video lines from the system board to A/B and from A/B j3 to the clone can be ignored as the consensus appears to be that Internal GS only would be the initial target of the cloning project. So the Color30's intermal/external A-B switching/passthru isn't a requirement.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Ok, the PDS as far as I am aware has no video signals present. 

 

However, the entire video circuit is sync with the motherboard clock signals, so you can use the clock signal present on the PDS slot as the timing source for both HSYNC and VSYNC. 

 

As far as reverse engineering the PCB back into a schematic, thats easy. and its non-destructive. 

 

I have been on a 68K project this year (not mac) that I reverse engineered 4 boards back into schematics. 

Edited by techknight

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Yes I am, but I dont have the time currently to take a project like this on, at the moment. So Bolle is your man. 

 

Once its in some sort of schematic, and I can look at the PAL equasions, I may be able to figure out how to modify the design to 512x342 that fits the compact mac, as electronics engineering is my day job. 

Edited by techknight

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4 minutes ago, techknight said:

Ok, the PDS as far as I am aware has no video signals present.

Video in the diagram is from Mobo To A/B and from there to the a/b switching of the Color30. Only 603-48 to gs neck board is required.

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That'd be the Color30 internal/external function while passing through internal when sense pins are detected on the DA-15. 603-48 harness will be more simple. with what Bolle has explained, I can further simplify that diagram.

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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10 minutes ago, techknight said:

However, the entire video circuit is sync with the motherboard clock signals, so you can use the clock signal present on the PDS slot as the timing source for both HSYNC and VSYNC. 

The safest way for the analogboard would be to grab sync signals from the logicboard through the wiring harness. You will need to build one anyways if you want to interface to a new CRT neckboard.

 

@pcamen PM sent.

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Well I was thinking along the side of driving the analog board from the video card, not sync the video card to the analog board. Seems backwards to me. 

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Just want to say that it's exciting to follow along in this thread. And I'll definitely sign up if it comes to fruition. I'm a software engineer and not a hardware engineer, so I'm not sure that I can contribute with any relevant skills. But I do have a multimonitor SE/30 setup if testing help is required at some point.

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@pcamen I am happy to make use of some of my contacts in China to have the PCB reverse engineered and have a sample board made.  However, my skills of soldering and modifying things are very limited.  Plus, I would like to finish the SE/30>LC PDS project first.  @Bolle @Trash80toHP_Mini since we have the gate chip and the diagram whats holding us up from making a prototype of that?  I have someone who can do the actual CAD work I just need to tell them what to do.

 

 

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I've got time coming up very soon for the LC NIC project. ;-)

 

K5ZW25.jpg

 

Other than various power and ground lines. AFAIK these are the only active connections on the proposed 306-48  GS Clone harness if we follow the Color30/less external display function model in this clone development thread..

 

 

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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25 minutes ago, pax said:

Just want to say that it's exciting to follow along in this thread. And I'll definitely sign up if it comes to fruition. I'm a software engineer and not a hardware engineer, so I'm not sure that I can contribute with any relevant skills. But I do have a multimonitor SE/30 setup if testing help is required at some point.

What card are you using out of curiosity?

 

25 minutes ago, maceffects said:

I am happy to make use of some of my contacts in China to have the PCB reverse engineered and have a sample board made.  However, my skills of soldering and modifying things are very limited. 

Thanks.  Given that we are not exactly reverse engineering it but rather using it as a model for designing a new internal only greyscale adapter, we probably don't need that at the moment. However, perhaps when the time comes you can help getting the resultant board manufactured in China in sufficient quantities.

 

But your offer makes me wonder though, could the Chinese simply clone the Xceed card verbatim?  Is that even possible?

 

Another question for all the have contributed to this thread so far is, what about drivers?  Will this be able to use just the standard Micron driver that the 308-48 uses? 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, pcamen said:

What card are you using out of curiosity?

 

Thanks.  Given that we are not exactly reverse engineering it but rather using it as a model for designing a new internal only greyscale adapter, we probably don't need that at the moment. However, perhaps when the time comes you can help getting the resultant board manufactured in China in sufficient quantities.

 

But your offer makes me wonder though, could the Chinese simply clone the Xceed card verbatim?  Is that even possible?

 

Another question for all the have contributed to this thread so far is, what about drivers?  Will this be able to use just the standard Micron driver that the 308-48 uses? 

 

 

I should have been more clear, they can also create a CAD from an original PCB then make a sample board.  It would be cheaper than reverse engineering a chip.  It can be rather time consuming and I'd like to keep tedious tasks away from the talented people on here who could better be used for figuring how how to convert things to make them work for the SE/30. 

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@pcamen I should mention that there are 2 things preventing us from proceeding with the actual board itself.  1) a significant sum of reverse engineering money 2) someone who is willing to donate their board to be destroyed.  I contacted the place that quoted me in the past for the chip I had reverse engineered in the past.  I'm told the chip on this Xceed card is more advanced and would be more expensive :(

Edited by maceffects

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Ah, very good @pax.

 

Do you find, as they say, that you can only use internal greyscale or external monitor, but not both at the same time? 

 

I've been afraid to try mine out (and I have lots of other stuff to do). 

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3 hours ago, maceffects said:

I should mention that there are 2 things preventing us from proceeding with the actual board itself.  1) a significant sum of reverse engineering money 2) someone who is willing to donate their board to be destroyed.  I contacted the place that quoted me in the past for the chip I had reverse engineered in the past.  I'm told the chip on this Xceed card is more advanced and would be more expensive

Is it possible to put a general order of magnitude to the cost?  I'm just curious how expensive such an endeavor is. 

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Maceffects said for a normal job it's ~$500–$800, so I'm going to hazard a guess that it'll be $1500 at the low end, but I'll wait on him for the real (soul crushing) number ;)

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I assume that's just for the reverse engineering, not the tooling and production of the board and harnesses. 

 

So far I am not scared away from that prospect.  I still like the internal greyscale only project too.  I think that puts us on the path to eventually being able to do more with a newly built card, like overloading it with some of the other stuff people have been wanting.  And an SE/30 with just an internal greyscale upgrade is pretty cool IMHO. 

 

@Bolle @techknight @Trash80toHP_Mini (sorry if I left someone out) - you guys seem to be the ones to answer a question like this.  Do you think it would be possible to drive the SE/30 tube at a higher resolution, like the 640x480 that the Mystic upgrade for the Color Classic achieves?  Or is that apples and oranges?

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37 minutes ago, pcamen said:

Do you think it would be possible to drive the SE/30 tube at a higher resolution, like the 640x480 that the Mystic upgrade for the Color Classic achieves?  Or is that apples and oranges?

That'd be a CC Apple and the 128k RoadApple video systems compared. Techknight has a thread somewhere about doing the 640x480 conversion the "right way." CC had enough head room designed into its Video Subsystem to do 640x480 IIRC. The original Mac Video didn't, period, at least so far as research by many have determined at this point.

 

@maceffects I think your contacts will come in very handy for pricing and eventuall producing the Grayscale Harness/Neckboard kit, that work has already been done by Bolle for his Color30 find..

 

 

neck.jpg

 

IMG_3061.JPG

 

I'm of the opinion that the harness should be an exact replication of the Color30's with ferrite rings and B&W video passthru. That way the "original part" replication will be in production for bare Color30s out in the wilds. The passthru need only be connected to one side of a three header jumper setup for choosing internal B&W video or the Clone's GS signal to feed the GS Neck board from the opposite pin with the connection from the center pin connected to the Neck Board. Such might prove useful in troubleshooting either video system in the future.

 

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Been poking my nose into searched threads hereabouts. Came up with a doozy by JDW from March:

 

 

Gems he turned up a/o scanned in for us in that in that thread:

 

MICRON XCEED SPECS table.

XceedMacroColor30.pdf  - User Manual

Micron_Xceed_MacroColor30_InstallGuide.pdf

 

Wayback specs link works. Hopefully the lower two links will start working again after the admins have a chance to look at the issues we're having. Thanks guys!

 

OEM Harness I'd love to see in a reproduction, duplicating all its convoluted glory:

harness.JPG

 

Harness Diagram I've been cleaning up in AI:

diagram.JPG

 

OEM Neck Board:

circuittop.JPG

circuitbottom.JPG

 

 

Props to Bolle for his single sided board implementation:

Bildschirmfoto 2017-09-10 um 21.03.40.png

 

 

Anybody happen to have the install a/o user manuals for the Xceed 306-48?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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