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Need help hot-rodding my Q950...


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Hey all,

 

I've nearly maxed out the RAM (64 MB or $40 at a time) on the Q950 I acquired a few months ago and had a spare key made just in case I broke the only one off in the lock.

 

  • I added a SCSI2SD with A/UX 3.1.1, 7.6, 8.1, Apps and Backup partitions.
  • I've added a SuperMac Spectrum/24 Nubus card (with the DSP daughtercard but also a v1.0 ROM I believe) and the Apple SONIC Ethernet Nubus card (AAUI) with the dedicated 68000 to improve file server performance.
  • I have an AppleCD 300e external SCSI (1x) that lines up beautifully with the front bezels.
  • I came across a Newer Technology Variable Speed Overdrive (2 of them, actually) with the SIMMs and clips but I stupidly assumed this model (for Q700/900) would work on my 950 with the 25 MHz crystal, before I understood how oscillators work. So these VSOs are useless to me (unless I keep one for a future Q700 buy)

 

So a few scattered questions since I'm currently at a standstill on upgrades.

 

  1. Does anyone have a BMOW/DougG3 ROM for the Q950? I saw a .rom for the 900 but it was just to disable RAM check - which would be fine on its own but I wanted to boot from the ROM disk. I'll buy the programmer, I'm just surprised it hasn't been tried out AND shouted from the rooftops by now.
  2. Anyone have a PPC 601 they want to sell?
  3. Or anything else I would want to pimp this beast out? I know Pisces/AWS95 PDS cards, JackHammers, Radius Rockets, etc are extremely rare and impossible to stumble upon.
  4. Would love to get my hands on drive bezels (like everyone else) so I can put in a DDS-2 drive...

 

Other than that, I swear I'm enjoying it :)

 

Thanks!

 

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You should get your hands on a NuBus FWB JackHammer LVD SCSI card or a NuBus ATTO SiliconExpress IV card. This will allow you to use 40MB/s LVD SCSI as well as the use of modern (well, relatively modern) LVD SCSI drives. They are large, fast and reasonably quiet. If you set aside $100 for the card, you should be able to get one when they pop up.

Of course, you could post a want ad in 'Trade' section or on the LEMSwaplist.

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8 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

You should get your hands on a NuBus FWB JackHammer LVD SCSI card or a NuBus ATTO SiliconExpress IV card. This will allow you to use 40MB/s LVD SCSI as well as the use of modern (well, relatively modern) LVD SCSI drives. They are large, fast and reasonably quiet. If you set aside $100 for the card, you should be able to get one when they pop up.

Of course, you could post a want ad in 'Trade' section or on the LEMSwaplist.

 

Thanks, will do. I expected to do this over the course of the next year or two - due to the scarcity of these parts.

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You need to be patient. A couple have popped up on eBay each year. Have you created rules on all of the various international ebay sites? If not, do so. Create each rule to search within the country in question. It may very well be that the seller has indicated that they will sell within the country in question. Ask. I've had good luck so far with asking.

 

I mentioned on another thread that if you have enough RAM (and 32MB+ is a good start) you can create a RAM-disk. They require an extra start. You boot first with a floppy or zip etc and have the RAM disk created on boot, copy the necessary files across to the RAM disk (system folder, games etc.), change the startup drive to the RAM disk and boot from that. Do bear in mind that RAM is volatile. If it crashes, all is lost, unless you are persisting the saved files. They are useful if you are on a LAN and would like as quiet an experience as possible. They are also as fast (if not faster) than an LVD SCSI drive. My Q950 is very loud so I don't really bother with it.

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Nubus cards are getting pricey, can't remember the last time I snagged one on ebay (must be a few years now).

 

The ultimate Q950 upgrades (to me anyway) are:

256MB of 30 pin 16MB RAM chips (easiest to find, but pricey and not really needed)

5 drive tray with 5 UWSCSI drives in raid (SEIV Nubus card would work or a jackhammer if needed). The 5 drive tray was a rare option for the AWS95 and PM9150.

PDS SCSI card (rare, tempermental and the fastest card you can buy for a 950).

68040/50 CPU upgrade with cache (very fast and easy to install).

Daystar 601-80 PDS upgrade with optional 1MB cache module and 4 x 72 pin SIMM slots (cache works in 68k mode and so does the RAM).

A good video card Radius Thunder or equivalent with DSP chips.

10/100 Ethernet card, helps with major file transfers.

A good Nubus DOS card from Orange Micro.

DSP board if you like to work in Photoshop 2.5 or 3.x.

Video capture card(s) (Radius Telecast, AVID Media composer, Media 100, Rasterops suite, Targa 2000).

 

Basically a 950 is a Nubus dreamers money pit.

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21 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

You need to be patient. A couple have popped up on eBay each year. Have you created rules on all of the various international ebay sites? If not, do so. Create each rule to search within the country in question. It may very well be that the seller has indicated that they will sell within the country in question. Ask. I've had good luck so far with asking.

 

I mentioned on another thread that if you have enough RAM (and 32MB+ is a good start) you can create a RAM-disk. They require an extra start. You boot first with a floppy or zip etc and have the RAM disk created on boot, copy the necessary files across to the RAM disk (system folder, games etc.), change the startup drive to the RAM disk and boot from that. Do bear in mind that RAM is volatile. If it crashes, all is lost, unless you are persisting the saved files. They are useful if you are on a LAN and would like as quiet an experience as possible. They are also as fast (if not faster) than an LVD SCSI drive. My Q950 is very loud so I don't really bother with it.

 

Interesting suggestion re: eBay. I had searched saved to take off the Location filter (from "Default" to "Worldwide") and it's the same old stuff. I have so many searches saved, it's virtually a part of my morning routing. Will creating rules on the international sites themselves have a different effect? (i.e., not on US eBay.com)

 

Isn't there an extension or INIT that helps maintain the contents of the RAM disk/sync to HD? I hadn't thought of that - I have 7.6.1 and 8.1 installed on separate partitions but mainly run A/UX. 

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8 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

Nubus cards are getting pricey, can't remember the last time I snagged one on ebay (must be a few years now).

 

The ultimate Q950 upgrades (to me anyway) are:

256MB of 30 pin 16MB RAM chips (easiest to find, but pricey and not really needed)

5 drive tray with 5 UWSCSI drives in raid (SEIV Nubus card would work or a jackhammer if needed). The 5 drive tray was a rare option for the AWS95 and PM9150.

PDS SCSI card (rare, tempermental and the fastest card you can buy for a 950).

68040/50 CPU upgrade with cache (very fast and easy to install).

Daystar 601-80 PDS upgrade with optional 1MB cache module and 4 x 72 pin SIMM slots (cache works in 68k mode and so does the RAM).

A good video card Radius Thunder or equivalent with DSP chips.

10/100 Ethernet card, helps with major file transfers.

A good Nubus DOS card from Orange Micro.

DSP board if you like to work in Photoshop 2.5 or 3.x.

Video capture card(s) (Radius Telecast, AVID Media composer, Media 100, Rasterops suite, Targa 2000).

 

Basically a 950 is a Nubus dreamers money pit.

 

I have the Spectrum/24 with DSP card (it's still SuperMac, before Radius bought them?) - but what I've found online indicates it performs much better (and is compatible with the SuperVideo cpanel) with the 3.x ROM update... the chip for which I haven't been able to find.

 

Haven't seen any OrangePC cards w/ NuBus - what I've seen have all been PCI but definitely seems to be part of a Q950 owner's wet dream, along with the JackHammer and CPU cards.

 

Anyone know about or have a custom bootable ROM for that SIMM slot?

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20 minutes ago, pb3623 said:

Isn't there an extension or INIT that helps maintain the contents of the RAM disk/sync to HD?

There were more than one of these utilities, but I have found that Maxima (from Connectix, which is an excellent pedigree) works really well. I am not 100% sure about its use under later systems, but google is our friend in these matters.

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Someone should start a topic on how to search eBay with maximum efficiency.

 

For example: I'd love to search only vintage macs, but the only choice that's obvious is the whole shebang. I've got a bookmark for the category, but I'm hoping there are switches to append to the search string on the home page for customization.

 

As a side note: what's the google switch to limit searches to this site. Search function here is not to be spoken of in polite company.

 

 

edit: Google was your friend back in the Snitz era, now they're the Evil Empire!  DuckDuckGo is your friend.

 

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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1 minute ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Someone should start a topic on how to search eBay with maximum efficiency.

 

For example: I'd love to search only vintage macs, but the only choice that's obvious is the whole shebang. I've got a bookmark for the category, but I'm hoping there are switches to append to the search string on the home page for customization.

 

As a side note: what's the google switch to limit searches to this site. Search function here is not to be spoken of in polite company.

 

 

 

Should just be site:68kmla.org appended to your Google search terms.

 

Totally agree on eBay tips, but I suspect we're just bidding against each other anyway :)

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4 minutes ago, beachycove said:

There were more than one of these utilities, but I have found that Maxima (from Connectix, which is an excellent pedigree) works really well. I am not 100% sure about its use under later systems, but google is our friend in these matters.

 

I'll check it out. The Q950 is rock-stable for me, and I have it on most of the time, and I have plenty of RAM so it makes sense to put it to work for me... Thanks for the recommendation.

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56 minutes ago, pb3623 said:

 

I have the Spectrum/24 with DSP card (it's still SuperMac, before Radius bought them?) - but what I've found online indicates it performs much better (and is compatible with the SuperVideo cpanel) with the 3.x ROM update... the chip for which I haven't been able to find.

 

Haven't seen any OrangePC cards w/ NuBus - what I've seen have all been PCI but definitely seems to be part of a Q950 owner's wet dream, along with the JackHammer and CPU cards.

 

Anyone know about or have a custom bootable ROM for that SIMM slot?

The ROM revisions mostly dealt with changes in Mac OS revisions. Early ROMs wont work with OS 7.5x and later. There are older control panels I think (but hard to find). Being able to run Mac OS 9 on that old video card doesn't help you on a 68K mac (and a PDS card would be better for a PPC as far as speed goes).

 

OrangePC cards are kind of rare these days, they used to be around a decade or more ago when I was snagging them and actively looking.

 

 

 

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How I search on eBay (bearing in mind that I am in Switzerland):

 a. open up eBay.de, create a search with the relevant keywords and the 'Located in' dropdown set to ''Deutschland'

Once I am happy with my search, I will choose 'Diese Suche speichern'

 b. open up ebay.co.uk, do the same but with the 'Located in' dropdown set to 'U.K.', run the search then choose 'save this search'

 c. and so on.

 

Eventually I get an alert of the item being sold and usually it is marked as for sale only within the country in question. I send the seller a polite request (if I am let) and ask if I may bid from Switzerland and if a specific postage rate may be used. I do this because some sellers want only to send by a fast, expensive shipping method. I'd rather not pay €60 for something that could cost €24 if I forego tracking and wait an extra week. I check out the postal options on the country's website before I contact the seller. This is especially important with USPS, who make it hard to find the FIrst Class International Rates.

 

 If the seller says no or doesn't reply, I usually leave it at that. If it is something that I really want, I have asked members here and friends/acquaintance living in said countries to help. In my experience, people are generally agreeable and friendly. Most sellers are happy to accommodate me and I find the Germans and the English to be most helpful.

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