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Advice for new 840AV owner

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Hi everyone,


I'm new to the forums and hope to get some advice. I am a computer enthusiast, I really enjoy learning new systems and tinkering with what they offer. I am also very good with hardware as I recondition, recap and restore old machines as my hobby. I have only experienced Macs from the PowerPC era and up. I've been lucky enough to become an owner of the 840AV, the main reasons I'm interested in this machine is that I really love the 68k era of all computers and this seems to be the ultimate 68k of Macs. I find the DSP to be very interesting and I am hoping there is software out there which utilises it. I know the Atari Falcon had a DSP and the community wrote MP3 player software that utilised the DSP so they could listen to MP3's on a 16mhz 030 machine. I wonder if the 840AV has similar software to offload music on to the DSP etc.


As I have no knowledge of available software, hardware quirks, community resources etc - I would appreciate any advice!


Thank you,



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This was the old standard faq:



What follows is in no particular order, but in my recollection, Deck and SoundEdit 16 used the DSPs, as did Photoshop with the appropriate plugin. Out there somewhere, there was a list of 20 or so applications that I used to refer to, but cannot seem to find that any more. I believe Painter was one of them, but that is a fairly foggy memory, I am afraid. What I can also tell you is that the old telephony software that worked with the Geoport modem was rather interesting. I played with it maybe 15 years ago and thought it a hoot at the time.


LEM has a good article on the 840av (treasure your 840av or some such title?).

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Cheers for the info guys. FYI _before_ turning the machine on I dismantled it to check the state of the motherboard. It seems there is quite a bit of green corrosion on the pins of IC's but the PRAM battery hasn't leaked. I am suspecting the caps, so I've ordered a set of new caps and will begin removing the old ones. After that I will clean the motherboard in isopro-alcohol and distilled water.

I found this handy little website which helped me confirm I needed to replace them: http://www.maccaps.com/MacCaps/Capacitor_Reference/Entries/1993/7/29_Quadra_840av.html





Edited by stormy
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This is basically what mine needs. I washed the board but I don't have the soldering skills/equipment yet to do the job properly, so I'm just making sure cap goo is kept to a minimum. 


It's a real power house of a machine though, nice to see another 840 user. :)


Mine has a FWB Jackhammer (with a  SCSI II HD) and a Radius LeMans GT installed. Very handy having a case that can hold two 3.5" HD's.

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Today I removed all the caps & gave the mobo a full scrub down in alcohol and then rinsed in distilled water. Then I put it in the oven on 70-80c for about 30 mins to dry. I've got the new caps on order.


By the way - I notice there are two seperate bays for RAM? Is the left hand side for VRAM and right hand side for system ram? Also could someone help me out with the ram specs, is it edo or fpm 72pin? Cheers.

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  • 4 weeks later...



You're quite lucky a simple clean and a recap was all it needed to keep going, as from what I've read, the 840av, in particular, tends to not respond well once the gunk leaches into the vias and under the chips. Once it becomes unresponsive, there's I think a 50/50 chance at best that a recap will bring it back.


Anyway, don't let this scare you off; now that it's done, your 840av should be good for a long time.


I need to get mine out someday and check to see if it still boots (it probably doesn't, *sigh* ). Last time I tried it, there was some sort of weird stability issue that I think may be the power supply (never confirmed, gotta test).



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On 12/18/2019 at 11:39 PM, stormy said:

Recap all done, board all cleaned. Brand new arctic silver paste on the CPU. Damn that old SCSI is loud! Alrighty, time to play with it :)

SCSI2SD perhaps?

Another alternative would be a NuBus card with LVD SCSI ( ATTO Silicon Express IV or FWB Jackhammer) and then either a U320 SCA-drive with adaptor or an SCSI-IDE adaptor from Acard in order to attach CF card. This latter option is much pricier, though, than the SCSi2SD.

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11 hours ago, Unknown_K said:

IF you want something bootable and fast then a Jackhammer would be the way to go

I have one of them in my 840. Definitely worth it since all you need is a HD sled and another drive. I picked up a 2.1GB 68-Pin SCSI drive for the second bay. Only trouble I had is the cable I used made it hard to plug into the card. Far from ideal as any more welly and I could have broke the header! 


After that, it was just a case of cable-tieing the cable around the case so nothing fouls. 




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