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Nabbed a 6500/300 with a few differences


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A few days ago on eBay UK I won what I thought was a 6400, the seller didn't specify much, it was a low effort listing and there was no way of knowing if it would even work, it did, so £57 plus postage was a good price. It arrived yesterday and after taking it apart to dust it off, noticed it had a fan on the CPU. Turns out its got a 6500/300 logic board in it with 64mb ram, a modem, fallorn ethernet card and Avid capture card.

 

Everything else is a bit all over the place. No floppy drive, and no built in sound, it doesn't look to have a speaker in it. The CD drive is an old 600i from '95 which I don't think is right (my 6200 has one of those), and the case has a build date of late 96, so the logic board clearly isn't the original. The HD is a 8GB Quantem Fireball which looks to have been pulled out of a G3, as it has a 'About Your Power Macintosh G3' (or something to that effect) text doc on it, sadly nothing else to indicate what this machine's past life was as its a fresh install.

 

It still needs a clean and I'm going to reinstall probably MacOS 8.1 over 9.1 which is currently on there. On the whole, i'm quite pleased with it, although i haven't managed to disassemble it fully yet to see for sure if it has a speaker. Can't get the side panels off and haven't found anything on how to do it yet. :P

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That looks like a prototype of some sort!!

 

Notice the lack of a nameplate (that empty notch on the bottom center of the front bezel, directly below the Apple logo) and the label that reads in part, "Attention! This device has not been approved by the Federal Communications Commission....".

 

Pretty neat find!!

 

c

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There was an edition of the 6500 called the "Creative Studio Edition" which featured the AVID card connected to the Apple AV-in card. That's what this configuration looks like. But that rear label looks very prototype-like doesn't it.

 

The CSII card is a dialup modem card I believe.

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10 hours ago, macman142 said:

There was an edition of the 6500 called the "Creative Studio Edition" which featured the AVID card connected to the Apple AV-in card. That's what this configuration looks like. But that rear label looks very prototype-like doesn't it.

Aha! Learn something new every day. That would handily explain the box of AVID width AV-IN boards I saw on eBay years back. Can't have been a popular option I'd think.

 

10 hours ago, macman142 said:

The CSII card is a dialup modem card I believe.

Could be, there are no activity LEDs on the cover plate, but the aspect ratio and six visible contacts make me wonder. How many contacts do you use for phone hookups over in jolly old? Modem fits with the metal cover box. 230V ONLY strikes me as odd.

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Well the voltage that comes out of the walls here is 230v but there is still the option to knock it over to 110. Someone clearly didn't trust people not to fiddle with that switch, hence the note. I tried it once not really knowing what it did. It exploded.

 

The modem appears to be German as it says Apple Computer GMBH on it, they probably all said that across Europe, the graphics chip appears to have come from Malta.

 

My theory regarding the prototype stuff is that the case was perhaps part of a test unit for a reseller or Apple Europe or whatever, as thats the only bit that shows signs of that. From having a look at other pre-production machines on the net, it seems that almost all parts including the CD drive tended to have 'not verified by the FCC' stickers on it, and i cant find any more on this computer so the logic board and everything else was probably a later addition and from regular machines. One thing that does strike me as interesting is how another hole next to the modem is labelled for the ports on the Avid card, despite being hollow.

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Very nice find!

 

My personal theory is that it's not a prototype at all, but rather that the case is just missing the badge -- it looks normal otherwise. The FCC label is probably because of the european modem or TV/FM tuners, which Apple likely wouldn't have submitted for approval in the US.

 

If anything in here is "prototype" hardware, it would only have been the new components to this model. The 6500/275 and /300 are the last of a few different 6500 models, and the 6400/6500 shared a lot, so they wouldn't have need to re-prototype, say, the CD drive (if it was a model already used in a shipping 6400/6500 config) or the case and the audio system.

 

Re the creative studio loadout: The 6400 shipped in the USA as the "VEE" and that's a very similar loadout, I think we got the creative studio edition in the USA, but I don't know if the /300 shipped that way or only either the /250 or the /275. The /300 was available as a small business loadout and a general "fast 6500" config (with like 48 megs of RAM, a 6-gig hard disk, 24x CD and Zip), if I'm remembering correctly. (The service source manual lists the US configs, and I've seen one or two other documents with info about them.)

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On 1/24/2020 at 7:02 PM, Cory5412 said:

My personal theory is that it's not a prototype at all, but rather that the case is just missing the badge -- it looks normal otherwise. The FCC label is probably because of the european modem or TV/FM tuners, which Apple likely wouldn't have submitted for approval in the US. 

Every mac I've ever had that came with a European modem or tuner has standard wording on the back.  Certainly none of them have ad hoc-looking stickers.

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So i'v been using this machine for a wee while now, shifted the OS back down to 8.1 as I have enough systems running 9. A few interesting things have happened along the way.


 

I tried plugging a spare floppy drive into the floppy port, which stopped the machine getting past it's chime, bit of a shame, i was hoping to make use of that. More surprisingly tho, about an hour into playing Warcraft II, the subwoofer suddenly came back to life, I never disassembled it far enough to see if it was there, (I actually thought it was missing) and my word did it sound good, what a brilliant idea it was to put one of those in there, such a shame no other models had them. Unplugged the external speakers to find that the internal sound had started working in it's entirety. Sadly, 20 mins later and it stopped as suddenly as it had started. Loose connection perhaps?

 

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The 6500 only has the subwoofer, it just plays full spectrum sound whenever there isn't a minijack plugged into the sound out jack. It might be worth spinning the sub volume control dial back and forth for a couple minutes in case the dial itself has gotten dirty (like an old amplifier.) It's positioned just below the monitor port, but often has the tip broken off, so it can be hard to turn. Failing that, it might be worth checking the connections to the small breakout board that houses that dial, as the sub plugs into it directly.

 

Here's an in-depth take apart guide if you haven't found one:

edit: this PDF is easier

http://toddp.com/classic/Software Install/Apple Support Documents/001 - Service Manuals/Powermac/powermac.perf_6400.6500.pdf

 

Takeapart starts about halfway down.

Edited by jeremywork
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Thanks for the link, thats really helpful. I'v pulled off the side now to have a look at the subwoofer thingy, gave it a bit of a clean, re-inserted the cable connecting it to the video in board, twisted the volume knob a lot, and now its working quite happily.

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