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Macintosh SE VIKING 1 graphics card drivers?


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Hello, I was inspecting this Macintosh SE I aquired a couple of years ago and how to get its graphics card expansion going. Apparently it's built for a 1280x960 resolution monochrome display at 66Hz, so a 17" or 19" 1280x1024 VGA display should be able to handle that.

However, my issue is that the machine probably belonged to someone who died and I probably aquired it from the heirs. Someone had erased everything from the hard disk, I haven't tried Norton Utilities undelete yet, but I don't have high hopes of recovering anything.

 

So, where do I find drivers for this thing? As it currently is, nothing but the card itself inside the SE and the 9pin D-connector at the back hints anything about the presence of the card.

 

 

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And if someone wonders about the battery, I did the CR2032 mod on it like I've done on my other compact Macs. That was the primary motive to open them up, and another topic entirely is how much work I'm going to have restoring my SE/30s, since the capacitors had leaked their juice all over and plenty of traces and pads are simply gone. I'll make another post about that.

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From the description, there's something on the monitor interface itself that'll trigger it into operational mode when the right monitor is connected, and goes dormant when nothing is connected. This makes it much more difficult to figure out what the signals on the DB9 do. However, the logic of the graphics card seems to be composed entirely of 74 series logic, so it should be fairly easy to reverse engineer. I should probably also remove the ROM chip and make a backup of it. If I manage to get this thing working and clone it, it'll be a pretty neat little expansion for SE owners to use an extended desktop with any VGA monitor supporting the resolution. With some modifications, it maybe could be made to work with other resolutions such as 5:4 aspect on the common and cheap (future people will probably laugh at this) 17" 19" 1280x1024 displays from mid 2000s.

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8 hours ago, jammi said:

I should probably also remove the ROM chip and make a backup of it.

I don't see a ROM on there, so the card does rely on the driver to operate.

 

8 hours ago, jammi said:

However, the logic of the graphics card seems to be composed entirely of 74 series logic, so it should be fairly easy to reverse engineer.

It's more than that... obviously there's some VRAM and a couple of PALs which will make reverse engineering that thing a pretty though task.

There seems to be a voltage regulator which might indicate that the card could be outputting some kind of VGA-like signal.

I would suggest you could start trying to look at the external connector pins with a scope to see if there's anything coming out that looks like sync signals or if the signals are even at VGA compatible levels.

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8 hours ago, Bolle said:

I don't see a ROM on there, so the card does rely on the driver to operate.

Thanks, I did some assumptions, so I stand corrected.

8 hours ago, Bolle said:

It's more than that... obviously there's some VRAM and a couple of PALs which will make reverse engineering that thing a pretty though task.

 There seems to be a voltage regulator which might indicate that the card could be outputting some kind of VGA-like signal.

I would suggest you could start trying to look at the external connector pins with a scope to see if there's anything coming out that looks like sync signals or if the signals are even at VGA compatible levels.

Anyhow, I assume nothing comes out of it until it's sensed the monitor plugged in, and if it really is reliant of drivers / some utility, I'm pretty much screwed since they're nowhere to be found. So far I had my run of checking Macs that probably had their batteries still in them, took a couple of photos of that and next day started thinking of it. I have some SE/30s to repair right now though (leaked capacitor damage), but I'll test what the scope says once I have them working. Is it possible the PALs could've been used as ROM replacement? (Having some hope it'd show signs of life without any driver / utility).

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  • 3 months later...

Terve,

 

Still interested in the topic?

 

Just got one SE with this card, and it should have the driver on the disk. At least there was an control panel in the 'Video' settings where you can select the mode (duplicate, extend, magnify) etc. I can look and see if I can find it, with a glance I didn't see anything like that. Mind you, I haven't played with macs in years. This was system 6.0.7, btw. The machine itself gives such a bad noise I'd rather not turn it on again until I've had a chance to cleanup/battery removal/etc sanity checks. I just did a quick power up since the seller said he has tested them to be starting already.

 

It would also seem that the video connector is (standard?) ECL monochrome, the same card/monitor/video-combo was apparently also available to Ataris, PCs and Amigas. https://github.com/tenox7/tenoxvga seems to be a converter to vga?

 

-y

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