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Sixty Eight Thousand Inc - technical information, schematics, documentation


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This is where I'll be uploading all of the information I have on these Sixty Eight Thousand cards which have recently surfaced on eBay. I purchased a handful of the boards myself and will be able to add more information as I go through testing.

 

I'll first add an archive of all the recent eBay pictures for reference:

https://imgur.com/a/lyQsXxN

 

These are the ones I now have in-house to refer to: these are #1 of each board in the link above as well as Bolt #2

IMG_8113.thumb.jpg.86a3bf26e5236dcd46606716897c0450.jpg

 

Documentation is thick but will be coming next:

IMG_8112.thumb.jpg.ff1418d34c092b15b2077709517334d3.jpg

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20 hours ago, Bolle said:

Not much else to say but:

 

Woah :O

 

 

Monitoring this closely ;)

 

I'm similarly shocked. Over the years of research I'd found these were bordering on vaporware in terms of information available, so to find such a stash of them with these docs included is bewildering. I hope the buyers of the various other lots may also find this thread, and perhaps this can lead to more being produced now.

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19 hours ago, Byrd said:

What's the Hurricane, i860 card for?

@rplacd found a reference to some promotional material, it was advertised primarily as a programmable RISC coprocessor capable of far outperforming its host (when efficiently utilized.)

 

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19 hours ago, cheesestraws said:

Holy crap you've got the PAL equations in there?  Do you have similar for the SCSI card?!

Like a skeleton key to a whole company...

 

Yes on the 040 PDS version- that's making its way through OCR/compression as I type, though I've not explicitly seen the IIfx version in here yet.

 

Also some Dash 40fx coming later... 8-o

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Schematics and PAL equations... sweet.

You are going to dump the ROMs as well at some point, right? I'll go and start moving those schematics to Eagle right away :)

 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Bolle said:

Schematics and PAL equations... sweet.

You are going to dump the ROMs as well at some point, right? I'll go and start moving those schematics to Eagle right away :)

 

Yeah, one of the reasons I picked up the second IIfx Bolt was for its newer ROM. Took a bit of a gamble on the 040 PDS Bolt- its ROM has the word 'BAD' in pen, though also the serial number of a different board. Hopefully it's the board with that serial which was bad, not the ROM. Otherwise anonymous buyer number two may need to step in and save us :) I don't have the hardware to read these ROM chips at present, so a good recommendation for something that 100% won't destroy these would be nice.

 

Not sure where these Team ASA boards play in with Sixty Eight Thousand, but I may have the more solid ROMs of those boards too.

 

My Rev A Hurricane is missing a MACH220-12JC at U13 and a nearby 50MHz crystal as well, compared to the other Rev A (both are missing the i860 XP and another large one.) If that MACH220's custom programming isn't in paper form we may also hope to find anonymous buyer number three.

Edited by jeremywork
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Section Three: 040

 

3. 040.pdf

 

These notes appear to pertain to the Dash 40fx, which I earlier incorrectly speculated was an 040-upgraded IIfx. It appears instead to be a newly designed modular backplane concept with more slots than the IIfx could dream of.

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20 hours ago, jeremywork said:

Section Three: 040

 

3. 040.pdf 28.19 MB · 3 downloads

 

These notes appear to pertain to the Dash 40fx, which I earlier incorrectly speculated was an 040-upgraded IIfx. It appears instead to be a newly designed modular backplane concept with more slots than the IIfx could dream of.

 

The Dash 30fx did exist, but there isn't much information about it out there.

LEM has an article about it: https://lowendmac.com/2016/the-68000-dash-30fx-an-accelerate-mac-iifx/

 

As you can see, it was a bit more than just an accelerator :)

The Dash 40fx either never came out, or was sold even less than the 30fx.

Either way wouldn't surprise me, the 30fx was $40k according to the owner of the one featured on LEM!

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22 hours ago, cheesestraws said:

There was an 040 PDS SCSI card?  Well now I know what upgrade I want for Christmas 30 years ago

I echo those sentiments. An 040 PDS LVD SCSI card would be sooo nice to have. If someone would stick in Firewire as well, that would be even better...

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FWIW with ROM readers, I haven't blown anything up with my TL866 II, and I've heard the genuine ones at least have a reasonable reputation.

 

There are obviously far better ones you can get, but at least for my uses I haven't been able to justify the cost, and this one seems pretty good value.

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19 hours ago, cheesestraws said:

FWIW with ROM readers, I haven't blown anything up with my TL866 II, and I've heard the genuine ones at least have a reasonable reputation.

 

There are obviously far better ones you can get, but at least for my uses I haven't been able to justify the cost, and this one seems pretty good value.

Thanks, I'll look into finding a genuine one. The price is a big plus!

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Yup, they're very good value.

 

Whether they are 'forensic quality' as it were for grabbing insanely rare stuff, I have no opinion or experience, but since nobody else had suggested anything I thought I'd throw in my tiny little opinion for what little it is worth :-)

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Can second it works very well for the standard stuff... EPROMs, flash chips, common GAL variants...

It's also very robust. Mine survived lots of evil experiments with applying external voltages for GAL cracking.

 

If you want to burn very old stuff that needs high programming voltages you might be better off getting either something really old or really expensive modern gear.

The same applies if you want to read/write really obscure stuff... PALs, PROMs...

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Posted (edited)

I'm quite glad to know there are at least a few of these things going around now. If I'd had the only example I'd feel a lot more pressure to be overly cautious. 

 

20 hours ago, Bolle said:

Can second it works very well for the standard stuff

Would you consider these cards standard enough? Edit: I see you meant standard as in form factor.

 

If it's what you would use in my position then I'll trust it.

 

--

So I suppose the IIfx SCSI Bolt doesn't have docs in this binder. It seems to share a large number of components with the 040-PDS Bolt which is documented, however. I'd expect the 50MHz oscillator means a 25MHz 040 PDS is expected, which would behave similarly to the 100MHz oscillator on the IIfx PDS version (since Sixty Eight Thousand's Dash 30fx units were run at 50MHz.)

Edited by jeremywork
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On 3/3/2021 at 3:31 PM, jeremywork said:

Missing view of the 040 PDS Bolt:

IMG_8184.thumb.jpg.3ec867006c13a54c93a4e65fa41d5708.jpg

 

It's a RAID card ?!

 

Reading the NCR 57C710 datasheet, this board specs are out of this world

 

 

Edited by demik
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