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An attempt to define/document lineage of x86-on-a-card type products for Apple machines


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Posted (edited)

These have been a fascination ever since I eight-year-old me tried aimlessly to make my Performa run exe files.

I've acquired several x86 cards over many years and although there are many useful resources to get these up and running, it's always seemed hard to nail down a complete lineage of these things.

 

There's almost certainly going to be something wrong in this post, but I'm hoping I get it mostly correct and we can improve it over time.

P.S. Most of these pictures are from around the internet, eBay sales, 68kmla posts, etc, and have been brought here in reduced resolution for the purpose of helping others identify their own cards.

 

~1985 - MacCharlie by Dayna Communications - This standalone module contains an 8088 based computer with one or two 5.25" drives built-in. Styled to sit adjacent to a 128k/512k/e/Macintosh Plus, the MacCharlie also provides an extended keyboard overlay to add missing function keys to the Macintosh keyboard (not the extended keyboard that came with the Plus, however.) All communications to the Macintosh display and from the Macintosh keyboard utilize two RS422 serial connections, which make this best suited for text-based applications. I'm not sure if there were any significant revisions to the MacCharlie.

MacCharlie-Mac-boot-disk.thumb.jpg.9d9e1c53088c107706523b10bb9ce901.jpg

 

~1987 - PC Transporter by Applied Engineering - This card provides 8086 compatibility for the Apple IIe & IIGS using an NEC V30. This card provides analogue video out by way of an included "ColorSwitch" module. It also provides a header for 5.25" and/or 3.5" diskette drives. Inputs and memory can be shared from the Apple II.

There seem to be two revisions of this card, primarily due to different DRAM form factors. A DRAM upgrade was also produced for the earlier revision.

1484983915_ScreenShot2021-03-07at2_36_02PM.thumb.png.3233be16fb512b18a79a67b49d39ccbb.png

 

~1987 - Mac86 and Mac286 by AST Research - These were the first daughterboard-based "DOS compatibility" cards for the Macintosh line.

The Mac86 is designed for the Macintosh SE PDS, while the Mac286 is designed for the Macintosh II line's Nubus connector(s.) The SE's Mac86 was 8086 based non-upgradeable card with one interface for Apple's 5.25" PC diskette drive.

The Mac286 was initially released as a pair of two Nubus cards connected by two ribbon cables. The same Apple 5.25" PC diskette connector is present, though the Mac286 was based on the Intel 80286 and had upgradeable memory and an 80287 coprocessor slot.

The Mac286 was later revised after AST sold both properties to Orange Micro. Orange reportedly made the first small minor revision to improve memory upgradeability, then later redesigned the Mac286 to fit entirely on one Nubus card.

Both platforms used the Nubus interface to accept inputs from the Mac as well as to send video data back to the Mac.

I am unsure if the two boards in the top right are actually considered second revision Mac286. The blotted out AST logos indicate this is probably post-AST, but not sure if Orange actually redesigned this example or not.

556274118_ScreenShot2021-03-07at3_21_07PM.thumb.png.36af14eaa8b1ed8a7f97059184d1fbd7.png

 

~1990 - Orange386 by Orange Micro - This was a brand new 80386 design based loosely on Orange's revision to the Mac286 (bottom right above.) It retained the single-slot design but employed a second PCB daughterboard on the Nubus card. It also featured one 16-bit ISA slot as well as a second 8-bit slot. The external connector was redesigned for an "octopus cable," which broke out to the same 5.25" PC Drive port, as well as standard PC Serial and Parallel ports. The Nubus interface was used to deliver input from the Mac, and was capable of receiving video data back from the Orange386 as its predecessor did. You could alternatively use a VGA card in one of the ISA slots, and even a sound card in the second slot, if you prefer more than the card's built-in PC buzzer. Orange Micro's accessory kit included a VGA switch for exactly this use.

(After finding so few pictures, I realize I really need to take some pictures of the one I own. On the to-do list...)

O386card.jpg.20b521d303c681d042b04403cfe8cac4.jpg

 

~1993 - OrangePC 200 Series by Orange Micro - Rather than replacing the Orange386 with a single new design, Orange Micro designed several boards and sold several SKU of each board, populated with different features. In press materials and pricelists, Orange seemed focused on selling three main variants of the 200 series: the 210, 250, and 290 models, each a variation of their new 486-based design with or without PCMCIA slot, with or without Serial/Parallel headers, with or without onboard CPU cache, and some boards designed for/populated with a VRM for DX4 chips. Notably, the 210 had a less powerful VGA chip compared to the SVGA on the 250/290. Some boards had no provision for the DX4 VRM, such as the 250 board pictured center, below.

Orange Micro also produced a completely separate design in this same timeframe, seemingly a bridge model between the aging Orange386 and the newer 486-based 210/250/290. This model seems to cause more confusion than others, since it's fundamentally a faster 386-based board, this time with only one 16-bit ISA slot. Due to rapid changes in x86 production at the time, several of the 386 chips compatible with that socket are silkscreened '486.'

I have yet to verify the name of this board, though it does work with the 200-series software like the true 486 models. It's possible this was called "OrangePC 220" (since many seem to refer to a 220 model despite it not being listed with the 210/250/290 in press.) If true, the 210 would be more capable (though perhaps less expandable) than the 220, so not sold on this idea. The version of this board without serial/parallel could be called "OrangePC 200" in this case.

2139545358_ScreenShot2021-03-07at4_38_19PM.thumb.png.ffedc47e0e883ec98f663d3c30730527.png1951610537_ScreenShot2021-03-07at4_41_30PM.thumb.png.5f0a51a80af6e935d63ca634e47c89d1.png

 

 

An example of _educational_ pricing for OrangePC cards (May 26, 1994):
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model210 486SX/33    4MB  VGA Serial/Parallel           DOS6 ...$1015
Model210 486DX/33    4MB  VGA PCMCIA Slot               DOS6 ...$1149
Model250 486SX/33    8MB SVGA PCMCIA Slot               DOS6 ...$1505
Model250 486DX/33    8MB SVGA PCMCIA Slot               DOS6 ...$1639
Model290 486DX2/66   8MB SVGA Ser/Par PCMCIA 128k cache DOS6 ...$2157
Model290 486DX2/66  16MB SVGA Ser/Par PCMCIA 128k cache DOS6 ...$2531
Model290 486DX2/66   0MB SVGA Ser/Par PCMCIA 128k cache DOS6 ...$1758 no RAM
Model290 486DX4/100 16MB SVGA Ser/Par PCMCIA 128k cache DOS6 ...$2885
Model290 486DX4/100  0MB SVGA Ser/Par PCMCIA 128k cache DOS6 ...$2112 no RAM
PCMCIA Ethernet TP .............................................$ 179
PCMCIA Ethernet BNC ............................................$ 200
PCMCIA Token Ring ..............................................$ 555
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - complied by Eric Carter (erichc@yvax2.byu.edu)

http://umich.edu/~archive/mac/misc/documentation/houdinifaq1.01.txt

 

~1994 - Houdini & Houdini II by Apple Computer - Upon recognizing market demand for the aforementioned products, Apple decided to design their own in-house x86 cards for select computer models. Apple designed their cards around their computers' PDS, rather than Nubus as Orange/AST had done thus far. Development seemed to begin in the full size Quadra with the 386-based "Royal Scam Board" (my favorite Apple nomenclature to date,) however the first Houdini model was 486SX-33-based and was only intended for use with the Centris/Quadra 610 (though the 040-PDS it used was standard.) The Houdini used a video loopback cable and internal sound cables to integrate the VGA switching hardware and sound routing into the 486 card, so fast video could be sent directly to the main monitor (similar to the ColorSwitch employed by Applied Engineering, but all in one card, and with sound.) It had an unpopulated header for sound processing, and I believe it was incompatible with the Vibra 16 module included with the later Houdini II boards. Both Houdini and Houdini II included a MIDI out port on the loopback cable. Speaking of the Houdini II, this was Apple's small update to the Houdini, sold with the PowerPC-based 6100 and now using a 486DX/66 CPU with SoundBlaster compatibility in the included Vibra 16 daughter-card. The Houdini system was also adapted to the LC PDS, for sale in the Performa 640CD among other variants of the 630. Apple licensed the Houdini card and its basis to the Reply Corporation, who continued to adapt and expand this lineup to more models before being acquired by Radius in 1996.

760952198_ScreenShot2021-03-07at5_25_10PM.thumb.png.5d426921d7df45c4e7cd67ce8da99e99.png

 

~1995 - 12" 5x86 card by Reply Corporation - The 6100's Houdini II card was technically an 040 PDS card installed in a 601 PDS adapter. Reply Corporation later released a full-size 5x86 card specifically for the 601 PDS (7100, 8100, 9150 only.) I don't have much on this card except some low resolution pictures.

reply-dom-cyrix-586-100gp-card-apple-mac_1_86a63f65140798ac2ab0b0cd1d76283e.jpg.7002d2389dff81b3d30b59ba43f491ae.jpg

 

~1996 - OrangePC 300 and 400 series by Orange Micro - After the release of the Houdini cards, Orange took a similarly streamlined approach to managing I/O on their next series of OrangePC cards. The 300 and 400 were a similar design on the x86 side, though 300s were the final design for the aging 12" Nubus interface while 400s were the first to utilize the new 12" PCI interface. Both could support either 486 or 5x86 chips in 5v or 3v, had cache options, and included VGA switching hardware and SoundBlaster compatibility on-board, all accessible via Octopus cable at the back (though different than the Octopus cable for the original Orange386, this new cable seems to work for 300, 400, and 500 series boards. No ISA or PCMCIA expansion was offered.) 340 and 440 were the high-end of each card, and there may have been cards branded '320' or '420' with lesser CPUs and/or without cache, though I cannot verify this.

1632575455_ScreenShot2021-03-07at5_41_26PM.thumb.png.0735b04cc8854b8a94b48fc417d4affe.png

 

~1996 - 7" and 12" PC Compatibility cards by Apple Computer- With the PowerPC and PCI transition fully complete, Apple began replacement of their old Houdini line using the PCI interface in their machines. Some machines could support the full 12" PCI design standard, while others required a smaller 7" card. Apple produced at least two distinct OEM designs for the PCI slot- one 7" design based on a 100MHz Cyrix 5x86, and at least one 12" design which was sold in three different versions: 100MHz Pentium with expandable VRAM, 166MHz Pentium with pre-expanded VRAM, and one more based on a Cyrix 133MHz 6x86 PR166 which Apple strongly warns is ONLY for the PowerMac 4400 (and sibling 7220 - I do not have any pictures for this one.) All of these designs feature the same I/O design: Input is passed through the PCI interface from the Macintosh and a familiar sound and loopback cable setup was included, though PCI loopback cables and Houdini loopback cables were not cross-compatible (the MIDI port has been moved to the back of the card itself for all PCI models.) Certain machines such as the PowerMac 7200 and 6400 provide and onboard internal GIMO port, which can be used to carry video loopback without external cables (sound too on the 6x00.) Also onboard each PCI model is a port for connecting a ribbon cable to a second inline Serial/Parallel PCI card.

1257576541_ScreenShot2021-03-07at6_11_15PM.thumb.png.1edf0e6a07b8e305185f7fd15b3a600d.png

 

~1997 - 12" PCI with Pentium MMX by Radius (Reply Corp) - Similar to Apple's last flagship 12" 166MHz Pentium card, this version by Reply features a socket for later MMX processors, upgradeable VRAM, and socketed (cache? ROM?) The loopback, sound, and Parallel/Serial interfaces are identical to Apple's cards.

2049913567_ScreenShot2021-03-07at6_21_05PM.thumb.png.0b219a33910efd5d57f1e204ecaa20fb.png

 

~1998 - OrangePC 500 and 600 series by Orange Micro - These were the last two series' released by Orange Micro, which moved to Pentium MMX/K6-based platforms. All were PCI based, though the 500 series were the last to make use of the existing Octopus cable, the 600 switching instead to direct VGA in and out on the card itself, removing the other ports in favor of software solutions. The 550 and 660 are the top 12" model of each series (540 and PCfx 650 are lower end,) and the 530 and 620 (sometimes marked 626) are the top of each 7" series (520 was lower end.) Orange Micro says each of the 600 series received a version specifically for the G3 Blue & White, which end in the digit 5 (625 for 620, 655 for PCfx 650, and 665 for 660) though it's unclear what changed. Although the PCfx 650 was the first OrangePC marketed towards 3D gaming, the 550 and 660 also included 3D hardware acceleration (in the case of the 650/660 it's an nVIDIA RIVA 128 with 4MB, not sure on the 550. The 620 only emulates 3D.) The OrangePC 540 looks more like an update to the 440 than a variant of the 550. The 550 seems to be the basis for the 650/660.

1051235676_ScreenShot2021-03-07at6_49_52PM.thumb.png.0a5df4e45b739c8f2f6616e0d10f0482.png

 

Did I forget anything?

 

Most useful links (no particular order:)

http://umich.edu/~archive/mac/misc/documentation/houdinifaq1.01.txt

https://web.archive.org/web/19991010212315/http://orangemicro.com/page2.html

https://web.archive.org/web/19991011023315/http://orangemicro.com/productsarchive.html

http://www.oliver-schubert.com/DOScard/DOScard.html

http://archive.retro.co.za/mirrors/68000/www.vintagemacworld.com/omweb/orangepcfaqs.html

https://www.applerepairmanuals.com/the_manuals_are_in_here/PC_Compatibility_Card.pdf

https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=31628

https://everything2.com/title/DOS+Compatibility+Card

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/mcpheej/orangepc_old.html

https://modelrail.otenko.com/tag/orange-micro

https://vintageapple.org/macworld/pdf/MacWorld_9410_October_1994.pdf (pg. 93-98)

http://archive.retro.co.za/mirrors/68000/www.vintagemacworld.com/O386.html

http://archive.retro.co.za/mirrors/68000/www.vintagemacworld.com/O386-2.html

https://wiki.preterhuman.net/Orange_Micro

https://lowendmac.com/1998/the-once-and-future-mac286-page/

http://ae.applearchives.com/all_apple_iis/pc_transporter/

https://osites.tripod.com/transport.html

https://lowendmac.com/1985/dayna-maccharlie/

https://deskthority.net/wiki/Dayna_MacCharlie

 

Edited by jeremywork
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19 hours ago, LaPorta said:

Really nice overview! This should be posted somewhere.

Thanks! I agree, though there's still enough gray area in my knowledge that I'd rather be sure we make all the corrections before a final version becomes immortalized somewhere.

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This is a fantastic post. Thanks for putting this together.

 

I'm taking delivery of a PM 7100/80 today that I'll be putting a Radius Rocket into, and I'm currently hunting for that Reply PDS card for 7100/8100 PDS slots or an OrangePC Nubus 300-series card.

 

Both are incredibly difficult to find. A couple of the 7100/8100 models showed up on eBay recently for pretty cheap, but I flubbed the last second bid. There's a connector on them that's similar to the one that holds the Vibra 16 daughtercard of the Houdini II, but I have no idea if the two are compatible with each other.

 

I want to have a Cyrix 5x86 PC, a PPC Mac, and a 68k Mac all in one box, but it's been a hell of a thing to try to assemble. If/when I'm ever able to do so, I'll provide some color of concrete experiences with whichever solution I end up with. I've even considered trying to rig together some unholy monster of a solution of trying to somehow shoehorn the 6100 adapter & 040 PDS card into a 7100 machine, but that will be after I've given up all other hope.

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On 3/7/2021 at 3:05 PM, Nathan_A said:

This is a fantastic post. Thanks for putting this together.

 

I'm taking delivery of a PM 7100/80 today that I'll be putting a Radius Rocket into, and I'm currently hunting for that Reply PDS card for 7100/8100 PDS slots or an OrangePC Nubus 300-series card.

 

Both are incredibly difficult to find. A couple of the 7100/8100 models showed up on eBay recently for pretty cheap, but I flubbed the last second bid. There's a connector on them that's similar to the one that holds the Vibra 16 daughtercard of the Houdini II, but I have no idea if the two are compatible with each other.

 

I want to have a Cyrix 5x86 PC, a PPC Mac, and a 68k Mac all in one box, but it's been a hell of a thing to try to assemble. If/when I'm ever able to do so, I'll provide some color of concrete experiences with whichever solution I end up with. I've even considered trying to rig together some unholy monster of a solution of trying to somehow shoehorn the 6100 adapter & 040 PDS card into a 7100 machine, but that will be after I've given up all other hope.

I'm glad it's helpful! 

 

A triple-platform setup is a fun idea. I was quite fortunate to snag an OrangePC 340, which seems far and away the most tightly integrated of Orange's Nubus line. My only immediate negative impression is the Nubus interface becomes congested with disk traffic easily, and muddies the mouse responsiveness. My other up-and-running card (so far) is the Apple 7" PCI 5x86 card, which feels much more responsive during disk access, despite having a slower processor. It's easy enough to plug a mouse into one of the 340's serial breakout ports to work around this, but then you've got two mice on the table. I'd suspect with use of the 601 PDS you'd be facing no such compromise, though you'd also be forfeiting the high performance macintosh video interface offered by that slot. I suppose with a Rocket in tow, you'd want a block-transfer-capable accelerated Nubus video card anyways.

 

Currently my 340 resides in a 950 with PowerPro, and my two Stage II rockets and their LeMans buddy sit next to an ATTO SEIV in a second 950 with PowerPro. I'm not sure what actual use I could find for a single machine with all three (four?) platforms but it would sure be a party trick :) I'll also eventually try the 340 in my 8100 or 840av, which may have enough Nubus bandwidth to not feel the congestion.


If you stole away one of Sonnet's HPV ribbon cables (for hanging the video card off the passthrough of one of their G3/G4 upgrades) you could probably find a way to squeeze in the 6100-040 PDS adapter and a Houdini II a the end of the cable. Check out Headgap Store's ODDSnEnds section. They've listed a 1995 Reply HPV PC card with no picture and "make an offer." I was tempted when I saw it, even simply to get some better pictures and information, but I realize even if I ended up finding my 9150 dream machine, I'd have a hard time not using the PDS for a G4+HPV setup I already have.

 

If you end up landing it, I'd love some better pics and information :D

http://stn2.headgap.com/resale/FMPro?-token=14143428&-db=ProductsC.fp3&-lay=WEB&-format=items.htm&-sortfield=SortID&-Max=40&category=odds&-find

 

Since you're building in a 7100, be sure you understand the limitations of the BART4 chip that manages the Nubus: block transfers must be supported by all cards inserted for any one card to properly receive them. The Rocket and a compatible video card would certainly support block transfer, though I'd have to double check on the 340.

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Ws16xcp40TcJ:radius.vintagebox.de/Support/dv/Bart.html+&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

 

 

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I'm building out a 7100/80, so "I think" the Nubus issues were ironed out relative to the 7100/66? However, I have come to find out today that the 7100 it didn't quite survive shipping intact :-(. I need to verify that the damage is cosmetic. The thing was packed terribly. I could feel it sloshing around loose in the box.

I've sent an email to the Headgap folks. Assuming they don't want an arm & a leg for it, I'll pick it up. I have been completely unable to find any kind of documentation for that thing though.

 

For video, I've got something really exotic on the way. :-) I scored a Nubus BUG Pickles XA-Pro that's on its way from Japan.

 

Edited by Nathan_A
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On 3/7/2021 at 8:20 AM, jeremywork said:

Both Houdini and Houdini II included a MIDI out port on the loopback cable.

I know the joystick port works but I thought they left out midi? What kind of cable did you use to get it working?

 

Also, if you have one of those adapter boards (for the Quadra 700/9x0s), would you mind measuring it for me? I was trying at some point to design a new one (with a 2.5mm midi jack connected to the midi out pin of the ct2501). Width should be all right but I need to know the exact length.

 

Also, what a great guide! I didn’t even know about the Orange 386 cards...

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On 3/8/2021 at 3:57 AM, Nathan_A said:

I'm building out a 7100/80, so "I think" the Nubus issues were ironed out relative to the 7100/66? However, I have come to find out today that the 7100 it didn't quite survive shipping intact :-(. I need to verify that the damage is cosmetic. The thing was packed terribly. I could feel it sloshing around loose in the box.

I've sent an email to the Headgap folks. Assuming they don't want an arm & a leg for it, I'll pick it up. I have been completely unable to find any kind of documentation for that thing though.

 

For video, I've got something really exotic on the way. :-) I scored a Nubus BUG Pickles XA-Pro that's on its way from Japan.

 

Sorry to hear about your 7100. Been there myself a few times, so hopefully it's still repairable/usable (as far as that Radius doc goes, even the 7100/80s were known for the fault, though they did mention it was possible but unverified that some /80s had the BART21.)

 

Haven't seen much on the BUG cards, but is the XA-Pro part of the Pickles line? The only reference I can find suggests XA-Pro is a JPEG compression/decompression PCI card and the Pickles cards were earlier Nubus 8/24-bit display cards (though I don't read Japanese, so Google may have mistranslated for me.) Would love to see it when you get it!

 

On 3/8/2021 at 4:54 AM, BadGoldEagle said:

I know the joystick port works but I thought they left out midi? What kind of cable did you use to get it working?

 

Also, if you have one of those adapter boards (for the Quadra 700/9x0s), would you mind measuring it for me? I was trying at some point to design a new one (with a 2.5mm midi jack connected to the midi out pin of the ct2501). Width should be all right but I need to know the exact length.

 

Also, what a great guide! I didn’t even know about the Orange 386 cards...

D'oh! That's a detail I glossed over; I haven't tried to use my joystick port for MIDI.

 

I do have one of Reply's PCB extensions in my Q700, which I'd gladly measure to help reproduce. They're too simple to be this obscure...

 

In a recent listing I didn't buy, I see Reply equipped these with an optional second bracket with 3.5mm audio in/out jacks connected to the Houdini internal header. I'd love to fabricate that part as well, as the only other method for getting sound out of the 700 is running cables through the corner of the occupied Nubus slot opening (rather pinched looking, but functional.)

 

Is it possible to bodge the missing MIDI pin directly to the back of the DB26 plug on the Houdini itself, properly enabling the Joystick port? Or are there not enough wires in the breakout cable?

1258127674_s-l1600(4).thumb.jpg.ab7a04b1d5108ec4d0cd17bfe96aae5d.jpg

 

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20 hours ago, jeremywork said:

Is it possible to bodge the missing MIDI pin directly to the back of the DB26 plug on the Houdini itself, properly enabling the Joystick port? Or are there not enough wires in the breakout cable?

AFAIK midi never leaves the daughterboard. I was searching a while back what the CT2501's pinout was but it's not available. You basically need a real ("PC") SB16 with the same chip and trace the signal back from the port. 

 

20 hours ago, jeremywork said:

with an optional second bracket with 3.5mm audio in/out jacks connected to the Houdini internal header.

I guess it should be possible to modify the original bracket. Although building a replica board is simple (it's basically a pass through), making a bracket is not... We could make plastic braces to help join the two (and relieve some of the  stress put on the DB26).

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19 hours ago, BadGoldEagle said:

AFAIK midi never leaves the daughterboard. I was searching a while back what the CT2501's pinout was but it's not available. You basically need a real ("PC") SB16 with the same chip and trace the signal back from the port. 

 

I guess it should be possible to modify the original bracket. Although building a replica board is simple (it's basically a pass through), making a bracket is not... We could make plastic braces to help join the two (and relieve some of the  stress put on the DB26).

I'll sift through my PC soundcards bin. Most of mine are PCI but perhaps I have a suitable one to trace. I'd still be curious if the DB26 port has allocation for the pin(s) we're missing. Even if they come directly from the Vibra daughterboard, I'd still expect enabling the OEM joystick port with MIDI would be cleaner than adding an additional port, though perhaps I'm overlooking something.

 

I'd be happy to take the bracket to some local metal shops to see how feasible recreating them would be. Fortunately, the edge connector bracket is already present on factory Houdini II cards, so it can simply be moved to the end of the Reply extender. Drilling additional holes far and away makes the most sense in this case- finding a source of soundblaster-in/out to 3.5mm jacks would be the bigger trick I think. 

 

Fortunately, it seems the II, IIx, and IIfx all shipped with suitable edge connector blank brackets in every slot not populated from the factory, so there are plenty of true blanks around to modify if you're missing one too, though I'd imagine at some point they won't be so thick on the ground.

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I don't have much on this card except some low resolution pictures.

I own one of these cards if you want more info / pictures on it. Unfortunately I don't have the software or cable for it and am looking for those myself.

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On 3/9/2021 at 6:18 AM, jeremywork said:

I'd be happy to take the bracket to some local metal shops to see how feasible recreating them would be. 

 

Seems most take the route of recreating ISA, PCI metal brackets with 3D printed replacements these days.

 

Thanks for posting up all this info - I love DOS equipped Macs.  The other day I bought a Pentium Overdrive (POD83) which might play nicely in either my Q610 or Q630 DOS Compatible Macs - both are much the same boards.  The same boards don't like upgrades like Evergreen/Kingston 5x86 133 CPUs, I might add - vanilla DOS works but anything fancier (Windows, memory managers) they freeze.

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19 hours ago, Byrd said:

 

Seems most take the route of recreating ISA, PCI metal brackets with 3D printed replacements these days.

 

Thanks for posting up all this info - I love DOS equipped Macs.  The other day I bought a Pentium Overdrive (POD83) which might play nicely in either my Q610 or Q630 DOS Compatible Macs - both are much the same boards.  The same boards don't like upgrades like Evergreen/Kingston 5x86 133 CPUs, I might add - vanilla DOS works but anything fancier (Windows, memory managers) they freeze.  Intel DX4 Overdrive works fine.

 

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On 3/9/2021 at 2:25 PM, Libretto said:

I own one of these cards if you want more info / pictures on it. Unfortunately I don't have the software or cable for it and am looking for those myself.

I'd love to see some pictures. The one I found seemed to be the only one around, and it doesn't show much. Feel free to post them here in the thread if you want.

 

Reply's other cards seem to use the Apple PC Setup utility, or PC Setup 2x

https://web.archive.org/web/20020525220622/http://www.pcsetup2x.com/

Similarly, I'd be curious if the connector fits the typical Houdini four-way loopback cable.

 

On 3/9/2021 at 6:44 PM, Byrd said:

 

Seems most take the route of recreating ISA, PCI metal brackets with 3D printed replacements these days.

 

Thanks for posting up all this info - I love DOS equipped Macs.  The other day I bought a Pentium Overdrive (POD83) which might play nicely in either my Q610 or Q630 DOS Compatible Macs - both are much the same boards.  The same boards don't like upgrades like Evergreen/Kingston 5x86 133 CPUs, I might add - vanilla DOS works but anything fancier (Windows, memory managers) they freeze.

Very fun, I'd love to know if this works. I've seen DX4 Overdrives used in Houdini IIs before, but not a Pentium.

 

I think I recall reading that the Orange 486 models were more compliant with the 5x86 upgrade interposers than Apple's 486 boards. More detailed accounts would be nice.

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although there is a Reply 166 mentioned in the list I had to want to mention this particular one since its claiming a Reply-Radius 133 which made me wonder if its either a different card than photographed or more likely could be just the same card retailed/labelled with a different pentium cpu preinstalled?

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/203271095809

 

on a small note: I used to take a bit of an interest in wanting to maybe track down an orangemicro card for myself but with having to cut back my pci plan a little bit by now  I'll just have to do without this :)

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Posted (edited)

It seems Reply/Radius used several speeds on that board design, at least 133MHz, 166MHz with MMX, and 200MHz with MMX. It seems the line originally consisted of the Détente AX (from what I can tell a clone of the Apple 7" card) and the Détente MX (which is pictured as the same as Apple's 12" Pentium card, but as far as I know the two MMX processors were only offered in the socket featured on the other 12" design.)

 

https://web.archive.org/web/19980123174219/http://www.reply.radius.com/products.htm#DOS on Mac Product Family

 

I swear I've seen a better archive of the Détente product family with pictures still live. If anyone has it handy, link it :)

 

Edited by jeremywork
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On 3/10/2021 at 8:58 PM, jeremywork said:

I'd love to see some pictures. The one I found seemed to be the only one around, and it doesn't show much. Feel free to post them here in the thread if you want.

 

Reply's other cards seem to use the Apple PC Setup utility, or PC Setup 2x

https://web.archive.org/web/20020525220622/http://www.pcsetup2x.com/

Similarly, I'd be curious if the connector fits the typical Houdini four-way loopback cable.

 

There's one that's kind of hard to track down on eBay depending on which region portal you enter through, but here's a link to it that resolves through the US site: https://www.ebay.com/itm/DOS-ON-MAC-REPLY-CYRIX-CARD-DOM-7100-Boxed/284210795086

 

The only cable it comes with appears to be the bog standard Apple "AppleVision" to standard Mac monitor adapter, which makes no sense at all. I assume that the card ALSO normally came with one of those spider cables and that the adapter listed in the auction there was provided as a convenience since:

  1. The 7100 & 8100 didn't come with one of those so far as I know, and they otherwise wouldn't have a standard display out connector for the DoM spider cable to connect to since the DoM card replaces the HPV card the machine ships with.
  2. Topologically & physically there's no sensible reason to connect the AppleVision port to the connector on the DoM card... because what would you then plug a monitor into?

I've made an offer on that auction that was declined. I offered a bit over twice what the previous one on eBay sold for back in January, and that former one came with the original CPU, but it lacked the software, box, etc. Someone has pulled the CPU, and seemingly the requisite video cabling, from the auction above. As a result, I'm not willing to pay anywhere near what the seller is asking.

 

Here's the one that sold back in January: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Macintosh-Reply-Corporation-DOM-7100-486DX2-Mac-7100-amp-8100-Series-/254845542208

 

Both of those auctions have some nice photographs if you want to grab them for archival purposes before they get culled from eBay.

Edited by Nathan_A
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Great post. I'm thinking about putting an OrangePC 530 into the PCI slot on my 5500/275 so I can play some Win95/98 Ys imports I have from Japan.

 

What kind of gaming performance could I expect out of this setup? Is Win98 possible? I'm guessing GPU acceleration is out of the question until you get into the 12" x86 cards like the OrangePC 550...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2021 at 11:20 PM, jeremywork said:

~1991 - Orange386 by Orange Micro ......

(After finding so few pictures, I realize I really need to take some pictures of the one I own. On off the to-do list...)

https://imgur.com/a/t4sRASw

 

Here's some good pictures of my complete-in-box example.

Since I fixed the pin in the daughterboard I'll plan to install it in my IIci next time I have it open.

 

And of course a PDF of that manual will come soon...

Edited by jeremywork
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On 3/25/2021 at 1:10 PM, Dezant said:

Great post. I'm thinking about putting an OrangePC 530 into the PCI slot on my 5500/275 so I can play some Win95/98 Ys imports I have from Japan.

 

What kind of gaming performance could I expect out of this setup? Is Win98 possible? I'm guessing GPU acceleration is out of the question until you get into the 12" x86 cards like the OrangePC 550...

 

What games?  If you can find a 530 card, it'll run Windows 98 very acceptably - many came with the budget Cyrix P166 CPU which is a bit of a dog for all but Microsoft Office, replace with Pentium MMX equivalent to run up to early FPS games in software mode.  I've never seen the Riva 128 OrangePC 550 in the wild - but that would indeed be wild to own ...

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IIRC, the 550 had a Virge GX (technically a 3D enabled chip, but not really in any meaningful way practically speaking). The later PCfx! and 660 had an nVidia chip on them. I had a PCfx! card in college in a Beige G3/333 tower. I wish I'd kept it these many years later. From memory I think it came with a really paltry IDT WinChip as its CPU, and I replaced it with an AMD K6 or K6-2 at the time. It was a serviceable way for me to play Counter Strike with my dorm mates way back when.

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On 3/24/2021 at 7:10 PM, Dezant said:

Great post. I'm thinking about putting an OrangePC 530 into the PCI slot on my 5500/275 so I can play some Win95/98 Ys imports I have from Japan.

 

What kind of gaming performance could I expect out of this setup? Is Win98 possible? I'm guessing GPU acceleration is out of the question until you get into the 12" x86 cards like the OrangePC 550...

 

 

On a 5500, the GIMO port was used by Apple's 7" Cyrix card to send video and sound to the built-in display and speakers. I don't have firsthand experience with an OrangePC 530, but I imagine you'd need to find a way of looping back and adapting signals into the GIMO port for full effect, unless you don't mind your Windows environment on a separate display/speakers.

 

3D acceleration is limited to the later 12" cards (thanks @Nathan_Afor identifying the chip on the 550!) but the 530 should still give good 2D acceleration if memory serves.

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Thanks for the information. I bought a cocktail of upgrades based on some recent research into what would be possible on my single PCI slot 5500/275 to see how much I can max it out as an all in one PC / Mac / Console (S-Video input) battlestation.

 

I've decided to bypass the 7" PCI card size and single PCI slot limitation by adding an AVID Magma 7-slot PCI expander for pro video / audio use. This adds 7 more PCI slots in a rack mountable box which I can put in the audio rack under my desk while the 5500 all in one is up top. Hopefully the PCI cable is long enough to reach the top 4U slot under my desk.

 

The S3 Virge GX on the 550 seems to be totally capable in terms of my needs based on this guys video. It also has a couple nice ESS Audio drive onboard soundcards from what I can see. This seems nice because I have an Roland SK-88 sound canvas GM / GS compatible keyboard in my midi chain. 

 

Working on the video loopback situation. I am very much trying to avoid use if a second monitor, since that defeats the purpose of the all in one, and my main reason for using a 5500. May have to settle for an S-Video conversion from the PC side into the video in until I can figure out a higher quality video input solution via the 60-pin DAV/YUV, External Video Connector, or Pro A/V card.

 

Purchases so far:

 

Avid Magma 7-slot PCI expander

 

12" OrangePC 550 with Pentium MMX 233

 

OrangePC Octocable

 

Apple External Video Connector (I believe this provides video output only, but it was so cheap I figured I'd pick it up for testing).

Edited by Dezant
Wrong external video connector link
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Posted (edited)

Be careful regarding PCI bridges and the 5500/6500/TAM. The 5400/6400/6360 are fine, but the later ones have a design issue which makes even single card USB/Firewire designs require special NVRAM patches to run properly. There's a bit more information available by searching keywords TAM USB Firewire on this forum. The 5500 and TAM share effectively the same motherboard and load-out.

 

Otherwise that's sure to turn into some crazy setup when you figure it out!

Edited by jeremywork
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Please let me know if you have any good ideas.


PM 6100 In the DOS card environment, the combination of Reply's genuine option Cyrix 5x86 100GP could not boot in the PC environment.
TrinityWorks Intel 486 CPU 3.45V Voltage Converter combined with 5x86 also failed to boot.


Since it works fine in the original environment (Cyrix 486 DX2), is the optional CPU not working due to insufficient power capacity of PM6100 or something?

 

This is a picture of Houdini II replaced with a genuine option CPU card from Reply. It's not working though.

IMG_0684 (1).jpeg

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