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Performa 6400/180 + Monitor + StyleWriter 2500


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Having consulted with folks over at the PowerPC forum I decided today to make an offer on a Performa 6400/180 that I have been watching on ebay here in the UK.  My offer was accepted and I picked it up this afternoon.

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Seller showed it working but told me that Hard Disk that was originally Booting was not not being recognised.  It boots fine off a CD.  It seems in very good condition with some yellowing.

 

Here is the main unit:

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The monitor is working well - I am hoping I can use this as a VGA monitor as well as an Apple one with a suitable converter?  Sound is working through the monitor and the Subwoofer is working well:

 

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I am not expecting much from the StyleWriter 2500 - I think its a Canon BJ under the covers.  It came complete with power supply and cables:

 

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The HDD sounds sick and does not seem to want to initialise - I might try the old freezer trick when I am ready to back it up to some other media:

 

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 I have removed most of the plastics - boy this case is hard to get into.  I maned somehow to do this without breaking anything!  There is some obvious yellowing, I might go down the retrobriting route.   The front plastic catches for the case are both broken but the case fit is so tight it doesn't seem to matter:

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The back panel looks fine:

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The Logic board removal is a true joy to behold - the whole motherboard slides out on rails.  The battery is dead, there is a setting clock prompt on boot, but is still intact.  I've removed it.  The Logic Board is immaculate with very little dust (the dust probably couldn't get inside the case - not without a pry tool):

 

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There is a single stick of DRAM: HYM564120AGX-60 and it looks like there is a free slot.  

There is an empty CACHE slot.

There is a UK Modem in the Comm Slot:

 

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I managed to break the plastic clip on the FDD tray - time to break out the epoxy!

 

I want to add Ethernet - I guess I can either find a COMM PORT Card or a compatible PCI card.

 

Not sure what to do about the HDD - It looks like a standard IDE unit.

 

 

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On 3/12/2021 at 8:10 PM, cannfoddr said:

I am hoping I can use this as a VGA monitor as well as an Apple one with a suitable converter?


Pretty sure you can do this, I had a Multiple Scan 15av in college (back when they were new) and I think had it switching back and forth to a Dell Pentium with an adapter.


PCI Ethernet cards should be easier to find then the Comm Slot II Ethernet card that could replace the modem card. PCI card wise a USB and/or FireWire card (or a combo) can be useful. 
 

Overall very cool setup!

 

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I've taken a look through the box of goodies that came with the hardware and so far:

  • Original Manuals for Performa 6400, Style Writer 2500 and the Apple Monitor
  • Original CDs for the Performa 6400 - including the welcome CD
  • Claris Works Manuals
  • Claris Impact Manual
  • Apple Magic Collection by Disney Pack of CDs??
  • ConcertWare Reference??
  • Whole Bunch of CDs:
    • Kids Educational and reference CDs
    • Microsoft Animals
    • Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
    • Rosetta Stone
    • Descent
    • Claris Small Business
    • The Daedalus Encounter
    • Full Throttle
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On 3/13/2021 at 2:10 AM, cannfoddr said:

Having consulted with folks over at the PowerPC forum I decided today to make an offer on a Performa 6400/180 that I have been watching on ebay here in the UK.  My offer was accepted and I picked it up this afternoon

 

Not sure what to do about the HDD - It looks like a standard IDE unit.

 

Great purchase !

 

The HDD is indeed a standard IDE unit. Any other IDE disk should work (with jumper set as MASTER) or a IDE to compact flash adapter

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20 hours ago, demik said:

 

Great purchase !

 

The HDD is indeed a standard IDE unit. Any other IDE disk should work (with jumper set as MASTER) or a IDE to compact flash adapter

Whats the thought on IDE to SD adapters, I've never used them?

How about an IDE to SATA with a spare SSD I have laying around?

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Congratulations! This looks like a great setup!

 

What OS came with it and/or are you intending to run? If you want to run the original OS and it's 7.6.1, the volume limit is 2TB, and I don't think there are any weird considerations with this machine's IDE controller, so you can run any big ol' IDE/SATA disk you want.

 

If you want to run 8.5 or newer, I do recommend some more RAM.

 

Part of the fun of this particular machine is probably that it will force you to set priorities. How you load it out will arguably be different if you want to run 7.5.5 or 7.6.1 than if you want to run 9.1.

 

Ethernet makes sense either way, but PCI vs. CSII is definitely a thing, if you end up wanting to run 7 there's some neat upgrades like the a/v kit and the DOS card that use a PCI slot, which can use a dedicated video input this computer's motherboard has so you don't need bulky external cabling. (though you can use those cables if you don't have the internal cabling.)

 

The monitor is a multisync one and will work fine on another PC, this system will also drive a regular VGA monitor fine.

 

If you can, find the 256k (or larger if they existed) cache module, it should be a nice pick-me-up before going to a G3, and a PCI arch 603e/180 with some cache should put off the "need" to go to G3 for some more performance.

 

These were also sometimes upgraded back in the day with better graphics cards, esp. in gaming oriented configs.

 

The printer is a BubbleJet of some kind as you suspect, so Canon inks and parts should work.

 

And, that top bay is SCSI if I remember correctly so there's some fun you can have there w/re removable media or second hard disk or using a scsi2sd in this system would be possible, if annoying. I don't know how cable routing works in this box so a SATA card would probably "work" but might not be a great idea.

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I can confirm adding a 256K cache module makes a pretty significant improvement in performance.  I equipped my 6360 with one. (basically the same logic board but with a 160MHz 603e) Combination PCI cards (USB and FireWire on the same card, for example) can be quite fickle to get working on this family of machines, so it may be worthwhile to keep an eye out for a CommSlot II Ethernet card if you plan on expanding the system in that direction.  I can also confirm that a PCI ATI Rage 128 from a B&W G3 is an excellent upgrade to the onboard video.

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19 hours ago, rsolberg said:

I can confirm adding a 256K cache module makes a pretty significant improvement in performance.  I equipped my 6360 with one. (basically the same logic board but with a 160MHz 603e) Combination PCI cards (USB and FireWire on the same card, for example) can be quite fickle to get working on this family of machines, so it may be worthwhile to keep an eye out for a CommSlot II Ethernet card if you plan on expanding the system in that direction.  I can also confirm that a PCI ATI Rage 128 from a B&W G3 is an excellent upgrade to the onboard video.

Any thoughts on where I might find RAM and a Cache Card?

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I'm pretty sure the vendor I sourced my RAM from is gone, but having had a look on eBay, there seems to be a fair bit of compatible RAM available.  I checked the soldered RAM on the back of the board in your photos and it's 60ns FPM.  Some Alchemy family logic boards should only use EDO memory, but others can use EDO or FPM.  Yours obviously can use either, since the soldered RAM is FPM.  It's important to note that while these boards take 168 pin DIMMs, they're not the same as 168 pin SDRAM DIMMs.  The notches are in different positions, to make it harder to accidentally install the wrong type and voltage of RAM module, but it's good to keep this in mind.  It's also important to note that these boards need 5 volt memory, not the 3.3v used in the Power Mac 4400/7220 and related clones.  When I looked on eBay, I searched for '64MB EDO DIMM 5v' and a lot of the results noted Mac compatibility.  DIMMs of 64MB each or less listed as compatible with the 5400, 5500, 6360, 6400, 6500, 7300, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, 9600, or TAM/Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh should be fully compatible with your machine.  As for the cache module, Apple's part number is 661-1035.  I found a third party (IDT) 256k module for my machine.

 

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I saw that the cache module ended up being the wrong one in your Trading Post thread.  If you'd like to post front and back photos of it, I'd be happy to try identifying it for you so you know what it fits and who might want it.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, not a 4400/7220/54/55/64/6500 L2 cache DIMM. Definitely not a 72/75/73/7600 style L2 cache either... is that an L2 for the 6/7/8100 Power Macs then? It has a similar pin configuration to the 7100 ROM... did they use the same connector type?
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Edited by jessenator
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19 hours ago, Fizzbinn said:

I think it might be an L2 Cache/ROM for Performa 6200/5200 series. ROM on one side, cache on the other?

I think you might be right... I totoally forgot they were on the same module
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21 hours ago, Zippy Zapp said:

So probably for a Power Mac 8500. 

 

The 8500 (Nitro) shared the same L2 cache DIMM as the Catalyst (7200) and TNT (75/76/7300) Power Macs, which has this pin/keyed config:

 

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I'm putting my money on OP's purchase being a x2xx Performa ROM/Cache module.

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So the Performa 6400 case and keyboard are all cleaned and put back together.  Looking much better, the camera seems to make the top panel and the front panel look very different they are not like that to the eye. All the yellowing is gone and the burnt in Mac Logo on the top front has caved out.

 

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Now I have the Monitor to dismantle and retrobrite.

 

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Looking great!

 

Just out of curiosity, I'd love to see the innards of the monitor if you are able to grab any pics when you take it apart.  I've never taken one of those apart before and am always curious about what crt monitor innards look like.

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Ok the monitor is stripped - by far the scariest thing I have done so far!  Lots of photos so sorry if this is information overload.  I converted these at Medium quality but if anyone wants hi res of anything let me know.  I pretty much followed the disassembly steps from the service manual.

 

The plastics are pretty brittle and some but just broke off in my hand.  I've been extra careful with the Tube and Neck.

 

Service Guide is here: https://tim.id.au/laptops/apple/displays/multiple_scan_15av_display.pdf

 

Stand removal was very straightforward, some limited yellowing on it so I have dismantled it ready for retrobrite.

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Next step was 4 screws and remove the main case: some general yellowing so that will get same treatment
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Here are the guts of the unit:

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Did a CRT discharge just to be sure, its not been plugged in for ages.  Removed the cap:

 

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There is a grounding strap all the way around the tube:

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I removed the CRT Board from the Neck:
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Final step was to remove the Red wire - unlike the manual mine was secured with a dab of hot glue as well as the locking collar.   The collar looks very fiddly and in the end I decided I could proceed without removing the red wire and just leaving the board hanging:

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I removed the remaining connectors between the Yoke and Main Deflection Board:

 

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I was then able to remove the entire Deflection Board, a very snug fit but with some perseverance I was able to release the 2 plastic tabs and slide out the whole board with the CRT assembly still attached:

 

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Then it was time for the CRT removal.  Four screws and some gentle persistent pressure and the whole tube parted company from the front bezel.  I left all the grounding harnesses etc in place and transported it very carefully to the spare room and locked it away from Cats etc...

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Here is the front panel with everything removed:
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All this was not without some challenges that I could use some advice on:

 

  1. The removal of the speakers as per the service manual did not go well.  The speakers came away but the foam remained stubbornly attached.  I am not sure How I am going to replace the speakers.  I may have to gouge out the remaining foam and rubber and construct some new speaker mounts - suggestions please?

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  2. Power button removal was a disaster - the plastic were way too brittle for the proposed approach in the service manual to stand a chance.  The clips broke and I am going to have to Jury rig something - probably involving hot glue!

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  3. There are a few broken bits of plastic that will need to be reglued with my new favourite 2 part SuperGlue for Plastic.

All the plastics are now undergoing a cream based retrobrite - I don't have a container big enough for immersion.  I fully expect to have to have a few goes and getting them right.  Then all I have to do is put it back together :-)

 

Happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Edited by cannfoddr
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@cannfoddr Thank you for posting such detailed pictures!

 

I had suspected that this was made for Apple by LG; the only surprising thing is that the yoke assembly appears to be partially made using Japanese parts.

 

I get obsessive over CRT monitors and always wonder who actually made them.  I've been trying to get a feel for who made Apple's monitors in the 90s as well as when LG-made units started having Flyback issues.  It seems like Sony was a big vendor for Apple in the very early 90s, and then Apple started making their own chassis/electronics to drive Sony tubes, and then they started to very rapidly switch over to LG as their main display vendor in the mid-90s.  And then in the late 90s a lot of the LG displays started having serious flyback transformer failure issues.  I wonder if LG switched flyback transformer suppliers, or maybe started to make their own, and they didn't get it right and that's why the Molar Mac/iMac G3/Apple Studio Displays of that era all have flyback transformer issues.

 

Anyway, your unit looks pretty decent other than the brittle plastics and rotted foam.  I haven't heard of any flyback transformer issues on LG-made monitors from that era.  How did your retrobrite and restoration turn out?

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I have such fond childhood associations with the Performa 6400/180 + this same monitor! I was a computer-crazy kid but my family was poor, so I was only able to really get my hands on machines 2-3 generations behind (I had an Apple IIe and a Mac Plus, both found at yard sales). The parents of one of my closest friends when I was ~14 years old upgraded to a Performa 6400/180 just like yours, and I spent many happy sleepover nights at his house playing Descent and exploring all the bundled CD-ROM's - having a machine that powerful as a home computer just seemed insane to me. I'll never forget the powerful bass-sound of the startup chime on that machine!

 

Congrats on acquiring such a lovely and complete set - I hope it gives you many years of happy computing!

 

Huxley

 

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Retrobrighting is going slowly on this one. We’ve lost the weather for now.  
First attempt is a bit patchy/blotchy so I am regrouping for round 2.

Stylewriter seems to use a different plastic to the rest which is taking much longer.

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