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Got me a Macintosh LC III with mystery add on card! :D


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I have recently acquired a Macintosh LC III off eBay. Got it for around $85 shipped which compared to the other listings I've seen, that seems like a decent price. Got just the unit, no monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Already have a keyboard/mouse I can use with the machine. This LC III came with a hard-drive. An IBM branded 120MB drive.

 

This machine was packed well and survived shipping. :D

Upon testing, I found it to be fully functional with the hard-drive still working. LCs like this one tend to have audio issues from leaking caps but mine seems to not have developed that problem yet. There is evidence that the caps have started to leak so I will be getting this recapped. (I planned on doing that regardless of the condition I found it in so long as it seemed to be repairable)
 

 

Also included are photos of it after it arrived.. Note the closeups I took of the add-on card that came with this machine. I'm curious as to what it is. My guess is it's a SuperMac VideoSpigot. But I can't find any photos confirming this. Would also like to find the software for this should it be identified. (there doesn't appear to by any on the hard-drive from quick look I had). I also repaired the minor damage shown in the back corner near power supply. This was not a result of shipping. it was already like that (as it was seen in the seller's photos).

That piece of plastic came completely off though during shipping. But he packed it pretty well and had wrapped the machine in plastic wrap so I didn't have to dig through the packing peanuts to find it. :D

 

Here's some photos. The first few are where taken by the original seller. Last few are photos I took myself once it had arrived. Oh and yeah I tried plugging a composite cable from the card to the VCR input for my TV and didn't get anything. This makes me think it's a capture card and not a video output card. (though maybe it just needs the extension/control panel specific to it before it would output anything)

LCIII_FrontEbay.thumb.jpg.7c6d706e9d15c6de5991d4741e9c75f6.jpg

LCIII_BackEbay.jpg

 

LCIII_OpenedEbay.jpg

 

CardBack.png

 

CardTop.png

 

RepairedLCIII.png

 

The floppy drive is shot though. Doesn't read disks and the ejection mechanism is pretty stiff so it can't eject on it's own despite my attempts to lubricate it. Not a big deal as I can use the drive from my Macintosh SE which still works fine and should be compatible with this machine.

Edited by Apache Thunder
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I could be wrong but I indeed would think its very likely a composite-in card as I'm not sure why someone would make a video card that conventionally omitted the da15 port, given that if you had wanted to use a LC with a tv you had the apple presentation or similar third party pc-to-tv adapters instead

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Yeah if it was a video output card it would have some kind of RGB type output like the same port on the machine or VGA or something. So been leaning towards either dedicated composit output or input card. But sounding more like an input card. SuperMac also made an output card. They called it Spectrum and the info on it seems to suggest it has the same video port on it as on the main LC III's monitor jack so probably not what this one is.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah this card is non existent on eBay. Seen a few NuBus Spectrums for well over $80+. No idea what a card like this is worth but feels like it was worth more then the entire machine. I finally found a program that was meant to be used with this card. "ScreenPlay" which I believe was used to capture screens (and video?) from the input card. If that app works then I'll know for sure it's a SuperMac VideoSpigot. :D

Edited by Apache Thunder
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Yeah looks like it's indeed a VideoSpigot. I have to juggle around a couple Zip drives to get this software on this machine since the floppy drive is dead and I'm currently too lazy to pull part the SE to use it's drive. So I'll just do the Zip disk juggle around method. So I will soon be able to test this card.

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Ok it seems I can't edit that post anymore so will post it this way instead. Finally got around to finishing the video encode:

https://youtu.be/fAvMYlIGhIo

 

It is indeed a SuperMac VideoSpigot NTSC/PAL Composite Video Capture card. It can record audio but only via system's default input device. (Microphone only audio input on this LCIII)

 

The framerate is pretty decent. Surprising how well it works on a machine this old. I checked and only a NuBus version of this card is up on eBay right now so this thing is super rare. :D

 

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as for framerate, well I mean 160x120 something (sorry I can't remember right now) at 25-30fps is probably not hard for a nice 68030 to handle

 

and yeah its typical to pass off the audio to the onboard (or a separate dedicated card), very few dedicated capture cards ever did audio at all in general

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I have one, they are probably not as common as the Nubus version (which I also have).  They are not worth that much since they are on the very low end of resolution and frame rate capture (a stock 660av/840av would be better).

 

 

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On 4/7/2021 at 6:00 PM, chelseayr said:

I'm not sure why someone would make a video card that conventionally omitted the da15 port,

 

The reason for this is that most schools in the early '90s when the Mac LC series was new didn't have large monitors or projectors with 15-pin vga or mac graphics ports, so the solution was to come up with things like the presentation system and other composite video output otpions for macs. Basically, a large consumer TV with composite input was almost always cheaper than a large computer monitor or a projector, even an overhead projector LCD panel which was also aimed at that market to both reuse existing ecosystems and reduce costs.

 

There's both mac 15-pin graphics and composite video out ports for both this reason and for putting video onto tapes for the 630/580/6200+/5200+ machines. Those were separate cards and you had to pick which one you needed, so analog only video output isn't completely unprecedented. 

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