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Power Mac 7220 – PC Compatibility Card

I'd recently picked up a PC Compatibility Card for my Power Mac 7220 and thought I'd see if it worked. It seems to be the P166 variant and, unfortunately, didn't come with the required monitor cabling.

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The card itself is huge. Being an entire PC on a card, you'll find graphics, RAM, sound and, of course, the main CPU all crammed on-board.

Basic Installation

It fits neatly into the 7220 case and has a metal tab at the far end that may well need to be adjusted to allow a secure fit.

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You'll see in the first two shots above that the metal tab was in the wrong spot and didn't slot into the case. I had to shift it to the other position to provide a proper fit. Otherwise the weight of the card actually allowed it to start bending down!

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There's also a CD Audio cable that needs to be fitted. Previously the 7220 simply had the audio from the CD drive plugged straight into the motherboard. Now, the audio runs from the CD drive to the PC card, then another CD Audio cable runs between the card and the motherboard. This effectively means that the PC Card is mixing its own audio output with anything from the CD drive and sending that to the Macintosh hardware.

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Note that you'll need to set your input device to the internal CD Drive to have the sound come through!

Software is simple enough, see my post here for all the relevant downloads. Install PC Setup 1.6 prior to 2.14. The disks from that post work fine as well!

Hacking a cable together

I expected that the 26-pin 3-row D-sub plug required for this would be apple-proprietary, but it turns out that it's available on eBay! I purchased one, along with two 14-pin already-cabled plugs to hack up.

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Nothing like buying in bulk in case of emergency! The wiring information can be found here, but I've provided it below for safe-keeping.

3-row 26-pin
Compatibility
plug
Macintosh
Video Out
(male)
Monitor Plug
(female)
Purpose Direction
Pin 1 Pin 15 Horizontal Sync In
Pin 2 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground In
Pin 3 Pin 9 Blue Signal In
Pin 4 Pin 13 Blue Ground In
Pin 5 Pin 4 Pin 4 Sense 0 In/Out
Pin 6 Pin 13 Blue Ground Out
Pin 7 Pin 9 Blue Signal Out
Pin 8 Pin 14 HSync Ground Out
Pin 9 Pin 15 HSync Out
Pin 10 Pin 3 CSync In
Pin 11 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground In
Pin 12 Pin 5 Green Signal In
Pin 13 Pin 6 Green Ground In
Pin 14 Pin 7 Pin 7 Sense1 In/Out
Pin 15 Pin 6 Green Ground Out
Pin 16 Pin 5 Green Signal Out
Pin 17 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground Out
Pin 18 Pin 3 CSync Out
Pin 19 Pin 12 VSync In
Pin 20 Pin 2 Red Signal In
Pin 21 Pin 1 Red Ground In
Pin 22 Pin 14 Cable Detect In
Pin 23 Pin 10 Pin 10 Sense2 In/Out
Pin 24 Pin 1 Red Ground Out
Pin 25 Pin 2 Red Signal Out
Pin 26 Pin 12 VSync Out

I cut the cable between the two 14-pin plugs and stripped the wires back. Intially, I started soldering these onto the main 3-row plug, but this became tedious and my soldering was unreliable. The requirement of joined pins also meant that I had to create intentional bridges and wasn't quite happy with this.

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Instead, I found some spare 'tough' copper wiring and soldered 5cm leads onto the 3-row plug. From here, I then joined and soldered the correct wires and heat-shrinked it all together.

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Resolutions were a little weird. There's notes in the PC Compatibility Card FAQ here that mention how you should install correct drivers and use a proper multi-sync monitor. I initially used my hack-job wiring and attempted to switch to the proper MAC to VGA adapter...

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With the adapter in place, the resolution was mapped correctly. I then 'solidified' the cabling... hahahaha...

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Installing Windows

I'd previously done this via the 7" Card on my 7200. Unfortunately things weren't to go as easy this time. In that post, you can find the Tiny Boot Disk hard-drive file that has a nicely bootable Windows 98 SE drive. Windows isn't installed on that, but it'll at least get you a booted 50mb harddisk. From here (or so I thought) you can then build another D: drive and make that bootable.

The goal was simple: Mount another hard-file, format it and copy the contents over. FDISK was used, format d:/s worked and then the full copy was done. On a reboot (after switching the disks so that the new drive file was C:), I was presented with NO ROM BASIC. I've never seen this error before! I switched the disks back and realised that the partition wasn't set as active. Unfortunately, DOS 6.22 FDISK can only set active partitions on the primary drive!

I therefore had to borrow FDISK from FreeDos. The best part of the PC Compatibility on Apple is that you can mount the hard-files on the Macintosh desktop! Make sure your PC side is shut down and just double-click the hard-file. After extracting FDISK, I copied it over to the DOS drive. I then unmounted the drive (drag it to the trash, as scary as that may seem) and then booted the PC side back up.

I now had an FDISK folder. Switching to this and starting FDISK gave me an error on line 2 trying to read FDISK.INI. Turns out that the file has UNIX line-breaks and DOS 6.22 hates this. I could've converted these on the Macintosh side and re-copied... but instead I took a punt and deleted the INI file. It worked! I could now set the active partition on D:.

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And then... it booted... from here I copied the WIN98 folder off the CD to the HD as an installer folder and then brought Windows 98 SE to life! I still wanted to make sure CD Audio was correct, so I tested out Screamer which uses the CD for its soundtrack.

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It then froze... each time... the entire machine... couldn't even get to the main menu!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
16Oct/170

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 – PCI Cards

This thing has a lot of room for expandability, so I went rummaging through my spares box for PCI cards that might fit. Actually, I managed to find a FireWire card on the same day I bought the ATI 9250 AGP Graphics Card, so I had that to test also. This Apple failed to come with an AirPort PCMCIA card, so I also wanted to get wireless working without paying for premium Apple devices.

ASUS WL-138G V2

I had a TP-Link something-something box in my stash and googled to see if there were any drivers. Nothing good came up and I thought I was out of luck. I had actually bought this from the markets years ago and never used it... in fact, I never even opened the box. You can imagine my surprise when I found this inside instead!

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Haha... winner... this sure isn't a TP-Link!

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The best point is this... the bloody thing just worked! At first, I hardly got any signal... but then I realised I didn't have the antenna screwed on :)

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Done... does wonders for my limited supply of Ethernet ports.

No-Name FireWire Card KWE582

And again, from the category of 'just works'... this FireWire card happily let my iSight Camera function as expected.

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Totally no-name... can't even find a brand.

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I actually don't even need the ports... but hey, there are spare PCI slots to fill! The last shot above shows my iSight looking towards the machine working perfectly in iChat. Will need to find if Photo Booth is available for 10.4.6?

Adaptec AIC-7880P

This SCSI card will let me use more internal and external drives, but I really don't need them. Despite this, I think it'll still be fun to test. I've a hunch that it's actually a fake card as the only identifier is the chipset number. Adaptec doesn't name their cards after their chipsets... their cards all have individual codes!

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Everything, again, just worked perfectly! My external SyQuest removable HDD worked perfectly showing my FAT32 drive in all its glory.

Unknown VIA Chipset 'USB 1394'

This dual USB/Firewire card looked promising... but prevented the entire machine from even booting. It seems to also need an auxiliary power connector in the form of a floppy drive power cable. I wasn't overly fussed to hack up a power cable to test this out, so I wrote the whole card off... don't bother with them! (Or.. tell me if your version actually works?)

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Swann 3-port Firewire (Lucent FW232)

This card worked perfectly. The iSight had no issues with it and OSX just used it as expected. I really didn't need 3 more firewire ports, but what the heck?

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I'll add more as I find more cards to test...

16Oct/170

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 – ATI Radeon 9250

My recently acquired Power Mac G4 was originally spec'd with an Nvidia GeForce, but instead came with an ATI Rage Pro 128. I therefore started researching my options for a graphics card upgrade. Most 'apple-designed' items, that would work out of the box, would cost an arm and a leg, so I ventured deeper into the web and came to the understanding that PC cards could be flashed to work on Apples!

Which cards?

Good question. Some people have had luck with the NVidia GeForce range, whilst others have succeeded with the ATI Radeon chipset. There's a good compatibilty chart here at The Mac Elite which will show you the series and then any required modifications.

Sapphire ATI Radeon 9250 128mb

I happened across an ATI Radeon 9250 AGP with 128mb of RAM at trash and treasure on the weekend for a few dollars and my decision was therefore made for me. The VGA port was dangling and needed whatever screws I could find to secure it.. and well, it was cheap.

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Quick research showed that the basic process is to first flash it in a compatible PC, disable pins 3+11 and then shift some resistors. The pin disablement is required as the Macintosh actually uses these to send 25v over it's proprietary ADC port to power an Apple Display. AGP 1x originally didn't require these pins and so Apple hijacked them. Plugging an AGP 4x/8x card into an apple expecting a 1x card will prevent the machine from booting and possibly cause other hardware damage.

Flashing with a Macintosh ROM

Thanking The Mac Elite once more, they have a great flashing tutorial here. Firstly, you'll need a ROM, so follow the links and agree to the disclaimers. Note that the 9250 driver is actually not 'official'. It's a modified version that has the device IDs hacked in to allow this card to work. You'll find 3 ROMs for the 9250 over there. A 'full' version and 2 reduced versions. The latter are smaller versions of the original ROM file, allowing it to fit on cards with smaller flash memory. Actually, there's a whole article on reduced ROMs here. I'd read on a forum of a success story with the 'Reduced TOME ROM', so I chose that.

Finding ATIFlash actually became quite a challenge... the tools available for ATI Flashing were all windows-based and the DOS version was nowhere to be found. I tried Archive.org, but the links were all dynamic and wouldn't give me an older version. Googling then provided me with a link to a newer version of the DOS ATIFlash tool. I managed to get it onto a bootable floppy, with both of the ROMs to test and ... well ... each attempt resulted in: Adapter Not Found. The tool couldn't find my AGP card!?!

At this point I had two options... Keep scouring the web for an ancient version of ATIFlash (v3.10 is the version everyone seems to prefer) or try the windows versions... I actually did try the latter, but my test PC only had Win98SE and the app needed Windows 7 at a minimum. I therefore kept digging and found other versions of ATIFlash! Finally, v3.10. It still didn't work... so instead of wasting hours to get Windows 7 up and running, I chose to force the flash. Using atiflash -f -p [CARD_IDX] [ROM_FILE], things started happening!

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Finally, we have a successful flash and it's actually now listing the card and the ROM information correctly. NOTE: The screenshot above shows ATIFLA2.EXE... this is v3.10. ATIFLASH.EXE is v4.17, the first version I tried.

Disabling pins 3 and 11

The Mac Elite has a great write-up on this requirement. As mentioned, these two pins were used to provide power to an ADC monitor. Later on, AGP 8x came along and used these pins for something else. Since my card is an 8x card, the pins are 'in-use' and therefore the Macintosh wasn't happy with this at all. In fact, it wouldn't power up with the card inserted nakedly into the slot. Fortunately, the fix is simples... grab some sticky-tape and cut it into thin slices and insulate the pins.

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To stop the tape from sliding when the card is inserted, wrap it half way around the edge. Don't go all the way around though, as you'll disable other pins on the other side of the connector.

At this point I tested it out... I was curious to see if the machine would even power up.

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It did!... but the frequency was totally out-of-whack. That last shot is of me going back to the PC to check if I could write the other 'full' ROM as I'd thought a bad ROM write was to blame. It didn't let me and I was about to despair, before I remembered that I still had to hack resistors to switch this card into Mac Mode.

ATI 9250 'Macintosh Mode'

The 9250 needs a further 'Macintosh Mode' hack. It seems that the card has soldered jumpers to configure it as either Macintosh or PC. This link at The Mac Elite has an example of what resistors to change... but my card wasn't 100% identical. I took a flying leap and guessed that the resistors in the same area provided the same purpose. This, thankfully, turned out to be correct!

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So, the card was on the workbench, the soldering iron was ready, and I had assumed that the 'block of three' resistors was the top 3 of 4 in that upper area and the '2 pair' was the obvious 2-pair below. Fortunately, the first 2 of 3 of the top block were already in the correct location; I just had to shift the last one. Removal was easy: I tinned the soldering iron and just heated up the SMD resistor until it lifted and stuck to the tip. After this I cleaned the pads ready for the switched resistors.

Of course, I couldn't be assed trying to put the tiny SMD resistors back; there's really no need. They're actually just jumpers or 0 ohm resistors providing links between two solder pads. I therefore just grabbed a nearby full-size resistor and bent its leg to act as a jumper.

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I tinned the end of the resistor and then soldered it in place.

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From there, a nice set of sharp snips removed the excess and the short was in place!

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One done, two more to go...

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Before I knew it, all were done and it was time to test it out again...

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With the card in place, you really have no idea if the sticky-tape insulating the pins has succeeded... but just turn it on anyway! Meanwhile, look at all those spare PCI slots! I'll get back to them later.

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Haha! It just worked!

Software

Well... it nearly worked. The second monitor was maxing out at 640x480 and controls seemed limited. I assumed I needed some form of a real ATI driver, so I went searching. ATI/AMD actually has the drivers right here and installing them was a breeze. After a reboot, I had full resolution and the monitor model numbers were even showing up!

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Success!

28Sep/170

OSX vs External MIDI Synthesizers

I've had an Edirol UM-1 USB MIDI Interface for ages and assumed it would 'just work' with the new Apple Power Mac G4 running OSX Tiger 10.4.11 that I recently acquired. The short answer is, it worked in the end, but the path to get it sorted wasn't overly intuitive.

Installing the correct drivers

Browse to the Roland Support Site and download the UM-1 Driver Version 2.1.0 for Mac OS X. This will give you the usual DMG on your desktop.

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Run the UM1USBDriver.pkg file and follow the prompts. You may need to restart!

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Configuring MIDI on OSX

Once you're back at your desktop, browse to Applications and run for Audio MIDI Setup.

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You should have a device called UM-1 listed here. What you now need to do is add a new device for your external synthesizer. Hit Add Device from the top toolbar.

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Give it the appropriate name and adjust the ports as required. Then click the icon to add something appropriate.

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From here, you need to join the output of the UM-1 to the inout of your new synthesizer. Look at the first image in this section above.

Playing MIDI Files

QuickTime Player JUST WON'T WORK. It only seems to ever want to use the QuickTime Music Synthesizer. Forget about it and download Sweet MIDI Player. Once it's open, click the MIDI menu and then choose MIDI Setup.

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Choose Core MIDI and then select your device. Now play your songs!

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Of course... you'll only get the first 3/4 of the song... will need to work out how to buy a license.

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Good luck!

28Sep/171

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 M5183 733mhz

You should've seen this poor thing on the shelf at the 'tip shop'. It was covered in mud, scuff marks, scratches and looked to have the absolute poop beaten out of it. I asked the price anyway, as I've always wanted to tinker with one of these things and this was in a perfectly restorative condition. It turns out that the going rate was AUD$5.00, so I purchased it and an original Macintosh A/B serial switch as well. (That'll work well for the MIDI devices I want to hook up.)

Getting it home...

Fortunately I had appropriate wrapping in the boot and insulated my newly acquired hazardous goods from anything on which it would leave a mark. It then went straight outside onto the balcony where I regretted yet another one of my impulse-purchases.

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Look at that grime... There was actually dirt falling out of it whenever I moved it and the wrapping I had it in had a collection of ... 'waste' that fallen out on the way home. Sliding around in the boot probably didn't help either.

Identifying it...

This turned out to be easier than expected... It's an M5183 G4 733mhz Power Macintosh 'Graphite'... but the guts aren't 100%. It was meant to come with an NVIDIA GeForce 2, HDD, etc... but instead has an ATI RAGE 128?

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Oh well... as long as it works!

Tearing it apart

Thanks to Apple's lust for ease-of-tear-down, this machine unscrewed and disassembled itself. The case it actually really nice; especially how it pops open with two latches and unfurls so that cables are secured and not in the way.

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Cables on hinges are expected to fail over time... but it looks like this one met a harsher fate...

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Meanwhile... yes... check out that grime! The entire case had a layer of crud inside, and this ain't dust. This is land-fill-biological-waste which was treated with every caution required. Fortunately it was all dry, so hopefully there weren't too many living organisms. Actually, I half-expected something to crawl out of the power supply but, apart from fertiliser and dirt/dust, it was relatively unscathed!

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The case got the full treatment. It needed it. Unfortunately, working with base metal chassis' always means human casualties. Fortunately I have a plentiful supply of disinfectant and bandaids.

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Building it back up again...

This was the fun part... there's always screws left over! For the most part everything just slotted back together. The only real issue was the IDE cable.

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As that the original cable was damaged, I tried to find one from my stash that would fit, but none were long enough. The cable would end up supporting the mainboard panel when trying to open the case.

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Either way, it worked when closed... It was time to add voltage!

Flicking the switch

I really didn't know what to expect here... just because things are clean, doesn't mean they won't fry your local electrical circuits or trip breakers. I used a protected powerboard to provide an extra level of safety and plugged in the power cable. It actually gave a small crackle as it started to pull power; probably the first time in years that it had. These power supplies are always using some amount of current, as they're always in some form of standby, so it wasn't unexpected that I'd already have current draw on simply plugging in the power.

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Fortunately, everything just worked... it even wanted to boot a Mac OS9 Lives ISO!

Roll-your-own IDE cable

Of course, Apple love their proprietary bits and pieces. In this case (hah, pun), the IDE cable is extra-long and runs around the entire length of the case before getting to the ZIP and CD drives. This is an 80-pin UDMA cable and, in my case, had been damaged where it flexes to the mainboard. I attempted to crimp on my own IDC header, but a standard 40-pin doesn't do the job.

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Seems to be an extra crimp row on the 80-pin header... something about every-second-pin being ground? Regardless, I just made my own 40-pin cable. Meh, the CD and ZIP wont perform at their capacity, but they'll work!

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All the components were easily acquired from Jaycar... crimping them needed a hammer and a solid bench (sorry kitchen.)

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I tested it. Yes. On bare carpet. Even with an after-market drive! The original 'super-drive' was having difficulty... might need to clean it out also.

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Routing it back through the case was easy enough. I wasn't game to 'fold' the cable into the angles as much as they did, so I just pressed them down as much as was required.

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Nice. And then it just worked perfectly! I still need a ZipDisk to check that drive.

OS Versions

This machine can support anything up to Mac OS X 10.4.11. You can find the 10.4.6 ISO online pretty easily (I really miss WinWorldPC)... then you just need the 10.4.11 PPC Combo Update to bring it up to the last possible version.

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I actually initially installed Mac OS9 Lives, with OSX 10.4.6 installed after it onto a secondary partition. OSX actually wouldn't boot when this was the case! It just showed that stupid 'prohibitory' 'cancel' symbol above. It seems that Mac OS9 formats the disks (or installs drivers?) in some way that stops OSX from finding the "root device". Either way, installing OSX first, and ticking the 'Install support for Mac OS 9 Disk Drivers' when partitioning!, worked perfectly. I now have a nice dual-boot scenario. I think I can even boot the Mac OS 9 partition inside 'Classic', but I haven't tried this yet.

Cleaning the case

As can be seen from the first pictures, the case was in a dire need of a scrub. Turns out it's not just superficial though! The cuts are deep and full of gunk. There was also a good crap-tonne of dirt on the inside-side.

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Once scrubbed clean, it was time to spit-and-polish. I tried both the 'dremel' and wet-dry sandpaper, but ran out before I could really get the result I wanted... back to the hardware store soon to sand down more of the scratches. I'll then need some kind of real buffing solution to get the shine back. Unless matte Macs are a thing now?

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RAM

This machine has three RAM slots and OS 9 showed up 1.25gb of RAM. Interesting that someone would choose to mix RAM size values. A quick inspection of the actual DIMMs showed that one was indeed 256mb instead of 512mb. I was initially worried that the slot with a missing latch was the issue... thankfully not.

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My box'o'RAM helped out here and gave me a 512mb from the IBM NetVista that, with Windows 98SE installed, couldn't support more than 512mb RAM anyway.

Equivalent Vintage iPod

Just for fun, I plugged in my intel-formatted iPod. iTunes appeared and it 'just worked perfectly'(tm).

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Nice to have suitably vintage tunes also!

What's next?

Might need to update the graphics card? Or maybe swap in a newer ATX power supply as this one makes a high-pitched whine and is probably not environmentally friendly. WiFi would be nice too, but it seems I really just need an internal PCMCIA Airport card. And then MIDI and games... I have a Roland UM-1, but it's not playing ball yet... more learning to do!

Filed under: Apple 1 Comment
24Aug/170

Power Mac 7220: BeOS 4.5 PPC

This was much easier than I expected. I had the original install media from purchasing this back in the late 1990s from The Software Shop in Phillip, Canberra. There's a boot floppy and installation CD. The floppy is not needed for the Macintosh.

Booting the installer

First step is to get the "bootloader" on your system. Once at your desktop, insert the BeOS CD and browse to Mac Tools. Drag the _bootloader to your System folder on your boot disk. MacOS will then store it in the correct folder for you.

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With the CD still in the drive, reboot your machine. Thanks to the underscore at the start of the filename, the bootloader will boot as the first extension. You'll then get 1 whole second to select the BeOS icon. If you're too slow, then you'll be back at your usual desktop.

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After selecting the BeOS button, your machine will either boot from a BeOS partition or the BeOS CD, if inserted.

Booting BeOS

If you managed to hit the 'right' button, then you should be presented with a beautifully-rendered 3D BeOS logo, in all its 90's glory.

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After this, you'll get a standard EULA and then be presented with a very simple installer. Choose a disk (preferably a blank partition, so that you don't destroy valuable data) and then install. It'll take around 20 minutes.

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NOTE: The PowerMac 7200 has an internal IDE HDD and CD. I couldn't get the installer to install from the internal CD. It'd boot from it, get to the installer and then sit on "Scanning Disks..." and then fail. I had to use my external SCSI CD drive to get BeOS installed!

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Drive Setup is accessible from the Setup Partitions button and will let you mangle your disks as much as you need to.

And then you're set!

Pop the CD out and reboot... you'll be at the BeOS desktop as the boot loader remembers the last setting. If you want to get back to Macintosh, then you need to hit the Macintosh button on the boot loader within 2 seconds.

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Anyway, nothing but natsukashi feelings once this loaded. I hadn't played with original BeOS for decades. Time to find some software that works!

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Networking

BeOS kindly provided the driver for the network card that is installed in my Macintosh. It's a Communications Port II card with the DEC 21041 chipset.

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The option is greyed-out in the shot above as I'd already installed it... either way, choose the driver that's appropriate for your card.

Have fun!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
17Aug/171

Apple Multiple Scan 15 Display – Focus

This monitor came as part of a bulk purchase. It worked fine for the first 20 minutes of usage, but gradually lost focus as it warmed up. To its credit, it has speakers and easy-to-use screen adjustment controls, so I thought I'd give it a little more life and fix it's ailments.

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It's what's inside that counts...

First, that age-old bit of advice when working with CRT tubes.

WARNING

OPENING CRT MONITORS PUTS YOU AT RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK. MAKE SURE YOU GROUND EVERY CAPACITOR VISIBLE WITH A SCREWDRIVER BEFORE GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THE CIRCUITBOARD.

This is especially important if the CRT has been powered on recently!

I'd read online that there were potentiometers inside every CRT monitor that could be tuned and so I set out to inspect this one. Opening it up wasn't a hard task; there's only four screws holding the shell on. I wasn't expecting to find wildlife inside, though...

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After shorting all capacitors, I gave the unit a quick internal vacuum.

Adjustments

From there, it was a simple task to find the dials to tune.

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Well look there! Focus! It really was this easy... just turn it until the picture becomes clear enough! Of course, this then meant that the monitor was out-of-focus when cold... so now has to warm up to become crystal-clear. I still prefer this over gradually becoming impossible to read.

Here's the before shot.

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Here's the after shot.

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Oh yeah.. I've been playing with SCSI on a 386.. fun, right?

Tagged as: , , 1 Comment
31Jan/170

Power Mac 7220: Optical Drives

The Power Macintosh 7220 was built cheap and used off-the-shelf PC hardware, including IDE CD and harddrives. Due to this, upgrading the CD drive is relatively easy... or it seems it would've been... when IDE CD drives were popular! Nowadays everything is SATA and so finding a good IDE CD drive can be difficult. You'll find them on eBay, but they'll be marked as vintage and people therefore think they can raise the prices.

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Fortunately, in one weekend I managed to acquire a grand total of 6. I bought 2 on eBay (a standard PC version and then another since it was an actual Apple model) as I was sick of not finding any, but then stumbled across another 2 at Trash and Treasure (Australia's version of Flea Markets or Swap meets) the very next morning. The following post is an effort to detail the pain and suffering of finding out how (in)compatible the drives were.

LG CED-8080B

I actually found this at a thrift store last weekend for AUD$5. Initially, installed into the Mac with cables connected, it stopped the entire machine from booting. It was about to be shown the bin... but I chose to test it again, once I'd worked through the rest of the drives, and the bloody thing decided to function.

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It wouldn't boot the Mac OS 8.0 CD that I had burned on Windows (but this seems to be a common trend... note that the CD image is now deemed unbootable!) As another test, I installed Toast 4.1.3 and found a blank CD-R. Using Toast's "Disk Copy" method, I created a new temporary CD volume and then dragged the System Folder over from my main startup disk. Toast burnt all this to the CD (with the bootable flag) and the CD booted!

Pioneer DVR-106D

Very plain-looking Pioneer drive. Expecting good things from a quality manufacturer.

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Again, it wouldn't boot the image burned via windows. I therefore tried something different: I imaged the burned Mac OS 8.0 CD to the desktop, mounted the image and then attempted to re-burn the image to a new blank CD with the bootable flag set. Unfortunately, I couldn't actually successfully burn a CD with this drive. No configuration or speed setting (buffer-underrun protection included) would work!

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Another point: ejecting the tray saw it get sucked straight back in again... a fault of Mac OS or the drive itself? If you were quick you could snatch the disc out.

Pioneer DVR-108

Quite similar to the previous Pioneer, this is a very plain looking drive. Based on the previous drive, my hopes weren't so high!

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This drive also failed to burn every CD I tried. Even on standard settings (16x), it threw buffer underruns. Switching on the buffer-underrun protection did nothing to help. Burning at lower speeds (all the way down to 1x) with underrun protection still failed miserably.

Don't use Pioneer drives with old Macintosh machines. Seems that it takes too long to spin up and the machine fails to have the data ready?

At this point I switched back to the LG CED-8080B that I knew worked... just to make sure my process of disk imaging was stable. It happily burnt the disk image! Of course, on reboot the Mac just showed a question mark. It had no intention on booting my 'bootable' copied-twice ISO.

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Note that, once back in the OS booted off the HD, I could still happily use the installer on the CD. It just wasn't bootable.

LG GSA-4167B

This one is listed as a Super-Multi. I'd usually be happy with this level of functionality, but the above results indicate that the Power Macintosh itself may not be able to cope with a drive that can spin too fast.

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Either way, it still is a really nice drive... smooth, quiet and fast. The best part is that it burned the CD with no issues!... but it proved that my CD burning idea was incorrect. You cannot convert a non-bootable ISO burned under Windows into a bootable ISO this way.

Note that this drive does not open with the case on. The tray face is too large to fit through the space provided in the front panel of a Power Mac 7220 case! This is sad.. it's the best drive of the bunch, and I didn't feel like hacking it to make it fit!

Apple GCC-4480B

Smooth drive. Happily imaged an 8.6 CDR ISO in a matter of minutes. Note that it does not have a drive activity LED on the front.

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The image was then burned back to a CDR with the bootable flag and the image booted! The flashing disk with question mark showed up for a split-second and then it convinced itself to boot!

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Feeling motivated, I used this drive to try and re-build the Mac OS 8.0 ISO into a bootable CD, but the drive also refused to boot it. Turns out that ISO itself is to blame?

This drive also doesn't fit correctly behind the face of the Power Mac 7220 case. Due to the missing front plate on the drive, the eject button doesn't mate and therefore the drive is rendered useless when the case is put back together.

Apple CR-583-B

This is the original drive that came with the machine. This has a little sticker over the eject button (but the button still works) and an activity light which is obscured by the front case.

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This drive happily booted the OS 8.6 ISO that was re-bootable'd using the process above. This contradicts my initial impressions of "not being able to boot a burned CD", as ... well ... it does boot them. You just need to make sure the burned CD is 'correct'.

Of course, this drive is not a recorder... hence why Toast was telling me that no recorder was found. I even rebooted the machine to find the recorder... I can assure you that rebooting did not turn it into a recorder!

Which Drive?

After trying out everything above, I had to settle on a drive. I didn't want the original as it didn't have the 'tabs' to hold a CD in when the drive is mounted vertically. I also wanted to use an Apple drive, but the one's I had wouldn't really work with the case or weren't a burner. Instead I chose the black LG and modified it's tray face-plate to fit through the Power Mac's front fascia. This required a little filing on the ends of the tray.

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In the end, it works like a charm!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
12Jan/170

Power Mac 7220

I've recently dug back into Macromedia Director disassembling with a goal to help finish an engine that can run movies under ScummVM. I've always wanted to make Gadget run on random hardware... and for that matter, on newer versions of windows without issues. To get this done, I've had to create permuatations of Director movies to be able to decode the bytes. For example, text labels on Director stages/frames can have fonts, styles (bold, underline, etc..), font sizes, margins, borders, box shadows and text shadows. Each of these customisations react against the others and therefore all permutations need to be given to be able to render stages correctly. To do this, I've been using BasiliskII, but it tends to dislike loading Director after closing it.

So... that's the brief... what's the answer? Since I've gotten rid of my Quadra 950 and Power Mac 7200, I scoured eBay to find a replacement. Turns out that a Power Mac 7220 (aka 4400) (aka not-really-a-mac) was available; two units, two keyboards, two mice and a monitor, actually. I only wanted one unit, but got a good offer to take the whole lot.

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Tear-down

All items were quite dirty and so a complete tear-down was required.

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That's not sepia tone.. that's a solid layer of 'protective' dust. I usually use that excuse with my car, but not with computers. The entire system was caked, so it received a solid once-over.

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Nothing better than finding spider eggs... bleach fixed that.

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Apart from the external case screws, the rest of the machine came apart with brute force. It is said that this Macintosh is as close to PC as possible... so it's very PC-like regarding IDE devices and case screws.. but then the Apple comes through with a perfectly dismantle-able case.

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The motherboard was slightly grotty! It all came up good after a wipe and vacuum.

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Of note: No fan on the CPU? AT-style power connectors. IDE connectors, but it seems that they're the same channel when you follow the traces (i.e. a header for master and a header for slave.) Crystal sound chip? Does apple ever use this? Built in ATI Graphics. "Feature Option"? First RAM slot is for "Single Bank" whereas the second two are "Dual Bank"? (I've read that this means you can have a 32mb in the single and 64mb in the doubles.)

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Power Supply Test

The power supply looked to be in good shape externally and I didn't feel like opening it. I decided to take the punt and switched the machine on.

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It chimed! The hard disk then started booting... All was going well until I heard the disk park the heads. It's a really scary event for a hard disk as it only happens when the disk itself knows it's in trouble. This is an old Quantum 1.2g and so the fact that it parked meant its basic error checking kicked in. The booting stopped as the drive was beeping. Not an overly audible beep, but it seemed to be fighting requests from the machine to fetch any more data.

Subsequent boots failed to produce happy disk-reading noises... it was parked for good. I'll need a screen attached to be able to see what's going on... and I'll need a video cable for that.

VGA Cable

I used the forum post here as a reference to wire up a VGA cable. I used an old VGA cable that I had in my junk box and purchased a male DB-15 connector and ribbon cable from Jaycar. After stripping and tinning both sides, I mapped out the VGA cable. The Macintosh side was easy enough as the IDC cable was, from the red wire, 1, 9, 2, 10, 3, 11, etc...

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Heatshrink came in very handy to keep everything isolated. Make sure you choose a size that is wide enough to slip over everything you want it to. ALSO make sure that you don't try to slip it over whilst the solder is still hot! ALSO make sure you remember to slip the heatshrink on before you solder the wires :)

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I initially tested on an LCD, but the Apple Multiple Scan 15 Display M2978 also worked first time! But gets very blurry after 30 minutes of usage.

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I shut the machine down and gave the HDD a little 'love tap'. Usually when the heads are parked (or stuck?), a tap can dislodge them. Of course, it could be that the magnet that locks the heads in place was just sticky... maybe the drive was wearing itself out trying to un-stick the heads. Either way... the small jolt did the job!

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PRAM Battery

There's no chance the battery still worked. It's also quite difficult to find an off-the-shelf replacement.

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I ended up at Jaycar and found a 3AAA battery holder. Using a bit of extension wire, I snipped the plug off the dead battery and wired it all together.

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The cable was run under the CD-ROM chassis and placed right next to the HDD. Taped up tight also... any effort to prevent future leakage (and terminal shorting) is appreciated.

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CD-ROM Drives

The IDE drive that comes with this machine did not like booting from CD. It might just be that my CDs were copies, or that the drive itself was faulty. I tried two other IDE drives, but had no luck trying to boot from them. I then tried a SCSI CD drive, but that wouldn't boot either. In fact, the SCSI drive needed the Sunrise CD driver to even recognise CDs. So, any IDE drive will work with the base drivers, but if you want to boot off a burnt CD then you will possibly need a real Apple SCSI drive.

Of course, I've learnt all the above before with my previous Quadra 950. It's amazing how quickly you forget these things. The Power Mac 7220 was also locking the IDE non-Apple drives and they were getting quite confused. If you soft reboot when the drive is locked then you can quickly have an unusable drive until you power down the entire machine.

Again, just stick to real Apple CD drives and real Apple CDs.

Actually, with further googling, it turns out that there might be ways to correctly burn and make bootable a CD image. Supposedly the System Folder needs to be 'blessed'. I would've expected this to be already the case in the bytes inside the ISO image, but supposedly not. I might try Toast on the Mac and burn a disk image and test from there. Here's a good guide.

Extra IDE Disks?

There's two IDC headers for IDE connections on the motherboard. Looking closely at the board, you can see parallel traces running between the headers, so it's pretty safe to assume that they're on the same bus. From this you can then assume that the CD-ROM header is hard-wired as slave with the HDD header as master. Disregarding this assumption, I tried to plug two HDDs on the HDD port.

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I had an 80-pin IDE cable on hand, but it turns out these are 'keyed' with one blocked pin. This doesn't fit the header on the motherboard. Instead I found another IDE cable. The second drive is 200gb and was seemingly busted... clicking badly! I found another HDD, this time 500gb.

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The Apple booted up both times in this configuration, but never saw the second drive.

SCSI Disks

I've always been interested to know how 50-pin cables convert to 'Printer port' DB-25 pin plugs at the other end... turns out that this motherboard has a SCSI controller and a 50-pin IDC header that has an adapter to an external DB-25 port!

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Ok, so ... every second pin is skipped? Half-duplex over full? Totally interesting! Fortunately, I had a cable to convert it back to 50-pin and tested out my dual-drive external bay. All worked flawlessly, even though the second disk was incompatible... will need to install PC Exchange or something else... I don't even know what's on the drive!

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RAM

The 200mhz version supports up to 160mb. So that's two 64mb DIMMs and one 32mb. The recommended spec is Unbuffered 60ns Non-ECC 3.3 volt DIMMs. Even though it is mentioned here, here and here that ECC RAM can be used in non-ECC motherboards, this does not hold true for older Power Macs. G5 and higher were able to support ECC.

Network Card

Both machines came with the same network card in them. It's a Communications Slot II profile card, with very little information on it. Most information on the 4400/7220 indicates that it either has a 'built-in' card or just comes with a standard 'Apple CS II Ethernet' card and the aptly named extension from the Mac OS CD will work.

After re-installing OS 8.6, I could see the driver in the extensions folder, but there was no network link light. The device showed up in System Profiler, but with very little information.

I then tried OS 9.1. It is the last out-of-the-box compatible version with my machine. During both installs, I couldn't boot from the CD, so I performed a clean install over the top of 8.6. Neither made the ethernet work.

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The card has "BD-064 REV a." written on the top. "GSEP-M01" and "94V-0" on the back. Also "805-1614-A" on the face-plate. Googling for everything but the first item came up with zero results.

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Finally, I found this post (6 months old!) from someone in the same predicament. The post author indicates that there's more information near the ethernet port. It sure as heck isn't on the board...

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Oh what? It's on the face-place.. under the removable face-plate? Nice work. Actually, now that I think of it... the removable 'face plate' is only used for this type of PC-style case. In a usual Performa (or other Power PC), this piece of metal, which obscures the relevant information required, would not be obscuring the relevant information required!

The author of the post above reported the same model number, so I used the drivers he specified. I tried to use a floppy to copy over Sonic Systems EtherLAN 7.8 Drivers. This didn't work on either the first, second or third attempt. I kept getting serious disk errors on the Macintosh side, so I think the floppy drive is gone. I therefore resorted to wasting a CD-R and copied the driver, plus some other bits and pieces, over.

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Installation was a breeze... the link light lit up right at the end of the boot process just before the desktop and then I tried Internet Explorer... poor machine ground to a halt! 48mb of RAM seems to be insufficient.

Macromedia Director

3 is throwing "An error of type 2 occurred". I haven't tried 4 yet. One step at a time!

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Turns out that Mac OS 8 is the last version that Director 3 will happily run on. I've created a partition specifically for this version. Director will open on 8.1 and 8.5 (getting past that error above), but then crash when trying to load movies. Mac OS 8.0 is the safest version to use.

Mac OS 9.2.2?

Nope. The 'Tanzania' motherboard that this Macintosh is based on does NOT support anything higher than OS 9.1. OS9 Helper which I used on my previous 7200 does NOT support this model. Don't even try!

BeOS 4.5

Turns out this is one of the few Power Macs that can run BeOS! I also have the CDs. Will test this out in short order.

Linux?

Sure, why not. Instructions are all over the internet.

Overclocking

The motherboard hardly has a passive heatsink on the CPU, so it can't be getting too hot during runtime. This gives an option to consider overclocking it, as we can just put a fan onto it!

There's a few links here at apple fool indicating overclocking the PowerMac 4400/160 and the Tanzania Motherboard. The first article is a dead link but web.archive comes to our rescue here. The basic idea:

How to update you PowerMac 4400/160 to a 4400/200:
1. Locate the SMD-Resitors R1 and R9 on the Logicboard. There on the left side of the CPU.
2. Remove R1 and R9 carefully and solder a 10K resistor to R2 and 10K to R8.
3. Attach a Fan on the Heatsink of the CPU.
4. Yes, now it runs at 200 MHz.

Ok, but we have the 200mhz version. Thanks again to web archive, here's the link on the Tanzania Motherboard. The blue box, up in the top-left corner near the CPU is where our settings are (or the bottom-right area below on my photo.)

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R8 and R9 are below the CPU OPTION pads with R21-24 above. The SMDs are tiny, so shifting them around will be a nightmare. By the table, we'd only need to shift R9 to R8 to get 220mhz and then, if that was stable, R21 to R22 for another 20mhz to 240mhz.

As that the components are already on the board, it can't be too hard to try... I also have a spare machine! Supposedly you can also change the base bus clock frequency from a 40mhz xtal to 50mhz and get a quick boost!

I'll tinker once I've got the machine stable.

Filed under: Apple No Comments
16Feb/160

Quadra 950: Apple Multiple Scan 720

I'd purchased an Apple Multiple Sync 720 (17") CRT along with the PowerPC 7200 and they worked fine together. I've since gotten rid of the PPC and have tried to get this monitor to work on the Quadra 950. On first plugging in, Mac OS 8 reported that only 640x480 was available. I know it can do up to 1280x1024, so I dug deeper.

From a brief google I couldn't work out if this monitor was supported officially or not. The resolution available indicated that the monitor was not correctly detected; but was this a fault of the monitor or an issue with my macintosh/rom/software/firmware? Or just the fact that the monitor was newer than the Quadra and was never going to be correctly detected?

A little digging indicated that Apple monitors used 'sense pins' to tell the Macintosh what was connected and then what resolutions should be displayed. This monitor uses 'extended sense pins' and I wasn't sure if the Quadra 950 understood these.

Sense Pins and related IDs

There are some very interesting articles online relating to Apple video hardware. I found this email to the comp.sys.mac.hardware usegroup from Dale Adams who was actually one of the engineers who created the specifications/hardware. In it he describes the technology and the 'pinouts' of the sense pins and associated monitors. I've reproduced this here for easy reference.

Monitor Sense Pin 0 (4) Sense Pin 1 (7) Sense Pin 2 (10) Resolution
Apple 21S Color 0 0 0 1152 x 870
Apple Portrait 0 0 1 640 x 870
12" Apple RGB 0 1 0 512 x 384
Apple Two-Page Mono. 0 1 1 1152 x 870
NTSC 1 0 0 underscan - 512x384
overscan - 640x480
12" AppleMonochrome 1 1 0 640 x 480
13" Apple RGB 1 1 0 640 x 480
Extended sense code monitor 1 1 1

From the table above, I can tell you that my monitor is of the 'extended' variety and provides '1' on each sense pin. When the 'extended' mode is found, the Macintosh BIOS is then meant to send voltages to each line and determine what the value of the other pins are. I couldn't actually find out when this logic was supported in what Macintosh ROM/BIOS and so I assumed that the Quadra 950 didn't know how to do this. A little bit more reading through Dale's post indicated that if I could ground the wires then I could fake a monitor code and test other variants.

Faking codes via the sense pins

I started with aluminium foil, folding it down to a thin strip and punching a hole in one end. These strips were then slid over the three pins that needed to be grounded to fake an Apple 21S Color monitor. This was fiddly work and took quite a few attempts. Foil isn't strong when punching it with a pin and isn't easy to manipulate. It also moves as you plug the monitor into the port, so it was a very one-shot affair.

After getting a successful connection, I started the mac and ... shit ... it just worked. The resolution was already set to the only fixed resolution that this monitor could handle. From the information page at everymac you can see that it can support 1152x870, but I had assumed that this was the max and that I could set any resolution up to that. Turns out that the 21S is a vintage monitor and only does one resolution; but I'm sure it does it well!

But I want to fake a multi-sync monitor!

It turns out that you can't. To do this you need 1,1,1 on the pins, of which my monitor is already outputting! Therefore I was back to zero. I kept reading posts/documents online and stumbled across the Video Compatibility reference article where I see it mentioned that, if you mate my monitor up to the Quadra 950, you can output the correct resolution. Why doesn't mine work then? Reading Monitor Adjustment Info by James Davis tells me that if the BIOS doesn't support the extended sense pins then the monitor will be seen as a 12" RGB. This seems to be the case, as I can only choose 640x480 when the monitor is plugged in as usual. But then again, that contradicts the first page.

Installing the correct drivers...

After a little more googling, it seemed that I'd needed enabling software called "Apple Multiple Scan Software". This was mentioned in this tidbit on hooking up foreign monitors and in the manual from my actual monitor. This wasn't easy to find but a lot of digging produced a copy over at macgui.com.

I initially tried with my PowerPC card enabled and the install software told me that my machine didn't need it. So I rebooted to 68k and it installed... but.... as it was installing it told me that the files on disk were already newer than the files being copied. Whatever... I copied them anyway. After a reboot there was no change.

SwitchRes

I managed to find this version (and have made SwitchRes v2.1 available here) and tinkered. I had assumed it would allow magical resolutions to be set... it really did nothing but cause problems.

DDC

A fellow vintage Macintosh enthusiast in a forum post over at the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army entertained me with the following user manual for the Mutliple Scan 720. I assumed it would lead to another dead-end... but as I was reading through I noticed that it indicated that if DDC was enabled then specific machines (PPC9600, PCs, etc..) would behave differently. What if it happened to be enabled and my poor Macintosh was getting confused?

I got home and booted the machine into its glorious array of 640x480 pixels. Flicking through the onscreen display on the monitor itself, I navigated to information and then DDC. It was set to 2B. I wonder what those codes even stand for... anyway, I knew that DDC wasn't what the Quadra spoke, so I turned it off.

Low-and-behold after a reboot the standard Monitors and Sound control panel allowed me to select right up to 16-bit 1024x768. Not quite the 1280 or 1152 that I was after, but nearly twice as good as what I had before. Moral of the story? Don't use newer tech on older machinery!