View Full Version : 8100, Crescendo G3 and HPV card without pass-thru adaptor

01-18-2001, 08:11 PM
OK, this might become fodder for the Custom Config forum, but this one's been bugging me:

As we all know, if you have an 8100 with an HPV card in the PDS slot, and you put in a Sonnet Crescendo G3 upgrade, you have to use a pass-thru slot adaptor to use your HPV card- it rests in one of the NuBus slots but doesn't actually connect to the NuBus circuitry.

But is this adaptor really necessary electronically? Or is it just because the card wouldn't line up right with the slot in the case? As in, if you were just willing to mod your case, or if you had the motherboard in a different case altogether, could you forego the (very expensive at $100) pass-thru adaptor?


01-18-2001, 08:42 PM

If I have it right, what you are asking is whether the HPV card will plug directly into the Sonnet card slot (for the pass-thru) and the answer is yes. I tried it with a Sonnet G3 400/200/1MB PDS card and that slot on the Sonnet card is a PDS slot, the HPV card slides right into it. The problem for some NuBus Macs is that the HPV card covers some NuBus slots and, as you say, there is a problem with the HPV card interfering with the backplane of the computer and problems connecting the monitor cable.

I found that in a WGS 9150/120 the HPV card stuck out in the opposite direction and sat horizontally over the L2 cache and ROM slots and would not cover the NuBus slots (four NuBus slots in the 9150 Battleship). Again though, the HPV card impinged on the backplane and, of course, I could not get the monitor cable to the HPV card without doing some serious backplane cutting. I chickened out, but mainly because that Sonnet card cost big bucks then. k

01-24-2001, 02:12 AM
Kaye, thanks for the info. I went and looked at a few logic board diagrams (starting with the ones here) and it occurred to me that, in fact, a PDS video card inserted into the pass-thru slot of a Sonnet Crescendo, without using the adaptor, would never cover the NuBus slots of any PowerMac. In every case, the Crescendo turns the video card away from the NuBus slots.

We all know that with the 6100 this is how it's done, there are no problems. And with your 9150, you can do it but you've got to cut the backplane. But I think where the problem would occur with a 7100 or 8100 would be that a PDS video card would collide with the power supply in that position, you'd never even get to the point of cutting your backplane. I'm 99% sure of this with the 7100, not quite so with the 8100.

In looking around at info on these earliest PowerMacs, I realized that your WGS 9150 is kind of a bastard child of that family- everyone made a big deal about the three PowerMacs to introduce the line in March of 1994 (6100- Piltdown Man, 7100- Carl Sagan/BHA/LAW, 8100- Cold Fusion), but you hardly ever hear talk of the 9150 which came out only about a month later. And it was even more top-of-the-line than the 8100, since it had one more NuBus slot and the much-bigger Battleship case. And eventually it had the fastest 601 processor made (tying with the 7200 and 8200).

I read on a post sometime last year that you had two, one of which was one of your main machines. Do you still have and use both? How you got 'em tricked out? Tell us about 'em...

01-24-2001, 12:19 PM

My memory sucks. You are correct about not covering the NuBus slots except my two Power 120s (don't have a 61/71/8100) the motherboard is a reverse of the 8100 mobo, so the PDS slot is at the bottom left corner and when the Crescendo is installed, its PDS slot (for the pass-through) faces the NuBus slots. That is why the Power 100/120 cannot use the pass-through, because the pass-through folds back over the Crescendo and hits the case, in other words instead of routing towards the NuBus slots, the pass-through goes in the opposite direction towards the case. So Power 100/120 have to use a NuBus video card, or else cut a hole in the bottom left of the metal case and jack up the MT (the DT version it would be hanging out the side). One guy said he did that.

You are probably right about impinging on the power supply with 71/8100.

Now I'm pretty sure I recall something else about the 9150 (and this would apply to the 71/8100 also). The PDS slot on the Crescendo card is offset from the PDS slot on the mobo. In my Power 120 that put the HPV card even closer to the computer backplane if directly installed into the Crescendo PDS slot, serious impingement. In the 9150, that put the HPV card further way from the backplane with enough room for a video cable plugged in (remember this is from memory of quite awhile back).

I still didn't do it because I was not up to the possibility of frying that expensive G3-400 card and because I like the Radius Thunder IV card.

I still have both 9150s in storage. I bought one locally from a Mac tech. It had the wrong ROM card in it. I fussed with that thing for about two months before I discovered that. At one point I took it into MacResQ, they are local, and they had it for a month and didn't discover that. The second one was off of eBay. Both are the 9150/120 which, aside from the fact that they are the fastest NuBus Mac along with the Power 120, have the improved Bart21 NuBus controller chip like the Power 120, the 9150/80 has the older Bart4 chip as do most other NuBus Macs.

The Power Macintoshes that include BART4 are as follows:
* 7100/66
* 7100/80
* 8100/80
* Workgroup Server 8150/80
* Workgroup Server 9150/80

The NuBus Power Macintoshes that include BART21 are as follows:
* 8100/100
* 8100/110
* Workgroup Server 9150/120
* Power 120 (don't know about the Power 100, nor the Radius 81/110)

Both 9150s have Newer G3 300/200/1MB, NuBus Radius Thunder IV GX*1600, NuBus JackHammer fast and wide SCSI2 (20MB/s), Kenwood 52X TrueX SCSI CD drives, one has a DAT drive. I had 10k Ultrastars and Cheetahs in them. I even tried an X15 running single-ended and got 18MB/s sustained read/write, the highest I ever recorded in a NuBus Mac. I tried dual JackHammers and striped two 10k Cheetahs (ST39204LW) with HDT RAID and CharisMac RAID. No matter what I tried, single or dual JackHammers, the RAID would read or write sequentially instead of simultaneously. I could watch the drive activity LED's, and they were never on simultaneously, one then the other but not both on at the same time. Needless to say, the result with striped RAID was slower, not faster, perhaps because a single late model 10k or 15k drive pretty much maxes out one JackHammer. Others have successfully striped slower drives on NuBus Macs with good results. I think starting with the latest and fastest drives just maxes out the whole system, the NuBus JackHammer and the NuBus 10MHz bus, even with the improved Bart21 NuBus controller chip.

The 9150/120 is a great box, 1MB L2 cache, lots of room, four NuBus slots, 303W power supply, outstanding cooling system, 264MB max RAM, five drive bays in addition to the DAT tape drive, CD drive, and floppy drive bays. Even more could be stacked on the bottom of the case. Only thing I never got around to was a NuBus Orange PC card I have that never made it to a NuBus slot.

There may be more, but my memory.... k

01-24-2001, 04:39 PM
damn, K.

you are a wild man.


01-24-2001, 05:19 PM
And we thought those nutcases on "Custom Configuration" do strange things; Kaye has been at it for years, but in a more controlled way.

jeff walther
01-24-2001, 05:57 PM
Kaye, the Radius 81/110 has the BART 21 controller. Essentially, the Radius 81/110 is exactly like the Apple 8100/110. I have examples of both of them at home and compared. The only difference (right down to the surface mount resistors) is that the DRAM Video connector on the Radius is a normal Mac DB15 and on the 8100/110 it is a HDI45.

Was that 9150 with the wrong ROM the one that has the nice silk screening on the motherboard? Adn did you find the correct ROM for it?

[This message has been edited by jeff walther (edited 24 January 2001).]

01-24-2001, 08:12 PM
A more controlled and more ELEGANT way of doing strange things, I'd say.

Of course, back then, what Kaye has done would've been viewed as seriously high-end, not strange.

Kaye- I forgot about the earliest PowerMac clones, as far as video cards covering the NuBus slots is concerned. I actually haven't seen one of those, in fact. It's sad how low the Radius 81 goes for on eBay, when it's exactly like the 8100. I also keep forgetting that Radius actually made their own clones, albeit not for long, whereas nearly everyone else sublicensed from UMAX, Moto, Power or Daystar.

Kaye, you have both those bad boys in storage? Do you have any plans for 'em?

01-25-2001, 04:32 AM

Yes, I was able to save that mobo with the original factory silk screening. All it needed was the correct ROM card which I purchased from DT&T (just down the road) as I recall. Actually everything worked with the wrong ROM card except, if you put anything in the PDS slot - HPV card, G3 card, PDS terminator card - it would not boot. That's why I originally thought the PDS slot was bad. Actually it was fine.


Yes, I never sell anything, just let my parts bin get bigger and bigger. One day I want to put one of them back in service. Right now, the S900 and PTP and one Power 120 are in the way. The room is not large enough for one or two of these old battleships. k

01-25-2001, 12:10 PM
Hey Kaye, I measured the offset of my Sonnet G3 that I have in my 6100, and it shifts the HPV card further towards the back by 3/8 of an inch.

What I need to do is find the angle adaptor card I pulled out of there (it did nothing but allow you to install an HPV or AV card in the 6100), and see how much of an offset that is. It's probably the same.

What I can't figure out is how the same Sonnet in a Power 100 or 61/71/8100 would shift the video card towards the backplane, but would
shift it away from the backplane in your 9150. In order for that to happen, the ports on the back of the video card would have to be facing in, towards the interior of your computer, instead of towards the backplane. Unless the PDS slot is mounted parallel to the backplane for some reason.

I've been looking for a mobo diagram of the 9150 online and can't find one! I'm probably just not visualizing it properly. I've been having that problem lately. (We're rebuilding our news set at the TV station and I keep messing up the diagrams of the new layout. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif )

I too have no room for all the machines in my house. One is going to my brother, so that helps, but then that leaves his old machine (a StarMax with a MacTell label on it). I've been considering ways of rebuilding it so it would be worth selling on eBay, but it's looking like I'll just have to break down its parts and sell them individually. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Glad to know I ain't the only one hoarding old Mac parts! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by the_anarch (edited 25 January 2001).]

01-25-2001, 01:37 PM

9150 diagram here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mbwgs9150.html and the best way I can describe this mobo is that it is like an 8100 flipped left to right. Notice on the right side, from bottom to top, four NuBus slots, the PDS slot, a connector, and finally the ROM and L2 Cache slots. A Sonnet G3 installed in the PDS slot, the PDS slot on the Sonnet faces towards the ROM/L2 Cache slots. The offset PDS slot on the Sonnet is towards the left, towards the center of the mobo. Does this make sense?

I guess another way to put it: lay an 8100/Power 120MT on its side to expose the mobo and the backplane and the NuBus/PDS slots are on the left side. Do the same with a 9150 and all that stuff is on the right side.

What I can't remember exactly is how much room there was for attaching a monitor cable to the HPV card. I remember it was tight, but how tight I don't recall. Oh, and another thing, the Power versions of the HPV card were slightly different than the Apple versions in that the Power versions had two monitor ports on the back of the HPV card, one Mac port and one VGA port, with a switch on the card for selecting which port you were going to use. My monitor is VGA, so having that VGA port was important for clearance, since a VGA monitor would require an adapter if connected to the Mac port, then there would be no way to connect without cutting the backplane.

Am remembering more and more as we go on with this. k

01-26-2001, 02:11 AM
AH-HAH! I finally get it! (And without having to look at the diagram either! Although, now that you've given me the link, I realize all I had to do was look on the main motherboards page and see that there was a whole category for the WGS's. *smack*)

The way to describe the real difference between the 8100 and 9150 is that in the 8100, the motherboard is mounted on the inside of the left side of the case (looking at it from behind, through the backplane), while in the 9150 it's on the right side of the case, just like in the Quadra 9xx, essentially upside-down from the 8100.

I never thought about Power having to make their own versions of the HPV cards. I'd find it very useful to have one of those with a VGA adaptor on it, assuming it would actually work in an Apple NuBus PowerMac. Did Power also make their own version of the 2MB AV card, do you know?

01-26-2001, 01:40 PM

You made me get out my Power 120 packet, painful to look at that 10/05/95 bill. More on that later. But no, they did not offer a 2MB AV PDS card. They had the 2MB and 4MB HPV cards with dual ports. I'm almost positive that the Power HPV cards work in the 61/71/8100. Think it was Jeff Walther that tested that in an 8100.

10/1995 prices, BTO, Power 120MT bare with 8MB RAM and one year on-site service - $1921, 2GB Conner Fast SCSI-2 HD - $980, HPV 4MB card - $469, 4x CD-ROM drive - $330, 512KB L2 cache - $299. Ouch! But still using that machine, in fact, on it now with just a few more goodies. k

01-26-2001, 02:38 PM
Oh my God, I think I felt a slight twinge of actual physical pain looking at those prices. Those prices would be hard to swallow on today's modern equivalents!

01-26-2001, 07:12 PM
Yeah, like about 1.5 G4-733 boxes. k