My PPC SE/30

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dankephoto's picture
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sigh . . . tilting at windmills again . . .

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dankephoto's picture
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Yes, a genuine PPC-powered SE/30!

not

In my quixotic, misguided and so far unfulfilled quest to build a PPC-powered SE/30, I just picked up a Daystar IIcx adapter with the wan hope it might somehow be usable in a SE/30. Well, I dunno if it'd work, but the adapter does fit in the cpu socket. But since its largish PCB covers the power connector, the SCSI and floppy headers as well as part of the SE/30's PDS slot I still don't know if it'll actually boot with a Daystar accelerator installed.

I might be able to piggy-back the IIcx adapter on top of my 50MHz PowerCache. I wonder how that'd work? Of course, that's a totally screwy and worthless combo.

The IIcx adapter is pretty simple, no fancy electronics, just a few caps on a multi-layer PCB with a set of '030 pins on one side and the IIci-PDS-style DIN socket on the other. I wonder if a similar SE/30-shaped board might be easier to engineer than something like a pukka SE/30-PDS to IIci-PDS-style adapter. (Biggest obstacle to producing such a board has got to be the serious lack of customers with socketed CPUs.)

Anyway, sorry, no PPC SE/30 here (so far.) Tongue

dan k

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The biggest obstacle I've fou

The biggest obstacle I've found to engineering such a board is the lack of affordable 68030 sockets and headers. The header is the set of pins that extend from the adapter down into the SE/30 socket. It's a set of pins held together by a plastic matrix near mid-length on the pins. The socket is pretty obvious, but you kind of need one on the underside of the adapter in which to plug the header--though you could solder the header directly to the adapter.

And it would be nice to have additional sockets to convert the SE/30 logic boards of folks with soldered-down CPUs.

Anyway, I found the Mill-Max 510-93-128-13-041001 at Sager. They have over 2500 units in stock and have for the last several years. However, when I first looked they were $3.01 each in quantities of 50 or 100 (forget which). But I wasn't about to start this project then, so I didn't buy any.

Now they are asking over $17 each for them, but they haven't sold a single one. What's the point in ridiculously raising the price of something which is not selling and which one has 2500 of sitting around? These are really only good for 68030 CPUs and no one is doing new builds with those. Why make the sockets so expensive? That's not rhetorical. I'm wondering if anyone understands the pricing "sense" used in that business.

Anyway, I've mostly finished with my IIfx RAM project and eyeing the SE/30 Daystar adapter as a nice next project. I too have a IIcx adapter on hand to study. However, I have not made a close examination of the inside of the SE/30. If I re-engineer the board, is there a good space into which I could put the socket for the PowerCache or Turbo040, and hence is there a good space there for the PowerCache or the Turbo040?

Ultimately, I'll need to make my own careful measurements in order to properly size and layout the board. But does it even look feasible given the space available?

I haven't seen much point in looking into the space issue with the sockets so unobtainable. I'm considering calling Sager and asking if they'll give me the old price. That would still leave the headers though. I might be able to cobble something togehter to serve for headers, if I can find some stiff wire in the correct guage to serve as pins. Before I can call Sager though, I need to sell more IIfx SIMMs. I just don't have $300 - $400 laying around for such a project at present.

Anybody care to guess what the demand (qty) and price point would likely be for such an adapter? I don't expect to make much, if any, money, but I can not afford to lose money on it. It is nice to finance my soldering/circuit board hobby with sales of projects.

The board would need to be four layers, I think. So proto-types would cost about $200. Then, depending on the actual size of the board, a run of 100 boards would probably cost about $12 - $16 per board ($1200 - $1600). Ouch. That's a lot of up-front investment. Then that Euro-DIN connector is in the neighborhood of $7 each.

So one is looking at $300 sockets (minimum), $300? headers (actually can't find these anywhere at any price), $700 Euro-DIN sockets (for the PowerCache/Turbo040/Turbo601), $200 prototype boards, $1200 - $1600 production boards + misc. for caps and resistors =~ $2800 - $3200 for a run of 100 boards.

So the *cost* on the boards would be about $30 each, before investment of time and supplies (solder, desolder braid, broken tools, soldering tips, etc.) is even considered.

I think $30 is about what most interested folks would actually like to pay, but I could be wildly wrong. They would need to sell at about $100 each at least for the first 20 - 30 units to make it sufficiently low risk, IMO.

Kind of makes ArtMix's prices look more reasonable, doesn't it?

DrBunsen's picture
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Is anything in [url=http://cg

Is anything in this lot of use to you? I have one of the eurocard extenders, so I can check that against a description of the socket.

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DrBunsen's picture
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My bad. These are VME (Nubus

My bad. These are VME (Nubus) connectors I think.

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DrBunsen's picture
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Although one of the SE/30 hac

Although one of the SE/30 hack pages shows a PDS connector made by cutting and re-joining two Nubus connectors.

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DrBunsen's picture
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Re: The biggest obstacle I've fou

trag wrote:

The biggest obstacle I've found to engineering such a board is the lack of affordable 68030 sockets and headers. The header is the set of pins that extend from the adapter down into the SE/30 socket. ...

Anyway, I found the Mill-Max 510-93-128-13-041001 at Sager. ... Now they are asking over $17 each for them...

... eyeing the SE/30 Daystar adapter as a nice next project. I too have a IIcx adapter on hand to study. ...

Anybody care to guess what the demand (qty) and price point would likely be for such an adapter? ... They would need to sell at about $100 each at least for the first 20 - 30 units

I went to Mill-Max's website, and they have a free sample cart button in the product listings.

Do I gather from the above that you're looking at a board that plugs straight into the SE/30 CPU socket, rather than the PDS socket, and adapts to a IIci PDS? That would be a great advantage in that it leaves the PDS free rather than requiring a double adapter.

Judging by both Artmix's prices and ebay, you'd have no trouble offloading 20 to 30 of these at $100 per. Hell, sell the first few in open auction and see what happens. You could for sure put me down for one at the post-R&D-amortisation pricing Smile

And I'd be happy to donate any useful parts I have lying around that might help, like say a IIci lobo.

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DrBunsen's picture
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IIx adapter

I just noticed hunting around LEM and elsewhere that the Daystar IIx adapter goes straight into a 16MHz '030 CPU socket ... so I guess you'd be basically cloning one of them.

Also this thread might help you get at least a rough idea of space constraint.

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dankephoto's picture
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OK, so I'm not the only SE/30 krazy person . . .

A Micron Xceed grayscale setup for SE/30, sold at eBay BIN for $559. Holy F*&%&^ S^&^%!!!!

The market bearing the price, so it seems I will never ever be able to afford any of this stuff. Tongue

dan k

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