Apple Set Top Box (Revisited)

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Apple Set Top Box (Revisited)

Hello All,
Fairly new here, I joined when I found a thread about Apple's Set Top Box. Does anyone have any more information about them, or has anyone tested one further? The people in the thread decided to make a project of it, but nothing was ever heard back.

I've seen most of the links... anyone have anything else to share?

Thanks,
Kyle-

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Well, I have one... wat do yo

Well, I have one... wat do you want to know? Smile

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Are we talking about the...

Are we talking about the cool Apple concept with the crazy childish name? Are we talking about the Pippin?

I remember reading reviews and hype about the Pippin in some old British Mac magazines. Mac Format and The Mac seem to take residence foremost in my mind. Personally, I didn't think that any of those little things were ever released into the wild.

Hmmm, I think I want one of those...

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Hmm...

I don't think that they are talking about the Pippin. Thats something else.

I haven't heard much about the Apple Settop Box. I don't think anyone ever got anywhere with it. Being as it was meant for 'interactive' TV, perhaps it requires a certain signal from the 'cable' connection, or something. Trying to be somewhat helpful.

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Nope, not the Pippin (but I w

Nope, not the Pippin (but I want one of those too Wink

This is the old, black, LC 475-based box. Mine has been sitting on a shelf for months, and I just saw one go for $125 on eBay (along with a Daystar Millennium for just $50. I want that too) Anyway, I have googled all the webpages about it, and I've read all of them before. They don't really say much.

I have some software for the beast - some Apple Video Player related stuff, Quicktime related stuff, and something labeled "CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE" on it.

The 64-pin ROM DIMM, will that fit into another Mac? Like a Mac II or something? Has anyone ever tried that approach?

I tried to get video out via Cable, S-Video, and Composite connections on my Performa (using NTSC, PAL, and SECAM) but no go. Probably because, as has been said, the digital signal/server for these things no longer exists.

Kyle-

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Could you post a picture...

Could you post some pics of this thing? I don't think I've ever seen one. I remember the old Mac TV, which was really just a Black LC575 with a TV tuner card, but I'm not familiar with the Apple Set Top box. What was the official Apple name of this product?

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Apple Settop Box

I think they just called it Apple Settop Box. I have one too and all I ever got out of it was a blue screen on my TV (so it did appear to send something out). I remember that I found somewhere some info regarding how the LED is supposed to blink and change color if everything was ok, but that never happened on my machine.
Afer reading several threads on variety of forums on this thing, it does appear that the missing ROM maybe the answer (or certain version of it). There seem to be at least couple of versoins of it out there.
I haven't looked inside mine for a while but is there a SCSI connector in there? I think I remember someone trying to hook a HD to it and install regular operating system on it.

IC

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Sounds like an...

Quote:
I think they just called it Apple Settop Box. I have one too and all I ever got out of it was a blue screen on my TV (so it did appear to send something out). I remember that I found somewhere some info regarding how the LED is supposed to blink and change color if everything was ok, but that never happened on my machine.

Blinking LED that changes color? Hmmm, that sounds like an SGI machine.

Could somebody please post a pic of the Set Top Box; I've never seen one.

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Pictures

The Apple Settop Box

The Pippin

Both

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More

This is the "Apple Interactive Telesion Box" (that's the official name) manual

Manual

and a paper from British Telecom about the STB

BT Paper

Answers a lot of questions. Smile

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Wow, in all my years, I've ne

Wow, in all my years, I've never seen one of those. It looks sort of like a funky Motorola digital cable box. I can't believe that I've never seen one of those before. When were they manufactured? It kind of looks like a hack job.

Weird...

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Mine has a lot of (C) Apple 1

Mine has a lot of (C) Apple 1995 on it, so I'm guessing from 95 to 96. It doesn't care too much for an ADB keyboard or mouse - it doesn't do anything with them. I tired running a CAT 5 patch cable from it to my ethernet switch, but the light on the switch never came on. I don't have a Powerbook-style SCSI adapter to test with.

Has anyone tried to power it on with an Apple remote?

At the very least, my LC III likes its 4MB RAM card. Wink

Most of the models around do seem to be non-working. However, if a anyone came across a real development machine that was internally at Apple (and not part of the 1000 user test group), maybe it would have different ROMs? Although the chances of that are next to none.

Kyle-

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Hmm, after reading the BT?IMS

Hmm, after reading the BT/IMS paper (second link a few posts above), it seems most of the STB is actually based on Mac OS:

Quote:
The software within the IMS set-top boxes adopted a
strictly layered approach. All custom hardware within the
STB is configured, and supported by custom software
device drivers (system extensions in Apple’s MacOSTM
terminology). All devices are thus made available through
the operating system (in this case a reduced version of
Apple’s MacOS Operating System) to the application
layers.

The device driver, and operating system, software is
held as resident software within the STB (in either flash or
standard ROMs). Other software is downloaded during a
boot process (see ‘STB functionality’ below for further
details) by a small resident bootstrap application.

The question is, how much is downloaded, and is there enough stored in the ROM to boot, if that ROM was placed in another Mac. Unfortunately, none of my Macs have a ROM card slot (various LCs, Perf. 6300). Anyone want to try, if it can be done without damaging anything?

The STB software I have consists of:
Movie Player 1.1d1 (Engineering Build)
Apple E1 Player 0.1β1
Serial Tool
KeyColor Control Panel
*Extensions:
E1 Component
Quicktime 2.0
Quicktime 11/15 (1.7d0)
TSDrvr INIT
TSDrvr INIT 12/13

Both of the Quicktime extensions have the Apple Video Player icon instead of the Q.

Interesting.

Kyle-

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It does do something...

MrMacintosh09 wrote:
Mine has a lot of (C) Apple 1995 on it, so I'm guessing from 95 to 96. It doesn't care too much for an ADB keyboard or mouse - it doesn't do anything with them. I tired running a CAT 5 patch cable from it to my ethernet switch, but the light on the switch never came on. I don't have a Powerbook-style SCSI adapter to test with.

I made a bit of progress a couple of months ago. From memory:

If you plug in an Extended keyboard, you should notice that the three LEDs blink as the STB boots up. You can then press Ctrl-Option-Power and the STB will reboot, so it is definitely booting and responding to keyboard input.

I also experimented with different sizes of 72pin RAM. The STB will boot with just the 4MB soldered on the logic board. If larger SIMMs are installed, the STB will take longer to blink the three keyboard LEDs (ie the memory test takes longer to perform).

I tried connecting an external hard disk without success. I'll have to check my notes to find out what happened.

The RJ45 connector on the back of the STB is not ethernet -- see the BT documents for more info.

Phil

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Not many notes...

SCSI booting: Apparently I tried booting from an external drive (Zip 100 via PB adapter) without success. The STB never even tried to seek an operating system from the Zip drive, even when I performed the manual contortions that force a Mac to boot from a specific SCSI ID. I also tried pressing keys randomly at startup to try to throw the thing into debug mode.

For those who don't own an STB and want to know what is inside, enjoy the following links (all live when tested this evening):

Description of the most common STB:
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/6757/M4120.HTML

More info about the STB in French:
http://www.aventure-apple.com/flops/settopbox.html

(Note that the STB is unlikely to have been deployed in France. The STB outputs to PAL or NTSC TCVs, not SECAM.)

Description of the BT trial, including a screen from the STB in action:
http://www.managingchange.com/simrep/5mediums/57inttv.htm

Another document which describes the BT trial:
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~nd/surprise_96/journal/vol4/khp1/report.html

Two QuickTime movies demonstrating STB content in the BT trial:
http://www.dotco.co.uk/clients/bt/btitvtrials

Interesting but somewhat inaccurate description of STB:
http://www.pbzone.com/macthing.shtml
http://www.pbzone.com/offtopic.shtml
http://www.pbzone.com/macthing2.shtml

Another info page, including photos of the inside:
http://www.larwe.com/museum/apple4120.html

Early versions of the STB in Spanish:
http://www.macuarium.com/macuarium/actual/especiales/1999_07_14_settop.shtml

My STB is the one described in the first and penultimate links. Unfortunately it is an NTSC version (not sure how it turned up in the UK). Does anyone have an idea whether the Philips SAA7188A can be made to output PAL by changing a solder pad or similar?

Earlier this year, there were two interesting STB/1996 BT UK trial docs online but these have now disappeared. The URLs were:

http://www.btplc.com/Innovation/BTExact.htm

http://www.opentv.com/company/insideopentv/management/livingstone.html

Krest: What happened to your document describing the STB?

Phil

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I just got one!

I just bought one of these on eBay. As soon as it arrives I'm going to try my best to get this thing working. I don't have any software for it though, and the PDF links here are all but dead....but, I will continue searching!

Wish me luck!! Biggrin

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i know there isnt a whole lot

i know there isnt a whole lot u can do with them, other than turn it on and look at the startup screen and menus

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The STB will boot OS 7.6

Just got my Apple Set top to boot Mac OS 7.6 from an external SCSI drive. It has no video though. I have file sharing running and I am able to access it from another maching. Using an apple mouse and keyboard, I was able to get a screen capture of the Apple System Profiler. It shows up as a Macintosh 470 Series. Machine ID: 89. I need video drivers to get this thing on the TV. Anyone out there have video drivers for this thing?

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Hmm, I think they use PAL for

Hmm, I think they use PAL for their video output. If you can get it to boot, then try hooking it up to another old Mac with a video/TV tuner input card. Go to Apple Video Player's Preferences, and change it to PAL or some other setting, and try again. Be sure to try all three connections - RF, RCA, and S-Video.

I once saw an eBay auction for a STB that has a standard Mac video output connection on the back - it had a card in that carrier on the inside that provided the port.

There was also a STB1 - with both the Performa and STB logic boards "linked" somehow.

Kyle-

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No audio/video

Good thinking, but still no go. I was able to get a screen shot of the monitor options. 640x436 was selected. I changed it to the only other setting 640x524. Still no output. Also was able to see in a screen shot that the Apple Video Player will not run due to incompatible or missing hardware.

http://www.applefritter.com/files/Monitor Control Panel.jpg

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Saw the screen capture - cool

Saw the screen capture - cool!

Could you take a picture of the box itself, the insides, and bottom, if you have access to a digital camera? There are some variants of these boxes.

And, please drop me an email regarding software - my email address is in my public profile.

Kyle-

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M4120 insides
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Re: No audio/video

hrfforlife wrote:
Still no output.

Have you tried using some of the random extensions that are floating around for it? one of theem may include a video driver, it might not but it's worth a shot

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Hmmm......

I think that it's possible to boot them and get a picture, I thought that isaw some screenshots floating around the net. If I find them again, I'll post a link

EDIT: I found the site, it has a bunch of how-to's, vut apparantly, you do have to have a "KINKA Pre-Release ROM" to make it work.

Here's the site: http://www.mandrake.demon.co.uk/Apple/pip1.html

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Partial TattleTech report Note: "The HORROR Continues"?

• Nubus/PDS Slot# = $00
◊ Board Name = MEMCjr Built-In Video
◊ Board ID = 77
◊ Vendor ID = Apple Computer, Inc.
◊ Revision Level = Macintosh CPU Family 4.1
◊ Part# = The HORROR Continues
◊ Date = 15-Jun-93
◊ Functional Resources :
+ Device sResource Name = CPU_68040
- Device Category = 10 (CPU)
- Device Type = 5 (68040)
- Device Software Interface Type = 0
- Device Hardware Type = 24
- Device sResource# = $FB
- Driver Number = [NA]
----------------------------------
• Nubus/PDS Slot# = $0C
◊ Board Name = Kevin STB3
◊ Board ID = 1661
◊ Vendor ID = Video Architecture Group
◊ Revision Level = A3N Xilinx 3•28 SW 3•28•95
◊ Part# = STB3
◊ Functional Resources :
+ Device sResource Name = Display_Video_Apple_GM
- Device Category = 3 (Display)
- Device Type = 1 (Video)
- Device Software Interface Type = 1
- Device Hardware Type = 2
- Device sResource# = $81
- Driver Number = -49

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Re: Hmmm......

gobabushka wrote:
I think that it's possible to boot them and get a picture, I thought that isaw some screenshots floating around the net. If I find them again, I'll post a link

EDIT: I found the site, it has a bunch of how-to's, vut apparantly, you do have to have a "KINKA Pre-Release ROM" to make it work.

Here's the site: http://www.mandrake.demon.co.uk/Apple/pip1.html

That site is for the Pippin, not related to the Apple set top box.

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Re: No audio/video

aladds wrote:
hrfforlife wrote:
Still no output.

Have you tried using some of the random extensions that are floating around for it? one of theem may include a video driver, it might not but it's worth a shot

None of the drivers out there have any effect on the audio or video.
If anyone has some STB drivers to share I'll give it a try.

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Pictures!

I just got mine from eBay and here are some photos. I too can't get mine too boot up, someone on the thread said they had software but, I PM'd the person and got no response. Maybe some else can try contacting him. It would be awesome if we can get these machines to work.

Here are some pics of my box that I posted, username is still LimeiBook86, the pictures are on page 2 towards the end.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=2025642

Update: The nice person is sending me some drivers to play with maybe they'll work, who knows Blum 3

Update2: Here it is boys, bunch of extensions, more info can be found on the link above: http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Music/downloads/Apple_Set_Top_Box_SW.sit

Enjoy! Smile

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I saw your thread in the othe

I saw your thread in the other forum, but I couldn't register Sad

Anyway, a few things. First, not to burst your bubble, but I think only the STBs with the red ROM cards are known to boot. Nobody with a green one has been known to be successful. Maybe you can be the first?

Second, the RCA-style port on the RF modulator is *I think* used to link to another one. I saw one this way in a VCR, and it was used to link two small RF modulators together inside the VCR.

Is there a way to get a ROM dump of the red ROM and perhaps do something with it?

Maybe try a red ROM in another machine like a Mac II with a ROM SIMM slot?

I'd love to get my hands on an STB1, which had both the LC 475 AND STB-variant boards, and *probably* booted.

Kyle-

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I don't know about the ROM. I

I don't know about the ROM. I wouldn't know where to even find one, oh well. Maybe I'll find some hidden Apple Set Top Box page with loads of information. Too bad Google turns up next to nothing. Oh well, keep trying guys...at least one person got it to work as a file server, which is more than I could do with mine. Maybe on Sunday I'll have time to play with it, darn school taking away all my time Blum 3

I know someone with an STB 1 board but, I doubt he'd ever sell it to me. He showed me pictures and they were pretty awesome. I wonder if he has any of those ROM cards...I'll have to ask him.

Good luck guys! Biggrin

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Re: I saw your thread in the othe

MrMacintosh09 wrote:
I saw your thread in the other forum, but I couldn't register Sad

Anyway, a few things. First, not to burst your bubble, but I think only the STBs with the red ROM cards are known to boot. Nobody with a green one has been known to be successful. Maybe you can be the first?
....
Kyle-

For some reason I had come to the same conclusion (I can't remember how though). When I saw the picture of the red ROM I immidately thought "oh, that's why he got it to work".
I have a STB but with a green ROM. Hooked mine to the TV and if I remember correctly I would get a blue screen. I never hooked up any drives to it since I don't have the PB SCSI dongle thingy. Need to get one of these.

One question. What is the plastic "tray" for inside? Drive mount?

IC

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Green ROM

Well I couldn't resist. I purchased another off eBay. I was lucky enough to get one with the green rom this time since I already have the red rom working partially. The green rom works exactly the same, no video but file sharing works perfect. It's running right now. After I shut it down. I will post pictures of the roms side by side.

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Up for grabs
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Rom pics here
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Extensions?

So, has anyone tried to boot a STB with some of the extensions present?

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I also bought a Apple Set Top

I also bought a Apple Set Top box off eBay.
It kind of powered on but the light just stays Red, I was looking inside the unit and it has a backup battery and I wandering if I would replace it would the unit power on?
My unit has the green ROM.

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Does anyone have any ideas to

Does anyone have any ideas to get the unit working?

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Both my STB's power up and ru

Both my STB's power up and run os 7 to 8.1 on an external drive attached to the SCSI connector. You must install MacOS on the drive using another 040 based mac. You will have no video out because there are no valid video drivers that anyone has been able to come up with yet. The RJ45 port is not ethernet and will be useless also. Apple Talk will work if set up before running on the STB. I have both Ram cards (red and green) and there is no difference in operation to this point and both have the same report running TattleTech. The internal battery in my STB is dead, so don't worry about that. There is not much use to this machine until someone can come up with video drivers.
Note: I have tried all combinations of PAL and NTSC, all video ports even tried a SCART to S-video adaper, no luck. I'm positive the lack of video drivers is the reason for no video output.

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Clues in TattleTech report

Two 'video interfaces" are being detected by TattleTech.

MEMCjr is the video and memory controller that is left over when the LC475 turned into STB. This won't get us very far because the rest of the LC475 video hardware is missing.

Kevin STB3 is the new video controller that drives composite displays and it is associated with the driver Display_Video_Apple_GM. Normally this would be a DRVR resource in the video card for a NuBus board or it would be present in the logic board ROM. Obviously it is missing...

A web search for Display_Video_Apple_GM seems to throw up junk, but the last three links found by Google are disk images for System Update 7.5.5 - 1. Thisversion of the system software fits in with the STB time frame. Has anyone tried System 7.5.5 Universal with an STB?

Phil

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Re: I don't know about the ROM. I

LimeiBook86 wrote:

I know someone with an STB 1 board but, I doubt he'd ever sell it to me. He showed me pictures and they were pretty awesome. I wonder if he has any of those ROM cards...I'll have to ask him.

Well, that'd be me - I have the STB1 Prototype complete (minus dead Power Supply and no HD)... I suppose Im the luck one:)

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wow. Do you have any pics of

wow. Do you have any pics of this thing floating around? I'd love to really get some good pics/explanation of it, if you have any.

Kyle-

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yet another up for sale

I'm having to make a real effort to not purchase another project, but the same dude that several of y'all probably bought your STB's at has another up for sale. Sounds neat, wish I had the time (and money) to tinker on it.

enjoy

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major bump

I think I found a virgin set of extensions and apps for the STB. if anybody wants them, I will be more than happy to upload them here, or in my server folder on my B&W.

the extensions are:

E1Component
QuickTime™
Quicktime™ 11/15
Serial Tool
TSDrvr INIT
TSDrvr INIT - 12/13

the apps are:

Apple E1 Player
KeyColor
MoviePlayer

hope this helps you get your STBs up and running. mybe I should invest in one...

and I wonder, will the NEW apple remote work with the STB? I know it works via infared. you never know. just thinking, as the original apple remotes are rare. I've never seen a picture of one.

-digital Wink

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I got the STB Model 1

MacEffects was kind enough to send me his Apple Set Top Box Model 1. Here are a few photos taken with my iSight, I'll take some more later with my better camera. It looks like it's supposed to connect to a Macintosh motherboard, my guess is a Mac LC II since the Apple STB board has a 120-pin LC PDS slot. So I guess this would plug into the LC II computer and would...work. I have a Macintosh LC II but, I can't get to it right now. Still here's a pic. I'll take more later. Biggrin Smile

http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Pictures/apple-stb1-web.jpg

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from what ive heard, the stb

from what ive heard, the stb is more akin to the lc 475

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digital...

if you want, i have an available server that i can host it on. its on all of the time. just compress them into a .sit file and email them to

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vnc

ive got an interesting idea, what if you run a vnc server on the stb, and then connect to it with another mac over the serial port. it might work.

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Oh cool

Well I took more photos for those of you who are interested:

http://web.mac.com/ibook238/iWeb/Site/Apple%20STB.html

I don't think I have an LC 475 but, I think I have an LC 467 or something alone those lines. I haven't tested out the power supply but, I believe it's dead. If I find out any more information I'll let you guys know. Smile

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Update!

Ok I figured out some things about the Apple Set Top Box. The board that was made to work with the Apple Set Top Box Model 1 was in fact a specially modified Macintosh LC/Performa 475 motherboard. What's so special about it? It's 120-pin LC-PDS slot is on the underside of the board - the regular 475 boards had the LC-PDS slot on the top of the motherboards. So using a regular Mac 475 won't work even if you flipped the board up-side down.

Here is a little Flash Player presentation to show you why: http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Movies/Apple-STB-Diagram-Flash7.swf

Image of Special 475 board: http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Movies/special-475.jpg

Basically the regular 475 board pins would fit but, they were be reversed. You would have to re-wire the connections to get it to work. So I was looking around to see where I can get an LC PDS 120-pin connector and found this thread about making a PDS Right-Angle adapter for the Mac SE/30: http://www.applefritter.com/node/9344 I guess if I can get the plastic PDS slot peice that would help me re do all the wires.

Although I can use a little jumper-like connector, a little piece that will connect to three pins and give me 3 wires, that would require a lot less soldering but, then I would still have to connect these wires to the female LC PDS slot on the Mac 475 motherboard.

How it might work: http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Movies/pds-pins.jpg

Oh well, anybody have any other ideas? Biggrin
-Steve

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STB

hey limeibook86

you have a very cool STB there... if the PSU is dead, I think if I remeber correctly, it used the same PN of a IIsi PSu.

good luck, and if you get it working, post pics Biggrin

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Re: digital...

gobabushka wrote:
if you want, i have an available server that i can host it on. its on all of the time. just compress them into a .sit file and email them to

right. i'll need your email address, and i'll attach it in the message. shoot me a PM with your details.

-digital Wink

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