DB-15 to VGA adapters

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by bunnspecial, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I'm running very low on DB-15 monitors, and would like to switch over to using flat panels with the older systems that get used(specifically my beige G3 and 8500).

    I know that DB-15 and VGA are technically compatible, but understand that the ones with dip switches are needed to correctly communicate the monitor type to the computer.

    Can anyone suggest a specific make of adapter? I'm looking at this one(just as an example)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HD15-VGA-Mo...=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item5aef1515e6
     
  2. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    I use an adapter identical to that one for my Power Mac 8600/250. I have it hooked up to a generic Fujitsu Siemens CRT monitor and it works perfectly.

    My only annoyance is the only available resolution is something obscure like 1154x832 (I can't really it exactly).

    I plan on getting a card like the ATI 9200 or 7000 that will give me native VGA and even DVI.

    An ATI 7000 can be aquired for very little assuming your mac has PCI slots. It gives you useful ports as well as boosts graphics performance immensely.
     
  3. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    Thanks-my 8500 and beige G3 do have PCI slots, so a graphics card is an appealing option. My 7100 only has NuBus, so I think I'm stuck there.

    I wonder about putting a PCI Rage 128 from a B&W G3 in my beige. If I'm not mistaken, that would also(theoretically) allow me to install OS X 10.4 on it...
     
  4. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #4
    OSX will require a special installation method and an upgraded G3 or G4 processor card. But it is possible.

    The Rage128 would work perfectly, although it is the weakest PCI graphics card available for these macs. Still a mile better than the internal graphics, but spending a little on an old ATI 700 for example may be worth it. If you just want VGA and don't care for increased graphics performance, then the Rage128 is perfect! :)
     
  5. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    Thanks for the extra info-I'm not well versed in the PCI graphics cards, but most of them are cheap enough that there's no reason to not buy the best!

    So, the cards you suggest definitely be an upgrade over a Rage 128? And, additionally, do I need to look for "Mac specific" versions of these like I'm familiar with doing with AGP cards?

    I should add that my OSX comment was about my beige G3 only(which is already running 10.2). The 8500 is currently running 7.5, and I don't have any plans to upgrade past that as I don't want to "break" some of the(really good) software installed on it.
     
  6. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    Well if possible, the harder to find ATI 9200 is the most powerful PCI mac graphics card. But even other like the ATI 7000 are definitely worth it over the Rage128.

    All PCI or AGP or PCIE graphics cards need to be special Macintosh versions with the correct mac ROM's. A standard PC card won't work I'm afraid.

    Oh, weell if you were referring to the G3, then yes, it does fully support OSX in every respect up to OSX 10.2. as you know :) There are ways of running Tiger on it, but you would want something more powerful than the Rage128 for any sort of coherent experience.
     
  7. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    There's a new in box 9200 on Ebay that I currently have the high bid on :) . The Mac edition cards seem a bit scarce, though.

    I also picked up a few cheapie Rage 128s just as a fall-back plan. I'll watch for more 9200s, but as least I know the 128s are at least capable for OS 9 and below. When I first bought my G4 Digital Audio, it had a Rage 128 in it(the AGP version with both ADC and DVI out). I did install and run Tiger on that computer, but it perked up A LOT when I put a GEForce 4MX in it. As I recall, I don't think that the 128 could even run my 23" 1080p monitor at full resolution.

    I'm going to be getting a B&W G3 in a few weeks, and if I win the 9200 there's a decent chance it will actually end up in that computer. At least I'll have video cards that can drive a VGA display in the other computers.
     
  8. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    The Rage 128s arrived and have both my 8500 and Beige G3 going along happily with 15" LCDs. It seems like a bit of a heresy to have a Dell display sitting on top of a Mac, but at least it's better than no display :)

    I know that the Rage 128 isn't the best, but at least it's functional and will keep these two computers going. Plus, the pair cost me less than $20, including shipping. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a better card, although as I mentioned any better cards that I get will more than likely end up in the B&W rather than in either of these two older computers.

    I also need to get the ATI extensions onto the 8500, although am running into a bit of an issue with that. I have the correct ones downloaded on my MBP. I tried burning them to a CD, but the CD drive didn't like the CD-R I put in. I have a USB floppy drive, and the file is small enough to fit on a floppy. I thought I could format the disk in the 8500, the pop it in the USB floppy on my MBP and copy the files over, but none of the blank floppies I had would initialize correctly in the 8500.

    I'm still playing with the DIP switch settings to get an LCD to actually work with the DB-15 to VGA adapter
     
  9. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #9
    I use the adapters and they work - but are a pain. Good choice on getting the video cards - that's always a more elegant solution.
     
  10. MacTech68, Aug 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #10
    First, try testing the CD drive in the 8500 with a "store bought" Audio CD (if you have one).

    Second, your floppy drive may need it's heads cleaned. You may be able to find a floppy drive head cleaning diskette on eBay. Cleaning them manually can be done, but there are risks with lifting the top head too far which stretches the head pressure spring, damaging the drive, or worse yet, damaging the sprung plate the top head is mounted to.

    What happens when you insert the floppy disk into the 8500 ?

    CDs need to be burnt as HFS (HFS Standard) as MacOS earlier than 8.1 can't read them.

    If all the CD driver software are installed, you may be able to burn a ISO9660 (windows format) CD which the Mac can read. The file itself will need to be as was downloaded from the internet since Mac applications/extensions won't survive being written to a windows format CD. This means having the appropriate utility on the Mac to decompress or un-archive the archived file, such as Stuffit Expander.

    Remember also that the Mac will only look at the settings on the VGA adapter ONCE, and that is when the machine first boots or is re-booted. This effectively tells the Mac what resolutions the "faked" display can handle, and then only uses a subset of resolutions and sync frequencies supported by that display. If you change the dip switch settings, you need to reboot for that change to take effect.

    One of the "Multi Scan" settings should be sufficient for an SVGA LCD.
     
  11. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    I have a "CD Drive Cleaner" which is an audio CD with a small, soft brush attached to it(the audio tracks give instructions on advancing to specific tracks I guess to bring the laser in alignment with the brush). In any case, I put this in the CD drive and it was able to read and advance it just fine.

    I think that I have a floppy cleaner around here-I recall it being a 3.5" disk with a sort of fiber pad rather than the usual magnetic media and then a bottle of cleaning solution that was dripped onto the pad.

    As for what happens, when I put a blank floppy in, I get a message stating that the disk is not readable by the system(everything that I have is factory DOS format) and asking if I want to initialize it or eject it. If I select initialize it, the computer will go through the motions and show me a progress bar, but then when it completes I get an error message that initialization was not successful and am asked again to either initialize or eject. I'll also add that ejection is a bit hit-or-miss.

    As far as the CD with the extensions on it-everything I downloaded was as a .sit file. The 8500 DOES have Stuff it installed on it, so I tried to transplant them to system in that format. I burned the disk using Disk Utility on my Macbook Pro.

    I wonder if I should download them onto my Quicksilver G4, boot it in OS 9, and burn the disk from there.
     
  12. MacTech68, Aug 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #12
    Sounds all good.

    Does sound like dirty heads, and the disk you describe is exactly the tool. You may need to re-insert it several times since it will only rotate a few times before giving up. The old free TechTool has a floppy exerciser that I used to use to clean heads.

    http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/techtool-121

    You might want to add it to your HFS Standard CD. ;)

    Yes. It seems that from OSX 10.5 and later only create CDs as ISO/MAC hybrid disks with HFS+ format only.
    So, it's either Toast (which I assume can still create HFS standard in 10.5 and later - maybe not)
    OR using 10.4 or earlier or OS9 to create a HFS Standard CD.
     
  13. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #13
    It looks like I'm going to have to break down and buy a drive cleaner. I found the one I remembered having, but unfortunately it's not quite what I need. Close, but no cigar.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #14
    Now THAT's something I haven't seen in a LONG time! :eek: :)
     

Share This Page