SCSI card for PowerMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by poiihy, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. poiihy, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #1
    Interested in an SCSI card for my DA G4 so I can use the Olympus SCSI film scanner and Visioneer 'PaperPort' SCSI paper scanner. What will and won't work?


    Should I only look at ones pulled from Apple Powermacs?
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odk...+apple.TRS0&_nkw=scsi+pci+card+apple&_sacat=0

    Or should I look at any?
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...csi+pci+card.TRS0&_nkw=scsi+pci+card&_sacat=0

    It seems that the ones pulled from Macs are often cheaper than ones pulled from DELLs and servers, etc.

    ------------

    Would any of these two work?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adaptec-AHA...372?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c993b77d4

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-A...076?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c50a250c4

    I noticed these have the kind of SCSI connector that is in-line or whatever it's called, instead of the pins like a VGA port. My SCSI devices connect to the pin-type port that exists on the beige G3.
     
  2. bunnspecial, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #2
    The last two are similar to(if not exactly) the ones that were sold as BTO options on G4s.

    I have used these pretty extensively. I've used both the Apple OEM Adaptec 2930 and a generic 2930 that I found in a box at surplus. I've used these both for internal and external devices. Remember that a SCSI bus needs to be terminated at both ends, and as far as I know, they are self-terminating. This means that if you are using only the internal or external bus the card takes care of termination, although if you have things connected both internally and externally you will need to be sure you terminate at both ends.

    The connector on those is a 50-pin high density Centronics, which in my experience is a bit hard to find. I have a fairly long one that has that connector on one end and the standard 50-pin Centronics on the other end. The standard 50 pin Centronics looks like an old parallel port printer cable, but is a lot larger. Most external SCSI devices have at least one of this type connector on them.

    I also have an Adaptec 2902 that I ran my scanner on for a while. This has(only) an external DB-25 connector on the back. Some SCSI scanners I've seen(including my own Sprintscan 35+) have a DB-25 on the back, which just means that can just use a straight DB-25 to DB-25 connector. Otherwise, you'll probably need a DB-25 to 50 pin Centronics, which is equally easy to find. Depending on what type of connectors are on your scanners, you might need either a second DB-25 to 50 pin Centronics connector to connect them, or a 50-pin to 50-pin cable EIther is easy to find.

    In any case, stick to Adaptec cards and you likely won't have trouble. My experience is that many Adaptec cards are plug and play under Tiger, but forget getting them to work under Leopard. You may need to dig around on Adaptec's website to find OS 9 drivers.

    Also, since you're using multiple devices, you need to be very careful with setting IDs and termination. The IDs really don't matter(although avoid 7, as it's often the ID used for the card itself) just as long as you don't have two devices with the same ID on the bus. Most scanners that I've seen have some sort of dial or other similar adjustment on the back that makes setting IDs very easy. Many scanners also have internal terminators activated by a switch-be sure the first scanner is set to "off" and the second is set to "on." If the device doesn't have an internal terminator, you will need to use an external terminator, which will plug into the other SCSI port on the device. Most that I've seen for this sort of application are a small plastic box with a 50-pin Centronics connector, although you can find them in pretty much any configuration you need.

    A couple of other things from your first link-several of those appear to be the "Jackhammer" ultrawide card that was sold in some Powermac G3s and G4s. This was intended for driving internal 68 pin SCSI drives on these computers. Apple was pretty explicit about not using external devices on these drives, although they would probably be okay since you wouldn't be using internal devices. None the less, the external connector is-I think-a 68 pin high density Centronics, which is more difficult to find than the 50-pin version. This card is the Adaptec 2940.

    I'd also recommend avoiding the Adapted 39160. I have one-it's a great, high end 64 bit card with two separate SCSI buses(both with internal and external connections) but in my experience it can be a bit cantankerous. I have it working now to drive a pair of 10K 68 pin UW drives in my Sawtooth. I don't recall what exactly I had to do to get it working, but it took a fair bit of tinkering.

    If you are going to buy an Apple OEM card, stick to a 2930.
     
  3. poiihy, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016

    poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #3
    Oh thanks; very helpful.

    So this connector is a Macintosh DB-50 SCSI port? Or DB-25?


    Everymac.com says the beige G3 desktop has a DB-25:
    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g3/specs/powermac_g3_233_dt.html

    On Wikipedia it shows the DB-25:
    [​IMG]

    But this DB-25 looks shorter (in width) than the one on my beige G3.

    But the DB-50 has 3 rows of pins. The beige g3 has two rows.


    I'm confused.

    -------------------------

    Here's a picture of a desktop beige G3:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the SCSI port is wider than the DB-25.
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #4
    I've never seen a DB-25 SCSI port with any other layout than the one used on old Macintosh computers.

    BTW, for size reference, the right port is the DB-15 display port.
     
  5. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #5
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #6
    Where did DB-50 get into the discussion?

    It's hard to tell scale from pictures. I'm looking at the back of my 9600 now(which has the same SCSI port as the built in SCSI port of all desktop Macs), along with my Sprintscan 35+ and an Adaptec card with a DB-25 port. They're all the same.

    Incidentally, it's also the same size as the DB-25 port that used to be used as a parallel printer port(LPT) on IBM-compatible PCs.
     
  7. poiihy thread starter macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    #7
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Hmm... this is weird... But I counted the pins and they both have 25 pins, but I am sure the one on the left is wider.

    Something is really weird here! :confused:

    I dunno, maybe it's an illusion...

    BTW, found a page of SCSI connectors
    http://www.ramelectronics.net/scsi_connectors.aspx
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    The only ones you need to worry about are the two row DB-25, the Centronics 50(what that page calls CN50), and the HD-50 ONLY if you go with the Adaptec 2930.
     
  9. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #9
    SCSI cards were available as a BTO option? Interesting. My G4 DA came with a SCSI card installed.
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    Yes-I'll photograph the shipping label on my Quicksilver later. It has a 2930CU. My Yikes! also came with the same 2930CU, although I don't think it's listed on the label(I'll have to check).

    G3 and earlier G4s also had the option for what Apple called a "Jackhammer" Ultrawide card and up to 3 hard drives. I have a beige G3 server minitower that has this set up(the drives are 10K RPM, and are obnoxiously loud).
     
  11. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    I just took out mine for closer inspection and it appears to be an Adaptec AHA-2930CU, female HD50 SCSI connector. It's not listed on the label so I'm not sure if it's OEM or not. I wonder what I need to connect my Macintosh SE's external HDD to this (pretty much the only SCSI peripheral I have).
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #12
    Depending on exactly how the ports are set up, I'm guessing that you could get away with an HD50 to DB-25 cable, although if you would post a picture of the back of the drive it would be easier to tell for sure.

    Port adapters aren't usually used for SCSI peripherals-you usually just use a cable with the desired connector at each end. With that said, port adapters do exist.

    Also, just to make sure, your SE hard drive isn't by some chance an original HD20 is it?(that's what I use with my SE). These work on the floppy disk port, which I think is a DB-15 connector. If that's what you have, there's not a chance of getting it to work on a more modern computer. I think the SE was actually the last computer computer that could boot off the HD20(the SE/30 retained the floppy disk port I think, but couldn't boot off it).
     
  13. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #13
    The HDD is an aftermarket 3rd-party one. The connector on the back of the drive itself looks like a CN50 from the link poiihy posted and the cable ends in a DB-25 so it must be SCSI.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    That makes things a little bit more difficult unless the drive has internal termination.

    Probably the easiest thing to do would be to look for a HD50 to DB-25 cable, and then a female-female DB-25 connector(these are not difficult to find).

    If there's no internal termination, you'll also need an external terminator on the Centronics port.

    If it does have internal termination, you should be able to go directly from HD50 to CN50, and be okay.

    Sometimes these external drives have been rebuilt with newer drives, and the termination has been set on the drive itself. It might be worth cracking the case open and checking for this.
     
  15. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #15
    I think I'll pass on connecting it to the SCSI card in my G4 and connect it to my Macintosh Performa's DB-25 connector instead, once I get a monitor working for it. Would it work on the Performa if it doesn't have internal termination (and it would be nice to know how to check for it as well).
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    It should work fine on the Performa.

    Again, if the drive has been replaced, you will need to open it up and check the jumpers. Typically you can Google the drive make and model, and find a chart of the jumper pin-outs. Sometimes you can look at the printing next to the jumpers and figure out how to set them. In any case, there will generally be three jumpers to set the ID and one to set the termination on and off. Be sure to set it to on. Also, check the ID set on the drive. If your Performa uses internal SCSI(I think that some do and some use IDE), the internal hard drive is probably ID 0 and the CD-ROM ID 3. Just be sure your external drive isn't set to one of these two values.
     
  17. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #17
    Thanks, now the tricky part will be getting a DB-15 display for the Macintosh Performa. I still hope to use the iMac G3 but will consider investing in a DB-15 to VGA adapter.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #18
    Does your Performa have PCI slots?

    If it does, by far and away the easiest thing to do is to just stick a video card in with VGA out. Mac Rage 128 are plentiful and cheap($10-15) on Ebay. Even though we like to poke fun of them around here, they are miles ahead of the built in graphics in most Old World ROM Macs.

    I have them in all of my PCI based OWR Macs. They really do just plug in and work, although at times you may encounter a dirty or corroded PCI slot that will make them touchy(clean the card contacts with a pencil eraser and then insert and remove it in the slot several times).
     
  19. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #19
    I don't think so, which is unfortunate since I already have a PCI Rage 128 from my parted-out Yikes! (I don't think I've mentioned it on here yet).
     
  20. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I found an Apple 2930CU in my recently acquired Sawtooth. One thing worth pointing out is that it comes with a socketed ROM. The only way to update the firmware is to swap out the ROM chip. If yours, like mine, comes with the default 4.0 revision ROM then it will stop your desktop from going into deep sleep. In other words, the fans stay running after the hard drives spin down. Revisions 4.2 and preferably 4.3 are the ones to go for.
     
  21. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #21
    I didn't know that, luckily mine appears to have revision 4.3.
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #22
    I'll also add that I've been researching this today(I've been trying to get a generic 2930 to work in OS 9 in my newly acquired rackmount G4). Apparently, Adaptec used the "Powerdomain" name for Macintosh native cards. From what I've been reading, the PowerDomain cards are firmware-compatible with PPC Macs, meaning that they are bootable and effectively recognized as a native device.

    The generic 2930U I have works fine in 10.4(as I've said on here, SCSI support in Tiger is great, and all but disappeared in Leopard), but I can't for the life of me get it to work in OS 9. It shows up in system profiler, but just as being present and being a PCI card. I really need for it to work in OS 9, and the Powerdomain drivers for OS 8-9 don't see it.

    As my needs in the G4 are temporary, I may need to borrow the OEM 2930 card out of my Quicksilver for a little while to get it working under OS 9.

    I'm also now going to be on the hunt for a Powerdomain 39160, as I'd like to be able to put some UW drives in the rackmount G4.
     
  23. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #23
    The Mac ones should have a sticker on them showing them to be Mac compatible - this is mine with the sticker top left and also on the ROM chip.
     

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  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #24
    It seems as though the random card I pulled from a box headed for surplus is infact a 2910 and not a 2930. I think you can see why I might make the mistake in the below photo(Apple 2930 on top, 2910 on the bottom), although it does lack the socketed ROM of the Apple card.

    In any case, I borrowed the Apple shipping card from my Quicksilver, and the hard drive I was trying to read in the DA was automatically recognized and mounted when I booted into OS 9. As I'd said before with the 2910, it worked fine under Tiger but not under OS 9.

    I'm happy now-as I said, I only need to read this drive for a few hours.
     

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