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#1 2014-09-23 22:33:05

IIfx
Member
From: VA, USA
Registered: 2014-09-07
Posts: 91

Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

I thought I would make a photo log of my ongoing Radius 81/110 project. Sort of a tour.

How did I obtain the 81/110?

In what is to date my final conquest - a huge load of equipment and software from a retired aerospace engineer and businessman with more PHD's than I can count. Cool guy. He wanted it all to go to a good home, so I agreed. I ended up with a IIfx, More Radius Rocket's than I could ever use, another 9500, an 8100, and this machine. After 2 years of separation, I at last have my collection reunited. The plan is to load up this Radius with some goodies.

The configuration that is in the running right now is a PowerPC Rocket Stage II machine - an insane hybrid of 68k and PPC. The engineer told me it could be done with System 7.1.2. Currently the system has 64mb of RAM, the Apple HPV video card, and the original IBM 2gb HDD.

So, lets start off with the hardware:
15149112049_45c9f6f0fa_b.jpg

The Radius 81/110 is an interesting beast of a machine. Built by Radius as a competitor to Apple's 8100, it features a very solid steel case with ample working space. The front is neatly designed with a wavy front bezel which adds a bit of style to what would otherwise be a very boring rectangular box. Had Radius made the front plain and flat, you could have mistook it as a Soviet creation.
15149116939_884e35dac6_b.jpg

Here is the buisness end of the 81/110. It has the usual complement of ports and slots. One interesting deviation from the Apple PowerPC machines of the era is the inclusion of the older DB-15 monitor connector rather than the unusual connector Apple chose, and abandoned after the Nubus PPC generation. Smart move on the part of Radius.
15149352127_9ff97a3d66_b.jpg

The interior of the roomy, durable steel case:
15149121559_07078d07eb_k.jpg

Oddly, the power supply is Italian (Nippon Chemi-Con caps):
15312859376_e40031fe21_c.jpg

A shot of the interior minus PSU:
15312862396_7cc0158d03_b.jpg
Notice how the CPU is placed directly underneath the PSU intake fan. This ensures that the relatively hot running PowerPC 601 at 110mhz will remain cool. It also has a pettier cooler which I feel was an oddball design decision. A large passive heat sink placed here would have done the job fine, the pettier cooler adds a bit of complexity to the mix.

Lastly - witness the durable construction of the 81/110! No more flimsy spindler plastic nubus card holders!
15149348357_51161b9694.jpg
The 81/110 is built like a WWII tank, and it reminds me of an 80's IBM PC due to the amounts of metal in the construction.

To be continued...

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#2 2014-09-24 00:19:21

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Conclusion: they don't make 'em like they used to.

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#3 2014-09-24 03:22:48

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,376

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

You've got the Stage II running under 7.1.2? Radius told me the max was 7.1P, but that might only have been the apogee of the Rocket 33.

Mine has an internal Zip Drive, a G3 and the HPV4/8MB I was able to snag off the dock of the 'Bay thanks to trag's help.

What's really special about the System 100 (my personal goal) and the 81/110, as opposed to the 8100, is the extra cubic available inside that heavy gauge steel can situated ABOVE the NuBus Cards. That's where I'm hacking the metal adapter frame my HPV4/8 at the end of its flex circuit tether to the G3 card. cool

I've got extra Floppy Bezels (full frontal bezel assemblies actually) on hand. So, you vant I should be making for you the Zippier version? smile





edit: forgot to mention, trag's got inexpensive 32MB SIMMs available to max that puppy out!

.

Last edited by jt (2014-09-24 03:24:38)

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#4 2014-10-02 15:48:00

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,376

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Found a pic of the Sonnet G3 ( it died/I killed it. roll ) PDS VidCard passthru and that extra cubic above the NuBus cards:

jn63MY.jpg

The pigtail cable is from a NewerTech G3 HPV adapter frame. There's plenty of room for the adapter and an HD-15 pigtail to snake out of any random NuBus cover plate adaptation replacing the solid plate covering the PDS Slot. The stock 1/2MB HPV plate would work, but I'd look for one with a DE-9 opening to match the HD-15

The NewerTech G3 with integrated (short) HPV cable is a much nicer fit:

CS7LG8.jpg

Pressure from the "bent upwards" passthru cable holds the top edge of the HPV card firmly against the case bottom. I might just put slots in a pair of those square, clear plastic stick-on feets to take care of side to side stability and call it done.

The NewerTech adapter plate offsets the HPV Card (would anyone actually use that awful VidCap Card for the PDS in an 81/110? tongue ) away from the backplane, hence the cute lil' DA-15 extension cable for their industrial strength aluminum mounting bracket. The Liberty VGA Adapter would install against the back of the case with the dial side exposed for that iteration of the empty cubic abatement mod if I needed it.  The 2/4MB HPV Card I was lucky enough to snag has its own HD-15 VGA connector, so that's the plate I'll be shifting to the PDS slot cover position when I get around to finalizing this hack.

The first off internal SCSI Zip Hack will be changed now that the MIA Roto-Zip has found its way out of one of many untouched moving boxes from five years ago. I'll be making a template to machine a blank cover plate so that it's opening is matched to that of the Zip Bezel and drilling a full size hole for the eject button. With the FDD returned to its upper position, the new and improved Zip Bezel underneath and possibly a Black Zip bezel swap, the overall appearance should be improved dramatically.

__________________________


I don't mean to hijack your project thread with hacks, but you'd asked about the Zip in another thread. Filling the voids in that beautiful Big-@$$ 81/110 case seems appropriate, especially the mod which frees up the NuBus slot that's wasted when installing the HPV adapter for a G3 Accelerator in the narrow 8100 case.

I'll be doing individual hacks threads, but your ode to the 81/110 makes a topic for my overall project a bit redundant, maybe I'll do a summary when I've got my 81/110/System 100 sleeper finished in another ten or twelve years. roll



Addendum: In order to use a bit more of all that excess power (OMG, what a luxury! big_smile ) I'm considering  the installation of RAIDed 2.5" Savvios on the floor of the case in front of the short JackHammer and 24GX/1600 cards as in a PowerMac G3/4 case. Since I have a pair of StudioArray boxen, I don't really have a need for a second JackHammer/RAID, but fabbin' and installin' the brackets and cable runs is a proposition that's almost impossible for me to resist. Such would be perfect in lieu of the StudioArray for an 81/110/ VideoVision Studio VidCap setup.





Hey, admins! Hows about adding a "Clone Zone" forum? Mixing clones in with the AppleMac specific forums dilutes both topics. This is especially true of clone topics. Clones don't really fit the "standard" forum divisions do to the fact that they spanned NuBus, NuBus/PCI and PCI architectures. cool

Last edited by jt (2014-10-02 16:31:53)

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#5 2014-10-02 16:50:58

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Yeah, clone discussion might get lost in all 3 topics in the Power Macintosh forum (which covers both nubus and pci powermacs).

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#6 2014-10-02 17:10:41

iMic
Administrator
From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 877
Website

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

jt wrote:

Hey, admins! Hows about adding a "Clone Zone" forum? Mixing clones in with the AppleMac specific forums dilutes both topics. This is especially true of clone topics. Clones don't really fit the "standard" forum divisions do to the fact that they spanned NuBus, NuBus/PCI and PCI architectures. cool

We really should get together for a roundtable discussion (preferably a chat, can't stand threads for rapid-fire discussion) and settle this layout situation. That's a topic for another thread though.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Macintosh Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#7 2014-10-02 17:19:40

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,376

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Feel free to edit/delete/move/whatever. wink

negative chat, thread preferable my pos




edit: we're still workin' our way up to our first RFDiscussion.

Last edited by jt (2014-10-02 17:21:38)

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#8 2015-07-04 04:44:29

IIfx
Member
From: VA, USA
Registered: 2014-09-07
Posts: 91

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

I just thought I would mention that I will be beginning work to upgrade the 81/110 to the hilt soon. Probably next week after an exam.

Plan:

Test if 7.1.2 can boot on the 81/110 or not - it should be able to. IF a success test a 40mhz Radius Rocket inside of it to have the ultimate 68k/PPC Nubus fusion machine.
Debating G4 300mhz upgrade or not (yep I have that rare Sonnet card) or if I should go for the 500mhz G3 or stock PPC601
Find max RAM to install in my spare parts boxes
Dual Graphics - HPV and Sonnet Nubus card with VGA.
Possibly TRIPLE graphics with a Radius VideoVision card

Comments?

Also jt I finally saw your pics of your 81/110. Nice setup, and a shame the Sonnet card died. I have a few extras I could test if you want one.
The ribbon cable that comes off of the Sonnet card is such a PITA - its not the most reliable thing!

Last edited by IIfx (2015-07-04 04:48:13)

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#9 2015-07-04 05:40:25

TheWhiteFalcon
Member
Registered: 2015-04-27
Posts: 504

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Nice. I've got...oh...I'm thinking like 140MB of RAM in my 8100/110, it runs 8.6 just fine. That case definitely looks easier to get in, especially the RAM area.

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#10 2015-07-04 05:52:40

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,376

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Thanks! I wouldn't mind having another Sonnet card, I may even have and extra Video Cable. I got an untested batch of the NewerTech Accelerators with the hardwired cable quite a while back. That cable is notoriously unreliable, but several of mine work. The others work fine in accelerator only mode except for maybe one or two duds from the whole batch. If you need any to play with, a trade would be good.

The NewerTech Card/Cable you see in the bottom picture of my 81/110 works far better than the Sonnet setup for the "Above the Card Bay" HPV hack. My troika will be 4MB HPV, VideoVision Studio and the Thunder IV GX 1600. JackHammer FW-SCSI-II for the VideoVision Studio Array's drives will fill the third slot. I still need to get a full loadout of 32MB 72-Pin RAM SIMMs from trag and find four 512MB VRAM SIMMs to max out the HPV2/4

I'm dying to see pics of your NuBus/PDS Architecture Sonnet G4 card. I've never heard of such a thing! Writeup and pics of the Sonnet VidCard would be great too. I've heard rumors that it's a Sonnet buyout/re-badge of the MacPicasso. No details extant.

side note: I finally found my Roto-Zip, makeshift table's Router can't handle a fine enough bit. I'll be converting some of the plain, flat bezel covers to custom Zip Bezels  .  .  .

.  .  .  if and when I get a chance to build the jig. wink

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#11 2015-07-04 07:39:08

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

Wow, I too would like to see this NuBus G4 card.

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#12 2015-07-04 14:35:01

IIfx
Member
From: VA, USA
Registered: 2014-09-07
Posts: 91

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

I will work on pictures soon. The G4 card looks identical to the later G3 cards - pink heat sink on small rectangular board. The only thing your really gaining is alti-vec. The Sonnet GPU is more interesting and I will be sure to get pics of that - it has a green heatsink on one of the chips and apparently it can drive some pretty high resolutions (also rumored to be a PPC only Nubus card).

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#13 2015-07-04 19:22:45

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,081
Website

Re: Radius 81/110 - Steel Fortress, Clone Quality

And a better FPU -- don't forget that. The G3 FPU is pretty weak by comparison. Many G4 cards also have substantially beefier cache.

As a result, the Sonnet 800MHz G4 in my 7300 performs markedly better than the 1GHz G3 I used to have in it. The 300MHz G4 versus 500MHz G3 is a tough call, but if you do a lot of gaming, the G4 might edge ahead in that case.

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