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#1 2016-01-05 21:43:21

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 103

Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

I've seen the LC Power Workstation before and always kinda wanted one:

http://www.micromac.com/products/lc_pws.html  (Are they seriously still able to sell you a new one?!?)

I started thinking about it again recently after coming across the crazy stuff pictured in the following posting over at 68kmla.org:

https://68kmla.org/forums/index.php?/to … 011-mtc-2/

Not that I'm likely to ever get my hands on any of these things, but I do have an LC(I), LCII and LCIII+ lying around doing nothing along with a number of LC PDS network cards.  First off I was wondering if anyone has more photos of the various versions of the LC expansion systems.  Secondly I was wondering what on earth you would actually fill four LC PDS slots with (while also not ending up with bus conflicts).  Thirdly, is there any point in using an LC/LCII slot multiplier on an LCIII mainboard with a Presto Plus accelerator if you aren't going to be able to take advantage of the extended bus section of that board's connector?

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#2 2016-01-05 22:14:22

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

Yes, those things are awesome.  I've had vague thoughts of trying to make an LC expansion card, although one of the problems is the size of the PCB gets very large, and therefore very expensive..  Then if you do have an expansion board, you kinda need the case riser setup, which is a little large for most 3D printers these days, although might be able to be printed in sections.
I'd like to be able to throw a couple LC cards in a machine, at least ethernet and the AppleII card, an accelerator card would be nice, I've also got an LC video card and a frame grabber card that might be fun.

micromac isn't active and doesn't actually sell anything, despite their site.  It's just kind of abandoned AFAICT.

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#3 2016-01-05 22:21:54

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

Didn't some people on INSERT_SITE_HERE actually put together a buyout of what was left of MicroMac's inventory like... last year? I think a couple people came away with Power Workstations in varying states of completeness, not sure if any of them post here.


Flap Different.

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#4 2016-01-06 01:38:50

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

No video card, no thanks.

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#5 2016-01-06 01:41:56

ScutBoy
Member
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 157

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

Eudi,

You might be thinking of olePidgeon and me. We both bought a couple of their headless SE cases, but never were able to figure out the video out.

If anyone has a 9 pin TTL monitor, please let me know smile

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#6 2016-01-06 02:57:41

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

No video card?  Better than SCSI video!

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#7 2016-01-06 14:05:17

ScutBoy
Member
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 157

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

bbraun - they have video cards, but we've not been able to figure out exactly what they will drive.

They appear to be Lapis cards that are set up to drive TTL two-page monitors, with some hints that some kind of VGA may be possible, but we've not been able to figure it out.

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#8 2016-01-06 17:05:03

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

ScutBoy wrote:

You might be thinking of olePidgeon and me. We both bought a couple of their headless SE cases, but never were able to figure out the video out.

Oh, yeah, that's it. I remember repeatedly telling olePidgeon to bang together a cable with some resistors to try with an analog multisync but I don't think he *ever* tried it. wink

Alas I don't have anything TTL-out-of-the-box that would accept the likely scan ranges those cards would run at. (I guess I currently have two Commodore 1084's in my possession which are "multi-protocol" out the wazoo, accepting composite, "C64" (Aka s-video, basically), analog *and* digital RGB, but fixed at NTSC scanrates.)


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#9 2016-01-06 17:28:52

ScutBoy
Member
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 157

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

I know the old Sun 68K workstations used TTL monitors, but I and my friends have long since shed ourselves of those tubes...

Not sure when that project will come back to the front burner.

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#10 2016-01-06 17:38:42

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

ScutBoy wrote:

I know the old Sun 68K workstations used TTL monitors, but I and my friends have long since shed ourselves of those tubes...

Those ancient SUN monitors were usually fixed-frequency too, so it's sort of a long shot that any given one would sync up with your mystery output.

I still think your best shot would be a late 90's high-end Multisync CRT, using a cable with an appropriate resistor on the line that's *most likely* the TTL video output to knock down the voltage a bit. VGA uses TTL level sync so you should be golden there, just knock down the video a bit so you don't overdrive the analog input.


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#11 2016-01-06 23:24:51

bbraun
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

Ah, my comment was more directed at ChC, since I didn't understand his comment.

Interesting that your headless SE's have Lapis cards in them for video.  I had assumed they just broke out the internal video signal for an external connection.  I believe the SE's internal video should kinda mostly work with a CGA monitor, but that's vague half-recollections.
If it's an actual card that has its own framebuffer and everything, that's pretty neat.
What I've done in the past for monochrome video is just taken the video signal and put it to the VGA green signal and plugged it into a SoG LCD (Dell 2407).  A resistor like Eudi said might be advisable too.  smile

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#12 2016-01-07 21:04:05

Eudimorphodon
Member
Registered: 2014-09-02
Posts: 525

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

I'm too lazy to look up the thread but I'm pretty sure the card had... 128k? of RAM on it? For 1-bit mono the highest res you can get out of that is something in the 1152x870 ballpark, which is why I'd suggest a late 90's-ish Multisync CRT. (Even pretty cheap monitors by that point could usually handle 1280x1024-ish resolutions and CRTs are usually more forgiving about scan frequencies; a depressing number of VGA LCDs freak out at refresh rates other than 60 or 70hz.)


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#13 2016-01-08 05:31:26

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
Website

Re: Micromac LC Power Workstation and similar variants.

My GC generates a 1152x870x256 signal which my CRT tolerates (barely), but LCDs freak out with it.

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