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#1 2017-10-23 01:40:55

untitled73
Member
Registered: 2017-10-23
Posts: 5

8100/80av upgrade capabilities

Hi,

I'm looking for an old nubus mac. I want to see if I can get a little protools 1 rig up and running (I'm actually a proud otari 2" tape machine owner, and vintage recording stuff just catches my interest), and but I also wouldn't mind the S-Video port included on the back in case I ever wanna hook it up to my broadcast monitor. So the 8100 actually seems like the best choice for what I'm looking at.

I'm very interested in old games and gaming and realized I've never played a lot of the older games for the mac, so it seems like it would make for a cheap source of entertainment. If I am gonna spend some cash on something like this though I have a few questions..

Does anyone know if I can exceed the listed 2GB hard drive maximum? Is there anything stopping me from just plugging in a bigger IDE drive?

If I were to install a faster processor or "accelerator" (I'm extremely new to this entire thing, so I really have no grip on what is or is not possible), would I still be able to run system 7?

Anything anyone can recommend to make this thing go as fast as possible?

Lastly, would it be possible to partition a hard drive to boot from both 7 and 8/9?

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#2 2017-10-23 11:26:28

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 821

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

1. The 2GB HDD limit was only for older versions of System 7, up until 7.5.3 from memory. 7.5.3 onwards, you can install as big a drive as you like. However these machines do not have IDE, and to my knowledge there's no such thing as a NuBus IDE controller, these days your best bet to add a lot of storage to one would be to use a SCSI2SD. However note that if you create a partition bigger than 2GB and format it as HFS, files will appear to take up more space due to the larger block size. (This was one of the many reasons HFS+ was introduced)

2. There were a variety of G3 accelerators (and a very rare G4 accelerator!) made for the NuBus PowerMacs, the Sonnet and NewerTech ones at least will work on versions going back to 7.1.2. Just make sure the G3 extension is installed - without it the accelerator won't function, and the 601 will run the show.

3. Basically, more RAM is the best thing you can do, and the 8100 will take up to 264MB - 8MB onboard + 8 32MB SIMMs. If you upgrade beyond 8.1 you'll certainly want more RAM. I also recommend adding a G3, which it looks like you're going to do anyway. You can add a high performance NuBus video card to get more colours at higher resolutions, and better video performance.

4. Indeed you can, just make sure the System 7 partition is formatted as HFS, not HFS+, and that anything you want to access under System 7 is on a HFS volume.

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#3 2017-10-26 00:45:31

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 575

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

@untitled73: Where are you located? I also have an interested in old (and new) recording gear and related paraphernalia, particularly tape machines (I'm quite envious of your 2" Otari! How many tracks?).

As for LCGuy's suggestions, they're sound, except I'd like to say that I *think* System 7.5.3 did up the maximum partition size to 4 GB from 2, but it wasn't really *eliminated* until Mac OS 8.1 and HFS+.

Be that as it may, you *can* use bigger drives (within the confines of the hardware, of course), you'll just have to slice it up into a bunch of 4 GB partitions. And smaller is better, because HFS Standard becomes rather inefficient at larger sizes like that. And for maximum compatibility, it might be wise to keep at least the boot partition to slightly under 2 GB.

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#4 2017-10-26 03:28:20

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,408

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

I wonder how fast SCSI2SD really is? It swamps pathetic Mac MoBo SCSI 1, but for recording video you should really have at least a Fast SCSI 2 accelerator card, IMO. Don't know if SCSI2SD could match the throughput of SCSI 2 combined with something like the "Savvio" 2.5" SCA drives with adapters and would be more period correct to my way of thinking.

With a RAID capable Fast/Wide SCSI 2 card, like the JackHammer striping a pair of Savvios, I'm certain it's lights out for SCSI2SD. The SCSI controller/disk/RAID setup probably more important than a G3 accelerator. Disk seems to be the tightest bottleneck, more so even than RAM I would think.

I've been setting up a Radius 81/110 to play around with my VideoVision Studio setup, if and when. But looks more like I'm headed into Final Cut Pro 3 on one of the G4s now for the real deal.

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#5 2017-10-26 03:46:17

untitled73
Member
Registered: 2017-10-23
Posts: 5

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

LCGuy wrote:

1. The 2GB HDD limit was only for older versions of System 7, up until 7.5.3 from memory. 7.5.3 onwards, you can install as big a drive as you like. However these machines do not have IDE, and to my knowledge there's no such thing as a NuBus IDE controller, these days your best bet to add a lot of storage to one would be to use a SCSI2SD. However note that if you create a partition bigger than 2GB and format it as HFS, files will appear to take up more space due to the larger block size. (This was one of the many reasons HFS+ was introduced)

2. There were a variety of G3 accelerators (and a very rare G4 accelerator!) made for the NuBus PowerMacs, the Sonnet and NewerTech ones at least will work on versions going back to 7.1.2. Just make sure the G3 extension is installed - without it the accelerator won't function, and the 601 will run the show.

3. Basically, more RAM is the best thing you can do, and the 8100 will take up to 264MB - 8MB onboard + 8 32MB SIMMs. If you upgrade beyond 8.1 you'll certainly want more RAM. I also recommend adding a G3, which it looks like you're going to do anyway. You can add a high performance NuBus video card to get more colours at higher resolutions, and better video performance.

4. Indeed you can, just make sure the System 7 partition is formatted as HFS, not HFS+, and that anything you want to access under System 7 is on a HFS volume.


This was extremely helpful. Got lots of stuff lined up for me to look for... thanks a lot!

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#6 2017-10-26 04:07:08

untitled73
Member
Registered: 2017-10-23
Posts: 5

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

cc333 wrote:

@untitled73: Where are you located? I also have an interested in old (and new) recording gear and related paraphernalia, particularly tape machines (I'm quite envious of your 2" Otari! How many tracks?).

As for LCGuy's suggestions, they're sound, except I'd like to say that I *think* System 7.5.3 did up the maximum partition size to 4 GB from 2, but it wasn't really *eliminated* until Mac OS 8.1 and HFS+.

Be that as it may, you *can* use bigger drives (within the confines of the hardware, of course), you'll just have to slice it up into a bunch of 4 GB partitions. And smaller is better, because HFS Standard becomes rather inefficient at larger sizes like that. And for maximum compatibility, it might be wise to keep at least the boot partition to slightly under 2 GB.

c

I'm in north New Jersey. My Otari 2" is 16 tracks and I just finished completely refurbishing it.

It doesn't particularly matter to me how many partitions I have, because no file I'm going to put on this machine will be larger than 2 GB I'd think. I'd just like to avoid the problem of having to delete files constantly. So I'm presuming the best solution for me would be to have however many GB I'd need for System 7 total in 2GB slices and a partition containing the remainder of my drive for OS 8.

I wanna try out some of the old converters. I'm curious to see if they were any good.

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#7 2017-10-27 16:15:30

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,106
Website

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

I wonder how fast SCSI2SD really is? It swamps pathetic Mac MoBo SCSI 1, but for recording video you should really have at least a Fast SCSI 2 accelerator card, IMO.

The v6 is definitely faster, but the v5 compared to a SCSI-I drive was all over the map. I'd say it was a wash even with a Class 10 high grade card, a bit better in some situations, but a bit worse in others. I think the best application for the SCSI2SD is as a more reliable replacement rather than a more performant one.

Again, the v6 may be different in this regard. I have a v6 but I haven't installed it in anything yet.

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#8 2017-10-28 05:44:25

untitled73
Member
Registered: 2017-10-23
Posts: 5

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

I know this is a total stretch, but would anyone have any information about hooking up the external clock of the otari to an early protools??

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#9 2017-10-28 05:49:27

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 575

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

Hmm, no I don't.

Too bad you're 4,000+ miles away, or I'd come and check out your setup.

I have a Tascam 85-16 (1", 16 track) I need to refurbish because the transport is broken (it won't record, capstan motor not getting power). Do you know how to work on those? I'm quite certain there's something wrong with one of the controller cards in the head unit, but I don't know how to diagnose it.

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#10 2017-10-28 07:47:12

untitled73
Member
Registered: 2017-10-23
Posts: 5

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

cc333 wrote:

Hmm, no I don't.

Too bad you're 4,000+ miles away, or I'd come and check out your setup.

I have a Tascam 85-16 (1", 16 track) I need to refurbish because the transport is broken (it won't record, capstan motor not getting power). Do you know how to work on those? I'm quite certain there's something wrong with one of the controller cards in the head unit, but I don't know how to diagnose it.

c


So, it won't record BECAUSE the capstan motor isn't getting power?...

I've never worked on a large tascam in particular, but standard procedure would be to look for open, dead, electrolytics and nearby out of spec and fried resistors on all boards related to the problem. Looking at the schematics it could easily be the capstan feedback amp board or it could simply be logic like you're saying. Download the schematics see where the logic goes when you press the play button in relation to how it should affect the capstan. Of course, check the power supply first and foremost, and also make sure the connection to the remote is solid.

All of the repairs I did on the Otari were either from fried and open electrolytics, bad relays, resistors going too out of spec and 2 bad IC's in total. In additon, my remote wasn't allowing sel-rep to function on channel one until I replaced an IC in it... and strangely enough, my capstan was malfunctioning as well when I first bought the machine. The problem was pretty easy to isolate and identify(a bad IC had fried a nearby resistor into ashes on the part that controlled feedback on the rewind function... the IC itself had a chunk missing as well). That's just because the Otari has one single board dedicated to the capstan though outside of the logic.

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#11 2017-10-29 17:41:00

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 575

Re: 8100/80av upgrade capabilities

Well, no, it is just a deterioration. At first, it was sticky and sluggish to start (turns out, the tape is suffering from sticky shed syndrome), but it played and recorded okay otherwise. Then, out of nowhere, it self-disengaged record, and I could never get it to reengage for more than a second or two.

After some troubleshooting, it just got worse and worse. At one point, the solenoids were spazzing out in time with the rotation of the tape counter sensor, which caused a "chattering" effect. It is, of course, useless in this condition.

The chattering eventually stopped, but then the capstan stopped working.

I looked over the control boards, and replaced a chip that had blown. I suspect it took a few other things with it, bu8t I can't figure out what those things are without a schematic. And guess what? There's more! There is a slightly improved "B" model, whose manuals and schematics are readily available online. I have the "A" model, and there is no schematic for it ANYWHERE.

I tried shotgunning a few things, and I recapped one of the boards, all to no avail. Hopefully I didn't make anything worse.

So, with that in mind, you seem to understand a thing or two about this kind of electronics. I realize you only just signed up here to discuss old Macs, but would you be willing to help me out by checking out these control boards if I send them to you?

You can PM me if you're interested.

Thank you!

c

*...we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming...*


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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