Minitower SE/30

Minitower Macintosh SE/30

This project includes (1)speedup of the SE/30 with an accelerator card, (2)connection to the LAN or Internet with an ethernet card, (3)256 gray-scale capability with a graphic card and a gray scale adapter, (4)installation of internal CD-ROM and ZIP drives, and (5) installation of an additional power supply.

This project has not finished yet. The major problem is housing. Building a cool and robust minitower case is not easy.


1. How many cards can be installed in the SE/30 with only one PDS slot?

In Macintosh, six slot addresses (9, A, B, C, D, E) are assigned to the extended slots, and each extended slot has its own address space as listed below.
Therefore, the SE/30 can theoretically harbor six cards, though it has only one slot on the logic board. The problem are (1)how to install more than one card to a single PDS slot, and (2)how to supply much more power to support up to six cards.

16M byte Standard Address Space 256M byte Super Address Space
Slot 9 F900 0000 ~ F9FF FFFF 9000 0000 ~ 9FFF FFFF
Slot A FA00 0000 ~ FAFF FFFF A000 0000 ~ AFFF FFFF
Slot B FB00 0000 ~ FBFF FFFF B000 0000 ~ BFFF FFFF
Slot C FC00 0000 ~ FCFF FFFF C000 0000 ~ CFFF FFFF
Slot D FD00 0000 ~ FDFF FFFF D000 0000 ~ DFFF FFFF
Slot E FE00 0000 ~ FEFF FFFF E000 0000 ~ EFFF FFFF

For the PDS slot of the SE/30, a 120-pin Euro-Din connector is soldered on the logic board.
See PDS Slot of Macintosh SE/30.

2. How to install three cards to a single PDS slot?

The important criteria are
(1)whether the card has a pass-through slot to install an additional card; and
(2)whether the slot address of the card is configurable with a jumper switch.

Video Card
The SE/30 built-in monitor displays one bit black & white images. To make it gray-scale operational (256 gray-scale), we have only one choice, i.e., a combination of Micron Xceed Color 30 video card (8bit or 24bit) and a Micron Xceed Gray-Scale 30 Adaper card.
The Xceed video card does not have a through slot. The slot address of Xceed is fixed to 9.

Ethernet Card
There is only one ethernet card which has a jumper switch to cofigure the slot address.
That is ASANTE MacCon+30 series: MacCon+30iET64 (AUI and RJ-45 ports, PDS pass-through slot) or MacCon+30iE64 (AUI and BNC ports, PDS pass-through slot).
The RJ-45 port (this is for 10BaseT) is more popular and convenient than the BNC port (this is for 10Base2), so the MacCon+30iET64 card is better.
We can choose one slot address among 9, A, B, and E by configuring the jumper switch.
Although the MacCon+30 card has a pass-through slot, its direction unfortunatly is not parallel but perpendicular to the card. When we install this card in the SE/30, this pass-through slot faces inward. We need to get or make a direction changer (or PDS adapter) for facing this pass-through slot upward.

Accelerator Card
Currently, the MicroMac DiiMO 030/50Mhz (with FPU) accelerator card is the best choice, because this card is still easy to find/get and has a parallel pass-through slot.

Making a Direction Changer (or PDS adapter) for the MacCon+30 Pass-Through Slot

Obtaining 120-pin Euro-Din (PDS) connectors, ether male or female, is very difficult. It is much easier to get 96-pin Euro-DIN (NuBus) connectors. You may be able to find/get NuBus connectors at parts/junk shops.
I used female 96-pin Euro-DIN (NuBus)connectors having L shape leads. The L shape of the leads is important, because this changes the slot direction from perpendicular to parallel to the card.
By cutting and pasting, I made one 120-pin Euro-Din (PDS) connector from two 96-pin Euro-DIN (NuBus) connectors as shown in the left picture.

The Order of Installation of the Cards

Firstly, the MicroMac DiiMO accelerator is connected to the PDS slot of the SE/30 logic board.
Secondly, the ASANTE MacCon+ ethernet controller card is connected to the pass-through slot of the DiiMO accelerator. The smaller MacCon+ daughter card is attached to the chasis bracket. The MacCon + controller and daughter cards are connected by the flat ribbon cable.
Thirdly, the direction changer (PDS adapter) is connected to the pass-through slot of the ASANTE MacCon+30 ethernet.
Fourthly, the Xceed video card is connected to the direction changer (PDS adapter). However, if we install other cards simultaneously with Xceed video and Gray-Scale cards, the gray-scale assembling cables are too short to connect them to the analog and the logic board. We need to extend the assembling cables with extension cords/cables, pressure connectors, and pressure pliers or by soldering.

3. See the Screen Shot of the Gray Scale SE/30 Monitor

Click here to see the screen shot.

4. Configurations of slot addresses

The Xceed Color 30 video card has a fixed slot address assigned to 9.
With/without the DiiMO accelerator, the slot status and the slot PRAM of the SE/30 is listed below.
Slot E is already and always used regardless of card installation.

Slot 9: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot A: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot B: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot C: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot D: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot E: BoardID = 000C, PRAM = 80 00 00 00 00 00 (This address is always in use)

The slot address of the ASANTE MacCon+30 ethernet card must be chosen from 9, A, B, or E.
But Slot 9 is assigned to Xceed, and Slot E is already used.
Therefore, the slot address of ASANTE MacCon+30 must be A or B.
I chose A for the MacCon+30 card.
Then, looking at the slot status and the slot PRAM again, they show

Slot 9: BoardID = 01E2, PRAM = 83 00 00 83 00 83 (Xceed)
Slot A: BoardID = 0008, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00 (ASANTE)
Slot B: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot C: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot D: BoardID = 0000, PRAM = 00 00 00 00 00 00
Slot E: BoardID = 000C, PRAM = 80 00 00 00 00 00 (This address is always in use)

5. Installation of internal CD-ROM and ZIP drives and an additional power supply.

When installing the three cards, the top of the cards is getting outside the box, and the rear housing cover cannot be replaced.
If the original rear cover is useless anyway, then putting a CD-ROM drive, a ZIP drive, and anything inside the SE/30 is not a bad idea. An additional power supply also should be installed, because the original power supply is not enough to support various cards and drives simultaneously.
See the above picture.

6. Building a chassis and housing.

The additional/modified chassis was made with 3 mm-thick aluminum plates to install a CD-ROM drive, a ZIP drive and an additional power supply.
To make cool and robust housing and exterior, I cut and pasted plastic plates and sheets.
It, however, was not an easy job as compared to making a dull and fragile box.
Please wait in patience.

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