kalleboo's retro tech blog

Mac Peripherals: SCSI/ADB/Serial

SCSI Tower of Power

When I was a kid and my only disposable income came from delivering junk mail on Sundays, the only SCSI peripheral I could afford was a Zip drive, which I used as a replacement for a bigger hard disk. I wanted to play a game? Got to put in my "Games" Zip disk. It did work out really well for me, I mostly avoided the "click of death" (only had it on one disk, which I repaired using the "cut off the outer edge of the disk" method)

One dream I always had was to fill up all the IDs in my SCSI chain. This is the ongoing missing of the project described in this session.

Current SCSI tower of power status:

So I need 3 more devices to fulfill my goal. Wishlist includes a SCSI hand-scanner (yeah one of those really crappy ones) and an external Apple SCSI harddisk

Planning on writing more on the individual devices and SCSI driver software here

ADB Wombat

The ADB wombat is a cool way to get USB keyboards and mice working on an old Mac, or more importantly, getting ADB keyboard and mice working on modern Macs

USB to Serial on MacOS 9

One thing I picked up on auctions is a 24-port managed gigabit switch for 2500 yen. But the console is serial. And my PowerBook G3 only has USB... What do? Well, get a serial adapter.

Luckily, the venerable FTDI FT232 chipset has been setting the standard for over a decade and a half, so it's old enough to have a MacOS 9 driver, and serial hasn't changed enough in the intervening time that there are still brand-new products being produced that are still compatible!

I bought this cheap DTECH DT-5011 (based on the FT232RL / ZT213 chipsets) on Amazon and it works perfectly on my G3 in MacOS 9 using drivers released in 2004.

I also ordered a QuickTake 100 digital camera, which uses an Apple DIN Serial port, so of course I wanted a period-approriate DIN serial port USB adapter, so I also bought a Keyspan USA-28X B Twin Serial adapter. I tested this one by connecting to the FT232 USB adapter connected to my MacBook Pro over a null modem cable (actually a "MIDI connection cable" which had the same crossover requird) and running ZTerm to chat to myself.

Misc (Microphones, Remotes)

The classic Apple Remote (model number matched it to an old Performa) works with our bedroom Sony TV

Last updated: 2019-04-14
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