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Thread: Mac 512K with "HyperDrive" add-on: Rare?

  1. #11

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    That's the most common point of failure in the miniscribe drives is the stepper motor. It'll seize up and can even damage the platters when that happens. I've read that people got dead Miniscribes working again by lubricating the stepper motor shaft.

    Someone correct me please if I'm wrong, but it might be worth getting some lubrication oil and doing some preventative maintenance on that old Miniscribe. Here're a couple of videos showing different types of hard drives with steppers being brought back to life with some oil:

    MiniScribe
    Western Digital

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
    That's the most common point of failure in the miniscribe drives is the stepper motor. It'll seize up and can even damage the platters when that happens. I've read that people got dead Miniscribes working again by lubricating the stepper motor shaft.

    Someone correct me please if I'm wrong, but it might be worth getting some lubrication oil and doing some preventative maintenance on that old Miniscribe. Here're a couple of videos showing different types of hard drives with steppers being brought back to life with some oil:

    MiniScribe
    Western Digital
    Thanks for those links. The issue I have with the MiniScribe drive in my Apple Lisa 2/Macintosh XL is some form of head stiction, I think. I turn the computer on, and the drive fails to spin up unless I tap the bottom of it with the handle of a screwdriver, or another blunt object. This eventually caused the system folder to become corrupted, and I haven't used the Lisa since. I'm hoping there's a way to low-level format another 3.5" MFM hard drive to take its place, but I don't have especially high hopes.

    I'm still not sure who made the drive used in this Mac 512K (edit: looks like MMI is indeed the name of a hard drive manufacturer, and their hard drives were used in these HyperDrive add-ons, as mentioned here), but it's spun up and worked correctly each time it was called upon. Somewhat distressing that there isn't a clear way to shut the thing down, since the 'Shutdown' option in these Macs acts more like a restart, and the drive dutifully boots the OS. Was hoping there would be a way to park the heads on the drive before shutdown, but I don't think they included a program to do this. In any case, at this point, I'm more concerned about the Rifa capacitor which blew its top.
    -Adam
    Last edited by AdamAnt316; May 16th, 2018 at 03:15 PM.

  3. #13

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    I’m a bit late to this discussion, but I remember the Hyperdrive mod well. It was very unusual for a third-party add on, in that provided that it was installed by a qualified Apple technician, it did not void the computer’s warranty with Apple. The HyerDrive was specifically mentioned in the Apple service documentation.

    The drive was an ST-506 drive, so did not use a SCSI interface like the later Macintosh drives. The Australian ones may have been a bit different to the OP’s system: I recall the switchmode power supply for the hard drive being adhered to the back half of the case with double sided tape.

    Here’s a picture of the interface board that I uploaded for sharing on another vintage computer site some years ago. I have this board (but not the drive or PSU) in my junque box somewhere. (Junque = good junk that will come in handy one day).

    HyperDriveBoard.jpg

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shred View Post
    I’m a bit late to this discussion, but I remember the Hyperdrive mod well. It was very unusual for a third-party add on, in that provided that it was installed by a qualified Apple technician, it did not void the computer’s warranty with Apple. The HyerDrive was specifically mentioned in the Apple service documentation.

    The drive was an ST-506 drive, so did not use a SCSI interface like the later Macintosh drives. The Australian ones may have been a bit different to the OP’s system: I recall the switchmode power supply for the hard drive being adhered to the back half of the case with double sided tape.

    Here’s a picture of the interface board that I uploaded for sharing on another vintage computer site some years ago. I have this board (but not the drive or PSU) in my junque box somewhere. (Junque = good junk that will come in handy one day).

    HyperDriveBoard.jpg
    Thanks for the reply! I hadn't heard about the warranty thing. I'm guessing that Apple tacitly approved of the modification, at least on the quiet (and after Steve Jobs had left the company, of course). Makes me wonder why it took them two more years to figure out a way to include an internal hard drive within a compact Mac with the SE.

    Yeah, I figured it wasn't a SCSI interface which attached to the CPU, but wasn't sure exactly how it did its thing. As for the power supply location, I'm guessing where it was installed probably depended on the design of the power supply, and possibly the whim of the dealer who installed it. The (partial) installation instructions linked to elsewhere in this thread show that there were at least two different designs of power supply; I believe both were intended to mount to the side of the floppy drive cage, though it only shows the ones meant for 110V use, so the 220V power supply might've been too big to fit in that location.

    Thanks for the picture of the interface board! I have yet to remove the logic board in my HyperDrive-equipped 512K, so I haven't seen exactly what the add-on board in mine looks like. There were different versions of the interface board for 128/512K and Plus logic boards, according to the aforementioned installation manual. Both, of course, were rendered obsolete by the introduction of the SE and its internal SCSI hard drive; once the blown-up capacitor is replaced, I'll have to do a speed comparison between this HyperDrive-equipped 512K and my internal HD-equipped SE.
    -Adam

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    Thanks for the reply! I hadn't heard about the warranty thing. I'm guessing that Apple tacitly approved of the modification, at least on the quiet (and after Steve Jobs had left the company, of course).
    This was a big deal in 1985. Don't guess; read this article: Apple proposes detente with HyperDrive. This all happened after Jobs left Apple. As the article states, the HyperDrive was used in Macs within Apple, and there was speculation that Apple would market it themselves.


    Makes me wonder why it took them two more years to figure out a way to include an internal hard drive within a compact Mac with the SE.
    In 1984/85, the plans within the Macintosh team for a hard drive were a lot different than what we generally think of today. There were plans for a network file server. I'm going to write an article on this in my Mac 512K blog because the story is (I think) really fascinating for the time.

  6. #16
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    Corvus made a Constellation Interface (flat cable) for the Mac 512k that attached to the floppy port. I believe it required a Boot floppy.
    -----[ Al ]-----

    3 - TRS-80 Model I, TRS-80 Model 4D, LNW-80 Model I, Coco, 3 - Coco 2, Coco 3, 2 - Tano Dragon 64, C64, C64c, C128, 2 - Atari 800XL,
    Atari 520-ST, Atari Mega-2 ST, Amiga 1000, TS-1000, TS-2068, ZX-Spectrum, IBM 5150, 2 - Apple ][gs, Laser 128, and a butt load of Macs and Intel PCs.

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    Right. Apple's product was going to be the AppleBus File Server. Bunch of really interesting documents on BitSavers site.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFinnigan View Post
    This was a big deal in 1985. Don't guess; read this article: Apple proposes detente with HyperDrive. This all happened after Jobs left Apple. As the article states, the HyperDrive was used in Macs within Apple, and there was speculation that Apple would market it themselves.
    Very interesting! I hadn't read that article. Information about third-party Mac modifications seems to be fairly thin on the ground. Also, I wasn't sure exactly what Apple's position on them was; I figured they wasn't terribly keen on them, while other manufacturers were likely a bit more lax, depending on the mod. Of course, most systems back then were intended for more expandability than the "closed system" of the early Macintosh models.

    Quote Originally Posted by DFinnigan View Post
    In 1984/85, the plans within the Macintosh team for a hard drive were a lot different than what we generally think of today. There were plans for a network file server. I'm going to write an article on this in my Mac 512K blog because the story is (I think) really fascinating for the time.
    I would definitely be interested in reading it. If you need any pictures of a HyperDrive-equipped Mac for your article, please let me know. Once I find a suitable replacement for the safety capacitor (wouldn't mind reading an article on that subject, as well), I'll likely be taking this unit apart to some degree, and could take some pics of the innards beyond what I've posted thus far.
    -Adam

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAnt316 View Post
    I would definitely be interested in reading it. If you need any pictures of a HyperDrive-equipped Mac for your article, please let me know.
    Thanks, I will. I just hope I have time to write!

    Once I find a suitable replacement for the safety capacitor (wouldn't mind reading an article on that subject, as well)
    Consider this: PME271M610MR30 film capacitor

  10. #20

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    I can put you in touch with the lead engineer for GCC at the time for your article. I had set up to do an interview with him in regards to the HyperDrive, but he's been elusive. He hasn't responded to my emails for a long time. I haven't heard back from him since I sent in the interview questions. I'm using pronouns because he said he doesn't want his name posted on internet forums, so I've respected his wishes.

    GCC did do an inhouse SCSI implementation that Apple eventually used in the Plus (along with John Bass's design) but I must be confusing two different (but related) projects in regards to the Hyperdrive.

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