[rescue] Quadra 650 - Newb questions/parts seeking

Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. rescue at hawkmountain.net
Thu Jan 25 15:54:50 CST 2007

Chad McAuley wrote:
> Howdy folks.  There's a Quadra 650 (along with a LaserWriter II and a
> Macintosh 16" Color Display) here at work that's been doing nothing
> but occupying desk space for ages[0].  To save it the cruel fate of
> going off for recycling (or getting tossed in the dumpster), I'm going
> to take it home and play with it.  However, I'm very much a newb when
> it comes to all things Macintosh, especially the older systems, so I
> have some questions.
> 1) This particular machine has no CD-ROM drive.  From what I can tell
> a 2x drive came standard on these machines, so it'd be safe to assume
> the original died and was pulled, right? Either way, do I need a
> specific Apple branded CD-ROM to go in here, or will any 50-pin SCSI
> drive work?

Back in the Quadra 650 days, I do believe you needed an Apple branded drive.
Although FWB made software drivers for non Apple branded drives.  I think
you will need the Apple branded drive to boot.

BTW, the Quadra 650 is all SCSI if you did not already know... so you'll
want an Apple branded SCSI drive.  I also think for Quadra bezels, they
might have only had caddy load drives/bezels... but I'm not 100% sure on
that one.

> 2) It currently has System 7.1 on it.  In my research I noticed that
> this machine will run up to System 8.1, and that System 7.5.3 is
> freely available from Apple.  Two questions: First, what the hell do I
> do with these disk images?  The readme says to download them to the HD
> and then click on the first part to open the image.  Can I just
> upgrade from there, or do I need to them get them on other media
> (i.e., floppy) in order to install?  Secondly, should I bother trying
> to run System 8.1 on here, or would I be better off sticking with
> 7.5.x?
unsure of the MacOS downloads from Apple... I've seen they are there, but
generally have had the MacOS releases on media that I wanted... so I haven't
had to deal with that, hopefully someone else here can comment.  Upgrades
within a release (i.e. 7.5 to 7.5.3) should be simply able to be run.  
Not sure
though about 7.1 -> 7.5.3...

> 3) It currently has the original 250MB HD in it.  What's the biggest
> drive I can put in this?  I'm not sure what I'll end up using it for
> yet, but I'd like to get a bigger HD in there.  And again, do I need
> an Apple branded drive, or will anything work?
hmm... good question on HD size.  My guess is the largest drive you can
attach to the SCSI controller.... but not sure where MacOS's various 
tops out, or if there might be some ROM limitations when it comes to
booting that might come into play.  I believe I used a 4G drive on my Q650,
so that should at least work.

I used FWB toolkit so I didn't need Apple branded drives.  But there are 
for various versions of Apple's HD setup that will allow it to work with 
Apple branded drives.  (Apple especially liked 'lock in' in those days).

> 4) I found some 72-pin memory hiding here in a box at work, and was
> able to take it from the 8MB on board up to 80MB.  It sees it all
> fine, and once I discovered I had to enable 32-bit addressing it was
> even available to programs.  However, that setting isn't sticking, so
> I have to keep turning it back on.  Is this a System 7.1 thing, or
> might I have a dead battery or something on my hands?
if this system has been off for a long time, the PRAM battery is most likely
dead (powered off Apples eat them for lunch... guess Apple never thought
ppl might not want to power up their Mac for 6 mos, a year, etc).  Readily
available on ebay (avoid Radio Shack... they carry them but want like $15
for 1 battery).

> Now, a few things I'm looking for, in order of preference.
> - either an AAUI-15 to RJ45 transceiver or a nubus ethernet card with
> a RJ45 jack so I can hook  the Quadra up to my network

I'll look to see if I have a transciever or extra nubus card... but I 
don't think
I have any extras left.
> - a CD-ROM
I may have a caddy load 2X drive available.  You'll also need the drive 
for mounting this internal (if you want it internal) and a bezel.  I'll 
look to see
if I have any of those parts left.

> - either the VRAM upgrade chips or a nubus video card that will allow
> me to run higher color depths
If you need 256K VRAM SIMMs... I think I have some.

> - 3 more 32MB sticks of RAM so I can max this guy out
That I don't think I have... non parity 72 pin FPM is what the Q650 uses.
although you can probably use parity SIMMs if you find them and the Q650
will probably just ignore the parity bit(s).

> - a larger HD
I have plenty of 50 pin scsi 1G and 2G drives.  Might have a 4G too.

> If anyone has any of this stuff they'd be willing to part with, or can
> at least point me in the direction of somewhere I could pick some of
> these things up for cheap I'd appreciate it.
I wouldn't want much at all for any of this stuff if I have it... I'll 
take a look around
and get back to you off list.

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-- Curt

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