The 50-pin narrow SCSI hard disk interface found in the SE/30 is now obsolete. It is difficult to buy new drives with a 50-pin SCSI interface. While it is possible to buy second hand drives, but these are unreliable. Modern 68 and 80 pin SCSI drives are available for use in servers, however, they are very expensive, their capacity is far beyond that needed for a SE/30 and they don’t adapt easily to common interfaces like USB.
The challenge is to replace the obsolete 50 pin SCSI interface with a modern interface and to replace spinning hard disk technology with solid state storage.
1. Replace SCSI interface with IDE interface (this is by the far the most challenging and expensive component)
2. Attach a CompactFlash or SD card to the IDE interface (solid state storage, fortunately, the CompactFlash interface is based on IDE)
- CF card Transcend Industrial CF150 4Gb (Details here)
- I-O DATA R-IDSC SCSI to IDE adapter (this is the most important component of the entire project), I’m indebted to the Rob Braun who wrote some very useful material on this subject, you will find his pages linked here and here.
- You also need a IDE to CF adapter, anything will do, I got mine from eBay for $2.
The jumper settings on the SCSI to IDE adapter are:
- Pin 1 Y (SCSI ID 1)
- Pin 2 N (SCSI ID)
- Pin 3 N (SCSI ID)
- Pin 4 Y (SCSI-1 Mode)
- Pin 5 Y (SCSI-1 Mode)
- Pin 6 N (SCSI-1 Mode)
- Pin 7 Y (DMA ATA Transfer Mode)
- Pin 8 N (Flash ROM)
- Pin 9 N (Internal SCSI Termination)
More detail of the jumper settings can be found here.
The CF-SSD when all setup looks like this:
Mounting the CF-SCSI Drive
You need a Mac that can run Mac OS 7, 8 or 9 with a CD-ROM drive containing the software listed below, (you can use floppies, I didn’t, because I don’t own any). Other people have used an external SCSI drive like Syquest or Apple SC to format their CF cards but I could not find one so I used a Power Macintosh 7200/120 instead!
- StuffIt (to unstuff the files)
- Disk copy 6 (to create and open disk images)
- Harddisk formatting software, I used FWB Harddisk toolkit 1.6, others have successfully used Patched Apple Tools and Rob Braun recommends Lido 7.
- Formatting the drive can take a while, especially if your CF card is large
- I partitioned the formatted CF card into 4 equal partitions, the first partition is the one your Mac will read by default.
- Don’t use Mac OS X to format your CF card.
Finally, here is a screenshot from my Macintosh SE/30 with the 4 CF-SSD Volumes: