NeXT Computers

NeXT Computer, Inc. => Rare NeXT Hardware => Topic started by: tomaz on July 02, 2009, 01:23:42 am

Title: Pyro installation
Post by: tomaz on July 02, 2009, 01:23:42 am
Pyro seems to come as a board, then a piece of foil, a heatsink with a fan, and a metallic clip to hold the fan in place on top of the CPU.

What is the purpose of the piece of foil?

Is it necessary/desirable/not desirable to apply some thermal grease between the CPU and the foil / between the foil and the fan?
Title: Re: Pyro installation
Post by: igor_av on July 02, 2009, 03:28:35 am
Quote from: "tomaz"Pyro seems to come as a board, then a piece of foil, a heatsink with a fan, and a metallic clip to hold the fan in place on top of the CPU.

What is the purpose of the piece of foil?

Is it necessary/desirable/not desirable to apply some thermal grease between the CPU and the foil / between the foil and the fan?


If I remember well (based on my experience with overclocking kits for macs), the foil plays the same role as thermal grease, although I'm quite sure it's far less efficient.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: tomaz on August 09, 2009, 09:29:08 pm
I got my hands on a Pyro which was defunct (it came with a 40MHz 68040 which was dead). I replaced the 68040 with another 40MHz 68040. The Pyro now works but is very unstable (it crashes after a few seconds to a few tens of seconds of usage). The slab it is in has 100ns RAM.

If I understand correctly, the Pyro clocks the 68040 at 50MHz. But AFAIK the 68040 never came in a 50MHz version - it was only available at 25, 33 and 40 MHz.

What to do? Is the problem the slow RAM, or the CPU?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: igor_av on August 09, 2009, 09:49:07 pm
Quote from: "tomaz"What to do? Is the problem the slow RAM, or the CPU?


Not all 68040 could be overclocked up to 50 mhz. Also, to attain this range of speed, you need proper cooling : the Quaddoubler I use in my Mac (it has the same function as a Pyro unit) has a peltier junction between the CPU and the heatsink.

If the station boots and works for a few seconds before crashing, my guess would be that the CPU can run at 50 mhz but is improperly cooled.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: tomaz on August 09, 2009, 09:56:06 pm
The original 68040 40MHz was bust, I suspect, because the fan that sits on the Pyro was not properly fastened to it. After I installed the new 68040, I fastened the fan properly to it. It's now installed as originally intended.

What do you recommend I do to cool it better?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: igor_av on August 09, 2009, 11:38:30 pm
Quote from: "tomaz"What do you recommend I do to cool it better?


I'm in no way a specialist, but I'd first check if the heatsink is tightly attached to the CPU. If it is, I'd replace the foil with a small amount of thermal grease (put too much and it becomes an insulant). Also, is there a fan attached to the heatsink? If no, I'd suggest you add one.

These suggestions are based on my own observations of a Sonnet Quaddoubler. Those units are a little different, as they have a peltier junction glued in-between the CPU and the fan-cooled heatsink.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: tomaz on August 10, 2009, 08:37:53 am
There is a fan attached to the heatsink and the heatsink is tightly attached to the CPU (with an intervening thermal foil). I'll certainly try the thermal grease idea.

Failing that ... I assume the 68040 in Pyros as delivered are all rated at 40MHz? Surely overclocking them to 50MHz must increase the risk of instability. If I have to get another 40MHz 68040, what are the odds that a random one will work successfully and stably in the long run at 50MHz?

Has anyone had success running a Pyro using 100ns RAM?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: Andreas on August 10, 2009, 10:07:49 am
Quote from: "tomaz"
Failing that ... I assume the 68040 in Pyros as delivered are all rated at 40MHz?


You are shure. A safe way is, to aquire a Sonnet Quaddoubler, since they have at 50 Mhz tested units.
Title: Pyro
Post by: gtnicol on November 21, 2011, 05:00:17 am
I posted a few Pyro pictures on Flickr showing the 2 different kinds of Pyro boards I have, and the motherboard modification needed to get the motherboard to boot in slot #2. This modification works without a Pyro, of course, but it is necessary for the Pyro in order to have space for the heatsink.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15578792@N02/sets/72157628075866757/with/6374434459/

(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6032/6374434459_37d0b069f3.jpg)
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6221/6374433991_4f63a10dfe.jpg)
(http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6240/6374433467_2af99efabf.jpg)
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/15578792@N02/6374434459/)[/url]
Title: Re: Pyro
Post by: nekonoko on November 10, 2015, 12:30:59 am
Quote from: "gtnicol"I posted a few Pyro pictures on Flickr showing the 2 different kinds of Pyro boards I have, and the motherboard modification needed to get the motherboard to boot in slot #2. This modification works without a Pyro, of course, but it is necessary for the Pyro in order to have space for the heatsink.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/15578792@N02/sets/72157628075866757/with/6374434459/


Thanks for the photos! I just a got a Pyro and am getting ready to install it in my Cube. Just to be clear, the 5 circled connections in the photo (top row, far right as pictured) are all shorted together? I can't find any mention of this mod in the Pyro manual I have at hand or the scans posted online, and I just want to make absolutely sure before I try anything.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: itomato on November 10, 2015, 04:05:29 am
The mod is the same Backplane Trick (http://www.nextcomputers.org/docs/Dual_CPU_Backplane_Trick.txt) you'd use to boot up multiple motherboards.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 10, 2015, 04:12:25 am
Yep, this is supposedly on the board itself rather than the backplane. I'd rather not mod the backplane if I can help it as I have an early/prototype Cube.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 10, 2015, 06:24:37 am
Just an opinion, but maybe it would be better to get a spare backplane to do the mod on?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 10, 2015, 08:59:13 pm
I just went ahead and installed the jumper across the five pins on the motherboard itself as shown in the photo and it's up and running with the Pyro in slot #2. Thanks again for the photo!
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 11, 2015, 11:29:31 pm
I'd love to see pictures of your setup if you don't mind. Also how did you get your hands on one?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 12, 2015, 01:46:22 am
Sure, I took a few system photos for you. I'd also taken a couple photos of the Pyro install/motherboard mod for some Twitter posts, so I've gone ahead and uploaded those to Flickr as well: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68824983@N00/

The Pyro came as part of a trade for some SGI gear. The next thing I'd like to get going is a working MO drive. :)
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 12, 2015, 02:13:52 am
Beautiful. I'd trade you 4 working MO's for a Pyro! :D Thanks for sharing. Does it feel a lot faster than before overall?
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 12, 2015, 02:51:47 am
It's pretty much night and day difference; faster boot time, quicker window redraws, system responsiveness, etc. I'm really impressed with it!

Also, if you're wondering why my cube has a prototype case/backplane - my original cube chassis was in very poor shape. I bought a freshly repainted prototype cube case (different cooling vents on the bottom, also originally had prototype paint color) and proto backplane from Rob Blessin and transferred all the rest of my old cube's parts (front bezel plate, rear panel, power supply, drive chassis, etc. My old damaged case w/backplane went back to Rob for a trade in credit.

That's also why the front drive bezel looks a little faded and worn compared to the case itself. :)
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 12, 2015, 06:10:39 am
By prototype back plane do you mean the one that screws in via the 96 pin connector? Example here:

(http://asterontech.com/Asterontech/cube_pics/cube_57_backplane.jpg)

Also next time you open it up can you check the inside of the cube for the foundry marking?

Example:

(http://asterontech.com/Asterontech/cube_pics/cube_internal.jpg)

I'm not quite sure how to completely read the foundry marks yet, but the 8 means 1988. This is from cube #57 for reference. It's seemingly impossible to find these early units without modification so I'm really interested in piecing together a timeline based on serials/foundry marks.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 12, 2015, 06:49:20 am
Yes, exactly like that. I opened it up and took some photos of the backplane and foundry marks. I couldn't find a circled number though.

Photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68824983@N00/?

Edit: Just realized I'd taken a photo of the front bezel foundry mark, and that's not original to the case. The case mark is probably under the backplane.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 12, 2015, 07:02:43 am
The foundry marks are behind the backplane. It looks like the screw mounts are missing behind the normal screw positions on the backplane. This dates your case older than the backplane itself (If only by a few months).
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 12, 2015, 07:06:57 am
Quote from: "barcher174"The foundry marks are behind the backplane. It looks like the screw mounts are missing behind the normal screw positions on the backplane. This dates your case older than the backplane itself (If only by a few months).


Yeah, I didn't notice I was taking photos of the drive bezel foundry marks which is from my original 040 cube.

From what I was told of this case, it was sample used before pre-production and had an early non-NeXT black paint-job applied. It apparently never had a back to go with it, so no serial number, and had a "property of NeXT factory" sticker.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: barcher174 on November 12, 2015, 07:17:41 am
Whenever you get a chance I'd love to see that marking then. That could be the possible baseline for manufacture dates.
Title: Pyro installation
Post by: nekonoko on November 12, 2015, 07:22:52 am
Taking out all those slot screws on that backplane is a little more than I want to dive into tonight. :)

If I do wind up taking the backplane out sometime I'll make sure to take photos though.