Which solid-state adapter to buy?

Started by to-pse, December 16, 2014, 03:13:16 pm

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Hi everyone,

I'm currently thinking about putting an SCSI to solid-state
converter into a NextStation and I would like to get some
feedback on which way to proceed:

I currently see three options:


AztecMonster CF

AztecMonster II SATA

I'm not sure if anyone has used the last converter yet, but it
could be cool to insert a small SSD-drive instead of SD/CF-cards

Anyone has any thoughts about this?

I have not found any complete benchmarks based on the normal
drives or the alternative solid-state-solutions... so any
experiences here would be welcome as well...

Best regards,


I think the SATA adapter would be complete overkill with an SSD  (probably even with a standard SATA). You'd be hard pressed to find a reasonably small enough drive. Remember the NeXT can't handle any partitions larger than 2Gb with NS and 4Gb with OS. I believe people have had success with the two others listed.


hi tobias

there's also a fourth option: the ACARD ARS-2000SUP. I own one but I was unable to get it working 100% reliably in the NeXT. the boot process hung every now and then. it's now mounted in a Quadra 700, running A-UX just fine. forum member t-rexky has it working with no issues though. I still prefer the AztecMonster CF. I use SLC based CF cards from PC Engines. speed is a non-issue: almost all solutions will be faster than the SCSI bus in the NeXT.

fifth option -> http://www.cf2scsi.com/index.php/products/fixed-disk-emulations/cf2scsi-scsiflash-disk-scsi-1-2-50-pin-disk-drive-emulator-to-cf-detail
I tried to contact these guys several times but never got an answer  :?

October 12, 1988 Computing Advances To The NeXT Level


Really they are all solid options. Much faster and more power efficient (less heat) than the original drives.  I'm quite impressed with the SCSI2SD project. It's been working rock solid now and is still actively being developed. New firmware is loadable with a usb cable. It's also the cheapest of the options. I also have the acard SATA adapter with an SSD which is rock solid, but I think it's overkill and also quit expensive. The Aztec monster has some versions of the firmware which will display errors at boot but seems to still work fine. I don't believe it is user flashable so keep that in mind.



I have the SCSI2SD, AztecMonster CF, and a vintage Microtech 7-in-1 card reader device. I would recommend the SCSI2SD because:

- it has an active developer maintaining firmware updates -- sometimes specifically to fix bugs or insert workarounds for vintage hardware.

- extensive command-line configuration over USB, including enable/disable parity, set SCSI ID, change vendor strings, etc.

In theory the AztecMonster has the speed advantage here, but I don't believe the SCSI chip on an 030 box will ever show it.


Hi everyone,

thanks for all the replies.  I guess I will be ordering the SCSI2SD as
soon as it is available again.

Does anyone here have any real-world benchmarks of the various

Best regards,


Has anyone actually tried the SSCI2SD solution?



i have used the SCSI2SD solution on a MicroVAX 3100/90.  Even though its asynchronous, VMS boots in half the time.  

For raw copying its about 25-30% faster than a Seagate SCSI 2 ST11200N.  The rate varies with different quality SD cards.   Over in PDP11 land it is quite popular as well.  Its nice just to dd images back and forth to a larger volume.

I haven't tried it on my white hardware (don't have any black around) yet, but its on the list of things to do.   It allows a single SD to be divided into up for separate drives, just the thing for chopping up a 8GB card into 2 GB partitions for NS or OS.

The developer has been quite responsive and all the kit is open source.  Had a issue with the SCSI Mode bits that VMS 5.5-2 is picky about.  We resolved it in less than a week.  I just ordered 2 more myself.

There are some basic performance stats on the wiki


Rob Blessin Black Hole

Hello NeXT Community : This evening, I've been having a little fun tinkering with different attempts to install NeXTSTEP 3.3 and Opensep 4.2 on an Aztec Blue Monster with 1Gb and Aztec MonsterII with a 2Gb SATA drive.
I'm using a V74 Monoturbo 128Mb ram ,non adb , cover off then I have a power splitter and multiconnector 50 pin scsi cable with terminator at end to power up both the cdrom = HP DVD and the Aztec of choice... command ~ then NeXT > bfd       = boot floppy disk spawns
Floppy boot boom bad magic and ten Cd starts up on both NeXTSTEP and Openstep installs , follow instructions to  choose settings and then start install as it finds both styles of drive and lists size ... also
Termination has to be enabled on the cards with a jumper and then both initialize the 1Gb Flash Card  and 2Gb SATA SSD drive but then fail about 1/3 of the way through the initial install it freezes throwing errors.  
So I'm going to try a builddisk instead of frsh iso cdr burns. It looks like the Aztec II is flying during install and just overruns the bus where the Monster chugs along and then timesout , both may be failing at the disktab entry point as it confuses the install just a guess.
I need to look at some of the other posts as guides but thought I would give it a go first to try and understand what I'm dealing with LOL . At first it looked like it was going to work right off the bat as usually when you get it initialized and it starts installing files your in business ... I'll keep you posted , I know a few of you have been there done that so feel free to guide me  to a working recipe! Another late one , try again tomorrow Peace Rob
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93


I still prefer the AztecMonster over all the other available solutions. during my experiments I found that the firmware V 3.86 is the only one working without giving me any errors/troubles. I only use industrial grade, SLC based CF cards.

thread about AztecMonster ->
October 12, 1988 Computing Advances To The NeXT Level


I just received my Aztec Monster last week.  I wanted to give the board a try as a less expensive alternative to Acard.

I spent an evening installing from a one of my machines using build disk on 3.3.  When booting with the card installed, i was getting slow boot times.  Once up, I would kick off the build.  During the OS installation, I would start getting scsi timeouts to the console.  No specific percentage.  mkfs would always complete.  I tried 2gb and 4gb CF cards.  I also tried a Acard boot disk instead of the spinning rust disk in the machine.  Each time the same results, no successful build.  Interesting, a plan initialize disk of the CF cards worked without timeouts.  I wish I had tried a reboot after the initialization though.

I had a spare SSD, so I did the same procedures with one of my Acard adapters.  No problems at all.  My perception of the installation was that the Acard install was faster as well.

I have been using Acard adapters for several years in different machines, Sun and Next.  I have 50pin and SCA versions.  I have not had any problems with them.  My only real complaint is the prices.  Oh, and I wish I could adjust the cylinders reported to the os.

I see the comments about specific firmware versions for the Aztec.  I will have to reach out to Artmix about the firmware.  I really want to have an alternative to Acard and save a little money.



Quote from: "to-pse"Hi everyone,

thanks for all the replies.  I guess I will be ordering the SCSI2SD as
soon as it is available again.

Does anyone here have any real-world benchmarks of the various

Best regards,

Hi Tobias,
Did you get the SCSI2SD ?
Care to share your comments? I'm also waiting for some feedback before I pull the trigger..



I could probably set up a reasonable benchmark in the next few weeks. What would be the best software to use?

I could do 4 drive solutions:

15K RPM SCA drive with adapter (I'm going to do a write up on this soon)
Aztec Monster CF

All with NS 3.3 and on a 68040 cube.



October 12, 1988 Computing Advances To The NeXT Level