I've got this Apple to VGA adapter. I cannot remember what model this is for: it has got a male DB-15 pin connector at one side, and female DE-15 connector at the other side.

Female end of adaptor

Male end of adaptor

As you can see, it has got a row of 10 microswitches also.

I lost the instructions for this adapter long ago, so I'd like to ask, if anyone of you has a similar adapter, what is the purpose of those microswitches and which Apple models this adapter can work with.

  • I remember 2-3-9 being the generic setting I started with with these devices, used these on everything from a Performa to a Desktop G3. The answer below by @traal is the exact same as the card from the back of the package. – PhasedOut Jan 31 '17 at 15:40

I think this page (on archive.org) is about that adapter, which it calls the "AR5328 Apple to VGA monitor adapter." Other sources call it a "Mac to VGA adapter." It works with the Mac LC "pizza boxes," Performa, Quadra, etc. The switches are used to configure the adapter for the sync mode supported by the monitor (composite sync, sync on green, separate sync, etc.).

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    I've used this adapter to get an LC to talk to a 15" VGA monitor. The switches are tricky to use but it works. – Michael Shopsin Jun 15 '16 at 17:54
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    Any chance you could add the description of how the dip switches work so that your answer will still be useful when / if the link goes dead? – mnem Jun 15 '16 at 19:05
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    Adding value to this answer probably means ganking nearly that entire page. Not sure how the owner will feel about essentially reprinting their copyrighted stuff. – user12 Jun 15 '16 at 20:09
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    It works on all beige Macintoshes, not just certain models. All of them have a DE-15 monitor port, and this will allow you to plug in a bog-standard VGA monitor. – Cody Gray Jun 21 '16 at 16:03
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    @MichaelShopsin The switches are not specific to a model. The dependency is the other way. Some older macs only recognize some resolutions and frequency range monitors, or even a limited selection of monitors. See my answer below. – Rowan Hawkins Jan 30 '17 at 19:55

The switches are to tell the Macintosh Video Controller about the capabilities of the attached monitor when the monitor is NOT a Macintosh Proprietary Monitor. Macintosh Monitors individually perform the the position setting for their type so the controller knows what sync and resolution capabilities are on the other end of the wire, usually fixed for most Pre-G3 Macs.

The adapters started appearing in the early-mid 90's when sVGA Monitors capabilities were beginning to exceed those of the legacy Macintosh displays. Especially the large 17"-21" Glass tubes with the finer screen pitches which the Publishing industry was gravitating to. Other monitor vendors also made their own adapters to perform a similar function.

sVGA Monitors are essentially MultiSync, though Macintosh Multisyncs only have a narrow range they would sync within for each defined resolution. Apple finally made the switch to HE-15 output with G3 models.

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