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53 votes
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Why were early (personal) computer connectors so bulky?

TL;DR: Progress Most important: Volume Second: Reduced Variation Third: Both Sides Need to Agree And Last: Changed Technology .. oh, and again: Volume In 1970 a computer selling 100 units was a ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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36 votes
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What are these 3COM connectors for?

Those are PCMCIA adapters. With laptops, a single PCMCIA card was narrower than Ethernet (or phone lines). You could get a 2 card thing (but I don't recall any from 3COM) This image: (Source) ...
Foon's user avatar
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31 votes
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How did the classic Macintosh come to use Eurocard connectors?

I’m not sure the Macintosh II designers chose the connector as such, but rather the bus, NuBus, developed at MIT and documented by Texas Instruments (Document No. TI-2242825-0001, published in 1983). ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
31 votes
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Discovering intended cable orientation with an older IDE controller

This answer is also generic to other applications using this sort of connector (confusing known as IDC- insulation displacement connector), which may have just about any number of pins, not just the ...
user85471's user avatar
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20 votes

Why were early (personal) computer connectors so bulky?

DSUB and DIN cables are bulkier because they are user serviceable. You can repair them with simple tools and also wire up your own cables. You only need a screwdriver and soldering iron. This was ...
wizofwor's user avatar
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17 votes

Why were early (personal) computer connectors so bulky?

Wide-pitch connectors are: Easier to wire up manually. If a wire breaks in a modern fine-pitch connector, you have to toss the whole cable. With older wide-pitch ones, you can DIY custom cables. ...
Therac's user avatar
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16 votes

What are these 3COM connectors for?

These were designed for 3COM Megahertz networking PCMCIA cards (aka PC cards). These were add-on cards for laptops that didn't have internal network adapters. See bottom device on this picture on ...
Nimloth's user avatar
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16 votes
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Where is/was the standard V.35 connector defined?

This is the Winchester connector. The form factor is specified in ISO 2593. ISO standards are typically not available for free, which may be why you had trouble finding information on it. I'm not ...
James Sneeringer's user avatar
15 votes

How did the classic Macintosh come to use Eurocard connectors?

TL;DR: They simply picked an off the shelf connector readily available and fitting their specs (like size, reliability, stability, etc.). Almost all of the mainstream classic desktop computers that ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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15 votes

Why were early (personal) computer connectors so bulky?

Because they were already there. You could buy D-type or DIN connectors from an electronics supplier, and incorporate them into the computer you were designing. This presumably left you free to ...
dave's user avatar
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14 votes
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Only "Drive A:" detected with two floppy disk drives

Unfortunately, you can't connect two floppy drives to the motherboard header on that system. Like most motherboards since sometime around 2002–2003, it only supports one floppy drive, probably because ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
10 votes
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Connectors for green screen versus color monitors

The very short answer is no, because no “green screen” standard is compatible with VGA (which is where 640×480 was introduced). The slightly longer answer is yes, but only in a very small number of ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
10 votes

Discovering intended cable orientation with an older IDE controller

In this case the pin numbers are marked, which makes it straightforward like user85471's answer shows. But if that is not the case, you can use a multimeter or a continuity tester. This method will ...
jpa's user avatar
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10 votes

Why were early (personal) computer connectors so bulky?

Reason 1: early communication protocols are more primitive and a lot of control signals were needed but were neither multiplexed into data pins, nor implemented as commend sets. RS-232, LPT, IDE, SCSI,...
user3528438's user avatar
  • 1,505
9 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

Black-and-white hi-res from the 1040 STE on a VGA monitor should work with a direct connection and no tricky electronics at all (just the adapter cable) Atari VGA GND ...
tofro's user avatar
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9 votes

Only "Drive A:" detected with two floppy disk drives

On modern motherboards, the floppy is controlled by the Super I/O chip, and often this chip is only capable of controlling one floppy drive, because the additional drive select/moter pins are not ...
dirkt's user avatar
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9 votes

Why were ZIP DRAM packages ever considered if PLCC/SOJ sockets were available?

Most important is that ZIP offered higher density while still being thru-hole, thus compatible with existing manufacturing technology. Sockets are generally avoided as sockets are a cost factor. They ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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9 votes

Discovering intended cable orientation with an older IDE controller

Generically, when designing a PCB it is common practice for through-hole connector footprints to have round pads, except for pin 1 which is square. This can often be seen on the reverse side of the ...
user1908704's user avatar
8 votes
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How to connect a Dragon32 to a HD TV?

The Dragon 32 has two display outputs. One is a UHF analogue TV signal, which will work if your TV has an analogue-capable tuner. The other is a composite video output on a DIN socket, which you can ...
Chromatix's user avatar
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8 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

The problem you have is that most home computers of that era output TV standard signals which VGA is not. As you've mentioned there needs to be some conversion from one standard to the other. A ...
Robin Elvin's user avatar
7 votes
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What are these bus/tag connectors for?

Yes, these are bus and tag terminators for mainframe channels that used to run at 3MB/sec speeds. Used as late as 1998 in P/390 development systems. The IBM and Amdahl terminators are equivalent.
Kim Tyson's user avatar
7 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

You have three problems to overcome: Separate sync from composite video or CSYNC into H and V to get an RGBHV output. Upscale/scan double from 15 kHz to the 31 kHz that most VGA monitors accept. ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
6 votes

What are these 3COM connectors for?

A few things to add to existing answers: As well as ethernet cards there were modem cards, and some with both modems and ethernet adaptors in one. There were several similar but mutually-...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 499
5 votes

IBM Model F XT is typing random characters / what cable is this?

Thanks for the answers and comments. The problem has been intermittent but really bothered me today so now that I have a soldering iron, I took a blade, cut out the damaged part of the cable, stripped ...
cardamom's user avatar
  • 321
5 votes

IBM Model F XT is typing random characters / what cable is this?

I think what you have there is an IBM Model F keyboard. The pictured cable is certainly suspect, though it does not have to be the main/only culprit. If you can easily find a replacement cable, it is ...
Brian H's user avatar
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5 votes

What PC VGA connector used 2 rows of pins?

Could it be CGA, MDA or EGA connector (DE-9) (as in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_connectors#D-subminiature_family) ? The Pentium !!! era doesn't match, but on Wikipedia, there is this ...
Olivier's user avatar
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5 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

SCART is a connector standard, not a video standard. I think it can carry composite, s-videos (chroma/luma), analog RGB, audio and possible other formats depending on what is producing the signal. ...
Geo...'s user avatar
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5 votes

Only "Drive A:" detected with two floppy disk drives

Back in the day, it was VERY common to encounter an IBM compatible which had only a single floppy drive, invariably designated as drive A. Do you imagine it phased us? :) The solution was dead easy....
Ed999's user avatar
  • 271
4 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

For my STE, I go straight from RGB to VGA using: An ST RGB SCART cable (this one) A sync stripper (Sync Strike) An LCD monitor that accepts 15kHz VGA (BenQ RL2455HM) This is a clean solution without ...
jamesfmackenzie's user avatar
4 votes

Converting SCART to VGA/Jack

Another possibility would be to use a cheap USB video capture device, such as this one. (You'll also need a SCART to composite video adapter, which you can buy or wire up yourself). Connect the video ...
Jonas Czech's user avatar

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