|Reader reports on SCSI adapters w/Panther|
Reports Last Updated: 10/4/2004
Earlier today a powerbook G4 owner asked for suggestions for
a working SCSI PCMCIA card for OS X Panther (10.3.x). Here's a copy of
his original request:
"Need help with SCSI and Panther
I recently replaced a dead Lombard with a 15" Powerbook G4.
I use the laptop for printing on location to Kodak Dye Sub printers that
connect via SCSI. I tried a card from Ratoc, and the Adaptec 1480 card. The Adaptec does not work at all and Adaptec support told me that they no longer support the Mac OS and unless Apple writes the required driver then their products will not work under OS X. The Ratoc PCMCIA card did show up on the desktop, but no devices attached function.
Do you have any suggestions on a PCMCIA SCSI solution for the latest Powerbooks?
If any reader is running 10.3.x with a SCSI PCMCIA card, let me know the details.
Here's what's been received in the first few hours since the post above:
SCSI PCMCIA/PCCard Reports: (alternatives like USB/SCSI and Firewire/SCSI adapters are farther down)
Adaptec 1480 SCSI PCcard Feedback:
(added 10/4/2004, from 10/2 email)
"I'm using a pismo with the Adaptec 1480 PCMCIA card with success
... driving my old Microtek X6 scanner and also being able to use
my old scsi drives. All of this under 10.3.5
I asked if he had ever installed the Adaptec beta 1480 driver
mentioned by others below and if he'd used more than one device
on the scsi chain at a time.
"Mike, re SCSI PCMCIA and OSX;
I have been using an Adaptec PowerDomain SlimSCSI 1480 PCMCIA card with my G4 TiBook to mount external SCSI HD's and Zip Drives with ALL versions of OSX since 10.1.5. I currently have 10.3.5 installed and just checked this card with both devices and the card works the same as it always has. I don't have a SCSI printer so I'm not sure if this is the exception, but the card does work with OSX, despite what the Adaptec support people told your reader. I do recall that there are two versions of this card and only the A version works with Apple hardware. The other version is PC only.
There are some limitations to using the card with SCSI hardware that can be a nuisance however. These apply to both the HD and Zip drives I use:
- The card does not support SCSI Chains, only ONE device.
- The card will auto mount a SCSI HD that is powered ON when the card is inserted BUT if the HD is unmounted (dragged to the trash) it can only be remounted after a RESTART. Zip disks can be swapped as long as the drive is powered and the card is installed.
- The card is NOT hot swappable. If the card is ejected it will not be recognized if re-inserted without a restart. If the card is ejected, the menu icon remains until the computer is restarted. The menu icon will disappear if the card is "powered off" (using the icon pull down) BEFORE the card is ejected, however, if the card is then re-inserted the computer will crash with a kernel panic.
- I have found that the best procedure when using this card is to always RESTART after I have finished using the SCSI device. This way I can always mount a device, when needed, by just inserting the card.
Hope this helps your readers.
(I asked Rick if he used the beta driver that two earlier
1480 owners mentioned below.)
It was so long ago that I didn't recall the initial installation. I dug
into my system files and see that I do have an Adaptec1480.kext
installed. It is v1.0.0b1 created April 2.2002. I notice that the
Adaptec web site has a beta driver identified as v1.0.1b1 which would
appear newer than the one I installed, however when I downloaded and
expanded the file it has the same name & creation date as mine (BTW
this file does not expand properly using Stuffit Expander v9.0. I had
to go back to v6.0 to get an img file that would mount). Hope this
(See links below to beta driver.)
"I have an Adaptec 1480 working on a 400MHz Titanium without issue. There is a beta driver from 2002 (direct download link Here) that you need to install.
Once the driver is installed, the card seems to work just fine (at least for my external hard drives and Microtek scanner). I've installed this on a few different systems without much trouble. One time, I did have a kernel panic when I first inserted the 1480, but after reboot it worked fine.
Take care, Don T
(I asked Don if he's running OS X 10.3.x.)
FYI, on a slightly related issue that may be of interest to your readers, 10.3.5 seems to have enabled my 3-year-old SanDisk CompactFlash PC Card Adapter that I could never seem to get working under previous versions of OSX. I've never installed any drivers. It works now on all of my systems (on one system I had to reboot once with the card installed and it worked each time after that without rebooting).
I have an old PNY PCMCIA card CF reader that's worked w/o drivers
in OS 9.x through 10.3.5. (ditto for my USB Kodak 6-in-1 reader bought from wallmart.) A 3rd Adaptec 1480 owner wrote that he's also using the 1480 with the beta driver and did mention he's running 10.3.5:
"I am successfully using the PowerDomain SlimSCSI 1480 card with an old
Epson scanner. I downloaded old beta drivers from adaptec here:
You can't plug or unplug the card with the machine running (kernel
panics) but it does work.
AgHost Computer Systems Engineer
(I asked if he was running panther/10.3.x)
Yes. 10.3.5 on a Pismo 500.
Ratoc SCSI PCCard:
"I have a ratoc PC card. It has issues with my wallstreet under OSX but
should work fine with the PBG4, I believe. (I asked if he was running OS X 10.3.x/Panther - a requirement for the reader. Panther won't install on a Wallstreet though unless using Xpostfacto-Mike) I don't think he was able to mount because I believe the card is not hot swappable. He needs to restart with the PC card in the slot attached to the SCSI device which is powered on...and I believe he can't put the machine to sleep.
See notes on the Ratoc site about this.
A few options under 9:
Spool the files, save to Postscript and boot into OS9 and sent the files to the printer using drop*PS. Great site as always.
...don't have 10.3 installed on the Wallstreet which will stay at
Firewire/SCSI and USB/SCSI Adapters: (several years ago I bought an Adaptec USB/SCSI adapter, but never tried it with OS X. It didn't work with a ZIP drive as it didn't provide terminator power and the ZIP drive doesn't provide term. power to the bus either. I did use it with a SCSI Yamaha 4x CDR drive however in OS 9.x. Never tried it with OS X though - may work fine.)
Hi Mike -- Just saw the note on the webpage about SCSI options. I've
been using the Belkin F5U541 SCSI to Firewire adaptor. (see link below) It works fine
with my G4 Sawtooth running 10.3.5 using a hard drive. I put the drive
in an old SCSI case i have on hand for power and data connection and
use a Centronics to 25-pin SCSI cable to join the case and the Belkin
adaptor. I haven't tried it with a CD or DVD drive.
Works great and saved my bacon on an old file I needed. Got it during
the last Belkin 1/2 price sale, which made it a reasonable solution,
cost-wise. As always, thanks for a great Mac site.
Best, Dick M."
"How about if he tries a FireWire-SCSI adapter? Belkin makes one, and
there's also this one:
- Murad T.
The link above is to a FW/25pin SCSI adapter and only mentions OS 9.04 although I suspect they just never updated the page and may never have tested it with OS X. It's less than half the price of the (similar) Belkin device though. I searched Belkin's website and found their FireWire/SCSI Adapter Part # F5U541 ($89.95 list) which lists OS 9.x and up but has a DB25 connector (not std 50pin narrow scsi or 68pin wide scsi, etc.). But not sure what the SCSI printer the reader mentioned has for a SCSI connector (and there's 25pin to 50pin SCSI cables available.)
" I tried the older MicroTech USB to SCSI on my Powerbook Pismo and
I don't know if it works with ALL the scsi works, in OS X, you will
NEED to set it on ID 0 to work..
now, I only tried this with my Syquest Drive and it works fine..
I mean for about $20.00 on eBay, it's worth a shot!!!
(I asked if he was using OS X 10.3/Panther as the original post/request for feedback mentioned 10.3.x/Panther as a requirement.))
yes I am using Panther 10.3.5
"Mike, Ratoc also makes panther compatible usb and firewire to scsi converters, although I haven't tried any. See below.
"Don't know of any PCCARD to SCSI adapters, but there are several USB to SCSI adapters, and some claim to be Mac compatible. Just search for USB SCSI. Adaptec has at least one model supposedly good for 10.2 at least.
"Anything like this work?
"The best way is to use a Firewire to SCSI adapter - my orange micro
adapter is MUCH faster than my 1480 card.
Has this reader made 100% sure that the Kodak drivers are up to date?
Don't know but will ask.
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