Cobalt Thread

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Dodoid
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Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Dodoid » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:03 pm

A discussion in "Everything Else" resulted in some suggestions of a RaQ thread for RaQ owners such as johnnym, ClassicHasClass, and myself. This is for general discussion, troubleshooting, and more.

uunix requested that the Qube be included, so I have removed it from the title and this is now a thread for all Cobalt products.
Last edited by Dodoid on Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cobalt RaQ Thread

Unread postby uunix » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:25 pm

We should include the qube in this, I'm actually thinking of getting one again.

Years ago, when I left the forces, my first job in IT was for a company that became a re-seller of these.
I recall installing it in a company as a mail server (fetch/send). At that time it was the world of dial up and they had about 40 or so employees.
Anyway to cut a long story short I must have gone back to the site on what seemed like a daily basis because the thing just kept dialling up every few minutes and it was meant to dial every half hour.
I spent 6 years on the phone to someone in Holland and he couldn't sort it, they sent another, that was the same.

In the end, I think they got rid of it and we had to refund them (or rather Cobalt did). I ended up with one of the boxes and swapped it for 4 INDY's with a guy called Nick in Scotland who was an SGI re-seller (nice chap).

I suspect on hindsight it was some network traffic causing it to dial out all the time. Of course it wouldn't matter now, but dial up was rather a pain in the ass for the guy who shared the office with the machine.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Adrenaline » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:00 pm

I run my Qube2 every now and then with NetBSD - a fun quiet box.

Went a little crazy last year and got every RaQ model to complete that collection from the first model to the 550.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:02 pm

I need to put that resistor on my original RaQ, but the parental units are visiting this weekend.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:15 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote: the parental units are visiting this weekend.


Good luck surviving that bro.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby ScutBoy » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:24 pm

Nice! I've got a Qube in the "should haul out and do something with it someday" stack... One of the BSDs sounds about right.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:21 pm

Where do you find these babies? They do sound like a novelty of sorts that may be fun.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby johnnym » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:24 am

Raion-Fox wrote:Where do you find these babies?

On Ebay, from time to time.

Raion-Fox wrote:They do sound like a novelty of sorts that may be fun.

Especially the MIPS ones. Although they're slow, as they don't use L2 caches and the memory bus is only 32 Bits wide AFAIK.

RaQ 3, 4 and Qube 3 can be upgraded with AMD K6-2+, K6-III+ and maybe K6-III CPUs. So the sometimes missing L2 cache chips on the system board are not needed if you can source one of these. But one needs to resolder a few resistors to change multiplier and possibly voltage (see for example the description on Dincom RaQ Resource for RaQs and e.g. the description on a German website for the Qube 3).
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Titox » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:18 am

Hey!
I have a small Cobalt collection. Last december I bought a XTR in very good condition but I'm still missing the original RaQ and Qube 2700WG. I had two RaQ 4 running home several years.

I recompiled the linux kernel several times but still looking for some spare time to build a new ROM with SATA. My previous attemps did not work as expected.

BTW this is under my desk at the moment:
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby spiroyster » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:37 am

Does anyone have the BlueQuartz source code for Qube3? All the links seem dead :(.

http://bluequartz.org/

It would be nice put a Qube3 to some practical use, such as NAS or something. It doesn't have gigbit ethernet and only supports UW SCSI (or ATA33) though. Would there be any work arounds for this? One PCI :roll: hmmm...

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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:14 am

johnnym wrote:
Raion-Fox wrote:Where do you find these babies?

On Ebay, from time to time.

Raion-Fox wrote:They do sound like a novelty of sorts that may be fun.

Especially the MIPS ones. Although they're slow, as they don't use L2 caches and the memory bus is only 32 Bits wide AFAIK.


Yeah, their CPU is weaksauce. But they use hardly any power (my RaQ drew a whole, big, massive, freaking 16 watts) and they're easy to work on, and they look really cool.

I run NetBSD on mine, of course.
smit happens.

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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby pierocks » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:37 am

I see a Qube2 on ebay that's near me, but there's no indication of whether or not it comes with the external PSU. Is this part impossible to source? How hard would it be to retrofit something?
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby johnnym » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:24 pm

pierocks wrote:I see a Qube2 on ebay that's near me, but there's no indication of whether or not it comes with the external PSU. Is this part impossible to source? How hard would it be to retrofit something?

The PSU of my first Qube 2 (not grounded and connected to one of the three wall outlets in my room) died after I connected a shielded network cable to the Qube 2 from a machine that used another wall outlet and a grounded case. Not enough, the power connectors on the PSU and the Qube 2 where also damaged beyond repair. :( Fortunately the Qube 2 and myself weren't damaged at all. :D

But one can do without the external PSU: You need to modify a 3.5" HDD power extension cable and connect the female header to the internal header that would normally power the HDD and the male header to an external PSU. I have two USB2ATA adapters which came with a suitable PSU with a female 3.5" HDD power connector (i.e. one like the AMP connector pictured in this paragraph).

The external PSU feeds 12V into the Qube 2. The 5V rail is generated from this 12V input. But I assume these 12 Volts are the same that drive the motor of the 3.5" HDDs, i.e. there's no power regulator between the external 12V connector and the 12V pin on this header. Hence it's possible to feed 12V into the Qube 2 via the internal power header for the HDD. You should make sure that you don't feed 5V into the Qube 2, i.e. disconnect the 5V line either from the female connector in the Qube 2 or from the male connector that is connected to the external PSU.

If you want to use an internal HDD you need to modify the cable a little bit or use a Y cable. As I use my Cobalt systems diskless, I could do without and my power gauge shows only 9W when the machine is idle, but this might also be an error of my cheap power gauge.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Titox » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:36 pm

spiroyster wrote:Does anyone have the BlueQuartz source code for Qube3? All the links seem dead :(.

http://bluequartz.org/

It would be nice put a Qube3 to some practical use, such as NAS or something. It doesn't have gigbit ethernet and only supports UW SCSI (or ATA33) though. Would there be any work arounds for this? One PCI :roll: hmmm...

I have a backup of bluequrtz.org somewhere in my hard disks. I wll look for it and upload, but it will take some time.

To install bluequartz in a RaQ/Qube you need OSOffice Strongbolt. Unfortunately the OSOffice project/company is died so you have to look for the iso elsewhere.
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Re: Cobalt Thread

Unread postby Titox » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:40 pm

pierocks wrote:I see a Qube2 on ebay that's near me, but there's no indication of whether or not it comes with the external PSU. Is this part impossible to source? How hard would it be to retrofit something?

I think this is the plug of a Qube 2.
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