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Simmconn AWE64 Adapter

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First post, by kithylin

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First off, I want to disclaim that I have nothing related to nor nothing vested in any interest in this person's enterprise, this is just a public service announcement of sorts.

I have been in contact with one "Xu Wang" via email, the person that has created and sold the "SimmConn" adapter for AWE64 gold and value sound cards, that allows us to use a normal 72-pin simm for expansion memory on these cards. More info can be had over here at: http://simmconn.tripod.com/

Now, the reason for this thread: I have been told by Xu that recently the Simmconn Gold for AWE64 Gold sound cards, is temporarily out of stock. He does have "several more" (I say that in quotes as that is his wording, I do not know exactly how many "several" refers to) that he produced but did not ever enter testing phase. He has told me that he will be soon going through and testing these, and if any are found good he will list them for sale on the website, and the ones not tested good he will repair what ever defect and then list those as well.

HOWEVER!! These extra few he is going to be testing now, will be it. Once those are listed and sold, he will not produce any more, ever again. So once they are bought, that's it. They'll be gone, forever in the world, and never seen again. And as far as I know, this is the only such adapter of it's kind to extend these sound cards.

He has already written back and says he will email me personally when he has some more that have completed testing and then connected to the website for sale. Therefore (after I buy one myself.. 😊) I will update this thread when and if he tells me more are listed on the website, so other vogons members can grab them if they wish.

Reply 1 of 518, by keropi

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nice, I think some member here will be definitely interested

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Reply 2 of 518, by mockingbird

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I think it's premature to say they will never be made again...

I'm no expert myself, but couldn't the thing be reverse-engineered and remanufactured?

Wouldn't be too expensive... If they no longer make 72-pinn simm sockets, all you'd have to do is find a quantity of NOS and you'd be in business.

7ivtic.png

Reply 3 of 518, by jesolo

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I bought one last year for my AWE64 value sound card and it works perfectly.
I'm so glad I bought one before they completely disappear off the market.

I can probably understand why Xu will stop producing these.
The AWE64 has been out of production for around 18 years or so?
As these sound cards (and 72-pin simms) become more scarce, demand will decrease and then Xu will sit with all of this unsold stock.
Comes down to pure supply and demand.

So, for those who haven't yet acquired one for their AWE64, now is probably your last chance.

Reply 5 of 518, by shock__

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The formats used are outdated/crap tho.
Just wanted to take a quick peek on what exactly the GAL is doing, since that might be the main barrier.
Ordering a PCB is easy, most parts are easy to source and the level of soldering required is advanced beginner friendly (not bloody beginners, yet one doesn't have to be too skilled either), but programming a GAL chip requires a programmer/burner not everyone might have at hand.

Having no interest in the AWE myself, this project could need a bit of updating so everyone could run batches 😀

Current Project: new GUS PnP compatible soundcard

[Z?]

Reply 6 of 518, by Cloudschatze

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Since it was never intended to be a proprietary format, Creative did publish and release the specifications of their own memory modules:

http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/Creative/MISC/ct1930.pdf
http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/Creative/MISC/ct1950.pdf

I think cloning these DRAM-based modules could be a worthwhile endeavor, should someone want to take that up. 😉

Reply 7 of 518, by kithylin

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If anyone else cloned one, it would be much nicer to have one of those 90-degree 72-pin connectors on the card instead of the one he used. So that the installed ram would lay flat against the PCB. The way his works is nice but sometimes some ram sticks up and makes the near by slot unusable by other expansion cards that are long enough to hit the ram.

EDIT, a slot like this:
American%20Megatrends%20466%20PCI%20SCSI%20RAID%20Controller%20Card%20E4661107%20Pic%204.jpg

Reply 8 of 518, by dogchainx

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I emailed him about 3 years ago, no reply. Glad someone got a hold of him! I'll keep an eye on this thread.

Considering the AWE64 official ones go for $150-250 on ebay, I'd say sure if someone can head up the project for recreating the SIMMconns. But I have very little understanding of what is involved in such a project other than what I've seen from the ARGUS project.

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Reply 10 of 518, by kithylin

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firage wrote:

The only difference between the Value and Gold adapters he sells must be the PCB color, right?

Not sure myself, but I would think it could possibly be the chips on the PCB and the coding for different models. I'm not about to put a value one on a gold card though and risk frying the card or the ram module or both, though. He does have two versions so obviously there is something important between the two.

Reply 11 of 518, by firage

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Now I'm properly reading the site, the troubleshooting section does say they only work on the right type of card. Must be due to some difference between the Gold's 4MB onboard setup vs. the Value's 512KB. Creative's modules do work on either, I believe(?).

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Reply 13 of 518, by kithylin

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Also he didn't give me a time frame or any ETA or anything. So I just kinda sit back and wait for some sort of response some day. So just so you all know, when he sends me something, I'll post here.

Reply 14 of 518, by Robin4

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kithylin wrote:
If anyone else cloned one, it would be much nicer to have one of those 90-degree 72-pin connectors on the card instead of the on […]
Show full quote

If anyone else cloned one, it would be much nicer to have one of those 90-degree 72-pin connectors on the card instead of the one he used. So that the installed ram would lay flat against the PCB. The way his works is nice but sometimes some ram sticks up and makes the near by slot unusable by other expansion cards that are long enough to hit the ram.

EDIT, a slot like this:
American%20Megatrends%20466%20PCI%20SCSI%20RAID%20Controller%20Card%20E4661107%20Pic%204.jpg

Thats the same idea i also thought about.. Changing that annoying up positioned 72 pin simm slot for an 90 angled one.

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 15 of 518, by Robin4

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firage wrote:

The only difference between the Value and Gold adapters he sells must be the PCB color, right?

No the Value adapter is only for the normal AWE 64 version (not gold) but the downside is it wont support 32 / 28MB memory ( it has something to do with the memory sizes.)

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 16 of 518, by easy_john

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kithylin wrote:

If anyone else cloned one, it would be much nicer to have one of those 90-degree 72-pin connectors on the card instead of the one he used. So that the installed ram would lay flat against the PCB. The way his works is nice but sometimes some ram sticks up and makes the near by slot unusable by other expansion cards that are long enough to hit the ram.

I've done this by myself, replace simm connector on adapter from Xu Wang to 90 degree.
Nothing hard, except that 90-degree simm socket is hard to find and cost me about 30-40$, if i remember correct.

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Reply 18 of 518, by blank001

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I spoke with him on May 26th and he said the same thing posted here. Me mailed one one immediately. The good news is that he updated the ram socket, they're 45 degree insert and lie flat on on the board when clicked into place (like the picture above). I would buy more but I don't need them and they are better off in the hands of the vogons community.

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