Posted on November 23, 2017
Updating a Vulcan Drive
A few months ago i acquired an Apple IIgs, and to my surprise it had a Vulcan drive inside. The Vulcan was an internal combo of hard drive/power supply with a controller card. At that time, the only hard drive options were an external drive or an IDE card.
The Vulcan was attractive by combining a strong power supply that also housed the hard drive. It was black colored and looked really nice replacing the internal power supply. The controller card connected to slot 6 or 7.
When I first started the computer, it made loud noises. these were the internal fan and the hard drive, both sounding like an airplane engine. After a few tests realized the drive was dead. I continue using the computer until the power supply started to make some noises. The power supply was starting to fail.
I thought about selling the whole thing, but after a few days listed on eBay realized not everybody was interested in failing Vulcan, and would get very little for such a nice piece of history. Decided to fix it and keep it, by replacing with modern options. Why? Just because I don’t want to struggle with old SCSI drives, noisy power supplies that could fail again.
My options were simple: new hard drive and power supply. The PSU was easy, as I already have a Reactive Micro PSU Kit.
After several searches found a CF to IDE adapter, and a guy from eBay sold a kit that included an SD card formatted, the adapter and a ROM (v2.0) for the AE Vulcan card.
Fortunately my ROM was already version 2, so just had to connect the adapter and CF (it uses 5V for the adapter) card for it to get recognized. After that was a piece of cake to install the latest OS.
After the PSU and HD replacement, wanted to keep things like original, so added a cabler adapter and installed the CF adapter inside theVulcan power supply enclosure, which has lots of space now. Finally I replaced the internal fan with a silent one, as I hate noise. added a small switch to turn it on and off, as it’s really not needed with both PSU and CF being so efficient.
The result is a nice, fast replacement that kept all the good looks, but guarantees no failures or issues, and gives my IIgs a great advantage by allowing me to add more peripherals without worrying on PSU capacity.