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Orange386 Update Notes

Most of the information I've discovered about the Orange386 NuBus card can be found on my page 20 Ways to Misuse an Orange386 NuBus PC Card. In late 2003, thanks to John S, I obtained a new in box Orange386 card and a new in box peripheral kit. This page contains some additional notes that are covered in the original Orange Micro documentation.

The Orange386 sales brochure is historically interesting but is a bit short on technical information. Note that the full size images are large (greater than 100KB).

Front cover

Rear cover


The software described in the official manual is version 1.2. Unfortunately my program disk contains a second copy of the Drive C: hard disk file rather than the Mac application software.

Minimum system software is System 6.0.5. A sticker on my box says that the Orange386 is System 7 compatible but there is no mention of System 7 in the manual.

Known INIT conflicts:

If using SCSI Probe, change the default key combination from Command-Space to something else.

The maths co-processor is optional and may be fitted when purchased or as an after market add-on. The card was available with 16MHz or 20MHz 80386 processors.

The external floppy drive can be any standard type. 2.88MB 3.5" is not explicitly supported. You can't use an external floppy drive on the peripheral cable kit if you have an ISA floppy disk controller card installed. Remove the Orange386 disk controller chip if using an ISA floppy disk controller. When an internal SuperDrive is used as a PC drive by Orange386, it cannot be used for Macintosh disks.

The Orange386 Peripheral Kit comprises a floppy disk drive controller chip, multi connector peripheral cable, video switch, VGA adapter cable and video switch box. The peripheral cable hooks up any or all of the following: one serial device, one parallel device, one floppy drive.

The hard disk hosted on Mac can be 100MB max size.

The manual states that an IDE hard disk can be used if the Orange386 card is fitted with an ISA disk controller. When I tried this, I failed. If trying again, I'd make sure that there were no memory or I/O conflicts.

The manual describes MS-DOS 4.01. MS-DOS 5.00 was supplied with my kit.

The largest SIMM size tested by Orange micro is 4MB (ie 16MB total). If using two SIMMs only, fit them in the lower sockets labelled SIM1 and SIM2. SIMMs should be100ns or faster.

Hold down the Option key when selecting the Hardware Options menu item in the Misc menu. This allows you to change the memory range used by the Orange386 card. The default range is C000:FFFF.

I/O Addresses in use:

In many Mac II models, the Orange386 will only fit if the lid is modified. This means breaking off some of the plastic supports that protrude into the case. You may need to make up your own support to replace the one that has to be removed.

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