The VideoMacPacHack is a clone of the Video Mac Pac, a PDS video card for the Macintosh Portable designed in 1991 by Computer Care Inc. The Video Mac Pac provides monochrome (1-bit) video on an external display, with several resolutions selectable by a control panel.
The VideoMacPacHack aims to replicate the Video Mac Pac using original parts where possible, with modern substitutions in cases where original parts are hard to source (e.g. GAL, miniature relay), or where the original design was unknown (the video adapter board).
hardware/VideoMacPac: PCB design for the VideoMacPacHack, 4 layers, made in Kicad
hardware/VGA_adapter: PCB design for the VGA breakout board, 2 layers, made in EAGLE
software: Video Mac Pac Control Panel, needed to load the card firmware and select resolution
photos: Photos of the original and clone card
documentation: Technical information on the hardware and software
System Requirements and Operation
The VideoMacPacHack fits the PDS slot of the Macintosh Portable. It has been successfully tested in both M5120 (non-backlit) and M5126 (backlit) Portables. Based on the address space used by the card, it will probably only work on Portables with less than 8MB of RAM installed.
The VideoMacPacHack (like the original Video Mac Pac) requires its associated control panel to run (see
software). The external screen will become active when the control panel loads, provided the external video adapter is attached at boot. If the Portable is put to sleep, the external display will not work until reboot.
The Video Mac Pac was created by Computer Care Inc. in 1991, apparently based on the Lapis DisplayServer.
The VideoMacPacHack was designed by Andrew McPherson with encouragement from Tom Stepleton based on hardware in his collection. In the interest of historical preservation it is released into the public domain, with no warranty of any sort.