Check your cable stashes, because this old Apple dongle is worth $200

Posted:
in macOS edited October 2023

The demise of one obscure adapter has vintage Mac fans in a mild uproar because it's the only way older devices can connect to modern digital displays without a hardware swap.

This is what the fuss is about: an ADC to DVI cable. (Source: ebay via 404 Media)
This is what the fuss is about: an ADC to DVI cable. (Source: ebay via 404 Media)



It's the adapter you've never heard of, and whose name trips off the tongue -- the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable. But its importance is such that AppleInsider forum members were clamoring for it a decade ago.

Long out of production, the tiny adapter currently commands prices of well over $200, when it can even be found on sale. Consequently, a petition has been launched on Change.org, calling for its return to manufacture.

"As a passionate member of the worldwide vintage Apple Mac community," wrote petitioner Grant Woodward, as first spotted by 404 media, "I am deeply concerned about the discontinuation of the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable."

"For those unfamiliar with its significance, this cable allows vintage Apple Macintosh computers to connect with more recent monitors, breathing new life into these iconic machines," wrote Woodward. "It is an invaluable tool for restoring, collecting, and preserving these pieces of computing history."

History of the popular adapter



Apple's ADC connector was short-lived. It was another Apple attempt at an "all-in-one" connector that carried power and data, in one cable. Unlike today's Thunderbolt, it carried power from the host computer to the display.

The most famous product, or infamous depending on your point of view, that used it was the Mac G4 Cube.

The only other alternative on older hardware that lacks a VGA port is swapping out the video card for one that has a VGA or DVI port. But, that too is a costly endeavor.

Most -- but not all -- of the video cards used on the Blue and White G3, and assorted G4 towers also had a VGA connector. But, monitors that have a native VGA port are few and far between in 2023. And, going from a VGA video card to a HDMI monitor requires an active and powered converter versus a $7 cable.

Notably, this ADC to DVI adapter is uni-directional. The DVI to ADC adapter allows a ADC monitor to connect to a DVI computer, and it is a much larger adapter incorporating a power supply. Complete, it too can get expensive.

Urging for the adapter's return



Woodward says that the petition is about "urging Belkin and other tech producers to recognize the demand for the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable or a suitable alternative."

At time of writing, the petition has been live for a week, and has been signed by 25 people.

We've checked our sometimes deep cable stashes, and while we have AAUI adapters, an assortment of PhoneNet connectors, HDI-45 dongles, SCSI terminators both active and passive, and even some USB to ADB connectors, we don't have any of these. Sorry.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    I managed to grab one of these for my G4 Cube last year, after looking for one in what seemed to be an eternity.  It shipped from the US to the UK but was no where near that price, think I paid $45 inc international shipping.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,612member
    If I had one of these, I wouldn't find $200 motivation enough to do all the work required to find a buyer and sell it.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    HrebHreb Posts: 84member
    In the age of the lightning to USB-C transition, this is a good reminder that Apple has made some catastrophically bad decisions about connectors over the years.  45 pin Integrated Desktop Connector, anyone?
    sphericwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,880administrator
    Hreb said:
    In the age of the lightning to USB-C transition, this is a good reminder that Apple has made some catastrophically bad decisions about connectors over the years.  45 pin Integrated Desktop Connector, anyone?
    HDI-45 is addressed in the piece, yes.

    It was a terrible connector, even then.
    edited October 2023 watto_cobrasphericjony0
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I still have that. It came with my 2005 PowerBook g4 17”. Back when apple gave you everything you needed. 

    $200? Where the heck can I sell this? Lol
    hammeroftruthshaminowatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Woohoo!... Wait, I've got pretty much every adapter ever except that one. And so many SCSI terminators. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    I have been looking for Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter for years!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 1,146member
    Seriously?

    I've got a bunch of those.

    I'd feel bad charging somebody that much for them.  I guess I'll drop them on ebay soon, starting at a much more reasonable $5.
    Ofer
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Ebay has a bunch of converters similar to this.  Neither Black Box nor Cables to Go has these anymore.  Never been happier all of my displays and apple machines have HDMI.  Doubt there is much demand for these anymore.  Probably like DVRs, you can only get them refurbished or used (maybe a few never used on a shelf somewhere).  Might want to try hitting a few surplus electronic stores, Goodwill stores...  Looks like (used) price at eBay is closer to $45.  

    Ebay link (be careful):  
    https://www.ebay.com/b/Apple-Dvi-To-Adc/158840/bn_7023396339  
    edited October 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,880administrator
    Ebay has a bunch of converters similar to this.  Neither Black Box nor Cables to Go has these anymore.  Never been happier all of my displays and apple machines have HDMI.  Doubt there is much demand for these anymore.  Probably like DVRs, you can only get them refurbished or used (maybe a few never used on a shelf somewhere).  Might want to try hitting a few surplus electronic stores, Goodwill stores...  Looks like (used) price at eBay is closer to $45.  

    Ebay link (be careful):  
    https://www.ebay.com/b/Apple-Dvi-To-Adc/158840/bn_7023396339  
    These are not the same. Most of these are connecting an ADC display to a DVI port. The adapter in question isn't bidirectional, and neither are these.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,093member
    Ebay has a bunch of converters similar to this.  Neither Black Box nor Cables to Go has these anymore.  Never been happier all of my displays and apple machines have HDMI.  Doubt there is much demand for these anymore.  Probably like DVRs, you can only get them refurbished or used (maybe a few never used on a shelf somewhere).  Might want to try hitting a few surplus electronic stores, Goodwill stores...  Looks like (used) price at eBay is closer to $45.  

    Ebay link (be careful):  
    https://www.ebay.com/b/Apple-Dvi-To-Adc/158840/bn_7023396339  
    These are not the same. Most of these are connecting an ADC display to a DVI port. The adapter in question isn't bidirectional, and neither are these.
    Right. So show us one that brought $200.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    shaminoshamino Posts: 528member
    Wow.  I've got one, but it will not be separated from my old PowerMac G4, which needs it to connect to my DVI displays.

    I also don't understand the article's comment that VGA monitors somehow require an expensive active adapter to connect to a PowerMac's VGA port (like my G4 has alongside the ADC port).
    edited October 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,880administrator
    eightzero said:
    Ebay has a bunch of converters similar to this.  Neither Black Box nor Cables to Go has these anymore.  Never been happier all of my displays and apple machines have HDMI.  Doubt there is much demand for these anymore.  Probably like DVRs, you can only get them refurbished or used (maybe a few never used on a shelf somewhere).  Might want to try hitting a few surplus electronic stores, Goodwill stores...  Looks like (used) price at eBay is closer to $45.  

    Ebay link (be careful):  
    https://www.ebay.com/b/Apple-Dvi-To-Adc/158840/bn_7023396339  
    These are not the same. Most of these are connecting an ADC display to a DVI port. The adapter in question isn't bidirectional, and neither are these.
    Right. So show us one that brought $200.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/325832687098

    https://www.priceblaze.com/F2E9142WHTAPL-Belkin-Cable


  • Reply 14 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,880administrator

    shamino said:
    Wow.  I've got one, but it will not be separated from my old PowerMac G4, which needs it to connect to my DVI displays.

    I also don't understand the article's comment that VGA monitors somehow require an expensive active adapter to connect to a PowerMac's VGA port (like my G4 has alongside the ADC port).
    HDMI to VGA is expensive. VGA to VGA is not. I should have been more clear.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    I just picked one of these up.. along with a bunch of other bits for $10 online. They are out there... Offers in excess of $1M will be considered for mine. :smiley: 
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Looking at the 2004 specifications for G4 laptop from Apple.  If you have one of these antiques, other options to connect a display are VGA and s-video/composite.  Does not look like many people have bid on eBay for Belkin F2E914 ADC to DVI, but for a collector in a pinch $150-200 may be reasonable.  

    Belkin and other suppliers probably looked at their cost to stock the unit, and their MBAs decided they were not selling enough units to justify storage space.  

    Pocketscience (above) may have the best approach (buy a bunch of miscellaneous old Apple stuff, and hope for the best).  Other likely places would be Goodwill (possibly with an old G4 or one of the old displays).  

    It is possible that nobody makes new ADC connectors.  I'd expect any manufacturer to be in Asia and require a minimum order of a few thousand.  

    Have already eliminated all of my TB-2, PS2, parallel, serial, twinaxial and VGA stuff.  Next to go will likely be USB-A/B (except 30-pin for iPod Classics).  RCA plugs/composite still in use for some DVD & VHS recorders/players.  

    I had a similar issue with a connector for a 1997 Saturn SL2 back in 2009.  My mechanic at the time had to wire around a broken connector, then order one from Canada.  The connector took several weeks to arrive.  (GM had sold Saturn and their parts to Canadian company Magna, if I remember correctly.)  I'd expect similar problems with Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Mercury vehicles.  Plastic engine compartment parts for BMWs are notoriously expensive ($300-500), and start breaking after a few years - money pit.  
    edited October 2023
  • Reply 17 of 17
    shaminoshamino Posts: 528member
    Mike Wuerthele said:
    shamino said:
    I also don't understand the article's comment that VGA monitors somehow require an expensive active adapter to connect to a PowerMac's VGA port (like my G4 has alongside the ADC port).
    HDMI to VGA is expensive. VGA to VGA is not. I should have been more clear.

    Agreed.  But since we're talking about Macs with ADC connectors....

    A PowerMac that has VGA alongside ADC can connect to a VGA monitor.  And I found some fairly cheap adapters that can drive an HDMI display from that VGA port.

    But (as I was unaware when I wrote my first post), Apple made some Macs (like the Cube) which had an ADC connector and no other video outputs.  And that, sadly, does need an adapter cable.  The video signals are (as far as I can tell) all compatible with single-link DVI (and therefore also HDMI up to 1920x1200@60) and VGA, but without an adapter, there's no way to get those signals to a DVI or VGA monitor.

    I suppose you could try using jumper wires to connect the DVI or HDMI signals to a female cable connector, but that's not really a solution if you want to use it for more than a few minutes.  Those wires are not likely to stay connected, and even if they're kept extremely short, they could easily lose so much signal that you can't get a stable image at any useful resolution.

    But I'd love to see someone try, just to find out if it would work.
Sign In or Register to comment.