IIe keyboard HELP!!!

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Here's the situation:

Got an Apple IIe and the keyboard does not work, which makes it hard for me to do anything at all with it.

I managed to get an Apple IIe Enhancement Kit and found that installing it made the screen go into some weird graphic mode so it just made things worse. (I did replace the processor though.)

I have noticed that many of the chips on the board are socketed and I might have replacements on hand; are there any suggestions on what I could swap out? Obviously if its the Keyboard ROM then I'll need to get one of those.

Is there no solution other than a new keyboard? These old keyboards unfortunately do wear out don't they?
I have big plans to use my IIe for retro music and video so your help will be much appreciated

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speedyG's picture
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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

why not first examining the existing threads and reading them complete ?
if you enter reading a thread its possible to rather soon see if it related to the topic within the first 2 or 3 posts and if it is - it might be useful to read carefully the entire rest of the replies....
there are quite a lot threads related to the IIe and the mainboard that cover the different malfunctions and how to test or solve the issues..... and some of them are just also equipped with pictures.... and some of them contain very detailed descriptions and valuable hints....
a lot of these threads haven´t been started here in "hardware repair help" but instead in the "apple II" branch....

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

You haven't provided us with a lot of information but try this.
Remove all the cards from your IIe with the power off
Then turn on the power switch
You should then get a prompt ]
Can you now type in letters?

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

Perhaps you could refer me to those threads instead of just reprimanding me? I certainly have made at least a basic effort to see if my problem has already been addressed.

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

Yes, have removed all the cards and rebooted.
No, that does not solve the problem.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

When you power up with no cards in it, do you get a beep and a prompt that looks like]

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Joined: Feb 29 2012
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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

Yes, I get a prompt, and yes, the keyboard "works", but poorly, I just get repeating characters including the enter key.

I see that my post did not make that clear, sorry.

speedyG's picture
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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

still there is one point not clear: is the repeating just for short time (i.e. only a few characters ) or is it stuck... ( i.e. the repeating does not stop... ) -
if it´s the first the problem is so called "bouncing" and is solved by change of some 1 or 2 chips or cleaning of the keyboard and that was descibed in the apple II topics just few weeks ago... and in the other case probably there is a shortcut to be traced.....
and the next point is what you explained to be wierd change to graphics... does this happen without touching the keyboard ? if yes - this might be a problem of the RAM - if not it might be a result from the keyboerd misbehavior....
so as you see there are still a lot of questions open for correct diagnostic..... instead of asking us to kick off just unfounded guesses it might be more usefull to be as precise as possible - the more precise you are - the more precise the advice can be given...
regards

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

So this is now a totally different problem than a non working keyboard.
Is it a few keys that repeat or every key?
Has it done this since you got it or since you tried installing the enhancement kit?

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

The keyboard is not bouncing it is "stuck". Every key repeats indefinitely except that some do not seem to work at all.

When I installed the enhancement kit then I could not type anything because I just got a peculiar graphic screen. I'm afraid that what I saw is difficult to describe, and I kind of hate to make it do it again. It was basically a bunch of white lines.

Very true, Speedy, the more details the better. By saying it is a keyboard problem I only meant to describe the issue, not diagnose the real problem.

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

Under this condition the first advice will be to step back to the unenhanced version by swapping back the chips that have been previosly used in the computer - that will bring back the system to the primary issue with only one problem ... the keyboard.

The swap might have caused other problems too ... indicated by the switching in graphics mode or other errors....

when swapping back of course the very careful moves should be performed ( i.e. examine that every pin really slips in to the determined place of the socket with no bent legs and the chips in correct orientation with the notches on top of the chip showing in correct orientation ).

next tip will be to download from:
http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/Apple%20II%20Documentation%20Project/Books/
the book SAMs ComputerFacts Apple IIe.pdf with 65 MB size.
This book contains at page 19 and page 20 the detailed circuitplan of the APPLE IIe Keyboard and the related section of the keyboard-encoder on the mainboard.
with these circuit plans you will be able to examine the keyboard very carefull with a signaltracer for good connections and for possible shortcuts.....

for this purpose it will be a good idea to remove the screws at the bottom to remove the cover and to get better access to the keyboard.... it will also be a good idea to mark at the cable from keyboard to the mainboard the cable where pin 1 is located to make sure that when plugging it again back the pin1 of the keyboard connector is connected to the pin 1 of the keyboard connector on the mainboard.

then we will await here for the results of this diagnostic.....
in that stage of examination it will also be a good idea to chack all soldering points for bad soldering connections.

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

There's still the important question. Did this problem exist before you tried installing the enhancement kit? If it didn't then we're looking at a different cause than if it did.

pvollan wrote:

The keyboard is not bouncing it is "stuck". Every key repeats indefinitely except that some do not seem to work at all.

When I installed the enhancement kit then I could not type anything because I just got a peculiar graphic screen. I'm afraid that what I saw is difficult to describe, and I kind of hate to make it do it again. It was basically a bunch of white lines.

Very true, Speedy, the more details the better. By saying it is a keyboard problem I only meant to describe the issue, not diagnose the real problem.

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

pvollan wrote:

Here's the situation:
Got an Apple IIe and the keyboard does not work, which makes it hard for me to do anything at all with it.
I managed to get an Apple IIe Enhancement Kit and found that installing it made the screen go into some weird graphic mode so it just made things worse. (I did replace the processor though.)

Hello Wayne,
here we are again.... as explained in the opening post of the thread that question was answered allready.... it allways is usefull to read an entire thread before entering a post and not to remain only with the last 2 or 3 posts... that avoids repeating things that have been covered allready previosly....

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the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

No, it hasn't been covered adequately. Maybe you should read what you were quoting. He said the keyboard wasn't working. That would normally mean non functional or dead. We later found out that that wasn't the real situation.

He said installing the enhancement kit made things worse. After putting back the original ROMs, was it worse than before? Was the problem different from before. He didn't actually say that. When someone says he has been fiddling with the hardware, it's worth knowing if that made any change in the way it worked, don't you think?

Right now he says the keyboard is repeating endlessly and some keys aren't working at all. Was it that way from the beginning? If he originally just had a couple of keys that didn't work and now after playing with the hardware did it start repeating? If so then that changes things. Actually, he never did say it was this way when he acquired it.

Usually I try to get adequate information and not assume things. Sometimes you have to question the answers. A good example of a problem I wasted a lot of time on was someone who said their Disk II stopped reading disks. My first suggestion was to clean the heads with isopropyl alcohol. He said he'd cleaned the heads. 30 messages later I found out that he'd just "cleaned" them by blowing some canned air on them. Actually cleaning them with alcohol solved the problem. After he said he'd cleaned them I should have shot back"With alcohol?"

I'll throw this in, if the IIe was operating normally and suddenly the keys started repeating and several went dead then there is only one likely culprit. The keyboard encoder. It could be that it's not making good contact with the socket and needs to be reseated. That's usually done by lifting up the chip in the socket and pressing it back down. If that didn't work then a new keyboard encoder is needed. But we don't know that it happened all at once.

A stuck key would cause similar symptoms but then you'd only have the one key not working. Several stuck keys would cause exactly those symptoms. That would only happen if it was stored in adverse conditions like out in the rain. It'd never suddenly happen with a working machine. Was it this way when he acquired it or not?

speedyG wrote:
pvollan wrote:

Here's the situation:
Got an Apple IIe and the keyboard does not work, which makes it hard for me to do anything at all with it.
I managed to get an Apple IIe Enhancement Kit and found that installing it made the screen go into some weird graphic mode so it just made things worse. (I did replace the processor though.)

Hello Wayne,
here we are again.... as explained in the opening post of the thread that question was answered allready.... it allways is usefull to read an entire thread before entering a post and not to remain only with the last 2 or 3 posts... that avoids repeating things that have been covered allready previosly....

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Joined: Mar 23 2012
Posts: 5
Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

I have a similar problema with my Apple IIe. My keyboard works but almost every key gets stuck when pressed down and you have to pull it back.

I've tried some cleaning with alcohol and compressed air but no luck with that. Shoud I use WD40?

Thanks,
Paulo Melo

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

if possible it would be better to stay away from wd40. The other point is that with the long time of production the different Apple IIe were assembeled with at least 3 different kinds of keyboards that had slight changes in the inner structure of the keyswitches.the early versions had inside a small metalspring to pushup the cap of the key. With that keyswitches it was very usefull to expand the spring with the result that it returned back to have more power again to pushup the cap.... in case of doubt it would be usefull to issue a good closeup-picture viewing from the side of the keyboard to the switches to become able to determine which kind of switches are used in the related keyboard. And a second closeup-picture from the top to a switch with removed cap would complete the ability to determin the kind of switch....

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

I'll take those pictures and come back to you. Thanks.

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

I have downloaded the SAMS book, nice link! I have not yet diagnosed the keyboard as you described. A voltmeter on ohms setting is sufficient to trace continuity or lack of it, yes?

See, I am not totally sure what I am looking for here, and if I find it what to do about it. What kind of short circuit would produce the symptoms that I describe? A paranoid part of me is saying that a thorough disassembly and cleaning of the keyboard is the only solution. I am also thinking that if i invested in a rom burner then it would be easy for me to replace the keyboard rom and so forth.

BTW, let me say that the "signal to noise ratio" on this board is not very good; the more you guys flame each other about procedure the less time we have to talk about what we are actually here to talk about. Just a word to the wise, now back to the business at hand...

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Re: IIe keyboard HELP!!!

with the multimeter set to ohmmeter and set to high-range ( 1 MOhm or more ) you can proof the traces and the switches by first examining the single switches on the backpanelside at the solderingpoints per single switch (shortcut is pressed switch and high ohm is key not pressed.... and thereafter you can checkout the lines without pressed keys for shortcut between lines within the matrix....

first of all of course you should examine the lines related to the character the seems to be stuck....

and to the other point...: if the voltage source from the powersupply is "noisy" that indicates that probably some of the ceramic-capacitors ( each 100 nF or 47 nF )are in bad shape or broken.... there is a bunch of them all over the mainboard all looking similar and they are nearly all put between +5Volt branch and the common-ground-branch....but beware some that dont look similar have other values .... if you change them against new ones only change those that are put in between the +5 Volt line and the groundpower... they are responsible to "clean" the power from "noisy" behavior....this ensures that the logicchips operate clean and neat in their parameters....

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....