My Apple II with no serial number…

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transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465

Hello, I have two apple II’s; one is a late model with flat power key and one is a fairly early version with green slots and raised power key. I’ve decided I’m going to sell the one with the flat style power button.
Notice this computer has no bottom label. It doesn't even look like there ever was a label.
My question is has it been normal for apple II’s to have no serial numbers? What I mean is will it devalue the computer significantly with out the label on the bottom?

I have a buddy that’s convinced its not an apple II because it doesn’t have green slots or 16k memory selector blocks; plus the fact its missing the label. My answer to him was this auction:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Apple-II-Computer-Dated-1979-A2S0016-ROM-Card-Power-On-Cord-/251210765891?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item3a7d541643&nma=true&si=X%252FPC%252FaaoW8w%252BL9%252FIgC1X%252FF61NEk%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

I’m sure this is an apple II; it has integer roms, a late revision apple ii style motherboard, early style apple II keyboard, and a silver power supply with screw holes in the shape of a diamond. It’s also pre RFI, as in it does not have a metal back plate, and the rear of the motherboard is mounted with plastic studs as a apple II should be, where as a apple ii plus would have screws holding the rear of the motherboard in place. Not to mention I purchased the computer with it’s manuals for cheap at a garage sale in Irving.

I’m just worried people might think it’s not a apple II or something when I list it on ebay, and I want some assurance from you guys.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, ask for better pictures and you will receive.

Any feedback will be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

BTW: Can anyone tell what revision motherboard this is?

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Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1045
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Well your friend is right. This is a "Frankenstein" machine and so are most on eBay these days like the one auction you linked to. If it was a II with all II parts it would have gone for much more on eBay especially if it was working.

Let me explain, I did a lot of research as part of my Rev 4 and Rev 0 restorations.

Your motherboard is clearly a II plus board with integer ROMs.

Your baseplate is from a II plus (either sticker removed well or it was a service replacement). All Apple II has the inside base plate painted (except under the supply) and depending on the rev the colors are different. Only the early II plus had this.

You don't shown a head on from the back shot of the keyboard to see if it is correct for a II or is it a later Plus keyboard.

There are also tell tale signs in the actual case mould itself too look for if you want as it either wore down or was remade with a slightly different one which can help date the case a little. And the splatter pattern on the case is consistent with a later II plus anyway.

There is more but I'd have to send you a PM if you want to check. I'm keeping some of my discoveries close to the chest so that I can quickly identify systems that have been "converted" when asked to authenticate them.

What I can tell you is someone did go though the attempt to make it appear to be a real II to an untrained eye.

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1045
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

One more thing to add. The paint on the II plus cases and base plates is pretty hard, you can scratch them, but I have taken stickers off with automotive adhesive and wax remover and you'd never know. So I think someone "built" yours and removed the II plus sticker.

BTW: that's a hint to anyone needing to remove stickers or that stupid foam residue from their RF modulator on their case without harming the finish.

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Jan 15 2011
Posts: 75
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

The ebay link looks like one of many Apple IIs produced during the Apple II+ era. Maybe powersupply came from an earlier machine. The sticker makes it legit enough, I wouldn't call it a Frankenmachine necessarily, just a reflection of the period it was built. Also, the price may have been relatively low because Apple collectors refrained from bidding, in sympathy for the fellow who lost ownership of it (google TVRSALES and Apple II for the unfortunate story).

Transwarp's computer may be from a similar era? Or Frankenmachine built w/ II+ parts? Lack of sticker, hard to say. At a minimum, bidders might view this as a source of integer roms.

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Posts: 1045
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

It has an RFI keyboard which is II plus only and the motherboard is a II plus RFI motherboard. My guess is it was a II which had a failed keyboard and failed motherboard and the ROMs were transplanted when the motherboard was replaced. That makes it a frankenstein machine. Revived from the dead using mis-matched parts from others. If it's only one part that was transplanted, then I wouldn't call it frankenstein, it's just a machine waiting for the correct part to be found. When the entire motherboard is swapped out with a II plus and the roms transplaneted, it is. Think about this; to make the machine "original", you'd need to find a keyboard and motherboard and then swap the roms back.

as the prices rise and as Vintage computing becomes more like vintage car collecting, the same distinctions will come to pass.

Yes a 1967 mustang fastback with mid-70's replacement 287 engine (with the original air cleaner installed on top) is still a fastback, but it's a frankenstein especially when the transmission and interior have been swapped. It has potential but isn't worth the same as a 1967 fastback with the original engine or a date correct engine.

Also think about this... when someone takes a fastback and removes the old badging then puts a 427 engine in and puts GT badging on it, it doesn't make it a 67 Mustang GT, it makes it a 287 fastback with a 427 engine.

Cheers,
Corey

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Posts: 75
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Late Apple IIs overlapped production with II+s, and used the same parts, or so I have read elsewhere... and the serial number is very late for an Apple II indeed. When did the RFI first come out?

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

The II plus was released in June 1979. So yes there was overlap, any early II plus systems were basically II systems with different ROMs and badging. The II never contained II plus only components obviously. So to say it easier a II with plus parts never shipped that way, but a II plus with II parts was the norm in 1979 and part of 1980. In 1981 according to the Winston Gayler book (which should be pretty accurate) Apple went with the RFI boards.

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

That's good information, which I sincerely appreciate. But it leaves us with a puzzle: why does the date of production on the ebay motherboard linked above show year 80?

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

That's simple. The board date has nothing to do its ship date. They may have built boards at the end of 80 that were RFI, but didn't ship till early 81. Logistics weren't what they are now, you may have had to stock subcomponents for months before you actually released something.

Cheers,
Corey

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Posts: 75
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Well, if I'm told RFI boards were produced in 1980, and Apple IIs were sold in 1980 (and into 81, or at least so listed by retailers), then I have to believe that a late model Apple II can indeed have a RFI motherboard, and anything else an Apple II+ had (aside from certain roms and stickers, of course). But just because I hold this opinion should not cause offense to anyone else around here. I'm just offering my viewpoint, based on what little I've learned, and with no personal gain, and in pursuit of simplicity in assumptions, that the ebay listing above is probably what it appears to be.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

Your motherboard is clearly a II plus board with integer ROMs.

Your baseplate is from a II plus (either sticker removed well or it was a service replacement). All Apple II has the inside base plate painted (except under the supply) and depending on the rev the colors are different. Only the early II plus had this.

Will you please re-word this because it doesn't make any sense to me. How can you tell it’s a II plus base plate?

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

akochera wrote:

The ebay link looks like one of many Apple IIs produced during the Apple II+ era. Maybe powersupply came from an earlier machine. The sticker makes it legit enough, I wouldn't call it a Frankenmachine necessarily, just a reflection of the period it was built. Also, the price may have been relatively low because Apple collectors refrained from bidding, in sympathy for the fellow who lost ownership of it (google TVRSALES and Apple II for the unfortunate story).

Transwarp's computer may be from a similar era? Or Frankenmachine built w/ II+ parts? Lack of sticker, hard to say. At a minimum, bidders might view this as a source of integer roms.

This is what I was under the impression of, I’ve seen and have been in the possession of several Apple II’s that look just like the one I have now, except they had a red sticker on the bottom. The red sticker on the bottom is usually from later revision apple II’s that were produced in the II plus era. I’m sure this is an apple II, I was just wondering if any one knew what effect having no serial number would have on the price of the machine.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Here is a link to another computer that has the exact same motherboard, exact same keyboard and basically has all the same features:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Apple-II-A20016-Works-perfectly-/281078962551?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT&nma=true&si=ABKIKIlZiGfDUUYyXgofggpLITg%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc#ht_831wt_1249

That’s 3 computers that are near exact matches, not to mention I’ve owned two with the same components above. I’ve also seen many more listed on ebay and even craigslist that look just like this one. Only difference being some had the earlier style green speaker foam.

Please understand I’m not trying to be rude Corey, actually you sound just like my friend who's been arguing with me for the past 7 years since I got the computer lol.

Can anyone please tell me what revision motherboard this is?

Also, I thought pre RFI meant it had the plastic studs and no screws at the rear of the computer?

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

You don't shown a head on from the back shot of the keyboard to see if it is correct for a II or is it a later Plus keyboard.

Are you meaning the Datanetics keyboard with the metal bar?

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

The second picture you posted you can see the edge of the inside of the baseplate. It doesn't appear to be the same color as the base (minus the splatter pattern). On the Apple II, they were still painting the inside base plate and on early II plus models. Later ones seem to have some sort of treatment not paint.

Also yes I am referring to the datanetics keyboard with the metal bar.

And finally RFI is a lot more than screws and some metal plate in the back. There was a different motherboard, baseplate coating, powersupply, multiple keyboard revisions and stuff like that.

I should also say I'm not trying to be argumentative. But you and others are expecting people to pay good money for these systems. They should know exactly what they are getting and with this new collect apple anything craze going on and all these "systems" coming out of the woodworks, the more information to the buyer the better.

Cheers,
Corey

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

The second picture you posted you can see the edge of the inside of the baseplate. It doesn't appear to be the same color as the base (minus the splatter pattern). On the Apple II, they were still painting the inside base plate and on early II plus models. Later ones seem to have some sort of treatment not paint.

Also yes I am referring to the datanetics keyboard with the metal bar.

And finally RFI is a lot more than screws and some metal plate in the back. There was a different motherboard, baseplate coating, powersupply, multiple keyboard revisions and stuff like that.

I should also say I'm not trying to be argumentative. But you and others are expecting people to pay good money for these systems. They should know exactly what they are getting and with this new collect apple anything craze going on and all these "systems" coming out of the woodworks, the more information to the buyer the better.

Cheers,
Corey

Alright that cleared that up about the base plate, but you said apple II’s have the underside of the power supply (on the base plate) not painted. If I remember correctly, a few years ago when I took this whole computer apart to clean it I vaguely remember seeing the underside not being painted. I’ll go un screw it and take a picture here in a minute to see if it’s painted or not.
I added some pics at the top of page: It’s NOT a Datanetics keyboard.

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

I think they all have "nothing" or just less of a coating under the supply. But on a painted base plate. It's very very transitional and obvious.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

I think they all have "nothing" or just less of a coating under the supply. But on a painted base plate. It's very very transitional and obvious.

Well I went ahead and added a picture anyways. It's the last pic. Theres no paint if that even means anything.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

But you and others are expecting people to pay good money for these systems. They should know exactly what they are getting and with this new collect apple anything craze going on and all these "systems" coming out of the woodworks, the more information to the buyer the better.

Well yea I understand what your saying, I wouldn’t want to sell an apple II plus as an apple II to someone. However I don’t think this is an apple II plus and I’ve got a bit of proof behind it. I think all these late model apple II’s (usually with red style serial #) came looking just like this. I’ve seen & owned enough Apple II’s that have the exact same features as this one to believe that late model apple II’s came this way. Nearly ALL of the red sticker apple II’s have motherboard/power supply/keyboard configurations just like the three I have listed. There's no way that’s a coincidence. I will have to dig up some old photos of those other two apple II’s I used to own that looked just like this.

I will admit that this is probably a less desirable model, since even I would rather keep my raised power key/green slot/white sticker apple II for my collection. But that is just my preference and not the rule.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Here is some information you may find interesting Corey:

http://www.techtalkz.com/apple/187741-apple-ii-iiplus-production-dates.html

I’m *guessing* the motherboard I have is a Rev .7 motherboard, which is suppose to be pre RFI. These motherboards are reported to be used in both II’s and II plus’s.
Notice at H-11 there is an IC where as on later II plus motherboards there is none.
Also notice there are only 3 holes at the back of the motherboard where the slots are for the snap rods to push into. On later II plus only motherboards, there are 4 holes with a black coating surrounding them, where 4 screws are placed. Plus the 5th snap rod hole at the end of the motherboard.

You can see on this apple II plus what I’m talking about:

http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/apple2/h/pboard.jpg

Also notice the apple ii plus bottom tray has no paint on it at all, where as the mid-years when II's & II+'s were made simultaneously they had paint every where except under the power supply.

I highly doubt this is a “Frankenstein” model like you said it is. There's lots of evidence showing that this may very well be all original. I just don’t understand why the serial # is MIA; and I'm curious what effect this will have on the price.

Hope this helps.

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Well it looks like this thread has taught us all something's...

I stand corrected.... From the light of your original pics it looked like the baseplate was unpainted. I clearly is, so the only question is the "rev-7" board. But I can say the baseplate is consistent. The top of the case must have also been a cross over from when they must have been preparing for the RFI as the finish is not consistent with the later Apple II I have seen, it appears closer to the switch in 81 to RFI.

We have to assume your machine was, according to your supplied link, more than serial number 65k

now the question is what else can we deduce from the investigation. Does your keyboard have a date on it? The bottom of the supply is it dated with a stamp or sticker???

The key now is documenting as much as you can as to the date correctness of the system to prove its a real II when you go to sell it without a serial number. This is really the problem. As your friend and I have been saying the first reaction will be that it appeares to be a Frankenstein machine because there were questions. You now have some documentation to answer some of those which will go a long way.

Too bad we couldn't get someone with a "rev-7" board who is the original owner to confirm their purchase date. This combined with other date codes around the machine would be a great confirmation of its originality..

Now back to your original question, will it effect the value missing the serial number sticker on this specific machine.... BIG TIME, except maybe this thread has helped that a little for our specific case (no pun intended). If this was clearly an earlier machine, which its not, and it checked off all the boxes, then the serial number sticker wouldn't hit it as hard unless it was a Rev0 then people want "documentation". I.e, a rev 2 with correct silver power supply, keyboard and case would clearly not matter as much since it must be what it says...

Cheers,
Corey

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

the only question is the "rev-7" board. But I can say the baseplate is consistent.

While I have seen and owned a few with the “rev 7” board (If that’s what it is), I’m still not sure if this is the original board or not. I just found this computer that sold on ebay that has a late style red sticker. It appears to even have the same keyboard and power supply, however it has a apple II original style motherboard (green slots, 16k memory selector blocks).

Here is a link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Apple-II-Computer-1978-/111008312419?nma=true&si=ABKIKIlZiGfDUUYyXgofggpLITg%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557#ht_284wt_1249

This computer above may help to prove that link I provided on post # 19 to be true; as this computer has a serial number of less than 65K, it has a serial number of 62338 to be exact.
I just really wish the serial number was still present so there would be no confusion. I will take more pictures and see if there is a sticker on the bottom of the power supply, and I will look for a date on the keyboard. Most if not all the IC date codes seemed to be at 1980.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

Too bad we couldn't get someone with a "rev-7" board who is the original owner to confirm their purchase date. This combined with other date codes around the machine would be a great confirmation of its originality..

Yea I agree it would be of extreme help. Who knows, Maybe someone does have an original unmodified rev 7. I’ll do some long Google searches and see if I can dig up anything.

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

transwarp II guy wrote:

<< SNIP >>

You can see on this apple II plus what I’m talking about:

http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/apple2/h/pboard.jpg

Also notice the apple ii plus bottom tray has no paint on it at all, where as the mid-years when II's & II+'s were made simultaneously they had paint every where except under the power supply.

<< SNIP >>

One think about this Apple ][+ that caught my attention, the Bottom Tray extends up the back to the lid, like on an Apple ][e.. Obviously to help with the RF Shielding..

I had always perceived the Apple ][ line as an "inverse" Quantum Leap from the Apple ][/][+ to the Apple ][e. It very much appears that there was many small deliberate steps in the transition from the ][ & ][+ to the ][e, not just in capabilities, but also in usability and shield-ability.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

Corey986 wrote:

now the question is what else can we deduce from the investigation. Does your keyboard have a date on it? The bottom of the supply is it dated with a stamp or sticker???

The key now is documenting as much as you can as to the date correctness of the system to prove its a real II when you go to sell it without a serial number.
Cheers,
Corey

Today I took the whole computer apart in search of date codes. Starting from image 1912 down at the top of the page; you will find all new pics of the computer disassembled. All the IC’s are dated from 1979-1980. Except for the integer roms, which are 1978-79. If I’m not mistaken, integer roms are only made in these years and not any later, or am I mistaken? There are no date codes on the case, and the underside of the power supply has no date.

I took some pictures of the keyboard. All the dates say 1979, but there are also some labels that I don’t know how to decipher. If anyone can be of help here, the pictures are at the top of the page labeled 1934-1942. The keyboard is a later model built by “The Keyboard Company.”

I would also like to mention this web site:

http://moclipswa.com/miscwiki/index.php/Apple_II_35265

His computer is fully documented and original. His apple II does not have a revision 7 motherboard, but it does have an oddball configuration considering it’s all original. More than likely if he had not owned it since the Apple II was new, then I would have probably suspected it of having a lot of parts changed out.

transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

One more thing, on image “1933” you can see the date 1979 and then a serial # right above it that says “820-0001-07.” If I’m not mistaken, the 07 at the end means it’s a rev 7 motherboard. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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Re: My Apple II with no serial number…

transwarp II guy wrote:

One more thing, on image “1933” you can see the date 1979 and then a serial # right above it that says “820-0001-07.” If I’m not mistaken, the 07 at the end means it’s a rev 7 motherboard. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

That is what I would think..

I have an Apple ][ with a Rev 03 board, and an Apple ][+ with a Rev 01 Board, and they have Silk Screened on the PCB “820-0001-03” and “820-0001-01” respectively..