I have an unassembled Obtronix - what next?

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Joined: Feb 14 2008
Posts: 4

I bought an Obtronix Apple I replica off ebay a while back.
I didn't get any instructions with it and never heard back from the owner of Obtronix.

I'd like to gather all the parts to assemble it...but wondering what I need and the specs of what I need.
Need:
(1) Apple I Schematic
(2) Power supply...any suggestions on model numbers?
(3) Keyboard....any suggestions on model numbers?

I didn't get one of the later Obtronix units with the free cassette board...any idea if any more cassette board exist?

How rare are these Obtronix units? Any idea of how many were made?

Thanks for the help!
Chandra
Apple/Obtronix I
Briel Replica-1 (Rev A)
Apple Lisa-1

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resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
Posts: 213
Welcome to 1976

It's part of the experience of building an Obtronix Smile You don't really need a schematic unless you need to debug it. It is highly recommended to scour the internet looking for high resolution images of Apple Is. They exist and are pretty easy to find. Start on Applefritter.

The power supply is included in the kit. Those big transformers, big capacitors, and diodes in the upper right corner of the board - that's your power supply. Really check the high resolution images for the proper orientation of those diodes - some got it wrong.

As for a keyboard, did you get one with the kit? Mine came with a keyboard from an Apple II clone, but I used an actual Apple II keyboard. You will need to make an adapter to wire the keyboards up; the connectors are all different.

I'm not sure if any cassette boards from Obtronix are available, but check Vince Briel's site. Also, check Rich Dreher's site for the CFFA 1 - much more useful than the cassette interface. You can actually use the Apple 1 with a compact flash card, as well as get a full 32K of RAM. Highly recommended.

As for rarity, I think they are pretty rare. Certainly not as common as a Replica 1. Rich Dreher sold one on ePay a few weeks ago for a pretty good amount.

Hope that helps,

Dave...

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Joined: Feb 14 2008
Posts: 4
Obtronix

I looked at my kit last night and I only got the bare board and 2 boxes of components. There is no external power supply - what sort of power supply and keyboard do I need?

(Seems that Apple II keyboard go for big $ on ebay - are there any alternatives?)

Thanks,
Chandra

resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
Posts: 213
Look at this

This is my built-up Obtronix:

The two transformers (the heavy metal things) at the upper right of the picture along with the big blue capacitors form most of the power supply. All that should be in one of the boxes included with the kit.

Finding an ASCII keyboard is hard nowadays. Check local thrift stores for an Apple II+ in the back. Sometimes there is one on ePay that is broken and not too expensive.

Good luck,

Dave...

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
Didn't yours come with a Fran

Didn't yours come with a Franklin Ace keyboard? Most Obtronix kits did. The main problem was most people didn't know they were Apple 2 keyboards and not wired identical.

Dave - Is that a serial I/O board I see running off yours? Smile

Vince

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brielcomputers.com

resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
Posts: 213
Yup

...on both counts Smile The Franklin keyboard really wasn't in character to the Apple I, in my opinion. I found a Bell & Howell Apple II+ black keyboard at the local elementary school that looks really good. As for the serial I/O port, I don't use it anymore since I got the CFFA 1.

I also have the Replica 1 SE plugged into my Mac with USB. I seem to be a hoarder of Apple I stuff (don't even ask me about my Apple II and III collection). Now I just need time to play with it.

Dave...

Joined: Nov 20 2004
Posts: 40
Unassembled Obtronics - what next?

I've uploaded the Obtronics assembly instructions to the Apple 1 image gallery in case you do not have it.
Happy soldering, Laurie.

SchwindS's picture
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Joined: Feb 24 2007
Posts: 44
Here you find some hires pictures

hello,
at http://www.bytecollector.com/apple1/ you find some very nice pictures of an apple 1. I don´t know if it is the original apple 1 or is it the obtronix clone. But the pictures could be useful.
SchwindS

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Joined: Feb 14 2008
Posts: 4
Power Supply

Dave...I just looked in my Obtronix box and all I have is a PCB, a box of passive components and a box of chips. No power supply or keyboard Sad. This kit was from the 2nd or 3rd batch of kits on eBay.

What sort of power supply do I need to find?

Thanks,
Chandra

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Joined: Feb 14 2008
Posts: 4
Assembly instructions

Laurie...I can't seem to find the Obtronix assembly instructions on this site. Can you give me more specific instructions where the file is located? Thanks, Chandra

resman's picture
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Joined: Feb 9 2006
Posts: 213
Re: Power Supply

Oh, well that makes it more of an interesting exercise. Look at the Apple I manual here:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/4102 (click on download)

The second page lists the recommended transformers. Page 11 has the schematics and part numbers. I would contact JDR or DigiKey - or ay reputable electronics firm that may be in your area. Ask for an equivalent transformer. Check with above firms if you also need the big blue capacitors if those weren't included in your kit.

Another question: How comfortable are you with soldering? The Obtronix is a pretty big project to start with. If this is one of your first projects, perhaps starting with something a little smaller would be a good idea. Something like Vince Briel's Replica 1 would be a perfect example. No hard-to-find pieces, and you can use a PC keyboard. You don't want to mess up an Obtronix. You could always sell it on eBay - probably get back what you paid for it. Just a thought,

Dave...

chandrab wrote:

Dave...I just looked in my Obtronix box and all I have is a PCB, a box of passive components and a box of chips. No power supply or keyboard Sad. This kit was from the 2nd or 3rd batch of kits on eBay.

What sort of power supply do I need to find?

Thanks,
Chandra

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Joined: Mar 9 2006
Posts: 4
Obtronix Apple I Keyboard

I finally got around to checking out my kit again. I had put it together, but never had it completely working. Setting the clear line does give me the @ prompt, but then setting the reset doesn't give me the prompt. Any suggestions on where to start troubleshooting this?

Thanks

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 249
Some things to check

Since you are getting a video signal part of the apple 1 circuit is working. The terminal section will function even if the CPU/RAM/ROM section isn't. I would start with the basic stuff, then get deep into the system.

Here's some things you can check to see what your computer is doing:

1. Did you press reset? The apple 1 didn't have autoreset circuit onboard. You have to manually reset the CPU to get it going.
2. Did you wire up the keyboard that came with the obtronix kit correctly? He included a Franklin Ace 1200 keyboard with the kit and the pinout on the keyboard is for a Apple II and that is different then the apple 1.
3. Check your solder points and chips one at a time.

If all that checks out, take a look at what the CPU is doing:

1. Is RDY pin 2 on 6502 5V? If it is low, then something is halting the CPU.
2. What is the voltage or frequency of the sync pin 7 on the 6502? If it is running it will be about 2.5V.

What is the Address and data bus reading?
address bus pins: 9-20 and 22-25 A0-A15 (A0 is pin 9 and A15 is pin 25)
data bus pins: 26-33 (D0 is 33 and D7 is 26)

Do these values change when you reset the circuit?

What is the frequency of pin 39 or the voltage if you can't measure frequency?

Knowing these things helps debug a board.

Vince

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replica 1 The Apple 1 replica and the new Micro-KIM!
brielcomputers.com

Joined: Nov 20 2004
Posts: 40
Assembly instructions

I now cannot find it myself!. I uploaded it again and got "Upload directory is full" error.

Send me your email with Apple-1 as the topic and I'll send back the assembly instructions and trouble shooting guide (one page only)

laurie at p n c dot com dot au

Cheers.