Apple IIe running hot

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robbo007's picture
Joined: Dec 14 2011
Posts: 80

Hello All,

Is it normal for an Apple IIe to run quiet hot. Nothing is buying but if I touch the cards they are pretty warm. Guess having no fans inside does not help. Can I use my Apple IIe for hours on end without it buying out?



Apple IIe PAL, Apple IIGS

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Dog Cow's picture
Joined: Dec 11 2008
Posts: 451
Re: Apple IIe running hot

I one put a thermometer in the case of my IIe running with 8 cards, the lid on, and a TV screen on top. After 10 minutes, I registered the temperature as just above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The room temperature was around 65.

To answer your question, no, it is not a good idea to let the system run so hot for long period of time. It is good to have a fan. Thermal expansion also causes the IC legs to come loose from their sockets.


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speedyG's picture
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2342
Re: Apple IIe running hot

It is a well known problem throughout the entire II-series that the powersupplies are rather weak in the calculation...
it is a good idea to execute some mathwork to calculate the real needs at the powersource - specially if you use more than 2 simple drives and 3 to 4 cards in the system... some RAM-cards have high demand to the 5 volt branch and more then 2 drives have a tooo high demand to the 12 volt branch.... a system with 6 cards or more surely should be equipped with a thirdparty heavy duty supply.... the normal supply only gives 4 Ampere at the 5 volt branch and 1,5 Ampere at the 12 volt branch - compared with a heavy duty supply that delivers 7,5 Ampere at the 5 volt branch and 2 Ampere at the 12 volt branch.... if the supply is forced to give to much power the lifecycle of the powersupply is lowered dramaticaly and the electrolytic-capacitors running hot will die rather fast.... the systems should not exceed a temperature of 40 degrees celsius.... the only two solutions: upgrading the power supply or working only with the needed cards in the system and leaving unused cards unplugged outside of the system ..... if using external drives ( not APPLE II Drives but drives with shugart-bus i.e.34-pin cable ) like Teac in external cases to be equipped with own powersource... and one fan at the backside pulling air out from the case will help only a little....


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....

Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 352
Re: Apple IIe running hot

I used to worry about that as well when my II+ and later IIe were my main computer. I'd tried things like the Kensington System Saver fan but there were times when the noise bothered me. My solution was to build a monitor stand a couple inches higher than the computer and leave the top off. It also made it handy when i wanted access to the inside as all I had to do was slide the computer forward.

Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 888
Re: Apple IIe running hot

My general rule I've followed for 30+ years:

Apple II+ or Apple //e(unenhanced), anything more than a 2 or 3 basic cards I'd connect my system saver fan. And by basic cards I mean a 16k ramcard, serial or parallel board, and disk controller.

For the Apple //e(enhanced chipset with cooler running cpu), I could add in 1 or 2 cards in addition to the above provided they were low power, and still not need a fan.

The situation gets better for the //e platinum with less rom and ram chips.


On a clear disk you can seek forever..

gsmcten's picture
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2560
Re: Apple IIe running hot

I installed a fan inside one of my "Darth Vader" II+ computers a few years back. I ran it off of the 12V lead to the motherboard and have never had a problem with it. Quiet too. Smile


Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

speedyG's picture
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2342
Re: Apple IIe running hot

throughout the past few years i have been hunting in my local electronic-shops for small switchingpower-supplies from thirdparty manufacturers and i have found several supplies with 120 Watt to 140 Watt that fitted in the regular powersupplycase... so i moved the eletronic content from one case to the other - with the result that such a supply thereafter in the case of the standardsupply delivered 10 Ampere at the 5 Volt branch, 3 Ampere at the 12 Volt branch and 0,5 Ampere to the - 5 volt and another 0,5 Ampere to the - 12 volt branch - and in several cases it was even possible to integrate a 12 Volt 0,3 A fan in the standardsupplycase too....

that permits me for example to use a apple II europlus with the following configuration:
ZIP8000 Chip,
Slot 1: Parallel-Printercard,
Slot 2: Superserialcard II,
Slot 3: videx 80 Colum Card,
Slot 4: ALS-Z80B Card with additional 64 kByte,
Slot 5: 1 MByte Cirtech Plusram Card,
Slot 6: Apple 5,25 Disk controller with Duo-Disk-Drive connected
Slot 7: CFFA Card Vers. 2 with 1 GB CF Card.

I guess nobody will doubt this to be called an System with heavy load..... but i work for hours in programming with aztec-c or with Pascal under CPM 3.0...... and the gameport is used as Input/Output Controller for external measurement equipment....

and i use 2 IIe models with similar "heavy load" inside ... one is "non enhanced" and the other one is enhanced...

for another example the "unenhanced" IIe:
Slot 1: Parallel Printer card
Slot 2: Super Serial Card II
Slot 3: RAMFAST II with 1 MB RAM
Slot 4: 68008 Card
Slot 5: Speechinput System
Slot 6: erphi Controller with 2 external TEAC 55F drives in external case with each drive 640 kB capacity
and own external powersupply
Slot 7: RAMfast SCSI Card
with external SCSI Tower and own power supply containing 3 SCSI Harddisks, 1 SCSI CDROM-Drive and 1 IOmega SCSI Jazzdrive ( 1 GB per changable Disk )
and at the end of the chain another external Syquest 44 MB harddisk-Cartridge system with interchangeble Harddiskcartridges.

both of them are populated "complete" with cards ( i.e. all 7 slots are used )....
without the "heart-transplantation" of the powersupplies this would have never become possible....
all systems are running since months stabile.....


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....