Apple II with odd motherboard

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Apple II with odd motherboard

Hi guys,

I have a pretty sizeable computer collection, a lot of Apple stuff. I've long sought an original Apple II to add to it, but have not been willing to pay the $1500-2500 (or way more for a an early Rev) they seem to command on ebay (assuming you can win against a hail of snipers :)). So I started thinking about how I might obtain one 'on the cheap', maybe buying it in pieces and creating a Franken II from that. Anyway, I came across the auction below offering the first paRt (the case) that I was able to negotiate down to what I think was a decent price for (hundreds below the $999 he was asking). Heck, having an original A2S1 case at least lets me pretend for now. Smile

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/251378462737?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

I say case because the motherboard that is in there obviously isn't stock. In fact, I haven't a clue what it is and wondered if anyone had any idea -- I assume some kind of kit or clone the guy hand assembled. I'm also not sure about the PSU -- if it's a type that can switch between 220v (as in France) and 110V here... we had a bit of a language barrier, and the gentleman is a bike retailer, not a computer guy. Smile I have no idea what the cards are that are coming with it, either.

I'm assuming the correct board for a machine with that serial number should be a Rev 4 board? I was looking at one on ebay here as an example:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/151172188072?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Rev 4 boards seem to go between $50-150 depending on condition.. so between the case and that, if I can find one (and integer basic ROMs if it doesn't have them, I'd prefer those over applesoft), I should be able to come in well below $1000 and have a plausible, if not original A2S1. And that's good enough for me and leaves me only two more machines to complete the run between Apple II and Apple III+.

However I understand the A2S1 and A2S2 shared boards for a time and I'm wondering if there's any way to distinguish between one that originated as a Plus computer or just a II. The auction above says it's a II board, but the little diag he's running in one of the pictures has it identified as a II+ board. I'm not sure how the software determines that or if it's accurate.

Any advice or thoughts on these items would be greatly appreciated.

transwarp II guy's picture
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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

I'm selling that Rev 4 motherboard by the way. It was pulled from a beat up late model Apple II. One of those with the RED serial #. The serial # was in the 61###; but I can't remember exactly what it was.

As for whether your computer came with a rev 4 from the factory? I'm not sure, someone else would have to answer that.

Now for the coincidence: I nearly purchased the exact Apple II original that you just won lol! but he turned down my $500 offer.
Guess which motherboard I was going to put in it had I won it? Yes, the rev 4 I have listed now. Smile

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

BTW: The integer ROM's were replaced with applesoft ROM's when I purchased it.

Other than date codes and the rev of the mobo; the difference between the Apple II & II+ are really just the ROM's.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

I'm selling that Rev 4 motherboard by the way. It was pulled from a beat up late model Apple II. One of those with the RED serial #. The serial # was in the 61###; but I can't remember exactly what it was.

As for whether your computer came with a rev 4 from the factory? I'm not sure, someone else would have to answer that.

Now for the coincidence: I nearly purchased the exact Apple II original that you just won lol! but he turned down my $500 offer.
Guess which motherboard I was going to put in it had I won it? Yes, the rev 4 I have listed now. :)

Haha.. I kind of stumbled into it. He had the Best Offer set to auto accept at a certain number, I was just above you at $600. I didn't realize it could auto accept like that -- assumed it would take the offer to him and wait for approval. I kept going up in increments until it triggered the auto accept.

I've only found one link here that discusses the relationship between serial numbers and board revisions: http://www.techtalkz.com/apple/187741-apple-ii-iiplus-production-dates.html

Apart from that, total stab in the dark. I just wonder why a guy with an original II would take out the board and go all custom like that. I kind of wonder if they just ordered the case (if that was possible?) and built their own kit or what. I've been comparing the board to dozens of clone motherboard pics I have but nothing matches it so far.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Well that's easy. Why would someone replace the board ...

The original board died. Back then if you brought it to a dealer they just swapped out the board if it wasn't something simple like a bad ram chip.

People weren't collectors back then. They just wanted a working machine.

Come across this all the time in the car collector world. That is why matching serial numbers is very important in the car world because for some cars it is nearly impossible to find one where the engine may not have been swapped. Pretty easy on a Ferrari where the cost to replace a whole engine back in the day is too high and they were collectible a from the start, so you fix it. However on a 63 split window corvette, while it's worth a ton now, back then it wasn't cheap but it still was just a sports car you drove to work so if you blew the engine or it broke, you put in a new or used engine.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Thanks Corey,

I was just musing aloud about how that apparently custom board could have wound up in there. In my head, it seemed more logical if it was a straightforward need for replacement, that the owner would have just obtained a 'regular' replacement piece from somewhere rather than going all out custom like that, which I presume is a ton of work. I'm wondering if it's possible the machine has been like that since day one -- if it was possible to just buy a case from apple and then build your own internals.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

I was just musing aloud about how that apparently custom board could have wound up in there.

It doesn't look so much 'custom' as 'Taiwanese clone' to me. Especially if out of warranty, it would have been considerably cheaper to replace a bad Apple-made motherboard with a cheap clone.

I'm wondering if it's possible the machine has been like that since day one -- if it was possible to just buy a case from apple and then build your own internals.

You could buy a populated board alone (at least early on) from Apple; but I'm not aware that outside of service parts you could get a bare chassis from Apple.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

A dealer would have used apple replacement If no longer under warrant, a diy fix would be yo buy the knockoff and to save money. There once were computer faires and hobbyist classifieds to get such things. Sorry for typos on phone.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Like others have said, you could only order the motherboard; and even that was limited to early runs.

Your computer definitely had an Apple motherboard and power supply from the factory. More than likely the computer went out of warranty and the owner purchased or traded the original parts for the clone mobo & PS that you have in it now.

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Falter,

Oh yes. I watched that auction.
I was one of the many scratching my head on just what the hell I was looking at.

And I knew Transwarp had a Rev4 mb for auction too. lol

I decided to leave that little monstrosity alone. Especially after seeing the picture of the jack on the side of the case. Nope. Not for me.

A II Plus motherboard with the 16K blocks would do well in this unit as long as you have the Integer ROMs in it.

Just my two cents. Smile

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Yeah I wasn't sure about the business with the jack either.

I have to admit I don't know a lot about Apple clones -- when I was younger, only one person I knew among those who had Apple II stuff had one, a Franklin I think. I just bought a 'Linden Series One' off ebay for the fun of it. Not a darn thing on google about that company though. Smile

I kind of figured the board was a clone board of some kind.. the only part that threw me was the missing slots and the very ad-hoc nature of the setup. I assumed the clone boards wouldn't be as messy with all the wiring and stuff all over the place like that. So I thought it might be some DIY thing the guy did. It'll be interesting to see what those ROMs are programmed as. I just wasn't ready to shell out $2k+ for a complete originalish unit. Thought this would be entertaining. Smile

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Re: Apple II with odd motherboard

Like others have said, you could only order the motherboard; and even that was limited to early runs.

Your computer definitely had an Apple motherboard and power supply from the factory. More than likely the computer went out of warranty and the owner purchased or traded the original parts for the clone mobo & PS that you have in it now.

Yeah I figured as much. If it turns out to be a board from some obscure early 80s clone maker, that wouldn't bother me a whole lot -- having an example 'kit' kind of board from that period would be interesting to me. I'm one of those weirdos who collects clones also. It just threw me a bit because most of the clones I've seen are kind of a minimalist design -- not usually programmable ROMs (I assume that's what those are on mine), and wires soldered helter skelter. I figure it'll be fun just to figure out what it is, who made it (if possible) and what sort of config it's set up for. Also have no idea what those other cards are for. At some point of course I'll start trying to return the unit to something approaching stock.

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