Apple IIe Video Issues

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Apple IIe Video Issues
AttachmentSize
Image icon IMG_0357.JPG2.66 MB
Image icon IMG_2921.JPG3.16 MB
Image icon Bottom Half1.33 MB
Image icon Top Half1.77 MB
Image icon Full Board1.67 MB
Image icon Back of Board1.22 MB
Image icon RAM923.75 KB
Image icon Video1.14 MB
Image icon Inside Case1.33 MB

This is my first post on this forum and sadly it's not an upbeat one. I've just received my Apple IIe which I'm very excited to use, however I'm having some issues. I've attached an image below to help you understand what's going on. The computer boots fine, the beep and the drive sounds occur just as they should. Although the video is garbled, I can see the characters when I type (although this is difficult to tell from the picture), the ESC and @ combination resets the screen, the CONTROL and RESET function works fine, and the self-test returns no errors. As well, the command prompt appears shifted to the right and (this is easier to understand from looking at the picture) when I type at the bottom of the screen where the prompt is, the same text appears simultaneously a few lines above it. Any ideas on what could be causing this? I've tried removing the cards, but that does nothing. Thanks.

UPDATE:
I tried using a CRT and I got mostly static. However, when I ran the self-test (Control-Reset-Closed Apple) I got something odd. You can see this from the second attached photo. At the end of the test I got two quick beeps, however, when I ran the test again, I got four. Still, when I press return, the screen moves up (I can tell because there is a horizontal line which I'm guessing is where the prompt is). No colors on the screen however and I am using a color CRT. Any ideas?

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello,

My first suggestion would be to try using a different television, just to rule it out as the source of your difficulties. My //e has some video issues when being used with my cheap LCD television (but nowhere near as bad as that).

Modern televisions may have a harder time understanding the video signal sent from the //e - in general, the older the television, the better chance of getting a clear picture.

If there's no luck there, look carefully at the video circuitry, working back from the RCA jack. Any loose connections may need to be resoldered.

Someone else here will most likely have better suggestions, but may be worth trying a different TV first.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Thanks, I'll try that out and come back with how it goes.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello golfgkid212,

First of all:
both pictures display different issues.
First display indicates trouble with RAM
and
second ( or better both ) display problems with the horizontal sync
( but this may also just be an issue that the TV can´t handle
the low hsync frequency of 15 kHz .... most modern TV start with frequency handling ability above 32 kHz )
but even then the display 2 indicates a trouble with the HGR screen....
That display should show in upper part HGR and at bottem 4 Lines of Text....

For better diagnostics it´s highly recommended to first of all pick up the image of the
Apple Dealers Testdisk for the IIe .>
Second you would need the Software for ADT to transfer the diskimage from PC to the Apple IIe Disk drive.

But at the moment that image is useless if you ain´t able to read the screen.
The first step therefor is of course to work for getting at least a readable textscreen.
If you have a chance to get use of a old tube TV i´d recommend to use that as display.
They are capable to handle better the display output of the IIe. If that TV has a SCART-plug-interface the better.
Then there is a possibility to input the video output of the IIe to a SCART Adapter plug with video input.
Thats the first road i´d advise to take.....

speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Thanks for the advice. At the moment I don't have a CRT, however I think my friend may have one that I can use. I'll see how that works but it may take a few days.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Okay, it turns out I'm not going to be able to test the computer on a larger CRT. However, the second picture I posted was from a smaller, older CRT. I realized the center of the screen is actually the side (if that makes sense), in that the image is shifted to the right, so the right half appears on the left side of the screen. Of course, I've encountered yet another problem, every time I type something and then hit return, the computer beeps once. However, if I just hit return without typing there is no beep. Does this indicate anything? Hopefully that may be related and will help narrow down the problem. I'm trying not to give up hope just yet, but this situation seems to just keep getting worse. Thanks for any feedback.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

That beeping behaviour is normal. If you press Return without entering any command, the Apple brings back the command prompt. If you type anything except an accepted BASIC command, then the computer will beep and display 'SYNTAX ERROR'. If you type a command correctly and hit return, you should hear no noise. For instance, type PRINT 4+4, it should display '8' without a beep.

Still seems like something is off with the video circuitry. If you have an 80 column card installed, does it have its own RCA output jack? You could try plugging your CRT into there (or vice versa, if you are currently using the RCA jack on the 80col card, put it into the regular RCA jack located near the cassette ports).

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Sorry, the only cards I have are an Apple talk card, a 64k memory expansion, and a disk card for my unidisk drive.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Okay, it turns out I'm not going to be able to test the computer on a larger CRT. However, the second picture I posted was from a smaller, older CRT. I realized the center of the screen is actually the side (if that makes sense), in that the image is shifted to the right, so the right half appears on the left side of the screen. Of course, I've encountered yet another problem, every time I type something and then hit return, the computer beeps once. However, if I just hit return without typing there is no beep. Does this indicate anything? Hopefully that may be related and will help narrow down the problem. I'm trying not to give up hope just yet, but this situation seems to just keep getting worse. Thanks for any feedback.

If this is an UN-Enhansed ][e, the BASIC Interpreter doesn't understand Lower Case Letters, so even Valid BASIC words are Syntax Errors.. Make Sure the Caps Lock is DOWN.

Do you know the Manufacture Date??

MarkO

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

The manufacturing date won´t be the hit....
better posting the numbers of the EF ROM and the CD ROM and maybe the Video ROM.
The numbers of that ROMs will enable to determine what kind of mainboard and system is present.
( to Mark : bear in mind that a lot of boards have been later enhanced by the users by
ordering the upgrade set.... and bear in mind the second picture with split screen of Graphics mixed mode )
still remains the larger problem with RAM to be solved first by getting a kind of display anyhow...
speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Alright, it seems the RAM is the place to start. Currently I'm looking for a repair service, as I don't fully trust myself to do any soldering (just to be safe). There are a few people I'm contacting, and I'll wright back if it follows through and if my my problem is resolved.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

I don't know if this is possible, but I may have an idea. Since the ram is soldered in, I am trying to test everything I can before going in and removing them. I have a RAM card. Is there some way I can have the computer use the card as its main RAM and ignore the built in?

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

I don't know if this is possible, but I may have an idea. Since the ram is soldered in, I am trying to test everything I can before going in and removing them. I have a RAM card. Is there some way I can have the computer use the card as its main RAM and ignore the built in?

There is probably a way, but none I have seen demonstrated..

If you have an Apple Extended 80 Column Card, you would have to modify the circuitry to Replace the Main Board RAM.

I have heard of people Piggy Backing a Good RAM Chip on a Suspect one and seeing if it passes the RAM Test..

Do you have 8x 4164, or 2x 4464 RAM Chips??

MarkO

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Currently, the built in RAM chips read fully: MCM6665BP20. The RAM card is an 80 column, 64k card with 8x 4264 chips. I can take a picture of the RAM on the card and the built in RAM, if that would help.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello golfkid212,

it would of course be usefull to permit us a view to the mainboard.

Best would be just to remove the topbrace with the keyboard and take
from exact 90 degree topview 1 picture of the entire board and 2 closeups
( one from upper half of the mainboard and one from lower half
i.e. one rear side and one keyboard side).

And when lid is off it might just be a good idea to at least take a risk viewing
the area between mainboard and bottemplate if there is dirt os wiring or something similar... )
It would also permit us to detect exactly what kind of mainboard you are dealing with...
The pictures should have good focus and lighting ( daylight with less reflections )
and a resolution of about 2500 x 3200 pixels.

This would permit us to zoom in the pictures for details ....

besides a remark: initial tests should first be performed without the 80 col. card
inserted.... tests with that card in it´s slot should only be performed after you solved
a clean startup with a good readable display....

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

I'll get on those pictures as soon as I can.

Also, I have not been using any cards at all during my testing.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

SpeedyG,

I've attached several pictures all of which are labeled. Hopefully those will help. If you need any more, I'll take them as soon as possible.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello golfkid212,
first of all:
by the pictures i can tell you this is an
enhanced Apple //e U.S. Version.
The RAM chips are pin compatible to the 4164 chips ( meaning that every chip has
1 Bit in depth of 64 kB so all 8 chips together are a block of 8 Bit and 64kByte.
First views show a rather clean good system.
Second view to the bottom shows same slight change of color fading to light brown
below the side close to the powersupply. This might indicate that there has been
some heat crowding below of the mainboard and indicating strong poweruse and heated chips
on topside.
At the moment today i´m locked up with other tasks but i will take second closer look this evening
and explain more details.
up till then i remain sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello golfkid212,

adding to the previous posting i marked up in this picture the "shaded area"
resulting from heat at the mainboard:

IMAGE(http://www.appleii-box.de/applefritter/GolfkidBottom1.jpg)

Due to the fact that you only have restricted abilities i made a list of cheap checkout
of possible problems.

I have marked them A through E in the picture below.
Below the picture is the list in the practical order ( not same as from A to E )
so please read them and perform in order of numbers not alphabetical.

IMAGE(http://www.appleii-box.de/applefritter/GolfkidTop1.jpg)

In general it is a common problem with socketed ICs that the contacts get bad by oxydation.
Second most common problem is when reinsertion of the IC is performed, that one pin slips below the IC
by getting bent instead of slippimg in the socket.
Third problem by aging is that depending from area of storage, the soldering lead might get bad too by oxydation.
In such case its useful to "resolder" the joints by getting the soldermaterial at the joint
fluid again with a soldering iron and adding a tiny bit of new solder ( without staying more than needed at the joint to avoid "overheating" of the IC !).

Warning: At that late boards Apple often fixed IC´s to the mainboard by "lasershot" before entering the
solderingmachine. This means that IC´s fixed by such method - it´s nearly impossible to desolder them without
damaging the mainboard. Therefor that´s "last exit" if nothing else will help and you need several precautions and tips before making such attempts !
Stay away from such attempts before not all other options have been checked!

1. A is a buffer IC and socketed. Check out for bent leg below - reinsert carefully and test system before next step.
If you have a certified working replacement chip you may check with exact replacement chip.

2. B this 2 ICs belong also to the busbuffer but they are soldered - so it´s recommended just to perform
"resoldering" as explained above. Checkout system before performing next step.

3. D this is the IC responsible for RAM buffering. Unfortunatly it´s also soldered. So please only perform same
procedure like at 2 by resoldering and the testing system before next step.

4. C this chip is upmost important ... the so called HAL-chip. It´s responsible for all important
timing signals including the basic video timing ! And it´s a custom IC ( meaning you can´t buy this in a shop
- so be very careful ! ) It´s socketed so check for bent pins below like in step 1. Then check system before
approaching next step.

5. E these chips are socketed. From left to right:
Video ROM, IOU( this is also custon IC ! ), and system ROMS CD and EF.
Check for bent pins below the IC´s and be careful while reinsertion like in step 1.
Check system after each single IC-checkout.

Be very carefull while extraction of socketed IC´s to prevent IC from damage or damage to pins.

perform after every step carefully tests and break at point of changing in behaviour for feedback before
performing next step.

In case of change please report with picture to change of behaviour. This helps to circle down possible problems.

Questions:
do you have in surrounding area access to simple monochrome old monitor of a friend ( may also be from commodore or alternate system ) ?
do you have access to friend who owns eprom programmer ?

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

First of all, thank you for the wonderful help. After step 1, I noticed barely any changes. The only change I noticed is that the random characters that appear during the RAM test no longer appear (although the test still runs). However, the characters do appear on higher VHF channels (~12). Does this mean anything? I will be out of town from tomorrow to sunday, so I will not be able to work on it for a few days.

As a side note, the monitor I'm using is a GE color Space maker monitor from the 80s. I am using the coaxial input on it (I run the composite output through an adapter.)

Also, I do not own an eprom programmer, nor do I know anyone who dose. However, I am willing to get one as I need it for another project as well.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Hello golfkid212,

at the moment a epromprogrammer isn´t required unless a mistake in one of the ROMs is precisely detected......
The questions just aimed to spot out availiable equipment...

The mentioned change does not help locating the mistake so you might continue procedure with 2.

the remarkable change to expect should be, that the screen clears entirely and at top only
a Title "Apple//e" and 2 lines below a Promptsign "]" should appear followed by one single beep-sound.

This behaviour would indicate that at least the computer solved the boot process.
That would be the point where you could perform in next step the RAM selftest.

That internal selftest is invoked by pressing before poweron open apple key and closed apple key together
and then performing powerup and then releasing both keys.

This will be followed by different screens with different chaotic displays and
ending with a annotation of text at the bottom line "System good" or "system bad"

That will be the point to approach next step in diagnostic.

speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues


As a side note, the monitor I'm using is a GE color Space maker monitor from the 80s. I am using the coaxial input on it (I run the composite output through an adapter.)

By "adapter" do you mean an RF modulator? Maybe that's your problem? Do you have access to a monitor with composite video in?

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

I think there is some confusion here. I am using one of these: http://hdimagegallery.net/rf+coaxial+to+rca+adapter?image=11995832

I will try the composite in the TV. I figured the coaxial would be fine because my C64 uses the same adapter and it shows on the TV fine. I will try that ASAP, however I am out of town.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

I think there is some confusion here. I am using one of these: http://hdimagegallery.net/rf+coaxial+to+rca+adapter?image=11995832

I will try the composite in the TV. I figured the coaxial would be fine because my C64 uses the same adapter and it shows on the TV fine. I will try that ASAP, however I am out of town.

Look between the Expansion Port and the Serial Ports for Disk and Printers.
C64's have a Built In RF Modulator and C64 Back Side.

The Apple ]['s Do Not, they are NTSC Composite Video ( or PAL in most of the rest of the World ), and Need something like the Super-Mod RF Adapter or Connecting the Apple to a VCR on the Video In, and then Connected the TV.

MarkO

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

Due to the fact that the problem is rather commen to newbies
that they have a computer - but no old monitor i made a general
chart explaining different kinds of setup to get at least some
kind of usable display from the Apple at least for basic tests.
( of course that kind of display is "limited" in quality and
it´s rather less useable for the 80 col display mode )

IMAGE(http://www.appleii-box.de/applefritter/AppleToTVsm.jpg)

so hope this saves several postings in future......
speedyG

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues

For the sake of asking silly questions: why is it that when I plug the (yellow) composite cable into the computer and the other end into the composite video input of my TV, I get nothing, while I got stronger signals running it through the coaxial adapter I mentioned earlier? Also, I have been able to borrow an IR thermometer from a friend and I will see if any chips are getting hot. From what I can tell with my finger, the HAL-chip gets a little warm (while the surrounding chips stay cool, however) and the RAM-sized chip directly left of the row of RAM gets rather hot. I can provide actual numerical temperatures if that would help.

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Re: Apple IIe Video Issues


1. why is it that when I plug the (yellow) composite cable into the computer and the other end into the composite video input of my TV, I get nothing,
[/quote]

Possible reason : wrong setup of the TV:
correct input connector ( Video/SCART1/SCART2/S-Video/Y-Pb-Pr ) selected ?
correct decoder ( PAL/NTSC ) selected ?


2. while I got stronger signals running it through the coaxial adapter I mentioned earlier?

other input connector used ?


3. From what I can tell with my finger, the HAL-chip gets a little warm (while the surrounding chips stay cool, however)

Thats O.K and normal ...


4. - and the RAM-sized chip directly left of the row of RAM gets rather hot.

This would indicate a shortcut at one of the RAM-chips.... Does one of that chips get hot too ?

sincerely
speedyG

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