Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

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Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Hi all, new to this forum, and new to owning an Apple II
I used them in school growing up, but have never owned one before.

Anyway, I recently got two Apple IIe from a yard sale.
Previous owner has kept them in a dusty hot shed for years, so were not exactly in good condition at all.

Both of them were as dirty as sin, a bit rusted in places, and upon powering them up, I was surprised to find that the motherboard power light went on for both.

However, there was no reassuring beep and the screen was full of garbage. Not a single recognisable character on screen. Just a weird pattern of abstract squares and lines - somewhat artistic, but not the APPLE ][ text that I was looking for. In fact, both Apples had EXACTLY the same problem! They both powered up with this weird pattern all over the screen.
I'll attach a picture later if it will help someone help me diagnose the problem.

Now, I'm not bad with a soldering iron, so clearly there's probably one chip that's likely dead and the chances are good that someone has had this problem before... somewhere.
Can anyone point me in the direction of which chip likely needs replacement, and possibly a source of spare parts?

I would like to get one of these apple IIes alive again.

I also got an Apple IIc from this lot, but unfortunately that doesn't power up at all. It is effectively DOA. Could be a dead PSU, but without a spare I can't tell without breaking out a multimeter I think. I'll worry about that one later until I fix the IIes.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

What are you using for a monitor? Many newer flat screen sets don't like the video output of the Apple. Try it with an older set with a video input and see if the video will sync up.

Good luck,

Dick Stachowiak

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

I would suggest the first thing you do is take them apart and give them a bath... (no, not the power supply.)
Dry them thoroughly before testing again.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Hi and welcome!

I suggest you try a monitor that is used for video monitoring. You can pick these up for a song on eBay.

The one I use on my Apple II is a JVC TM-R9U. Its relatively compact, has newer electronics than those you typically find for old computer monitors, is COLOR and has a button to make it display black & white or color - so no more "bleed" when looking at text on a color monitor.

I got mine for like $50.00 plus shipping and I love it!

Best of luck!!

ps: This works for a composite monitor, not sure of what a IIC wants...

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

As far as the IIe's, no beep or character display can indicate the 6502 processor is not executing instructions. Of course, verify you have power supply voltages but then try reseating the socketed chips by just lifting them out part way and pushing them in firmly, especially the larger chips. I wouldn't think speakers on both units are bad. Someone just recently restored their sound by reseating UE5 the IOU chip. A non-functioning IOU chip could take down your video generation also. Keep us updated.

Larry G

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Hi all,

Thanks for the responses.
I have tried plugging this into a real Apple monitor. (A tiny green screen one which you can pick up from the top side.)
The result is the same whether I plug it into a TV or a monitor.

If I can figure out how to upload pictures to the forum, I'll post what it looks like.

Yes... cleaning the board with isopropyl alcohol and wiping inside the case is on the to-do list. I reckon some corrosion has affected the board, but will try reseating the chips.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Take a photo of the motherboard and the screen and post it. is the easiest way for people to give you a better idea of what is wrong.
Cheers
Jav

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Neo-Rio, go back to your original post and edit it. At the bottom will be an option for "File Attachments" you can upload photos to your original post.
Zan

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Careful with the isopropyl alcohol - it can remove date stamps, etc.

Jennifer

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

I recommend:

1) remove the motherboard from the case and one-by-one fully pull out & reinsert each IC (not simply pressing/wiggling in the socket to reseat)
2) reinstall motherboard and check

If problem persists:

3) remove motherboard, pull ALL ICs at once and set them aside (keeping them organized!)
4) wash the unpopulated motherboard with a nice strong stream of water (a garden hose works wonders...blast the grime off!)
5) "fling" off excess water vigorously from board (swinging it with two hands gets most off)
6) set aside in a warm dry place for 24 hrs to dry completely
7) reinsert ICs and check

If your boards are as filthy as you describe, a thorough cleaning is a good starting point before you go believing bad chip(s) must be the problem.

Good luck!
Howie

Here is a link to a couple photos showing an Apple II board that I cleaned in this way to restore its function:
http://s948.photobucket.com/user/epoxy2600/library/Apple%20II%20motherboard%20washing

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

OK, I added a picture. Hopefully this can help diagnose the problem.

Will clean up the motherboard and post my findings after that

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Hi...

I recomment to use disttiled water (as a last washing step) after cleaning the board with normal water... just to prevent calcium deposit.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Found some time to have a look at the Apple.

How does one get the power connector off the motherboard? I can't seem to pry it off with my hands. I'm not even sure which side of the plugs I should be pulling at. Do I need pliers?

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Neo-Rio wrote:
Found some time to have a look at the Apple.

How does one get the power connector off the motherboard? I can't seem to pry it off with my hands. I'm not even sure which side of the plugs I should be pulling at. Do I need pliers?

Put pressure on the middle of the connector, (the left and right side), and pull.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Ok, I got it off with a bit of help from a screwdriver to push back the plastic bits trapping the plug on either side.

I don't know about washing the entire board given that this Apple II has non-socketed ICs on it. I suppose I could wash it all down anyway. It's not like it's currently working anyhow.

Also, is there any good guide for cleaning the Apple II keyboards?

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

What I did to clean one of my motherboards was to get a paintbrush and put a little bit of 91% isopropyl alcohol on it and used that to clean the motherboard. One of the things I do is put the alcohol in a spray bottle and use it as a cleaner that way. The high alcohol content will evaporate quickly leaving very little water. This way there is not much of a possibility to damage the motherboard.

As for the keyboards, I use a keycap puller and then use the brush and alcohol again.

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

insanitor wrote:
What I did to clean one of my motherboards was to get a paintbrush and put a little bit of 91% isopropyl alcohol on it and used that to clean the motherboard. One of the things I do is put the alcohol in a spray bottle and use it as a cleaner that way. The high alcohol content will evaporate quickly leaving very little water. This way there is not much of a possibility to damage the motherboard.

As for the keyboards, I use a keycap puller and then use the brush and alcohol again.

The Alcohol evaporates fairly quickly, since its Boiling Point is lower than Water, but the Water will evaporate too..

Water is not so much the Issue, it's the Minerals in the Water... De-Ionized or Distilled Water has neither.. Isopropyl Alcohol ( with a little water ) shouldn't have any minerals either...

I have an Apple ][+ Board, ( actually it's a Rev-01 Board, but came to me in a ][+ ), that had what looked like Rodent Urine on it.. I did some studying on the Internet, and then soaked it for a few hours in Distilled Water, dumped the water, flushed with more Distilled Water, and then soaked it again for a few hours.. Then Dried in a Convection Oven at 170 for a few hours.. The board is fantastically clean, and Urine has a lot of minerals in it, so the reduction of contaminants on the Board have been reduced tremendously if not entirely...

I still need a few parts to get it potential operational..

MarkO

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

I've added more pictures.

So I pulled out all the socketed ICs and then hosed the board down and let it to dry in the sun for a day.
It came up looking much much better and cleaner.
Then I reinserted all the socketed ICs.

In any case, on powering back up again, I get a similar looking screen full of bars. Looks a bit different to the first time.
I also tested the color/mono switch and that seemed to work. I took a pic of the output with the color switched on (i think). It looks a bit green.
What I did notice is that flicking on and off a bit quickly leaves some blocks on the screen... an they only disappear when I leave the power off for a long time.

So clearly, something on the motherboard is likely dead and now I have to find out what it is, and if there are replacements.

Looking at the ICs, the 6502 seems to have rusty-looking legs, (as do some other pins on other ICs.)
I had a spare 6502 coming from a Commodore 1541 disk drive that I swapped out with it, but there was no change to the Apple II.
I had a chuckle because it's somewhat heresy to have a MOS 6502 in the Apple II, he he he, but it is in better physical condition.
That rules out the CPU having problems on the Apple II.
(and the 1541 works just fine with the Apple II's 6502 as well)

A guide said if it's not the CPU, then the EF ROM could be it. I tested the theory by pulling out the EF ROM and powering on the Apple II again.
No change from the glitched screen.
So perhaps this is a candidate for replacement.... just no idea where to get one to test.
If it's just a ROM, can I burn an EEPROM?

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Re: Newbie gets broken Apple ][es

Haha... managed to fix the motherboard.

Turns out it was the RAM... and four of the RAM ICs had blown.
I took a while to nail down which of the four they were, but replacing the broken RAM with RAM from an old model Commodore 64 solved the problem.

Just got to get the disk drives working now...

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