Franklin Ace-1000 Beeps (sometimes) with a Garbage Screen

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Franklin Ace-1000 Beeps (sometimes) with a Garbage Screen

Just picked up a Franklin ACE 1000 and I have an issue.  The computer powers with a screen full of garbage (various random characters, many inverted, with a few random solid and checkered blocks mixed in), and will beep on power-up most of the time (every so often it's silent).  Usually hitting reset will cause it to beep, and typically change the garbage on screen (fewer characters, or more spaces, lots of exclamation points).  

 

So far I haven't done much to it.  Cleaned it out.  Removed something like a dozen acorns from inside.  I didn't see or smell any evidence of something living in there, and some of the actors were too large to fit through the slots in the back.  I can only conclude that someone did that intentionally.  I just can't figure out why.  I also opened the PSU to check the REFAs and tested the voltages (they seem good).  Removed the two cards (a Microtek parallel printer card and a Franklin disk controller).  I should note that with the disk controller installed, there is no beep at all, and the garbage on the screen consists of blocks and patterns.  I got a similar result out of an Apple ROM card with Integer BASIC.  

 

That's about it.  Beyond that, I really don't know what I'm doing with this.  While I do own several Apple IIs, up till this week, the oldest was a //e, which is a very different animal (even if largely compatible).  I now have an Apple ][ Plus as well, but currently it's in worse shape as it neither beeps nor gives a picture.  I may post about that later if replacing the 74S86 doesn't help.  For now, I've been going through Sam's Troubleshooting guide (how I knew about the 74S86), but I'm not sure how much of this will translate?  Does anyone know of a troubleshooting guide specifically for the Franklin?  Or have some idea where I should be looking?  Any help would be appreciated.

 

Below is a photo of the motherboard.  There's a strange jumper wire that runs from the IC at B12 all the way to R62 [missing] at A14.  I'm not sure if that's normal or not.  Also, there are two screenshots, the first is of the initial power-up, the second is after I hit reset.  

 

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Perhaps RAM problem

I experienced something very similar recently. It turned out to be a bad RAM chip.

Try swapping ram in the C row first.

Try swap one at a time with one from D row.

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Thanks!  The machine booted

Thanks!  The machine booted after swapping the first chip!  Then, after repeated testing, it went right back to what it was doing before.  Weirdly, the first chip I swapped looked to be Apple-branded.  Don't know if this is important, but all the RAM chips are ceramic cases, and the one at F6 is soldered to the board.  It's literally the only IC that is (has me wondering about the sockets).  I ended up swapping every chip with the first row (except the one soldered into F6 obviously) with no success.  

So at this point, this has become a tale of two computers.  Not making any progress with the RAM, I tried swapping chips between the Apple ][ Plus and the Franklin, trying to see if the no video/no beep would follow a damaged chip.  I ended up swapping the 74S86 (B2), and transplanting (as several of the legs from the Frankin ICs snapped right off as soon as they left the sockets) the 74S175 (B1), 74LS153 (C1), 74S195 (C2), with no change in the Franklin's behavior.  (Side note, I knew this thing was a clone, but I had no idea just how much of it was copy and past.)  At this point, according to the Sam's guide, IC failure is not my ][ Plus's problem.  I still have to get replacements for B1, C1, and C2 anyway as I have two computers that need them, and now only enough chips for one.  

 

I suppose I'll try swapping the RAM from the ][ Plus to the Franklin?  I still don't know if that bodge wire on the Franklin board is normal or not, but it doesn't seem to be interfering with operation, so I guess I'll leave it.  Also, now I know that the keyboard is nonresponsive.  So progress!  Still, if anyone has any ideas...

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There could be more then one fault

1. If the ram in C row (address $0000-$1FFF) is bad the machine can't boot or work properly.

Particularly the zero page ram ($0000-$00FF) must work as this is used for literally everything the rom code does.

2. Another ting you could look at is the electrolytic capacitors. If they are old I would replace them with new ones.

3. If you happen to have a chip tester which can test 74LS chips, do a test of all these ICs.

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1) Good to know!  But in case

1) Good to know!  But in case this comes up later, how would that translate to the Apple ][ Plus?  I row C on the Franklin the same as row C on the ][+?  Or does that translate on to row E?  

 

2)  I'll get on recapping the Franklin as soon as I can get the replacement caps.  They appear to be original to the board, and I'm guessing 39 counts as old.

 

3) Sadly, I don't have a chip tester.  Also, I'm really concerned about how brittle the logic chips have been on the Franklin.  Even the slightest sideways touch to the ones I removed caused the legs to fall off.  The RAM isn't like that?

 

4) Question: Given the brittleness of the logic ICs, and the number of acorns I found inside, I'm guessing this machine hasn't been stored in the best of environments.  I'm wondering if there could be some oxidation (or even corrosion) on the sokets?  Would a little Deoxit in the RAM help?  I'm a little nervous about it because when I tried this on one of my older  //e's it practically killed the sockets, and it was a real pain to replace them.

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Your Franklin

seems to have 4 rows of 16K ram for a total of 64K ram by the looks of the main board. I'm guessing as I don't really know the Franklin.

1. The II+ only have 3 rows of 16K for a total of 48K ram and would need a 16K memory card to get 64K ram.

I'm guessing that row C+D+E is the same on both, and that row F ram on the Franklin is what the 16K card does on II+. Again just a guess.

(I made a typo, the 16K ram in C row is address range $0000-$3FFF)

 

2. 39 years is old and some of these capacitors just deteriorate with age.

 

3. If the machine has been stored under bad conditions then both ram and logic chips could be deteriorated over the years.

So all bets are off here.

 

4. Oxidation or corrosion could be there. And Deoxit or Contact Cleaner could help with that.

I have a few Apple II machines which I am restoring at the moment. I pull out the ICs and use Contact Cleaner in the sockets.

If that kills a socket, it won't be the contact cleaner but old age and improper storage, and the socket would need replacing anyway for proper operation.

I have however never seen a socket break when doing this on my machines.

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I've had a ][+ like that

I've had a ][+ like that before where all the IC legs were black and fall apart when you did anything with them.

 

It was very frustrating- you could get it to work for a bit, then it would fail again. It would not stay running. I gave up and eventually just replaced the board. I guess you could replace all the sockets and chips, but that is a heck of a lot more trouble than just getting another one. Franklins are somewhat more rare, though.

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I can't even begin to explain

I can't even begin to explain this, but it's working now!?!  At least as far as I can tell... Loads from disk, so that's a good sign.  I didn't do anything.  It just started behaving itself.  I'll probably recap it to be on the safe side.    Thanks for all of the help so far! :-)

 

 I still need to get the keyboard working to test it further (literally every fome pad has deteriorated.  Does anyone know the best place to get replacements?

 

 

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 The garbage screen is back,

 The garbage screen is back, and I still don't know why??? 

 

I've tried every socketed RAM chip on the board in an Apple ][ Plus and every chip tested good.  So... not the RAM?  There were several ICs with corroded legs that I replaced, but there has been no change in behavior.  I'm starting to turn my attention to the sockets themselves.  I had sprayed them all with contact cleaner before it came back to life, but maybe there's some oxidation or corrosion that I missed?  It would make sense if the chips were corroded that the sockets would be too, but the thing is, none of the RAM is corroded, only a handful of logic ICs.   I don't know.  It might explain why rearranging the RAM temporarily brought the computer back to life? Any suggestions?

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Sometimes

chips can be bad, but working some of the time and other times they give out bad signals.

This is described in this recent post by Mike:

https://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-plus-glitches-also-diagnostic-software-recommendations

Don't know if that is what you have, but it's a posiility.

 

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tolderlund wrote:chips can be
tolderlund wrote:

chips can be bad, but working some of the time and other times they give out bad signals.

This is described in this recent post by Mike:

https://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-plus-glitches-also-diagnostic-software-recommendations

Don't know if that is what you h

I suppose it's possible, and thanks for the reply, but it's going to have to wait.  I'm pretty sure that my current problem is that the power supply just blew.  Spitting smoke and everything.  I had just replaced the 74LS02 at A14 and the 74LS27 (more corroded legs), powered it up, and nothing!  No video.  No beep.  So I checked the voltages.  +5 and +12 seemed fine, but the -5v was completely gone.  I was still probing the board when POP!  Smoke, and...  yes it wass one of the RIFAs.  

 

The good news is that none of the electrolytics seem to be boldging, but I will probably be testing them out of circut just to be safe.

 

Interestingly, the post you linked is for my Apple ][ Plus!  Good news is that it is finally working reliably.  The issue appeared to be the 9334 at F14.

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FWIW,  just pulled the

FWIW,  just pulled the trigger on an Ace 1200 minus one of the floppy drives and a Franklin floppy drive on eBay...

 

Always liked the Franklins and wanted one.  A friend of mine had an Ace 1000 back when I was in high school.  I had also wanted a Basis 108, but I got one of those from someone on here a while back.  It is awesome these days to be able to easily afford stuff that was only dreams back in the day.

 

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Ooooo, you have the ACE1000

Ooooo, you have the ACE1000 mono board, possibly with a couple of traces cut and an extra coil/capacitor wired in somewhere to get color.

There are no known dumps of that particular character generator ROM at A6.  Would you be willing to read it out and send it along?  I'll add it to the MAME ACE1000 romset for future preservation.

And ... after you get the PSU issue sorted, you're probably looking at dodgy IC socket connections.  Both of my ACE1000s had seriously gunky sockets; I pulled all ICs, cleaned the sockets with DeOxit, and things cleared up.

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cryu wrote:Ooooo, you have
cryu wrote:

Ooooo, you have the ACE1000 mono board, possibly with a couple of traces cut and an extra coil/capacitor wired in somewhere to get color.

There are no known dumps of that particular character generator ROM at A6.  Would you be willing to read it out and send it along?  I'll add it to the MAME ACE1000 romset for future preservation.

And ... after you get the PSU issue sorted, you're probably looking at dodgy IC socket connections.  Both of my ACE1000s had seriously gunky sockets; I pulled all ICs, cleaned the sockets with DeOxit, and things cleared up.

Sadly, I don't have the equipment to read out or copy ROMs at the moment.  

 

I actually tried DeOxit before the PSU blew.  Didn't help.  The thing wasn't stored in very good conditions, so it's possible that some of the sockets themselves are bad?

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Continuity
DistantStar001 wrote:
The thing wasn't stored in very good conditions, so it's possible that some of the sockets themselves are bad?

 

What about the traces on the board? And soldier joints?

Have you tried to measure continuity between the various socket pins to where they are supposed to go?

That could reveal bad sockets.

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Oh, that's too bad.  You

Oh, that's too bad.  You might want to consider picking up a cheap TL-866II EPROM burner.  They go for about forty bucks on eBay, and can also test many 74xx-series chips.

 

(I used to have a spare TL-866II, and I'd offer it to you, but unfortuately I loaned it to another Applefritter member who subsequently disappeared.  So it goes :( )

 

You mentioned earlier that you were using a SAMS manual to troubleshoot, but implied that you were using the Apple ][+ manual.  SAMS has an ACE1000-specific manual, and I found it very useful to repair my units (and figure out how a previous owner had hacked a color circuit into the mono board).  They're selling the PDF at https://www.samswebsite.com/en/photofact/details/index/id/52853

 

I concur with @tolderlund -- best thing to do right now is tone out the sockets with a continuity tester.  The schematic in the SAMS PDF will really help with that -- the ACE1000 is 90% the same as the ][+, but that last 10% (mostly in the bus timing circuit) is pretty hard to nail down if you're working from the wrong circuit diagram.

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cryu wrote:Oh, that's too bad
cryu wrote:

Oh, that's too bad.  You might want to consider picking up a cheap TL-866II EPROM burner.  They go for about forty bucks on eBay, and can also test many 74xx-series chips.

 

(I used to have a spare TL-866II, and I'd offer it to you, but unfortuately I loaned it to another Applefritter member who subsequently disappeared.  So it goes :( )

 

You mentioned earlier that you were using a SAMS manual to troubleshoot, but implied that you were using the Apple ][+ manual.  SAMS has an ACE1000-specific manual, and I found it very useful to repair my units (and figure out how a previous owner had hacked a color circuit into the mono board).  They're selling the PDF at https://www.samswebsite.com/en/photofact/details/index/id/52853 

 

I was actually working from the troubleshooting guide for both the ][+ and //e (the one with the dartboard on the cover).  For the most part, it's been helpful, but you're right, there are some things that don't translate.  Also, the keyboard advice seemed to be limited to repace three ICs, then if that doesn't work, replace the entire keyboard, encoder and all.  Easier said than done these days.   

At this point, I've managed to get all four voltage lines working, but the board is no longer booting (no beep no video).  The power light on the keyboard comes on, and (now that I replaced all the little foam/foil dots) the caps lock light works as well.  All the voltages seem right on the board.  Although, when I test the 5v and 12v lines without a load, the 12v fluctuates between 5v and 7v and the 5v won't read at all?  For a while I was having the opposite problem with the -12 and -5v lines.  They were fine with no load, but completely disappeared when plugged into the board?  Now everything seems to be good. 

I'll admit that I have yet to replace the filter caps [RIFAs].  Still, I didn't think their absence should effect output?

 

Also thanks for the link to the Sam's Poto guide!  I've been looking for this one.

 

 

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The ACE1000 power supply does

The ACE1000 power supply does not work well without a load.  When I recapped the PSU on my first unit, I thought that I had somehow killed it because it kept clicking off after a few seconds.  I attached a couple of power resistors to simulate load, and the voltages then measured correctly.

 

I honestly don't know what would happen if those caps are missing.  I have a very dim memory of someone saying that the RIFAs should be bypassed in a certain way, but I can't find the reference right now.

 

I think (although I have not tried) that the ReactiveMicro PSU will work fine on the ACE1000, if you want to completely eliminate power issues going forward.

 

Your power supply problem might have fried your board.  Page 14 of the SAMS manual has a troubleshooting checklist; after checking voltages and power light, the next on the list is CPU/RAM/ROM.  You'll need a logic probe or 'scope.

 

Good luck :)

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There is no special "bypass"

There is no special "bypass" required for the (RIFA) RFI capacitors. The power supply will work perfectly without them. Their only job is compliance with electromagnetic emissions rules.

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Yeah, that's why I put the

Yeah, that's why I put the "very dim memory" disclaimer in there.

 

While I was Googling for information on ACE1000 repair, I stumbled across a random guy's blog post that said that he'd removed those capacitors, and needed to jumper something to keep the PSU alive after that.  I didn't bookmark the page and can't find it now. 

 

ACE1000-specific technical documentation like this that still exists is scattered all over the place; when I get a bit more spare time, I'll post the bits that I've found and the notes that I took while repairing my units on my 'blog.  Things like "how to properly disable the top 16k to use a Saturn card", "how to turn a mono board into a color board by cutting two traces and adding two components", "why doesn't the FloppyEmu work in an ACE1000 with an Apple Disk][ controller", stuff like that.

 

Anyway, thanks for setting the record straight.  Much appreciated.

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robespierre wrote:There is no
robespierre wrote:

There is no special "bypass" required for the (RIFA) RFI capacitors. The power supply will work perfectly without them. Their only job is compliance with electromagnetic emissions rules.

Then do they need to be replaced?  Or am I better off without them?

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DistantStar001 wrote:There is
DistantStar001 wrote:
There is no special "bypass" required for the (RIFA) RFI capacitors. The power supply will work perfectly without them. Their only job is compliance with electromagnetic emissions rules.

Then do they need to be replaced?  Or am I better off without them?

Without them, you may be feeding noise back into the power cable, and some of that may get radiated. So it can cause interference in other equipment and especially with receiving some radio signals.

It's good practice to replace them with appropriately safety-rated capacitors. They don't need to be the same RIFA series; polyester film caps are more reliable.

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robespierre wrote
robespierre wrote:
DistantStar001 wrote:
There is no special "bypass" required for the (RIFA) RFI capacitors. The power supply will work perfectly without them. Their only job is compliance with electromagnetic emissions rules.

Then do they need to be replaced?  Or am I better off without them?

Without them, you may be feeding noise back into the power cable, and some of that may get radiated. So it can cause interference in other equipment and especially with receiving some radio signals.

It's good practice to replace them with appropriately safety-rated capacitors. They don't need to be the same RIFA series; polyester film caps are more reliable.

Thanks.  I replaced all the caps, and am getting good voltages on all rails.  Still getting no beep or video, but at least it's a start.

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Possibly fixed!  The 74LS195

Possibly fixed! The 74LS195 at C2 was in backward and I didn't notice it. Swapped it out (as turning it around revealed that it was fried) and so far the computer has come back to life! Also., the keyboard seems to be fully functional as well!

 

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Congratulations!

Congratulations!

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