Hey Apple II forensics geniuses, help me with this one.
I have an Apple II, later serial, I believe. Is this combination of parts familiar to any of you?
FIrst, the front view, note the raised power light:
Next, the rear view:
Interesting, I've never seen a white toggle power button before. Replaced at some point, do you think?
Here's a close up:
Of course, the serial number, 32844:
Now, let's open it up.
Inside the case lid, the plastic teeth, were these common on older lids?
Close up of the slots:
The speaker, under the keyboard:
The power supply:
...and the on-board hand written number, not sure about this:
...it also came with this GE tape recorder, which may be common but I love:
and last but not least, some cards. These seem pretty old. Can someone tell me what the white card is?
So what do I have here, is this a Frankenstein or do you guys think this is how it was delivered?
I'd first say you have a nice Rev 4 Apple II hybrid. I'm not 100% sure but I think the power supply and the keyboard are from the same machine, at least the serial number on the power supply is plausible to be a raised key. I don't think they belong on that specific machine though, the base plate is 32844 and by then I think the raised key is gone and they used a daughter board datanetics keyboard. The toggle switch on the supply is wrong. Either Mike Willegal or I can dig up the part number for the correct replacement. I'll look later today. One more thing, the foam around the speaker from the pic looks wrong. You can use a round cookie cutter and make a new one. If the speaker can't be removed without damage, you can make a slice in one side of the newly cut out circular foam and slip it around. Use contact cement to glue it down to the baseplate. (Note: Early Apple II had no foam)
So I'm pretty sure that's not how the machine that matches your baseplate left the factory. You have a choice, keep an eye out for the same power supply but with around 32844 serial number, and non raised power indicator keyboard (still datanetics, but separate encoder board) that match your machines serial number and then sell the old parts which BTW are pretty much in demand, or just enjoy the machine as is. Since it's not a rev-0, I'd enjoy it as it is... Or even better when Mike Willegal makes Rev-0 replica motherboards again, you have an awesome base machine for that.
i just make few remarks due to fact that other experts here will have more knowledge to explain things...
first remark: due to fact that 1st row of RAM is populated with ceramic chips i would assume this apple to be first
placed in the store with only 16 kB from factory and later upgraded at the Applestore to 48 kB with the
NEC chips.... that chips have been common in the market in the late 78 till beginning 80.
second remark is to the switch at the powersupply.... this kind was not common... it seems this might have been replaced by later repair....
the 3rd remark is to the "mystery card" and i added some remarks to detailpicture extracted from your picture:
there are some points remarkable to the card:
due to the fact that there is no kind of I/O port availiable ( that would require several plugin pins )
we can assume this card not to be used as interface to any kind of external peripherial ( like printercard displayed
besides of this card ) so it´s for sure no serialcard or any kind of similar card.
Remaining the the fact that it´s only use is internal there are only few options left:
CPU card can be excluded because no CPU is present on the card....
so there only remain few options left:
a kind of languagecard ( not common with the usually used ones )
or a clock card.....
identification is quite difficult, because the chips have been "brushed off" so no labels can be read...
any how - this reduces the possibilities and by chipsize and by the traces leading to the chips some guesses are possible. I´ve added that guesses to the picture... unless someone else has such kind of "homebrew prototype"
the final purpose might be detected by conclusion from testing system with testdisk....
If the somputer is powered up and this card is in slot 0 and if the RAMtests detect 64 kB it will be a RAMcard with static RAM replacing the language card.... if this card replaces the language card it would not require the commonly used cable to the mainboard because with static RAM the refeshsignals won´t be required, which ussually have been taken by such cable from mainboard.
if only 48 kB are detected by the diagnostic software, you may assume it to be a kind of very early clockcard....
If better picture is availiable from reading of the inserted ROMs on mainboard further information may be provided
- up till now you may assume it to be a Apple II not Apple II+ ( it has only 4 ROM - thats normal to the computers with Integer ROMs. That also corresponds with the fact that it still contains the RAMsize configurationblocks enabling the choice between 4 kB chips and 16 kB chips. Later versions didn´t have that configuration option anymore.
It looks like a rev 4 motherboard because while it has the blocks they appear soldered in. The next rev removes the blocks entirely and the previous rev blocks were removable in IC sockets.
just as i mentioned above .... there are several guys here that have far more expertise with the different
kinds of revisions... like you...
i just spotted the points that i recognized like the not fitting switch at the powersupply and the fact of the additional RAM populated later..
- therefor in major part i explained my 5 cents to the "mystery card".... thats topic i am more familiar with ....
i´m curious what will be commented in the following posts....
probablky if that card is tested we will see if it could be identified to be a staticRAM card....
that would be anyhow a very uncommon thing.... though i guess it to be rather more a clock card...
maybe it could even be something like a bifunctional card with RAM and clock.... at least i haven´t seen such a card ever before... so it seems that such cards have only been sold over the pond in the USA....
I am incline to think the chips are not RAM, since most of the data lines on the card edge are not connected. Judging from the paranoia demonstrated, the card is probably some type of hardware dongle for very expensive software package.
how do you recognize the missing datalines without any view to solderside where the datalines are located...?
this seems to me to be a very "quickshot" of guess....
the data lines on the card edge are on the component side. there are no through holes leading from them to the solder side. so they're unconnected.
do i realy have to put up here a picture of the pinout at the slots to show thats wrong ???
at componentside you may only see the adressinglines at the slot connectors
and unless viewing the solderside you can´t state anything about the routing at the solderside....
better review slotpinout before continueing here argumentation...
... - but hello , nice to see you here again....
yes, please do!
actually I got the bus pin out backwards. sorry.
O.K. i´´vs marked the solderingside and the componentside....:
so after this pic is viewed it´s clear DATAlines are definitly at solderside !
only update after review of the connector... - its impossible that the card is replacement to language card,
because R/W line is left without connection - but that line would be requested for replacing languagecard function...
so i remain at the guess of that card to be a clockcard...
and the guess on donglecard can be rejected too... this kind of protection became common with IBM PC´s....
i´ve never heard of that protection system used in Apple II series....
In the meantime after quite tough research this statement must be corrected.
This card is in fact a dongle card, allthough i havn´t been able to research any software that used it.
It was one of the very first dongle cards in market...
Ok, I'm just going to say, I LOVE THIS FORUM. You guys are the best.
That's confirming my suspicions. I've read conflicting views on the raised key EOL timing on the serials, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case. It sounds like the raised key was added, possibly the power supply swapped at some point. What about the case itself, are there any clues on the case besides the sticker?
I would like to swap that white toggle, assuming it's white because of a repair. It's not necessarily my intent to create a perfect Rev-0, though, I just want to enjoy it. If you can help me figure out what part I need, that would be great. If it makes sense to replace part by part until the whole thing is actually close to Rev-0, then I suppose a toggle versus a rocker is necessary, right? What is the correlation between the raised power light, power supply and toggle/rocker?
When you say early Apple II, do you mean only Rev-0? Any idea when foam was introduced? (Were there ever raised power key with speaker foam?) My gut said that foam looked way too good for such an old machine, so that's why I took the photo. Good catch. I don't suppose you know of any photos of how that foam should look?
My instincts are to make this machine the latest rev that includes the raised power key. If that's Rev-0 only, then yes, I'll slowly start replacing the parts to make it as close to a true Rev-0 that I can.
Just so I understand this, am I right in saying that there is no way to correlate the penciled-in date with the rev of the board? It sounds like you're saying Rev-3 had removable blocks, this one has soldered blocks, hence Rev-4, but what exactly do you mean by blocks?
When I get home from work, I'll take a much cleaner photo of the front and back of the board. Now you've got me curious!
when Corey talks about blocks he´s explaining what i called the conguration blocks...
that blocks have been in earlier revisions removable and offered the option to flip around 180 degrees and the requiring 4096 RAM chips assuming to 4 kB per ROW.
This version the configuration blocks are soldered so the option to use other RAM than 4116 chips had gone....
but due to missing alternate new design of the board the blocks have been soldered - but the 4096 chips have not been used anymore...
next revision of the board that configurationblocks have been left away by design of the board...
that corelated in those days with the fact, that users of course were hunting for more availiable RAMspace and therefor the chips being manufactured in larger amounts and prices for that chips dropping to affordable prices....
I think the foam is original. The raised power light on the keyboard is valid for a machine made in mid-79, as early IIplus machines still had them. You can look at the bottom of the keyboard for a manufacturing date stamp, which should be pretty close to the date on the motherboard. I think that motherboards from that period should be rev 3. Rev 3's also had a layout error, which was fixed at the factory with a jumper wire which can be seen on the back of the board. You can also find the revision by removing the 6502. It is marked on the PCB beneath the 6502. The power supply serial number is too low for the machine and probably has had the switch replaced. Those particular switches failed pretty frequently.
I'll pull the 6502 (or look at the bottom of the board) and take some photos tonight. I'll also look for the machine stamp date and post the photos. Mike, it sounds like you think it may be possible that the only swapped element is the power supply itself, as well as the switch in the power supply, correct? This is fun.
the power supply might have date stamp underneath; my 1979 unit with rocker switch does.
It sounds like pretty much everyone here is in agreement that the power supply doesn't match the rest of the system. I'll get more data for forensics later.
This "mystery card" is an"ACM-1000 card", made by Darrell's Appleware.
You can CLEARLY see the chip ID's on FleaBay by searching item number 380662549866.
You can buy a clean one while your at it if you actually value this thing.
I haven't looked up the card function yet but it appears to be either a software key,
a random number generator or someone else's guess. Definitely not memory.
Key to the card function might be identified with the Signetics IC C28611M.
I couldn't find it in a quick search. Enjoy!
Here's some additional data, folks:
First, I removed the power supply. This was the bottom, April 11, 1979, and the number 31:
Next, I managed to snap a photo of a stamp and date on the bottom of the keyboard, April 19, 1979:
Underneath the CPU is the code number 820-0001-04:
I found this sticker on the inside of the case:
...and a close up of the speaker and it's rectangular foam. Up close, while intact, the foam looks ancient:
and finally, a close up of the front and back of the "mystery card," which does appear to be an ASM-1000, DAW (Darrell's Appleware):
I looked into taking the motherboard out, but it was stubborn and I didn't want to force anything.
Any new views on the dating of the machine?
Edit: The code under the CPU would appear to indicate it is a Revision 3 motherboard. How apropos... You can find the details here:
Apple II Board Revision Notes
From the angle of the pics on top, the memory blocks look soldered in to me, it could be just the angle though. Can you confirm they look like they are sitting in a socket. If they aren't and are soldered to the motherboard, that would be very very interesting. It would mean that Apple started not using the socket sometime in the Rev 3 time frame since you are saying your marking match the Rev-3.
Also unless someone here can contradict me, that foam doesn't look like the original foam. It should be round and not protrude the speaker. It also should be grey black.
The keyboard is really the big question, if it is original, it is the latest raised key serial number I have seen as I have seen lower serial numbers with the non-raised daughter board Datanetics that appear original.
I will PM you the part number for the switch and where to get one.
excuse to you - refering to your guess at post #5 is correct. It´s definitly a dongle card.
i updated that statement after further research in posting #10.
there still is the quetion remaining: if the configurationblocks are soldered or pluged in a socket.
just another remark besides...
Nowadays it´s realy nearly impossible to have a "out of the box like" Apple II. You always should bear in mind that
nearly every Apple II went throughout the last 30 years at least once a service due to at least one repair or update...
This caused in each case some kind of "frankensteining" because the guys at the service in those days targeted for "fast repair" and not aiming for "keeping authentic".... they just took of the shelf parts they knew to be working ( sometimes just extracted before - from another repair ) and used it in the current repair....
This often caused "mixing" of revisions... often they had a computer besides, that was left ( due to repaitbill amounting too high at the opinion of the customer ) and then used it for spareparts at other computers till it was stripped off entirely...
this makes it even more difficult to decide if some part has been "like original out of the box"...
the "references" used for that determination nowadays also suffer sometimes from such procedures and therefor might
lead to doubtful conclusions...
I'm not sure about that link, I think it's wrong. I'm nearly certain your motherboard is a rev 4.
Here's a pic of a really late model rev 4:
Notice it has black style slots, while still retaining the 16k memory selector blocks. It also says rev 4 between slots 4 & 5.
According to the website provided a motherboard like the one in the link would not even exist.
I've always been told that when the ram selector blocks are soldered in (not socketed), and "REV" is printed between slot 4 & 5, that it is a rev 4. Also, the last digit in 820-0001-0* under the processor tells you which revision it is: 820-0001-04.
Also the website says "There never was a part number 820-0001-03".
By the way, there's a guy on line that has a fully documented original Apple II that he has owned since new.
His bottom serial # is: 35265. His computer has the exact same motherboard as yours. More than likely your motherboard is original to the computer.
Just out of curiosity, how does it work?
It looks soldered to me. Here is the 16k Memory Select from a closer, lower angle:
Does that help?
Well, it's somewhat irrelevant... It makes perfect sense to me that it's a Rev4, I think the only argument is whether or not those Rev3's were common or not, or if, in fact, they existed. I think it's a little weird in that photo that the "3" in the revision number is a different font size than the rest of the code, unlike photos of the other codes, but either way, my board is a "4th revision" and it's all semantics.
My belief after weighing all this evidence is that the motherboard, keyboard, power supply and case are probably originally together, a Rev4 board. The raised power key is suspicious, but the keyboard date does match the rest. I don't think it's crazy to assume a Rev4 was issued in April of 1979, so nothing is really out of the ordinary except that power key and white power toggle. Do you guys agree?
Well guys, as this is my first early Apple II, before I start inserting cards, any quick tests I can perform? This is what I get when it turns on:
What would be the first thing you guys recommend I test with it?
i agree with all conclusions... the configuration blocks are soldered....
as far as the monitor prompt is where you end up, that would be correct if no disk II interface is availiable, due to
fact that it´s an Integer machine and therefor does not have the autostart ROM. so checking functions would be next:
1. checking for stable voltages with DMM
2. enter C030G followed by return should make the speaker click
3. power down -
insert ( known working ) disk II interface card with DISK II connected in slot 6 with DOS 3.2 Master inserted.
4. power up
the DISK II should tart reading ( booting ) from disk and stop at Prompt.
alternate if monitor star prompt apears you may enter command C600G at promt followed by return
and by that making another attempt to boot from disk.
5. Insert Apple Dealers Disk and enter PR#6 ( if prompt is ] ) otherwise enter C600G ( if promt is * ) followed by
6. Start tests from Apple Dealers Disk...
7. If Tests perform O.K. then power down and insert languagecard ( 16 kB card in slot 0 ) and then repeat 5. and 6.
8. then try to boot proDOS disk....
next step would be to power down - insert 80 col card and then power up again - and test that card by entering
PR#3 and testing all keyboardswitches again...for correct display in 80 col mode....
then add 2nd DISK II to controller ( of course in powered off mode ) and after power up again and short test of second drive try booting UCSD pascal....
then you may add step by step further cards ( printercard with printer to slot 1 ) testing printout of a catalog of DOS DISK...
next would be to insert Serial card in slot 2 and test function with modem or ADT.
then is availiable insert Z80 card in slot 4 or 5 and try startup of CPM 2.20b
then you may proceed with other cards like RAMcards ( Saturn 128 kB or slinky 1 MB card )
CFFA or SCSI or alternate harddisk systems
I think we were pretty sure the motherboard went with the base plate. The question was what revision. It looked like a 4 to me from the first set if pics.
The reason I think we are suspicious about the keyboard is the power supply is from an earlier machine based on it's serial number. So the keyboard is questionable. Actually doesn't serial number 35265 have the non raised key datanetics with a daughter board?
Well - as explained in earlier posting - we should not fix final statement on one single component.
We should bear in mind that by repair - it might have happened that for example a faulty powersupply might have been replaced with powersupply having lower serialnumber from the schelf - resulting by exchange from other repair of older computer used for spareparts.....
I've had around 5 rev 3 motherboards and for some reason they all look like that.
I have a Rev 3 motherboard too
In a II plus with motherboard date code 7905 and 16k memory blocks that are NOT soldered.
See more pics in my book.
Yes, it does have a Datanetics keyboard (daughter board style). Personally I would prefer the key style keyboard, like the one that's already installed on his computer. It's one of the few defining differences between the II & II+ on the outside; besides the label.
The rev 3's exist, and probably around 10,000+ were made (anyone know actual figures?). I was letting you know that the site you posted had some untrue info, which is not irrelevant.
Since all the date codes have been in April 79'; Your computer may be all original. It might not be common to have a power key that late in the year, but who knows. They might have had an extra keyboard laying around, and just decided to use it. Or as someone else said it may have been swapped in from a repair. But still the date codes are very close.
One last thing; the power supply. It also has a very close date code of April 11, 79'. Which matches the rest of your computers date codes. But the top serial # is way off at 18775 as compared to your bottom tray serial # which is 32844.
What am I getting at you ask?
Check this out:
This is the same guy who has the 35265 serial # on the bottom of his computer, yet his power supply serial # is 54690.
So you would think the power supply is a replacement right? That's what I would say, but he has owned this computer since new, and it came like this from the factory.
So since your date codes match and since the power supply serial #'s are a bit iffy, I would say your power supply could be original to the computer.
If at all possible, I would try contacting the previous owners (unless that's not your thing). They could tell you what's been replaced if they still remember lol.
I understand what you are saying about replacement parts. But the thread's original intent I think was how original is this specific Apple II. So we know the supply is too early and the keyboard appears to be the same since a known one with about the same serial number that was owned since new has a different keyboard.
Hey I still have a rev-0 with a wrong serial number power supply... I'm always looking for a plausible one, but doesn't mean I love it less because the supply has a higher serial number
What do you mean? I'm hinting that the power supply may be original to the computer despite the serial # difference.. I'm basing that off the date code which is April 79 (which matches the rest of the date codes)
It's all in good fun either way.
But are you sure it wasn't upgraded at some point?
I think a large number of the IIs were upgraded over the years since most newer titles required autostart ROM and FP BASIC.
I'll run through those tests when I get a chance, thanks for the walkthrough! I believe I have examples of all that equipment so it should be straight forward.
My sense based on all this interesting data is that this Apple was assembled with these parts in April of 1979, but the inventory of parts used were somehow a bit older for the power supply and keyboard, maybe as refurbished equipment or for other reasons.
Here is the description from the owner, who is not original, it was acquired in an estate sale:
"It basically comes in original condition, with early revision of keyboard with raised "Power" light button, integer ROMs and silver-colored power supply. I acquired it together with another Macintosh 128K from the estate of an ex-Apple staff who worked for the company in late 70s and early 80s some years ago - though I have no way to prove this. It has been well kept in extremely clean and functional condition and it responded to multiple turning on or off without problem, even the sponge around the speaker did not rot away . All keyswitches work except a couple may give double characters and the unit responds to Reset when Shift-Reset are pressed. Instead of usual grey ceramic or plastic DRAM ICs normally seen in other Apple II, this one has the same u416pd used in the low serial units. What is also special about this unit is that the switch of the power supply is a white plastic toggle, unlike others, but I am not so sure how it exists like this. The two front corners show sign of use, as shown by the photos, maybe previous owner has extensively used it to write early programs or documentation or play games. Power cord will be included. I will also include the GE tape recorder which I acquired with this unit. NO documentation."
Obviously the sellers comments naturally are speculative at best, so my guess is that's the best data I'm going to get. It's also shipping from Hong Kong, so somehow it ended up out there.
Since the date codes match, it may be that units offered to employees used surplus parts, or that at some point it was repaired/upgraded and the inventory used for that was older. The matching date stamps aren't exactly Carbon-14 dating... Manufacturers may stamp those based on install date versus manufacture date. Still, the dates match, so my instinct here is that when whomever received this computer the first time, this is what he got. Probably the power supply switch broke and he had it repaired.
I love this computer! I've got a similar forensics test I'd like to perform on an Apple II+ I acquired that appears to be new in the box, found in a warehouse in Ireland...save that for another time.
Too bad, It's probably switched owners a lot if it ended up in Hong Kong! I was able to get a hold of the original owner with my Apple II; but I was lucky since I purchased it from the son of the original owner. So getting in contact with them was easy.
It's good to see someone else collecting whole early Apple II computers! Believe it or not a lot of II+'s are getting parted out right now.
I have a deep passion for these computers. I feel like they played a pivotal role getting me to where I am today. I'll share a brief story...
My son, when he was 11, we needed to homeschool him for one year, it's a long story. During that year, we were struggling with some cognitive issues and getting him to love learning. I decided to dedicate some time to computer science... While he was familiar with using computers (like every kid these days), there was little understanding of what went into making all of it possible.
I went into the garage, where I have collected many spare parts over the years. I took an old //e that was in horrible shape from one of the lots I used to rebuild them, and I disassembled everything, took everything apart.
I went into his room and emptied the parts on the table, and put the enclosure on the floor.
I said, "Here are the rules. You can ask me any question, but I won't tell you what to ask. If you can identify what each part does, like a puzzle, you might be able to put these pieces together, so ask. However, I won't give you that guidance unless you know what a part does. If at some point you get a working computer out of this, you can have unlimited screen time on it."
Slowly, over the course of a month, he learned each piece and what it did, and sure enough, there was this day when he hit the switch and a Disk ][ booted. I handed him a box of floppies and said "have at it." He learned BASIC after that, and still tinkers with it to this day.
A few weeks later, he's sitting in front of the iMac we have in our kitchen, and he turns to me and says, "So, Dad, I have a question. Doesn't this thing need to have a disk drive and motherboard? Where is it? I'm guessing it's stuffed inside this? And for that matter Dad, where is YouTube? Is it coming in through some kind of interface?"
I swear I nearly cried. He's been into it ever since. What was amazing about Apple IIs was how accessible and tangible they were, and some kids just learn better through touch and experience.