The Apple ][ of my eye

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binaryprose's picture
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The Apple ][ of my eye

Hi Guys,
way back in 1987 I was given an Apple ][

At the time did nothing with it and put it in my parents attic where it stayed until last week. I have a few question that I am hoping you can help me with.

1) What model do I have. I think is very early as it has the serial number

A2S1 - 3307

Any idea what I have?

2) What's the best way to test it, should I clean up the motherboard and vac out the power supply before I turn it on for the first time.

3) Can you recommend an modern monitors that should work with it?

Thanks in advance for your help

Regards
Steven

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Hello binaryprose,

first of all welcome to the community,
second - the picture is nice, but for correct identification 1 or 2 good pictures from inside with good lighting are required...
one of the reasons: in former days it was common that damaged motherboards have just been swapped by apple
service and only details and markings from inside from mainboard permit detailed judgement on the model....

third - of course a general cleaning with brush and vacuum cleaner is usefull before power on after such time...

forth - most modern monitors are not able to slow down sync that far ( 15 kHz )
thats in general only possible with old tube monitors.....
but if you have a TV-set with the capability to display UHF frequencies in the range from channel between
channel 33 up to channel 44 that´s good news... and depending from the location where you are living -
if that TV-set offers chance to select decoding by internal setup and choice of either NTSC or PAL it´s perfect
because you then can select correct decoder for your mainboard and then you may display the output of the Apple
on the TV-set.... You just have to find the best channel for display....
There are also several other options by hardware, if the TV-set has a SCART input and making an adaptor-cable...
the display won´t be perfect but it will be usable for the beginning.....

for testing puposes it would be useful to know about the availiable additional hardware:
do you have a disk contoller in the computer ?
do you have disk drives somewhere in that attic ? what kind of disk drives ?
Do you have some floppy disks availiable or a super serial card ?
Best would be to also add pictures of the internal interface cards inserted and any kind of other availiable
hardware.... the community would be supporting by identifying the items in the pictures...
testing is dependent to the availiable hardware...

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

binaryprose wrote:

3) Can you recommend an modern monitors that should work with it?

There are still many inexpensive (well under $100) LCD TVs available with composite video inputs. These make great monitors for retro computers like the Apple II series and many others.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Hi Steven

1)Judging from the single picture, you have an Apple II. Unfortunately, probably upgraded - the keyboard is not the correct one for that low serial number - it has to have the raised power light. So probably the motherboard is also upgraded (it should be rev.0).

2)If you can, I would recommend disconnecting the PSU from the motherboard, turn it on and live it for some time to work and then check the voltages.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

stefan88 wrote:
Hi Steven

1)Judging from the single picture, you have an Apple II. Unfortunately, probably upgraded - the keyboard is not the correct one for that low serial number - it has to have the raised power light. So probably the motherboard is also upgraded (it should be rev.0).

2)If you can, I would recommend disconnecting the PSU from the motherboard, turn it on and live it for some time to work and then check the voltages.

Giving such a recommendation, you shouldn´t forget to explain that such a PSU needs a load for correct function....
if you give recommendations it´s a good idea not to forget:
some are newbies, and some have forgotten facts over the decades....

speedyG

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

The problem is most modern TVs won't work right with an Apple II and if he still had the original Rev0 motherboard that is doubly true.

I have had very good success with Samsung TVs and I have had hit an miss on every other. That being said if you get a video modulator like a SupRmod or simply an external one then your chances of working with a modern TV go up exponentially. Not 100% but pretty darn good to be able to get a stable color image.

If your new to the hobby, where are you located? There may be a local member who can help you clean up the system or even a local group like MARCH we have on the east coast where there are workshops every few months to help you bring the machine to a 100% state.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Corey986 wrote:
The problem is most modern TVs won't work right with an Apple II and if he still had the original Rev0 motherboard that is doubly true.

Hmmm, was the composite video on those early Apples really that messed up? It's not like standard composite video voltage levels are that hard to produce. I was able to do it with an ATmega328 and 2 resistors.

My experience has been just the opposite. I have 4 modern LCD TVs with composite video inputs (Hisense, RCA, Sony and Viewsonic) and 4 different retro computer types with composite video outputs (OSI Superboard, TRS-80 COCO III, Apple IIe, and C64) and all 4 TVs work with all 4 computer types. I also have 2 analogue CRT TVs with composite video inputs (a Sony Wega and an Insignia) that work fine with all of the computers too, but they are hardly 'modern'.

Just to add to the mystery, The OSI Superboards, while they work perfectly with the TV's above, do not work with some old CRT monitors I have. Go figure.

Gee, that's too bad about the original Apple II. Such a shame, I got that 19" Hisense on sale at Wall-Mart for only $49. Maybe it's worth a try anyway?

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Hello again,
well while discussing the different isues with TV-sets....
just besides:
the primary question is to get up the computer at all and to test it....
i doubt that at the moment discussing issues about color capabilities is really relevant....
there are a bunch of other tasks to be solved before....

like what hardware is availiable and dependent to the answers is the member able to download testsoftware and transfer it to the Apple with ADT and if he can - by what options....

up till then i ( just by my own opinion ) believe, the last part of the discussion to be of far less priority
if he at least gets a monochrome display to view the results from testing and getting the machine up and running ?

the discussion about different brands and quality of display have been treated by a bunch of previous threads where you might spot him by leaving a link here and updating there in the former thread the updating info´s....
just for example:
http://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-ii-monitor-testing
http://www.applefritter.com/content/lcdvga-interface-apple-ii
http://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-e-display-pulsating
http://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-iie-enhanced-only-outputs-bw
http://www.applefritter.com/content/modern-flat-screen-monitor-apple-2-whats-best-way
http://www.applefritter.com/content/using-composite-vga-converter-apple-ii
....
just my 5 cents....
speedyG

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

You know, Speedy. sometimes you come off as totally arrogant and downright rude. It's almost like it is only you that can decide whether or not any person's contribution is relevant or not. I wonder, who appointed you as the judge?

Like this statement:

speedyG wrote:
Hello again,
well while discussing the different isues with TV-sets....
just besides:
the primary question is to get up the computer at all and to test it....
i doubt that at the moment discussing issues about color capabilities is really relevant....
there are a bunch of other tasks to be solved before....

Besides, I was not talking about color. I was just saying that modern TV's with composite video inputs work well in most of the cases I have tried. A whole lot better than trying to kludge together something that tries to convert composite video to VGA so you can use a 'monitor'. They have the strong advantage of being readily available in most large department stores all over the world. Cheap too!

Really, sometimes you go on, and on, and on about how some person's 10 word post has totally destroyed the whole thread, not taking into account that NO ONE want's to see you do that! Enough!!! For Pete's sake!

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

what i use is a portable dvd player with the built in lcd screen. 9 inch screen looks great on the iigs and iic, even with 80 col text. What i especially like about it is that its 4:3 ratio.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

I haven't seen one of those portable DVDs players with a video in. Which one do you have. That would be really convient to throw in my toolkit.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

I also have a portable DVD player with AV inputs. It's a Centrino. Some off-brand I picked up at The Source (what Radio Shack became in Canada some years ago).

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

The output composite video of the Apple ii is seriously screwed up. There is one tv which has been reported to have the BEST video output when used with an Apple ii: The AXESS TVD 1801-19.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Screwed up isn't the word. Woz used a trick to use TTL chips to generate color video or as close to an NTSC color signal as he could. The analog TVs were so sloppy it worked. Some modern digital TVs are too percise to work, others allow for a slightly non standard signal and compensate. That's why some modern TV's work and some don't on their composite input.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

this is similar to what i use:

http://the-gadgeteer.com/assets/nextbase-tablet-dvd11.jpg

i got mine used and very cheap. does the job nicely imo.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

Corey986 wrote:
Screwed up isn't the word. Woz used a trick to use TTL chips to generate color video or as close to an NTSC color signal as he could. The analog TVs were so sloppy it worked. Some modern digital TVs are too percise to work, others allow for a slightly non standard signal and compensate. That's why some modern TV's work and some don't on their composite input.

It is my experience that most modern tv's do not work. I also heard that in the design of the Apple ii, they cut costs by purposefully not adhering to the NTSC standard but made it work well enough for a TV using an RF Modulator which most people were doing anyway so it did not matter much at the time.

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Re: The Apple ][ of my eye

binaryprose wrote:

2) What's the best way to test it, should I clean up the motherboard and vac out the power supply before I turn it on for the first time.


Plug it in, flip the switch, and listen for a beep. Then press Control-G a few times. Each time you should hear another beep. This is a pretty good test.

Quote:
3) Can you recommend an modern monitors that should work with it?
Use a TV set or a composite monitor.

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