Brazilian Apple IIe back to life after 30 years

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Brazilian Apple IIe back to life after 30 years

Hi guys,

After 30 years I decided to turn on my Apple IIe again (actually it’s a Brazilian version called tk3000//e). It looks good, actually it is almost like it was at 80s. It doesn’t have any capacitor leaking and almost no dust.

So I removed all cards and it boots. Everything seems normal, so I tried the disk controller and the disk drive. It boots but the disk drive keeps spinning no matter what floppy disk I tried. As I have another disk drive I tried it, and got same results.

I disassemble the drive, cleaned the head and everything seems normal. I inspected the disk controller and didn’t find anything.

So here are my questions:

  1. I’m starting to think if it’s possible that all my floppy disks (I may have a 100) are dead.
  2. Is there a way to test the drive controller or to create a new floppy disk?
  3. I found that it’s possible to use a serial port to communicate with a modern PC, but I just have a parallel port (for printers) on the apple IIe. Does anyone know if I can use a parallel port to do that?

Thanks a lot.

cjs
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Cassette Interface and ADTPro

You could probably hack some sort of communications mechanism using the parallel port (after all, it does support both input and output lines, though not designed for data input) or even the game controller buttons and the annunciator outputs, but the easiest way for you to get up and running is most likely ADTPro via the cassette interface. ADTPro's bootstrapping routines would allow you to get ProDOS up and running, which you could then use to try to format a fresh diskette.

I bootstrapped my Apple IIc using ADTPro and regularly use it to move disk images back and forth to my Linux machine. (The PC side is written in Java, and so should run fine on the Mac and Windows, too.) It's a very well written and mature piece of software.

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Help with the diagnosis...

Thanks CJS.

 

I installed ADTPro and could run ProDOS via cassette port. Then I started to try every floppy disk using "catalog" and "init" commands, and one (just one) partially worked. I could see the directory (with catalog command) and some programs ran, some didn’t. So I thought that the problem was that every floppy disk was bad (I always received "I/O error message"). Next day I decided to try again and to my surprise it couldn’t read the disk.

So now I don’t know the diagnosis: maybe it’s the fact the all my floppy disks are bad, and the last one had its last breath. Maybe this happened with the drivers or the disk card, and something was bad and now it’s dead.

I found a bunch of 5 1/4 disks from an old PC, tried to run "init" command, but every single one failed.

As I can’t get a good card, disk or a floppy disk, my diagnosis should be using an electronic approach - as I have an oscilloscope, multimeter, etc.

Can anyone help me on how to go ahead on that?

Thanks again.

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Time Machine wrote:Thanks CJS
Time Machine wrote:

Thanks CJS.

 

I installed ADTPro and could run ProDOS via cassette port. Then I started to try every floppy disk using "catalog" and "init" commands, and one (just one) partially worked. I could see the directory (with catalog command) and some programs ran, some didn’t. So I thought that the problem was that every floppy disk was bad (I always received "I/O error message"). Next day I decided to try again and to my surprise it couldn’t read the disk.

So now I don’t know the diagnosis: maybe it’s the fact the all my floppy disks are bad, and the last one had its last breath. Maybe this happened with the drivers or the disk card, and something was bad and now it’s dead.

I found a bunch of 5 1/4 disks from an old PC, tried to run "init" command, but every single one failed.

As I can’t get a good card, disk or a floppy disk, my diagnosis should be using an electronic approach - as I have an oscilloscope, multimeter, etc.

Can anyone help me on how to go ahead on that?

Thanks again.

 

I do not know under what conditions you stored the diskettes, but unless they were rained upon or subjected to an em pulse or a large magnetic field, then I doubt that they would all be bad. I have hundreds of diskettes from the early 1980s that still work fine. 

 

I would suspect the drive mechanism, or the IO card first: Try writing out a diskette (e.g. DOS 3.3 Master) using ADT Pro and then reading it using your drive and IO board.  Spinning endlessly is a sign of the Disk ][ analogue board malfunctioning, the IO card malfunctioning, or bad speed settings on the drive mech. Once I know what cards and drive you are using I can post a bit of a flow chart for you. I just last week, went through a number of DuoDisk, UniDisk, and Disk ][ drives to get some of them working 100%. 

 

One of my Disk ][ mechs had a bad analogue board--that I will later attempt to repair, and another had a bad collet hub, so I made one good drive out of the two until I can work on the physical defects. I have a rather long line of things ahead of them on the workbench. 

 

Which version of the Disk ][ mechanism are you using with the machine, and what interface card? 

 

It is possible that the card itself is your problem, you know.  Post some photos of the drives and the card so that we can help you diagnose them.

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Pictures

Thanks a lot  Timelord .

 

My disks don't seem bad, I don't think they were expose to a large magnetic field, definitely they were not exposed to water.

 

I attached some pictures. Please remember that this is a Brazilian version of the apple IIe, called TK 3000//e, so the card it's a Brazilian version too. But I think it is just an Apple clone.

Thanks again.

 

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