Disk ][ card on Apple II Europlus

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Disk ][ card on Apple II Europlus

Hello everyone,

 

One replacement chip after the other, my Apple II Europlus is coming closed and closer to live again.

Now I've got a perfectly booting APple II europlus + language RAM card

 

However as soon as I plug the Disk 2 card, the display just shows "APPLE II" at the top, and has small verticals lines in it (seems a siganl is interfering witht he sync)

 

If I connect a floppy (card on slot 6) it "taktaktaks" and motor spins, however nothing more happens. I've replaced two chips on that card for it to be accepted by the II, but now all chips (that i can check, so all the ttl) are ok

 

Questions

- What could be that thin lines problem ? It disappears if I remove the card (with or without disk connected it's the same)

- What is the expected boot process of the II euruplus with an empty floppy drive ? Is it normal it keeps seeking (red light) forever with just "apple II" written top center (and no prompt appears) ?

 

 

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Yes, the drive behaviour is

Yes, the drive behaviour is normal. It will keep spinning until it recognizes a disk with a valid signature in track 0 - or until you press Ctrl-Reset.

Concerning the lines on the screen: does this look like a "digital issue", with incorrect data being loaded by the video circuit, or more like an analog issue caused by interference with the video signal generation? Maybe post a photo showing the lines/screen.

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It looks analog (which is

It looks analog (which is bizarre)

It's very thin lines, let's say every centimeter, vertical. On the wole screen.

It's a bit like seeing scan lines, but just they are rotated and vertical instead of horizontal :) 

 

It looks like an interference of some sort, that is created by the DIskII card

 

Thanks for the detials on the boot process ; so it's normal the light stays on and motor spins "forever" in an empty drive, and that I get no "prompt" (just APPLE II) until I hit the keybaord (which isn't connected at the moment, the board is on my desk)

 

 

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Yes, it sounds like the card

Yes, it sounds like the card is working OK. The interference you are seeing could also be considered somewhat normal; try turning down the brightness on your monitor. If you can make it go away and still have a readable screen, then I'd say you're good. Otherwise, if you have spares, try a different power supply and/or bus driver chips.

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CedsRepairs wrote:It looks
CedsRepairs wrote:

It looks like an interference of some sort, that is created by the DIskII card

Are the thin lines static, always in the same place, or do they slowly move across the screen?

Remove the P5 PROM from the Disk II card and see if the interference is still there when you start the machine.

Without the P5 PROM, the boot logic is unable to detect the presence of the card. So all behaviour must be absolutely identical as when entire the card was not even plugged. If the stripes are still there, then I would suspect some issue with any of the ICs on the card.

If the issue is gone once you removed the P5 PROM, then the issue could be anywhere else. The effect could just be a result of the machine starting to poll the interface card (which it will do and keep doing, when you plug the disk II card with its PROM - since the machine keeps waiting and actively polling for disk data forever). The polling of the disk interface is not in sync with the video frequency though. So, if the interference is somehow caused by the disk I/O polling, then the lines should move, rather than being static...

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This is probably a stupid

This is probably a stupid question an I apologize to the experts 

I also have an APple IIc that is working, for which I made quite a few floppies with its internal drive.

  My IIEu+ has the "16" sticker on the card, so 16 sectors

I can't seem to be able to read the 5 1/4 from the IIc : are they compatible ?

 

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I did yoour test MacFly, and

I did yoour test MacFly, and with or without the P5 PROM, the problem is the same,

And disappears if I remove the card

The lines appear static, if they move it must be very slow

I'll have a look at the oscilloscope.

 

A few pictures of the "problem" ; 

 

https://freeimghost.net/i/ced-2022-06-09%4021h37-IMG-7624.xVMB8

 

https://freeimghost.net/i/ced-2022-06-09%4021h38-IMG-7626.xVGwh

 

https://freeimghost.net/i/ced-2022-06-09%4021h38-IMG-7627.xVOck

 

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Currently my keyboard does

Currently my keyboard does not work, so what I can do with the machine is still limited.

 

This II Europlus is lucky to have found me, because it needed and still needs serious repairs.

- the Clock logic was broken sending 13Mhz all over the place (2 chips to replace)

- the databus was broken, one of the 74LS doing both the keyboard and the adressbus (LS257 iirc) needed replacement

- two 74LS needed replacement on the disk2 card itself (prevented booting , sent blacky garbage on the screen)

- now the keyboard does not work, it seems the keyboard DIP socket on the II motherboard needs replacing (probably heavy oxydation)

- and I have those mysterious lines, that do not look good.

 

And it's likely I'll need to fix/recap/tune the speed of the drive when I get all the rest working...

 

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CedsRepairs wrote:This is
CedsRepairs wrote:

This is probably a stupid question an I apologize to the experts 

I also have an APple IIc that is working, for which I made quite a few floppies with its internal drive.

  My IIEu+ has the "16" sticker on the card, so 16 sectors

I can't seem to be able to read the 5 1/4 from the IIc : are they compatible ?

 

Yes, the //c is also 16 sector. If the alignment or speed is off on either the IIe drive or the //c drive, then disks written on one may not be readable in the other. Especially if disks made on the same computer can be read by the same computer but not the other. 

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CedsRepairs wrote:I did yoour
CedsRepairs wrote:

I did yoour test MacFly, and with or without the P5 PROM, the problem is the same,

And disappears if I remove the card

 

A few pictures of the "problem" ; 

 

https://freeimghost.net/i/ced-2022-06-09%4021h37-IMG-7624.xVMB8

 

Ah, ok, that picture helps. Yes, doesn't look right to me. Remove the 74LS323, and see what happens with the stripes. That's the shift register connecting the card to the databus.

Once the 74LS323 is removed, you can also safely remove any other chip from the Disk II card and still boot the machine. I would continue with the 74LS132 next - which connects to various address lines for the address decoding.

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The stripes disappear if I

The stripes disappear if I remove the LS323 

however this is already a replacement chip ; and using another replacement gives the same 

The original was a 25s23 or something and was reported as broken by my tl866 logic tester ; but yet if I put it back ; I also get the stripes .

it seems the card is functioning produces the stripes 

 

maybe the oscilloscope will tell me more ; I'll try tomorrow 

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When removing the LS323 fixes

When removing the LS323 fixes the problem, then it's likely either the LS323 itself - or any IC involved in enabling its output. My guess is the LS323's output is enabled at times when it shouldn't be, so it interferes with the databus.

The LS323 is enabled by the slot's DEVICE_SELECT line. So the mainboard's slot address decoding logic would be a suspect - probably an Ls138 somewhere. And less likely, but possible: a dead 9334 on the disk II card could cause the SELECT line to be stuck low...

Well, if you have an oscilloscope, have look and see what's going on. When you pulled the P5 PROM, the DEVICE SELECT should not get enabled (except for a couple of cycles briefly after booting). When the P5 PROM is present, however, you should of course see frequent activity, since the CPU keeps polling the read latch forever.

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I have seen this problem

I have seen this problem before in a (non-Europlus) Apple II + and in a clone II+.

 

My issue manifested itself as randomly appearing vertical lines just as yours, but would come and go with movements of the drive as it read disks.

Turning down the brightness of the monitor helped but occasionally I wanted it brighter and the lines were bothering me.

I narrowed the problem down to a noisy power supply which was resolved with a new power supply rebuild kit from ReActive Micro.

 

It looks like you have some very nice test equipment on your workbench.  If it is a power supply noise issue, you should be able to detect that with a good oscilloscope.

 

 

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A weak power-supply is a

A weak power-supply is a possible source. And it's reasonable when it's related to drive movements, since a moving stepper motor adds quite a bit of load (and also causes abrubt load changes), which a weak supply may not be able to handle smoothly. I'd still be concerned if the presence of a single, simple logic IC (like the LS323) was all it took to make the difference. Its effect on the supply should normally be negligible. However, if it got enabled at incorrect times, it could "fight" over the databus with another IC. That could cause issues directly - or explain brief supply ripples.

Anyway, time to have fun and dive in with the oscilloscope! :)

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Interesting. I was planning

Interesting.

 

I was planning to check if by any change, this didn't occur simply by adding load to the Apple II  (so I'll try adding a 80 columns card and see what gives)

 

This PSU is the one thing I haven't opened so far.

The guy who gave all of this Apple Gear to me (in exchange for repairing his Tandy Model 3, Atari 1MB cards, and 2 ZX spectrums :) ) told me that is a "new power supply" out of  ebay (he paid 80 EUR or so for it, which i think is a lot)

I've been looking down at the PSU because well, I think it gets a bit hot, and I'm more and lmore curious to see what's inside. I took for granted this was like a NOS psu, with fixed RIFA and such (something serious worth 80 EUR :) )

But I'm starting to wonder if someone didn't put a modern switching power supply in a vintage case. I have other reasons to belive this PSU is a bit bizarre. I'll keep you posted about what I find inside this PSU.

 

Again thanks to everyone who already particiapted in my topic here.

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Oh boy ....i just opened the

Oh boy ....

i just opened the psu...

oh boy ...

 

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Any screen interference

Any screen interference complaint is useless on an LCD. Some Apple II just does not work properly on some LCD. It doesn't matter if your IIc works, or another IIe or anything... They are all a little different.

Get a CRT and/or ignore the issue with the lines for now.

 

You should be able to boot disks that are bootable on the IIc unless there is some problem with your Disk ][ card or drive.

 

 

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CedsRepairs wrote:Oh boy ...
CedsRepairs wrote:

Oh boy ....

i just opened the psu...

oh boy ...

 

Well?

 

Don't keep us in suspense.

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Well the friend that gave all

Well the friend that gave all this gear to me (for free) paid 80 EUR for a PSU that looks like this inside

 

 

And this is the 5 Volts rail.

The noise level seems to grow with load, it is 1,22Vpp of noise with just the Apple II (which is already ugly)

And I have 2Vpp of noise (!!!) with the APple + Language card + disk2 card (without disks readers connected)

 

I'm not sure if a total recap would solve those, or if I'll just toss the entire PSU and put a modern one inside the case (makes more sense to me to put an modern mini ATX in there with better specs than try to revive a zombie that'll probably die from something else than the caps in the coming years)

 

 

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Personally I'm a fan of

Personally I'm a fan of keeping the original PSU. For $10 in caps, I'd say give it a shot at recapping before replacing. These supplies are fairly hardy once properly refurbished.  

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The blown capacitor is one of

The blown capacitor is one of the input RIFAs. It's absolutely normal that they do blow, unless they are replaced in time. All of these old RIFA series caps develop cracks, draw moisture and blow up one day. A well-known issue, affecting many retro electronics, not just Apple IIs. It's a smelly mess, but otherwise has little effect. Should neither have any effect on the output stability - other caps are repsonsible for this. They are easy to replace with X2 and Y2-rated modern caps. Just don't mix up the types (especially don't use X-rated instead of a Y-rated...).

Concerning replacing or repairing the PSU, there's strong advocates for both options. Some say to toss out the old electronics and get a modern PSU (from ReactiveMicro). Others call it blasphemy, and you could as well replace the old mainboard with a modern raspberry pi then... ;-)

Depends on what you're capable and comfortable with. If you can safely work on a PSU and know what you're doing, then I'd say go for a repair and replace the caps, keeping the machine as original as possible. If you're not comfortable with working on a PSU, then better replace it entirely.

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I'm making a part order list

I'm making a part order list at farnell and will recap it 

if the ripple is still ugly  ( compared to modern alternatives ) I'll put a small atx  inside the original case

I'm myself an advocate of "repair it for good" so all I do is keeping in mind I want this to work in 10 years at least .

So I would be enclined here to replace the psu entirely : nobody looks inside the case ; and the Apple II will live longer with a smooth 5V rail .

 

 

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The cost of recapping this

The cost of recapping this with quality components ( nichicon or Panasonic ) is imho closer to 50 €\$ than 10.

A single quality 1000uF 50v is close to 2€ ordered in small volumes and this needs 5 .

 

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For all electrolytics + 2

For all electrolytics + 2 safety caps : I'm at 34EUR with shipping, all panasonic EEUFC (I chose automotive grade 105C), without entering the very expensive models (ultra low esr , etc).

I dropped nichicon which is way too expensive (>3EUR per cap) but I won't spend an hour recapping this with parts out of a 10$ assortment of capacitors from amazon :).

 

At Farnell ; the cheapest 1000uF/25V it's .5EUR exVAT, the most expensive is at 3EUR (ok ; this one is probably good to be sent in orbit)

The cheapest X2 safety cap is at 4EUR

 

All in all, this is a good 35EUR of caps, delivered.

As a comparison, I can find a miniATX psu for 20-30EUR on ebay that would fit in the case, with a flat ripple signal, modern safety specs, and would not die in the coming 10 years from a diode or powertransistor failure. Also the original PSU is (i think ?) a mere 60W or so, any ATX replacement would be 250W at the very least. Yeah really, I will recap it for "fun" but if I had to chose one side as an "advocate", I'd clearly be on the side of people tossing this and putting an ATX inside (as long as the external look is intact, I agree with that too)

 

Just my 2 cents :)  I think many people underestimate the cost of repairs (not even taking account the equipment and time) so it's important once in a while to put a price on things. I'm sure someone can come up with a cheaper alternative, but this is just to share my own experience here.

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CedsRepairs wrote:The cost of
CedsRepairs wrote:

The cost of recapping this with quality components ( nichicon or Panasonic ) is imho closer to 50 €\$ than 10.

A single quality 1000uF 50v is close to 2€ ordered in small volumes and this needs 5 .

 

Not especially helpful to you, as you are in the EU. But here in the US we have a seller who puts together cap kits for old computers, video games, and some monitors. He uses all name brand caps (Nichicon, Panasonic, UCC). This is where I came up with the $10 figure (for the 120v kit - looks like the 240v PSU kit is $11). Granted there is another $5-$8 in shipping as well, depending how much of a hurry I'm in. 

 

https://console5.com/store/apple-2-power-supply-cap-kit-astec-aa11042c-aa11042-c-240v.html

 

 

Of course he orders in volume, so he can shave a little off the price you would pay if you order your own. If I ordered my own via Digikey or Mouser, it probably would add another $5 or so. I'd guess around $25 with shipping. 

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Yeah ordering small

Yeah ordering small components like this in small volumes is very expensive indeed. Especially in the good brands. The shipping is also killing low volume orders.

 

But often my friends think these little electronic parts are free,... they can be rather expensive actually.

It's also cheaper nowadays to order SMD than thruhole.

 

Anyway  ; it's more for the challenge and out of curiosity that i'll recap it. Currently the ripple is just insane and probably TOXIC to the entire motherboard, i'm surprised it even boots with a 2V ripple. No wonder the displays has artifacts.

Now I'm not sure a recap will solve, or how much it will solve, the noise/ripple issue.   I never underestimate the time invested by my colleagues 40 years ago to carefully chose their components for their PSU filtering. I'm replacing components that were chosen with a lot of care with components with ESR values "out of my b$tt" and hope for the best...  

 

If the ripple doesn't come back to normal values (at least below 500mV or smth) I'll go to plan B and shoehorn a small ATX and a 7909 inside the original case (this is also easier said than done I think) 

 

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nick3092 wrote:Personally I'm
nick3092 wrote:

Personally I'm a fan of keeping the original PSU. For $10 in caps, I'd say give it a shot at recapping before replacing. These supplies are fairly hardy once properly refurbished.  

Recapping will not solve that issue.

 

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You are on the right track

You are on the right track with replacing the PSU for a modern unit.

 

What the "recap" crowd doesn't seem to accept is that recapping doesn't solve the fact that there are other 40 year old components in that PSU.

And the capacitors, 90% of the time are fine.  (except, as you discovered, the mains filter capacitor tends to blow up after 30 years or so)

I have lost count of the number of comments here and on FB ab0ut how a recap job either did not solve the problem as expected, or made the issue worse.

Like: "I don't understand it, I recapped it and it still doesn't work", or "after a recap I have this problem..."

 

 

 

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I just received the

I just received the capacitors. Not cheap !

Ok : I went for good brands and automotive grade. But I wouldn't go for less in this particualr scenario.

With all due respect for that company selling those kits (and sharing the list with the community) that $10 capacitor kit must be done with "general purpose" capacitors - I think this could work of course, but I decided not to use general purpose components to repair such a PSU : running at >60% of load (if I read the specs right), driven by 40 years old transistors pushed to the limits (everything in the apple II era seems, to me, pushed to the limits), and enclosed in a metal box.

 

Also I'm in the EURO zone, and in 40 years we went from 220V to 240V over here, and most caps of the time were 250V rated (in their youth!). It's a good time to switch them for 275V or 400V.

 

I don't want to start a controversy on this recap thing, 

This is my first Apple II Plus repair (and it's not an easy one) so I mostly "read, listen and learn" here in this great community.

However this is probably my 100th vintage pc repair, and I'm an electronics engineer so I'm inclined to believe what I'll do in the next few days ( this PSU recap) is mostly academic. I don't have much hopes. I'll share the results; if it's repaired, lesson learned. I'll share the ripple & osciloscope trace before and after. If it's not, I'll say it as well, and just put a mini ATX in there.

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I have recapitulated entirely

I have recapitulated entirely original psu but I still have video interference

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CedsRepairs wrote:However
CedsRepairs wrote:

However this is probably my 100th vintage pc repair, and I'm an electronics engineer so I'm inclined to believe what I'll do in the next few days ( this PSU recap) is mostly academic. I don't have much hopes. I'll share the results; if it's repaired, lesson learned. I'll share the ripple & osciloscope trace before and after. If it's not, I'll say it as well, and just put a mini ATX in there.

 

I agree with the "mostly academic" part.

But I am curious to know...let us know the progress of your repair.  Your case is interesting to me because unlike a LOT of the recap crusaders (many of whom can barely solder) you appear to actually know what you're doing with regards to electronics troubleshooting and repair.

Also, I'm a big fan of the Universal PSU from ReActive Micro.  It works very well, reliable (I run one 24-7 on an Apple IIe running a BBS) and in many cases they're better than mini-ATX types.

Plus you don't necessarily need the whole kit (although it makes the job a lot neater and easier) you can get the bare power supply for just $36 plus shipping.

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Haha thanks,All I know for

Haha thanks,

All I know for sure is that I have a lot to learn from many people here :)

 

I've just desoldered all the old components.None of them visually "leaks", maybe a very light sign of "something" vaguely leaking on the low voltage side but really it's a stretch, it could well be because of the desoldering itself. However it's not because something doesnt spill all of its juice (like Macintosh classic smd caps do) that they are not out of specs. 

I'll check ESR as well.

I'll try to fnish that today and post a few pictures.

 

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