Is this a legit Newton board (Hong Kong)?

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Is this a legit Newton board (Hong Kong)?

Is this a legit Newton board set shipping from Hong Kong? Ebay item 255683262154

 

I am interested in the set, but I wouldn't normally expect the item to originate in Hong Kong. Any direction would be appreciated.

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Yes, that's his legit eBay

Yes, that's his legit eBay account.  Newton Mike lives in Hong Kong, so if it comes from somewhere else it may not be legit.

 

FWIW, you may be better off contacting him here and buying directly instead of going through eBay.

 

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Yes, that's his legit eBay

Thank you

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I got one directly from Mike

I got one directly from Mike and it was a little less than on eBay.  It came well packed and it is a top notch product, probably one of the best if not the best Apple-1 motherboard currently available.  You might also ask about his keyboard kits.  I got one of those also and it is really nice.

 

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It is real and its Mikes Ebay

It is real and its Mikes Ebay auction. 

 

I already bought the board you are looking at from him. All is legit :)

 

 

It takes about 10-14 to arrive from Hong Kong.

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Hi John Delano!

I also at one time bought a board from Michael, was very satisfied. You can contact him through the Facebook Apple-1 parts for Sale or Buy

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Just to chime in ...

... I've bought 5 of these so-called "non-NTI" Newton board from Mike N. in Hongkong. Direct, of course, not on Ebay. Why pay their usurious fees !

 

He has bought some of my famous IC kits, directly, without Ebay,  too ;-)

 

I agree that these are the most authentic PCBs for Apple-1 builders available today. The 'gold fingers' on the 44-pin edge connector are the real deal. The solder stop mask has the right matte finish and blue-green color. There is a small, barely noticable difference in tint to his earlier "non-NTI" boards which I also have bought and used for custom builds (don't ask me for that anymore, gold got too expensive, and I don't work for GTP, only for Constitutional US$ coin) and a difference in the HASL process step - seems to be galvanic tin now, but I may be mistaken. These differences contribute to the lower price he can offer now, and they are irrelevant for builders. You still get the most authentic looking "BYTE SHOP" style builds if you use these boards. If you really want to get as close as you can, dunk the light brown 100nF disc capacitors that come with my kits in molten wax,  and they will look more dark brown and more authentic (but do this at your own risk, try a sample first, not all waxes are the same, maybe just brown water color for easter eggs will do, but I did not try this). You may also use the TI low profile sockets for which some vendors charge usurious prices ... but you can desolder them from dead earlier Apple II boards (at your own risk, again). 

 

There is one caveat with the "Newton" boards you should know: they are about 0.2" / 5mm higher (in the Y dimension, along the short edge) than the "open source Gerber" based ones ... which have the correct dimensions (same as the originals). But without a ruler and the naked eye only, nobody can tell the difference so this should not distract you from buying these Newton PCBs. The only relevant thing as to this small difference is that the pre-drilled plexiglass "enclosures"  you can buy elsewhere won't fit --- they fit only for the cheaper "open source Gerber" based PCBs.

 

So if you have the budget, go for those Newton PCBs as long as they are available. Mike's business has been hurting since the "Open Source Gerbers" were released - "from Russia with love" - and despite you can produce those at JLCPCB for $25-$28 each, depending on process options, you will never get anywhere near the 'more authentic' looks of the Newton PCBs.

 

Another example how the cr@ppy stuff for cheap drives the good stuff from the market. Harbor Fright tools (pun intended). They (importing and offering) that cr@p and the buyers of that cr@p are responsible for the crime that I can't buy good, high quality tools anymore anywhere here in the USA. It is of course a rational decision to buy a cheap cr@p tool that does not last for a one time job on your house or your car. As long as the cr@p tool does not ruin your work. I've seen tests where cr@p tools were given to master craftsmen and they could not do any quality work with them, despite being master craftsmen. Oh, and the cr@p tools can cost thousands of dollars regardless - just look at those lathes and mills "Made in China". Not worth the money. Just junk, ready to go to the landfill. Some even have plastic gears in the gearbox.

 

Keep this in mind. Ruskin's "Common Law of Business Balance" or: you get what you pay for. (Caveat: buying from swindlers gets you less value than you paid for, these are the ones who sell those $25 JLCPCB made boards for $100 on Ebay, but under normal conditions - no distressed seller - you never can get more value than you paid for).

 

These Newton PCBs are a good and fair deal and you get your money's worth. Beware of the swindlers. If you pay  ~$50 for a 'golden' or 'tin' JLCPCB board based on the 'Open Source' Gerbers from some Ebay seller, it's still OK as you got a fair deal.  Packing is $4 and USPS postage within the USA is $12, for a total cost of the seller of $41. Add usurious Ebay fees (somebody should start an alternative with lesser fees) and so what's left for the seller.

 

Real gold fingers and electrical test costs more, of course. This is what you get with the "Newton" boards. Electrical test ist no joke. Just recently I had a builder from Canada using a non-tested PCB and the DRAM did not work. It took us about 50 emails to and fro until the culprit (a broken trace in the DRAM subsystem) was found. This is no joke. If he had to pay me my usual hourly fee I'd normally charge for contract work (designing "impossible" ICs) he could rather spend the money to buy an original Apple-1 at the next auction ... well, that was a joke, I'm an order of magnitude cheaper (do the math).

 

Choose your PCB wisely.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Hi Uncle Bernie!

About the hurting bisiness Michael, it's my fault, I published these gerbers in a Facebook group. On the other hand, dozens of enthusiasts not looking for a complete resemblance to the original have been able to successfully build their boards, and God knows how many more will... We once talked about it with Michael, he's a great guy and doesn't hold a grudge against me. It was good for our business together. I bought a Newton NTI board from him, and I must say that compared to the Misha project, it's like heaven and earth. Anyone looking for more similarity to the original should have Michael's board.

 

Uncle Bernie tell me a little more about that guy from Canada, what board did he have?

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About the 'Canadian' PCB

In post #8, Macintosh_nik asked:

 

"... tell me a little more about that guy from Canada, what board did he have ? "

 

Uncle Bernie answers:

 

It looked to me to be one of those "improved" Open Source Gerber based  boards (similar to Logan Greer's work, or the same) and IIRC there was a Maple Leaf logo somewhere. Seems this came from a Canadian seller. I am abolutely sure is wasn't a Newton PCB ... never had any problems with those.

 

The fundamental problem here is not so much where the PCB was made but whether the vendor ticked the "electrical test" process option and paid for it. And whether he got what he paid for. The Chinese are known to cut corners whenever the opportunity arises, so how good is this test ? It's always a 'flying needle' test (aka FPT - flying probe test) unlike the 'sea of needles' test rig that was specifically built for such tests back in the day. These were very expensive and hence, fell in disfavour once 'flying needles' with the required X Y Z positioning servo mechanisms were technically feasable.

Theoretically, these tests can check for everything relevant, but the question is, how far do they push their tester ? How much effort do they put into the test program ? How much test time per PCB do they allow ? (Time on testers is metered in seconds, every second costs money, not because of the workers, but because of the machine and its maintenance).

 

So as far as I am concerned, for cheap dual layer PCBs and hobby projects I usually go without ordering the electrical test. I visually inspect each PCB for faults which takes me a few minutes. So far I have caught a few faults, both open and shorts, but they are very rare, most PCBs are good. The industry which has 30+ layer PCBs and puts ICs worth $20000 (or more) on them has different quality and test standards, of course.

 

As always, you get what you pay for. Sometimes you get less. Choose the merchandise and vendor wisely.

 

- Uncle Bernie

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Hi Uncle Bernie!

Thank you for the information, it will be very useful for me to know. I know who makes boards with a logo very similar to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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