Resurrecting an Apple //e

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Resurrecting an Apple //e

Greetings Applefritters.

 

I couldn't find an "introduce yourself" thread so I might as well begin here. I came into posession of a complete Apple //e system that was stored in an unheated shed for around 25 years. There's the computer, DuoDisk, green monitor, and printer; all except the monitor in original boxes. The boxes were not taped though and have various amounts of dust, dirt, bits of pink fiberglass insulation, and mouse turds in them. The inside computer and DuoDisk boxes are fairly clean but the printer box is filthy inside with the above mentioned debris. There is also a box of disks. I didn't count them but by thumbimg through them I'd guess there's 60 to 80 disks, almost all of which are home-made copies, mostly games, a few utilites and progamming languages.

 

I was told everything was in good working order when packed and stored. Before I try turning anything on I intend to take it all apart and clean everything. I still have a set of backup disks of BASIC programs and AppleWorks databases and spreadsheets I used in my former life of an electrical engineer. All modesty aside, I came up with some fairly impressive equations for ferro-electric component design almost 40 years ago. It will be interesting to see them again.

 

I'm currently reading everything I can find on the //e to avoid asking stupid or asked-to-death questions. And who knows, maybe I'll even have something useful to contribute.

 

My thanks to the creators, maintainers, and contributors to the forum.K.K.

 

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Welcome and good luck!My

Welcome and good luck!

My checklist (And I am no expert. I've only been playing with Apples for just over a year) would be:

  1. Check the RIFA caps in the PSU for cracking / splitting. Replace as soon as possible
  2. Once you have done that, unplug the PSU and check voltages coming out of it to make sure you're getting the right levels.
  3. Unplug all cards and turn it on to see what happens. You should get a BASIC prompt.

Once that's done and passed, you can start adding cards back in.

 

Cheers!

 

Chesh

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Thank you Chesh.

Thank you Chesh.I've read a few posts now about those caps. I'll be taking the PS apart tomorrow and checking for that. After reading about them I think I'll just go ahead and order replacements now if some can be found. By the time they arrive I should have the keyboard cleaned up.

 

You wouldn't believe what the keyboard looks like. There's a ton of hair (human) wrapped around the key stems, hardened jelly on several keys, and cupcake sprinkles all through it. I pulled the keys off and have them soaking. Also soaking the case and lid of the computer.

 

The motherboard only has a very thin layer of dust and the three cards are very clean. I haven't looked at anything else yet.

 

On the power supply: I see it's a switching supply. Is it o.k. to power it up without a load? If so, how much higher should I expect to see the no-load voltages over the rated values?

 

Thanks again.

K.K.

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If the disks were stored out

If the disks were stored out on the same shed, it's possible they have mold/mildew on them. I'd look them over very well before putting them in a drive. 

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nick3092 wrote:If the disks
nick3092 wrote:

If the disks were stored out on the same shed, it's possible they have mold/mildew on them. I'd look them over very well before putting them in a drive. dsf

nick3092 is spot-on. Mould will be the number one problem. With mouse turds all over the place you can bet that there's a reasonably high probability that there is mould growing on the surface of the diskette media. You should take a disk drive apart, clean the head and leave the cover off as you carefully evaluate the readability of one of those diskettes (start with one you know you don't care about). If it reads well and continues to do so take another look at the read-write head. If it's dirty after one disk then the disk has mould on its surface. Of course, if you get read errors, check for concentric scratches on the surface of the media - usually around track 0. If one disk has mould on it then they all will, most likely. What happens is the head scrapes the mould off and accumulates it, then it grinds off the diskette coating and the magnetic media beneath rendering the diskette useless. There are ways to recover the data from mouldy disks but it involves removing the media from the protective sleeve and washing it with warm water and disk soap, then re-inserting it into the sleeve. You'll be able then to get one or two good reads for imaging purposes, after which the diskette should be discarded. Good luck!
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You can buy replacement RIFA

You can buy replacement RIFA caps from ReactiveMicro.. (I bought 6 of them as you never know when you need a spare RIFA or 2)....  Anyway, cheap prices on them and they should fit most power supplies.  I was worried about my latest acquisition (NOS) Silver power supply. First thing I did was replace the RIFA and sure enough my board had double holes on it to accomodate rifa spacing...  

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KimKimberly wrote:I've read a
KimKimberly wrote:I've read a few posts now about those caps. I'll be taking the PS apart tomorrow and checking for that. After reading about them I think I'll just go ahead and order replacements now if some can be found.
 

Well, the RIFAs are still availible and should be obtained from most electronics distributors as Mouser. For Germany I could give you direct links to order them ;)

Be shure to get the "X2"-Type of the caps.

 

For countries with 230V (we in Germany have this voltage) I'd also recommend using 275V or even 300V versions of the RIFAs.

 

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KimKimberly wrote:Thank you
KimKimberly wrote:

Thank you Chesh.I've read a few posts now about those caps. I'll be taking the PS apart tomorrow and checking for that. After reading about them I think I'll just go ahead and order replacements now if some can be found. By the time they arrive I should have the keyboard cleaned up.

 

You wouldn't believe what the keyboard looks like. There's a ton of hair (human) wrapp

I have seen worse, shocking as they may be.

 

A KB filled with ash, soot, leaves, and mouse droppings is always a joy to clean and to restore. ;)

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I appreicate the advice

on the capacitors and the mold.

 

When I took the power supply apart I discovered it is different than the one shown in all the references I've seen so far (Apple books, SAMS photofacts). The one I've seen referred to is made by Astec. Mine is made by Dynacomp. It has two of those caps. Both of them in my PS are cracked and one broke into pieces when I took it out. I have four on order and they should be here in 7 to 10 days. That will give me time to inspect the disks and disk drives.

 

I'm not sure if I'm seeing any mold on the disks. My eyesight isn't great. Some of them look like they have "spots" on their magnetic surfaces but it sort of looks like oil drops in puddles of water, if that makes any sense, like when an old car was parked over a puddle in a parking lot. Those "spots" look like they are beneath the top surface. I don't see that on all of the disks.

 

I can see concentric lines in some, or even most, of the disks. I can't tell if they're scratches or maybe just normal wear from often-used disks. I haven't tried to use any of them yet. I'll wait until I've gone over the drives. I'm very familiar with magnetic tape and have seen such lines in some tapes that have many hours of use. Could that be what I'm seeing here? I'm also familiar with the importance of keeping tape heads clean so I assume that translates to disk drives as well.

 

What about demagnetizing the heads? That's an important part of tape machine maintenance; is it also with disk drives?Thanks again for the help and advice.

K.K. 

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Timelord wrote:A KB filled
Timelord wrote:
A KB filled with ash, soot, leaves, and mouse droppings is always a joy to clean and to restore. ;)

 

Yes indeed. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.  :) 

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KimKimberly wrote:I'm not
KimKimberly wrote:

I'm not sure if I'm seeing any mold on the disks. My eyesight isn't great. Some of them look like they have "spots" on their magnetic surfaces but it sort of looks like oil drops in puddles of water, if that makes any sense, like when an old car was parked over a puddle in a parking lot. Those "spots" look like they are beneath the top surface. I don't see that on all of the disks.

 Without having seen it, I assume that it is some kind of fungus. You could try to clean the disks with IPA (Isopropanol Alcohol 99%).

 

Here's an interresting article about it:

http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/clean_disks.html

 

There's also a helper tool for cleaning floppy disks:

https://www.floppycleaner.co.uk

Or if you prefer printing one yourself:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2719765

 

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Here is an overt example of

Here is an overt example of mold on one of my disks.  I used the above mentioned cleaning frame and 99% isopropyl alcohol to get it readable again.

 

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pcbastler and nick3092, Thank

pcbastler and nick3092,

 

Thank you for that information. I didn't see anything like the spots on your photo, nick3092, but I did try to clean one using a cotton ball and isopropyl. With the shortage of that going on I can only find 70% around here but the hardest part was turning the disk to get a new section to show in the head window. I may have to look into making a device like you showed there, pcblaster.

 

When I did the cleaning the cotton ball did show some brown residue but very little; about like when cleaning dirty tape heads.

 

Some of the game disks had a lot of "wear lines" but I can't tell if there are any scratches. I don't care about the games but it would be nice to have some spare disks. My old engineering disks were made as back ups and never used after an intial check when they were first made. They look like new so I'm hoping they will read fine.

 

I took the DuoDisk apart, soaked and clean all the plastic parts, and cleaned the insides and circuit boards. It was actually very clean on the inside. I cleaned the heads and am now just waiting for the PS caps to arrive so I can test the system. Maybe they'll come today. <fingers crossed>

 

I appreciate how fast and how much everyone has offered help and advice.

 

Thanks all,

K.K.

 

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The new caps arrived Saturday

The new caps arrived Saturday, I put them in Sunday, and the old //e fired up and held on. The monitor doesn't work but that's o.k. for now. I have something else to use. But the current hurdle to the resurrection is that the DuoDisk doesn't work. I took everyone's advice on cleaning heads and disks but nothing is happening. I didn't try my engineering disks yet because I want to make sure the equipment is good first. There were a few disks in the box that came with the computer that looked new so I tried them. They were labeled that they were bootable, some in DOS 3.3 and some in ProDOS. I then tried to clean them with alcohol - still nothing; just the Apple //e screen. I can write and run BASIC programs.I had the DuoDisk apart for cleaning so looked closer and saw that it does spin and the head moves just a little bit but won't go to the "home" position. I can slide it along the rails freely so there's no binding. I switched the drives - putting the #2 in the first position and vice versa. Then the one in the first position does same thing except that head does go "home". I've been reading all the troubleshooting and repair info I can find here and elsewhere but have not advanced my attempts yet.

 

A bit of possible good news came today: My son was talking with a friend about my newfound obsession and his friend said he has some Apple stuff I might could make use of. He sort of gave it to his son a long time ago but the son is now in his late 20s, lives across the country and probably has no interest in it. He's going to see what's left and bring it to me sometime this week or weekend. He said at one time they had the whole //e set, including the DuoDisk, and a complete Laser 128 set. Looks like I have a project to get me through the winter. :)

 

The knowledge in this forum is tremendous and continues to be very helpful. I thank you all.

K.K.

 

 

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Nice to hear this will be used once again

Nice to hear this will be used once again rather than placed in a recycling center.

Good luck on these projects.  I hope you're successfun in getting your IIe working again.

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macnoyd wrote:Nice to hear
macnoyd wrote:

Nice to hear this will be used once again rather than placed in a recycling center.

Good luck on these projects.  I hope you're successful in getting your IIe working again.

 

Thanks macnoyd.

 

I should also mention that I checked the speed of the dirves. They are both right on - no drift at all on the strobe marks.

 

K.K.

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KimKimberly wrote:macnoyd
KimKimberly wrote:
macnoyd wrote:

Nice to hear this will be used once again rather than placed in a recycling center.

Good luck on these projects.  I hope you're successful in getting your IIe working again.

 

Thanks macnoyd.

 

I should also mention that I checked the speed of the dirves. They are both right on - no drift at all

When you power on, do you drop direct to BASIC, or does the system get stick on the Apple ][ splash screen until you break out of it?

 

If you drop direct to BASIC, then your DuoDisk controller card is not working properly. Even w/o drives connected, with that controller card installed, you should not get a BASIC prompt w/o a manual break. 

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Slot?

Just as a check, what physical slot in the IIe is your floppy controller in?  It should be in slot 6 although it should work in any slot other than 3.  Slot 6 is the most common and what many programs expect it to be in.  Slot 3 will conflict with it so don't put it in 3.  If it is in 6 and fully seated and the card-edge cleaned, etc...then sounds like maybe a controller issue but could also be the card inside the drive or the cable...

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nick3092 wrote:Here is an
nick3092 wrote:

Here is an overt example of mold on one of my disks.  I used the above mentioned cleaning frame and 99% isopropyl alcohol to get it readable again.

 

 

That looks like mould to me.  That disk should be washed, imaged, and probably discarded.  You'll never be able to remove the mould that exists in the jacket's lining.

 

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baldrick wrote:nick3092 wrote
baldrick wrote:
nick3092 wrote:

Here is an overt example of mold on one of my disks.  I used the above mentioned cleaning frame and 99% isopropyl alcohol to get it readable again.

 

[[{"fid":"32215","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":fals

Not discarded, as it is an original label diskette; but certainly not used. 

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Not discarded, as it is an

Not discarded, as it is an original label diskette; but certainly not used. 

Well the label wouldn't be that problem, this one could be easily redone... but this is a "no-notch-disk", which were used often for original Disk back in this time... 

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Throwing in my 2 cents

I had purchased an Apple IIe Platinum a couple of years ago and had been playing with it on and off. One day some of the magic smoke came out and it no longer worked. As expected, the RIFA capacitor had become a short. Since I do a lot of electronics work, I ordered new ones (both the one that popped and 2 others) from DigiKey as they have direct but better RIFA replacements. Other than that, I reseated a couple of memory chips that initially caused some problems but haven't had any other issues. Over the past 10 years I've acquired a II+ that looks pristine, the Platinum already mentioned and two unenhanced IIe's, both of which popped caps in the power supplies within the first 2 weeks. Disk II drives seem to be reliable, of the more recent drives I have 3 out of 6 that don't work, haven't bothered fixing them yet. Also, composite video connectors seem to be an issue. I've had to repair 2 or 3 that have centers loose, just a bit of soldering to fix.

Hope you enjoy. I had a IIe unenhanced my folks bought for me shortly after release and regret that I let it go. However, I enjoy the Platinum that I picked up at a local flea market thing as well as a number of boards that I've built into it.

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brimars wrote:I had purchased
brimars wrote:

I had purchased an Apple IIe Platinum a couple of years ago and had been playing with it on and off. One day some of the magic smoke came out and it no longer worked. As expected, the RIFA capacitor had become a short. Since I do a lot of electronics work, I ordered new ones (both the one that popped and 2 others) from DigiKey as they have direct but better RIFA replacements. Other than that, I 

 Thank you brimars. There is something nostalgic about the Apple // line. Like the memories of a first car and other such watershed moments.

 

K.K.

 

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brimars wrote:I had purchased
brimars wrote:

I had purchased an Apple IIe Platinum a couple of years ago and had been playing with it on and off. One day some of the magic smoke came out and it no longer worked. As expected, the RIFA capacitor had become a short. Since I do a lot of electronics work, I ordered new ones (both the one that popped and 2 others) from DigiKey as they have direct but better RIFA replacements. Othe than that, I

 

When you fix those RCA jacks, pend the video feed (positive) pin down to force good contact. This helps quite a lot. Then, sandpaper the outer edge (earth) for best contact there. 

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Welcome to the Fritter...

Welcome to the Fritter...

We hope your restoration goes well.

Cleaning can be a chore, especially when the 4-legged critters have had their way with things.

Not much I can share "sight-unseen" outside the obvious case cleaning, keyboard cleaning. (removing keys, etc)

Maybe you can post photos showing detain of the inside?  That might help with suggestions.

In the mean-time, we hope this projext brings you new-found plearure with retro computing.

 

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