Troubleshooting Language Card

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Troubleshooting Language Card

I have an Apple II+ that I have been slowly restoring. I have replaced several chips on the motherboard and the RAM to the point where it functions perfectly until I put in the the language card that i got with it. In running a language card test, it fails the memory test saying every chip failed, but passes everything else, so I'm doubting the memory is bad. My question is, should I start replacing IC's on the board (the capacitors don't look so hot either) or is there some other chip on the motherboard that I should replace first to test the language card?

I attached a pic of the motherboard as it was given to me and the language card.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

a couple questions. There is a cable on your language card that you're plugging into the motherboard? And is there any chance you're plugging it in backwards

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Sorry to be of no help, but what is the rust colored stuff around the chips in the center of the motherboard? Thank you.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Here2Learn wrote:
Sorry to be of no help, but what is the rust colored stuff around the chips in the center of the motherboard? Thank you.

Corrosion.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Wow look at all those mineral deposits, rust, and corrosion. Water damage.

Until the proper decontamination protocol is carried out you can expect a variety of random errors.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap,

besides of the comments left here previosly :

It seems that the electrolytic capacitor between slot 0 and slot 1 is leaking....
the white reside indicates that - it´s what is left after the bor-acid has left the casing...
in dry consistance that looks like salty crust.....

and that is very aggressiv stuff ! It might have damaged the traces below between slot 0 and slot 1.

Resulting from that, several signals might not be present a slot 0 where the language card is to be inserted....
specialy those signals which are entering the signalbus between Slot 5 and slot 7.

for better advice a picture of the entire language card should be made ( including the cable )

and like Keatah explained - it is highly recommended to pick off all circuits and store them at a clean
antistatic foam - till the entire board has been cleaned very carefully...

the picture displays "the worst case" what happens, if a mainboard is stored in area with very high humidity -
resulting severe oxydation and and rust ( also inside at the inner contacts of the sockets !!! )
as well as at the legpins of the ICs.

Here are several threads availiable about different kinds of working procedures how cleanup such a messy mainboard.

The "real detective task" will start after the cleanup....

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Max,

By any chance have you removed the motherboard from the case to check underneath it?
From what I am seeing inside the case, not only do you have to deal with what Keatah and Speedy are talking about, the four hold down screws at the back of the motherboard are rusted too.

You also may have to replace that ROM chip if it can't be removed and cleaned.

Wow!

Steven

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Yes.

The real question is if this board is salvageable or not? With the right paraphernalia and some elbow grease, probably yes. It already powers up and supposedly passes rudimentary diagnostics. And that's great! Done right, no parts would need changing. Not even the capacitors. But they should be tested.

I don't know if that's boric acid, but instead just a large mineral deposit from where water collected. The rounded shape of the capacitor allows for more than normal water to pool in that area. But chemical analysis and component examination would tell the exact story.

Yes. What about the bottom? And the power supply, keyboard + encoder, and 2 daughtercards?

To answer the OP's question directly about randomly replacing ICs.. No not really. The problem lies in the connections between them and the board's sockets - and all the resistive shorts formed by the contamination & deposits.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

speedyG wrote:
... Here are several threads availiable about different kinds of working procedures how cleanup such a messy mainboard. ...

Did you mean to post a link to some or did you mean to say that if one searches the forum, there are old threads that have cleaning information? I am trying to clean a few myself.

Thank you,
Here2Learn

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Sorry I should have been clearer. That picture was just for reference on what I was working on to show how bad it was. It doesn't look like that anymore and works perfectly, except when it comes to the language card. Floppy card works fine also. The language card passes all tests except memory on the card, which I've swapped out and it tests the same. I was wanting to know if another IC on the main board might bad or if I just have to swap out chips on the language card and how to determine whichs ICs on the language card could be bad.

I'll add a picture to my original post of what it looks like now.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Can you post a picture of exactly how you have the language card in the computer when you run the test?

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

BillO wrote:
Can you post a picture of exactly how you have the language card in the computer when you run the test?

I updated my original post to include output from the test program (It failed on test for the first time today) and a picture of the language card itself installed.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

First things I would do is use a multi-meter to check conductivity on the ribbon cable. Make sure all connections are good. Then I'd inspect the sockets, or rather the cable in the sockets. Most the lines are paralleled (except pin 15 and pin 2), so do this (with the power off, of course!) by plugging in the card as usual, then remove D1 on the language card and the chip next to the socket on the motherboard where you have the ribbon plugged in. Again, using a multi-meter check conductivity between like pins.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap,

I´ve marked up some parts at mainboard and at languagecard.....
i recommend to work along the alphabetical list:

Mainboard:

A

Check the pins of this IC if all pins are correctly inserted in the socket
( no pin slipping beneath the chip )

B
At this marked area there are 2 holes with contact through
from top of board to bottem - they have heavy corrodings
clean away corrosion and make a soldering from topside
of mainboard to bottom side with very short wire to make
sure clean contact from top trace to bottom trace !
Be careful not to make contact between the 2 holes !
check connection from top to bottom and "no contact"
between the 2 holes beside each other with multimeter !
Cutoff rest parts of wire ! While performing this repair
the CPU should be taken off and stored in a antistatic
foam and reinserted after the soldering was completed.

C
Clean very carefull the legs of the microprrocessor at
pins 21 to 24 and reseat back in socket. Be carefull
- not to damage the pins and to insert CPU carefull in socket.

D and E
same procedure as a C: clean socket from redsidy and dirt
and clean pins 12 to 16 ! Then reseat chip in cleaned socket.

G
check IC for correct insertion at socket ( like checking at A: )
H
The 74LS175 is not correct and firm in socket ! it must be inserted firmly
and complete and all pins must be firm in their socketholes !

RAM chips at Languagecard are NOT 4116 nor 4216.( only "compatible" chips )
and "compatible" has a very wide range of claims from "pincompatible" to "compatible for replacemant".....
they maybe not compatible with refresh timing or with refresh organisation...

The chips have timing code (-3) of 300 nanoseconds...( which is rather slow and critical )
Better if possible: using 4116 chips instead with timing code -2 for 200 nanoseconds or
-15 for 150 nanoseconds. And it should be "real" 4116 chips !

Repeat the Tests with testing software.

If test still fails their might be damage at one of this chips:
G, H, I, J or at mainboard at A or E.

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

speedyG wrote:
Hello Max_heap,

RAM chips at Languagecard are NOT 4116 nor 4216.( only "compatible" chips )
and "compatible" has a very wide range of claims from "pincompatible" to "compatible for replacemant".....
they maybe not compatible with refresh timing or with refresh organisation...

The chips have timing code (-3) of 300 nanoseconds...( which is rather slow and critical )
Better if possible: using 4116 chips instead with timing code -2 for 200 nanoseconds or
-15 for 150 nanoseconds. And it should be "real" 4116 chips !

Repeat the Tests with testing software.

If test still fails their might be damage at one of this chips:
G, H, I, J or at mainboard at A or E.

sincerely speedyG

I think the 138 ICs might be part of the problem as they didn't look very good from the start (I just cleaned them and they didn't make a difference). I've already ordered new ones. The memory also sounds suspicious as I have 150ns on the logic board now. The one thing I didn't notice before is that the diagnostic program is saying that the RAM in location E2 on the language card is good. Does that change anything? The IC's on the language board have a lot of oxidation.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max-heap,
it does not really change my "to do "-list.

the only additional task:

you may change a row from mainboard to language card and
the row at the languagecard to mainboard and test.....

the point is the the timing at the entire 16 k block of
the language card ( selecting block and buffering of the adressing and dataaccess )
is slightly different....,

maybe the chips will work in the mainboard, but not in the language card,
while a row of the 4116 in the mainboard will work in the card....

the indication are the previous tests of the language card:
they don´t fail in the later adressing blocks....
only in the access to the first block all chips fail.. C0A0.

so it´s a problem to the access of the first 4 k in the card,
or a timine problem while mapping to the access window
( data is not fast enough valid )....
or the problem is by decoding the first block itself...

That´s also the reason i suspect most the point B and C at CPU at the mainbord
together with H at the language card to be resposible for your trouble.
B : there seem to be no reliable contact from traces at topside to traces at bottomside
........... examine and compare carefully your third picture in marked area with my marked area !
C : Adresslines at pin 23 and 24 at CPU ( Adresslines A14 and A15 ! ) to much oxydation and bad contact
...........and both requested for selection of highest 16k Block.
H : IC not cerrect inserted and some pins not good contact with socketpins

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Quote:
The memory also sounds suspicious as I have 150ns on the logic board now. The one thing I didn't notice before is that the diagnostic program is saying that the RAM in location E2 on the language card is good. Does that change anything? The IC's on the language board have a lot of oxidation.

The chip pins and sockets all need to be cleaned and burnished. Using a small fine brass wire brush and a pink eraser will help.

That screen shot you show tells me that all chips on the MB are checking out good. Bad ones would be in inverse video. So what you could do is take the ram off the language card and put it in row E of the MB and run that test again.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello BillO,
you reply is off from context.... if posting - it´s usefull to also read the previous posts -
otherwise you will miss vital information about topic and send only stuff that has been
mentioned before much more precise....
speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hi Speedy, I was just reenforcing your points.

I'll leave you to it and bow out.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Thanks for the list speedyG. Cleaned the CPU and cleaned H on the language card, didn't change anything. Swapped the RAM from the language card to the logic board, didn't change anything. I think I'll wait until my new IC's get in. Hopefully it's just a bad 138 or 175. Would those capacitors on the language card have any affect? The motherboard ones were bad, so I doubt those have much life left either.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap,
the big electrolytic capacitor still look well and are just used for buffering the supply voltage,
and the small blue caps are just for filtering spikes and unwanted pulses of from supply voltages.
Unless one of the electrolytic capacitors starts leaking like the one formerly mentioned and changed between
slot 0 and slot 1 you don´t need to change.

In some cards in former days we solved timing issues by replacing the 74LS86 by a 74F86 or by replacing a
74LS09 by a 74F09. The F-Type Logic chips are faster than the LS type ones normaly used. But it´s not a general
solution that solves problems in general - such change is only recommended in the rare case where it really
works solving the problem.

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Replaced the 138's, didn't change anything. Looks like it's going to be the chips on the language card.

By the way, are 74ALS chips satisfactory replacements in an Apple II? Curious since they are cheaper.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap,

by name some might asume them to be satisfacory replacements....:
LS = Low power Shottky ALS = Advanced Low Power Shottky
but in fact they do not fit in every situation .....
ALS often have less "fanout" meaning that after the output less gates may be permitted
to connect to the outputpin.....
also the limits of voltage and slewrate are different.....
therefore often the replacement can only be decided by test under real conditions...

Did you checkout the 2 holes to have good contact from top surface and traces to botttom surface and traces at B ?
In former days it often ( most cases ) turned out that the 74LS09 was source of the trouble.....
the timing seems to be very specific at that chip....

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

I have to disagree with Speedy on this. ALS logic has the same drive capability as LS and half the loading. It is also faster.

See this PDF.

ACT logic is even better if you can find it in the required function. It is even faster than ALS, has lower power consumption and has symmetric drive capability (will both source and sink 24ma).

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

BillO wrote:
I have to disagree with Speedy on this. ALS logic has the same drive capability as LS and half the loading. It is also faster.

See this PDF.

ACT logic is even better if you can find it in the required function. It is even faster than ALS, has lower power consumption and has symmetric drive capability (will both source and sink 24ma).

Just several remarks to citation at document, which is primarily related to HC logic:

1. speed: HC is faster - ALS sometimes faster, sometimes slower....
2. fanout in this document fanout is stated LS to LS and / or ALS to ALS....
but if replacing LS with ALS in AppleII electronics - fanout is ALS to LS ! And LS have higher power drag....

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

speedyG wrote:

1. speed: HC is faster - ALS sometimes faster, sometimes slower....

Hi speedy, I really do not want to get into an argument with you, but do you have a verifiable example of an ALS chip that is actually slower than an equivalent LS chip?

speedyG wrote:

.... but if replacing LS with ALS in AppleII electronics - fanout is ALS to LS ! And LS have higher power drag....

speedyG

The point was that ALS and LS have exactly the same drive capability, but ALS has less load and lower power dissipation.

And...

speedyG wrote:
which is primarily related to HC logic:

Does this really matter? 4 different technologies are compared, including LS and ALS.

Would you like another document?

Try this one

See page 2.

Haben Sie einen guten Tag mein Freund.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello BillO,
viewing your posting the question is: who is argueing ????
Just to get back to the floor:
- discusion is about malfunction of language card
- i said it´s not every time a good idea to replace LS with ALS and that it should be thougt about - before doing that...
- you seem to propagate that ALS should be used in general as replacement for LS chips
( being fast and using less power ) anytime a replacement is needed ... correct ?
do you seriously believe that ????

i state now: it´s not proof to have understood a text if you just repeat a text from general advertisement doc...
you must at least go one step ahead and also think about the results caused by that statements...

few sentences:
The Apple II has very complex timing and several parts use latching for solving the timing issues...
=>in general the timing delays of LS are per stage ( depending to the chip ) between 15 nS and 40 nS.
=>in general the timing delay of ALS is 5nS to 10 nS.
in the complex adressing of Apple II often 2 or 3 stages of logic is used to generate a timing signal
like READ, WRITE Strobe or enable
to a latch that shall store intermediate Adressing or Memory data.
What do you believe what happens if a Latch like the 74LS175 or the Latches in the 74LS74
get the
strobe ( in fact the enable signal ) or the read or write signal 30nS or 50 nS
too early ?
Do you realy believe that you have then stored valid adressing or memory content in the latch
( i.e. or flipflop ) ?
Or is it rather more to be supposed, that you got mess of invalid data stored
- while the other slower LS Logic still was in "invalid / transient moving mode " ???

I recommend you to reread the Apple II Circuit Description from Winston D. Gaylor and specially pay
attention to the timing diagrams in the annex of the book ( of course same stuff is also treated
in Jim Sathers "Unterstanding the Apple II "
- and bear in mind: the topic was the malfunction of the languagecard !So the stuff is not only related
to the timing of the mainboard but here specially also to the timing routed along the slot to the language card
- and that card is a "special case" ... why (?):
the general signals for refresh and adressing are partialy running alomg the 16pin flatribbon cable from mainboard,
while at the same time adressing the 2 k memory blocks occur along the slot and the logic related to the signals
of the softswitching taken from the slot .... ! That´s also the reason that you MUST keep the timing of that
language card VERY CLOSE to the timing at the mainboard....!

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Not really. What I am saying is that in most cases an ALS chip will do nicely. If the designer has used flawed technique and the circuit relies on the lower specification propagation delay of an LS chip, well then maybe not. The ALS series were specifically designed to be an enhancement over the LS chip, and is most well engineered applications will be a 'better' replacement than an LS chip. In this particular case, the fan-out is not affected as was earlier stated.

Speedy, just so you know where I'm coming from, I'm not just reading advertising. I do actually know some of this stuff. Well, enough of that.

On this:

Quote:

few sentences:
The Apple II has very complex timing and several parts use latching for solving the timing issues...
=>in general the timing delays of LS are per stage ( depending to the chip ) between 15 nS and 40 nS.
=>in general the timing delay of ALS is 5nS to 10 nS.
in the complex adressing of Apple II often 2 or 3 stages of logic is used to generate a timing signal
like READ, WRITE Strobe or enable to a latch that shall store intermediate Adressing or Memory data.
What do you believe what happens if a Latch like the 74LS175 or the Latches in the 74LS74
get the strobe ( in fact the enable signal ) or the read or write signal 30nS or 50 nS
too early ?
Do you realy believe that you have then stored valid adressing or memory content in the latch
( i.e. or flipflop ) ?
Or is it rather more to be supposed, that you got mess of invalid data stored
- while the other slower LS Logic still was in "invalid / transient moving mode " ???

Yeah, I don't think there will be a problem at all in this example. The timing is dominated by the cpu generated address, data, /WE and clock signals. Those timings are sufficient to have the latches work properly. Reducing the parasitic propagation delay in the glue logic will not create a problem. Even in the Apple.

As for the Apple, yeah, there is some funky design at work there for sure (not using the CPU generated phi2 to gate writes being the most glaring error), let's just leave it at that as discussing the Apple II's shortcomings could take entire volumes.

Speaking of that ribbon cable, I suggested earlier that it be checked. If this is not done, and it is faulty, changing all the logic on both boards will not fix the problem. Checking that cable is the easiest and first thing that should have been done.

BTW, we are arguing. One definition of arguing is "discussing two sides of a point of interest". Just like we are doing.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello BillO,

well with that i can agree in general....

besides: in the years from 1980 till 1986 i had been in our local User group responsible for mantainance and
repair of members hardware and i also have given evening lessons on several hardware related topics....
In that days i have repaired at least more than 350 to 400 different faults on Apple II, II+, II+ clones, IIe and
IIGS. Not to talk about the printers and other devices....

We have tried replacement of the LS chips with chips from F-series ( in some cases usefull ) and also
tried our luck with ALS-Logic and military replacements from 54XX series. At final conclusion
from our experiences made and checked with mesurements at oscilloscope at least i´d rather
not recommend replacement with ALS-logic,
even though they are better in term of saving energy and often being faster ......
in most places of the Apple II+ series
they rather more cause problems than solve them.... at the other hand more expensive but in nearly each case
the replacement with military logic ( i.e. 54LSxx ) made no problems and sometimes had been a good solution
when the Apple machines got heated up by their supplies and heavy load in the slots
- if not equipped with Kensington or similar solutions due to the fact that the 54LSxx series are permitted
to operate also with extended temperature range...

In the IIe the ALS are often a good solution ( maybe because a lot of the timing has been integrated
in the HAL-chip ) and thereby reducing the timing problems because far less "glue logic" was needed....

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

I had some problems with the supplier of the 175, so I'm still waiting on those chips, but I did change out every other logic chip on the language card and the RAM to match the logic board and no change (the test showed bad RAM). I did pull the S175 from the logic board and place it on the language card (hope that was ok) and it still showed bad RAM. Anything else I can check next?

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Did you check the ribbon cable yet? It needs to be checked while in place in the sockets.

These are easily damaged from pulling them out and putting them in.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap

sorry but i have to insist and switch again back to posting No.13

First picture - point marked as B !
I have checked entire thread of your replies and still remain
at a point that has not been confirmed to proof !

Did you check that the 2 traces at component side have by the rusted wierd looking
contact holes a reliable connection to the opposing traces at the solderside of
that contact holes
????

This is realy upmost important and it was one of my first remarks to be solved at the
"to-go-list" - that area realy looks very wierd and i seriosly doubt the contact between
component side and solder side
of the PCB to be reliably good !
This really must be checked with multimeter !

If the contact is not reliable a piece of wire must be soldered through
to make reliable contact beteen trace at component side to the related trace at solderside !
That are the adressing lines A14 and A15 ! Reread posting 13 and posting 15 !
Prevent shortcut between both contactholes ! They are really very close to each other ....
Each hole has another different signal !

If that contact is not realy good the related contacts at the slot will not get correct signals
and the language card won´t get correct adressing signals and could not work !!!

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hi speedyG,
I have taken a closer picture of the contacts. They don't look too bad. Soldering the motherboard would be the last step I would want to take to get this to work.

Also BillO, I have checked the continuity of the ribbon cable. It tests out fine.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max_heap,
this picture shows indeed a good area
- but is this the same mainboard as mentioned and pictured above in posting # 13 ???
At the area i marked up there have been two contact through holes which have seemed to be damaged by coroding....
at this board that contact through holes are completely missing ???
should that really have been dirt instead ???

Indeed it seems we are talking about two different mainboards !
Examining the pictures listed in the first posting you have published pictures of two very different mainboards
from different revisions :

The first mainboard is connected to a powersupply with fan outlet,
blue horizontal electrolytic capacitors close to power input plug
and videx switchboard at the bottom
and gameport socket is without cable plug and gamesocket is white

The second mainboard has normal silver powersupply case without fanoutlet
black vertical electrolytic capacitors close to power input plug
and is without videx switchboard at bottom
and also at bottom below cable to gameport the socket of gameport seems to be black socket

The diagnostic i have made are dependent to the second mainboard.....
If you are mixing different mainboards this has influence to diagnostics !
Different mainboards => possible different mistakes causing different mistake issues !

Your last picture seem to be from the first main board....
in that case, i would like examine again by pictures the now seemingly cleaned area at top
where there had previously been the white leaking spots aroung that blue horizontal capacitors....
and the current condition !

and please also add a picture with total topview and total view to solderside of the languagecard we are talking about.

One point also irritating me is the fact that you are using a languagecard with autostart ROM
( 341-0020 ) at right side, while at mainboard same autostart ROM is present with the Applesofts ROMs.

This languagecard seems to have been designed to be used with Integer ROM Set .

It might be usefull to inspect the language card while the Autostart ROM has been taken out off socket and seated while inspections are carried out at a antistatic foam besides of the computer.....

there might be conflict of both ROMs ( at languagecard and mainboard ) fighting each other !
Or alternate testing the mainboard with integer ROM set-might be the better testing option
while keeping the autostart ROM on the language card....

Reason: That language card has cutoff fields for use with or without ROM and without documentation sheet
about that "configuration / soldering / cutting pads" i guess the card to be configured with the Autostart ROM....

in such case it might be better avoiding conflict and testing card while inserted in mainboard with integer ROMs present.

speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello speedyG,
I wish I had another one, but all the pictures have been of the same machine. I stripped it down, removing the Videx card to make troubleshooting easier. I tried booting the machine without the ROM in the card, it wouldn't boot. I took the ROM off the logic board and it would boot, but still gave bad memory errors. I've attached pictures from today as to what the logic board looks like. The pictures I've attached might have been though different phases of cleaning up the machine.

Thanks again for your help. Its really appreciated.

http://www.applefritter.com/files/logicboard.jpg
http://www.applefritter.com/files/logicfront.jpg
http://www.applefritter.com/files/languageback.jpg

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Too bad you don't have access to another language card (LC) or A2+ to test.

I know you want to get to the bottom of this, but if I were you, I'd be tempted to go out an buy another 'tested' LC just the put the argument to rest. At least then you'd know that if the same problems persist, it's on the MB or if they go away or change significantly, it's likely the LC.

I know module level swapping is not a 100% effective way to troubleshoot, but it is (in my experience) at least 97% effective.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

No, you MUST have ROM on the LC because the card disables the mobo F8 ROM.
Autostart is SUPPOSED to be on the LC. It's there for the benefit of users of old II systems with the original Monitor ROM.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

@BillO: module swapping is an excellent way to cut the problem in half or thirds.
And I'm still convinced that the problem is high (or low) resistances due to contamination.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max-heap

below commented pictures back....
read comments within pictures and view indicated marked points.

results of visual inspection of mainboard:

results of visual inspection of soldering side of language card:

results of visual inspection of componentside of language card:

awaiting your feedback......
speedyG

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Logic board has corroded sockets on most of the chips in the pic

Looking at that logic board there is way too much corrosion on all of the sockets that the chips are in. Looks like moisture did a job on the connections. I would look for a better condition logic board. Taking every removable chip off and removing the corrosion might resolve the issue with the ram.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello ANORD,

nice shot if we were starting at this point....

unfortunately we are far beyond this point...

you could have recognized that - if you would have read the entire thread....

unfortunately you did not and just jumped in without correctly judging this point.....

If you believe this board to be now bad in condition -
you should view the links to the pictures of the board at the beginning in the first posting ....
THAT WAS REALLY BAD CONDITION !!!

But now we are far beyong of that point.... if you would have continued reading:

first of all: ( you might read this previousely ) we are not talking about malfunction of the mainboard RAM !!!
second: the mainboard is running and passes it´s tests!!!
.... so what are you argueing about ???

If joining a running thread it´s realy usefull- to previously read the entire stuff
before tossing in stuff that´s really not basicly current stuff of the thread....

the diagnostics here is NOW specificaly related only to the adressing of the RAM at the language card
therefor only very few parts of the mainboard are really involved !!!

thanks for the participation.....
just remarked besides: your post is just a repeating of the remark allready given
by member Keatah few postings above...
( seems you also didn´t recognize that too...) ?

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Keatah wrote:
@BillO: module swapping is an excellent way to cut the problem in half or thirds.

I absolutely agree. It's the the professional technicians first line of attack. The reason I de-rated it to 97% was that every once in a while you'll get that maddening situation were two modules will not work with each other, but both will work just honky dory with other modules. There are a multitude of reasons why this might happen, so its sometimes even worse than and intermittent problem :-(.

One of the foremost is a timing issue, which may indeed be the OPs problem with their LC, given the wonderfully eclectic mix of RAM chips on that thing. That card also looks like all the chips are in a serious need to be removed and have their leads burnished with a pink eraser and the sockets brushed with a fine brass brush and a small (1.25mm) contact burnisher.

If the OP doesn't have all the fancy tools, sometimes a flat tooth-pick with a little contact cleaner works wonders.

EDIT: BTW, I saw an LC on EEEKBay last night for about $19+shipping. Might be an idea.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello BillO,
i´d agree in most points..... the question remaining : is that offered card tested ?
otherwise we might end in the same troubleshooting task........

In fact i´d rather also put up the question:
because the mainboard has the Autostart ROM present as F8 ...
- is that language card one of the later ones only with RAM and glue logic but without ROM ?
In that case we could at least eliminate the possible trouble of the "fighting ROM switching"
by the glue logic
....

in case the problem is not solved within the next 3 to 5 steps - i seriously would side
with your opinion to think about the option of buying an alternate Languagecard without a Autostart ROM....

but it´s not my opinion counting.... as far as Max-heap is likely to carry on this task of troubleshooting
and trying to learn about such task - i don´t want to force him to take the "short cut" way...

At the moment this is just "3rd round" in the game of troubleshooting.....
and up to the moment i haven´t seen all troubleshooting chances taken....

....what really might turn out a bit frustrating - is the problem of what i would call "changing possible troubles"....

If you examine the early pictures of the mainboard in this thread you will recognize that the mainboard
had seemingly good 3 x 74LS153 while tests of the mainboard have been performed...
- now in the last picture recieved, that chips have been replaced with very suspicious chips ( according to my remarks in the picture... )

and what every technician knows...: "working things should not be changed without serious reason...."
changes always bear the risk of complicating troubles.....

or like the alternate citation of murphy´s law: "never touch a running system" ....lol
speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

I agree speedy, change only one thing at a time.

EIDT: Yeah, those '153s look really strange!

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

I did pick up another language card (one without the ROM). Was cheap and after this much work was worth it to just test. I'm surprised about the 153s, but I didn't swap them out until a couple of days ago, so they aren't the cause. I didn't even notice that as I put them in and will go back to the place I ordered them from (they are from a reputable place though). I'm assuming that there is still some corrosion to clean up if the new language card doesn't fix it.

I'll update when it comes in.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Update please! We're all hangin' on the edge of our seats!

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Keatah,
as we all know, purchases from private sources at ebay often request at least
a week while payment mailing and delivery is performed.. till item arrives....
i guess this will delay further process at least several days...
speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

I got my new memory card (a Microsoft Ramcard knockoff)I cleaned the logic board the best I could (if anyone has a good way to clean around the expansion slots let me know as it was very difficult) and it still doesn't work with either card. The one thing I did find interesting is that since the new card has LED indicators the bank switch LED never lights during the test. However, if I let it run continuously, the bank switching LED will eventually light up and alternate off and on. This is starting to maybe sound like a timing issue? I still haven't tested both cards by swapping out the memory (the Apple Language card has the 150ns in it) as I wanted to post an update for guidance first.

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Hello Max-heap,

i´d prefer to continue with the ROMless languagecard, due to the fact it excludes trouble of ROM switching and the
Autostart ROM being present in the Mainboard and the fact that is has the faster RAMchips i´d recommend to use that card for troubleshooting....

Remembering the condition the mainboard was at the beginning and the fact that i have not seen condition of the soldering side of the mainboard in it´s present condition ( i know it´s a boring task ) i kindly ask to add new pictures of the current used languagecard ( componentside and soldering side )
and pictures from the soldering side of the mainboard... ) and i recommend to re-insert the formerly used 74LS153´s as mentioned above.... after viewing that pictures i´ll turn back with next steps in the task....
if possible take the pictures with good daylight and avoid if possible flashlight of the camera....
the reflections disturb carefull inspection.... if possible take one grade higher resolution...
that permits better zooming in for inspecting details...

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

IT WORKS!!! Smile First I put the 153's back, then looked over the schematics for anything else that I might have missed before getting ready to take better pictures to post. I changed the 174's and that didn't help, when I noticed that I forgot to swap out the 74ls20 on the logic board. It started working after that (with both language cards). I'm not going to touch anything else! I was given two Apples this one and a IIe with a bad logic board and PSU (already fixed the PSU). I'll prob post something about the IIe in the future.

Thanks everyone for your help!

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Re: Troubleshooting Language Card

Congratulations on getting it repaired!

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