WTB: Apple-1 parts dc-correct, most important MK4096N-11 dc 76. SRAGUE 5300 15V 39D dc 75/76

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achimhb's picture
Last seen: 1 month 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2015 - 19:08
Posts: 77
WTB: Apple-1 parts dc-correct, most important MK4096N-11 dc 76. SRAGUE 5300 15V 39D dc 75/76


Yes, I know, obviously very hard to find items. And many looking for it. But maybe someone with a replica consider selling some parts? Or maybe you know someone?

We can talk about the price. Please send a PM.

If you are not just trading and not selling, we can talk about it in private chat as well.


Thank you.

Last seen: 1 day 20 hours ago
Joined: Apr 1 2020 - 16:46
Posts: 174
Trying to find these old parts with correct date codes ...

... is futile IMHO. I once had grand plans to make 100 period correct Apple-1 but soon found out that it's all but impossible to find all the parts with correct date code. (I could have settled for less period accuracy but the second show stopper was the fact that the damn things just did not work well enough to be sold as a "product", considering warranty etc. !).


I pondered for a while over the date code problem and if you want to have the period correct stamps on the ICs you can have them, but it will be costly. You can pay some of these Chinese IC counterfeiters to remove the original stamps and to put on forged stamps for which you need high quality photos of the originals taken perpendicular to the IC top surface. Any geometric distortion is a problem. Best way to do it would be to pull the original ICs out of the sockets, carefully align them on a flatbed scanner, and then scan them with high resolution. These Chinese counterfeiters are the best in the world because they have perfected their techniques over  many decades. You can buy nice Signetics 2504 shift registers from them which look perfect and even have the rare grey mold compound just like the originals. But they are re-stamped 555 timers ... buyer beware ! These things don't shift any bits, instead, they just get hot and die if put into an Apple-1.


The 1970s era big blue electrolytics nowadays most likely are no good anymore.  There is a multitude of effects which deteriorate them but other than electrode chemistry it boils down to the integrity of the seal, which is a rubber plug. The chances that this rubber did not deteriorate over nearly half a century are slim and if the seal fails the electrolyte quickly leaks away. These "dried out" capacitors are outright dangerous to operate as they may explode. Not fiercly enough to take away fingers but it could cost an eye. Another problem I have seen is the electrolyte concentrating on one side of the guts (the lower side due to gravity). This is why crates with Dynamite sticks need to be turned upside down during storage every so often to avoid the same effect. Both the improperly stored Dynamite sticks and the improperly stored electrolytic capacitors are dangerous to use.

The best remedy for all of this is perhaps to buy newly made capacitors of the same size and ask the manufacturer to put a custom logo on them. Vishay has bought the electrolytic capacitor business of Sprague and they still can make them.: same size, same electical data, same blue foil. If you buy enough they may agree to put whatever text you want on them.  But I did not ask them.


Just sharing my thoughts how we could get some period correct parts to make date code correct Apple-1 clones. However, other than the ICs and the capacitors there are many more hard-to-get parts which can't be forged. Such as the IC sockets and the PCBs. I have heard of one builder who still has a stash of the original low profile TI sockets. Which are junk, always have been junk, even fresh out of the factory, back in the day. But they are originals, at least.


The PCB situation is hopeless. Neither the base material nor the solder mask materials exist anymore. Nor does the process exist anymore. I think it is impossible to make PCBs which would pass the scrutiny of Corey as "originals".


And herewith another "get rich quick" scheme disappears in the mists of time and infeasibility. It would have been cool to sell 100 "perfect" clones as "100% genuine forgeries" at a good price each. (Six figures perhaps). All this would be completely legit as long as the bill of sale spells out it's a good fake (they use the harmless sounding word "reproduction"), made by a master forger / "artist". The whole collectible arts scene is full of these dubious things. High end collectible cars, too. Somebody bought a wreck just to get the papers and the chassis and engine number plates. And by crafty hands a new vintage Ferrari / Maserati / Lamborghini rises from the ashes ... around and beginning with these small parts. Honni soit qui mal y pense ! Of course, the resulting car is genuine ! It has the correct genuine papers and the correct and genuine chassis / engine number plates. And the "provenance" as this chassis/engine number was once owned and driven by the famous pre-owner(s). So it must be genuine ! Another foul trick is to buy one "classic" car and disassemble it, cut the chassis in two halves, and substitute the missing parts to end up with two "genuine" cars of the same type again. Guess how many Porsche speedsters in which James Dean died do exist and were restored to drivable / collectible condition ? Somewhere in each of them may be a part that came out of the one and only real wreck. 


I'm just waiting for another "original" Apple-1 being "discovered". Caveat emptor ! When big money can be made out of arranging long obsolete electronic junk parts in the right way, then it is quite likely somebody will do it. Alas, any attempt of honest builders who want museum grade "perfect" Apple-1 clones will lead to the use of the techniques decribed above. So it's probably worth to share them in an open forum and shine a light on them. Hope I did a good overview. (No, I did not want to inspire the criminal minds among my readers, I just wanted to show you what can and will be done, to warn you: Caveat Emptor !).


- Bernie










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