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Macintosh SE/30 Transformation

I have always wanted a Macintosh SE/30 but the prices that they go for always seemed out of reach. I have been watching a lot of repair videos on them since it is an area of interest, then when one popped up for sale in "working just prior to listing but now not booting", I knew I had to go for it.

It was a good price and seemed to be in good but heavily yellowed condition which shouldn't be too difficult to fix. Once it arrived I fully inspected it for damage and then began to take it apart. I am now familiar with how they work since the purchase of my Macintosh SE not too long ago. I found that one of the memory slots had a broken tab which allowed a memory module to come loose, with that re-seated I was able to boot the machine. I was surprised to find a fully functional system which included 8mb memory, 42mb hard drive and ethernet adapter. I immediately removed the battery and found that the sound didn't appear to work which wasn't surprising since that can be one of the initial symptoms of leaky capacitors.

I ordered a full cap kit for the analogue board, logic board and power supply. While I worked on the capacitors, I started the process of cleaning and then retrobriting the system. I built a setup similar to what I've seen online using a 50W UV light since the days are a bit too short to try and use natural sunlight to do the job. I ended up doing 4 hours of treatment per side with the exception being the front cover which took a bit over 8 total hours in 2 sessions to get to the correct color.

The system got a full treatment with upgrades which include a MacSIMM, 64MB of memory, Noctua Fan, a Blue SCSI and a fresh battery. This was my first experience with surface mount caps on the motherboard but luckily it was only a bit of cleanup and no damaged traces. I went with a tantalum kit which is a bit more expensive but I won't have to worry about it leaking again.

Last thing before putting it all back together was a freshening up of the floppy drive. I fully disassembled the drive, removed all the dust bunnies, lubricated and greased all the components and reassembled. Everything worked as expected with a smooth eject after completion. Time to put the system back together.

Everything put back together with fresh capacitors it all booted up first try! (Note, I had done individual testing of the analog board, power supply and logic board after recapping to ensure they all worked).

Am I the only one that gets a little bit sad at the end of a long project? This was something that I'd been looking forward to working on for several weeks and it's now complete. Now I get to play around with this beautiful machine and enjoy the fruits of the new skills that I've learned along the way. I'm extremely thankful to the community (including the many hours of YouTube videos I've watched) for all that I've learned.

I've included some before and after photos, the before photos are from the listing. Also included is the cat tax.

Thanks for reading!


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Nice job! Now you can start on tricking it out with awesome software!
I have a 2 device SCSI Cable coming in so that I can image the original HDD. The original has 7.5.3 installed on it and seems to be from the University of Wisconsin library, all kinds of interesting links for getting library resources (which no longer work).