Jump to content
keithiepoo

Got an old IIcx here. Would like to see if it's still workable.

Recommended Posts

I bought this machine used in the late 90s just to jump onto the internet. Cost me $200 in... 1997? Anyway, since then I bought more updated Macs and currently have a 5yo Macbook Pro. That all being said, I'd love to see if this old machine's still usable and what could be done with it. I tried starting it up once, maybe... 8 or 9 years ago? But I got no video signal. I figure either my video adaptor thingie's settings were wrong, or something's wrong with the Mac itself. 

 

I'm in the Los Angeles area. If anyone knows anyone/anything that could be a source of guidance, I'd love to know about it.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the people and resources here, you can get that mad puppy howling again!

 

First off - the motherboard and video card is going to need a recapping. Talk to Uniserver about his recapping services. Many, including I recommend him and TechKinght. They have been known to get dead Macs crawl out of the grave!

 

The hard drive might need not work, so time to save up for a new one. RAM - if you can get 4 - 16MB EDO RAM at 120 to 80 ns Speed, it will bring it up to 64.

 

The IIcx is slow - 16MHz as is. But it does not mean it's useless. You can still do a lot with it. If you can find an accelerator for it - get it!  If you can't, that's not a problem either. 

 

At most, you can use System 7.1 for it as anything else will run slow.

 

BTW - my first Mac was a IIcx. I still have it.

Edited by Elfen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have more IIcx than another other machine. Nice box that makes the IIci look good. :)

 

Agreed on the re-cap, well worth it and probably very much needed. Keep in mind you can power it up via keyboard or back button. A good battery is not needed, but make sure you pulled it  - and hope its not exploded!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tanuki65, depending on the video card, it may need recapping. If it is the Apple 8bit video card, it will need recapping as it has those dreaded 47µf electrolytic caps that leaks. The Apple 24bit video card seems to be solid-state caps on it (it does on the two that I have).

 

At this age, if it is an 8 bit card, both it and the motherboard will need recapping.

 

It also depends on the video adapter; I find on most Mac Video cards you need H-Sync, V-Sync and Composite Sync (aka Sync on Green) to be turned on as well as any other video set up it has. It should turn on with 640X480 settings with the sync's turned on.

 

Damn, I forgot about that damn battery. I hope it did not explode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, you're right Tanuki65. I have an 8Bit Apple video card which the caps rotted a few traces to RAM, making it appear that the RAM on the card is bad. I put that card on any Mac II series, it gives Death Chimes as if the main RAM is bad but in actuality its the card's RAM and the Main RAM is good. It is really strange.

 

I need to send this card out to repair as I cant do it, just the recapping. I can't do it because my eyes are going bad and I cant see the rotted traces. If  I could see the rotted traces, I'd fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I don't know what to say. What a wealth of responses. 

 

I'm currently unemployed, so right now that all's a luxury. But, now that I know there's a chance I can get this old dog functioning again, I will come back to address it.

 

Thank you guys so much.

 

I met my late wife through that machine in an old AOL IM session. I'd love to see if I have any saved chat files that are recoverable. Even if not, the box has nostalgic value for me. I love the feel of the keyboard. And, just seeing System 7 again and hearing the little monkey chime would be cool. 

 

For the record, what could be done with a machine like this? 

 

Oh... and what's 'recapping', a phrase I'm seeing constantly in these fora?

Edited by keithiepoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is when the capacitors inside the computer (typically on the motherboard) are replaced.

Correct.

 

It is done because the bottom seal on the capacitors (aka caps) break down because they are made from rubber. Inside the capacitor is a electrolytic chemical that is part of its electrical properties. Over time this rubber seal break down then leads to the leakage of an electrolytic chemical onto the board. Since this electrolytic chemical is corrosive, it eats away at the traces (wires) on the board.

 

Fixing this (recapping)  means cleaning the board of this electrolytic goo, removing the caps and replacing them with caps that wont leak (ie: solid state caps like Tantalums, metal oxide or ceramic).

 

There are many that try to do it themselves as the job is simple to do of unsoldering the old caps and soldering the new caps. But it is not without problems, as the electrolytic goo may have rotten the traces on the board and then it's a game of finding the bad trace and replacing it with a wire over it. Some find this too be too daunting to do. For them it is better to have somebody else to do it, like Uniserver and TechKnight. They're the best and their price is very low! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, uniserver has many, many re-caps under his belt. He nows the IIcx well. A re-cap is under $100 with shipping and to save a vintage machine, always worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, uniserver has many, many re-caps under his belt. He nows the IIcx well. A re-cap is under $100 with shipping and to save a vintage machine, always worth it.

$100? But that's total repair + shipping. I've read a few posts from our European members that the cost of shipping to Uniserver was a lot more than the cost of the repair! But it was done because they believe it was worth it! I cant agree anymore!

Edited by Elfen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

keithiepoo - Love that icon BTW!

 

What you can do with the IIcx depends on you. It's old and slow but still worth it, like a 70's vintage car when it is still running! You can use it for games, office work and a few things here and there. If you have a good video card (the 24bit card and not the 8bit card) you can do Photoshop on it.

 

But first thing's first - time to take apart the IIcx, and remove the battery so it won't explode if it hasn't yet. If the battery has exploded, then your board is dead. But do not let that deter you as you can replace the motherboard.  So start saving up those pennies and lets get this done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you could always give the board a good wash, and hot rinse, then a blast off with an air compressor.

but never let a PCB sit with water on it… no no no. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes as water from a faucet has a lot of crap that just causes a lot more problems.

 

Saying that , with rinse agent I clean mine in my dishwasher on the lower shelf and have had better than average success IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When our dishwasher was operational, I, too, washed boards in it, and was very successful (only one exception: I had a QuickSilver board die after washing, but rather than getting all upset (as it was likely my fault for trying to power it up too soon), I used the opportunity to upgrade to a 2002 board so I could have large disk support [:)]]'> .)

 

What rinse agent do you use? I haven't used any so far.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use store bought distilled water in a bottle, mixed with some ammonia in a plastic container. Then I scrub with a tooth brush and acetone and rinse is out with 90% isopropyl alcohol. Then I blow it dry with my hot air gun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the IIcx & it made the IIci look good. Over the years I had 4 of them, three in one sitting and 1 to make sure the IIci was the choice (the Quadra 700 so rudely disappointed in System 6 compatibility, 100+ MB max RAM, 3+1 expansion slots (I need more than 1 and 2 halves for the Quadra or 3 for the IIcx) so I bought the IIci in 2014, got it recapped in 2015, and it's running System 6.0.8 with After Dark 3.0 doing Flying Toasters Pro right now-need to shut it down I say because it's so hot in the room!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, it's been over four years and a lot has happened since this thread was last active. I suffered a prolonged un- / under-employment drought, and a bout with homelessness. Fortunately, things are currently looking up again (hopefully). 

 

I'm wondering: IF I decided to pursue this in the near future, would it still be possible to resurrect my ancient IIcx? I'm asking more out of curiosity right now since my "power" machines are the ones that need more immediate attention. 

 

Thanks guys for being a cool group and for entertaining my questions. 

Edited by keithiepoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as there's no batteries that've gone bang, should be plenty doable. Caps will need replace on the logic board for sure and probably the power supply. Thankfully it's not too hard, we're talking ~3 hours work for a first time repairer, providing you're familiar with a soldering iron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×