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IIcx or IIci - Restoration Targets

IIcx vs IIci for restoration  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Mac should receive a full restoration?

    • Macintosh IIcx
    • Macintosh IIci


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I have a dead IIcx and a dead IIci that both require recaps to bring them back to life. Unfortunately I only have the parts to completely restore one of the two machines and it's difficult to decide which machine should get the full restoration treatment first. I'm short on superdrives, working power supplies, and SCSI hard disks. Both were made in the Freemont, CA plant.

 

It's difficult for me to make up my mind. The system will probably be made into a dedicated System 6 machine as I have tons of System 7 machines. A 33mhz Rocket will be used with RocketWare as a CPU accelerator.

 

Here is how I see the two choices:

 

IIcx Pros:

 

- Older machine

- Original Apple video card is in place

- Battle hardened ex-school district owned, has a traceable lineage

- Architecture is related to the IIx, SE/30

- Motherboard is in very good condition with minimal, if any corrosion

- Kept working longer than the IIci

 

IIcx Cons:

 

- Case is somewhat rough, yellowed

- Slow compared to the IIci

- Lack of onboard video

- No cache slot/PDS

- Apple video card has corrosion from bad caps

- Some refer to the motherboard design as "awful" in comparison to the IIci

 

IIci Pros:

 

- Faster than the IIcx

- Case is in good condition

- Cache card is present

- Worthy of accelerated video cards

- "Cult Classic" status

 

IIci Cons:

 

- Slightly more corrosion damage, although not a showstopper. Mostly contained to the 1 small chip behind the outer Nubus slot which has a cap can located adjacent. Cache card also has some very minor damage. Can probably be cleaned.

- Failed earlier than the IIcx

- No story attached to this specific IIci

- Outer Nubus slot may be completely lost due to cap corrosion

 

 

 

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In my case, I see IIci machine fairly often, but have never seen a IIcx in the wild. Because of that, that's the one I'd try to preserve.

 

You and others may disagree, but that's what I'd do ;D

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The first Mac in our house, while I was growing up was a IIcx, so my vote goes there.

 

Whichever you choose, at least make sure to remove the old caps and wash the boards (including the cache card) if you have not already done so.

I have done that with machines of mine, when I couldn't get them recapped right away - note the caps (or take pics), remove them and re-cap them later when I had the new caps available.

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There are both readily available and of little value, but since the IICI runs a faster clock speed (and bus) and is also 32-bit clean I’d go for the IICI.

Edited by 360alaska

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I have several IIcx. While the IIci is a more practical machine overall, I like the IIcx better. It was Apple's first in-house II series design.

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It was Apple's first in-house II series design.

 

Were the prior II's subcontracted out? It's my understanding that the original II was an in-house skunkworks project carried out under Jean-Louis Gassée without the authorization of Steve Jobs. When Jobs was fired Gassée moved the II project out of the shadows. Was it just the case that was subcontracted?

 

It's looking like the IIcx is the favorite for restoration so far. I will be sure to remove all caps from both machines so no more cap rot takes place.

Edited by IIfx

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Didn't see at first that you said the IIci's Nubus slot is damaged. So in that case I vote for the IIcx  :) I think they're both fantastic machines!

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Well, potentially damaged. The black chip directly behind it got hit hard by the cap electrolyte. It may still work 100%.

 

I checked at my university makerspace to see if they had an ultrasonic cleaner, unfortunately they do not.

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Unfortunately I don't think my dentist will be open to loaning me his ultrasonic cleaner. ;)

 

Today I removed all SMD capacitors off of the IIcx logic board. The IIcx board is pretty much pristine. It seems the older style SMD caps without markings on the top tend to leak slowly rather than dump all of the electrolyte out like the newer ones.

 

I desoldered the caps instead of using the brutal snipper method. I heated one side with my Hakko set to 850 degrees while pulling gently with a set of tweezers. Once that side is free I switched to heating the other side. Eventually the cap comes off the board with minimal effort and no damage.

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IIci if you have a 68040 upgrade. I have both models and if you are going to use a video card built in video isn't that important. You can get a 68040 in a IIcx if the CPU is socketed and you have a hard to find Daystar adapter.

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Sadly I do not have any PDS CPU upgrades. My only CPU upgrade would be a Radius Rocket 33 in RocketWare mode, replacing the host 030 and memory bus with the fast 040 and bus on the Rocket. The speed bottleneck between the Rocket and the rest of the system via Nubus should be insignificant as the logic board peripherals can't saturate Nubus to begin with. Apparently the max bandwidth of Nubus at 10mhz is 40MB/s. In the real world it's probably much less than that on machines like the IIcx or IIci, but even if it's only netting 20MB/s max speed the onboard SCSI cannot come close to that speed.

 

Once I fix one of these machines I need to do some in-depth performance testing of the Rocket 33 in RocketWare mode. Today I will be removing the caps off of the IIci board and cache card.

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It seems the older style SMD caps without markings on the top tend to leak slowly rather than dump all of the electrolyte out like the newer ones.

I have noticed this too. My newer SE/30 board was covered in cap goo while my older SE/30 with the old yellow band caps wasn't nearly as bad. 

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I have ordered the caps to do both the IIcx and IIci boards. I am short on other components so only 1 system at a time will be fully working.

 

Nichicon and Kemet caps. Nichicon AlPoly and traditional axial, Kemet for the tantalum.

Edited by IIfx

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Well, potentially damaged. The black chip directly behind it got hit hard by the cap electrolyte. It may still work 100%.

 

I checked at my university makerspace to see if they had an ultrasonic cleaner, unfortunately they do not.

 

Not to be a sicko perv about it, but a Lasagna aluminum pan with a sex toy vibrator glued to the side of it can so this. Pour in the liquid put in the board and turn on the vibrator. It's not at Ultrasonic frequencies but it will get the job done. I done it before for electronics, bike parts and car parts, and it worked great though the pan only lasts for a uses. What you expect for a flimsy single use metal bake pan? A plastic bucket would be better if you can find one to fit your board.  Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

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Definitely go with the IIcx.

 

1 - innate advantages of the IIci (most notable Cache) make it a better standalone system in-wait  .  .  .  ci-centric processor upgrade acquisition mode.

2 - that said, those advantages when running under RocketShare make it far better multiprocessor platform

3 - the advantages of the IIci would be entirely wasted running in Accelerator Mode under RocketShare

4 - interleaved memory banks on the Rocket's 33MHz 040 system bus far outstrip 25MHz IIci's memory bus performance

 

edit: I'm looking at it from an overall Mac/Radius collection perspective here.  [}:)]]'>

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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It's alive! The IIcx is restored.

4Z4tBYq.jpg

XxESCsv.jpg

TN4DpSr.jpg

 

The worst part were the axial caps, total nightmare. A small fragment of C14's positive pin broke off in the through hole. I couldn't get it hot enough to remove even with my Hakko set to 850 degrees Celsius. I had to bodge the new cap to that small fragment and it seems to work. Long term I will need to bypass that through hole with a wire to the component C14 feeds on the positive end.

 

Yes I know my through hole soldering is bad. Is it weird that I find surface mount to be easier?

 

I threw my spare 1gb Samsung HDD into the IIcx and it boots. I get a bus error when trying to use Ethernet but I think that's due to a corrupt system folder per Techtool.

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WHOOSSHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Seeing System 6 run on a 68040 is a bit of an experience. It's too fast. When the Rocket takes over and reboots the system the stock startup chime plays faster and at a higher pitch because it's just that fast.

I've run into two problems with System 6:

 

It can't address more than 8mb of RAM

  • Connectix Optima fixes this, but only for the host 68030 without MultiFinder.
  • Lack of software. This is more me than the OS. Most of my software is for System 7.x and up.

Nubus loadout of the IIcx:

 

  • Radius Rocket 33mhz with 64mb RAM
  • Radius DirectColor GX unaccelerated graphics (accelerated when the Rocket is run as the accelerator)
  • Asante MACCON3 Nubus Ethernet with NatSemi chipset
Edited by IIfx

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