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Skate323k137

Skate finds a iigs

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Spotted a nice iigs on Craigslist recently. The guy with it was the 2nd owner, who got it from a teacher. The teacher had purchased it through the educator buy from apple in the late 80's and took amazing care of it. Everything was in such good shape I felt almost speechless when I got home and unpacked it.

 

I've had a ton of fun running off floppies with my SE and trying out games the last couple days.

 

The bundle in the copier paper box was the most surprising. All the software and such was well kept, with a ton of photocopied manuals and old apple II software in a stack of folders. Oregon trail with the instructors guide, number munchers, etc.

Everything in good working order except the monitor is very dim. I whipped up a scart cable to use it with my 27" NEC in the mean time, and I'll recap the original monitor in due time. 

 

 

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Using my powermac with Bernie to make floppy images. That floppy drive needs cleaning so I attached the iigs drive to my SE, and made the floppies with that. 

Eventually I may take a spare powermac and try to use appletalk to share a volume. In the mean time I find using a 2mb ram disk (it came with a 4M ram card) lets me load the OS and a game to it for most cases, and that's good enough for me until I find/settle on a CF or floppyemu solution.

Edited by Skate323k137

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Thanks guys! I've really been enjoying this one. 

 

CFFA looks awesome, but I grabbed a reactivemicro dual CF when they were on sale for 75 dollars a few days ago. Since I have multiple options for getting files to the iigs I can get by without the USB. 

 

I may still grab a floppyemu to have around, but I'm glad I found the CF solution for internal storage as that performance is much better.

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*sigh* I don't think I'll be able to afford this before this batch runs out.

 

Do these ever come up used?

 

I don't know if I'll ever need one, but I do have a II+, a IIe and a IIgs, so I have machines to put it in.

 

c

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The CFFA seems to be done in batches... Like NJroadfan said, now is the time for that one.

 

On the other hand the reactivemicro seems to be readily available. We'll see how long it takes to get mine. While it doesn't have USB like the CFFA has, it has DMA for fast speed. 

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2 hours ago, Skate323k137 said:

on sale for 75 dollars a few days ago

Drat! I wish I'd caught that.

Sigh. So I just gave in and bought one for $95 anyway. Having it will once and for all eliminate the need to fret about it.
 

On 6/9/2018 at 8:07 PM, Skate323k137 said:

I whipped up a scart cable to use it with my 27" NEC in the mean time

Man, that's handy that you had a TV with a SCART connection, they are rare as hen's teeth in the US. Is it actually an arcade monitor or the like?

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My NEC is a BNC input monitor similar to a PVM. I use a scart to bnc cable to actually connect. 

 

Definitely a rare tube. I got lucky and saved it from Michigan States recycling bin. 

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I got rid of all my CRT monitors with BNC cables years ago. They were all 19-21" Multisync computer monitors, I wonder now if any of them would have been able to lock onto NTSC frequency input... oh well. They were huge, a 27" is real monster!

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It's a beast. Almost 100 lbs, but it's 15 and 24khz, so it's great for pre VGA/31K stuff. I have used it as an arcade monitor before but I usually use it for light gun console games. It's really a luxury to play saturn and ps1 gun games in RGB. 

 

I'm really impressed with the iigs video quality in RGB. Here's a random cut screen in "The Tines"

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ReActive Micro card is legit. It's basically ram disk fast with DMA enabled. My IIGS cold boots in like 20 seconds lol.

I ended up also getting a floppyemu. While the internal CF drive is great for storage and actual iigs files, some programs (read, copy protected games) are happier running from a floppy or emulated floppy. For ones that don't have to run from a floppy, I have all the disk images on a large HFS partition, and a few prodos partitions where I can just restore the disk images to. I use a disk copy app to restore the .2mg to a prodos partition. When the software in the disk image is OK with it, I can reboot to the reimaged disk, and it's lightning fast to load compared with the same app on a floppy or the floppyemu.

For a hard drive solution there's no comparison though, floppyemu is very slow for every day use. Still a great product, especially if your main goal is easy access to some games, but if storage is your goal, and speed is a concern, go the CF route.

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That stuff should work just fine. A lot of it is preloaded on there already.

 

Hold open apple on boot and you can use a number to pick what volume to boot. The default is just prodos but partition 2 has a set up gsos install on it. 

 

I just timed a reboot, 27 seconds for gsos 6.0.4. Lighter weight stuff boots in a flash. 

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Started a recap of the original monitor. Done with the neck board, still have to do the main pcb and reassemble / calibrate. 

 

Anyone know what the service switch is for on the neck pcb?

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Got this monitor as good as I think I can get it.  This IIgs was clearly loved and used for a lot of hours, despite how clean it is. The tube is definitely high hours; I dialed it in "cold" and this was a huge mistake. I should know better than to adjust a monitor that hasn't been running for an hour or two, but sometimes you can get away with it when the caps are all fresh. In this case... I could not. Once it got to full temp it was way over bright, so after I ran it for an hour I had to completely readjust the screen/focus on the flyback as well as some cutoffs. 

 

The end result, given the age and the fact that being $TIME on affects brightness, was that I had to dial it in to be just usably bright for the first few minutes it's on. Once it's warmed up, it looks pretty darn good for a 30 year old tiny tube. 

 

My only complaint is that this monitor model has virtually no ventilation by design. I may have to look into adding a small fan at some point. It really gets warm after a couple hours.

 

Anyway, here are the pics I managed to snap along the way. 

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That display looks *really* good!

 

Seeing what it's capable of makes me want one even more (I've been looking for one for quite a few years now; I have a IIgs to pair it with if/when I eventually do get one).

 

I think I'll concentrate on getting another IBM 5153 monitor though, first.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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Yeah, looks great!  Did you replace most/all of the caps inside - did it improve picture quality/brightness in doing so?

 

The 12" RGB is a great monitor to own if you're into other 15khz output Amiga/Atari systems of the same age, I'm going to make up the cable one day on mine to get it working on those too.  

 

JB

Edited by Byrd

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6 hours ago, Skate323k137 said:

My only complaint is that this monitor model has virtually no ventilation by design. I may have to look into adding a small fan at some point. It really gets warm after a couple hours.

 

Have you considered cutting into some of those grooves on top top make vents? With small enough tools it might come out pretty nice. 

The picture on that thing is really good actually!

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9 hours ago, Byrd said:

Yeah, looks great!  Did you replace most/all of the caps inside - did it improve picture quality/brightness in doing so?

 

The 12" RGB is a great monitor to own if you're into other 15khz output Amiga/Atari systems of the same age, I'm going to make up the cable one day on mine to get it working on those too.  

 

JB

 

Thanks man! I did a full cap kit from console5.com, as well as the resistor they recommended. Definitely an improvement, the monitor was unusably dim previously. I'm not huge into Amiga stuff (some day maybe) but tons of arcade boards run on 15khz rgb. I can always use a 15k display for something.

 

3 hours ago, markyb86 said:

Have you considered cutting into some of those grooves on top top make vents? With small enough tools it might come out pretty nice. 

The picture on that thing is really good actually!

I have.... The only vents at all are the top and it's at 90 degree angles to presumably keep dust out. If I make any holes on the case it will be to be able to reach screen/focus with the case on. Other than that I would hope I can squeeze a fan in somehow. Anything at all should do the job. 

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Nice to see the free aliasing filter (thanks to the cruddy dot pitch) blending the SHGR 640 mode colors. The most annoying thing about these monitors is the moire pattern they always seem to produce on the Finder background.

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2 minutes ago, NJRoadfan said:

Nice to see the free aliasing filter (thanks to the cruddy dot pitch) blending the SHGR 640 mode colors. The most annoying thing about these monitors is the moire pattern they always seem to produce on the Finder background.

I wonder if it was by design?

 

Or is it that most of these displays don't do that?

 

c

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5 hours ago, NJRoadfan said:

The most annoying thing about these monitors is the moire pattern they always seem to produce on the Finder background.

Whoever thought that the best idea for the finder background was a series of one pixel wide pinstripes really deserves to be taken out behind the shed and shot. Sure, contemporary monitors (mostly) successfully blended it into something that looked vaguely like a solid color, but it really looks like hell on more modern displays. (And it also looks like absolute murder on a composite screen, but that's pretty much true of any output with that many pixels on composite.)

5 hours ago, CC_333 said:

I wonder if it was by design?

The Moire patterns, no, the 'aliasing' effect, yes. The IIgs heavily relies on dithering to fake like it has more colors available in the 640-dot-wide screen resolution than it really does. It was actually in their interest to have a display that wasn't the sharpest tack in the box.

(One of the reasons I'm not particularly pleased with how my IIgs looks when connected to the cheap arcade scaler board I have is the board *isn't* fooled by the pinstripes into displaying a solid light blue and instead renders them sharply on the VGA output; this looks bad and it's made worse by the slightly irregular line thickness you end up with because of the non-linear scaleup.)

16 hours ago, CC_333 said:

I think I'll concentrate on getting another IBM 5153 monitor though, first.

If you'd be happy with just having a digital RGB monitor I'd suggest looking at, I hate to say it, the 108x-series monitors that Commodore sold for the Amiga. (These monitors were actually rebranded... Magnavox? units, but the equivalent units with the original label are really hard to find.) Most of these monitors have both analog and digital RGB ports (along with composite) and thus can be made to work with most 80's home computers.

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23 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

Whoever thought that the best idea for the finder background was a series of one pixel wide pinstripes really deserves to be taken out behind the shed and shot. Sure, contemporary monitors (mostly) successfully blended it into something that looked vaguely like a solid color

THIS. Even on a CRT honestly it was like the test pattern from hell.

 

One issue you run into focusing these things with shitty dot pitch (and also not being aperture grille) is your thickest scanline might not be your best picture. You touched on that with "It was actually in their interest to have a display that wasn't the sharpest tack in the box."

I could basically over-focus it to a point where you could seriously see the grille and each R G and B dot. You almost have to "loosen" the focus from that exact point to get good whites and colors. Definitely not a trinitron, but nonetheless, I'm happy to have the original monitor restored that came with this machine.

Edited by Skate323k137

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