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olePigeon

Complete TechStep

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I just snagged a complete TechStep.  Has the case, cable, TechStep & power supply, software, 5x ROMs (Vol 1-4 + HDD), and all the manuals including for each ROM.  Coupled with my Service Source, I now have the whole shebang.

 

I can fully diagnose any of my Macs. :)

Edited by olePigeon

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Congrats!! I would love to hear about your Apple Service adventures. It’s never been entirely clear to me how those things are supposed to work. 

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Wow, that's awesome. Congratulations! I've hardly been able to find cartridges for mine, besides the two that come with the kit. (I've tried to deal with someone I know who has three I don't have, including the elusive CPU Vol. 4 that never shows up anywhere, but he wants to sell the whole set...still working on him. ;) ) 

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On 8/11/2018 at 9:19 PM, Charadis said:

Wow, that's awesome. Congratulations! I've hardly been able to find cartridges for mine, besides the two that come with the kit. (I've tried to deal with someone I know who has three I don't have, including the elusive CPU Vol. 4 that never shows up anywhere, but he wants to sell the whole set...still working on him. ;) ) 

Has anyone tried to open one of those cartridges?  Maybe it's not much more than an EPROM and it can be read?

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So how does this thing work exactly? You plug the relevant cartridge into the TechStep (I assume), plug the techstep into the problem machine (I’m guessing? Which port?), and then...? 

 

Very impressive looking collection! Are you missing anything that you know of?

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According to the manual, you shut the computer and TechStep off (assuming the computer even pasts POST.)  Depending on the machine, you typically plug in a SCSI cable, 1 or 2 ADB cables, 2 serial cables, and an audio cable.  It has two slots in which you can plug in 2 different cartridges.  For example, for my Mac IIci I'd have the SCSI Test Cartridge and Volume III cartridge for IIci. 

 

I then power on the TechStep, Select ROM A for my IIci Cartridge, select IIci for the computer type, then select Power On.  The TechStep will then boot the computer into diagnostic mode.  I don't think it has to power on completely, just that it has power, and then the TechStep can start probing the various functions of the computer.  So if you have a computer that doesn't even Mac chime, you can still probe the hardware.

 

I'll try to make a video, but it'll be difficult.  I don't have a tripod or anything to hold my phone.

 

Also, there are additional components not listed on the cartridges that you can test.  Many of the cartridges can test the BTO options for a particular model.  For example, for the IIci I can also test 3 different video cards: 4•8, 8•24, and 8•24 GC, as well as test the IIci cache card.  Likewise with the IIsi, which had a bunch of BTO options apparently.

 

 

As far as I know, it's 100% complete.  Even has the warranty card and an advertisement for AppleLink for Apple Technicians. :)

 

Also, there's nothing special about the cables, which is a relief.  Whenever I saw pictures of a TechStep, it looked like a bundled set of wires, perhaps something proprietary.  But they're not.  The first few pages of the manual suggests you tie all the cables together, so a lot of people did.  They're just regular SCSI cables, ADB cables, serial cables, and audio cable.  So if you happen on a TechStep with no cables, don't worry about it.

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Awesome.  This is a great picture of everything that a tech might have had.  I just grabbed a Techstep off of eBay a couple days ago: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/292672465770 so I'll see what all comes with it.

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Awesome.  I'm gonna look at one of the cartridges, see if it comes apart easily.  Maybe they're easily copyable.  Perhaps something as simple as pulling a ROM out and flashing it.

 

My brother suggested I use the 3D printer and make a cassette style case for the ROM cartridge to keep dirt out.  Not a bad suggestion. :)

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5 minutes ago, olePigeon said:

Awesome.  I'm gonna look at one of the cartridges, see if it comes apart easily.  Maybe they're easily copyable.  Perhaps something as simple as pulling a ROM out and flashing it.

 

Take a look at this thread.  There is a link to the ROM files in there.  I found this AFTER I asked my question.

Edited by snuci

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@snuci They're missing ROM 4.  Maybe I can lend it to someone with a reader and they can dump it to add to the site.

 

Also interesting that it has identifiers for Q700 and Q900, but there aren't any ROM packs for it.  At least, none that were released.  I wonder if there's a "Volume 5" beta floating around somewhere with the Quadra & Centris lines on it.

 

Edit:  Also, I found out that my Snooper card isn't useless even after getting my TechStep.  The TechStep can only test the 5v rail, but my Snooper Card can test both 5v and 12v rails.  So I'll definitely be holding onto it for testing power supplies.

Edited by olePigeon

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It's a NuBUS card with LED indicators on it so you can see the condition of the power supply, ADB activity, etc.  The software can test various basic functions of the computer, but it's not anything special, and doesn't actually interact with the NuBUS card in any way (at least, not that I saw.)  The card is mostly useful to just plug in and visually see if there are any obvious power issues.

 

I call it the Poor Man's TechStep.

Edited by olePigeon

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