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Macintosh SE Restoration

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Back in April of this year (2019), I picked up three compact Macs on Craigslist. Originally, I was doing a restoration thread with all three of them, but that was awhile ago, and it was a bit chaotic to write about all three. There's one Macintosh SE left to finish restoring, so I've decided to break it out into it's own thread. I also need to get this one done pretty quickly, as I've traded it for a 3D printer and need to deliver to my friend in a couple of weeks, when I'll be driving through the city he lives in. So much of what I do with these machines is based on my travel patterns!


Here's a photo back from April when I got it. The one in question is in the center with the "Mac 4" sticker.




When I first received it, it was exhibiting a "sad mac" on boot. It came with a couple of 1mb 8-chip sticks of RAM, so I swapped them out with the four 256kb sticks that I pulled out of my SE FDHD, and that fixed the problem! No more sad Mac. Now, I have the standard list of things to do to get the machine fully restored:


  • Recap the analog board to promote general health and long-life
  • Clean analog and logic boards
  • Install battery tray and battery
  • Clean and retrobrite case
  • Clean and lubricate floppy drive


As of yesterday, I've received new caps for the analog board, so I'll tackle that straight-away. I've also ordered a new PRAM battery and tray (I don't remember if it needs a tray or not).


The real challenge, given the timeframe that I have to work with, is going to be getting the retrobrite done. In the past, I've done hydrogen peroxide cream in sunlight, but I've found that the cream is pretty risky as it can produce streaking. Cream under a UV lamp indoors is slower and safer (you can refresh the cream every 6 hours or so), but still not completely safe. The safest method I've found is full submersion in liquid hydrogen peroxide, but this works best outdoors on hot days. Right now... it's about 50 degrees outside. So here's what I'm going to try: I've ordered a fish aquarium heater that is supposed to hit 97 degrees. I doubt it can maintain that temperature outdoors, but I might test that with plain-ol' water in the driveway. If that doesn't work, I'll bring it indoors and see how hot it gets for potential use with a UV lamp. If THAT doesn't seem to work, I'll probably revert to using a UV lamp and hydrogen peroxide cream.


This will also serve as a bit of an experiment, as I have an SE/30 (HACK HECK'N YES ZOMG!!!!!) that needs retrobrite this winter as well.

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I have seen in other recent threads that using oxyclean, water, and heat will

work and that the UV exposure is not necessary...this could work for you.


im going to try the submersion method in front of my wood stove...that will be a good 120 degrees right there.

Edited by LaPorta

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The bottom of the EKII is "normal." The mouse got way too bright and chalky

Also, not easily translatable, but the button got boogered, too. Somehow there was pressure "down" and it stuck in perma-click position. I kinda fixed it with a hot air gun and some experiments.


Also, the awkward corner that got missed part way through...

Edited by jessenator

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