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Wow, I'm on a particular streak of bad luck.  Next up for the TechStep was my working IIvx, recently recapped, with a decent video card, a DayStar 040 @40Mhz, and a SCSI2SD in it.  That one is dead too.  I think I need to call someone and ask for the WTF department. 

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29 minutes ago, pcamen said:

Wow, I'm on a particular streak of bad luck.  Next up for the TechStep was my working IIvx, recently recapped, with a decent video card, a DayStar 040 @40Mhz, and a SCSI2SD in it.  That one is dead too.  I think I need to call someone and ask for the WTF department. 

Could there be something seriously wrong with your TechStep causing it to damage your computers?

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As mentioned in the TechStep documentation, it has a quick self diagnostic routine that’s run every single time you flip the switch to the ON position. So if there was something seriously wrong with your TechStep, it should, in theory, show some kind of special message on the LCD at start up.

 

The only thing that could possibly cause damage would be if something inside the text app or short circuited, but in that case, again, I would think you would see an error message when you turn on your TechStep.
 

With that said, I have never plugged either of the serial cables into either of the ADB connectors on the Mac or vice a versa. I also never tried pulling out and inserting cables when both the TechStep and Mac were turned on, and such is specifically mentioned in the documentation as something you definitely do not want to do.

 

The only other thing I can think of is that it could be a cable fault, especially if it’s that big thick SCSI cable. again, the only thing I can think of that would consistently cause damage to a machine is if something externally was causing an electrical short to occur on your motherboard. But I would assume you should be able to see at least some burn mark on the motherboard with a magnifying glass in that case. Maybe not, I don’t know. Some shorts can’t happen without showing any physical burn marks and yet the chips that were shorted are dead.

 

I’m very sorry to hear this has happened to you. In all honesty, that is the first case I have ever heard of a TechStep potentially having damaged the Macs it was trying to test!

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I don't think the TechStep is responsible.  The first IIci I was trying to diagnose had issues before I ever plugged the TEchStep in.  The IIvx I never got to try the TechStep, I was ready to call it a day at that point.  The other IIci systems probably already had issues as ell.  It just sucks that a TechStep can't seem to diagnose a board that has an issue like that. 

 

I think I am going to try it out on something known working, like one of my SE/30's before I assume it isn't working. 

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7 minutes ago, pcamen said:

I think I am going to try it out on something known working, like one of my SE/30's before I assume it isn't working. 

That would be a very good idea. And just make sure everything is powered off first and then connect the cables.

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I've definitely been doing it as per the video - everything off, tech step on, computer on (when necessary).  And everything off when removing or plugging in cables. 

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That’s good to hear. I now look forward to hearing the result of your SE/30 test, which should be much easier since that’s exactly what I show in my video.

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12 hours ago, Alex said:

I watched the video. Absolutely amazing. I would encourage you to scan those manuals and software disks and upload them to the internet archive. If you want me to clean up those watermarks you can send me a message and I will be happy to labor over that and return it to you.

Thank you for your kind remarks, Alex.  I uploaded disk images of the two included floppies, as well as all the Apple Technical Info Library documents I could find on a 1997 Apple Service Source CD-ROM, and uploaded those as two separate archives to the following 3 locations:

 

https://archive.org/details/techstep

 

http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-techstep-software

 

https://www.macintoshrepository.org/25829-apple-techstep-software

 

I want to know how to get the software into Software Library: Macintosh because that offers online emulation.  I've asked several people, but so far no one has given me any kind of reply.  Baffling!

 

I've not had time yet to scan the printed documentation.  But the Hypercard stack included on one of the floppies really does contain most of what you need to know.  I will add the scans at some point.  

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3 hours ago, superjer2000 said:

James your videos are getting better and better!  Really interesting overview of the TechStep!

I certainly appreciate those kind sentiments, thank you!  

 

Not to get too off topic but..  I was thinking about doing a new video that looks at replacement fans for the SE/30 & SE since I've been doing a lot of testing lately.  But that would probably be rather boring in comparison to the TechStep video.  What do you think?  I found that a faster RPM fan can drop temps of the CPU on my accelerator by 12°C in comparison to a lower RPM quiet fan, which is pretty significant.  The reason I even considered testing different fans is because after running my SE/30 for an hour with a socketed Daystar PowerCache 50MHz accelerator and Micron Xceed Color30HR PDS video card and grayscale yoke adapter, the machine gets very warm to the touch on the top, and when I pull off the case, even the metal frame is quite hot.  So while we always think a quieter fan is better, with it comes to accelerated machines, a bit noisier fan may be needed to ensure longer component life.  This is especially important since the chips on these accelerators don't even have heatsinks, and the socketed PowerCache doesn't have the clearance under the bottom frame to add one.  All you have to cool those chips is the main fan.

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3 hours ago, JDW said:

I was thinking about doing a new video that looks at replacement fans for the SE/30 & SE ... All you have to cool those chips is the main fan.

Yes, that would be welcome here, but pay attention to the stock machines as well as varied options among the souped up versions, since most Compact Mac mortals do not, alas, have these highest of the high end upgrades! 

 

I do, however, have an SE with an Ethernet card and an SE/30 with either Ethernet or a Radius video card, and would like to know my options better.

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10 hours ago, beachycove said:

I do, however, have an SE with an Ethernet card and an SE/30 with either Ethernet or a Radius video card, and would like to know my options better.

Does your SE have a boxer fan or the cylindrical squirrel cage?  I unfortunately only have compact Macs with boxer fans, so I cannot show a squirrel cage fan in action.  I can only say they need to be replaced by boxer fans.  Even so, it would be nice to have one so I could show that replacement procedure in more detail.

 

Thank you for your feedback.

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8 minutes ago, Crutch said:

Belated thanks for another great video James! I really think you should mail in that registration card .... :) 

Thank you, Crutch!  I'm very tempted to fill it out and mail it!

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On 11/20/2019 at 1:15 AM, JDW said:

https://archive.org/details/techstep

 

I want to know how to get the software into Software Library: Macintosh because that offers online emulation.  I've asked several people, but so far no one has given me any kind of reply.  Baffling!

I have sent an email to info@archive.org to get an answer. I will update you once I have a reply. Thanks again for your very relevant contributions.

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8 hours ago, JDW said:

Thank you, Crutch!  I'm very tempted to fill it out and mail it!

I think it will amuse whomever opens up the mail but Apple's mailroom will probably not know who to send it to so if you are tempted then you should address it to another active department and insert a note that you would like to receive a reply. Otherwise the mailroom may trash it as the department that it is intended to reach is now out of commission. So it would be preferable that you keep it as a memento.

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@jeremywork and I spend some time with my IIci's and he also had a TechStep.  His did the same thing as mine, which is that it has a hard time getting into test manager mode - it seems to wait and wait forever.  At one point we just left it and when we came back it said success.  I can only assume that means it finally got in and finished.  But it is nice to see that they are both acting the same.  It isn't an issue with my TechStep at least. 

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42 minutes ago, pcamen said:

@jeremywork and I spend some time with my IIci's and he also had a TechStep.  His did the same thing as mine, which is that it has a hard time getting into test manager mode - it seems to wait and wait forever.  At one point we just left it and when we came back it said success.  I can only assume that means it finally got in and finished.  But it is nice to see that they are both acting the same.  It isn't an issue with my TechStep at least. 

So you don’t get the Sad Mac and error code with your TechStep like shown in my video? (At first try, my SE/30 booted normally with the TechStep attached and powered and attempting to enter Test Mode; but after pressing the Programmer’s Switch, I got the sad Mac and then my TechStep showed it was finally connected. That is correct for the SE/30, but I don’t know if that holds true for the IIci. 

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Well, we don't know.  So far, out of three boards, only one would work at all.  And that one apparently has issues with the on board video (doesn't work) and the soft power.  So we can't see if there is a sad mac. 

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Will one of you TechStep owners please test your TechStep on a non-IIci Mac?  For example, on a Mac II or IIx or Classic (with the correct TechStep ROM module, of course).  I'm curious how many have trouble getting the TechStep to enter Test Mode.  Thanks.

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I just connected the TechStep to my SE, which I've considered reliable but has always had a couple quirks (always half-renders a bombshell the moment the cursor begins to move after being left alone for too long without interaction, occasionally just crashes with 'coprocessor not installed' while running software that otherwise ran fine.) The TechStep is unable to set the SE in test manager mode (issue with SCSI or serial it says), but pressing the interrupt switch and retrying allows the TechStep to talk to the SE.

 

My documentation only contains the manuals for CPU tests Vol 2-3, so I'm not sure if there's specific information in Vol one about testing an SE.

 

Few things awry here: all Logic tests pass except SCC (FAIL: IC/board,) SCSI (UUT Timed out,) and under Verify CPU ID I get CPU is: Unknown MISMATCH. Otherwise the machine appears to work normally. Will try the Classic next...

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The Classic behaves better: I switch on the connected TechStep and select Classic, then Test Mode. It instructs me to turn CPU on, and then registers that the CPU is powering on (attempting to enter test manager mode via SCSI) the classic appears to boot normally at first, then the sad mac screen appears, as though I had hit interrupt. (This took about as long as it would take to begin booting from a floppy.) The TechStep then momentarily says Communications Established: CPU is in Test Manager Mode. I'm then able to run tests. The Classic passes all tests except Clock and Sound, but this may be because the PSU is registering LO (4.56v when >4.80 is expected). This might also be why the hard drive seems to pick when to turn on and off on this one...

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Thank you for making time to do those tests and for sharing, Jeremy!  Does the SE and/or Classic have any non-Apple upgrades (upgrades other than memory)?  The presence of such could explain the TechStep errors, and that is why I covered that in my video.  Most tests pass on my SE/30 with upgrades but not all.

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