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    Melbourne, Australia
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    guitar, iOS, making things

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  1. aeberbach

    Setting up a soldering station

    There are pens available that are refillable and instead of a fountain pen tip they have a brush. Sometimes they are sold for calligraphy, sometimes for watercolour, but buying one of these and filling it from a large bottle of flux is much longer lasting and cost effective than buying flux pens. Isopropyl alcohol 99% in large quantities. Wash boards with it, clean flux off, clean tools, 3D printing,. so many uses. Don't bother buying 99.9999%, it is hygroscopic and you will pretty soon have 99% once the lid is off, but much less money. Brass wool to clean your soldering iron tip. Wet sponges are not as good. Hakko sell these separately if you don't want a Hakko iron. An Edsyn Soldapullt solder sucker. These are the best. Engineer brand have some good ones too but be warned cheap no-name ones are not really worth it. Double-ended swabs on wooden sticks are a little nicer for cleaning flux off small areas than q-tips. Always clean your flux off. Soldering in a shallow tray is a very good way to keep all the little bits of snipped-off wick, old swabs, lumps of solder etc. from falling on the floor. When you clean up move everything off the tray then tip the contents of the tray into the bin after checking for anything valuable. Clean up frequently. Nothing makes a mess as quickly as building/fixing electronics and the cleaner your work area the better and less frustrating your work will be. Keeping the light level good and steady is important. If you are going to use a fluorescent light make sure it is a high frequency electronic ballast, not the old flickery kind. A high quality magnifier on a movable arm with a bright ring light around it will make your close inspections easy. A small microscope with LCD is a good thing for checking things like 0.5mm pitch component legs to ensure you haven't bridged them with solder. If you have money to burn get a really nice binocular microscope with provision for video output and display that on a big LCD monitor that is mounted on a monitor arm. At the very least have a fan blowing across your workspace so the flux smoke doesn't just go straight up your nose. Best is something like a Hakko filtered extraction system but not cheap.
  2. aeberbach

    Perplexing SE/30 issue

    Has this board been cleaned? I can't really tell if that is crinkly solder mask or capacitor guts. Also, what's the messy blob between C9 and C10 on the right? You seem to have a clean board and say it used to work so chances are it is something you touched. Are the contacts in the all the sockets clean? Are the solder joints that connect the sockets looking OK or could they be cracked/dry? What happens if you revert to original RAM/ROM just the way it used to be?
  3. I have one of these massive blueberry monitors and will shortly be able to plug it in to a USB-equipped System 9.2.2 machine, so I'm looking for the software. Macintosh Garden doesn't seem to have it. If you are not familiar there is just a brightness adjust on the monitor itself, every other adjustment is made using software that came with the display. Actually I think this is it: https://www.macintoshrepository.org/79-apple-displays-software - correct me if I am wrong about that?
  4. If there's any kind of redraw effort in the works - would it be better to separate the quarter of the board that houses memory into a daughterboard? If you want to use 8 SIMMs, plug in a board similar to the original with SIMM sockets. If you just want to have 128M memory then plug in the modern board containing far fewer chips implementing 128M X 8 bits?
  5. aeberbach

    Where to start with 3 Mac IIs?

    Nice find - I wish I could find Mac IIs in a dumpster near me! Something that is fantastic for debugging video is the Open Source Scan Converter. The little dip switches on those DA15-Dsub15 adapters can be really tedious when you try a mode that should work but it doesn't... the OSSC displays information about what it can scan and makes picking a mode a lot easier. It will also tell you if there is video present but your monitor just doesn't want to do that.
  6. aeberbach

    My new SE/30

    No progress on the analog board, I have checked each pot and its connection to the rest of the circuit but I cannot make brightness do anything which is frustrating. On the plus side I have plugged in the Radius Color Pivot card and it works in 7.5.3 with no extra software, appearing as a secondary card when a monitor is plugged in but not otherwise. I don't know which of my other monitors it might be capable of driving but through the Open Source Scan Converter it adds a second screen 640x870 in 8-bit color. Very nice!
  7. aeberbach

    Fans.....who needs 'em?

    Maybe investigate a modern power supply that can replace what is in the machine that is designed to run fanless. Power supply technology has also improved but it is always going to cost more than a couple of good, quiet fans. As another alternative look for solutions that place sensors on the telltale hot parts of equipment and increase fan speed accordingly, that way you can avoid having fan noise until it is needed. Sometimes it will be needed and there is no getting around that. I would never run without fans completely.
  8. aeberbach

    JRL's Conquests

    Memories... I was a Newton developer at an Apple-owned company in Brisbane, ceMis. Coincidentally I just picked up a 7200/90, which is one of the machines I used cfront to write driver software for them too.
  9. aeberbach

    Xceed grayscale information

    @maceffects thanks but I don't have the video card, so it might not be very useful for me at this point!
  10. aeberbach

    Xceed grayscale information

    Thanks for the pointers - I had not seen that thread. That "Designing Cards..." manual is probably the right place to start.
  11. aeberbach

    Xceed grayscale information

    I'm curious about how these worked! Since I am probably never going to see on in real life I was hoping to find more information. There's a reference to a homemade grayscale adapter (Gamba's archived page) but I can't find much information on it... how can a board in the PDS slot override the onboard video? Does a Mac so equipped behave as if it has two screens with one disabled, or just one? Yes I am interested in video hacking and possibly making one.
  12. aeberbach

    Mac se/30 SCSI2SD version

    Hey I think this is fixed! Solution: the patched Apple 7.5.3 disk setup tool that is commonly available does not correctly create a volume, it just appears to - when the installer tries to write to that volume it hits whatever didn't get fixed by the patch and it fails. Fix: Lido does correctly create the volume and after that SCSI2HD V6 (2020c, 6.3.1 firmware) works with no special settings on a SE/30. I was unable to try the Floppy Emu hard drive image since that is not supported on a SE/30. I suspected Lido might work better than the patched tool but I could not find a system disk image with Lido on it. Eventually I went back to the spinning HD with 6.0.8 on it, took the 6.0.8 .dsk image from BMOW that has the patched 7.5.3 HD tool, trashed it, and put Lido on the disk image instead. After reinstalling the SCSI2HD and booting from the altered .dsk Lido performed a partition/format. 6.0.8 install was initially a failure. The HD operations seemed fine but the Emu could not recognise one of the floppy images - I'll try again after another download. 7 was successful. I am now going through 7.5.3 on another partition of the same SCSI unit and everything appears to be working. Fingers crossed! I'm feeling confident enough to solder a LED header on the SCSI2HD board and to put the back of the case back If you are having trouble with the V6 at all, be sure to try Lido and not the Apple patched HD tool.
  13. aeberbach

    Mac se/30 SCSI2SD version

    Mine is still failing. My best is disk 3 of 7.5.3 installer so far And then when it reboots after that I get the four chimes of death and 0000000F 00000066... Have to start again from floppy. I wish I had a 6.0.8 boot .dsk with Lido on it, I would like to rule out the 7.5.3 patched HD tool as source of problems. I have one Floppy Emu, no functioning FD drive, no two-way SCSI cables.
  14. aeberbach

    Mac se/30 SCSI2SD version

    I had a sinking feeling reading what @Paulie wrote about the V6 and the SE/30 since I have a SE/30 and a new V6 sitting here. Tried it out today; sure enough the 6.08 and 7.5 installers can not write to the v6 SCSI drive though it completes init OK. But I noticed when booting from a 6.08 floppy the drive appeared to be writable; I copied in the System Folder and the drive boots and works normally. Will have to try disabling anything SCSI2?
  15. aeberbach

    SE/30 PSU Voltages

    It's probably worth the $9 or whatever a new set of caps would cost on the Astec. I just redid one and it was not so hard; the heatsink assembly on the end opposite mains entry has to come off to easily access all the caps but that was only three 3-pin devices and a couple of ground lugs to desolder. It's not the Sony which people seem to like more but one day you might count yourself very lucky to have a spare in a drawer. In terms of soldering power supplies are as easy as it gets - big lead holes, easy to clear with wick.