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The Apple III Lives! And then... (Plus, some Apple III questions)

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So this week I got quite the Apple III haul -- Two Apple IIIs, an external Disk III, 2 Monitor IIIs, a Profile HD, and a silentype printer, and a Titan "III to IIe" emulation card for a combined $150.  I also got some Apple II related stuff for like $30 extra.


One Apple III seems to have some issues -- It will turn on and the speaker will make a little "put put" sound, but the disks won't spin up and nothing appears on the screen.


The other Apple III appeared to be better (would spin up looking for a disk and display "Retry" on the monitor).  However, when using it, I smelled something off, like burnt capacitors.  I removed the PS and, sure enough, it looks like long ago a capacitor went.  I sent the PS off to Uniserver to be recapped, and I will definitely keep it as an example of the "original" PS, but I think for my actual usage I will get UltimateMicro's "Universal" PSU kit.


Fast forward to this evening, though.  I wanted to generally test the system, and I am an impatient person, so I didn't want to wait for the recapped PS or the new Universal PS kit.  SO I opened the PS on the "broken" Apple III (the one that doesn't do anything).  In that PS, all the caps looked good (and that PS is slightly newer, coming from an A3S2 machine rather than the other one which is from an A3S1 machine).  So I threw that PS into the "working" Apple III.  I made a diagnostic disk via ADTPro on my IIc and it worked (see attached picture)!  I ran the diag program for about 15-20 minutes



Then I started smelling something.  I looked behind the machine and saw smoke wafting out the AC outlet.  I shut the machine off and unplugged it.  After the smoke cleared (literally), I opened the PS and *the same capacitor* that went off on the first PS had now blown.


Lesson learned.  I can wait for the Universal PSU kit, lol.


I had a couple of questions relating to my experiences so far:


(1) The Apple III that only went "putt putt" -- Anyone know what symptoms might suggest?  Since the PS was literally minutes away from going, is it possible it was a PS issue and that system was more vulnerable to it?  Neither machines had a card in any slot.


(2) On the working Apple III, when I first put the diag. disk in it, the drive would spin the disk up, but ultimately not load anything, invariably going to the "Retry" prompt.  When I got the machine, the disk door was slightly askew.  I wonder if the head or something got out of alignment.  Are these things reparable?  If so, do you know anyone who repairs DIsk IIIs?  Ultimately, I swapped the internal disk drive out of the "broken" Apple III and put it in the "working" Apple III and it loaded the disk no problem.


(3) The working Apple III was working fine *as the PS was smoking.*  I shut it off within 10 seconds of "smelling" something wrong.  Is there a major risk that I have damaged any component inside the machine?




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Oh, also: What is the difference between the A3S1 and A3S2?  The bottom of the A3S2 says it has 256k of RAM.  The bottom of the A3S1 says 128k of RAM, but the diagnostic said it has 256k of RAM.  Both seem to have a "5v" RAM card installed above the motherboard, so maybe the original owner upgraded it?

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Having never looked inside an Apple III before the best I can assume from other machines of the period is that the cap you had blow on you was the AC filtering capacitor which is completely normal since they aren't designed for 30 years of life and typically pretty harmless when they go off.


Also Uniserver sell sells cap kits? He sounds more like Landon every day.

Edited by CelGen
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  • 2 months later...

I have 4 apple iie's - when i got them they all had blown power supply's. Was the same caps in all of them. I dont even try to power up an apple ii of any kind anymore without replacing those caps regardless of how they look. Just replace them first is my advice (then again ... i have blown up allot of stuff)


I love the look of the apple iii.......thats my next 'target' if i ever get the hacked AIO yoke working.


Have never seen one for sale in europe, yet


Are they considered to be rare machines

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