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Reverse Engineering the Macintosh SE PCB & Custom Chips for 1:1 reproduction


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On 3/27/2021 at 9:48 AM, Johan Grip said:

For this particular purpose, Sprint does have one killer feature in that it allows you to import bitmap images to use as backgrounds in the layout editor. Makes it a lot easier to replicate an existing board.

There is an open issue for KiCad to implement the same feature but I don't think it's very high on their list of priorities. I've looked at doing it myself but the KiCad code base is a bit beyond my capabilities unfortunately.

One way people have used KiCad to reproduce old PCB's is to bring the scanned artwork in as a footprint using the bitmap to component converter. I have not done this myself and there are lots of steps involved.

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On 4/26/2021 at 4:08 AM, exidyboy said:

One way people have used KiCad to reproduce old PCB's is to bring the scanned artwork in as a footprint using the bitmap to component converter. I have not done this myself and there are lots of steps involved.

That's exactly how I did my C128 Neo board. It works but has many issues.

The generated components are huge, even my fairly beefy desktop machine has issues dealing with two 45MB vector components on the board, lots of UI lag.

The other issue is that since you have to make it monochrome to convert to a component (since a component is just a vector file) you loose a lot of information.

 

You can find my bitmaps at https://c128.se/downloads/ (the traces only files) together with the source files used, if you compare it you can see the loss of information. I'm also not exactly the best at image manipulation so there might be better ways of getting it into black and white of course.

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OK - all orders have now been fulfilled (with the exception of @Mac84's for now (run out of anti-static stuff for the chips, will ship out later this week mate :) )

 

I've mailed all of you with the Royal Mail/ParcelForce tracking numbers - UK deliveries are next day, typically, international are 5-7 days. One request would be - when you get it, would you post the picture of the delivered items in the thread to show off to others?

 

Also if you have a build project surrounding these, i'm more than happy to render any assistance necessary!

 

Phew - taking such a huge SACK (yes, an actual SACK) of boards to the post office was very exciting, and i have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this project, either by cheering from the sidelines, buying failed boards as wallart, donations of beer tokens, donations of hardware (i'm looking at @cheesestraws and @mg.man here!), or just buying a production board.

 

I really do hope that everyone who has bought a production board off me gets some genuine use out of it and doesn't just frame it on a wall, it'll be immensely satisfying to see repeatable, multiple beeps after this!

 

It's a funny thing, coming from the land of the Amiga which has some real entitled asshats in it (although great hardware, some amazingly talented people in the community) ready to bring you down, to come to a welcoming and friendly community. 

More importantly, for anyone who missed the @Mac84 stream - to re-iterate, I'm not out of the game after this - the next project is the reverse engineered ADB, RTC, BBU, SWIM etc - and of course the Macintosh Classics. That's it, i'm part of the crew now! @Phipli and I have our eyes on some IIx SIMM's, next, i believe ;)

 

Thanks to all!

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Awesome stuff!  Delighted to play a small part!  I'm not sure exactly when I'll be bringing your (re)creation to life... but it's definitely the plan!  As for the next 'round, be looking out for those two Maxell-bombed Classic 'boards to help stoke the coal for your next (re)creation!  :-D

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23 hours ago, Kai Robinson said:



More importantly, for anyone who missed the @Mac84 stream - to re-iterate, I'm not out of the game after this - the next project is the reverse engineered ADB, RTC, BBU, SWIM etc - and of course the Macintosh Classics. That's it, i'm part of the crew now! @Phipli and I have our eyes on some IIx SIMM's, next, i believe ;)

 

Thanks to all!

 

Welcome aboard! (the crazy train /s)

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I'm probably not going to get to mine for a couple of weeks yet because life (I have to take to bits my electronics corner and rebuild it first, for rather silly and irrelevant reasons).  Also, because I'm building myself up some harnesses so I can test this (and other SE boards) without actually having to have a whole SE out and on the workbench because they're kind of big.

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:46 PM, techknight said:

Nice! I like that. 

 

I checked my tracking and there has been zero movement so i dont know where it is. But I am sure itll get here someday. 

My experience with shipping to the US recently is you often get long periods (week+) of no tracking movement, then suddenly it turns up in the US somewhere and starts moving

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:46 PM, techknight said:

Nice! I like that. 

 

I checked my tracking and there has been zero movement so i dont know where it is. But I am sure itll get here someday. 

 

Yep - USPS just says they have it but thats about it :(

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On 4/28/2021 at 7:38 PM, Kai Robinson said:

 

Yep - USPS just says they have it but thats about it :(

It is my experience that with USPS this is 100% normal.  I've had things take 3-4 months by the fastest method (Express) to and from Europe/Asia.  

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On 4/29/2021 at 4:52 AM, maceffects said:

I've had things take 3-4 months by the fastest method (Express) to and from Europe/Asia.


That sounds extraordinarily slow. I've had good experiences using FedEx between Europe/Asia - stuff can arrive within 1-2 weeks from Japan to UK currently.

In terms of UK -> USA, I always use UPS and things tend to take ~2 weeks at the moment.

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Posted (edited)

It's pretty patchy at the moment.  Most of the time I get stuff within 1wk from/to the US but occasionally a parcel just seems to decide to go the scenic route.  Tracking, though, has been rather questionable.

 

That said, mine at least do arrive.

Edited by cheesestraws
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On 4/28/2021 at 7:59 PM, max1zzz said:

My experience with shipping to the US recently is you often get long periods (week+) of no tracking movement, then suddenly it turns up in the US somewhere and starts moving

 

It appears that for shipments to the US, our customs seems to be the hold up. As you say, there is radio silence for quite some time, when a package arrives. I really do wish that they would just update the tracking, which doesn't seem very difficult, but I doubt anything will change soon.

 

- Alex

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Does anyone in the UK have a dead SE board I could use as a donor machine... this might sound daft but I don't want to pick up a whole machine because... I've got a few too many machines already. But... I really want to build up a Neo SE board and perhaps build a flatscreen SE in a custom box :)

 

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Unfortunately my only remaining dead one is dead for subtle reasons and I don't know why, so it's not a suitable candidate for donor until I work out which bit of it is actually broken...

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On 4/30/2021 at 4:15 AM, cheesestraws said:

Unfortunately my only remaining dead one is dead for subtle reasons and I don't know why, so it's not a suitable candidate for donor until I work out which bit of it is actually broken...

Cheers anyway @cheesestraws I'll keep looking and asking about.

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On 4/30/2021 at 2:14 AM, Phipli said:

Does anyone in the UK have a dead SE board...

 

I *might* be able to help... I have a similar chat going with @max1zzz (no, I haven't forgotten you, fam and work has been getting in the way of Mac-time!)... PM me and we can discuss... 

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4 hours ago, timdorez said:

Also, I just had a thought that a sticker to put on the front of the SE to say it has a reloaded board would be awesome. What you guys think ? :)

 

Not a bad idea - i'll see what I can come up with! :D

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