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SE/30 restoration help

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I am a beginner at repairs to these machines, so please bear with me. I recently was given a poorly-maintained SE/30. On turning it on, all I get is zebra stripes on the screen and it's clearly not booting at all. Upon opening it up and looking at the LB, I see that the PRAM battery has been leaking. I took the battery out and cleaned the area with isopropyl alcohol. The battery holder is still in place, soldered to the board. There is some dried battery fluid on the holder but none visible on the board. Tried turning it on again, absolutely no change. I can't see any corrosion on the traces, but I suspect that there might be some battery fluid or corrosion happening underneath the battery holder. I have never desoldered anything in my life before. Do I have to desolder the battery holder? Or is there some twist-like trick to just removing the battery holder more painlessly? Or perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely?


Thanks for your assistance.

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  • 68kMLA Supporter

First of all, welcome to the 68kMLA community and congrats on acquiring an SE/30, a fine machine! :D

The leaking PRAM battery won't have helped, but your SE/30 board will need recapping (replacing the original electrolytic surface mount capacitors). Leaking capacitors/bad traces is most likely the cause of the zebra stripes.


You can either: 1) Try to learn how to repair it yourself (with the help of members here), or 2) Send it to someone to repair - there are various people on the forums that may be able to assist with this.


If you can show us high quality photos of your SE/30 board, we can try to assess how badly damaged it is.


If you are going for option 1, I would suggest starting by watching Branchus Creation's videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXy8pDuiwZoY8_bNISGQ_Cw


Start with the "Learn to solder" videos:


Then move onto watching Bruce's technique on actual SE/30 boards, this is where I picked up most of my technique from.


The multi-layered SE/30 board heavily uses surface mount components - it is not the easiest board to learn/practice with, and as SE/30 boards are not very common, you may choose to practice with something less special (but I'll leave that up to you to decide).


Please let us know how you get on.


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Can you provide some photographs of the logic board? These would help a lot in diagnosing the problems you are having with it.


There is likely some degree of corrosion present on the board, as this is usually what causes the issues you are describing. It may just be hard to spot without some bright lights and magnification. Look for dull metal and fuzzy green things around the chips and their legs. The board will definitely need to be recapped. Without pictures, it is hard to say anything about the battery holder. If you need to remove it, a soldering iron is definitely necessary to do things without causing serious problems. (No rotary tools please! :))

Edited by davidg5678
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It does look pretty clean, but those look like the stock capacitors - so I would still recommend replacing those.


There could be trace damage underneath the battery holder too. Definitely looks saveable though, so worth keeping this one!


I'm afraid I don't recap other people's boards, but there might be a fellow forum member closer to you who will.



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