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Apple IIe, my first II after many Macs, where to start from?


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Hi everyone,

 

it's the first time I post a conquest, even if I have about 20 Macs in my basement.

This is special to me because I found this IIe this pretty fascinating, even if never used when I was young: my first MAC was a SE FDHD.

I'm told it was in working until 2 years ago when smoke came out, he was not able to tell me if it from the CRT or from the PSU in the main unit.

Of course I do not intend to turn it on until a thorough cleaning and testing.

 

Since this is my first II, I'd like to have some recommendation before doing something. If it was a Mac from the 80s/90s  I'd know where to start and where to focus first.

This machine is obscure to me, I do not have an idea about the cards I see inside and what is missing: yes I do not have the video cable for example.

Of course I'll start studying it, as I did for the Macs, still I'd appreciate a couple of well knows issues I need to focus first, a sort of Pareto approach: the 20% of things to check/fix to have the 80% of chance to turn it on

 

thanks!

 

 

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What a nice Apple II! Someday, I hope to find one like this for myself.

 

I think the smoke is likely related to a common issue with the PSU. Inside of the PSU, there are a few capacitors labeled RIFA that fail over time. They eventually crack and let out bad-smelling smoke. You should be able to just replace them with new filter capacitors, and everything will in theory work again.

 

Something else that commonly goes bad are the RAM chips. I've heard that people often need to replace several chips before the computer works correctly.

 

 

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I'm in a similar situation, I was familiar with DOS machines and Macs but not Apple II.  I bought a book called "The New Apple II User's Guide" by David Finnigan which has been very helpful.  It's written from a modern (2012) perspective and deals with some of the new(ish) cards and peripherals that have been made as well as a few of the more popular cards from days gone by.  I haven't read it through but it seems a good crash course on getting up and running with an old Apple II.

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The cards you have are an Apple //e Disk Controller card in slot 6 (connected to a DuoDrive), an 80 column / RAM card in the auxiliary slot (replaces slot 3 in most cases), and a Super Serial card in slot 1.  A fairly standard setup.

 

The smoke was most likely from the PSU.  Original Apple //e power supplies are notorious for blowing the RIFA filter cap.  I'd start there.  The power supply is easy to take out and open up, and the filter cap is easy to replace.

 

If it turns out to be the RIFA cap, make sure to order an X2 capacitor, not a Y capacitor.

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Nice setup. 

 

Video cable is easy to find, you probably have one suitable in a drawer somewhere, DVD players were supplied with a set (a black, yellow and red cable for audio and video output)

 

looks like a PAL board to me. 

 

Yes, Rifa capacitors probably, not a bid deal. 

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Many thanks folks, I'm disassembling it, which is pretty easy. The cards are stiff but there is no sign of corrosion in the pads/connectors.

It suffered years of humidity in some basement but it was not used much IMHO.

 

In the PSU I did not find an evident blown diode or capacitor, it's pretty shiny given its age.

But yes, two capacitors in the low voltage section are bulged, for the rest it seems fine, in here I find no RIFA capacitors, while there is one in the PSU of the CRT.

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19 hours ago, ironborn65 said:

But yes, two capacitors in the low voltage section are bulged, for the rest it seems fine, in here I find no RIFA capacitors, while there is one in the PSU of the CRT.

 

I can clearly see two Rifa capacitors in the PSU (0,47 and 0,1 uf) not including the bulged capacitors in the secondary side. Also four Rifa in the Monitor, not just one, small ones are to be replaced also. 

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Well, this is first time I'm pissed off just for disassembling a PSU. ;)

Why did they used Loctite on that bolts? What were they worried about?

And, in addition why did they bend 90° all the pins?

Anyhow, I am progressing on the recapping...

 

@bibilit, for the RIFA I am using 250V X2, is it ok? The new one are much much smaller, materials have progressed a lot.

I assume 250V for the one in the monitor as well,

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On 4/6/2021 at 5:35 AM, ironborn65 said:

, for the RIFA I am using 250V X2, is it ok? The new one are much much smaller, materials have progressed a lot.

I assume 250V for the one in the monitor as well,

 

Yes, much smaller nowadays, you are correct 250 v

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I have replaced the two bulged caps and the filters. It's just fine now in a workbench test.

 

The PSU of the CRT on the other was the cause of smoke I was mentioned, the fuse is blown and the 0.47 RIFA cap severely damaged. The other three must be replaced as well.

 

Since it's for filtering purpose, they are not functional for the voltage transformation, I'm wandering .... how is it unsafe to turn the CRT on for a test?

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Your best option is to desolder each faulty key, remove from the board (not easy as they are hold by clips on both sides)

 

once removed, again, clips are used to remove top part from bottom (be careful, don’t lose the spring) then try contact cleaner on the inside. 

 

Some won’t work at all, and should be replaced, but chances are most will work afterwards. 

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