Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

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Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Matt on Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:33 am

In the vintage wanted forum Gibsaw and Antiphrasis refer to an apple //e of Antiphrasis which used to power up but doesn't any more.

I'm more of a software guy. I have a friend who can do electronic type repairs but his expertise is not computer psu specific so I would appreciate advice along the following lines:

Parts needed: availability, cost.

Tools needed: same.

What the procedure is. Do I need to be highly dextrous? Could I electrocute myself?

Thx, Matt
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby tezza on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:08 pm

Matt,

I've done simple repairs on Apple IIes but I've only ever switched AC filter capacitors on IIe PSUs. If the PSU doesn't go at all, it's probably more than just that.

It's hard to answer your question because it depends exactly what's wrong. Some repairs are dead obvious and dead easy, but others are not. Yes, there is a risk when playing around with 240V AC if you don't know what you're doing. I've got a bit of knowledge now, but I still don't like playing around with PSUs.

On the more general topic of fixing old computers you generally need the following to make progress safely...

    Some knowledge of what the different components actually do
    Basic soldering skills
    Ability to follow a circuit diagram
    A general idea of how the computer works at the hardware level
    Ability with, and access to a multimeter, logic probe and scope, in that order of priority

Access to working machine also helps enormously.

Sometimes even those without much knowledge (like I was when I started) can luck it, and fix a machine simply by substituting IC's from a socketed spare parts board, or reseating some chips. Easy! There are some problems that are harder to fix than this though.

Unless the problem is obvious (like a blackened, burnt out capacitor) be prepared to invest hours and hours (and hours) tracking down the problem.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby tezza on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:14 pm

As to other parts of your question....passive components are dead cheap and you can find them at Jaycar. ICs on the other hand can be expensive and not so easy to find. You can find some on e-bay, but add in shipping you might be looking at anything between $20 and $50 depending on what it is. Some local collectors with excess spare parts might be willing to part with a few at a cheaper price maybe.

Someone might even have a spare working PSU they can sell you (if you are sure the PSU is definitely what's at fault).

Anyway, hope this helps.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby falco on Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:55 pm

Hi - depending on where you are, I can probably help you with the PSU problem.

Edit - I should probably mention I'm in Auckland!
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:21 pm

do you have the expertise to repair PSU's falco?
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby falco on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:21 pm

Depends what the problem is - I've recovered a couple of Apple PSUs with fairly straightforward issues, e.g. bad chopper transistor, weak caps etc. Alternatively, I have some spares.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Matt on Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:25 pm

falco wrote:Hi - depending on where you are,


Dunedin:-(

@Antiphrasis
If you go to the trouble of getting a //e in working order I still can't guarantee I would make an offer.
Wouldn't want you to feel you'd wasted your time.

The compiler I've been using is available for another 8bit platform as well. Relative to apple this platform is a dime a dozen.
Not my first choice but I really do have limited $resources so I have to think carefully about anything like this.

Thanks though for considering offers from here before tm:-)

Matt.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Gibsaw on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:07 pm

Judging from one of your posted URL's, I assume you're talking about aztec-CC or CC65. If you're referring to the C64 as a 6502 compilation target, they're quite common, and yes they can be had for ~$100... but they have their own caveats before you jump into that world. :)

They're more likely to be not going and are often more expensive to fix because it's often the custom chips that die. (this implies that another C64 has to die to resurrect yours unless you wish to pay a small fortune for the part.)

The PSU is a monolithic brick type thing that will need to be replaced if it develops a fault. Contrast this with an Apple II series, where you have at least a 75% chance you're dealing with a PSU capacitor if the "magic smoke" was involved. If it's not PSU there's a better than even chance you'll be replacing an off the shelf 74lsxxx type chip or a 64kbit RAM chip.

The II series hardware is really well documented, and there's ONE custom chip (the IOC) in a IIe, and it's not the usual culprit. Even the CPU is a standard 6502B or 65C02 vs the special commodore 6510.

The C64 has advantages (better graphics/sound) and disadvantages (slow disk drives etc), but they have some problems associated with them having been a cheaper machine to begin with and they're still not exactly "cheap" to buy now. I'm not saying don't get one, but don't assume it'll be "easier" or cheaper overall. :)
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Gibsaw on Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:29 pm

falco wrote:Depends what the problem is - I've recovered a couple of Apple PSUs with fairly straightforward issues, e.g. bad chopper transistor, weak caps etc. Alternatively, I have some spares.


Mmm.. I have the other situation. My machines are all going, but I also have about 4 dead or slightly dodgy PSU's that haven't come to the top of the "fix-me" pile. I may have to compare notes with you at some point.
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Matt on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:11 pm

Gibsaw wrote: I assume you're talking about aztec-CC or CC65.


Been using aztec just started with cc65 what a relief to write in modern dialect! Performance is similar though. Bill(aztec) and Oliver(cc65) were going head to head today on comp.sys.apple2.programmer about the inline assembly in their respective compilers. Bill maintains that the inline assembly in cc65 is a "cludge" and that "you can't put lipstick on a fish and call it a woman". Pretty amusing :lol:

Gibsaw wrote:The C64 has advantages (better graphics/sound) and disadvantages (slow disk drives etc), but they have some problems associated with them having been a cheaper machine to begin with and they're still not exactly "cheap" to buy now. I'm not saying don't get one, but don't assume it'll be "easier" or cheaper overall. :)


Thx. Pays to take all this stuff in to account. Thing is you have to start somewhere: If you've got nothing then you've got nothing anyone else would want and most people don't sell they hoard and only part with stuff if they need something someone else has got. I think I'll restrict myself to collecting cc65 target machines. I don't want a houseful of stuff especially stuff that I can never make go. I do want something to play with in the near term though so it sort of depends on what I can get. Diagnosing and fixing Antiphrasis' //e just feels like a bridge too far first up.

Matt.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby RonTurner on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:34 pm

Looks like you have two choices Matt, use an emulator which is free of cost and maintenance,
(but is "like kissing your sister" - which I presume means you are very keen on the real computer)
or spend the $$$ to get hold of the real computer hardware, but you are not keen on cost
and on going maintenance of it.

sounds like you will have to compromise with one or the other...
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby RonTurner on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:15 pm

Its typical for the plastic A/C filter caps to develop cracks in them over
thirty years, this leads to the contents drying out.
The computer will run for 1 - 5 minutes until the contents
heat up then at this point shorting out, putting out a
plume of fowl smelling smoke and the fuse should blow.


here's one I exploded earlier... That .47uf Cap has cracks in it, its a ticking time bomb...
Image

You need one of 0.47uf A/C filter and one of 0.1uf A/C filter Capacitors, plus a .50c 2 Amp fuse, total cost
around the same price as a Big Mac.

If you buy an Apple //e its unavoidable that you will be replacing these parts,
either before or after the magic smoke comes out... :wink:

Best practice is to replace these parts before turning your vintage computer on for the first time :D

If you don't, turn it on and wait for the pretty smoke to come out... :roll: you may get 1 minute
or you may get a few weeks use out of it... before.... oops to late.... BANG \!!/

An authentic Apple emulator would have a little exploding capacitor dongle that you plug into your USB port :P
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby mrad01 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:35 pm

They are pretty easy to do as RonTurner says - pretty much have worn a path to the electronics store picking these up with every machine I restore (oh, and monitors too)

I started with emulation - but it is crap - so get a friend over who can solder and give it a go.

M
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby Matt on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:33 pm

mrad01 wrote:I started with emulation - but it is crap - so get a friend over who can solder and give it a go.


Thanks for the encouragement. Even if I found an apple that was going when I got it I'll have to learn this stuff to keep it going so may as well jump in.
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Re: Antiphrasis' //e: what would I need to do?

Postby tezza on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:13 pm

Matt wrote:Thanks for the encouragement. Even if I found an apple that was going when I got it I'll have to learn this stuff to keep it going so may as well jump in.

That's the spirit! If you need to do some soldering and never have, practice on some junk electronics first. It's not hard to get the hang of.
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