Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Macintosh LC Repair Part 1

A generation of video gaming that I missed out on was the Apple II.Text adventures especially are something that I have always found interesting but had no means to explore. Now you may wonder "The title of your post is Mac LC not Apple II, silly" and you're right but I will get to that shortly.

This past week, I was scouring good old Craigslist for my next project and came across a cheap and complete Macintosh LC. This is one of, if not the first in the line of Low-cost-color computers around the time when Jobs was booted and the company moved exclusively to high-end expensive machines. This computer was released in 1990, the year I was born so by the time I entered middle school, they had already been replaced by IBM PCs. A shame really.

Back to the point. After picking up the computer and hearing the oh so common phrase, "It worked when we packed it up", I rushed home to find that it did in fact ... not work. Which is totally fine for me! I paid very little in my opinion and was just happy to find a new project that I knew could be repaired.

Once powered on, nothing; only a quite hum and click from the power supply area. The Floppy drive does not power up and the Hard disk drive does not spin up, so it must be an issue with the power supply. Inside I found the very most exciting component that I could have hoped for: The Apple IIe card! This particular daughter card is used to emulate an Apple IIe and an array of other daughter cards that an Apple IIe owner may install. Together with the upgraded processor and extra RAM, this machine will emulate an Apple IIe better than one itself can!...Once working of course.

It turns out that after exploring the more obvious issue, the power supply only measures voltages of +0.5v, +0.7v and -0.5v when it must supply +5v, +12v and -5v. It would seem that I now know the reason why none of the drives power on. Inspecting the motherboard though .. proved to be even more disappointing. All of the SMT capacitors are leaking and have corroded many contacts and pins of surrounding components. Even if I get the power supply running at full power, the board may not work!


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The second image is of the Apple IIe card which has two caps which are also leaking. Luckily they have done less damage than the others. Each one of these will have to be replaced if I intend on having it last another 23 years. I will also have to get it working if I plan on doing a proper 'disassembly' on it.

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