Carnifex.org

The public executioner at Rome, who executed persons of the lowest rank; hence, an executioner or hangman.

Tag: Computer Hardware

Commodore 128 Finished

Posted on July 28, 2018  in Computers

I finally got my C128 up and running. I had to buy another one, which I got cheap because it was known not to boot. After swapping out some parts, I got everything going perfectly., including replacing the missing key. I ran the dead test diagnostics on for a couple of hours and everything, including sound passes.

 

My next project is a Sinclair 1000, which does not power on at all. I put the power supply on a multi meter and it seems to be working to specification, so the issue is the machine itself. I opened it up and there is no obvious point of failure. I am thinking this may make a decent Raspberry Pi based Cyberdeck, the main challenge being adapting the keyboard to work with the RPi.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

Apple //e Lives Again

Posted on July 17, 2018  in Computers

I got the Apple IIe up and running again. I pulled apart the 2 power supplies I had and built a single hopefully fully operational one. I did have to scrounge up some new capacitors, but that was not too hard. Floppy drives for these things are way too expensive, I think instead I am going to get a cassette recorder and use it to store what little I need to store.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

RIP Apple //e

Posted on July 6, 2018  in Computers

Well that did not last long. I heard a pop behind me and when I turned around my Apple IIe was smoking. I walked over and unplugged it, now my IIe is dead and my den smells like someone lit 50 matches. Sadly, like most ebay buys, the power supply has no warranty. Maybe between the two I have I can make one working PSU.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

RE: Apple // e

Posted on July 5, 2018  in Computers

Got the replacement power supply for the Apple IIe and the system booted to Applesoft. I did try to boot it without the keyboard connected, but it gave me a RAM 100 errror, so I hooked up the keyboard and it fires right up, I then hit CRTL-Reset and it dropped into Applesoft.

So YAY! Seems my luck has improved a bit after the C128 fiasco. I guess now I will have to put it back together and start thinking about whether or not I can afford a floppy drive for it.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

RE: Commodore 128 Update

Posted on July 4, 2018  in Computers

Okay so, apparently I am not as good at reseating socketed chips as I thought. When I pulled the chips again, I found I had bent a pin on the SID chip. Once I straightened it out and put it back in, the C128 started booting normally again.

I acquired a deadtest cart and it is on its 2nd run, the first time I let it run 10 times, with no errors except I am not hearing the 3 tones for the sound test. I wanted to make sure the cart was good, so I out it in my C64 and it ran 10 cycles just fine, and I heard the tones. It is now on its 2nd run with the same problem. I am assuming this means I screwed up my SID chip.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

Commodore 128 Update

Posted on July 3, 2018  in Computers

I opened my C128 last night and reseated all the socketed chips, I though this might help with the odd lockups and the machine code screen dumps I have been getting. Unfortunately, this made things worse, I am now getting a black screen when I turn on the power, even C64 mode does not work. Additionally, when I press the reset button it does reboot, but I get an odd tone for several seconds. Looking at the troubleshooting guides, there are a lot of things that cause this and at this point I do not know if I screwed something up, or I simply accelerated the failure of an already ailing computer. The next step is to open it up again and reseat the socketed chips again, and make sure I did not do something wrong.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

Apple // e

Posted on July 1, 2018  in Computers

I have shown the case of the Apple IIe, but I have not shown the inside yet. What surprises me most about this motherboard is its simplicity. I mean sure, this system was built in 1982 according to the date on the board and it is pretty anemic by today’s standards. But think about it, people use to do all the things we do today on these machines. They played games, created documents in word processors and spreadsheets, they got on BBS’s, read online content and exchanged emails. They did all this on a 1 Mhz CPU and 64K of memory. Think about that for a little while.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

RE: My newer acquisition

Posted on June 30, 2018  in Computers

Okay so, after some testing, I discovered the C128 does seem to have some problems. While it still operates fine in C64 mode, in C128 mode it locks up and when anything is plugged into the serial port, I get machine code error messages. This is likely a bad ROM chip and the system does work sort of, so I am going to set this aside for the time being and focus on the Apple IIe.

I tore the Apple IIe apart and scrubbed down the plastics with a magic marker sponge. This worked pretty well, all the grunge came off including a sticky mildly greasy film that was all over it, my guess is it came from a smokers house, although it did not smell like it. I also popped all the keys off the keyboard and put them in hot soapy water for about an hour. While keys were stewing, I cleaned the rest of the keyboard, which was surprisingly clean, it was really just a bit dusty. After that, I pulled the power supply apart, thinking maybe is was just a blown capacitor, that was not the case, ALL the capacitors were blown.

 

I looked on ebay and found several replacement power supplies that were tested and working, two of them were $30. The problem with those two were the sellers did not have 100% positive feedback. Now I am not a fascist about it, but if you have negative feedback, it should not be in the last 12 months and if you have negative feedback in the last 12 months, it absolutely better not be for sending the wrong part and then not replacing it or even bothering to communicate with the buyer. So both of those sellers were out, The next one was for $40 plus $12 shipping, seller had 100% positive feedback, so I went with him. I should have that by next weekend.

 

After all that, I pulled out the keys and scrubbed each one down with a toothbrush. Most of the crud came off in the bath, so very little scrubbing was really necessary, but I gave each key a scrub and a wipe down anyway. You can see, it is much improved over the original.

 

 

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Tag: Computer Hardware

My newer acquisition

Posted on June 27, 2018  in Computers

So my problem with the C128 was not serious, it turns out I had the 80 column button pressed, but I was using the 40 column video connector. As you can see it is functioning perfecting. Thank you goes out to the THOMCBM64 on the Lemon64 Forums for suggesting I try that before desoldering ROM chips.

The Apple IIe I bought for $30 arrived today, as expected it does not even power on and the internal speaker has detached from the case and the motherboard. The case is dirty as hell, but that is easily fixed with windex and a rag. I was moderately surprised to find both a floppy disk controller and an 80 column card inside. I suspect if I decide to fix it, I will start with the power supply.

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Tag: Computer Hardware

My newest acquisition

Posted on June 27, 2018  in Computers

I recently bought a Commodore 128 computer. This is my third Commodore computer, 2 years ago I bought a Commodore 64 and last year I purchased a VIC 20. This was an untested machine, so I knew there was a good chance it would not work. Fortunately it did power on, unfortunately it gives me a blank screen with a green border.

This is far better than getting no power or getting power but having something weird like garbled video. The odd thing about it is, when I tried to boot it into C64 mode, it worked perfectly.

So whatever the problem is, it is likely not going to be tough to fix. I have not opened it up yet, I probably will not get to that until this weekend. In hopes of getting a running start on it, I posted these pictures on the Lemon Forums asking for help. Hopefully I will get some direction before I start heading down this road.

 

I also purchased what I think is an Apple IIe, the label is gone so at this point I do not know exactly what it is. This I know probably will not work and will probably not be repairable for any reasonable amount of money or effort. I have no idea what I am going to do with it yet, but I am not going to worry about it until after I have the C128 working properly.

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