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IIGS recognizes 5.25" drives but not 3.5" or smartport? Help?!


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#1 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:16 PM

This is really weird. My IIGS worked fine up until a couple of months ago, when it suddenly decided to stop recognizing any i/o device other than 5.25" drives. It's definitely the computer; it recognizes both physical 5.25" drives and emulated 5.25" drives, but neither real nor emulated 3.5" or smartport hard drives. It does give them power, so I can eject disks, but it just won't attempt to read them and says no device is connected.

 

I've checked my slot assignments and they're all set to defaults. So slot 5 is the smartport. Doing a PR#5 from a prompt also gives me the "no device connected" error.

 

I thought I might have a dry solder joint on the connector itself, but I just remelted all of them tonight and there was no change.

 

Any ideas?

 

I do have a spare motherboard but it has an even worse problem (keyboard connector is jammed up with something, I think part of a cable broke off in it) so I can't just swap it out. But I could easily swap any removable chips, or potentially unsolder something and solder it to the other board if I had to. I just don't even know what might be the culprit. I assume there's a smartport controller somewhere on the board, but I don't know what it is.

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Attached File  20170418_225938.jpg   235.79KB   2 downloads



#2 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:21 PM

Keyboard connector should just pull out. Even fragments of it. Want to post a pic?

Edited by Keatah, Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:28 PM.


#3 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:26 PM

This is really weird. My IIGS worked fine up until a couple of months ago, when it suddenly decided to stop recognizing any i/o device other than 5.25" drives. It's definitely the computer; it recognizes both physical 5.25" drives and emulated 5.25" drives, but neither real nor emulated 3.5" or smartport hard drives. It does give them power, so I can eject disks, but it just won't attempt to read them and says no device is connected.
 
I've checked my slot assignments and they're all set to defaults. So slot 5 is the smartport. Doing a PR#5 from a prompt also gives me the "no device connected" error.
 
I thought I might have a dry solder joint on the connector itself, but I just remelted all of them tonight and there was no change.
 
Any ideas?


This sounds familiar, but I don't recall what the Issue might be...

There are Two People that you need to know about:

John Keoni Morris on Facebook
and
SpeedyG on Applefritter


John Keoni Morris does lots of Repair Work..

SpeedyG's Web Site, Apple II Box has lots of Technical Info..

MarkO

#4 Iamgroot OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:32 PM

This is really weird. My IIGS worked fine up until a couple of months ago, when it suddenly decided to stop recognizing any i/o device other than 5.25" drives. It's definitely the computer; it recognizes both physical 5.25" drives and emulated 5.25" drives, but neither real nor emulated 3.5" or smartport hard drives. It does give them power, so I can eject disks, but it just won't attempt to read them and says no device is connected.

 

I've checked my slot assignments and they're all set to defaults. So slot 5 is the smartport. Doing a PR#5 from a prompt also gives me the "no device connected" error.

 

I thought I might have a dry solder joint on the connector itself, but I just remelted all of them tonight and there was no change.

 

Any ideas?

 

I do have a spare motherboard but it has an even worse problem (keyboard connector is jammed up with something, I think part of a cable broke off in it) so I can't just swap it out. But I could easily swap any removable chips, or potentially unsolder something and solder it to the other board if I had to. I just don't even know what might be the culprit. I assume there's a smartport controller somewhere on the board, but I don't know what it is.

 

Thanks for any help.

 

attachicon.gif20170418_225938.jpg

 

 

First check your control panel.  If your battery died or getting low then slot #5 may have reverted to "your card".



#5 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:27 PM

I did check the control panel, it's set to smartport.

 

I will look at the links posted earlier. I think just knowing what I'm even looking for on the board would help. I figure there are only two possible culprits (unless I'm wrong), either the connector or the controller, and I've more or less ruled out the connector. But if it ends up that the controller's a chip soldered with like 196 tiny solder points, then I might try figuring out what's jamming up the keyboard connector in my other motherboard instead. I have a feeling swapping the boards out would be easier, but I hate having anything that mysteriously doesn't work when it did before. I have a tendency to want to fix it regardless.



#6 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:46 PM

I say first narrow down the problem. Removing fragments of a busted connector is going to be infinitely more easier than swapping a soldered-on chip. Possibly even easier than swapping a socketed chip.

 

Once we know where the problem is, mainboard or drive+cable, then we can focus repair efforts.

 

IWM and SlotMaker chips are at the front-line of I/O and have 28/44 pins respectively.



#7 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 12:04 PM

Ok, so I set out to finally fix this *#)#@%$* thing the other day and hit another impasse.

 

First, yes, a connector had broken off in the second motherboard KB jack. I tried digging it out but it was *way* in there. It was the little plastic piece at the bottom of the connector on the keyboard cable; it apparently just snapped off in there for the previous owner (probably why he sold that IIGS, though I only bought it for its power supply so didn't care at the time). I started with a tweezers, moved on to a small screwdriver, then a bigger screwdriver, and finally in the end destroyed the whole jack trying to get it out. And I still couldn't!

 

So, whatever, I figured I'll just unsolder it and switch the jacks so I end up with one good motherboard. No dice! I *cannot* get the jack off. (heh) I've taken all the solder off the bottom, but I have a feeling there's more solder on the top that I can't get at without taking the jack itself apart first, and I can't figure out how to do that.

 

I feel like the simplest thing is to just buy another motherboard, but I really don't want to sink another $50-$100 into this thing when I know I have all the parts to make one good motherboard. And maybe to just fix the first one, because I still have to believe it's probably a bad connection or solder joint somewhere. I just don't see where.

 

Any further suggestions? Is there some unrelated thing on the motherboard that could cause this, like a bad capacitor or dead battery? (Though I did check my slot assignments, but is there something else it could be messing up?) I have a multimeter if there's any way I can use it to diagnose this.



#8 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 1:20 PM

The "second KB jack"?  There's only one -- unless you some unique version of a GS.

 

The keyboard jack (Apple Desktop Bus [ADB]) jack is on the back-left of the motherboard, and has an image of a chain above it.

The other two round ports are on the back-right and are for printer and serial.

 

 

Ok, so I set out to finally fix this *#)#@%$* thing the other day and hit another impasse.

 

First, yes, a connector had broken off in the second motherboard KB jack.



#9 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 1:44 PM

The "second KB jack"?  There's only one -- unless you some unique version of a GS.


Second KB jack meaning on the second motherboard.

#10 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 2:17 PM

The "second KB jack"?  There's only one -- unless you some unique version of a GS.

 

The keyboard jack (Apple Desktop Bus [ADB]) jack is on the back-left of the motherboard, and has an image of a chain above it.

The other two round ports are on the back-right and are for printer and serial.

 

 

 

Sorry, I misunderstood.

 

It's a lot of work removing multi-pin components using an iron and gizmos like solder suckers and copper absorption braid.  There's no solder on the other side.  If it's already destroyed I'd just cut off what's left and desolder the remaining bits.

A rework station is a nice thing to have for removing solder.



#11 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 2:39 PM

It's a lot of work removing multi-pin components using an iron and gizmos like solder suckers and copper absorption braid.  There's no solder on the other side.  If it's already destroyed I'd just cut off what's left and desolder the remaining bits.
A rework station is a nice thing to have for removing solder.


That does sound like something that would be useful, and I will probably get one at some point after reading a bit about them. It would probably be easier and more cost effective to just get another IIGS in this case, though.

If there's nothing holding the jack to the board on the other side, I might just try to rip it off. That board is useless right now as it is. The first board might still be salvageable, but at this point the second board isn't unless I get that jack off, so I may as well use brute force I guess, trying not to crack the board in the process.

#12 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 1, 2017 2:43 PM

A pair of dykes to get the jack off.  (You started it :)

 

Cut it from the top.  Don't put any force on the board.  I wonder if you can find an S-Video jack with the same board pin-layout to solder on a brand new socket.  The connector for ADB and S-Video is the same -- it's the circuit board layout that needs to be matched.



#13 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 4:32 AM

Cringing at what's going on here.



#14 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 1:13 PM

As classic game and computer enthusiasts we're all gonna need to make big and small repairs sooner or later. Why not get a couple of scrap boards and good soldering equipment? Practice and develop skill.



#15 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 1:40 PM

I know this may sound odd, but remove the battery (I see this is a ROM1 so you either have to sever the connection or desolder it) and try the smartport again.



#16 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 1:47 PM

As classic game and computer enthusiasts we're all gonna need to make big and small repairs sooner or later. Why not get a couple of scrap boards and good soldering equipment? Practice and develop skill.

 
I was making that exact same argument to someone else just yesterday...
 
I don't think it's my desoldering skill that's the real issue in getting that ADB jack off; I just think it's not meant to ever come off so wasn't designed in a way that makes it easy. As for going the other route and trying to remove and then replace one or both of those chips on the first board, I just don't want to be on a wild goose chase. Before doing that, I want to know that's really going to fix it. Last night I tried testing for continuity everywhere that I could, but it's difficult with everything so small. Everything I did test tested fine, though.
 

I know this may sound odd, but remove the battery (I see this is a ROM1 so you either have to sever the connection or desolder it) and try the smartport again.


Ok, I will try that. That should be easy, at least.

The only other thing I can think to try is reflowing using a heat gun to at least see if that fixes things temporarily. But then I'd at least know that it's a bad solder joint somewhere.

But I'll try the battery first.

#17 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 1:51 PM

The reason I say the battery is because this happened to me over a month ago. I was testing different IIGS disk images from WhatIsTheAppleIIGS's archive, and it happened right after I ran one of them. I wish I remember what I ran, but it must have been virus infected and it corrupted my settings in some way. I removed the battery (easier for me on a ROM3), waited a few minutes and popped it back in and it was working normally again. Really weird. Could also be the battery you have needs replacement. I would test it with the battery removed as the system will still work with default settings of course.


Edited by eightbit, Tue May 2, 2017 1:52 PM.


#18 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 2:29 PM

In most, if not all, consumer electronics no PCB is ever designed to be repaired. Old school electronics may just so happen to be easy by virtue of their construction and assembly techniques of the era. There may be apparent conveniences like big parts that are well spaced. Some parts may need crosstalk spacing to prevent interference between them. Or there may have to be room for heat dissipation. But let me assure you, it is done for ease and convenience of assembly.  And that gives the impression the designers made it easy for you to fix. Always remember they cater to the factory and its efficiency - not you and your soldering iron.

 

There may be a few socketed parts, fuses, relays, and yes those are like so so you can swap things out. Don't forget some parts cannot be heated up and those have to be hand-inserted after wave soldering.


Edited by Keatah, Tue May 2, 2017 2:31 PM.


#19 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 9:15 PM

Well, I removed the battery and no dice.

Then I hit the board with the heat gun to reflow it, concentrating most on those two chips and the disk connector (and on both sides), and no dice either. It's acting exactly the same.

Without being able to even properly diagnose it, I'm thinking the only good option is to buy a new board. The only real alternative I can see is trying again to swap the keyboard connectors so I can use the second board, but given where it is on the board I have very little confidence I'd be able to do it without just breaking that corner of the board off. But maybe I'll try again to get in there and see if I can cut it. I just don't even see a way to do that at the moment - there's no opening to cut anything, it's just a solid block soldered to the board.

 

But I've basically given up on fixing the first board at this point, mostly because I can't diagnose what the actual problem is.



#20 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 9:58 PM

Ugh. I am really sorry to hear man. Were these your only two boards? I can look around locally for you and see if I can find something if you want.

 

Did you try swapping all of the chips that are socketed?

 

Here's one that looks clean for $99 (but is untested):

 

http://www.ebay.com/...MUAAOSwaB5Xuybh


Edited by eightbit, Tue May 2, 2017 10:08 PM.


#21 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 2, 2017 11:07 PM

Unless you're totally familiar with checking out these boards, I'd stay away from untested.  Try and buy from a hobbyist that knows the history of the unit/board. These ebayers sometimes honestly don't know shit about what they're selling.

 

I bought a couple of CF cards. And one of them was split and cracked at the edge. I got them cheap enough, so no big loss. And the guy refunded me for the one bad card. But I'm pretty sure he bought in bulk and didn't test/inspect each and every one. He was just there to resell.

 

Now if you bought something from me, a hobbyist, I'd be able to tell you the exact history and if it was fully functional or not. Remember, a motherboard is rather complex with a lot of functions.

 

---

 

To diagnose a motherboard, even a basic one like the Apple II, which is full of simple 74LS series is still no small feat. You just don't go by symptoms and say ohh it's this chip or that chip. You can try, and be right some of the times. But to do it correctly with a guaranteed positive outcome, you need a logic probe, dmm, scope, and ideally a logic analyzer.

 

You need to see what's going instead of doing this half-assed guessing. And you also need to read the datasheets and study the schematics - so you know how the parts are supposed to behave, then you make sure they behave that way. Or go back to the guessing game.

 

And of course, the IIgs mobo is more complex than the standard II+ or //e.

 

Yes the test equipment is expensive. Yes it takes specialized knowledge to understand how to use it and interpret what it is telling you. It is what it is.



#22 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 12:09 AM

I did actually try switching out all socketed chips, and no dice with that either.

 

But surprisingly I made a decent amount of progress tonight. I just decided I've got two bad boards, I may as well keep going until I completely exhaust all possibilities, and if at the end I have two bad boards (even if I crack one of them), then I'm no worse than when I started.

 

So given that diagnosing board 1 is at an impasse, I went back to trying to remove the keyboard connectors so I can solder the good one onto board 2, and have that be my new good board.

 

And I finally got the connector off board 2. I don't know if the board works anymore, but I didn't crack it. I did need to use a decent amount of force but the board looks like it's probably still ok. The connector is a mangled mess, of course. But it did allow me to see how these things are really attached to the boards, and all that's happening is that there's solder that's spilled through the holes to the top of the board that I can't quite get at.

 

So now I've desoldered the (good) connector on board 1 but I have not yet removed it, because this connector I can't destroy like I did to the other one. I've removed all the solder I can see and get to on both the bottom and top, but it still won't budge. So I'm sure there's still just some extra solder sitting there on the other side of the board. I'm not sure how to actually get it off cleanly from here, but I guess I'll just keep at it until it pops off. The other one really required a lot of pulling, though, even after I got to this point. It never popped off. I'm just hoping this one is going to be different.

 

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#23 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 11:59 AM

I did actually try switching out all socketed chips, and no dice with that either.
 
But surprisingly I made a decent amount of progress tonight. I just decided I've got two bad boards, I may as well keep going until I completely exhaust all possibilities, and if at the end I have two bad boards (even if I crack one of them), then I'm no worse than when I started.
 
So given that diagnosing board 1 is at an impasse, I went back to trying to remove the keyboard connectors so I can solder the good one onto board 2, and have that be my new good board.
 
And I finally got the connector off board 2. I don't know if the board works anymore, but I didn't crack it. I did need to use a decent amount of force but the board looks like it's probably still ok. The connector is a mangled mess, of course. But it did allow me to see how these things are really attached to the boards, and all that's happening is that there's solder that's spilled through the holes to the top of the board that I can't quite get at.
 
So now I've desoldered the (good) connector on board 1 but I have not yet removed it, because this connector I can't destroy like I did to the other one. I've removed all the solder I can see and get to on both the bottom and top, but it still won't budge. So I'm sure there's still just some extra solder sitting there on the other side of the board. I'm not sure how to actually get it off cleanly from here, but I guess I'll just keep at it until it pops off. The other one really required a lot of pulling, though, even after I got to this point. It never popped off. I'm just hoping this one is going to be different.
 

I wonder if it can be replaced with an off the shelf ps2 pc connector. It is the same type of connection.

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#24 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 3:45 PM

Ok, REALLY WEIRD now. 

 

I successfully got the ADB connector off of one board and put it on the other. I was all ready to declare victory. Then I connected everything up and the new board has the SAME PROBLEM! I couldn't believe it; for a minute I even wondered if I hadn't soldered the keyboard connector back to the same board. But no, one of them has the battery off and that's how I can keep them straight. (Also, I did it right after unsoldering it from the first board, so I'd really have to be crazy to mix them up.) I tested this once before on this board (without the keyboard connected, because at that point the connector was broken) and it booted at that time, I just couldn't type anything. This was maybe 4-5 months ago.

 

So I'm thinking this basically rules out the motherboards and means I have some other problem. Could both my batteries be dead? eightbit, I know you said it should work without the battery, but maybe it actually doesn't? I am thinking to try a new battery; I don't think they're too hard to find or too expensive.

 

I always wonder about my power supplies. Again I have two and I've tested both for this, but I wonder if they're both going bad in some way. I guess I could test this. That and the battery are probably my next step at this point, and if neither of those things work out, I'll probably be at a total loss. Probably just buy a whole new IIGS at that point.

 

Not sure who all is reading this at this point, but I'm more or less documenting this for anyone else who might have a similar problem later.



#25 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 3, 2017 4:00 PM

Ok, REALLY WEIRD now. 
 
I successfully got the ADB connector off of one board and put it on the other. I was all ready to declare victory. Then I connected everything up and the new board has the SAME PROBLEM! I couldn't believe it; for a minute I even wondered if I hadn't soldered the keyboard connector back to the same board. But no, one of them has the battery off and that's how I can keep them straight. (Also, I did it right after unsoldering it from the first board, so I'd really have to be crazy to mix them up.) I tested this once before on this board (without the keyboard connected, because at that point the connector was broken) and it booted at that time, I just couldn't type anything. This was maybe 4-5 months ago.
 
So I'm thinking this basically rules out the motherboards and means I have some other problem. Could both my batteries be dead? eightbit, I know you said it should work without the battery, but maybe it actually doesn't? I am thinking to try a new battery; I don't think they're too hard to find or too expensive.
 
I always wonder about my power supplies. Again I have two and I've tested both for this, but I wonder if they're both going bad in some way. I guess I could test this. That and the battery are probably my next step at this point, and if neither of those things work out, I'll probably be at a total loss. Probably just buy a whole new IIGS at that point.
 
Not sure who all is reading this at this point, but I'm more or less documenting this for anyone else who might have a similar problem later.

It would definitely work with no battery. I ran mine with none for quite a while. Maybe psu...really weird

What if your problem all along WAS the "good" keyboard port. Or maybe even your keyboard itself. Maybe some kind of short. Can you now try the 3.5 inch drive in the motherboard with removed port and see if they detect?

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Edited by eightbit, Wed May 3, 2017 4:06 PM.




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