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TI-99 guy finds Apple //c at Garage Sale for $5

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#1 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:18 AM

Greetings Apple faithful! 

 

I'm a TI-99 guy who once owned an Apple ][+ and the Apple ][e. I fondly remember playing F-15 Strike Eagle and Space Eggs... I think it was?

 

Yesterday I returned to Apple ][ ownership with a $10 deal: Apple Monitor + Apple //c + Atari 5200. They've been cleaned up and now I need tips from you experts on my next move.

 

Power Supply: I see some deals on eBay for the DIN-7 Toshiba power supply. Is this the way to go?

 

How about a cable for the video/audio?

 

Are their and SD-card mods available?

 

How about memory expansion or anything else I may wish to do as far as modding?

 

Where's the best source for software? Any hard drive options?

 

Thanks in advance! -james

 

 

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#2 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:31 AM

The only way to go is a real IIc power supply. And, strangely enough I happen to have a power supply but no IIc :) I had a IIc some time ago and had a spare PSU, but sold the IIc and kept the spare. Therefore it has been tested and works perfectly. If you need it PM me and we can work something out!

 

As for expansion options, there is always the BMOW FloppyEmu which is pretty awesome:

 

https://www.bigmesso...com/floppy-emu/

 

And here are some other options (that are usually out of stock):

 

http://www.a2heaven....ategory&path=73


Edited by eightbit, Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:33 AM.


#3 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:48 AM

The only way to go is a real IIc power supply.

 

Why? I've used an off-brand replacement one with my //c. Works just fine.

 

@Airshack: Great haul, even if the stuff looked like it was used in welding shop!  :P  :-D  $10 is an amazing deal and makes me nostalgic for the days when you could go to rummage sales and actually find stuff like this for rummage sale prices. :)

 

Re: Audio/Video cable: a standard RF cord will do, and you can go directly into any screen or television with a composite video input. Sound comes from an onboard speaker, though, so you won't get anything through a monitor.

 

Re: SD card solutions: There are a few if you google around a bit, but a lot of them seem to be limited run/out of stock situations. And the CFFA3000 is unfortunately incompatible with the //c since the //c isn't expandable (it wouldn't even fit in the case anyway). But, SD-based floppy emulators are out there.

 

If you're unable to get your hands on an SD disk emulator, your best bet for software on a //c is probably ADTPro, which only requires a null modem cable between your //c and PC/Mac/whatever, and some blank floppies. :)


Edited by BassGuitari, Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:02 AM.


#4 sm3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:14 PM

When I first purchased a IIc I went the ADTPro route and it worked great to get me started. I would suggest buying a cable from these guys: http://retrofloppy.c...cts.html#USBMAC as suggested by the ADTPro website since you will know it works properly with ADTPro. The first cable I purchased for ADTPro didn't work correctly.

 

While I myself have an original IIc power supply, I can vouch for this guy: https://www.ebluejay...ds/item/4378150 he's not always the cheapest, but if you have an issue, he stands by his products. My only gripe with this power supply is the connector is very tight so if you want to remove it and put the IIc away or something it will take a little more effort.

 

The BMOW Floppy Emu as stated works great as well, however, if you don't have the proper ROM it will not boot first (before the built-in drive) so you'll still need ADTPro to create a boot floppy.



#5 Polymorph OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:52 PM

 

Why? I've used an off-brand replacement one with my //c. Works just fine.

 

Me too... I wired up my own using an old laptop power supply. The //c has fairly good input voltage tolerance - I think it accepts 12-18V no problems (it might even be 9-18V, but don't quote me on that!).

 

Remember the //c was made to be portable - most of the voltage regulation is done inside the //c and not in power brick.

 

I think Chris Torrence has done something in the last year or so using a portable battery pack on YouTube IIRC.

 

Point is, you *don't need* an original Apple //c power plug if you can't find one or if you have the skills to wire your own for cheaper.

 

Here is some additional info if you decide to wire-up your own:

http://www.applefrit...c-power-adapter



#6 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:08 PM

This advertisement sounds reasonable to me:

(Same voltage, regardless whether

with-load or no-load)

(3) Same voltage-regulation technology

as is standard in other computer power supplies;

by contrast, the original IIc power brick is merely

an AC transformer with fused DC output conversion.


I suspect the original Apple power supply is my worst option.

#7 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:16 PM

Any tips on connecting an external Laser 5.25 floppy (with a 20 pin female plug) to the 2c disk (serial?) port? Hoping theres some sort of converter dongle?

#8 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:00 PM

I have had around half a dozen IIc systems, all with original power supplies. All worked perfectly. I would say that while there are many systems out there where PSU's are an issue (C64 epoxy PSUs and the motherboard frying Atari 800 PSU's come to mind), the IIc supply is very robust. That and I like keeping those types of things original to a degree when it comes to the Apple stuff. I'll rework an original Apple power supply (if that is even needed) before going with some off brand. But, to each their own ;)



#9 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:37 PM

Offer and advice appreciated.

#10 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:02 PM

So my //C is booting up and working fine except when I cycle the power switch. I have unplug the power cord and turn the unit ON, then turn it OFF, replug in the power cord, and turn it back ON to work properly.

 

Otherwise when I simply recycle the power the screen gets filled with seemingly random characters, and the unit freezes up without booting from the internal floppy?

 

Is this thing in need of re-capping or anything obvious based on these details?

 

Help appreciated....



#11 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:04 PM

I have had around half a dozen IIc systems, all with original power supplies. All worked perfectly. I would say that while there are many systems out there where PSU's are an issue (C64 epoxy PSUs and the motherboard frying Atari 800 PSU's come to mind), the IIc supply is very robust. That and I like keeping those types of things original to a degree when it comes to the Apple stuff. I'll rework an original Apple power supply (if that is even needed) before going with some off brand. But, to each their own ;)

 

 

The //c power supply is just a transformer, 2 fuses, couple caps and a bridge rectumfryer, anything that puts out 15 volts DC at the required current on the required pins will do fine as all the fancy shit happens inside the computer 

 

:)

 

back to the op, the apple II line is snotty about rapid power cycles, how much time are you giving it from turning it off to back on (usually a handful of seconds is enough, but click clack gets you da gabage) 



#12 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:30 PM

I'm hearing my problems may come from bad RAM? Any idea where I can find some good non-Apple branded RAM to use for testing and replacement?



#13 DistantStar001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:01 AM

The RAM on the //c is actually generic (I'm actually looking at a board with Texas Instruments logos right now).  The Apple logo is just branding, and doesn't mean anything, as many different manufactures produced the same chips.  I've already tried generic chips in a //e, and it works fine.  As to what kind of chips you need, that's going to depend on the revision of your motherboard.  Mine is a newer one, and has only 4 chips, but I've seen older ones with up to 16.  All you need to do is look at the chip, there should be a 4 digit number on it (maybe with some letters on each side, but the numbers are all you need).  Note: the first number will be a 4, incase there is more than one.  Google the numbers (for example: "4264 ram" in the case of an earlier board, or "4464 ram" on mine), and you should come up with at least one vender in the first page.  The results I found were between $3, and $5 per chip, with the 4264 being the more expensive.  Still, don't be afraid to shop around, odds are you'll find a better price.



#14 R.Cade OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:06 AM

The reset issue is normal. You'll have to turn off and wait 5-10 seconds before powering back on.



#15 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:23 PM

The RAM on the //c is actually generic (I'm actually looking at a board with Texas Instruments logos right now).  The Apple logo is just branding, and doesn't mean anything, as many different manufactures produced the same chips.  I've already tried generic chips in a //e, and it works fine.  As to what kind of chips you need, that's going to depend on the revision of your motherboard.  Mine is a newer one, and has only 4 chips, but I've seen older ones with up to 16.  All you need to do is look at the chip, there should be a 4 digit number on it (maybe with some letters on each side, but the numbers are all you need).  Note: the first number will be a 4, incase there is more than one.  Google the numbers (for example: "4264 ram" in the case of an earlier board, or "4464 ram" on mine), and you should come up with at least one vender in the first page.  The results I found were between $3, and $5 per chip, with the 4264 being the more expensive.  Still, don't be afraid to shop around, odds are you'll find a better price.

 

 

Any good tutorials online for replacing RAM and perhaps re-capping Apple 2s?

 

I've contacted a service tech whom wants $130 to do it which seems really expensive. He wants $150 to do it with sockets installed.

 

I seem to remember the 2c and 2e (maybe) have boot up self tests via some apple-key combo?



#16 DistantStar001 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:54 PM

Control - Open Apple - Closed Apple - Reset.  Your system will flash several patterns of colored squares, after which, if everything's good, you will hear some rapid beeps, and the message "System OK" will appear on the screen, If there's a problem, you will get an error message.  A ram error will be displayed with a series of 1s, and 0s equal to the number of RAM chips.  The 1s will represent the problem chips.  For example 01000000 would mean that the second chip in a line of eight is bad.  

 

As for the price you were quoted, sadly that's pretty reasonable, especially if he/she is including the replacement RAM, and/or sockets.  Installing the new chips is relatively straight forward, but removing the old ones cam be quite time consuming.  This is at least an hour, to an hour and a half of work, maybe longer if something unexpected happens.     Ultimately, your not paying for the parts, or even the supplies, it's the time that's the price killer.

 

If you want to do this yourself, you'll need the following, A soldering iron, some solder braid, a solder sucker (get both), some electrical flux, and of course solder (lead free will work, but leaded is easier to work with).  Going with the cheapest of these that I've found, the cost will be over $50, and I know that I'm leaving some things out.  Also, find something to practice on (like a dead cartridge game, or something that won't be missed).  Trace separation is a real issue on these older machines, especially if you're new to this kind of soldering.  Personally, I learned this the hard way.  And if you're hand slips, you could end up causing even more damage (Something else I learned the hard way).

 

For a good tutorial on soldering in general, check out the Ben Heck Show, and The 8-Bit Guy on YouTube.  There's another who's name escapes me, but he's always saying "In like Flynn" when he opens a case.  He's informative, and good with a soldering iron, but the repeated reference to the guy who played Robin Hood, and his unfortunate preferences for underaged girls kinda bugs me.  But if I run across one of his videos again, I'll let you know.

 

As to any Tutorials regarding the Apple //c itself, I haven't found any.  The closest I saw was a man who "fixed" his //c by buying a new motherboard (cheater).   


Edited by DistantStar001, Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:18 AM.




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