The Obsolete Geek recently did an episodeof his Computer Hunting series where he found the motherload of apple II systems, as wellas a few other impressive pieces.
He graciously donated one of the Apple IIc’s that he acquiredthat day, and here it is.
This thing appears to have had a hard life.
The keys are prettyyucky, the case is all yellowed, there’s sticky goo all over it in many places.
Yeah,it’s pretty gross.
Now, technically, it does work, but the video connector is veryflakey, as you can see here.
In fact the RCA connector is noticeably loose to the touch.
So, I think it’s time to take this piece of history and give it some special love.
So the first thing to do is see about getting all of the gunk off of the case using somealcohol.
Some of this stuff takes a good bit of scrubbing to remove.
And I kept findingmore and more little places all over it that needed cleaning.
I spent almost an hour justcleaning the surfaces on this thing.
I used a toothbrush to get the dirt out of the ventholes.
Next it was time to start disassembly of the unit.
It turns out the IIc has a speciallittle snap in the front that you have to find….
and two more by the disk drive.
Onceyou get those, the cover comes off pretty easily.
Next, I removed the keyboard.
Thislittle metal box is the power supply and it’s held in by two screws.
But then it removesalmost like a rom cartridge.
Next I unplugged the disk drive and removed it out of the system,exposing the entire logic board.
While we’re here, let’s have a little tour of the board.
So, here’s the CPU.
It’s essentially the same 6502 used in many computers from the1980’s.
Here’s a whopping 128K of RAM, which was actually quite a lot for an 8-bitcomputer.
These are the UARTs for the serial ports.
This is the character ROM.
This isthe video generator chip, ROM BASIC, and the IO chips.
OK, so back to disassembly.
I’llremove the last few screws holding the logic board in, and then remove the board.
Thiswill make it easier to work on the case.
There’s also a metal shield on the bottom that needsto come out.
And the last thing to remove is this pesky beeper speaker.
I had to pryit out.
I did the final wash of the plastics in the sink.
I also dusted off the logic boardwith some compressed air.
Ok, I wanted to get started on treating the case plasticsfirst.
So I laid out some plastic wrap on the bench and coated it with hydrogen peroxidesolution.
Then I wrapped up the case… then sat it out in the sun to soak up some UV radiation.
Shortly after, I followed up with the bottom case piece.
While that was going on, I thoughtI’d take a look at this video port problem.
What a strange design.
It appears that thereis no physical connection on this port, and over time, it becomes loose and just movesaround.
So I coated the center piece with solder, then rotated it around so it was makingcontact with that pin on the motherboard, then heated it back up until it joined withit.
Then I added some solder on the ground portion of the jack to keep it from movingaround in the future.
Next I began working on the keyboard.
I popped off all of the keys.
Then I removed this rubber mat so that I could rinse it off.
I notice it was a tad brittle.
Pieces kept falling off of it.
Even when drying it off, more pieces kept coming off.
Apparentlypicking it back up was the last straw and it just disintegrated in my hands.
So I justthrew it in the garbage.
I think the computer can live without it.
So back to the keys,I used a wet paper towel to clean all of the gunk off the keys.
For some reason, the spacebar was much worse off than the rest of the keys, so I decided to treat it separately.
I put it in a bag by itself and put it out to soak up some sun.
I put all of the restof the keys in their own bag and filled it with peroxide.
So, after several hours, itwas time to remove the plastic wrap and rinse off the case pieces.
You can see they lookquite different now.
Unfortunately, it appears I missed a few spots right on the very front.
I also realized I forgot about the disk drive faceplate.
So I began to take apart the diskdrive so that I could remove the faceplate.
Incidentally, I noticed this disk drive usesa drive belt, and to my amazement it is still working.
Belts don’t usually last this long.
I put the faceplate in a ziplock bag and filled it with peroxide.
Then I took the top casepiece and covered it with foil to protect it from the sun, since I didn’t want tore-treat the whole thing.
Then I coated the front really well, and took both pieces outin the sun for another couple of hours.
The results are in and the faceplate looks great,so I started re-assembling the disk drive.
Also the front case piece now looks great.
So it was time to start re-assembling the computer.
Before I got too far, I wanted totest the logic board.
Don’t panic, this weird psychedelic pattern is normal.
Thisis a test pattern that the IIc does when the keyboard is disconnected.
So far so good.
Next I had to put all of the keys back on the keyboard so that I could test everythingfurther.
Let’s try powering up with the keyboard now.
Yep, everything seems to beworking.
So, all that was left was to just put everything else back together, such asthe disk drive… and then the top case.
Take a look at this photo I took before, and thenafter.
Wow, let’s try that again.
Before, and now after.
This computer is barely recognizableas the one we saw before.
Now, to put it through some tests by loading some games from floppydisk.
First I tried Maniac Mansion.
That seemed to work, so I followed that up with some spyvs.
The video port is certainly working better now.
So, I am very pleased with theoutcome of this computer.
I mean this thing looks almost brand new.
So, you know, thisis my first Apple IIc.
I’ve had several of the other Apple IIe, IIgs, and whatnot.
But I’m actually really impressed with the design of this machine, especially after Itook it apart and saw how it goes together and I think as far as the Apple 8-bit line,this is actually my new favorite 8-bit from Apple.
It’s so compact with the disk drivein the side.
Less cables and nonsense to worry about.
It’s so small.
So I think this willmake a great addition to my museum.
Now, many people have asked on my previous episodesif the peroxide treatment is a permanent fix for the plastic, or will it revert back tobeing yellow again? I don’t have a 100% definite answer on that.
I can tell you anecdotally,that I have performed this procedure on dozens of pieces of hardware over the years.
Twoor three of them have returned yellow over a period of years, the rest of them have not.
So I think a lot of it has to do with the plastic and what chemicals they used to makethe plastic with, so it’s really difficult to say whether it’s going to return yellowor not.
Another thing to point out is if you expose it to the same conditions that turnedthe original plastic yellow, then of course it’s going to turn yellow again, but I wouldsay for the most part if you apply the treatment and then you store it in a cool, dry placeaway from UV light, it should not in most cases return yellow again.
But there is noguarantee.
On a different note, I’ve got another video that I’ve been working onsimultaneously with this.
And, it’s very different from what I normally do on my channel.
But it does give me an opportunity to do some outside shooting.
So, I look forward to presentingthat to you in another week or two and I’ll see you next time!.