This article was originally published on May 1, 2012
For those who don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I recently came into possession of one of Randy Brandt’s Apple IIGS’s. According to Randy, this ROM3 was used extensively in the development of AppleWorks and many other totally awesome Beagle Bros programs, including most of the TimeOut series. The IIGS served its time well and was eventually retired and it lived in a quiet corner of Randy’s office for nearly two decades, until he rediscovered it a couple of weeks ago and dusted it off once again.
Unfortunately, the intervening years weren’t kind to this particular Apple, or more specifically, to the 3.6V battery that lives on every Apple IIGS motherboard. As old batteries do, this one began to leak and spill its contents across the PCB. The resulting “goo” (you can read all about the specific chemistry of battery leakage in this Google Knowledge article, if you’re interested) took out a couple of capacitors and left a nasty coating on the MC1377 RGB to composite signal converter IC.
Additionally, the leak spread to the bottom of the motherboard and pooled on the case RFI shielding.
Several of my fellow Apple hobbyists are optimistic that this repair shouldn’t be too difficult, and I tend to agree with them. The first steps will be to remove the remaining corrosion and assess the MC1377 IC, and to replace the ruined capacitors. I’ll probably get started this weekend – it would be a shame if an important piece of Apple II history like this couldn’t be repaired, but all things considered, it could be much worse. I’ll keep you appraised of my progress here.
In the meantime, you can take a look at this Flickr set for more close-ups of the damage.
This article was originally posted on May 6, 2012.
Here are some images of the initial clean up efforts on the Beagle Bros Apple IIGS. You can see that one pin on MC1337 has been completely destroyed, and there is heavy corrosion on several others. As this chip’s only function is to convert the RGB signal to composite, I don’t know that I actually need to replace it since I never use composite monitors with my IIGS machines.
There is still quite a bit of “goo” present on the board, and I will need to clean out the pin holes for C44 and C45 before I can replace those caps. Should be a simple procedure.
And while I’m at it, those expansion connector slots don’t look too healthy either. Not sure of the corrosion I’m seeing in there is related to the leak, but it never hurts to be sure.
You can see the damage to the bottom of the PCB here. I’m not sure what the white substance is.
I’ll continue to keep you updated here, and you can see higher-resolution images in this Flickr set.
I said recently that I’d be re-posting here all the articles that were published
before this site was hit by the PharmaHack. That’s still going to (mostly) happen; it’s just taking a more circuitous path than I’d expected.
A reader comment to that initial musing suggested I restore the articles from the original WordPress database. After spending several hours this weekend watching quietly as the sql admin thing resolutely refused my requests, and looking at the pages upon pages of error messages that I recognized to be in English only because each individual word (most of them anyway) could be located in The Oxford English Dictionary; I realized that if I wanted to restore my posts and keep the existing ones in place, this wasn’t the best course of action for me or my sanity.
I swung by archive.org and went back through a few of the old crawls it had done here. The front page on any given day is there, but nothing deeper. Any of the links I tried to visit to get to older posts returned with 404’s.
This leaves me to go through my old Windows Live Writer and Mars Edit caches and try to snag the texts there. This will be more time-consuming to be sure, as I’ll have to manually re-add pictures and any other media that were included, but this will probably work out okay.
When my natural laziness runs into a thing requiring more effort, it just gets efficient, I suppose. I won’t be restoring the old Tuesday Trivias, any of my assembly language learning rants, or the Thing a Week posts that never really went anywhere and will not be missed. I think there are a handful of interesting bits on various hardware and pieces of software I’ve collected over the years, and that’s what I’ll be concentrating on going forward.