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.