tkc8800

Technology and retro computer blog

Floppy Emu disk archiving on Mac LC475

Recently I wanted to update my 400k Macintosh disk archive so that the .dsk files I was providing could easily be used on an old  Macintosh.  The .dsk files that I have can be used in MiniVmac and also in the Floppy Emu disk emulator, but they aren't easily usable when copied directly to an old Macintosh.  The .dsk versions have lost the Macintosh resource fork required by old Mac systems to associate the files with an application.  So I needed to come up with a method to restore them back to Macintosh images and preserve the resource fork.



I came up with the idea of connecting the Floppy Emu to my LC475 as the internal disk drive and then archiving each disk using DiskCopy 4.2.  The LC475 runs System 7.5 and has all the necessary utilities installed: Stuffit Deluxe 4, DiskCopy4.2 and DropStuff.

This process worked well.  I loaded all the .dsk images onto an SD card in the Floppy Emu, then one by one I "inserted" them into the LC475.  As far as the LC475 was concerned a physical floppy had been inserted.  I then used DiskCopy 4.2 to read each disk and save the image file to the hard drive.  Once archived to the LC475 hard drive the .image files contained the resource fork to associate them with DiskCopy 4.2.

While they exist on a Mac drive, the .image files will retain the resource fork, but once copied to a non Mac system the resource fork is lost.  The typical way of preserving the resource fork is to archive the files using Stuffit and Binhex.  Newer versions of Stuffit that run on System 7.x will generally open any file, but older versions that run on System 6 and prior will not recognise a file unless the resource fork is in tact.  So to make these files usable on System 6 machines you need to archive the Stuffit files with BinHex which preserves the resource fork in a .hqx archive.  The Bixhex archive (.hqx or .bin) can be opened by BinHex on System 6 machines without the resource fork in tact.  To make the process easier I decided to archive the images as self extracting Stuffit archives (.sea) prior to archiving with BinHex.  This means that only BinHex is required on a System 6 machine to use the archives.  Once extracted from the .hqx archive using BinHex the .sea archives can be run to extract the .image files. 

Once all .dsk images had been created on the LC475 using DiskCopy 4.2, I used DropStuff to create the individual .sea.hqx archives.  DropStuff can be configured to automatically create .sea.hqx archives.  Once configured you drag and drop multiple files onto the DropStuff icon and it does the rest.

See pictures of the process below.



The Macintosh LC475. This is a great machine for the retro Mac hobby, the cover unclips from the back and all the main components are easily accessible.  The hard drive and the floppy drive unclip and and can be removed in seconds. This machine also has a PDS Ethernet card and a reasonable sized hard drive which makes it great for transferring files via ftp.




The picture above shows the Floppy Emu connected to the LC475 as the internal floppy drive.  All I've done here is detach the cable from the internal floppy from the logic board and replace it with the cable from the Floppy Emu.



Once the Floppy Emu is connected you select a disk image and it appears on the Mac desktop just like a disk inserted into the internal floppy drive.



This picture shows the emulated floppy disk being read by DiskCopy 4.2.  Once read it can be saved as a disk image to the hard drive.

Go to the updated Mac 400k disk image page to download images.

Macintosh 128k - 512k 400k disk images

Macintosh 400k disk images

This page is dedicated to software that will run on the earliest Macintosh computers, the 128k and 512k.  All the software below has been tested on a Mac 512k with 400k floppy drive, running System 2.0 and Finder 4.1. 

I've provided these disk images in two formats: .dsk and .sea.hqx.  The .dsk files can be used in Mini vMac or in the Floppy Emu disk emulator.  The .sea.hqx files are for downloading straight to a retro Macintosh.  You'll need BixHex at a minimum on older systems to unpack the hqx archive.  Then the disk images can be extracted by running the .sea (self extracting archives).

 While there are dozens of applications for the original Macintosh on the web, I've been selective with the software below.  I've selected software that showcases these machines and still holds some interest value to today's user.  Let's face it, text adventures were good once upon a time, but I can't imagine sitting down and playing one today!

 

Apps

Data Flow flowchart application (1984)

Flowcharting application.

Download:

ZIP: DataFlow.zip

HQX: DataFlow.image.sea.hqx

Mac Write 2.0

Mac Write 2.0 (1985)

Download:

ZIP: Disk_Write_2.zip

HQX: Disk_Write_2.image.sea.hqx

MacBasic (1984)

The original MacBasic which was never released. It was replaced by MS Basic.

Download:

ZIP: MacBASIC.335.dsk.zip

HQX: MacBASIC.335.image.sea.hqx

Mac Draft 1.2a (1986)

Drafting application

Download:

ZIP: MacDraft1-2a.zip

HQX: MacDraft1-2a.image.sea.hqx

MacPaint 1.0 (1983)

The original MacPaint that shipped with the Mac 128k

Download:

ZIP: MacPaint.zip

HQX: MacPaint.image.sea.hqx

MacWrite 1.0 (1983)

The original MacWrite that shipped with the Mac 128k

Download:

ZIP: MacWrite.zip

HQX: MacWrite.image.sea.hqx

Microsoft Chart 1.0 (1984)

Charting application.

Download:

ZIP: Microsoft_Chart_1.zip

HQX: Microsoft_Chart_1.image.sea.hqx

Microsoft Basic v1 (1983)

The infamous Microsoft Basic for the Macintosh

Download:

ZIP: MSBASIC_1.zip

HQX: MSBASIC_1.image.sea.hqx

Microsoft Basic v2

Microsoft Basic v2

Download:

ZIP: MSBASIC_2.zip

HQX: MSBASIC_2.image.sea.hqx

Microsoft Basic v3

Microsoft Basic v3

Download:

ZIP: MSBASIC_3_disk1.zip

HQX: MSBASIC_3_disk1.sea.hqx

Microsoft Multiplan 1.11 English (1985)

Microsoft Multiplan spreadsheet application. The predecessor to Excel. This English version was hard to find.

Download:

ZIP: MSMultiplan_1.11.dsk.zip

HQX: MSMultiplan_1.11.image.sea.hqx

Mac Paint 2.0

Mac Paint 2.0

MacPaint version 2

Download:

ZIP: Paint_2.zip

HQX: Paint_2.image.sea.hqx

Picture Base 1.1 (1986)

Application for storing pictures.

Download:

ZIP: PictureBasev1.1.1.dsk.zip

HQX: PictureBasev1.1.1.image.sea.hqx

Games

Airborne! (1984)

Arcade game

Download:

ZIP: Airborne!.zip

HQX: Airborne!.image.sea.hqx

Brickles v7.0

A great breakout game, like the old Arkanoid.

Download:

ZIP: Brickles7.0.dsk.zip

HQX: Brickles7.0.image.sea.hqx

Cairo Shootout (1987)

Arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: Cairo_ShootOut.zip

HQX: Cairo_Shootout.image.sea.hqx

Microsoft Flight Simulator (1986)

Flight simulator

Download:

ZIP: Flight_Simulato102.zip

HQX: Flight_Simulato102.image.sea.hqx

Fokker Triplane (1985)

Flight simulator.

Download:

ZIP: Fokker_Triplane.zip

HQX: Fokker_Triplane.image.sea.hqx

Frogger (1984)

The classic arcade game Frogger. Requires direct booting from the disk.

Download:

ZIP: Frogger.zip

HQX: Frogger.image.sit.hqx

Fusillade (1985)

A grid style arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: Fusillade.zip

HQX: Fusillade.image.sea.hqx

Gemstone Warrior (1986)

An adventure game.

Download:

ZIP: Gemstone_Warrior.zip

HQX: Gemstone_Warrior.image.sea.hqx

Grid Wars (1985)

Arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: Grid_Wars.zip

HQX: Grid_Wars.image.sea.hqx

Klondike v4.0 (1989)

A really good Solitare game.

Download:

ZIP: Klondike_4.0.dsk.zip

HQX: Klondike_4.0.image.sea.hqx

Lode Runner (1983, 1984)

A great version of the classic Lode Runner.

Download:

ZIP: Lode_Runner.zip

HQX: Lode_Runner.image.sea.hqx

MacAttack (tank) (1984)

3D arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: MacAttack-v1_4.zip

HQX: MacAttack-v1_4.image.sea.hqx

MacCommand (1985)

A decent missle command clone.

Download:

ZIP: MacCommand_boot.zip

HQX: MacCommand.image.sea.hqx

MacJack_v3.0.1 (1984)

A decent Blackjack game.

Download:

ZIP: MacJack_3.0.1.dsk.zip

HQX: MacJack 3.0.1.image.sea.hqx

MacLanding (1986)

A clone of the old Defender arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: MacLanding.zip

HQX: MacLanding.image.sea.hqx

MacMan v1.0 (1986)

A great Pacman clone. You play as a Mac being chased by IBM pc's.

Download:

ZIP: MacMan_1.0.dsk.zip

HQX: MacMan_1.0.image.sea.hqx

MacMissles (1985)

A decent clone of the old Missle Command game.

Download:

ZIP: MacMissles.zip

HQX: MacMissles.image.sea.hqx

Phraze Craze (1986)

Wheel of fortune game.

Download:

ZIP: Phraze_Craze.zip

HQX: Phrase_Craze.image.sea.hqx

Psion Chess

A good looking chess game.

Download:

ZIP: Psion_Chess.zip

HQX: Psion_Chess.image.sea.hqx

Pyramid of Peril v1 EN (1985)

First person adventure game with line graphics!

Download:

ZIP: Pyramid_of_Peril_v1.zip

HQX: Pyramid_of_Peril_v1.image.sea.hqx

Rogue (1985)

The famous top view role playing adventure scroller which coined the phrase "Roguelikes".

Download:

ZIP: Rogue.zip

HQX: Rogue.image.hqx

Run for the Money (1984)

Simulation game

Download:

ZIP: Run_for_the_Money.zip

HQX: Run_for_the_Money.image.sea.hqx

ShufflePuck

Arcade game, based on air hockey.

Download:

ZIP: Shuffle_Puck.zip

HQX: Shuffle_Puck.image.sea.hqx

Sierra Boxing (1985)

Arcade style boxing game. Note: this game did not fit on a 400k disk with the system folder, so this disk image is not bootable.

Download:

ZIP: Sierra_Boxing.zip

HQX: Sierra_Boxing.sea.hqx

Social Climber

Arcade game with stupid premise. It was the 80's.

Download:

ZIP: Social_Climber.zip

HQX: Social_Climber.image.sea.hqx

Space Invaders (1985)

The classic arcade game.

Download:

ZIP: Space_Invaders.zip

HQX: Space_Invaders.image.sea.hqx

Wizard's Fire

A great arcade game, based on the old missle command.

Download:

ZIP: Wizard's_Fire.zip

HQX: Wizard's_Fire.image.sea.hqx

System

BinHex 5.0 (1985)

BixHex utility, archives files to preserve resource fork.

Download:

ZIP: BinHex_5.0.dsk.zip

HQX: BinHex_5.0.image.sea.hqx

CopyRom 512k

CopyRom 512k

Utility to extract rom from physical Mac. Rom can then be used in emulators like Mini vMac.

Download:

ZIP: CopyRom512k.zip

HQX: CopyRom512k.image.sea.hqx

Mac Speak speech synthesizer (1984)

Speech emulator. This was the one used in the famous Macintosh (128k) launch video by Steve Jobs. The Mac used in the video by Jobs had 512k of ram, four times more than a retail Mac!

Download:

ZIP: MacSpeak.zip

HQX: MacSpeak.image.sea.hqx

MacTerminal 1.1 (1984)

Early terminal program with xmodem transfers, very small around 90k.

Download:

ZIP: MacTerminal_1.1.dsk.zip

HQX: MacTerminal_1.1.image.sea.hqx

MacTerminal 2.2

MacTerminal 2.2 (1987)

v2.2 of MacTerminal, slightly bigger but has some added features.

Download:

ZIP: MacTerminal_2.2.dsk.zip

HQX: MacTerminal_2.2.image.sea.hqx

MacTerminal_Binhex5_boot disk (1983)

400k boot disk with required utilities for serial cable transfers. Contains MacTerminal 1.1 with xmodem, BinHex 5.0 and Packit 1.0

Download:

ZIP: MacTerminal_Binhex5_BOOT.zip

HQX: MacTerminal_Binhex5_BOOT.image.sea.hqx

Mac Tools (1984)

File and folder utility.

Download:

ZIP: MacTools.zip

HQX: MacTools.image.sea.hqx

Packit v1, v3

Packit v1, v3 (1985)

Packit archive utility, very small application, multiple files support, preserves resource fork of files.

Download:

ZIP: Packit.zip

HQX: Packit.image.sea.hqx

Red Ryder (1986)

Serial terminal program.

Download:

ZIP: RedRyder.zip

HQX: RedRyder.image.sea.hqx

Smooth Talker (1986)

Speech synthesiser application.

Download:

ZIP: SmoothTalker_2.1.dsk.zip

HQX: SmoothTalker_2.1.image.sea.hqx

Switcher_Multiple_Versions (1985)

The famous switcher application, allows you to switch between applications.

Download:

ZIP: Switcher_Multiple_Versions.zip

HQX: Switcher_Multiple_Versions.image.sea.hqx

System 2.0

System 2.0 (1985)

Macintosh System 2.0, Finder 4.1.

Download:

ZIP: System 2.0.dsk.zip

HQX: System 2.0.image.sea.hqx

System 3.3

System 3.3 (1987)

Macintosh System 3.3, contains Appleshare networking.

Download:

ZIP: System_3.3_512k_Appleshare.dsk.zip

HQX: System_3.3_512k_Appleshare.image.sea.hqx

Macintosh Mystic Colour Classic

A few weeks back I saw a Macintosh Classic advertised for sale on a local site, it wasn't really a model that I wanted but it had a nice M0487 ADB keyboard and mouse which I did want and the price was good so I decided to go an have a look.  While I was speaking to the seller I asked him if he had any other Mac stuff that he want to sell and he brought out a Macintosh Colour Classic with keyboard.  The Colour Classic didn't work but it was in great condition so I made an offer on both machines and got them for a very good price.


       


On getting the machines home I tried to power up the Colour Classic but there was no activity, I tried all the recommended easy fixes like replacing the clock battery and ensuring the keyboard was properly plugged in.  This model won't boot unless a keyboard is attached because the start button is on the keyboard.  But nothing worked.  On pulling out the logic board it struck me that it was very similar to an LC575 board that I'd picked up the week before.  I got a non-functional LC575 the previous week for $20, I needed a SCSI hard drive and floppy drive for my SE/30 restoration (see posts in archive regarding the SE/30 and LC575 dis-assembly).  So I put the LC575 board into the Colour Classic and it powered up!  It wouldn't load the OS but it went to the start up screen and was clearly functioning.  Quite a lucky coincidence that this board fit this machine and also considering both the Colour Classic and LC575 were non-functional but for different reasons.  The LC575 most likely had a bad power board and the Color Classic had a bad logic board.


           


On doing some research on the Colour Classic I discovered that upgrading a Colour Classic with an LC575 board is called the "Colour Classic Mystic upgrade".  You've got to like that.  Thanks to some detailed information on the web about the Mystic upgrade, I was able to patch a version of system 7.5 to install on the upgraded machine.  The issue with the OS is related to the screen resolution, the LC575 has a 640x480 resolution whereas the Colour Classic has 512x384.  So you need to patch a version of Mac OS so it thinks it's installing the system on an LC575 with 512x384 resolution.  There is a great website which goes into detail about the Mystic Colour Classic upgrade and they have a guide on how to patch the system for use on the Mystic upgraded machine:  

http://colourclassicfaq.com/mobo/mystic.shtml

The zip file below contains System 7.5 patched for the Mystic Colour Classic:


Mac Mystic Colour Classic System 7.5

System 7.5 for Mystic Colour Classic

Download:

ZIP: System_7.5_Mystic_patched.zip (9.56 mb)


Before doing the install I needed to fix the floppy drive. The floppy was in a similar state to the one I extracted from my Macintosh SE/30, see my post about the Sony SuperDrive head spring fix.

The logic board from the LC575 is a drop in replacement for the Colour Classic but the rear connectors don't line up with the back plate from the Colour Classic.  So I adapted the back plate from the LC575 to fit the Colour Classic.  It fits well but I had to drill new holes to hold it on.  I also bleached it with 40vol cream peroxide to get a better colour match.  I was really pleased with the result.  The left picture below shows the original Colour Classic back plate at the top and the LC575 back plate underneath (cut into two pieces).  The second picture shows the LC575 back plate cut down to fit the Colour Classic.  The third and fourth pictures show the finished back plate.


         



The 4.5v clock battery on the LC575 motherboard was long dead as you'd expect so I replaced it with an "AA" battery holder which takes three batteries.  Each "AA" battery is 1.5v so this makes up the 4.5v required.  It also allows for easy replacement of the batteries unlike the original unit. To finish off this machine I added a PDS ethernet card to allow for easy transfer of software via FTP.  The image below shows the LC575 logic board with "AA" battery holder and PDS ethernet card.




Macintosh Sony SuperDrive head spring repair

I recently obtained a couple of compact Macs with Sony SuperDrives.  In both cases the drives wouldn't read disks.  I did the usual servicing of the insert/eject mechanism and both inserted and ejected disks fine, but they still wouldn't read disks.  In both cases the issue with the drives was that the top head was not touching the disk.  I managed to diagnose this by connecting the drive to the computer with the cover off and watching as it tried to read the disk.  Then I simply pressed down on the head with my finger so it would touch the disk.  Once I did that the drive would start to read and write.


This seems to be a common problem with these drives because they use a leaf type spring on the top head.  What typically happens is when the machine is stored away for years on end with no disk inserted, the drive head is held in the open position and this causes the head to stay in this raised position.  The other cause would no doubt be people unwittingly raising the head too far in order to clean between the heads.  This would cause the leaf type spring to bend upwards.


I'm glad to say I've found a fairly easy fix to this problem.  I've repaired both drives and they are now working fine.  So I thought I'd write a guide on how to fix this head spring problem.  The fix involves two things:

 

  1. Bending the leaf spring on the top head back down
  2. Adjusting the internal spring inside the head to further drag the top head down on the disk.

 

In order to perform these tasks you need to remove the head from the drive.  This is a fairly simple process.  There are two small screws holding the head down.  These screws clamp down the slide bar on the right side of the head (looking from the back of the drive).  Then there are two small card cables which simply pull out of their sockets.  These need to be removed.  Once both those things are done the head can be removed from the drive.

To bend the leaf spring back down again, you need to insert a small flat head screw driver towards the back of the head assembly.  There is a small metal plate where you can rest the screw driver.

Sony SuperDrive

 

Push it in enough to spread the heads apart.  Once that's done you push down gently on the top head.  The screwdriver acts as a fulcrum forcing the spring to be bent back down.


Sony SuperDrive

 

The second fix involves moving the position of the small spring inside the head to increase the tension on the top head.  On the bottom of the head assembly there are three small adjustment steps that enable you to increase the tension on the spring.  But I've found that even moving the head to the third position is not enough to provide enough downward pressure on the top head.  So my solution was to notch out a fourth position further away.  I used a broken off piece of hacksaw blade to create the new notch.  This increases the tension on the spring enough to provide the required down force.

Sony SuperDrive

 

Internal spring moved to the fourth position.

Sony SuperDrive

 

Macintosh LC575 disassembly for donor parts

I've been looking for a hard drive and floppy drive for my SE/30 restoration, so as luck would have it I found this LC575.  I offered the owner $20 which was accepted.  I hoped to get the hard drive and floppy out of it as both would make nice era appropriate replacements for the drives in the SE/30.  I'm glad to say both worked out well.  I managed to salvage a 250meg Apple SCSI hard drive and floppy super-drive from this machine, both work, but in need of a clean-up, as would be expected.  I also managed to remove the internal cd-rom drive.  I haven't tested that yet but no reason to expect it won't work.  Before tearing this machine apart I did try to get it to boot, but on power up all I could hear was the dong of the screen.  The screen was just blank and no activity from the hard drive or floppy could be heard.  The only attempts I made to get it working was to check the fuse on the power board, that was ok.  I also tried the trick of switching it on and off really quickly, I'd learned this trick when trying to get my LC475 working.  If the clock battery is dead the LC475 won't start up, but switching it on/off quickly will get it to boot.  But no luck with the LC575.  Not wanting to spend too much time trying to get the thing working I just started tearing it apart.  I must admit it's quite good fun to disassemble stuff.

These aren't too hard to take apart, a few Torx T15 screws on the back and the back just lifts off.  The floppy and cd-rom drives can be removed through a drop-down cover at the front, no screws required.  The hard drive and logic board come out through a cover on the back which does have a couple of screws but were missing from this one.  The internal drive/board case just un-clips from the front bezel and can be removed.  A fairly interesting case design.  Case parts and monitor will probably go to recycling.  The logic board looks in fairly good shape and has the ram and CPU on it which are most likely good, so I'll hang on to that in case someone wants it.  See pics below.

 


Macintosh SE/30 restoration

A few days ago I picked up an SE/30 from an ebay auction.  The seller was located near me so that was a bonus.  It was in fairly good physical condition but the case was very dirty and had paint stains on it.  The seller showed the machine at the disk prompt so that was a good sign as many of these machines are in a much worse functional state.  On getting the machine home, I tried to boot it using the Floppy Emu disk emulator but unfortunately I couldn't get it to work reliably.  I tried booting from several OS versions 6.05, 6.08 and  a couple of times I did manage to get it to boot to the desktop.  But it was pretty clear that the machine had issues. 

 

Over the last couple of days I disassembled it and cleaned it inside and out.  The case has come up reasonably good.  I managed to get all the paint stains and other marks off.  I cleaned the floppy drive mechanism and the drive is now able to insert and eject disks properly.  On re-assembly the boot problems still persist.  None of the logic board capacitors have visibly leaked, there is oxidation on some of the contacts of each capacitor and also on some of the ic's but the board is generally clean and in good condition.  So I was hoping to avoid re-capping right away.


These are the things I've tried on it so far:


- Boot using Floppy Emu and physical floppy, Floppy Emu will boot to the desktop on occasion, but machine crashes shortly after.  Physical boot floppy is not recognised
- It came with 5meg or ram, I've swapped the ram with other ram and tried different configurations, doesn't seem to change anything.  All ram is reported through the finder when I've been able to boot to the desktop.
- I've tried re-seating all removable chips,  no change
- Just prior to making this post, I removed all socketed chips on the logic board and then thoroughly washed the board with bi-card/white vinegar and then detergent.  It's in the process of drying out at the moment.  I'll re-try it once everything dries.





 

The SE/30 lives

I've been reading a few posts online which lead me to tinker with the Quantum 40s drive.  I figured as the platter motor was stuck maybe the head was too.  I removed the cover from the drive again and removed the magnet from the head mechanism and then adjusted the head tension screw.  Before re-assembling the hd I plugged it in with the cover off.  The head now moves freely, I hadn't seen it move before.  Not expecting much I plugged the drive back into the SE/30 and on second power cycle the machine started to boot!  It now boots reliably.  The drive is rather slow and sounds fairly sick, but the good news is that with a healthy and faster drive this machine should work fine.  I haven't replaced the caps yet and I'm still not getting a bong on start up, so this has given me some good motivation to spend some time re-capping the board.  I still can't get a response from the Floppy Emu.  With it booting now to the desktop, I tried loading a disk image from the Floppy Emu and there was no response at all.  The more I read into it I think the bourns filter might be the issue with reading floppy disks.  Some good progress.

 

 

11th October 2015

 I've managed to repair the floppy drive from the SE/30!

 I've been doing some reading on issues with these Sony super drives and determined that the issue with this one was that the top head was not making contact with the disk.  I put the drive in my LC475 with the cover off and lightly pressed down on the top head with my finger and it started to read properly.  I even did the same to format a disk and that worked too.  This is a common problem with these drives, because they sit around for years with no disk inserted, the head spring stays in the up position for a very long time.  The other cause is that people lift the top head to clean it and this can bend the spring up.  The spring on the top head is a bit of sheet metal screwed to the top of the head assembly so bending down is not an easy job because you can only bend down until the top head touches the bottom head, and this is not enough travel to bend it back into position.

 

To repair it I had to remove the head, this involves removing the two small screws holding down the slide bar on the head and also removing the two small card cables attached to the head.  Removing the head is fairly simple.  There is a second spring inside the head assembly which draws the two heads together.  This spring has three adjustment steps so you can increase the downward pressure on the top head.  So I  set the spring to the highest step.  Thinking this may fix it I put the head back into the drive and tested again.  Unfortunately even though the spring setting had lowered the top head so it was now touching the disk, the pressure was not enough.  Pressing down on the head with my finger was still required to make the head work.

 

So my solution was a novel one, I cut another notch on the bottom of the head assembly to make a fourth spring position for the internal spring.  I used a small hacksaw blade and cut a tiny notch further away from the last spring position.  Putting the spring in this fourth notch increased the pressure on the top head just that little bit more.  On testing the drive again unfortunately it was still not enough pressure to get the head working properly.  So I removed the head again and this time came up with another idea to bend the top spring into place.  I stuck a small flat screw driver underneath the sheet metal top spring so that the two heads were spread apart, then I pushed down on the top head.  This caused the sheet metal spring to be bent downward slightly.  Once again I put the head back into the drive and tested again and success, it now reads and writes without any assistance! 

See my detailed post about the head spring repair below.

 

13th October 2015

A further update on the SE/30.

I installed the Quantum 250 meg hard drive that came out of the LC575 into the SE/30.  I also re-installed the newly repaired Sony SuperDrive back in.  I then installed system 7.1 using some newly acquired (ebay), LC475 install disks.  The new hard drive had some old files on it so the first install worked but I got some extension errors on boot, some old files were messing with the new install.  I then tried using the system 7.1 disk tools floppy to wipe the drive but for some reason the 7.1 disk tools disk wasn't happy being booted in the SE/30.  It complained that it didn't work with the system version?  So I used the disk tools disk from system 6.0.8 and I was able to re-format the drive using that.  I then did a clean install from the 7.1 disks and it worked perfectly.  I now have a clean install of 7.1 running off of the new hard drive.  New drive is much more quiet and quick than the original, SE/30 boots in only a few seconds with 7.1 and seems to run really quick.

 

All in all the SE/30 is working well now.  It boots reliably and screen looks great.  I still haven't done the re-cap, I'm a little hesitant to do it when the machine is working so well.  The problems that still persist are:

 

  • No sound.  Most likely related to caps from what I've read.
  • Can't seem to use the external floppy connector.  I tried connecting a floppy drive to it and it wouldn't even power up.  The floppy emu works somewhat but continuously comes up with read errors.  Not sure if this might be related to caps or possibly a power supply issue

 

I guess the last reasonably simple fix to address the remaining problems  is to re-cap.  Would be great to have the sound working.


24th October 2015

I replaced all the surface mount capacitors on the logic board yesterday and I'm glad to say it went well.  I wasn't getting any sound before, now I get clear and loud sound through the headphone jack.  But unfortunately I'm not getting sound through the internal speaker.  I plugged in another internal speaker (smaller), and I get faint sound through that.  So I checked the voltages at the plug that connects to the logic board (with the plug removed),  I'm getting -11.1v and +11.62v on pins 7 and 8 on the connector.  The 5v supplies are fine.  So I suspect that there's some issue on the analog board or power supply.
 

The SE/30 generally runs great, screen is good, SCSI port works fine, internal drives work fine.  The only things I have issues with are the internal sound and the external drive connector.  Whenever I connect a drive or Floppy Emu to the external connector it's very flaky.  Not sure why the internal drives are not affected.  To fix the 12v supply I'll look at doing a re-cap of the analog board.




Mini vMac

Mini vMac is a great emulator of early 68k Macintosh computers.  See Mini vMac site for more details.  I've prepared two downloads of Mini vMac.  One emulates a Macintosh 512k, running System 2.0 from a 400k floppy and the other emulates a Macintosh Plus running system 6.0.8 with a 40mb hard drive.  The downloads below include rom images and disk images with software already installed.  So they are ready to run.  These downloads contain the Windows executable of Mini vMac, but if you're on another platform just replace the executables with the ones you require from the Mini vMac website.

 

The distributions below have the ImportFI and ExportFI utilities already installed on each disk.  These utilities allow you to easily import and export files between the emulator and the host system without running any other software such as HVF Explorer.  They also have BinHex 5.0 and PackIt archiving utilities which allow you to easily package files for transfer to a physical Macintosh via serial cable.  See my guide: Serial cable file transfer, pc to Macintosh 128k/512k .

 

Follow this link for the Macintosh 128k / 512k disk image archive

 

vMac_512k.zip

 

vMac_Plus.zip

 

Serial cable file transfer, pc to Macintosh 128k/512k

Getting software onto floppy disks for old Macintosh computers, such as the original 128k and 512k can be difficult.  The problem is the floppy disk standard they used is no longer supported on any modern machine.  These early Macs used standard double density 3.5" disks, but they were formatted with a 400k and later 800k floppy format.  This standard is no longer used by modern computers.  The old Macs are also difficult to connect to networks, especially pre-SCSI Macs like the 128k and 512k machines.  They had serial ports but a problem with serial transfer is that they used the RS422 standard, not the widely used RS232 standard that most computers, like the Apple II, use.

 

Many enthusiasts of these old Macs use a bridge computer to transfer software to disk.  There were several Macintosh computers produced during the late 1980's and 1990's that supported both the old 400k and 800k formats and also the more widely used PC, 1.44mb high density format.  The drive in these machines is called the Superdrive.  Some models that have the Superdrive are the Macintosh SE/FDHD, the SE/30 and the Powerbook 520c and 540c laptops.  There are also others.  A bridge machine offers a great solution especially if that machine has ethernet capabilities.  While a bridge machine is great, if you don't have one, the simple solution is to use a serial cable.

 

USB to serial adapter cables are cheap and readily available and they will add a serial port to your modern computer, but they are wired for RS232 standard serial communications not RS422 like the old Macs.  The solution is to create an RS422 to RS232 adapter cable.  Then you simply connect this cable between the Mac and the USB to serial cable.  See description below for how to create this cable.

 

Another issue with old Macintosh computers is that they're unusable without a boot disk.  Unlike the Apple II which has inbuilt Basic in ROM.  So unfortunately if you purchase one without any disks you can't create the disk to use it, like you can with the Apple II using something like ADT Pro.  You need to get your hands on a bootable 400k floppy disk.  What's more to transfer software to the old Mac via serial you need a couple of important utilities on that boot disk.  The required software is described below.

 

Macterminal transfer
Xmodem transfer from Windows 7 pc running TeraTerm to Mac 512k running MacTerminal 1.1

 

Creating the serial cable

The following table shows the pin assignment of the Mac 128k/512k de-9 serial connector (RS422 standard).  The second table shows the 5 pin adapter cable required to convert RS422 to RS232.

 

Macintosh 128k/512k RS422 serial connector
Pin Description
1 gnd
2 +5v
3 SG
4 TxD+
5 TxD-
6 +12v(HSKo)
7 HSK1(DSR)
8 RxD+
9 RxD-

 

The table below describes the connections required to create an RS422 to RS232 adapter cable.  The connector at the back of the Mac 128k/512k is a de-9 female connector.  And the connector on most USB to serial adapters is usually a de-9 male connector.  Therefore the cable below has a male de-9 connector at the Mac end and a female de-9 connector at the other end.

 

Macintosh 128k/512k RS422 to RS232 serial adapter cable
Mac de-9 Male PC RS232 de-9 Female PC Signal Name
7 7 CTS
6 8 RTS
9 3 TXD
1 5 GND
5 2 RXD

 

 

Required software

In order to transfer files to the Mac, you need a few utilities: MacTerminal 1.1, BixHex 5 and/or Packit 1.0.  The terminal program is required to do the file transfer and BinHex or Packit is required to preserve the resource fork on the old Macintosh files. BinHex 5 will only archive a single file, whereas Packit allows you to put multiple files into an archive.  But the great thing about these utilities is that both will open any file once transferred, they don't rely on the file type.  The following table shows the software on a 400k boot disk that will allow you to boot the  Mac and do file transfers.  Even with all required software this disk still has around 180k free, so you can transfer files directly to it.  The system components for this disk have been stripped right down of unnecessary fonts and desk accessories to maximize free space on the disk.

 

Macintosh 400k boot disk for serial transfers
Utility size
System 2.0 50k
Finder 4.1 47K
MacTerminal 1.1 98k
BixHex 5 8k
Packit 1.0 9k

 

Download the disk image for this disk here: MacTerminal_Binhex5_BOOT.zip (176.29 kb)

 

 


By booting an old Mac with this disk, you can transfer files in a BixHex or Packit archive across the serial link using XModem in MacTerminal.  If the files will fit, you can transfer them directly to the boot disk.  If the files are too large for the boot disk, MacTerminal allows you to eject the boot disk prior to receiving a file, so you can write the receive file to a blank disk.  This gives you the ability to transfer larger files.  This process is made much easier if you have and external floppy drive, as you can extract the archived files to the external drive.  If you have a single drive you can still do it but you the process will require disk swaps.

This is a complete solution for transferring files from an internet computer directly to a Mac 128k/512k, without using a bridge machine.

See also my Macintosh 128k/512k disk image archive




Apple II Plus

This is my Apple II Plus, it has 64k, 48k on the motherboard and a 16k Microsoft Ramcard.  It also has the Microsoft z80 Softcard installed so it can run CP/M.  The monitor is an Applecolor composite monitor IIe.

 

 

 Apple II specifications
Manufacturer    Apple
Release date April 1977
CPU MOS 6502, 8 bit
Speed 1 MHz
Ram 4k to 48k
Rom 12k
Storage Cassette, optional 5.25" 140k floppy disk  
Expansion 8 slots
Ports Composite video out, cassette
OS Rom Basic, Apple DOS

 

Cards installed:

  • Microsoft Ramcard
  • Microsoft Softcard
  • Super Serial Card II
  • Disk controller II

 

 

Macintosh 128k

This is a Macintosh 128k 240v international model.  The model number is: "M0001P", unlike the U.S. 110v model which is M0001.  The "P" indicates the 240v international model.  I purchased this computer as a non-working machine with the original 128k logic board in it.  It also came with an external 400k drive.

Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k

 

  Macintosh 128k specifications
Manufacturer    Apple
Release date 24th January 1984
CPU Motorola 6800, 32 bit
Speed 8 MHz
Ram 128k
Rom 64k
Storage 3.5" 400k internal floppy disk
Expansion n/a
Ports RS422 serial, mouse, floppy disk, audio
OS Macintosh System 1

 

On initial power up, it displayed an error code, but soon after that it would just power on with several beeps which indicated a defective logic board.  I replaced the logic board with a working 512k logic board, so in effect this is a Mac 512k. The logic board for the 512k has exactly the same connectors on the back so it's a simple drop in replacement for the 128k logic board.

 

I've also replaced the power sweep, the original burnt out shortly after I got it.  I replaced it with a 240v Mac Plus power sweep.  The power sweep for the Mac Plus is backwards compatible with all previous compact Mac models.

 

Both the internal and external 400k drives would not accept disks when I first tried them out.  So I removed the disk insert/eject mechanism from each drive.  On inspection both were jammed stuck from years  of sitting around.  I removed all the old muck off the mechanisms and re-lubricated them, and once back in the drives both drives worked fine.

 

Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k Macintosh 128k back

 

Downloads
Classic_Mac_Repair.pdf (1.06 mb)

This guide contains some invaluable information about repairs to common problem with classic Macs.