What a difference a week makes


So on Monday night (after my last post no less) I was feeling enthusiastic, so I stripped down the Mac and gutted out the PSU.
I then removed the switch.
Let me tell you that it’s not as easy as I make it sound with such a simple statement.

IEC at the top, in situ. Below is the switch. See that goop on the switch? That’s not happy-making goop.

Firstly to get to the switch you need to remove the IEC socket, which is soldered into place, and has a weird resistor and capacitor combo soldered across the mains. I had to desolder the wires and loosen a lot of the solder on the capacitor, just to be able to bend everything enough out of the way that I could remove it.

Ugh! This thing!

Next, the switch itself was held in place with this heavy solid glue. I thought it was epoxy, at first, but it melted a tiny bit when I touched the soldering iron to it. I was able to soften it enough to remove by hitting it with some hot air for a few seconds. I was then able to pry off the glue and carefully pop out the switch. It was an extremely tight fit.

Once the switch was out, I could disconnect the connectors for the mains. That freed it up. Going on some advice from the Aussie Apple II users group, I opened up the switch by poking “something” (in this case the tip of some needle nosed pliers) down into the hinge section of the switch case, allowing me to pop open the switch and…

More Eww

“Yep. There’s your problem”.

Thankfully Danny on the forum had already tracked down a replacement switch, which I have ordered, which should be here next week.

Meanwhile Greg (who has kindly donated many Apple things to me) contacted me to offer an authentic Apple IIgs keyboard he’d found in his collection. How could I say no?
I did offer him an Atari ST in return but he declined. He did, however, mention an interest in a Commodore 64, and considering his huge generosity in the past, I tried to return a part of the favour by swapping the keyboard for a refurbished C64c, joystick, multi-game cartridge and one of my scratch built c64 power supplies, as well as a cable. Hopefully this will bring him as much joy as his donations have brought me. Thanks Greg!

Keyboard for the Apple IIgs

But wait, there’s more! On the same day as I picked up the keyboard and dropped off the C64, a package all the way from Poland arrived. Aww yiss! It’s my next upgrade, the DDI5 for my Amstrad CPC 464.

So much potential!

This bad boy gives me a floppy drive emulator, similar to a Gotek, a second Floppy Drive connector and finally an additional 512k of RAM.

I had some initial problems, but, as I was able to quickly determine, this was simply because the connector was filthy. I ended up having to disassemble the system, clean everything with an antistatic brush, then polish the connectors with a sand eraser.

After that it stably booted and I was able to work out almost enough to start playing some classic CPC disk games. One demo I wanted to try wouldn’t actually work, and chatting on the Noel’s Retrolab Discord, Noel himself pointed out I was using the wrong command 🙂

(For anyone following in my footsteps, the correct command to load the demo was

As part of that discussion I got to trial his new CPC Diagnostics software, which demonstrated that, yes, my CPC now had 512KB. Awesome!

512KB is all that anyone should need, amirite?

Finally, yesterday, just before I was due to start my holidays, my newest Unicorn arrived! It was an Acorn Archimedes 440/1

So much potential. If only I can organise a Keyboard / Mouse.

As yet it’s almost completely untested as I simply haven’t had a chance to plug it in. I also need to organise a keyboard and mouse for it, as well as some sort of video solution. 15KHz monitor to the rescue!

More to follow, as I explore deeper.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *