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Apple II Prototype?

applequack

New Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
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I've been an Apple collector for awhile, have a slew of Apple II, IIe, and II+ machines, and plenty more that have passed through my hands. I have a few rare pieces, but I've never seen one of these before. From what I can tell, it's an Apple II prototype motherboard. It doesn't say Apple Computer Inc. by the 6502 like all the other boards I've ever seen. Instead, it just says "Apple II'. The bus numbers are hand-lettered. There is wire-wrapping to the keyboard ROM, as well,that isn't on other boards.

I know there were a lot of clones in addition to the Franklin, so it’s possible that this is a protype of a competitor’s unit, but it would be pretty bold to screen the words Apple II right on the motherboard, IMHO.

I’m thinking this is a prototype of an Apple II machine that an Apple engineer at some point walked away with. I'm curious if anyone else has seen one like this. I appreciate any thoughts or similar experience....
 

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I’m thinking this is a prototype of an Apple II machine that an Apple engineer at some point walked away with.
And you think that why exactly? Because you want it to be one?

You can see on the date codes on the chips already that this is not possible. All chips visible in the pictures are from 1980/81. It's a clone board.
 
When comparing it to known prototypes there's a bunch of irregularities, excluding IC datecodes. For one Apple never used a power harness like that, even on their very early non-mask boards.
 
Apple has a near compulsive obsession with leaving their mark on their "stuff."
All their prototypes (that I have seen) are silkscreened with their name, copyright notice and company logo.
What you have is without a doubt, a clone board.
 
There is no doubt about it. We dont need to get on his case for his hopes being high but yeah its not a prototype. Although Apple seems to have more prototypes floating around than anyone else. ITs a cheap asian apple II clone board.

Like mentioned, alot of the earlier prototypes have no mask.. Like this 1981 IIe prototype.
Super_II.jpg
 
I love the look of those gold & ceramic memory chips. Some of the earliest Mac 128ks had them, too. The maskless board is also really neat. Easily seeing all the layers is cool looking.
 
Hi thanks everyone for the replies, I greatly appreciate the insights. Clone board it is. I still love it, and I think I might keep it and frame it. It's just a cool piece of technology history. I do have a protoype Apple keyboard, so that's why my eyebrows were raised when I unpacked this.
And you think that why exactly? Because you want it to be one?

You can see on the date codes on the chips already that this is not possible. All chips visible in the pictures are from 1980/81. It's a clone board.
Good point. I hadn't thought to look closely at at the dates on the ICs. Thank you.
 
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