Aside from working on repairing a really persnickety PET 2001-32n, I'm in the middle of building an N8VEM. I've also been seriously thinking about doing some scratch building of a 6502 or z80 based S-100. I haven't yet decided if I want to buy the boards that the folks at s-100computers.com have been putting together or do do it all from scratch, but I'm leaning toward the "do it all."
1014 thus far has seen me busy taking my first steps with the TI-99/4A. After many years on the back burner I pulled one I inherited from the attic and replaced the keyboard on it; the second unit I got over Ebay just because it came bundled with quite a few cartridges... bad video RAM problem, repaired - couldn't have picked a better way to learn about the TI, straight into the electronics. Also been working on a couple of early Tandy Color Computers that I acquired with no major problems except some TLC - these are my personal favorites.
Restoring a Palm M100
Powering up a TI-99/4A with an ATX PSU
Repairing my iMac G3 500MHz(Again)
Finishing a C64 DTV project that started several years ago
Repainting a poor conditioned Powerbook G4 550MHz
Too many to mention at length---but here goes:
Get a 486DX4-100 to run Win2K
Upgrade to a system running Mint 17.2 (and backup the current "main" system running Win7)
Sort through a free pile of 30/72/168 pin RAM modules
Revive my PC-XT
Hmm, current projects...
Apollo Domain 3000, system/monitor/keyboard/mouse are working fine after some effort, but HDD won't move the heads out of the parking position...
Figuring out a random Chicony KB-5151 I came across recently.
Picked up an AST 386 machine, have yet to dig into that one.
A couple accessories I'm working on for the Commodore 64.
There's other stuff as well, but not strictly computer-related.
Im currently repairing a Osborne OCC1 should have been an easy power supply fix with the blown film cap but the monitor doesnt power up and one of the keyboard membranes looks like in a rusted color on top so im assuming dead for life keyboard?!
@Matthew27, when troubleshooting a dead monitor start at its power supply and the horizontal drive/output/high voltage sections. Without the horizontal and high voltage you won't have any of the low voltage sources for video drive and vertical output as those are derived off of taps off the flyback transformer.
Just recapped a couple apple Monitors. A Monitor IIc and Monitor II. The monitor II was driving me crazy, after 3 days of working on it straight I finally have the fix. The video works fine then collapses into a horizontal area about one to two inches tall. Turned out to be an inductor.
Fixed a PCjr I thought was toast.. just some dirty sockets and it fired right up. Lots more repairs on the horizon.
Too many to mention, so I will
MZ-80K - after repairing the PSU, making a new door for the I/O unit, repairing the disk interface card and adding a Gotek, the next project for it, is to strip down the case, get a colour match and give the case a refresh to the two tone paint job.
PDP11/73 - needs powering up for the first time in 30 years
MicroVax II - Needs powering up for the first time in 30 years
Multibus I - 286/10 - Installed in case but not getting sufficient cooling. Need to rethink my fans but getting high flow 240V fans is really difficult.
DEC Alpha's - Three machines without disks to resurrect
VT420 - PSU problems but I have a spare motherboard (sans LOPT)
PS/2 model 60 - Needs powering up for the first time in 20 years
Amstrad PCW 9512 - All works but not really happy with the Gotek installation. Really need to buy a proper mounting.
Last night, repaired the power-board on my NEC Versa 40EC laptop so I can buy a new battery (oddly they still make/refurbish them), then I"ll have two working old laptops with functional batteries.
My other list of projects...
- Find or make a new casing for NEC Versa M/75, the old one crumbled too much to be usable
- Fix the planer board and other power board that were original to the 40EC, building some board-level repair skills
- Replace the 5.25" mobile rack in the 486 desktop I have
- Finish getting a prototype light pen working for the Tandy 1000A
I'm working on an Enigma simulator for 15 different models. It will have a text user interface and will run on CP/M 8080, MS-DOS, or a WIN32 command prompt. The goal is running it on the Altair 8800C I built earlier this year.
Osborne 1 early unit - remove corrosion from case metal parts and spray, clean up or replace handle then rebuild, clean the case and try to remove the unusual deformation on one corner.
Osborne 1 later unit - Install Gotek into the storage slot (similar to the CommPac installation)
BBC Micro - Find out why the new floppy drive wont format.
It's been almost 9 years since I started this thread so I might as well update on what I have done. I've come across, repaired, sold or scrapped at least 200 different computers (most of them post-Pentium Pros) in that time frame.
Currently I have over 30 computers in my collection ranging from 1980 to 2019 but what I have in the works is...
-Compaq Presario V2000: Not exactly vintage of classic but it has family history. Palmrest and mouse buttons are worn. Currently have a similar model in non-working condition that will be used as a transplant.
-Powerbook 145B: Suffering from display hinge issues that are notorious on early Powerbook models. Battery is dead and corroded. It's a backburner project that I may scrap out due to the scarcity and cost of replacement parts.
-Macintosh Centris 610: This is what I mention in my original post. Since 2012 it's been given a SCSI2SD upgrade and a new battery but in the last few weeks it gave me a chime of death. I'd assume it's because the original capacitors have given up. I am waiting for replacements to arrive.
-Macbook Pro (Early 2006): Got this for free in poor condition. Will boot but battery is missing and display bezel is horribly dented/scratched. Seriously considered trying to convert this to a "desktop" with a custom case.
My list of projects....for what's left of 2021 and 2022....too much so of course I won't get everything done.
Buy/Sell/Trades in the works
- ship that Dell (got the box...Dell Server box)
- Decide whether or not to sell the 286
- Repair and sell the NEC Ready 9522 tower (needs new Dallas Clock chip)
- Sell off remaining memory I don't need (basically NEC Versa cards <16MB, and all 72 pin SIMMS under 16MB)
- Sell off parts I don't really need or want (some)
- Repair the PcChips M919 Motherboard I have, seems stuck on Reset
- Attempt to repair the PC Chips M590 board I also have (super Socket 7, yes I know it's not PC-100), may just need VGA connector
- Revive and repair the Second Versa 40EC and possibly re-sell all fixed up and running (I have a knack for this model)
- Repair the strange forced floppy boot problem on the Versa V/50 (I have to pull the floppy to boot from the HDD since bypassing the Fuse)
- Replace Digitizer in M/75 (I have one picked out, just have not snagged it yet)
- Repair my M/75's FreeDOS installation....corrupt (UniVBE in particular)
- Build a system out in the second Baby AT tower I have, most likely with one of the PC Chips boards above
- Build out the second Versa 40EC with 802.11b WiFi, Ethernet, or maybe Sound turnkey with FreeDOS 1.3
- Build gamepads for the Tandy 1000A
- Maybe build a CardBarker PCMCIA Card (or 3)...or my own PCMCIA extention card to develop my own cards including my own sound card ideas.
- Upgrade Tandy 1000A to V20 and 8087
- Upgrade all FreeDOS installations to 1.3 RC5 or higher