Archive for October, 2012

New Datanetics PCBs Due in 2-3 Weeks!

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Despite very limited demand for these keyboard reproductions, I decided to pull the trigger on another batch. I think I am having more than enough made for everyone that has expressed interest, but in any case, let me know, if you are seriously interested in getting one or more.

This time, I will be only selling blank PCBs, no brackets or anything else, so these are for the advanced hobbyist, only. I may do a brief instruction sheet, if I have time, but most of the info needed to build one up, is already on this blog (check the Datanetics category) or my website. I have to think some more about price, but I expect they will be around $80, including shipping. Even to me, this seems high for a blank PCB. However, keep in mind that these are fairly big boards by modern standards, and I only make a few in a batch.

Like all my PCBs, they are made to a very high quality standard, right here in the USA.

Updates to Apple 1 Registry

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

While sitting around at the court house on jury duty, I took the opportunity to update the Apple 1 Registry. Besides some general cleanup, I added interesting images of a unit in a rack mount enclosure. Associated with this unit is a letter from Apple indicating that there was no trade ins available, as of April, 1979.

http://www.willegal.net/appleii/apple1-originals.htm

PS – I was tempted to dedicate a post to rant about America’s wasteful judicial system, but they are just trying to enforce the hundreds of thousands of laws our law makers have made up over the years – a hopeless task.

Latest batch of Mimeo’s now available

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Checkout went well and no problems found on the new PCBs. Check out my Mimeo page.

For detailed ordering information, send an email to: mike@willegal.net.

regards,
Mike W.

Latest Batch of Mimeos (version 1.01) Arrived

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

I made a few changes for this batch based on several years worth of feedback. First of all, previous purchasers should not feel left behind, as the changes are minimal, and would not be noticeable to the vast majority of vintage computer hobbyists. A person not aware of the specific change made would have to study the boards for a long time to find any difference. To give you the idea of the scope of the change, I’m calling this new version, “version 1.01″. I believe Mimeos have always been the best reproduction Apple 1 motherboards made, and this tweak raises the bar, just a little bit more.

What follows is summary of changes.

1) I changed the solder mask to matte. I’ve had a few people bugging me for years to do matte, and have finally been convinced to change. I did a matte run a few years ago on the Apple II rev 0, but thought the glossy look gave a superior “look”, though not quite as authentic. I have been doing glossy since then. Even a board made with matte solder mask will not exactly match with an original board, as PCB manufacturing technology has changed and is not possible to replicate exactly with modern processes. I suppose someone could attempt to replicate old manufacturing process, but keep in mind that many of the raw materials going into a PCB have changed since the 70′s, not just the solder mask. In any case, once you populate the board with components, the difference isn’t very noticeable. If I had to pick which bare board I was going to frame, I’d pick a glossy board, since it just looks a bit flashier. Be aware that he matte boards also look awesome, and will be a step closer to the original in appearance.

2) A few minor changes were made to the silk screen, to better replicate an original board. Some of these minor differences from the original were found by me and some reported by other people. Most of the differences I’ve known about, are so minor, that no one other than me, ever noticed them.

3) A few minor changes were made to the copper layer on the front. Same comments as with the silk screen layer.

4) The board grid coordinate numbering and lettering along the edges has been slightly reduced in weight, to better match to original.

5) Mounting holes were shifted ever so slightly to better match up with original Apple 1 mounting holes.

So here is a partial view the rev 1.01 PCB. Unless something unexpected happens, I expect that this will the last update for a long time.

Mimeo Version 1.01

Mimeo Version 1.01

Since I made changes, I need to assemble and test the new PCB before shipping PCBs. The good news is that the first board is up and running memory tests at this moment and testing should be complete by Tuesday. I should be able to accept orders starting on Wednesday and plan on shipping the first batch next Monday (10/14).

Just a note to those looking for assembled systems, this prototype Mimeo needs an enclosure and soon I’ll be working on the building a prototype enclosure for this unit. I’ve also been working on a custom datanetics style keyboard for fully assembled systems that will use modern components.