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#1 2016-03-05 06:02:34

Scott Baret
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 184

Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

In March 1992...exactly 24 years ago this month...I got my Mac LC.

Since then, it's been through a lot with me...and yes, I do mean a LOT. However, it developed problems in 2009 and I put it "on ice". Since then, I have tried to start it exactly once, about two and a half years ago, and it was a no-go.

Here are the symptoms:

* The internal Quantum 40MB drive doesn't spin up anymore. I know there are some folks who have gotten these going again, and I'd like to attempt that. Any pointers on this?

* The video is the main problem. It gets really fritzy at anything less than "thousands of colors" and has since early 2009. I'm going to guess this is capacitor-related. (I did buy an extra LC board in case any parts need to be transferred over that aren't cap-related).

* The infamous capacitor smell was there on the 2013 boot attempt. I plan on getting both the PSU and logic board re-capped.

* The Apple 12" RGB (LC monitor) is out of focus. I have seen issues with these monitors which involve focus. I'm guessing this is all cap-related?

I'd like to get this restored by next March for the computer's 25th anniversary. Any idea what sort of work would be involved outside of what I've speculated? I'm OK with paying for good restoration on this--after all, this is the computer I've owned the longest of all the ones I have. It's also in perfect cosmetic condition and currently rests in its original box (without a battery installed, of course).

I'm a little nervous about the desoldering I have to do on the monitor to get the boards out (the parts I'm assuming need re-capped). I do have three other 12" RGBs to practice on (one of them is junk) but I'd like to have someone who has done it before guide me a little bit on this.


#2 2016-03-25 03:10:42

Registered: 2015-01-03
Posts: 59

Re: Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

Probably not helpful to your restore, but would it be beneficial to store macs like this upside down? I would think that would keep leaking cap goo from spreading out across the board.


#3 2016-07-18 03:54:26

From: NYC, NY
Registered: 2015-07-07
Posts: 20

Re: Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

Get the logic board and PSU cleaned and recapped, and it should fix many issues. Since the video is part of the logic board, recapping the board should improve the video (Less blurry than before).

Then work on the Monitor to get a sharp clear image. Thing is, if you get the center sharp, the outer edges will be slightly blurry; if you get the outer edges  sharp, the center will be slightly blurry. So it is a matter of getting a balance where everything look sharp but if you a magnifying glass to the scree, it will be a bit blurry. Adjust it for your eyes. And when you look at the screen, look past the glass and onto the screen itself (the proper way to look at a screen). Many people focus at the glass of the screen and wonder why they are tired and with headaches hours later. The proper way is to focus past the glass and onto the actual image behind it.

Don't know about the hard drive, it may be savable, it may not be. Best to get a FloppyEmu, CF2SCSI or SD2SCSI for it. You will be happy with those results.

Last edited by Elfen (2016-07-18 03:57:00)


#4 2016-07-18 13:48:26

Hotdog Zanzibar
From: Columbus, OH
Registered: 2014-07-25
Posts: 83

Re: Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

Those old Quantums are hit-and-miss, but mostly miss. I have a couple 730mb Quantum Lightning drives in external housings that have been on the shelf for a while. Went to use them one day and neither would spin up. I ended up removing them from their casings and held them from the top, so the bottom was parallel to the table, and literally rotated them back and forth really hard several times. Luckily that worked, and I was able to back them up.

I just went to use them again the other day and only one of them spins up still. So I don't look for the other one to last much longer. It's a pity, too, because I was going to use it to replace the old 230mb Quantum in my IIfx, which is most certainly dead.

Daily Driver: TITAN - Mac Pro 1,1 - dual 3GHz quad-cores, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD w/ 3TB RAID storage, GeForce 570 GT 1.25GB
Daily Driver Laptop: PHOENIX - MacBook Pro 1,1 - 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD
Collection: **List truncated by forum signature limit** ;)
Looking for: Plus, Color Classic, DuoDock, Portable, Duo 280 keyboard, Q950 CD bezel, TAM, AppleVision 1710AV


#5 2016-07-21 09:39:46

From: Duvall, WA
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 410

Re: Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

^Yeah, the 730 that came in a IIvx that I bought in 2013 was the same way.  Deader than a doornail.  Yet, the 1.2GB drive I got from Jeff (JRL) has been perfectly reliable in my Q650.  Same with the 1/2 height 80 in my SE/30.


modern: Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core 6GB/500G/DVD-RW, Mid-2010 A1286 MBP
PPC: G3/400
Pre-Mac: //e
other: iPhone 6s 128GB Space Gray


#6 2017-07-24 18:45:35

From: Hixson, TN USA
Registered: 2017-07-24
Posts: 5

Re: Restoring my Childhood Mac LC

Dnal wrote:

Probably not helpful to your restore, but would it be beneficial to store macs like this upside down? I would think that would keep leaking cap goo from spreading out across the board.

I'm not sure how much this would actually help.  I've wondered about that myself.  Many times when you see a leaked capacitor you see the electrolyte all around the cap.  It it were upside down, one would think the leakage would be mostly down the side of the cap. 

Unfortunately, for surface mount caps, they are directly on the board (usually) so SOME electrolyte is going to be on the board.  And, since it's a thick liquid, it can stick to the upside down board somewhat.

If anyone has any evidence where this has been helpful, that would be interesting to read.

Cat -- the other white meat.


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