Sunday, August 30, 2020

My first Macintosh SE/30!

The Macintosh SE/30 is considered by many the holy grail of the Classic Macs. It is the fastest and most expandable of the classics 9" B&W form factor Macintoshes. It can accept up to a whopping 128Mb of RAM (!!!), what is impressive for a machine that was released back in Jan/1989.

I've been looking for a reasonably priced SE/30 and early this month, I saw one in a local classified add near me for a bargain. I rushed to jump right into it! I drove early  the next day and pick it up the SE/30 :) 

The buyer was selling for his brother and didn't know anything about the specs, except that it hasn't been turned on for many years. 

The package included an original Mac keyboard and mouse. Although, I was willing to buy it even if it wasn't powered it on, I hesitantly(*) asked the seller to verify if it was still turning it on, which it did! 

(*) powering up a vintage computer without checking its condition inside could damage it.

Here is the Macintosh SE/30 with the keyboard and mouse:

The Mac is very good shape as you can see, no marks and much yellowing.

The keyboard was dirty but after cleaning it (photo above) it shows is in incredible shape - almost no yellowing! The mouse also was cleaned, besides some expected yellowing, it is also in good shape. 

Now, let's dig it into the insides of the machine...

WOW!!! This is probably the filthiest computer I've ever seen!

I believe this machine hasn't been open in a very long time...

And among all the dust I found the original Apple sourced 80Mb QuantumPro HD

Now.. the moment of truth.. When you remove the logic board and cross your fingers you will not find a battery in it...

And VOILA! Here is filthy logic board.. Unfortunately, with a battery still in it... But luckily and surprisingly, after a few decades the battery has not leaked! 

Zoom view of the OEM battery still intact in its holder

These purple Tadiran batteries seem way more reliable than the Maxwell's. The battery I pulled out of this SE/30 had a (expire or manufacturing?) date of 04/90 (!!). 

Looking closely at the dusty logic board, you can clearly see that all the SMD electrolytic capacitors had leaked (as it is expected for this model). 

You can actually see the dust has a different color (darker) in the areas near the leaked capacitors. 

I believe all this dust had accumulated before the capacitors had actually leaked. This means that the dust itself could have actually helped to absorb the acid liquid coming out of the caps. What do you think? 

Does this board has 8Mb of RAM?

Now it is about time to dust off all this crap with a electronics compressor...

The amount of dust bunnies left on my driveway after a few blows..

The logic board looks much, much better now with dust removed

Knowing that these caps leaked, I'd rather not turn it on again until I replace these caps. 

I placed an order for new caps from ebay and once remove the old the old ones, I'll give the board a good clean. On a first look, the leakage from the caps didn't penetrate the solder mask and I couldn't find damage traces.

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