Apple II collection goes platinum

I managed to find a platinum Apple //e on eBay that looked pretty unyellowed, had a complete set of plastic back panels, the essential cards, and even a disk drive and joystick. It was fairly clearly from the bottom of someone’s closet, put up completely untested and at a surprisingly cheap price (particularly compared to what some of the quite beat-up bare-bones platinum //es often seem to fetch). It’s hard to predict eBay. But, bid, paid for, shipped, and now here it is:

Platiie above

Platiie label

It was packed in some carpet padding, and with the power cable still plugged into the back of the power supply. This didn’t seem great, and when I pulled the cable out, the receptacle was pretty badly cracked. No way to know whether it got that way during shipping or whether it had been like that for years.

Platiie cracked plug

I gathered up a monitor, plugged it and the power cable back in, and flipped the switch on.

Then off. Then on. Then off. Then on. Then I unplugged everything again. Nothing was happening. Although I doubt that the cracked power cable receptacle caused the failure, my first (and correct) guess was that the power supply was not supplying power. As it happens, I have no shortage of other power supplies inside my several other Apple II machines (and the power supply remained basically the same in specifications and connection throughout the entire run). So, I took the pan of the terrarium ][+ with its power supply attached, and hooked it up to the platinum //e to see if using a different power supply allowed the platinum //e to start.

Platiie aux power

And away we go. So, this one’s going to need a replacement power supply. It’s possible that I’ll be able to get the old power supply running again, but I don’t really know much about how they work, so it will take some research and surgery. In the meantime, I’ll get another, and if I revive the current one, I’ll swap it back and use the new one on something else (like the extra bare //e board I will soon have, for which I in fact already have the beginnings of a plan).

The keyboard, I discovered, also is not functioning as well as I’d like. There are a lot of spurious repeats with certain keys. The most apparent offenders are “K” and “W”—the last line on the monitor there was the result of me hitting “kwkwkw” repeatedly, one press per letter, but “w” almost invariably provided two and “k” sometimes did as well.

Platiie keybounce

This is not something I know how to fix (yet), but for a start I’ll probably disassemble and clean the keyboard and see if that doesn’t just fix it on its own. I also note that the left side of the keyboard seems to be riding a little bit low in the case, which may be entirely unrelated. I’ll keep you posted.

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