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Apple IIe keyboard fixes?


NickH93
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So I took a gamble on an as-is Apple IIe, and I cleaned it out (more dirt than you could imagine inside), and it booted up. Yay! (sorta)

 

Well, the power supply filter capacitors (RIFA) took a dump (as they tend to do) after running the machine for a little while with the floppy controller in and made my room smell horrible. One fizzling sound and puff of smoke later, I have my work cut out for me. I'll have to fix that, but since the Apple II functioned after that happened, I know it did no damage.

 

Anyway, the keyboard has a lot of dead keys. I've tried redoing all of the solder points on the keyboard, which didn't really help. It may have killed a key or two, even, but I didn't get an accurate count of how many keys were out to begin with. They are in groups, though. For example, 1 through 9 do nothing, the whole top row does nothing from left to right until P, and several other keys don't function either.

Any common fixes that I haven't been able to find? Any suggestions? Thanks!

Nick

Edited by NickH93
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Do you have the White Key Keyboard or the Black Key Keyboard??

 

I have an Older White Key Keyboard with the 8, 9 and 0 not working...

 

They seem to get Oxide buildup and stop functioning...

 

With the amount of keys you have with problems, there might be a Matrix Wire that's bad...

 

MarkO

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Do you have the White Key Keyboard or the Black Key Keyboard??

 

I have an Older White Key Keyboard with the 8, 9 and 0 not working...

 

They seem to get Oxide buildup and stop functioning...

 

With the amount of keys you have with problems, there might be a Matrix Wire that's bad...

 

MarkO

Mine is a white key keyboard. I hope that isn't the case, but when I get the power supply fixed I'm going to try contact cleaner to get the keys working. Given the amount of corrosion I had to clean on the rest of the system, I would not be surprised if that many keys had oxidization on the key contacts.

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On further inspection, my keyboard connector on the motherboard has a broken pin. That'll probably do it.

 

I'll either replace the pin or the connector, and we'll see from there.

Pin replaced, found a cracked solder join on the RCA connector which would explain the intermittent video.

 

Anyways, I'll update once I fix the power supply and get actually boot this thing without fear of a smoking capacitor. Haha.

 

Thanks for the help everyone. This whole forum is the best

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On further inspection, my keyboard connector on the motherboard has a broken pin. That'll probably do it.

 

I'll either replace the pin or the connector, and we'll see from there.

That is kind of what I thought might be happening... That one Pin is most likely Common with all those keys...

 

MarkO

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So the pin fixed some of the keys, but the row I have out is leading to pin 18 on the IIe keyboard connector. I've verified all the switches are good with a multimeter. Pin 18 on the keyboard isn't continuous with pin 18 on the mobo, so somewhere the connection doesn't make it to the computer.

I've also tried shorting out the switches while the computer was running (which causes a keystroke on working keys), and this row doesn't respond to it at all.

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From your Avatar, it appears you play Bass....

 

What brand??

 

I have a Peavey and an Ibanez...

 

MarkO

That was some crappy brand from the school I was at at the time in the picture. I play an a Squier Jazz Bass when I need a beater, but I also use an Epiphone Viola, I have a Galveston 7 string, and the Ed Sullivan Show anniversary Hofner.

 

So my collection isn't all that great, but I love them none the less. Peavey made one of my favourite basses, the T-40.

 

Anyway, based on everything I've tested I suspect the cable might be bad. The connector looks messed up on the pin that would cause my keys to be out, and flipping the cable (Mobo to keyboard, keyboard to mobo) around causes other keys to go out that weren't out before.

Edited by NickH93
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  • 2 weeks later...

Turns out I had two problems in the end. One was the cable as I suspected, which knocked out some rows of keys. A new cable fixed most of the keys. Then the chip next to the keyboard connector (UE14) had an intermittent failure that took out 3 keys, which was affected by it's placement in the socket. All the way down and keys would go out. If I left the right half up a little, it would work. I confirmed the chip was the issue in a new motherboard.

At any rate, I have a new motherboard with a good chip after having so many issues with this last one, the biggest of which was corrosion causing the board to just...fall apart.

 

Thanks everyone for the help. Have another issue I'm trying to sort out on the new MOBO, but that is in another post. +1 on the alcohol cleaning the keys, btw. It improved them rgreatly (still had intermittent key issues according to my continuity tests. Alcohol fixed that up.)

Edited by NickH93
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