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Re: [midatlanticretro] Need 3B2/310 Help!

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  • Mr Ian Primus
    ... I ve spent a fair amount of time inside my /310, so... Where did the smoke come from? Did it come from the power supply? Are the output voltages at the
    Message 1 of 10 , May 2, 2011
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      --- On Mon, 5/2/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:

      > Rather than go through the measurement details for
      > everyone, if anyone with 3B2 experience can offer some help,
      > I'd like to hear from you.
      >
      > Luckily part of the package he sent me included a backup
      > main system board. But before I even try it, I would like
      > some help from anyone with experience servicing 3B2's.

      I've spent a fair amount of time inside my /310, so...

      Where did the smoke come from? Did it come from the power supply? Are the output voltages at the floppy power connector still OK? I would put my money on some faulty mylar caps in the power supply - they go across the AC line and when they fail, you get lots of smoke. The same sort of thing happens to Apple II's and the like...

      Take the power supply out, and take the cover off. You're looking for a little yellow block capacitor with a hole blown in it.

      -Ian
    • epsilonprocess
      Thanks for the help Ian. The cover was on when it started smoking, so the smoke I saw came out of the floppy drive opening but I can t be sure it was the
      Message 2 of 10 , May 2, 2011
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        Thanks for the help Ian.

        The cover was on when it started smoking, so the smoke I saw came out of the floppy drive opening but I can't be sure it was the floppy that was the issue. What I might do is try to fire up the floppy drive using a standard ATX supply to see if it still works.

        I completely disassembled the machine, removing all power supply connectors. I did indeed measure +12 and +5 on one of the 4-pin drive Molex connectors. So it seems the output is ok. The wires seem to come out of single bundles from the power supply of Red (+5v), Yellow (+12v), Blue (RTN/ground) and Orange (-12v).

        See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps2.jpg

        However, I did find where there was OBVIOUS damage on the system board power supply connector. While I can't be 100% certain this wasn't there before, I would go with the fact that it happened as a result of whatever caused the smoke. Unfortunately, I can't find any sign of a short...yet, anyway.

        See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps1.jpg

        What I found odd was that measuring the resistance between the red wire bundle and the blue (or ground) there is only 20ohms of resistance, while measuring the yellow bundle to blue (or ground) is almost an open. Is that normal even though I got a clean +12v and +5v? Oh and, I measured while the system board power was still connected BEFORE I noticed the damaged connector.

        I also didn't see any obvious caps blown on the power supply. Where is the square cap located approximately?

        Thanks,
        Anthony

        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- On Mon, 5/2/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:
        >
        > > Rather than go through the measurement details for
        > > everyone, if anyone with 3B2 experience can offer some help,
        > > I'd like to hear from you.
        > >
        > > Luckily part of the package he sent me included a backup
        > > main system board. But before I even try it, I would like
        > > some help from anyone with experience servicing 3B2's.
        >
        > I've spent a fair amount of time inside my /310, so...
        >
        > Where did the smoke come from? Did it come from the power supply? Are the output voltages at the floppy power connector still OK? I would put my money on some faulty mylar caps in the power supply - they go across the AC line and when they fail, you get lots of smoke. The same sort of thing happens to Apple II's and the like...
        >
        > Take the power supply out, and take the cover off. You're looking for a little yellow block capacitor with a hole blown in it.
        >
        > -Ian
        >
      • B Degnan
        Check the large rice capacitor on power supply. -- Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity. epsilonprocess wrote:
        Message 3 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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          Check the large rice capacitor on power supply.
          --
          Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

          epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:
          Hi all,Well, if I'd powered up my 3B2 at VCF I'd have won the "First to Smoke" award.I finally decided to power up the 3B2/310 I got back in late 2009. It had been sitting in my garage still in its shipping box until a few months ago when I finally got everything unpacked.The person who sold it told me everything was working fine when he dismantled it and had it boxed up for shipment (famous last words.)Anyway, finally got around to setting it up and testing it yesterday, plugged everything in, it powered up, and a few seconds later smoke started coming out of the floppy. I disconnected everything, took the whole thing apart and took some measurements with a multimeter.Rather than go through the measurement details for everyone, if anyone with 3B2 experience can offer some help, I'd like to hear from you.Luckily part of the package he sent me included a backup main system board. But before I even try it, I would like some help from anyone with experience servicing 3B2's. Better yet, if anyone has any spares, especially a power supply, a service manual (or links to a PDF) or heck, even a complete system, I would be interested.Any help appreciated.-Anthony
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        • David Gesswein
          ... The 3B1 have a failure mode where the connector will overheat without any other fault due to contact resistance increasing. I don t know if 3B2 s have the
          Message 4 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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            On Tue, May 03, 2011 at 04:57:26AM -0000, epsilonprocess wrote:
            >
            > However, I did find where there was OBVIOUS damage on the system board
            > power supply connector. While I can't be 100% certain this wasn't there
            > before, I would go with the fact that it happened as a result of whatever
            > caused the smoke. Unfortunately, I can't find any sign of a short...yet,
            > anyway.
            >
            > See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps1.jpg
            >
            The 3B1 have a failure mode where the connector will overheat without
            any other fault due to contact resistance increasing. I don't know if
            3B2's have the same problem or you had a short on your board.

            https://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.3b1/browse_thread/thread/39a65e00c6aed4ae?hl=bs
          • Mr Ian Primus
            ... I m going to doubt there is actually a problem with the floppy drive itself. More than likely, that was just a convenient exit for the smoke. ... That s
            Message 5 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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              --- On Tue, 5/3/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:

              > The cover was on when it started smoking, so the smoke I
              > saw came out of the floppy drive opening but I can't be sure
              > it was the floppy that was the issue. What I might do is try
              > to fire up the floppy drive using a standard ATX supply to
              > see if it still works.

              I'm going to doubt there is actually a problem with the floppy drive itself. More than likely, that was just a convenient exit for the smoke.

              > However, I did find where there was OBVIOUS damage on the
              > system board power supply connector. While I can't be 100%
              > certain this wasn't there before, I would go with the fact
              > that it happened as a result of whatever caused the smoke.
              > Unfortunately, I can't find any sign of a short...yet,
              > anyway.
              >
              > See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps1.jpg

              That's odd - and it's not burned in the way that connectors like this usually fail. It's almost as if something conductive fell there and burned away.

              > What I found odd was that measuring the resistance between
              > the red wire bundle and the blue (or ground) there is only
              > 20ohms of resistance, while measuring the yellow bundle to
              > blue (or ground) is almost an open. Is that normal even
              > though I got a clean +12v and +5v? Oh and, I measured while
              > the system board power was still connected BEFORE I noticed
              > the damaged connector.
              >
              > I also didn't see any obvious caps blown on the power
              > supply. Where is the square cap located approximately?

              It should be fairly near the power input. These caps of which I speak are AC line safety capacitors. They're this clearish yellow color, and look a bit like a board mount relay. When they fail, they fail shorted, and blow open, spewing TONS of smoke - and they tend to fail the first time a machine has been powered on in a long time. I'm not even 100% sure that power supply has them, it's just that your description of the failure sounds so much like what I've seen in several other machines.

              Now, you say you get clean +5 and +12... does the computer work? Does the power LED come on? The diagnostic LED should come on until it's finished with it's internal self test, which it won't pass if the battery is flat.

              That burn on the board is odd. Have you checked between the power pins on that connector for shorts on the board? Also, if you have been testing the power supply unloaded (disconnected from the board and drives), you might be getting false readings. If there is something wrong with the power supply, it's possible to have it put out the right voltages (or nearly right), until you put a load on it, at which point, it goes into shutdown. I usually use a couple of junk PC IDE hard drives as a load - plug the power connectors in and turn on the supply, and the drives should spin up, then check your voltages.

              -Ian
            • Mr Ian Primus
              ... The capacitor of which I speak is directly in front of the AC line filter, and between the transformer in the middle and the heat sink on the left. Check
              Message 6 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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                --- On Tue, 5/3/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:

                >
                > See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps1.jpg

                The capacitor of which I speak is directly in front of the AC line filter, and between the transformer in the middle and the heat sink on the left.

                Check to see if it's blown - but you should have noticed it if it was, there would be a lot of soot marks on the board.

                -Ian
              • epsilonprocess
                ... itself. More than likely, that was just a convenient exit for the smoke. ... That s what I was thinking. I ll give it a quick test at some point. ...
                Message 7 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- On Tue, 5/3/11, epsilonprocess als@... wrote:
                  >
                  > > The cover was on when it started smoking, so the smoke I
                  > > saw came out of the floppy drive opening but I can't be sure
                  > > it was the floppy that was the issue. What I might do is try
                  > > to fire up the floppy drive using a standard ATX supply to
                  > > see if it still works.
                  >
                  > I'm going to doubt there is actually a problem with the floppy drive
                  itself. More than likely, that was just a convenient exit for the smoke.
                  >

                  That's what I was thinking. I'll give it a quick test at some point.


                  > > However, I did find where there was OBVIOUS damage on the
                  > > system board power supply connector. While I can't be 100%
                  > > certain this wasn't there before, I would go with the fact
                  > > that it happened as a result of whatever caused the smoke.
                  > > Unfortunately, I can't find any sign of a short...yet,
                  > > anyway.
                  > >
                  > > See photo: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-ps1.jpg
                  >
                  > That's odd - and it's not burned in the way that connectors like this
                  usually fail. It's almost as if something conductive fell there and
                  burned away.
                  >

                  The red connector that has all the wires is undamaged. The white
                  connector on the board itself took all the damage and there's some
                  bubbling underneath on the PCB. Not sure if the traces are broken. I'll
                  have to test with a meter.


                  > > What I found odd was that measuring the resistance between
                  > > the red wire bundle and the blue (or ground) there is only
                  > > 20ohms of resistance, while measuring the yellow bundle to
                  > > blue (or ground) is almost an open. Is that normal even
                  > > though I got a clean +12v and +5v? Oh and, I measured while
                  > > the system board power was still connected BEFORE I noticed
                  > > the damaged connector.
                  > >
                  > > I also didn't see any obvious caps blown on the power
                  > > supply. Where is the square cap located approximately?
                  >
                  > It should be fairly near the power input. These caps of which I speak
                  are AC line safety capacitors. They're this clearish yellow color, and
                  look a bit like a board mount relay. When they fail, they fail shorted,
                  and blow open, spewing TONS of smoke - and they tend to fail the first
                  time a machine has been powered on in a long time. I'm not even 100%
                  sure that power supply has them, it's just that your description of the
                  failure sounds so much like what I've seen in several other machines.
                  >

                  I'll take a closer look, but I didn't see any damage on the power supply
                  itself. That's the first place I looked. Would the power supply even
                  work and give anything close to +5 and +12 volts with that cap blown?


                  > Now, you say you get clean +5 and +12... does the computer work? Does
                  the power LED come on? The diagnostic LED should come on until it's
                  finished with it's internal self test, which it won't pass if the
                  battery is flat.
                  >
                  > That burn on the board is odd. Have you checked between the power pins
                  on that connector for shorts on the board? Also, if you have been
                  testing the power supply unloaded (disconnected from the board and
                  drives), you might be getting false readings. If there is something
                  wrong with the power supply, it's possible to have it put out the right
                  voltages (or nearly right), until you put a load on it, at which point,
                  it goes into shutdown. I usually use a couple of junk PC IDE hard drives
                  as a load - plug the power connectors in and turn on the supply, and the
                  drives should spin up, then check your voltages.
                  >

                  I took the readings with the floppy and hard drive disconnected, but
                  with the system board connected. I didn't see the damage on the
                  connector until I dismantled the system board/expansion cage, but there
                  was no further smoking. I did later plug in the hard drive with the
                  system board disconnected, and it did spin up, though I didn't take any
                  readings with it connected. I'll have to do that.

                  With the system board connected, the green LED lights up. If the reset
                  button is pressed, the green LED flashes then goes solid again. There's
                  only a red LED next to the green one that I figured was the hard disk.
                  Is that the diagnostic LED? If so, that one never lit up. Also, the
                  rocker switch on the power supply has "diagnostic" position that
                  doesn't seem to do anything. The power supply only seems to work in the
                  "on" position. Is it supposed to do anything in "diagnostic" ?

                  At no point did the system POST anything to the terminal. It's a 610
                  terminal set to 9600/8/n/1. I didn't check the battery level. I'll have
                  to do that as well. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to get to the shop
                  tonight or this week. Let you know what else I find.

                  Thanks,

                  Anthony
                • Mr Ian Primus
                  ... OK, then it really sounds like your power supply is OK. Check carefully the burned area, and see if any of the traces were damaged. Also see if you can
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 3, 2011
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                    --- On Tue, 5/3/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:

                    > I took the readings with the floppy and hard drive
                    > disconnected, but
                    > with the system board connected. I didn't see the damage on
                    > the
                    > connector until I dismantled the system board/expansion
                    > cage, but there
                    > was no further smoking. I did later plug in the hard drive
                    > with the
                    > system board disconnected, and it did spin up, though I
                    > didn't take any
                    > readings with it connected. I'll have to do that.

                    OK, then it really sounds like your power supply is OK. Check carefully the burned area, and see if any of the traces were damaged. Also see if you can figure out what might have caused it - if there is a burned screw rattling around in there or something. That's not the way power connectors usually burn - they usually darken and discolor in one spot, and burn the associated wiring harness plug too. That looks like something fell in there and shorted it out then burned.

                    > With the system board connected, the green LED lights up.
                    > If the reset
                    > button is pressed, the green LED flashes then goes solid
                    > again. There's
                    > only a red LED next to the green one that I figured was the
                    > hard disk.
                    > Is that the diagnostic LED? If so, that one never lit up.

                    There are two LED's on the front, the left one is green (power), and the right one is amber/red (Diagnostic). There is no hard disk light.

                    > At no point did the system POST anything to the terminal.
                    > It's a 610
                    > terminal set to 9600/8/n/1. I didn't check the battery
                    > level. I'll have
                    > to do that as well. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to get to
                    > the shop
                    > tonight or this week. Let you know what else I find.

                    Are you sure the cable is wired correctly? Do you have a "christmas tree box", with the little lights that you can put on the RS232 line to see if there is any activity at all?

                    -Ian
                  • epsilonprocess
                    Latest on the 3B2... I exhaustively checked the power supply and everything seemed good. So I swapped system boards and voilĂ , the new one POSTed to the
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 8, 2011
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                      Latest on the 3B2...

                      I exhaustively checked the power supply and everything seemed good. So I swapped system boards and voilĂ , the new one POSTed to the terminal with a NVRAM error.

                      Tested the battery and it's completely dead. Looks like a pretty easy to find 3.6V lithium backup battery.

                      So apparently something went horribly wrong with the original board. Would still like to troubleshoot it at some point.

                      In any case, after that, couldn't get any of the hard drives to boot. Went into firmware mode and tried to boot one of the floppy disks, but I get nothing but CRC errors.

                      Soooo...

                      In my box of spare parts, seems like I was also given a SCSI HA board, so on ebay I grabbed a 327MB SCSI drive, a spare 4MB memory board, and to be safe, a replacement floppy drive, from apparently someone involved with the SDF 3B2's out in Seattle. Everything is supposed to be tested working, so fingers crossed. He told me the HD will have 3.2.3 pre-installed with the SCSI drivers so I should be good to go. I got so many floppies with the system, so hopefully I can find the 5620-related stuff. No idea if the floppies are still readable after all this time.

                      In any case, if I do manage to bring all this stuff down to VCF, it might end up being a live restoration.

                      Also, wanted to ask what the differnece was (other than the obvious visible differences) between the two boards. The one that ended up working has the power supply connector on the other side and one missing screw hole at the bottom (meaning I have to insulate the standoff so it doesn't short). From what I read, the /310 has the WE32100 while the /300 had the WE32000. Couldn't really read the chips on the swapped board, but the one that fried clearly has the WE32100.

                      Old broken board: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-sb2.jpg
                      New board: http://home.prog.fm/3b2-sb1.jpg

                      BTW one of the things I tried was swapping the PROM's but that didn't make a difference. So you're seeing the old PROM's on the new board and vice-versa.


                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- On Tue, 5/3/11, epsilonprocess <als@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > I took the readings with the floppy and hard drive
                      > > disconnected, but
                      > > with the system board connected. I didn't see the damage on
                      > > the
                      > > connector until I dismantled the system board/expansion
                      > > cage, but there
                      > > was no further smoking. I did later plug in the hard drive
                      > > with the
                      > > system board disconnected, and it did spin up, though I
                      > > didn't take any
                      > > readings with it connected. I'll have to do that.
                      >
                      > OK, then it really sounds like your power supply is OK. Check carefully the burned area, and see if any of the traces were damaged. Also see if you can figure out what might have caused it - if there is a burned screw rattling around in there or something. That's not the way power connectors usually burn - they usually darken and discolor in one spot, and burn the associated wiring harness plug too. That looks like something fell in there and shorted it out then burned.
                      >
                      > > With the system board connected, the green LED lights up.
                      > > If the reset
                      > > button is pressed, the green LED flashes then goes solid
                      > > again. There's
                      > > only a red LED next to the green one that I figured was the
                      > > hard disk.
                      > > Is that the diagnostic LED? If so, that one never lit up.
                      >
                      > There are two LED's on the front, the left one is green (power), and the right one is amber/red (Diagnostic). There is no hard disk light.
                      >
                      > > At no point did the system POST anything to the terminal.
                      > > It's a 610
                      > > terminal set to 9600/8/n/1. I didn't check the battery
                      > > level. I'll have
                      > > to do that as well. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to get to
                      > > the shop
                      > > tonight or this week. Let you know what else I find.
                      >
                      > Are you sure the cable is wired correctly? Do you have a "christmas tree box", with the little lights that you can put on the RS232 line to see if there is any activity at all?
                      >
                      > -Ian
                      >
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