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Got an Altair 8800b...needs "a bit" of work

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  • Kyle Owen
    And by a bit, I mean a lot. It s bad, unfortunately. I think some felines urinated on the front panel board, as it s certainly caked in something nasty mixed
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 1, 2012
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      And by "a bit," I mean a lot. It's bad, unfortunately. I think some felines urinated on the front panel board, as it's certainly caked in something nasty mixed with cat hair. Quite a few of the IC pins are corroding and will be replaced.

      My plan for the boards are to remove all of the socketed chips and probably switches too, and run it through the dishwasher a few times. I may go ahead and unsolder everything and just rebuild; I wouldn't be opposed to doing that. In fact, I'll likely do that on a couple of the other smaller boards too.

      I am missing the majority of the power supply. The PSU board was just given to me, but I don't have the transformer, fan, large capacitor, or any of the wires. Would anyone with an 8800b be able to take some hi-res shots of the PSU area, so I can get an idea of what the original system looked like? Or maybe just a list? This was the best picture I could find of the components: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/photos2/1k/altair_8800b_mb.jpg

      The plastic card guides are completely brittle and crack at the slightest touch. Any ideas for some authentic replacements? I'm guessing I'm SOL on this.

      I am also missing the top case as it stands. Am I going to have an extremely hard time finding such pieces?

      Anyways, the pictures are here for those curious and with a strong stomach (nah, it's not *that* bad!).

      http://imgur.com/a/lZY3T

      If you have any advice to add, I'd love to hear it! This is by far the worst condition machine I have ever received, and luckily I didn't pay much for it. I definitely hope to have it working eventually. I will have to get some RAM for it at some point down the road, but I think I'm quite far from that.

      Kyle
    • Rich Cini
      Kyle -- I have a B but with power still out it might be a bit before I can get them to you. You can grab the B manual from my Web site and I think it has a
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 5, 2012
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        Kyle -- I have a B but with power still out it might be a bit before I can get them to you. You can grab the B manual from my Web site and I think it has a picture in it. 


        Rich Cini
        Sent from my iPhone


        On Nov 1, 2012, at 11:55 PM, Kyle Owen <kylevowen@...> wrote:

         

        And by "a bit," I mean a lot. It's bad, unfortunately. I think some felines urinated on the front panel board, as it's certainly caked in something nasty mixed with cat hair. Quite a few of the IC pins are corroding and will be replaced.

        My plan for the boards are to remove all of the socketed chips and probably switches too, and run it through the dishwasher a few times. I may go ahead and unsolder everything and just rebuild; I wouldn't be opposed to doing that. In fact, I'll likely do that on a couple of the other smaller boards too.

        I am missing the majority of the power supply. The PSU board was just given to me, but I don't have the transformer, fan, large capacitor, or any of the wires. Would anyone with an 8800b be able to take some hi-res shots of the PSU area, so I can get an idea of what the original system looked like? Or maybe just a list? This was the best picture I could find of the components: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/photos2/1k/altair_8800b_mb.jpg

        The plastic card guides are completely brittle and crack at the slightest touch. Any ideas for some authentic replacements? I'm guessing I'm SOL on this.

        I am also missing the top case as it stands. Am I going to have an extremely hard time finding such pieces?

        Anyways, the pictures are here for those curious and with a strong stomach (nah, it's not *that* bad!).

        http://imgur.com/a/lZY3T

        If you have any advice to add, I'd love to hear it! This is by far the worst condition machine I have ever received, and luckily I didn't pay much for it. I definitely hope to have it working eventually. I will have to get some RAM for it at some point down the road, but I think I'm quite far from that.

        Kyle

      • Kyle Owen
        ... I searched your site, but I didn t come up with any 8800b manuals. Maybe Google hasn t cached your whole site or something, but googling 8800b site:
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 5, 2012
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          On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Rich Cini <rich.cini@...> wrote:
           

          Kyle -- I have a B but with power still out it might be a bit before I can get them to you. You can grab the B manual from my Web site and I think it has a picture in it. 


          Rich Cini
          Sent from my iPhone


          I searched your site, but I didn't come up with any 8800b manuals. Maybe Google hasn't cached your whole site or something, but googling "8800b site:http://www.classiccmp.org/cini/" didn't come up with any Altair manuals that I could see.

          Thanks!  

          Kyle
        • Bill Dromgoole
          Try this http://www.classiccmp.org/altair32/Altair32links.htm Good Luck ... From: Kyle Owen To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, November 06,
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 5, 2012
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            Good Luck
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Kyle Owen
            Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 12:08 AM
            Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Got an Altair 8800b...needs "a bit" of work

            On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Rich Cini <rich.cini@...> wrote:
             

            Kyle -- I have a B but with power still out it might be a bit before I can get them to you. You can grab the B manual from my Web site and I think it has a picture in it. 


            Rich Cini
            Sent from my iPhone


            I searched your site, but I didn't come up with any 8800b manuals. Maybe Google hasn't cached your whole site or something, but googling "8800b site:http://www.classiccmp.org/cini/" didn't come up with any Altair manuals that I could see.

            Thanks!  

            Kyle
          • Rich Cini
            Try classiccmp.org/Altair32 Rich Cini Sent from my iPhone
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 6, 2012
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              Rich Cini
              Sent from my iPhone


              On Nov 6, 2012, at 12:08 AM, Kyle Owen <kylevowen@...> wrote:

               

              On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Rich Cini <rich.cini@...> wrote:
               

              Kyle -- I have a B but with power still out it might be a bit before I can get them to you. You can grab the B manual from my Web site and I think it has a picture in it. 


              Rich Cini
              Sent from my iPhone


              I searched your site, but I didn't come up with any 8800b manuals. Maybe Google hasn't cached your whole site or something, but googling "8800b site:http://www.classiccmp.org/cini/" didn't come up with any Altair manuals that I could see.

              Thanks!  

              Kyle

            • s100doctor
              I looked at the photos. It s normal for Altair board to have a lot of wires. That s how they were designed. It s typical that the upright plastic PC board
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 7, 2012
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                I looked at the photos. It's normal for Altair board to have a lot of wires. That's how they were designed. It's typical that the upright plastic PC board guides are brittle - those are 35 year old plastics, that's what happens.

                The earliest Altair power supplies were not well designed to say the least - they are rare because people replaced them as soon as they could. Apparently yours, simply had the power supply removed? Hard to tell from the photos. There's probably some Web sites with photos of 8800b's with some variations. (Let me know if there are NOT, I'd be surprised.)

                I have various sets of Altair manuals including some 8800b manuals, many of them are original paper documents.

                http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/d_altair.html

                Manuals are listed by board and model, I can be a little helpful about identifying your cards. I don't offer free download PDF's, I offer GOOD photocopies, including 11X17 sized copies for documents of that size. I charge per page plus postage and handling for that service. I've done this for decades, and I don't apologize for doing it this way today.

                But, I'm busy with storm damage and the current winter storm, so I can't work on this until say next week. Contact me privately then, but of course check out the Web page, and links from that.

                Herb Johnson
                retrotechnology.com
              • corey986
                Well for the top cover you have some options.... I put my pristine condition cover away to prevent any dents and issues, and use this one My Altair Top Cover
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 8, 2012
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                  Well for the top cover you have some options....

                  I put my "pristine" condition cover away to prevent any dents and issues, and use this one


                  Plus I like how it looks...

                  Cheers,
                  Corey


                  --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Kyle Owen <kylevowen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > And by "a bit," I mean a lot. It's bad, unfortunately. I think some felines
                  > urinated on the front panel board, as it's certainly caked in something
                  > nasty mixed with cat hair. Quite a few of the IC pins are corroding and
                  > will be replaced.
                  >
                  > My plan for the boards are to remove all of the socketed chips and probably
                  > switches too, and run it through the dishwasher a few times. I may go ahead
                  > and unsolder everything and just rebuild; I wouldn't be opposed to doing
                  > that. In fact, I'll likely do that on a couple of the other smaller boards
                  > too.
                  >
                  > I am missing the majority of the power supply. The PSU board was just given
                  > to me, but I don't have the transformer, fan, large capacitor, or any of
                  > the wires. Would anyone with an 8800b be able to take some hi-res shots of
                  > the PSU area, so I can get an idea of what the original system looked like?
                  > Or maybe just a list? This was the best picture I could find of the
                  > components: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/photos2/1k/altair_8800b_mb.jpg
                  >
                  > The plastic card guides are completely brittle and crack at the slightest
                  > touch. Any ideas for some authentic replacements? I'm guessing I'm SOL on
                  > this.
                  >
                  > I am also missing the top case as it stands. Am I going to have an
                  > extremely hard time finding such pieces?
                  >
                  > Anyways, the pictures are here for those curious and with a strong stomach
                  > (nah, it's not *that* bad!).
                  >
                  > http://imgur.com/a/lZY3T
                  >
                  > If you have any advice to add, I'd love to hear it! This is by far the
                  > worst condition machine I have ever received, and luckily I didn't pay much
                  > for it. I definitely hope to have it working eventually. I will have to get
                  > some RAM for it at some point down the road, but I think I'm quite far from
                  > that.
                  >
                  > Kyle
                  >
                • corey986
                  Well for the top cover you have some options.... I put my pristine condition cover away to prevent any dents and issues, and use this one My Altair Top Cover
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 8, 2012
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                    Well for the top cover you have some options....

                    I put my "pristine" condition cover away to prevent any dents and issues, and use this one


                    Plus I like how it looks...

                    Cheers,
                    Corey


                    --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Kyle Owen <kylevowen@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > And by "a bit," I mean a lot. It's bad, unfortunately. I think some felines
                    > urinated on the front panel board, as it's certainly caked in something
                    > nasty mixed with cat hair. Quite a few of the IC pins are corroding and
                    > will be replaced.
                    >
                    > My plan for the boards are to remove all of the socketed chips and probably
                    > switches too, and run it through the dishwasher a few times. I may go ahead
                    > and unsolder everything and just rebuild; I wouldn't be opposed to doing
                    > that. In fact, I'll likely do that on a couple of the other smaller boards
                    > too.
                    >
                    > I am missing the majority of the power supply. The PSU board was just given
                    > to me, but I don't have the transformer, fan, large capacitor, or any of
                    > the wires. Would anyone with an 8800b be able to take some hi-res shots of
                    > the PSU area, so I can get an idea of what the original system looked like?
                    > Or maybe just a list? This was the best picture I could find of the
                    > components: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/photos2/1k/altair_8800b_mb.jpg
                    >
                    > The plastic card guides are completely brittle and crack at the slightest
                    > touch. Any ideas for some authentic replacements? I'm guessing I'm SOL on
                    > this.
                    >
                    > I am also missing the top case as it stands. Am I going to have an
                    > extremely hard time finding such pieces?
                    >
                    > Anyways, the pictures are here for those curious and with a strong stomach
                    > (nah, it's not *that* bad!).
                    >
                    > http://imgur.com/a/lZY3T
                    >
                    > If you have any advice to add, I'd love to hear it! This is by far the
                    > worst condition machine I have ever received, and luckily I didn't pay much
                    > for it. I definitely hope to have it working eventually. I will have to get
                    > some RAM for it at some point down the road, but I think I'm quite far from
                    > that.
                    >
                    > Kyle
                    >
                  • corey986
                    I just took a look at your pics again... Is the MITS SIO 88-2 Rev 0 board real? It has a green conforming coat and white silkscreen. I thought the SIO 88-2
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 8, 2012
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                      I just took a look at your pics again...

                      Is the MITS SIO 88-2 Rev 0 board real? It has a green conforming coat and white silkscreen. I thought the SIO 88-2 had no green coat and black silkscreen, or did MITS switch at some point but didn't change the Rev number. Could it be a Grant Stocky one built with older NOS parts? I know his version has a green coat and white silkscreen to differentiate it from original and to make assembly easier.

                      Cheers,
                      Corey

                      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Kyle Owen <kylevowen@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > And by "a bit," I mean a lot. It's bad, unfortunately. I think some felines
                      > urinated on the front panel board, as it's certainly caked in something
                      > nasty mixed with cat hair. Quite a few of the IC pins are corroding and
                      > will be replaced.
                      >
                      > My plan for the boards are to remove all of the socketed chips and probably
                      > switches too, and run it through the dishwasher a few times. I may go ahead
                      > and unsolder everything and just rebuild; I wouldn't be opposed to doing
                      > that. In fact, I'll likely do that on a couple of the other smaller boards
                      > too.
                      >
                      > I am missing the majority of the power supply. The PSU board was just given
                      > to me, but I don't have the transformer, fan, large capacitor, or any of
                      > the wires. Would anyone with an 8800b be able to take some hi-res shots of
                      > the PSU area, so I can get an idea of what the original system looked like?
                      > Or maybe just a list? This was the best picture I could find of the
                      > components: http://www.dvq.com/oldcomp/photos2/1k/altair_8800b_mb.jpg
                      >
                      > The plastic card guides are completely brittle and crack at the slightest
                      > touch. Any ideas for some authentic replacements? I'm guessing I'm SOL on
                      > this.
                      >
                      > I am also missing the top case as it stands. Am I going to have an
                      > extremely hard time finding such pieces?
                      >
                      > Anyways, the pictures are here for those curious and with a strong stomach
                      > (nah, it's not *that* bad!).
                      >
                      > http://imgur.com/a/lZY3T
                      >
                      > If you have any advice to add, I'd love to hear it! This is by far the
                      > worst condition machine I have ever received, and luckily I didn't pay much
                      > for it. I definitely hope to have it working eventually. I will have to get
                      > some RAM for it at some point down the road, but I think I'm quite far from
                      > that.
                      >
                      > Kyle
                      >
                    • Evan Koblentz
                      ... Nice! But what s with the kaleidoscope front panel?
                      Message 10 of 11 , Nov 8, 2012
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                        >> put my "pristine" condition cover away to prevent any dents and issues, and use this one

                        Nice! But what's with the kaleidoscope front panel?
                      • s100doctor
                        ... I m not aware that Grant chose green and white to differentiate his boards from original. My original MITS boards come in many colors of print and board
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 9, 2012
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                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I just took a look at your pics again...
                          >
                          > Is the MITS SIO 88-2 Rev 0 board real? It has a green conforming coat and white silkscreen. I thought the SIO 88-2 had no green coat and black silkscreen, or did MITS switch at some point but didn't change the Rev number. Could it be a Grant Stocky one built with older NOS parts? I know his version has a green coat and white silkscreen to differentiate it from original and to make assembly easier.
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          > Corey

                          I'm not aware that Grant chose green and white to "differentiate" his boards from original. My original MITS boards come in many colors of print and board - including white text on green like the board in discussion. Grant could have marked his boards to clearly identify them - he chose not to.

                          http://stockly.com/forums/showthread.php?t=432&highlight=sio

                          has a forum discussion where Grant posts links to some photos of his boards. One such photo link is:

                          http://www.stockly.com/images3/070503-Other_Boards_2314.jpg

                          ..which has an image of his SIO replica. A Web search may find other images, in context where they are identified by origin.

                          Herb Johnson
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