Today I replaced a couple key switches on my Apple II keyboard. The L and , keys stopped working and I was unable to revive them. I was very lucky to be able to find a couple new key switches thanks to John Woodall, otherwise I would have to resort to pulling some from an old keyboard.
The process of pulling the broken key switches was actually very simple thanks to a spring loaded solder sucker which cleanly sucked the solder off each pin of the switch. Once they were desoldered I could simply press the clips and pull the switch out.
After many months my Apple 1 is now 100% finished. I have had it running since January, but have swapped out a few pieces like the LM323K and 555 since then, and only installed the card connector yesterday. Here is the final result. As you will notice, this one is autographed by Woz himself. I had him sign it, and he said that he had never seen or signed a replica.
Last night I installed the expansion card connector on my Apple 1, swapped out the capacitor on my cassette interface as recommended by Mike Willegal and fired up BASIC for the first time. Ultimately I intend to load programs using an iPod, but for now I am playing them from an iMac using AIFF files provided by W Sander. The cassette interfaces are very sensitive, especially to volume, but to my surprise I was able to load BASIC and Blackjack on my first try.
The very last piece that was missing before my Apple 1 was complete was the card connector. The problem with this piece is that the original part was manufactured by Cinch, and they stopped producing the exact part. The components that are still available are green, but they have mounting holes. The original Apple 1 connectors did not have any mounting holes.
Steve Gabaly, creator of the Obtronix Apple 1 clone noticed this and was unhappy with the current selection of connectors. He contacted Cinch who still had the specifications for the original connector. He custom ordered a batch and included them with his kits. Steve was kind enough to send me on to use on my clone.
Here are some photos of Steve’s custom connector compared with the connectors that are readily available with mounting holes.
Today I built up a cassette interface for my Apple 1. This kit came from Steve Gabaly, creator of the obtronix Apple 1 clone. Overall, I am very happy with the quality of the kit.
Today I made a minor upgrade to my Apple 1. One part that had been silently nagging me on my Apple 1 was the 555 used in the video section. I made a great effort to find all Signetics parts for my Apple 1. Not just Signetics parts, but vintage Signetics parts. I had succeeded in doing so, and was able to find 1976 or earlier in every case but the 555. For the 555 I had to settle for 1988. The other day I lucked out and found a 1976 NE555V for sale on eBay Germany. I snatched it up and now it lives happily in my Apple 1.