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Thread: Mac 128k date codes

  1. #1
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    Default Mac 128k date codes

    Don't know if there's a definitive answer here but anyway: if you have a Mac 128k with a serial date of say, the 15th week of 1984, would the date codes on the computer's ICs always tend to be on or before that date? Or could you have dates on the ICs that are a little later?

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    would the date codes on the computer's ICs always tend to be on or before that date?
    Yes. That serial number sticker on the case was one of the last things to go on the machine. Have you seen Jean-Pierre Laffont's color photos from 1984 in the Macintosh factory? One of the photos shows a lady using a power screwdriver and you can see that the serial number sticker hasn't yet been applied.

    Or could you have dates on the ICs that are a little later?
    That would be indicative of some later repair, although not likely, because most motherboard faults were solved with a board swap.

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    Thanks muchly.

    Yeah I'm still hoping to swap in a 128k board for my machine, but the earliest board I've found is dated to the 22nd week, and mine is the 20th. I wonder if a board could be a few weeks *earlier* than the case? I saw one (can't find it now) that was week 17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Yeah I'm still hoping to swap in a 128k board for my machine,
    Do you have a 128K board or a 512k board in it now? 400K ROMs, 400K floppy drive? Does your analog board have the dark gray cardboard/fiber analog board protective cover? The metal piece at the top of the analog board? Date codes don't really matter that much if it's a straight 128K (not 128k/512k switchable) motherboard.

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    I recently sold one from week 5...

    Serial number decoding:
    F = It was made in Freemont CA.
    4 = It was made in 1984
    05 = It was made in week 05 (February)
    1KM = Is the sequence number
    M0001 = Is the model number

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    Quote Originally Posted by snuci View Post
    Do you have a 128K board or a 512k board in it now? 400K ROMs, 400K floppy drive? Does your analog board have the dark gray cardboard/fiber analog board protective cover? The metal piece at the top of the analog board? Date codes don't really matter that much if it's a straight 128K (not 128k/512k switchable) motherboard.
    Yes mine has a 512k upgrade board the original owner upgraded to. He told me they took it to a friend's garage and the fellow upgraded it, and then upgraded again to make it equivalent to a Mac Plus, including adding a SCSI interface. He said the 400k drive died at some point and was replaced with an 800k. I'm not sure about the cardboard on the analog.. I forget what was there. I think there was cardboard though. I have an NOS 400K floppy drive for it, and the bracket... just trying to find the right board to put back in. One worrying thing though is buzzing that I think may be coming from the flyback. I'm told finding a replacement flyback is hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    Yes mine has a 512k upgrade board the original owner upgraded to. He told me they took it to a friend's garage and the fellow upgraded it, and then upgraded again to make it equivalent to a Mac Plus, including adding a SCSI interface. He said the 400k drive died at some point and was replaced with an 800k. I'm not sure about the cardboard on the analog.. I forget what was there. I think there was cardboard though. I have an NOS 400K floppy drive for it, and the bracket... just trying to find the right board to put back in. One worrying thing though is buzzing that I think may be coming from the flyback. I'm told finding a replacement flyback is hard.
    Not sure why you'd go through all the trouble to revert it back to a 128k, it makes it basically useless. 128k is barely enough RAM to run the OS and one primitive application, the 512k upgrade made the machine much more usable, especially the 800k floppy and SCSI hard drive. You'd be going from something functional back to 1984, feverishly swapping 400k disks just trying to do one task at a time.

    Don't butcher the machine, it's special and rare today. If you want a 128k, try and find an unmodified 128k.

    As for the buzzing, is there any distortion on the CRT while it's buzzing? If so, it's more likely a problem with the flyback. If not, it's probably capacitors or something else if those haven't been messed with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I wonder if a board could be a few weeks *earlier* than the case?
    Take a look at those factory photos again, as they should answer your questions. Notice that it's all a big assembly line! There are machines stuffing sockets, then some ladies soldering, then you see people inserting the boards and calibrating the CRT, and so on.

    At the end of the line, some ladies polished the cases before inserting them in the box. And they had automated vehicles to move stock around.

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    Yeah those are some really cool photos. Liked one of them in particular.. the one that had the assembly line down the middle, this island of light in a sea of dark warehouse.

    Were they actually hand soldering everything themselves??

    I guess the actual PCB would have to be pretty much same date, although it is possible they had similar practices to Apple II production - ie. a board initially fails QC, is thrown into the pile for repair, and then later is fixed and installed in a new system. That would end you up with IC date codes earlier than the case serial number.

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