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Thread: Proud new Kaypro II owner

  1. #1

    Default Proud new Kaypro II owner

    First off, a few pics:

    I had to call in a few favors to get the $200 I paid for both units. The thrift store wanted $150 each, but I asked nicely and they agreed to $200 for both. I would classify it as a good deal. I fingered ePay shipping would EASILY be $75 a box, so $100 a pop made the decision very easy.

    I haven't turned them on yet, and according to the manager they didn't plug them in. He seemed legit, but I'd wager they did plug them in, popped the RIFAs and got rid of them asap. LUCKY ME!

    The "plan" is to look under the skirts this weekend when I can set aside some space on the healing bench. In the meantime, I felt like I should at least ask the all-knowing, wise, grey-beards for any pointers. Every pitfall I avoid would be appreciated, as well as any suggestions for projects. 100% the keyboards will stay as-is.

    I wonder if that telephone number to the San Diego Yacht Charter is any good?
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

  2. #2


    Well done.. here in the UK we never see stuff like that in thrift stores. (Are these charity shops - that is, raising money for good causes - or just second hand junk stores?)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Los Angeles, CA


    So a few things. First, as you mentioned, they have RIFAs so thats an easy fix.

    Which Kaypro models are they? I see from the pictures that one is a "Kaypro 2", though the thread title says "Kaypro II". Is the other one a Kaypro 2 or a Kaypro II or..? The Kaypro II/83 (basically the older one), if it doesn't work, will be easier to get running because it uses common chips where-as the Kaypro 2/84 has custom chips so if any of the custom chips are bad, they're unreplaceable as-is. Anyway, the kaypro models are all over the place, so get the actual model numbers.

    If you search this group, you'll see some links to places you can download software from. You can make disks from any of your DOS PC's.

    If you use Dave Dunfields Imagedisk, there is some disks here:

    If you use Teledisk, this link would work (theres also a way to convert TD0 files to IMD but you'd have to google that, i can't recall if i've done that)

    I haven't tried this myself, but this might be of interest as well for getting a "hard drive" on the kaypro:

    And a couple important documents:
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/GS/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/128/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, Timex Sinclair 1000, TRS-80 Color Computer 3/Model 4 GA

  4. #4


    Thank you for reminding me how much I hated how Kaypro named their systems.

  5. #5


    It will be interesting to see what's inside. It seems that Kaypro had large stocks of their original cases so some machines that are marked "II" on the outside actually contain "2" motherboards. Depending on model there are 3 different power supplies. The Aztec version definitely has RIFAs but I don't know about the others. Adding a FreHD to an original II is more complicated than it is for a newer board with the expansion connector.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    Well done.. here in the UK we never see stuff like that in thrift stores. (Are these charity shops - that is, raising money for good causes - or just second hand junk stores?) Its a chain of charity thrift stores that have exploded in recent years. Even pushing out well known ones such as Goodwill. They really do hire many disabled people and put them to work wherever its appropriate. One store has a really nice guy with with downs (I presume) and he works the locked glass cases at that particular location. So its 100% accurate as far as I can tell.


    Very much appreciated! The operation pdf looks like it would be a monumental help if I had some hardware fault. And the disk image sites are going to be the impetus for a proper "inbetweener" setup. Until now, I've just built a P2 class machine in 10-minutes and just used that and deconstructed it afterwards. I guess its time for something permanent.


    I aim to please!
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

  7. #7


    I used to have one of those machines in the 90's, until I accidently blew it up. In those days nobody cared about old computers, so it got thrown in the bin.

    As to why it blew, it goes like this....

    I had a lot of trouble with the disk drives, and I finally found that where the power supply plugs into the motherboard, the connectors were loose and dirty. So I carefully tightened it all up, cleaned the pins and so on. But when I plugged it back together, it was misaligned by one pin (silly me!). When power was applied, the wrong voltages went to the Z80SIO, killing it. This effectively stopped the keyboard from working. I had no idea where to get a spare chip (this is pre-internet days), so out it went.

    So, just in case you find you have to clean the connectors, be more careful than I was!

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by luckybob View Post

    I aim to please!
    I was actually responding to ngtwolf's comment. I used to have a model IV, not to be confused with the model 4. There is a model II, 2X and 2. Some of those model twos came after the model fours.

    Drove me crazy when I got my first Kaypro.
    Last edited by liqmat; February 28th, 2020 at 02:38 AM.


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