Forum Rules and Etiquette

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Franklin CX luggable

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    Originally posted by agentb View Post
    I blew in the drive, and figured I’d try again - sure enough booted right up! Keyboard doesn’t work but I’ll take it. The rightmost keys are somewhat depressed - I think the plastic case may be impeding them. And the RESET key doesn’t budge at all. Can’t push it down any further as it’s already seemingly fully depressed. This may be related to the keys having been compressed by the coiled cable while the keyboard was locked into the face of the machine for 35 years. I want to take the keyboard apart but it looks to be press fit and I’m concerned about breaking the plastic trying to separate the keyboard halves. The connector is a DIN-5. Not sure what the wiring is on it… Any suggestions welcome!
    My IIe had a similar keyboard issue, it had somehow shifted to the side and the keys were hitting the housing, even the same stuck reset key. Easy to loosen and recenter on the IIe. Maybe a short drop on the left side of the keyboard?


      Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
      If it has a foam-and-foil keyboard then the foam pads under the keys will need to be replaced.
      I was wondering about that -- seems like a good thing to investigate -- thanks for the suggestion. Now if I can just separate the keyboard halves safely...


        Originally posted by eswan View Post
        Maybe a short drop on the left side of the keyboard?
        I tried some banging on it today but unable to shift the keyboard over. The two keyboard halves don’t quite fit properly into each other - sizing seems to be slightly off.

        Any recommendations for separating the plastic halves? I need something like a plastic flat screwdriver. I can see where the 4 spots are where the plastic tabs likely are that keep the board together.


          Originally posted by agentb View Post
          I need something like a plastic flat screwdriver. I can see where the 4 spots are where the plastic tabs likely are that keep the board together.
          A spudger?


            Thats great! I am trully envious on your CX pickup. I first read about the CX in Steven Weyhrich's book
            A great read by the way. It even pointed out as you stated how it was still in R&D when the company folded. Amazing its really the only apple II portable with a built in screen.


              Originally posted by eswan View Post
              A spudger?
              haha thanks - I just learned of that term last night. Guess that’s what I need.


                Originally posted by VERAULT View Post
                Thanks for the heads up about the CX reference in that book. I’ll have to check it out.

                Amazing its really the only apple II portable with a built in screen.
                It’s an interesting machine, more in the realm of a CP/M luggable like Osborne or Kaypro. There’s a Franklin 80 (Applicard) in the machine so I guess it is a CP/M machine. The monitor has thick glass and is super sharp. I was impressed with how clear the image is. Wish there was more of them around. I think there must be a collector or two with them, the others are in museum collections from what it sounds like from Bob.


                  There were a limited number of fully assembled units around the time things were starting to go bad for Franklin, two of them were in Franklin's collection of products and those were the two I had possession of. I kept in touch with most of the original core of engineers and none of them had one, but Franklin had a yard sale (I kid you not) and someone bought most of the pieces of CXs that were in boxes, then built whole units and sold them on eBay. So there are an unknown quantity of them floating around on the used market, but not many. I'd best almost all of them were assembled from bits and pieces, not whole units. I can't remember more than one or two sitting in Engineering during development but my focus was the Red Lightning and had nothing to do with the CX.

                  It should be able to boot CP/M. About 8 years ago I had a CX on display at VCF East running CP/M. Nothing special about it; any CP/M boot disk for the Applicard should work.


                    The guy I bought the CX from, he said he bought about 100 computers worth of pieces from Franklin and then assembled and sold them off (not CX’s specifically probably ACE 1000’s or other machines)

                    I’ll have to try tracking down a Franklin or Applicard CP/M disk. That would be great to try. If anyone has the means to make one, and send me a copy, please let me know.


                      I think the rarer card is the Color video card. I know the last repair I did on the 1200 The customer wanted me to find him a color card.. I came up dry even after 9 months of searching.

                      Ill tell you though. I would love a CX just for the portable aspect and I love luggables (with CRT's.. I try and avoid old LCD screens.)


                        At one point there was real Apple color generation circuitry on the 100s and 1000s, and dealers would unofficially install the few parts for customers. Definitely violated a very vague Apple patent. One hardware engineer at Franklin (Mike Wajda) spent a few months coming up with a fully compatible but non-infringing board design. It was ugly; at least one chip pulled from the motherboard, then a very odd shaped board installed, and quite few jumpers back to the mobo.

                        I do not know if the original color logic was on later motherboards, but it was all right around the back corner by the video connector.

                        Goofy story. While Mike was working on the color board, contractors were in the building running wires for something. Mike was staring at his prototype board when a ceiling tile suddenly fell onto his work. Broken tile, lots of dust, and a contractor poking his head out of the ceiling apologizing. Mike put on his jacket and calmly left for the day. He spent most of the next day cleaning up the mess and getting his prototype working again.


                          Good story