We love our retrocomputers here at Hackaday, and we’re always delighted to see someone rescue an historic artefact from the landfill. Sometimes, all it takes is replacing a broken power switch or leaky capacitor; other times you need to bring out the oscilloscope and dig deeper into internal circuitry. But the huge amount of work [Jerry Walker] put into bringing an HP 9830A back on its feet is something you don’t see very often.
If you’re not familiar with the HP 9830A, it’s a desktop computer from the early 1970s, fully built from discrete logic gates. The machine on [Jerry]’s desk turned out to be completely dead, with not even the fan spinning up. This was caused by a dodgy power switch, but replacing that switch was just the beginning: there were several bad components inside the power supply as well as a huge amount of moist dirt on the back of the motherboard. After a thorough cleaning and the replacement of several failed components, all four power rails were running within spec again.
Continue reading “The Epic Journey Of Repairing An HP 9830A Desktop Computer From The 1970s”