Recreating The Mac SE Logic Board

When [Kai Robinson] found himself faced with the difficult task of saving as many Mac SE’s as he possibly could, the logical but daunting answer was to recreate the Mac SE logic board for machines that would otherwise be scrapped. These machines are over 30 years old and the PRAM battery often leaks, destroying parts and traces. Given that the logic board is a simple through-hole two four-layer board, how hard could it be?

The first step was to get some reference photos so [Kai] set to desoldering everything on the board. The list of components and the age of solder made this an arduous task. Then a composite image was produced by merging images together using a scanner and some Inkscape magic. in graphics software.

Rather than simply putting the pins in the right place and re-routing all the netlists, [Kai] elected instead to do a copy, trace for trace of the original SE board. [Kai] and several others on the forum have been testing the boards and tracking down the last few bugs and kinks in the design. An unconnected pin here and an improperly impedance matched resistor there. Hopefully, soon they’ll have Gerbers and design files ready for anyone should they need a new logic board PCB.

It’s no secret that we love the Macintosh SE here at Hackaday. We’ve seen new custom cases for it and now new PCBs for it. It does cause the mind to ponder though and wonder, what’s next?

Thanks [Toru173] for sending this one in!

Resurrecting A Recalcitrant SE/30

The Macintosh SE/30 is well regarded as the choice pick of the compact Mac line. Packing a powerful 68030 processor and with the capability to use up to 128 MB of RAM, it brought serious grunt to bear in a tight form factor. With these machines now over 30 years old, they’re often quite worse for wear. [This Does Not Compute] had his work cut out for him getting this particular example up and running. (Video embedded below.)

With the computer displaying the famous SimasiMac screen on startup, it was sadly non-functional when switched on. [This Does Not Compute] went through all the usual attempts to fix this – washing the board, recapping, checking potentially broken traces – all to no avail. After much consternation, the fix was not so hard – a fresh set of RAM helped cure what ailed the Mac.

With the Mac now showing some signs of life, there was more to do. The floppy drive refused to boot, ejecting disks and failing to read anything. A head cleaning proved helpful, but not enough. It was only when the head motor’s worm gear was relubricated, enabling it to seek properly, that the drive was successfully able to boot. The hard drive proved resistant of any attempts to get it to work, so was replaced with a SCSI2SD instead.

With the suite of repairs completed, the SE/30 was once again up and running. With a little elbow grease, the case and keyboard turned up a treat, too. [This Does Not Compute] now has one of the all-time classic Macs in excellent condition.

We’ve seen some great restorations over the past – this Commodore 64 full of dirt was a particularly compelling story. Video after the break.

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