rebuilding the history – Apple I

Whenever I stuck my head into apple history I really get excited about the happenings back than. Those two Steves just changed the world with their Apple I. For any collector of obsolete and historical hardware it is a wet dream to have an Apple I in their collection. With prices going over the top and Apple Is being sold for about half million, there is no chance of ever getting one. Mike Willegal must have thought the same an luckily recreated the mainboard to a degree that it is hard to tell if it is original or not.

About four years ago my wife gave me one such board for my birthday. I was so happy and thought this will be a project, I will build with my than new bornd daughter, when she will be about 5-6 years old. In the meantime I wanted to track down all the needed chips and parts. I soon recognized, that those parts are very hard to find and very expensive. Raking up some money I opted to buy another board, this time along with all parts and the tape adapter… hence kit. When the box arrived form Japan, I was really excited but although a little bit afraid of breaking something. Working with computers for the major part of my life, I only had build tiny circuitry so far. Nevertheless, one evening, when the kids were asleep and Nadine was out I couldn’t withstand the itch any longer and started soldering. Marie had shown little interested in all things electronic and Joshua.. well, he is just a year old now, but off course wanted to “help”. Over the period of the next few days I put all the components on the board.

While at our holidays in the Nehterlands, I stumbled across this old surveillance monitor. Found it in a second hand store which was run by two nice young ladies who collected all thing they found on their travels from around the world. Perfect fit, although it is much newer than the “real” Sanyo and probably needs some “downgrades”. Lucky me: It even works!

Finding the right parts for the power entry module was straight forward, although quite expensive, but I wanted it to look like from back than. On the last Retrolution, Matthias (TecMuMas) helped me to build and test it. Works and even has a fuse to blow out. I will need to put some acrylic glass over it – right now it is only a matter of time till someone gets the full feeling of touching the 110V.


Now comes the scary part: Populating the board with all the costly parts. I did not dare to start without any skilled and experienced person by my side. If all works well, I should have a working Apple I replica. The last part of the puzzle will be to find an old Apple II keyboard to use it. If you have one… let me know.


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