VCF Apple-1 Auction 4/19-4/21

From: Tothwolf <>
Date: Wed Apr 17 21:03:55 2002

On Wed, 17 Apr 2002, Sellam Ismail wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Apr 2002, Tothwolf wrote:
> > I thought the Apple I was sold as a kit? It would be possible to desolder
> > a whole board without damage to scan it, but it takes lots of time,
> > patience, and skill.
> I believe all of the units after the first batch of 50 delivered to
> The Byte Shop were wave soldered. I could be wrong. I have to go
> back and refresh my Apple-1 history.

I wasn't aware of that. Let me know what you find out. I had always heard
that nearly all of Apple I systems were sold as unassembled board kits.

> But this board and the board sold in 2000 were definitely wave
> soldered. See for yourself:
> (this one has had a couple sockets replaced)

Well, I can spot at least one replaced dip socket, bottom right corner of
that image, second chip from the right edge. Which others did you notice?

I actually would have expected any repairs on a "rare" Apple I to have
been much cleaner than what I see from that image, but it's possible they
were made by the last owner before he figured out it was "rare". It also
seems quite possible to me that one person (especially considering what I
read of the board's history) with very good soldering skills and the
proper tools did the initial build of the board, and someone else made a
few repairs later on.

As far as wave soldering goes, I routinely repair factory soldered boards,
and very few people can tell my work from factory work just by looking at
it. I imagine someone could use a microscope or other very high powered
viewer and see the tiny differences in the solder alloys, but other than
that, it is next to impossible to differentiate properly done solder
joints. The trick to getting clean joints is using a solder alloy that
flows well, and having a "feel" for your soldering iron.

> I don't have a rear shot of the 2000 Apple-1.

Before the board is sold, it might be worthwhile to scan both sides of it
on a high resolution flatbed scanner (be careful not to scratch the
glass). It might also be helpful to make notes about what components are
located where, especially ones like radial mount electrolytic capacitors,
where you can't see their markings from a top view.

Received on Wed Apr 17 2002 - 21:03:55 BST

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