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Author Topic: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go  (Read 71 times)

RadRacer203

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First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« on: February 22, 2021, 11:21:59 am »

Just got my first Lisa (a 2/10 model) this past Friday and overall it's in nice shape and doesn't need a whole lot. It does turn on, no errors found, but can't boot because the hard drive is completely shot and the floppy drive immediately rejects disks without even seeking. The power supply needs new capacitors and I'm going to have a friend help me with that, and the foam in the keyboard is bad, as is typical.

Right now I want to find a hard drive solution for it, preferably more or less plug and play and not as expensive as the x/profile. I also want to either get the original floppy drive working or find a replacement, maybe an 800k drive?
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rayarachelian

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 11:33:20 am »

Generally you can clean/lubricate the floppy drive and use isopropyl to clean the drive heads. see: https://lisafaq.sunder.net/lisafaq-hw-floppy_lube.html
You can find videos on youtube on how to do this, there are many, here's one from a Mac, which uses the same mechanism: https://youtu.be/Se10T6gPl-c?t=365

It's also possible that the eject gear is broken, if so you can use these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gear-for-Macintosh-512k-Floppy-Drive-eject-Mac-Sony-Apple-DRIVE-MP-F51W-MP-F75W/264836820749 - (though not sure if this is the right gear or for an 800k one).

You could also replace the floppy drive entirely with a FloppyEmu: https://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/

Keyboard repair is painful, you can find instructions here: https://lisafaq.sunder.net/lisafaq-hw-kb_repair.html
Basically you have to find the right type of foam, and mylar to cut with a leather punch.
There are also various devices that allow you to use the keyboard from a Mac 128/512/512KE or ADB, or even USB instead: https://www.ebay.com/sch/arcanebyte

Hard drive wise, X/ProFile from Vintage Micros is the way to go, or you could build your own IDEFile: http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/idefile.htm
Most recently Tom Stepleton has built the Aphid/Cameo which is nearly ready to go, see: https://github.com/stepleton/cameo
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blusnowkitty

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 11:45:53 am »

I'll second the cleaning and lubrication of the 400k drive. The grease that Sony used on those drives back in the day is no good anymore and it'll keep the mechanism from working properly or at all. The gear Ray linked is for an 800k drive, the Sony 400k drives are all metal linkages so there's no plastic gears to strip out there. I'll again second Ray and say you want to pick up a Floppy Emu, but add you'll want one anyway no matter what you want to do for the physical floppy drive. It's just /so/ much easier to dump your collection of disk images onto a Floppy Emu and boot those than have to worry about getting a compatible Mac and fussing with Disk Copy, or bootstrapping BLU over serial and writing disk images over serial.

For hard drives, an X/ProFile or a Cameo is the way to go. If I didn't already have an X/ProFile I'd probably go with the Cameo myself since Tom has been doing some amazing work with the Cameo that makes it a lot more user-friendly than the X/ProFile is. You will have to get a run of Cameo boards made if you want to go down that route, but I know PCBway can do full assembly of the boards for you for an extra charge. If you do go down the Cameo route, you will have to get a Widget to DB-25 adapter from VintageMicros, or find a dual parallel card.

For my keyboard, I used TexElec's premade foil/foam discs and I've had absolutely no issues since: https://texelec.com/product/foam-capacitive-pads-keytronic/ They're fiddly to install as you have to make sure that the plastic disc that makes up the sandwich gets properly clipped into some very tiny plastic clips, and you want to make sure you either use latex/nitrile gloves or tweezers to install the discs since finger oils could keep the keyboard from working properly.

ETA: If you do end up replacing the drive with an 800k drive, you'll need a new set of drive standoffs to get the 800k drive to align properly with the faceplate opening. You will also have to replace the disk I/O ROM with the Sun Remarketing 800k ROM as the original disk ROM doesn't understand 800k drives at all. The ROM can be found on BitSavers if you have the ability to burn it yourself. Lisa Office System doesn't understand 800k disks by default; you'll still only be able to use 400k disks unless you also load the 800k driver: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/lisa-office-system-800k-driver
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 11:53:32 am by blusnowkitty »
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You haven't lived until you've heard the sound of a Sony 400k drive.

rayarachelian

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2021, 12:07:52 pm »

If you do end up replacing the drive with an 800k drive, you'll need a new set of drive standoffs to get the 800k drive to align properly with the faceplate opening. You will also have to replace the disk I/O ROM with the Sun Remarketing 800k ROM as the original disk ROM doesn't understand 800k drives at all. The ROM can be found on BitSavers if you have the ability to burn it yourself. Lisa Office System doesn't understand 800k disks by default; you'll still only be able to use 400k disks unless you also load the 800k driver: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/lisa-office-system-800k-driver

Actually there's a way to modify the 800k drive to work as a 400k drive by removing one line or one pin. I forgot the details for this, but it is possible, but yeah, it would be better to switch the I/O ROM to the 800k one.
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blusnowkitty

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 12:17:45 pm »

Actually there's a way to modify the 800k drive to work as a 400k drive by removing one line or one pin. I forgot the details for this, but it is possible, but yeah, it would be better to switch the I/O ROM to the 800k one.

I didn't know that was a thing! But you're right still; I'd feel better just burning a new ROM and installing that than hacking up original hardware that's getting harder and harder to find as time goes on.
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You haven't lived until you've heard the sound of a Sony 400k drive.

compu_85

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 05:39:56 pm »

Reading from your other post, this machine came from an Apple employee, right?

It might be worth trying to image the hard disk before jumping straight to low level formatting.

How do you know the PSU needs new caps (besides the RIFA line filter caps, which should always be changed!)?

-J
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RadRacer203

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Re: First time Lisa owner, trying to get it fixed up and ready to go
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 11:48:00 am »

Thanks for all the info, I think I decided I'm gonna get the x/profile when I save up the money for it. The machine did come from a former Apple software engineer but he got it from a business that was upgrading. I did look through the drive the one time it booted and nothing interesting on it. I've cleaned and lubed the floppy drive, although I may take it out and do more to see if I can make it work, it may not be spinning like it should. The texelec replacement pads are definitely on my list to order. The psu definitely needs caps, the screen looks good at first glance but it's a bit wavy, and the computer doesn't always restart after it's warmed up. Sometimes I'll have to wait for it to cool down before I can turn it on again

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