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Questions tagged [power]

Questions and problems related to powering retro equipment.

7
votes
1answer
162 views

How to troubleshoot Amiga 600 power issue?

I have an A600 Rev 2D (schematic), which is dead as a doorknob. It was that way when I acquired it some years ago, and it's mostly been in storage since. Between the 5V rail and GND I measure a low ...
5
votes
3answers
398 views

What to check before powering on TRS80 Model III in unknown condition [duplicate]

Having managed to source a TRS-80 Model III that I'm told hasn't been powered on for quite some time (and I suspect this is a massive understatement), I'm worried that the first thing that might ...
27
votes
6answers
7k views

Why does the Cray 2 use 400 Hz power, and why generate that from motors?

This Cray sales brochure details on page 4 that the Cray-2 uses 400 Hz power, and generates this from motors. 400 Hz power from motor generators I'm not sure that in 1986, the state of the art ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Transatlantic gray market Commodore PETs and 220V/50Hz vs. 115/60Hz

In the late seventies, Commodore sold the PET in Europe at a considerably higher price than in America; they could get away with this because there was less competition there. Some of the American ...
4
votes
4answers
233 views

Running European retrocomputers on 60Hz power?

I have 3 European retro computers that I'm trying to run on North American power through a step-up transformer. So, I am using 220V/60Hz instead of the European standard of 220V/50Hz. BBC Master ...
8
votes
4answers
789 views

Why the switch to “Mickey Mouse” (type C14) power cables?

Inspired by this question asking about "regular" power cables, I have been curious about (read: irritated by) the rise of "Mickey Mouse" power cables. Apparently they come from the same standards ...
25
votes
7answers
11k views

Why did computers use a power supply with a socket?

Most home electrical appliances use a fixed power cord and have a on/off switch near the front. I was in many government electronics labs and that cord and socket was not used i.e HP test equipment. ...
4
votes
0answers
184 views

Cost of Apple II switching power supply

Apple went to the trouble of designing a switching power supply at a time when they were still quite new and not widely used for consumer electronics, perhaps because Steve Jobs liked the aesthetics ...
93
votes
21answers
33k views

Was there ever any reason to wait 30 seconds to restart a c.1995 PC?

I owned a PC in the mid-to-late 90s, and while everyone said when you turn it off and back on again, count to 30. But it also had an instant reset button down below. Was there ever really any risk ...
2
votes
2answers
611 views

Was there ever a kilowatt workstation?

Back in the day, workstations used to get impressively big. Take a look at this — sure, a modern laptop has more computing power, but you don't see personal computers weighing eighty pounds these days....
6
votes
2answers
246 views

Checklist for powering up an Apple IIgs?

I've just been given an Apple IIgs that hasn't been turned on since 1999. What's a reasonable set of checks to go through to make sure I don't toast the thing the first time I plug it in? The machine ...
47
votes
2answers
9k views

Why did Commodore fill their power supplies with epoxy?

If you know anything about the Commodore 64 (and other Commodores, really) you know that Commodore really went the cheap route and produced some awful power supplies. The Commodore 128 PSU isn't ...
6
votes
2answers
519 views

Macintosh LC II power supply clicking

I have a Macintosh LC II that I just acquired. When I attempted to power it on, I got nothing. No tones, no LED, no fan...nothing. I took out the power supply and tried to measure any voltage ...
3
votes
1answer
227 views

When did computers start being able to take both 115 and 230 volts? [closed]

With modern computers and game consoles, it's common to have the ability to take 115 or 230 volt mains supply, selected by a small switch on the back of the machine. Presumably the logistical ...
8
votes
2answers
361 views

Can a standard ATX power supply be used on a Macintosh Performa 476?

I just received a Performa 476 and was shocked at the amount of rust in the computer. I believe it literally sat underwater for some time. The motherboard looks like it can be salvaged but the power ...
14
votes
4answers
544 views

Original Mac capacitor inspection

Which capacitors should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced before attempting to power up an original Mac (purchased January 1984, but "upgraded" to a 512Ke) that has been sitting unused for a ...
14
votes
5answers
541 views

When did energy saving start to become important?

There was a time where computers often just stayed on all the time. Computer monitors did not have power save functions... they were either on or off. Processors such as the 6502, 68000, 8086, 286, ...
8
votes
2answers
474 views

Can I power a z180 with 3.3v [closed]

I'm planning to buy a Z8018006PSC. A z180 CPU (which I found is compatible with the z80 and has some advantages, for instance, able to address up to 1MB of RAM). I'm planning to use it together with ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How and why did the ZX Spectrum use so many voltages?

Whilst researching the Zilog Z80, I had found that it accepts a 5V power supply.[2] When looking for information on the ZX Spectrum, I found that its power adaptor produces 9V.[1] Confused, I did some ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

How can a computer use the drive's momentum for emergency power?

I remember reading an answer about a computer that, in the event of a power failure, would write the important parts of the memory to disk - using the momentum of the still-spinning drive to do so. ...
9
votes
1answer
858 views

Can I use a UK power adapter in NTSC NES

I have an old US (NTSC) NES system which we found in the garage. Sadly the power supply is missing. As I now live in the UK, I was wondering if it is possible to use a UK NES power supply with it. ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Can polarity inversion damage a ZX Spectrum?

I have a ZX Spectrum+ and it didn't came with it original power supply. I bought a 9 Volts and 2.25 Amps power supply with switchable connectors. There was a mistake and the polarity was inverted, ...
3
votes
2answers
232 views

External power supply for 16.5V portable computer (Zenith SupersPort 286e)

I have acquired a Zenith SupersPort 286e portable computer without its battery and the external power supply unit seems dead (corrosion and/or leaking capacitors). The problem is that the power suppy ...
8
votes
1answer
551 views

PAL C64 in the US - 50Hz vs 60Hz AC Frequency, will that matter?

I currently live in Japan and use PAL C64 from Europe, here the line voltage is 100V at 50Hz (Tokyo). I will be moving to the US in about 2 months. The US uses 110-120V (power supplies are usually ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I power a C64?

I was chatting with our neighbor and after some long talking, I found out that he has a Commodore 64. I'd love to test it, however I'm not sure how to power it. How can I power a C64?
15
votes
4answers
836 views

Powering up my ZX Spectrum

I have also found a nice ZX Spectrum laying around. It needs a power source of course to run but there seems to be none that can be used to power it. Google doesn't seem to help and I would love to be ...