As I mentioned in the previous post of the series, the first upgrade to my Apple IIe Platinum is the PSU – or power supply. Power is everything when it comes to retro computing. A common practice is never to power-up an old computer, especially if it was dormant for decades in a harsh environment. And, yes, unfortunately, a garage is a harch environment. Aging capacitors often cause major problems. Between the acid-leaking caps from the ‘90s to the exploding tantalum ones, pick your inferno!

Although my Apple 2 is in good shape, I decided to swap out the original PSU for an Ultimate Universal Power Supply. designs the enclosure, and the actual PSU is the Universal PSU v1.3 kit by

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In addition to a beefier power delivery (63 vs. 38 watts) – which will be mandatory as we populate those expansion slots with power-hungry boards –, it also accepts input voltages from 90-240v AC. The enclosure has the same size as the original (5.5 × 4 × 2 in), as expected, but it weighs much less (0.8 lbs). Also, there is a cutout on the top of the case so I can add a fan if needed. For now, I will leave it as is for now, and I will likely use a Power Saver unit. I will bring this cooling device into the picture later on.

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When I work on a retro-computer, I like to trim all the non-essential parts. The Apple 2 has a great design from this point of view, and after removing a few screws, the motherboard can be pulled out easily. And I don’t need more to start working. Even the keyboard can be omitted since the Apple IIe has a built-in self-diagnostic routine that executes automatically on power-on if the keyboard is not detected. Smart move!

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Because you should never trust a power supply, test the voltages first. It takes only a few seconds with a multimeter and the precaution can save the life of your precious vintage device. Finally, after connecting a monitor to the board, I now have a clean and minimal working configuration, with a decent PSU. Next, I will clean-up the motherboard.

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