Retrochallenge preparations

One of the things I may need to do while engaged in my europlus Refurbapalooza is replace the CPU in one or more machines. I’m pretty sure at least one of my europluses has a dud 6502.

I bought some Rockwell 65C02s many years ago with a view of having them available for replacing dud CPUs – and then I found out that the 65C02 won’t work out of the box with anything before the enhanced //e. There’s some info online on what need to be done to get an older Apple ][ to work with a 65C02, but I’m not keen on modding my europluses like that.

So, if I’m going to be able to overcome that hurdle, I need some old school 6502s – and where do we all go to source such things these days? eBay, of course!

I was surprised by some eBay auctions when I did a search there – it seems to me possible that they have just reproduced old datestamps on newly-made 6502s. I may be wrong, it just seemed that was a possibility given the number of items (both number of auctions and quantity available) listed as “new” with datestamps from the 80s. Of course, they could have all been squirrelled away in the corner of some office or factory for all this time! Maybe I should stop being so suspicious!

Anyway, I settled on an auction for 11 Synertek 6502s with original Synertek-branded anti-static tube – in fact, I’ve organised a group buy of two tubes with other Australian Apple ][ enthusiasts. They should arrive just before the start of October, and that will give me the one/s I need for Retrochallenge and a few spares, supply some other enthusiasts’ needs now, and perhaps have some available to pass on in the future.

I have two Synertek 6502s which came from a couple of my Apple ][s stored in the Rockwell 65C02s’ anti-static tube (I hate throwing out anything!), so I’m pleased I’m finally replacing like with like.

Until I test other chips on non-functioning europlus motherboards, I won’t know which I might need to buy to get machines operational. But at least I hope to have a shopping list by the end of October!

I’d be interested to hear in the Comments below what prep you need to do for Retrochallenge (without doing any of the project itself, of course!).

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