Sharp X68000 Renovation


A long wait, 4 months with Covid delays, my X68000's eventually arrived. Eager to test, I made up a 15pin D-Sub to VGA connector, got out the trusty VARIAC set to 100V, plugged in the first machine, an Expert Grey, dead! Uh oh :( - Plugged in the second machine, an Expert Black, dead! Oh dear, I knew I was taking a risk but this wasnt good. Plugged in the final X68000 Expert HD and ... dead :( - was my VARIAC dead? After checking and checking, opening up one of the machines and probing, I came to the conclusion that the PSU was dead as a dodo. Dangers of buying 'Junk'! Think positive - new challenges!

After reading up on some Japanese web sites and the nfg.forums it appeared a very common problem as the base design was flawed and age doesnt help, this suprised me as the MZ power supplies are very strong but reading into available information it was an external company to Sharp which designed and made these units so I guess they had a bad day!

After rigging up a temporary power unit I ascertained that 2 of the 3 machines worked, one had a motherboard fault which I will need to rectify on a rainy day, if possible (there are a number of custom IC's so if one of these has failed then game over for the board).

Japan and Sharp must have been very RF cautious around this time as the X68000 is encased in metal shielding in every possible location! The good news is it runs perfectly well without the motherboard top shielding and there is sufficient space internally where the CPU is socketed to place a tranZPUter board, so future project alert, would be great to make a MC68000 tranZPUter!

Now the hard work, renovation... Please click a link on the left to see details of each particular machines renovation.


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This design, hardware and software, is licensed under the GNU Public Licence v3.

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