How to open Compact Macs

Opening Compact Macs like the Mac Plus or SE/30 is relatively easy. You need two simple tools: a T-15 Torx screwdriver with a long shank and a 1" spring clamp.

The best place to get the T-15 Torx screwdriver here is the states is Sears. The Sears T-15 part number is 47431 and it's part of the Craftsman Professional line (Craftsman Professional tools have a black handle). You can also get a T-15 Torx screwdriver with an 11" shank from McMaster-Carr (a large US supply company); the part number for the 11" Torx T-15 is 5756A56. McMaster-Carr's web site requires Java for its search engine, so if you want to call in an order, call (630) 833-0300 (Chicago).

What's the spring clamp for? Mac Guru Larry Pina suggests using a 1" spring clamp as a case spreader. They're available at any hardware store, etc - just ask for a spring clamp (sometimes they're also called "pony" clamps). When you get the clamp, take the rubber protectors off the clamping jaws (so you can get the jaws into the groove of the Mac).

For the actual "take apart", the Mac 128k, 512k, 512ke, and Mac Plus have FIVE screws on the back of the unit: two at the bottom, two inside the handle and one behind the battery (the battery compartment is on the upper right side of the rear). All other compact Macs only have four screws (there is no external battery compartment).

Once you have the screws out, put the jaws of the spring-clamp-turned-case-spreader in the groove and gently squeeze the clamp. Pina also suggests moving along the entire groove with the spreader so you don't "chew up" the groove. Pina has a good reputation and he's right - it does work.

WARNING: Once you open the Mac, you can be exposed to high voltages from the CRT (screen). ALWAYS unplug your Mac when working inside. To minimize the risk of High Voltages, it is advisable to leave your Mac turned off overnight. You must be VERY CAREFUL around these voltages. I assume no liability for your safety while working inside your Mac.

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