Does the Mac 512k give off harmful radiation?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by faroZ06, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. faroZ06 macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    I know that this is the iMac section, but there is no "pre-PPC" Mac section, and I figured that the Mac 512k is closer to an iMac than anything else.

    Since the Mac 512k is from 1984, I'm worried about lack of radiation shielding on its computing parts. I heard that unshielded CPUs can give off harmful radiation. Do these things lack proper shielding, or was that back in the 70s?
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    The entire plastic case interior should be painted with conductive paint (RF shield).
  3. Buffsteria macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    You've just reminded me of a scene in Superman III where the black guy trying to enter into an office tells the security guard he needs to go in because one of the computers has a radiation leak. ;-)
  4. skinny*k macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    The only radiation that CPUs give off are heat and, sometimes, depending on speed, radio waves. They don't give off anything like gamma- or X-rays. The 512s can't harm you, but they could suffer from heat damage; they really should have had a fan.
  5. SteveU30 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    I would only worry if you start turning green when you get angry!
  6. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
    Yes it does but only a little bit. I think I read that you would have to spend over 2 hours a day in front of it for more than a month before you experience any radiation poisoning.
  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    You know, those of us who used CRT's and CPU's from the '70's are dying off...but we are getting to that age. ;)

    "I heard" doesn't constitute truth. Stop worrying about things that you need not fear. The car on pictured on your profile is faaaar more dangerous to its driver and passengers, as well as to the environment, than any computer ever developed.
  8. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    As I remember if you remove the case be careful touching things around the CRT.
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
  10. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I'm curious as to what you're planning to do with the 512. It's not as if there are enough practical applications to warrant running it much, assuming it still works. Floppies might be tough to find, too. :)
  11. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    if you had a printer, it would be great for typing as you wouldn't be distracted by the internet :)
  12. faroZ06, Jul 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2012

    faroZ06 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    Actually, the floppy drive is slightly broken :(

    But the diskettes are not hard to find. My dad has a big collection of them, and the external USB diskette drive from my 1998 Sony VAIO works with my Mac (but not with my VAIO, ironically). I can read and write to/from diskettes.
  13. faroZ06 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    There is some kind of capacitor for the CRT that can shock you with high voltage and supposedly cause harm, but I'm doubtful of that since a lot of current would also have to be involved. Static electricity from rubbing your socks on a carpet is very high voltage but still not harmful.
  14. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I found this warning which is also applicable to the earlier all-in-one Macs.

    I. Disassemble the Mac SE/30 Box

    1. Caution and Warning

    Before working inside the Macintosh SE/30, turn off the power and disconnect the AC power cord.
    The SE/30 contains high voltage (1,500 Volts), a high-vacuum cathode ray tube (CRT) and sensitive electronic parts.

    To prevent serious injury, the first thing you have to do is to discharge the CRT. Discharging the CRT before working on it lessens the chance of an electric shock.
    Some later compact Macs containing CRTs have a bleeder resistor on the anode that drains the charge when the power is turned off. However, if the resistor fails, the anode may retain a charge. Thus, you must perform the discharge procedure.
    Never touch the anode connector or the anode aperture, that can regain some charge even after it has been discharged.

    Secondly, you must be careful not to break the fragile CRT neck. Do not pick up or handle a CRT by its neck, where the tube is the thinnest. To prevent an implosion, take every precaution against breaking the CRT. Wearing safety goggles is preferred when working with a CRT. The CRT contains a high vacuum. If cracked or broken, the CRT can implode (collapse into itself) and scatter fragments of glass.

    Thirdly, precautions are required not to break IC and LSI chips on the board by electrostatic damages.

    Go ahead at your own risk. Nobody can take responsibility for you.

  15. faroZ06 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    I'm not worried about risks when the computer is open, and I'm aware of the danger of tampering with CRT components. I'm actually surprised that the static electricity on the CRT does not interfere with the computing parts on PCs.

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