Apples in Apples: //e in ///

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Yet another ///? But why, would many people ask. But it’s just not that simple. I just HAD TO HAVE this one (that’s what they all say right?). It had few very rare and hard to find cards i have wanted for long time: both Titan-cards (Titan /// plus // & /// plus //e) and the “On Three” 512k Memory expansion-card among other things.

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This /// have seen the world.. From Texas to Canada and then all the way to Finland.

I realized the shipping would be risky.. and expensive as this /// was shipped (insured) from Canada. Thank god the seller had possiblity and knownledge how to pack it well, so everything went fine and it arrived safely. Only one keycap had popped off, but it was matter of just putting it back, nothing was broken. It was like early geek-christmas gift for me when it arrived!


So what did arrive all across the big waters?

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Apple ///
128k model originally, Recapped 115V PSU (just warning sign to myself so i wont power it up with 230V..)

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65C02C CPU was swapped already on board! This is great, the Titan //e card then runs “enhanced” //e 128k software as well.

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..and there were even “OnThree o’clock chip”-installed just missing the battery holder. I’ve never seen the “OnThree o’clock chip”-kit how it looks like or what it did contain, would be interesting to see.

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Disk II for ///
This is early type of drive for the ///. Before Disk /// was released, Apple used the Disk II enclousure and put Disk /// analog board inside the Disk II enclousure. The mechanism is the same and the analog board looks like it had the daisy chaining option added.

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Disk II for /// backside:

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On Three 512k Memory expansion card 
With A4-sized user’s guide and original driver/software-floppies. This card is VERY RARE.

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Titan /// plus //

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/// Plus //e 

With original manual and driver floppy that however doesn’t boot, but have copy of it. These cards are VERY RARE.

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Original floppies:

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-Universal Parallel Interface Card – Boxed with floppy and manual.
-SOS Operating System – Boxed with manuals, floppies and paperwork. Not complete but almost.
-Apple extended warranty folder – This is really neat, with original papers and brouchures.
-“Do-it-yourself for Apple ///” – Original booklet by Sun Remarketing .
-Different kinds of Apple broucures from 1980-1982.
-“On three” 3.5” Unidisk driver’s user’s guide A4-sized and driver floppy. I don’t have the interface card (LIRON, Apple 3.5″ Interface card) but i do have 3.5″ Unidisk-drive. I should get the new “The Apple II 3.5″ Disk Controller Card v1.0” by Reactivemicro.com to try this out.

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-RGB-video cable. This outputs color video from Apple /// to my small LCD/TV. The colors are however NOT totally accurate. Somebody start making good RGB-cables for the the ///… anyone?

 

Universal powersupply:

a3_universal_powersupply_s
Swapped the universal powersupply from reactivemicro.com before powering it first time. For the safety of all the cards and longlivety of the computer itself. The swapping procedure is quite easy, specially for the Apple ///. It requires you just to unplug the old one (see my other post about this earlier : https://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2017/06/08/installing-the-universal-power-supply-to-apple/ ). 

I’m suggesting everybody specially with the Apple /// doing this. The /// can have issues of all possible varieties so tacking one from the very early source, the stable powersupply, is really good idea. While swapping the new powersupply, it’s good idea to replace the power cable as well while you are at it.

Titan /// plus // & /// plus //e (Apple //e 65C02 128k):

Good review of the cards can be found from the “On Three Magazine: Volume 5, Issue 7”. There’s pdf of it available in Mike McGinnis’s excelent site : https://www.apple2scans.net 

Just few words about the Titan cards. Titan card-set was great to have back in the day when you had an Apple /// but did not have Apple //e, or you wanted to run them occationally in same computer for reason or an another. The original built-in emulation wasn’t perfect, it was limited to 48k Apple II+ and it wasn’t enough anymore in later part of the 80s when 64k or 128k memory reguirement became more or less standard. The ammount of RAM used by the built-in emulation mode is proven to be impossible to circumvent so far.

Titan card-set basicly gets around those (by hardware) limitations and you’re able to run Apple //e 128k -level emulation. The emulation however is not 100% perfect but depends of your needs, it might be enough. I personally found it interesting (even i have bunch of Apple //e’s of various revisions and models) so i’ve wanted to get one for my Apple /// for ages. You could upgrade your /// board with 65C02 processor to upgrade your //e emulation to “enhanced” as well. Titan Tech. was selling the processor for $35.00 at the time. These Titan cards are VERY RARE.

So how to actually use it?

The Titan cards gets intalled in slots #2 and #3 of the Apple ///. There’s flat ribbon cable that get’s installed between the cards and one cable that is installed to motherboard (Video chip).

(POSSIBLE) SLOT ASSIGNMENTS IN TITAN //e (128K) – EMULATION MODE:

SLOT | NAME USED FOR: 

#1 I/O CARD
=J4 /// plus //e board, BOTH POST = output from Slot 1 will be redirected to builtin RS-232-C serial port.
=J4 /// plus //e board, ONE POST = output from Slot will NOT be redirected to serial port.

#2 I/O CARD
=Titan ///+ – card (must be installed in #2)

#3 80 COL. CARD
=Titan //e – card  (must be installed in #3)

#4 PROFILE
=For modified ProFile card (in //e mode):
-J5 jumper BOTH POSTS = ProFile in //e mode.
-J5 jumper ONE POST = other devices.

#5 PROFILE
=For /// RAM-disk usage only.

#6 DISK DRIVE 1,2
=Only drives 1,2 as in Apple II. No daisy chaining supported.

#7 USED
=Clock/calendar chip. Slot is marked “USED” either it’s installed or not.

Using the Apple //e 128k-emulation:

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By booting the Titan-bootdisk it presents few options:

1) Start using Apple ///
2) Change Apple //e emulation
3) Start Apple //e emulation

#”Start using Apple ///”:
-You can boot SOS-disk and go back to, Apple //e-emulation with “open apple” + pressing and releasing RESET-button and the Titan emulation menu will appear again. I found this this is very, very handy.

Also “open apple” + RESET will bring the Titan emulation menu back when using Apple II programs.  Very handy for changing programs without need to boot the Titan bootdisk again.

#”Change Apple //e emulation”
-Double Hi-res graphics
*Double Hi-res graphics is something that was not in the original emulation options. It is a way of getting the 560×192 pixel graphics display in 80-columns that is available in some IIe programs.
-Printer settings
-Communication settings
-Save settings

#-Start Apple //e emulation
-Insert Apple II disk and press “3” to boot the disk.
 

What? No modern flash storage optinons?

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Those wondering why not use the CFFA3000? Well you can. But. Apple /// can not boot floppy images from it directly. Only way Apple /// can boot is from internal floppy drive (or emulator attached to the connector) so CFFA3000 is kind of useless in that sense. You can use it for HDD emulation from CF or USB-card or reading floppy disk images from it. The floppy booting option can be used in Apple II (48k/128k) emulation mode as well.

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I instaled the CFFA3000 to the only vacant slot of 4 and setup the ProDOS 2.4.2 to smartport (4) and and it worked fine. Acccessing the menu can be done by CALL-15312.

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It’s strange feeling running Apple /// with //e 128k emulation and cracking Apple II original disks with 4am’s Passport. And it works. Something is silly wrong there… but so right.

 joystick_s
The Titan //e-card have plug for 16-pin joystick. Either dummy block or joystick MUST BE installed or the card WONT WORK. I have dummy block installed (or, selfmade equilevant in this case). I actually have not got around installing joystick to it yet.

ProFile. If you want to use the Profile hardisk with Titan-cards, you need to do small modification to the Profile-interface card. It’s matter of bending few legs of IC-chips, nothing major. The procedure is explained in the Titan manual (pdf).

The Titan-cards are endless source of fun to play with on ///.

“On three” 512k Memory Expansion-board:

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There’s great writeup at Mike McGinnis-blog at:
http://www.6502lane.net/2011/01/17/a-look-at-on-threes-512k-memory-board-for-the-apple-iii/

Some software supports the board and 512k straight away some may reguire patching with the update floppy provided with the card.

 

THOUGHTS OF IT ALL?

Titan /// plus // & /// plus //e is/was one kind of lifesaver for /// user’s who needed to run //e 128k software. It have it’s tricks and quirks but overall it’s brilliant piece of hardware. Would be awesome if it would be cloned due the nature of it’s rarity so more more /// user’s could have it on their hands and use it. I’ve heard there’s some process of reverse engineering these cards but i don’t have any more information about that if it’s happening or not. All software have worked so far what i’ve tried on but if you need to install card for some certain software that depends it been installed on certain slot, you might get intro troubles. 

The 512k memory expansion is actually usefull if you run your business applications or need RAM-drive. Some software supports it automaticly, some does not and you have to patch it first. I’ll need to dig into this more closer later. I’ve heard there’s some process of reverse engineering this card but i don’t have any more information about that if it’s happening or not.

Sadly the Uthernet II card doesn’t work if you have the Titan cards installed. The ADTpro does boot but it crashes before it finishes loading. Also other software under Apple //e emulation that could use the Uthernet II card, like what i tried: A2osx, IP65:TELNET65 or SMS-EVERNOTE-TELNET-TWEET-package – do not work perfectly.

The Softcard /// works fine with the Titan cards no conflicts there whatsoever.

I’m kind of curious trying the 3.5″ Unidisk drive with the /// but at the moment i can’t afford the interface card. Maybe sometime in 2019 i’ll get the possiblity for this? I not not sure how usefull it would be, but the card can be used with //e or GS mainly so it could be tested with /// as well if i get the card. 

I’ll try get the HDD emulation working with ClassicIDE + CF-card combination. Just need some adapter to be able to install the CF-card into the ClassicIDE.

Thanks to :
Mike McGinnis for great blog at : https:///www.6502lane.net and https://www.apple2scans.net 
– For great information about the Apple /// & scans, diskimages etc. (Appears to be down right now, you can access the site from archive.orgs waybackmachine).

Mike McGinnis & Paul Hagstrom for the great podcast “Drop /// Inches” http://drop-iii-inches.com/
– For great podcast and information about the Apple ///

http://apple3.org
– For all information, pdf, diskimages etc.

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Universal Powersupply is availalble from reactivemicro.com for $70.00 + shipping ($25.00 for the new cable).

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever.