Custom fonts for your Apple II : MultiFont-ROM

setup_1

MultiFont-ROM is custom ROM in a adapter that comes with push button & potentiometer to change the font that is currently used by the system. The font can be changed on-the-fly. There is total of 8 different fonts pre-installed and selectable by the user. 

It is designed to work with Apple //e, //e enhanced – PAL or NTSC.

It comes with:

– The adapter with the EPROM chip installed and preprogrammed (27256).
– Potentiometer with adjusting knob and wiring.
– Push button with wiring.

 

INSTALLING:

installation_pal_e_s

The PAL and NTSC Apple //e’s are little diffferent so the installation is a bit different to each as well. When installing, some revisions of the main logic board might have the lower quality plastic sockets that require more force when installing the adapter. Be carefull not to break any pins.

PAL Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM.
On PAL Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 28-pin so you need to install the adapter so that the pins 1,2 and 27, 28 are NOT CONNECTED.

NTSC Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM. On NTSC Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 24-pin so it can be installed directly.

Buttons/Potentiometer:

The push button cable can be connected to either of two pins of the adapter (it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right alligned).

With potentiometer the orientation doesn’t matter either, you can install the cable either way to the connector. The MultiFont-adapter will auto-detect type of connected control device.

The buttons can be routed out of the case in few ways, either from the back side and out using the slot holes, or simply thru the vent holes. Unless you’re Hot Rodder and run your Apple //e without the lid .. 

 

HOW ABOUT USING IT?

With the push button installed, when you press the button, the font changes to next one. When you hold it for more than 2 seconds, the chosen font is saved as default and it is set as default font even after power cycle.

With potentiometer you can change font by rotating the wheel and the chosen font is defaulted.

The preprogrammed fonts on the ROM look like the following:

 font_8_s

font_7_s

font_6_s

font_5_s

font_4_s

font_3_s

font_2_s

font_1_s

 The fonts are useable in any software, anywhere. I played “Zork III” text adventure with different fonts and it was surely looked different. Not all fonts are suitable for such use as of playing games for example, but as the fonts are edit- and replaceable, the possiblities are endless.

zork_iii_5_s 
Zork III

zork_iii_4_s
Zork III

zork_iii_3_s
Zork III

zork_iii_2_s
Zork III

zork_iii_1_s
Zork III

 

SOFTWARE FOR MAKING/REPLACING FONTS:

There is downloadble software available for Windows, from a2heaven.com, writen by Plamen Vaysiov:

apple-ii-font-editor-software_s
FontEditor : to edit or design fonts of your own

combine_fonts_software_2
CombineFonts : to combine several fonts to single combined binary file.

You can add 8 different fonts to the binary. The ready binary then can be then burned to suitable EPROM-chip (eprom programmer needed) and used with the MultiFont-ROM adapter. I didn’t have any suitable EPROM-chips at hand time time, but i’ll be testing this when the order arrives from China..

 
THOUGHTS?

It is cool little device. It’s installed in the Video-ROM socket and you are able to use the Apple’s default font as well. The preprogrammed fonts are all different, including one Japanise. Design your own, edit the existing ones – possibilities are endless. Add your Apple II to have fonts from C64.. Atari… Spectrum… anything you want.

Change fonts because you CAN! Hackin’ away.

 

a2heaven_logo

MultiFont-ROM is available from a2heaven.com 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.