Cursor /// for Apple ///:

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So you have all the power of /// but you can’t play the games like Choplifter or any, Apple II games with it using the regular Apple II joystick that you already might have. The /// just doesn’t support your Apple II joysticks or paddles. I wonder why they did this?

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I was lucky enough to obtain the Cursor /// earlier this year. It was the first revision with the switch on it.

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There is joystick for the Apple /// – the Cursor /// by The Keyboard Company but it’s limited working on in /// native mode and it’s basicly useless when used the Apple II emulation mode. The Cursor /// is precision input device which allows you to send continuous information to the Apple /// in the form of x-y coordinates.

There seems to be two different revisions of the Cursor ///:

1) One button with switch, orginal.
-The three-position switch has momentary ON position which automaticly switches back OFF, much like the push button; a permanent OFF position; and a permanent ON position.

2) Two orange, regular buttons.

Both have the same product code, K680-0002

Usually you plug the Cursor /// in Port B as if you have the Silentype printer, you’d install that in Port A but you can use two Cursor ///’s installed in both, A and B ports.

I installed it in Port B and tried some games in both, /// and II emulation modes.

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Apple III mode:
-Tested with Missile Command, Sandman and they naturally worked fine as expected.
– EZ-Draw but i could not get the button pressed in the start… even the switch is supposed to work as the button does.

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Apple II emulation mode:

I was able to play the recent games by Michael Packard like “Alien Downpour” and  “Oid Zone” with the Cursor /// – nice!
But all the old, vintage games, none worked that i tried – as i expected.

 

Game cards for ///

There IS cards to be used with the /// so you can use the Apple II joysticks in Apple II emulation mode, these are just very very rare. Luckily if you happen to have emulation card like “Titan /// plus //” you can install joystick in the card directly using 16pin connector – but that’s different game alltogether i guess.

 

Game Card /// 
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There is card called “Game Card ///” by Apple (Game Card III, KPT-0018A-03, owned by Robert Justice) that is super rare. Very little information is available anywhere of this card but it clearly is ment for using joysticks in Apple ///. It have switch for ][ and /// mode.

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The card connets to L7 with 16 pin flat cable and Cursor /// works in the emulation mode with the card set to ‘][‘. The owner is working on this – i hope this would be cloned someday specially if it does support regular Apple II joysticks as well. 

 

The Gameport ///

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MicroSci Gamport /// 

This one adds a proper Apple II joystick port hardware when it is enabled. This one would work with all Apple II games, paddles and Joysticks as well I/O devices like remote control systems and software protection keys. It needs modified Apple II emulation disk. Manual will tell how to create one. Might freeze if RESET is pressed. Cards presence will not intefere with most native mode operations. But it can not be used in native Apple /// mode.

Review at: Byte Magazine, February 1984
Modified disk at: https://yesterbits.com/2017/01/17/a-few-apple-iii-images-from-ian/

 

Modifications:

The Cursor /// could have been modified so it would work in emulation mode. There is instructions in WAP disk APPLE-3-WAP-emm-02a.dsk for it (available from apple3.org). Parts numbers etc might not be accurate after all these years but the info is there.

“HOW TO MODIFY YOUR CURSOR /// JOYSTICK TO PLAY APPLE II GAMES”

If you don’t want to lay out the $59.00 for a Micro-Sci Gameport /// (even though its worth every penny of it), here’s a relatively inexpensive mod you can make to your Cursor /// joystick to make it work with a lot of Apple II games.  There will still be a lot of them that will not respond, however. Basically, what you have to do is to make a “Y” splitter to connect yourCursor /// to both ports A and B on the back of the ///. The vertical controls are assigned to port A and the horizontal to port B.

PARTS YOU WILL NEED:

Once again, truck down to your local Radio Shack and get:

(2) 9 pin plugs (part# 276-1537)
(1) 9 pin socket (part# 276-1538)
(3) hoods for above (part# 276-1539)
(1) length of at least 7 conductor wire.  It should be at least 12″ long or longer depending on how far you want to extend your joystick. You may use more than 7 conductor wire if you can’t find anything else.

A 25 watt soldering pencil and some rosin core solder.

INSTRUCTIONS: 

You will be connecting pins 2,4,3,5,6 of the plug for port “A” to pins 2,3,8,5,6, respectively of the socket and pins 3,4,5 of the plug for port “B” to pins 3,4,9 respectively of the socket.  See the crude schematic in the following message for a graphic representation and refer to your Owner’s manual (pages 128-130) for a description of the port assignments. Make your solder connections, assemble the hoods over the plugs and socket, plug it in and enjoy some good ole Apple ][ games for a change of pace after a hard day with Visicalc.

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Note:
You may notice that the cursor may drift in the neutral position. If you don’t have one of the newer Cursor ///’s with X/Y axis adjustors, you will have to open the bottom of the joystick box, loosen the set screws that connect the stick to the potentiometers, and slightly adjust them so that the ports do not have power applied in the neutral position.

 

Apple /// forever!
FinApple 2020 (C)