Category Archives: Apple //e

Retr0bright by sunlight?

001_s

I heard and saw a video about doing the retr0bright with just sunlight few months ago : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P1OVj0IcqY

I was curious to test it, no matter it being hoax or not. Risks were low. However, I had to wait To get good weather here in Finland. When the weather got better, I chose the piece to be tested with: Apple //e 65c02 (Nordic, swe/fin) unit’s lid was good candidate. It had yellowed but in the middle where the monitor had stand for years, was not much so. Therefore, there would be great contrast In addition, should get good results.

002_s

Therefore, I removed the logos from the lid, cleaned it and placed in the sun. After first day, maybe 5 hours of direct sunlight blasted the lid, but I could not see any difference. So I kept going, on and off when I had the time, for days, actually few weeks, total maybe being somewhere between 30-40 hours. Then I gave up.  I thought it did nothing… but when i compared it to the case (indoors), there was quite a big difference! 

There is talk how it makes the plastic brittle, aging it faster and turning it to dust etc… But if this is not happening over weeks, months or a year, I really do not care. If the sunlight would break things in short time, there would be serious warning about it to consumers.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

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.

 

“Welcome to the world of real time!” – Timemaster II H.O. by a2heaven.com

timemaster_ii_ho_top_s
Timemaster II H.O. by a2heaven.com

timemasterho_med
The original Timemaster II H.O. by Applied Engineering

 

…before

Back in the day, Apple II’s didn’t have real time clocks so you couldn’t see from files when they were created or use the date/time in your programs, calculate time intervals and so on.  Several companies released their own Real Time Clock card solutions for the Apple II. Most popular being the Thunderclock Plus from Thunderware Incorporated released in 1980. It quickly became the standard “clock cards” of the time that majority of different software supported. An another popuar card was AppleClock by Mountain Computer. Later Applied Engineering released Timemaster II H.O. – the fourth generation of clock cards – most likely, the most advanced clock card relased for the Apple II. It was capable of showing 24 hour format or 12 hour with AM/PM format, millisecond timekeeping with an accuracy of 0.00005%. It had a onboard timer which could time down any interval up to 48 days. It also maintained an internal calendar, separate of the 7 year cycle which ProDOS mapped. The Timemaster H.O. was 100% ProDOS and DOS 3.3 compatible.

The H.O. was for “High Output”. This referred to the 8-pin Digital I/O port on the card for remote commands. Through this port, one could hook up Applied Engineering’s BSR X-10 interface and “command console” to remotely control for example lights and electrical appliances. The BSR-system could send signals over existing 120 volt wiring.

…and now:

Timemaster II H.O. by a2heaven.com is modernized, smaller, if not tiny, clone of the original Applied Engineering card with the I/O connector for for home automation X-10 -devices. 

The card is designed, manufactured and sold by Plamen “Bulgarian Woz” Vaysilov of a2heaven.com

It was tested to work with Apple II+, //e, Laser 128 (ext.slot 7 enabled), CEC-E (ext.slot/slot 2 setup) and Pravetz 82, 8A, 8C, 8M.

There is SOS-driver for Thunderware Thunderclock Plus Clock card for Apple /// that is supported by the Timemaster II H.O.

card_small_ready
1 = Switches for modes/interrupts
2 = Pins for BSR/X10 devices
3 = Jumpers for enabling/disabling the LED’s
4 = Adjusting the quartz crystal
5 = CR1220 battery holder 

 

INSTALLATION:

battery_holder_s

You need to supply the battery yourself, it is common type CR1220. There’s holder for it in the card PCB. I had to press & bend the small metal fingers in top side of the battery holder so they would keep the battery in place and it not dropping off.

The card be installed in any slot, expect 0 in II+ or AUX in //e. Preferred slot is 4. Some commerical software expects a clock to be in slot 4 but it does work in any slot.

Make certain the switch #1 is ON (closed) in order to be able to setup the time. After setting the time you can if you wish, so you wont accidentally change it, turn it OFF.

SWITCHES:

switches_s_3

There’s Four switches:
#1 Set the time ON/OFF (must be CLOSED when setting the time)
#2 Mode: of the clock : Appleclock/TimeMaster II (selects the display mode)
#3 Enables the Non-Maskable Interrupt
#4 Enables the Interrupt Request 

OPEN – OFF. Push down towards “OPEN” to turn Switch off. The normal settings are switches 1 and 4 CLOSED, and 2 and 3 OPEN.

JUMPERS:

There’s three jumpers on the card, all with jumper inserted. You can controll the led’s of the card with these jumpers inserted/removed.

When jumper inserted (LED is “ON”) or not inserted (LED is “OFF”):

– First jumper = GREEN accessing the clock 
– Second jumper = RED write access 
– Third jumper = BLUE interrupt access  

When powered the GREEN or BLUE led is light, depends of the mode of the chosen clock card type. This works with or without jumpers inserted.

USAGE:

The Timemaster II H.O. supports fully DOS 3.3 (patched), ProDOS, Pascal and CP/M.

The current time information is available from the clock via DOS 3.3, ProDOS, Pascal etc to your own programs. Also there’s suppport for CP/M if you have such card installed on your system.

It supports:
-Time in hours (24 or 12 with AM/PM format), minutes, seconds and milliseconds (the only ProDOS compatible card with millisecond capability). 

-Date with year, month, day of week and leap year.

But,there’s a marjor bug in original firmware..
When you setup the date, and you can do it up to 2083 (1984-2083) but it will only dislay the year up to 1999. But if i saved the year “2019” it turned out to be “1919” or show’d as “15-MAY-19”.

The different modes:
Dip switch #2 : Mode of the clock : Appleclock/TimeMaster II (selects the display mode)

– AppleClock = (CLOSED) support for older types of Clocks and formats. Format : MO/DD HH:MM:SS:WYY
– TimeMaster II = (OPEN) support for many other more modern types of Clocks and formats. 

Supports various output formats & Thunderclock (Applesoft, Integer) compatible.

(CLOSED)
APPLE CLOCK MODE : 
MO/DD HH:MI:SS:WYY
12/14 15:30:23:384

 

(OPEN)
TIMEMASTER MODE :
W MO/DD/YY HH:MI:SS
3 12/14/83 15:30:23

THUNDER CLOCK APPLESOFT :
WWW MMM DD HH:MI:SS PM
FRI DEC 14 04:30:23

THUNDER CLOCK APPLESOFT :
WWW MMM D HH:MI:SS
FRI DEC 14 15:30:23

THUNDER CLOCK APPLESOFT : 
MO,OW,DD,HH,MI,SS
12,03,14,15,30,23

THUNDER CLOCK INTEGER :
WWW MMM DD HH:MI:SS PM
FRI DEC 14 03:30:23 PM

THUNDER CLOCK INTEGER : 
WWW MMM DD HH:MI:SS
FRI DEC 14 15:30:23

The Timemaster II mode is clearly prefered mode with it’s larger variation of supported output formats. TimeMaster II H.O. is really 8 clocks in one with it’s different modes!

 

READING THE CLOCK?

Reading the time can be done by Basic easily. You can call the clock easily and get different formats of time to be used in your own programs. That does depends however what mode your card is set on. Clearly the TimeMaster mode is superior.

It’s also possible search in your basic program the actual slot where the card is installed and what mode it is currently at. Other languages can be used to fetch the time and date from the clock as well.

The card supports milliseconds, for that the interrupts are needed (setting up the switch for it). DOS 3.3 canbe made to support it with “Patch DOS 3.3 for Interrupts”.

Automatic time/date stamping (DOS 3.3):
To use time/date stamping with DOS 3.3, there’s patch for it “INSTALL DOS DATER”. The card must be in TimeMaster mode (#2 open)

Automatic time/date stamping (ProDOS)
With ProDOS it’s already automatic there’s no need for patching. It shows already the info as : Date and time of original creation of the file, and date and time of last modification.

 

REMOTE CONTROL:

The BSR X-10 interface for the TimeMaster II H.O. allows you to send remote control signals to your BSR Ultrasonic command console. The command console sends the commands to your 120 Volt AC wiring to remotely controll appliances or almost any electrical device plugged with BSR remote module with. So you can turn on ligts or heating. Real high tech for mid 1980’s!

I have no such devices..  and not sure if it would even work with local current (230V) but the support is there.. So go ahead and try it yourself 🙂 Controll your home from your Apple II!

 

CALIBRATION:

Over the time the clock quartz crystal oscilator may slighly need to be adjusted, this can be done with the trimmer top of the 18-pin chip in the middle by using small screwdriver.

 

THOUGHTS?

dos_dater_s

After the DOS 3.3 is patched, the files got date stamped correctly. This is something every modern computer user is used to, as there’s no need for these kinds of clock cards anymore. It’s odd feeling to have this feature with Apple II as i didn’t think i was missing anything. I have few clock cards but i haven’t used them frequently simply due lack of free slots..

But it is usefull. With cases like programming where you might have many similar files and the version control might be difficult without the time/date stamping. Depends of your methods and processes of cause. Also it is handy feature when you write lots of text documents with i.e. AppleWorks or such.

Getting correct time/date for your own program or calculating the time intervals can be now done. We take that for granted these days.

The build quality is good. The PCB is white as it being an signature of a2heaven.com. Only the battery holder needed some adjusting but that’s nothing major. The card i had for testing was Revision 1.0.

I do not have the original AE Timemaster II H.O. so comparing to it is not possible. I however believe this is accurate and fully working clone of the original (with the same firmware).

qr_code_s 
The QR-code on back of the card’s PCB takes you to a2heaven.com – see you there!

 

a2heaven_logo

TimeMaster II H.O is available from a2heaven.com 

 

LINKS:
User’s Manual and Timemaster II H.O. software:
http://ae.applearchives.com/all_apple_iis/time_master_ii_ho/

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Light up my drive : DISK II-LED

led_setup_1_s
Disk II-LEDfrom a2heaven.com is tiny customizing-kit for your Apple II, Disk II – floppy drive that allows you to control the color of the led in front of the drive as you please. For example you can choose what color it displays when it reads, writes or is in standby-mode.

Disk II-LED uses modern LED (light emitting diode) that uses RGB-color system and space, combination of the Red, Green and Blue colors. The Red, Green and Blue use 8-bits each, which have integer values from 0 to 255. This makes 256*256*256=16777216 possible colors to choose from. Now that’s plenty!

Disk II-LED is designed to be used with Apple’s Disk II – floppy disk drive, but it does fit and work in Apple //c as well.


INSTALLATION:

disk_ii_and_diskiiled_s
It’s quick and easy to install. You just need to open the Disk II-drive and plug the tiny adapter between the incoming flat-ribbon cable and the Disk II-analog board connection. Then just need to route the attached LED with wiring, to location where the original light was located and simply replace it.

installed_s
DISK II-LED installed. There’s just enough space for the tiny adapter to fit inside.

installed_disk2led_s
The wiring and the new led installed. The whole installation takes just few minutes, you just need philips screwdriver and piece of tape (if you want to relocate the original light somewhere else inside the drive).

INSTALLING TO APPLE //C:

The Disk II-LED can be installed to Apple //c as well. It’s a bit tight fit and does reguire some modification (or ghetto modification) for the LED to be placed in correct location in keyboard, but, it does work. This revision was not intended or designed to be used with the Apple //c so this was kind of “hack” and PoC installation. There might be an alternative revision of the Disk II-LED for the Apple //c made by Plamen Vaysilov. For example, the led-cable could be longer for better installation with the //c.


disk_ii_led_installed_apple_iic_s
The Disk II-LED is installed directly to the connector on Apple //c’s main logic board and the original cable is used connecting it to the internal floppy drive. The cable must be bent downwards in order the case to close.

led_installed_s
The cable then just need to be wired across the floppy drive to the location where the led is at, in Apple //c’s case, it’s located in the keyboard PCB. I wont show my “ghetto/PoC-hack” here so you need to find your way to install it.

 It does look stunning! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOcCEiN8_a0


THE DISK II-LED COLOR CONTROL PANEL:

main_menu_s

Accessing the setup menu is done by loading a disk image. This might not be ideal but these settings are not needed to be changed frequently so it’s not much of a problem. The disk image is available at a2heaven.com.

And in main page you can SAVE configuration. The configuration is saved in the controller itself as well on floppy. You can restore the default settings by pressing “D“.


LED CONFIGURATION:

control_panel_led_configuration_s
You can set the color settings for:
-Standby
-Active
-Write

Colors available are : Blue, Cyan, Violet, Purple, Magneta, Pink, Custom, White, Red, Orange, Amber, Yellow, Green, Teal.

Custom color format: #RRGGBB (Red|Green|Blue). For example hex value of #FFFFFF is White.

By pressing “R”,”G” or “B” will increase the hex value for either Red, Green or Blue and using the key with combination with [CTRL] will decrease that value.

This is VERY nice feature! You can adjust and have any ever desired color out of 16777216 possible colors! How do you know the hex values of each color them? For example you can check the hex. values here: https://www.rapidtables.com/web/color/RGB_Color.html

Action modes available are:
-ON (stays on as chosen color)
-Color (rotates thru rainbow colors with fading effect)
-Pulse (the chosen color pulses)
-Heart (the chosen color pulses as heart)
-OFF

As well you can adjust the brightness-levels from 10 to 100% (FULL). This sometimes does effect on colors.

Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEOTG-NDA-8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmtMO9HOKpI

TESTING THE LED COLOR SETUPS:

control_panel_testing_led_s
You can test the setup you’ve configured in this menu between the Standby, Read and Write modes. The results can be naturally seen from the installed led. Just remember to save the configuration at the main menu page..

 

 

THOUGHTS?

The kit is reasonably quick and easy to install and it gives more options what comes to using custom colors for the Disk II led. I found the custom setting very nice, i could choose just the color i wanted, it’s easier with the link provided, could look just color needed. It’s odd. I remember the era of custom Windows PC building where it was standard to have more leds and colors, as much as possible in some cases. I hated it. I still don’t like too bright, cold led colors. But here, when i was able adjust the standby led (or turn it off as it is normally) it was ok! I’m more tolerant with hobby computers? I liked this idea of adjusting the lights as one pleases. With the Apple //c the custom LED looks absolutely stunning. Even better than with the Disk II-drive. 

If your Apple II is already tuned-up this is great addition to the setup. May not be for the purists out there.

 

LINKS:
https://apple2online.com/web_documents/apple_disk_ii_technical_procedures.pdf

 

 

a2heaven_logo

Available from : https://www.a2heaven.com

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Apple //e custom eX ROM:

menu_s
What is it?

This custom ROM eX is a BETA enhancement to the enhanced Apple //e firmware ROM built by Michael Guiderro and available at : https://github.com/mgcaret/romex 

 

Features

Upon CONTROL+CLOSED-APPLE / OPTION+RESET, presents a menu allowing you to choose to enter the monitor
or start the boot a specific slot. Menu displays the type of card found in the slot.

Menu identifies Apple II workstation cards and correctly boots them by prompting to press OPEN-APPLE to start the boot.

DELETE key works like the left arrow in programs that read input lines using the monitor ROM.

 

Versions available:

Both custom ROM versions requires 65C02 or 658xx processor in your Apple //e. Unlike the Apple //c firmware, there is no free space in the //e firmware therefore some sacrifices must be made. There are two versions of the firmware available with different features removed:

“Sacrificing the tape code (‘no_tape’)”:
-This version has a terse menu in order to fit in the available space.
-The diagnostics may be entered by pressing both apple keys with CTRL+RESET.

“Sacrificing the diagnostic code (‘no_diags’)”:
-This version has a nicer menu that takes advantage of available space.

 

Building/programming:

You must build the binaries yourself. The github page have some tips how to build it. The built binaries however are available elsewhere as well if you look around.. 

– The //e have to ROM chips, CD and EF so two binaries are required, as well two EPROM chips to be burned.
– The //e platinum have only one ROM chip, so you can use just one EPROM and double the size of the binary by copying the binary twice on the chip.

I used the (thanks to Wyatt Wong) ready built binary file (no_tape) and copied the binary twice to new binary file in order to fill it into W27E257-12 EPROM chip.

 

Installing & using:

setup_s

This ROM can be run in emulators that allow specifying a custom ROM image. It is tested on Virtual ][ (OSX) by M.G.

I tested mine (no_tape) with Platinum //e and it worked fine. I could access the menu and choose slot i wanted to boot. Dropping into monitor worked as well as one would expect. I played some games, tested the Uthernet II card by telneting to BBS and played some music with MEGA Audio as well used the monitor to access the configuration menu. The CFFA3000 and FASTchip //e menu’s worked as well.

I had cards in my Platinum //e:

#7 CFFA3000 + CF 
#6 Disk II interface card 
#5 -disk ii virtual slot for CFFA3000-
#4 MEGAaudio
#3 Uthernet II 
#2 -empty-
#1 FASTchip //e 
#AUX RamWorks III+VGA adapter

IF only similar custom ROM would be done for the Apple /// allowing it to boot from external devices. NOW THAT would be lifesafer and so much needed. There’s lots of ///’s with internal drive issues as well if it would allow booting from sd-device from external connector would open whole new worlds using the ///. I have a dream..

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.

My first Apple //e

monitor_box_s
I found from storage, few boxes i seem to have kept from the first Apple //e i got. I got it somewhere around 2010 or so, i can’t really remember. I was meeting this one guy where i was picking actually some vintage Macintosh stuff like IIfx etc but he had also the //e for sale and he ended up making good offer for it as well so i bought it. I had not seen or touched Apple II before as they were not that popular among young people back in 80’s. Finland was really a “Commodore Country”. I got the things packaged in boxes for Monitor II and Imagewriter. 

monitor_box_s_1
The Monitor II came in it’s original box. Just could not throw it away even i’m not per say, box collector. Just don’t have the storage space for them.

printer_box_for_apple_iie_s
The Apple //e came in Imagewriter box. Why not. Fits there nicely.

labels_s
Original shipping information. OY Mercantile AB imported Apple/Macintosh to Finland in 1980’s.

my_first_apple_iie_s-copy
The Apple II i bought was obiously used non enhanced Apple //e with Swedish/Finnish keyboard, two Disk II’s (only one worked actually), Monitor II and some (sealed) manuals, user guides and some disks. I think i got original VisiCalc-set as well. That was my first touch with Apple II’s.

manuals_s
Nice sealed manuals.

user_guides_s
And few more.

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.

 

Apples in Apples: //e in ///

a3_general_s
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.

a3_computerland_s
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?

a3_arrived_setup_s
Apple ///
128k model originally, Recapped 115V PSU (just warning sign to myself so i wont power it up with 230V..)

a3_65c02_cpu_s
65C02C CPU was swapped already on board! This is great, the Titan //e card then runs “enhanced” //e 128k software as well.

a3_onthree_oclock_s
..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.

a3_disk_ii_for_iii_s
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.

a3_disk_ii_for_iii_back_s
Disk II for /// backside:

a3_onthree_512_memory_board_1984_s
On Three 512k Memory expansion card 
With A4-sized user’s guide and original driver/software-floppies. This card is VERY RARE.

a3_titan_iii_plus_ii
Titan /// plus //

a3_titan_iii_plus_e_s
/// Plus //e 

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

a3_floppies_s
Original floppies:

a3_warranty_s
-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.

a3_colors_screen_s
-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:

a3_apple_ii_games_s

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?

a3_cards_installed_s
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.

a3_cffa3000_cf_prodos_s
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.

a3_cracking_with_passport_s
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:

on-three-512k-ram-card_s

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.

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

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

 

European Apple //e models:

 

set_of_four_euro_apple_iie_s_1
Apple //e was released for PAL markets somewhere in early 1983 and they were assembled in Ireland and continued untill end of the production of “International NTSC” – Platinum model.

Just few pictures, comparison and information about the Apple //e PAL models assembled in Ireland,  localized and sold all over the Europe.

Apple //e “early”

early_case_s
-“Early model” with different, II+ styled case.
-820-0073-A (c) 1982 / B-607-0664 
-Color killer switch soldered to vacant oscillator position on PCB.
-All chips socketed.
-Slightly different serial number sticker in bottompan.

 

early_serial_s
Serial number : A2AS2-100190  
A2S2064D [ ]
A2S2064F [ ]
A2S2064P [ ]
220v, 50Hz, 0,5 Amp. 825-0472-A (label) (Assembled in Ireland) 

Apple //e

6502_case_s -6502 CPU (non enhanced) 
-820-0073-B (c) 1982 / B-607-0264/0288
-Color killer switch near RHS of PCB.
-All chips socketed (not entirely true, this actually varies).

6502_serial_s
Serial number : A2AS2-342241
A2S2064D [ ]
A2S2064F [ ]
A2S2064P [x]
A2S2064T [ ]
220-240V, 50Hz, 0,5 Amp. (Assembled in Ireland) 

Apple //e 65C02

65c02_case_s
-Assembled in Ireland enhanced models were marked “65C02” instead of “enhanced”.
-820-0073 (c) 1984 / B-607-0264
-PCB marked for enhanced ROMs & 65C02 (may have old ROMs and 6502).
-RAM & some TTL soldered in.
-Layout same as above. 

65c02_serial_s
Serial number : A2AS2-365486
A2S2064D [ ]
A2S2064F [ ]
A2S2064P [x]
A2S2064T [ ]
220-240V, 50Hz, 0,5 Amp. (Assembled in Ireland) 

Apple //e 65C02 Platinum

platinum_case_s
-Same old regular //e case but beige colored. Not as Platinum in North America.
-Beige colored keyboard.
-Assembled in Ireland enhanced models were marked “65C02” instead of “enhanced”.
-Different board: “International NTSC”
-Different boards i have:
-S-607-0288-D | 840-0188-E 1986/1987 (c)
-B-607-0288-D | 840-0188-E 1986/1987 (c)
-B-607-0288-C | 820-0188-C 1986/1987 (c) 
-Not same main logic board PCB design as regular North American platinum board.  AUX-slot is alligned with slot #3 just like in regular earlier //e logic boards.
-Different model number.

platinum_serial_s
Serial number : A2SA2-928023 
A2S2080D [ ] 
A2S2080F [ ]
A2S2080P [ ]
A2S2080T [ ]
220-240V, 50Hz, 0,5 Amp. (Assembled in Ireland) 

I am not sure what those product codes stand for but i feel free to assume the following:

D = German
F = French
P = UK
T = Italy

Looks like if the model was localizaed for any other than above markets, they did not mark the model with anything. My Swedish models have no markings whatsoever. For which areas the localizations were done, i do not know..

Please correct me if my assumptions are inaccurate or you have more information of anykind releated.

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.

Apple //e 65C02 and Pioneer bubbles!

apple_iie_65c02
I was supposed to get ONE Apple //e, prefered to be broken/incomplete, as i needed only the case, lid, basepan and the keyboard if possible, for the IIe->IIGS upgrade project of mine.. But somehow i ended up getting TWO, complete units. Both for different reasons but let me get into those “reasons” below.. 

The first one was the “Early” PAL //e i already posted about, but the second one i got, was equally interesting:

apple_iie_opened_s
I ended up getting this one basicly just because i thought i saw “Bubble Memory”-cards (two of them actually) on it. I’ve never had one so that possibility interested me greatly. I wasn’t 100% sure they were Bubble Memory-cards but thanks to Sean Fahey, i was getting more confident. So i just had to have it..

bubble_memory_card_s
These cards are actually very RARE. They are “Pioneer QG-953 Bubble Memory Card” – models. No information could be found from these cards from the internet. Few different companies made such cards for Apple II: 
– MPC Bubble Memory Board
– Helix Bubble Memory Card
– Pioneer QG-953 Bubble Memory Card

These all had Intel chips on them but different brands of Bubble Memory memory chip itself. I assume Intel made the reference card design and other manufacturers made the cards.

Oddly this unit didn’t have any floppy drive controller cards on it. Now that’s RARE thing to come across with 🙂 Maybe it was removed somewhere along the line. It was loaded with other cards however.

65c02_badge_s
The unit  itself was PAL 65c02 -model that is harder to find over here. So far i have only one PAL 65c02 -model in my collection :  https://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2016/09/12/apple-e-enhanced-or-65c02

custom_eproms_s
The ROM’s seems to be custom made eproms.

boot_with_custom_roms_s
When the unit is powered up it goes directly to some diagnostic (?) screen and shows all kinds of information about the hardware and connections. I have not been able to pass that screen anyway and the Bubble memory cards won’t boot either with these rom’s or with stock apple rom’s on it. I have no idea how this  setup should work.. It might require some external device hooked up to it or something.

These eprom’s need to get saved up. Just need to get that eprom reader/writer device finally.

board_codes_s
Serial number :
A2S2064P – 2A2S2-377995 (Made in Ireland)
Power supply : 699-0161-A | Silver 240V | Date: 8729
Board code : 620-0073-B | B-607-0264-F 
Board date : 8444
Keyboard ROM : 342-0152 SWEDEN
Video ROM : 341-0162-A 
EF ROM 341-0134 : MIB 6.5T EF E47A (27C64-25JL) *CUSTOM*
CD ROM 341-0135 : MIB 6.5T CD F0B6 (27C64-25JL) *CUSTOM*
Processor : 6502

Installed cards:
-Pioneer PZI-100 Micro B.C.U./O.C.I.-card 
-Super Serial Card II (One chip missing)
-80col/64k card (Apple)
-Interface card (Pioneer Communications of America, Inc.)
-Clock/Calendar Module Model 7424 – card (ROM missing)
-Pioneer QG-953 Bubble Memory Card 
-Pioneer QG-953 Bubble Memory Card 

psu_hacked_s
This unit is strange beast. It seems to be regular, non enhanced 6502 model (1984) with “65C02” case and powersupply from 1987. Also there’s a fan attached underneath the keyboard as well that had hacked power-in from the power supply.

The power suplly model is the same they put in the Platinum //e’s in those “International NTSC” models (aka “Euro Platinum”). I’ve only had those “gold” Astec models with my //e’s that i’ve come across before (long or short models).

pioneer_card_s
Pioneer PZI-100 Micro B.C.U./O.C.I.-card 

pioneer_card_of_some_kind_s
Many cards in this unit are made by Pioneer Communications Of America, Inc. so what comes to mind with Pioneer would be something to do with Karaoke, or anything Laserdisc-releated. Hope the code in eproms would give some tips what this unit was used for.

More about those Bubble memory cards and eproms later.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.

Apple //e : “Early PAL”

I was looking for suitable Apple //e with atleast: case, lid, bottompan and keyboard for the Apple //e->IIgs upgrade project.. and this one was offered to me and the first pictures looked that it was really reasonably clean and nice non enhanced //e. Perfect candidate for the hack!

received_the_early_e_s
After receiving more pictures of it, it was clearly notiseable that it was “early model” with similar case used with Apple II/II+’s, that is totally different material and the good thing with it is that it doesn’t yellow. So no retr0bright process is needed. I had one of these early //e’s before but that was North American NTSC model. I never had or seen these early PAL models before so i got more interested. I actually never thought there were this “early” PAL model been manufactured in Europe but when you think of it surely they must have. I don’t know why but it had flied under my radar the whole matter. Glad to realize and learn new things.

I received the unit after a week and cleaned it up, took closer look of it and did some repair work as it was needed to get it running.

THE CASE:

compare_cases_s
Early model vs. later //e cases.

compare_cases_top_s
from top.

compare_cases_sideways_s
from side

 

compare_cases_back_s
from backside

date_on_case_s
These painted II+ styled cases are nice as they do not yellow. So it was easy to just put the unit in parts and washed the case, the lid and the bottompan. Notised it had stamped date inside of the case when it was made: “JUN 30 1982”.

serial_number_bottompan_s2
Serial label from the bottompan. Not the missing A2S2064 T – model number as it appeared soon after. Also the label had it’s own code 825-0472-A.

THE MOTHERBOARD:

removing_rust_fiberglass_pen_s
There were quite a bit rust on the screws that held the case and the motherboard in the basepan. I used some Coca-Cola to remove the rust, it worked somehow. Also the connectors on back were quite rusty a well, specially the paddle/joystick port and video output. The fiberglass pen is good tool for removing surface rust so i used that (it’s good idea to use respirator).

cleaning_the_rust_s
The result was quite good actually.

board_codes_s
The board revision : 820-0073-A | B-607-0664 (C) 1982.

colorkiller_modification_s
That had Color killer switch soldered to vacant oscillator position on PCB. All chips are socketed. I had never seen this early version before.

serial_number_board_s
The date on it was “1083” (10th week of 1983, March 7-13,1983). 

board_dates_s
..and stamped date of “R8308” so it’s even earlier than what’s those dates would indicate at wiki, if they mean the week they started to implement those changes?

board_closeup_s
There’s also a signature and some number where the an another label with numbers should be.

wiki:
Early : week 26 1983: 820-0073-A (c) 1982 / B-607-0664 Color killer switch soldered to vacant oscillator position on PCB. 
Normal : week 38 1983: 820-0073-B (c) 1982 / B-607-0264 Color killer switch near RHS of PCB. All chips socketed. 
65C02 : week 07 1985: 820-0073   (c) 1984 / B-607-0264 PCB marked for enhanced ROMs & 65C02 (may have old ROMs and 6502). RAM & some TTL soldered in. Layout same as above. 

week 38 1983: 820-0073-B (c) 1982 / B-607-0264 Color killer switch near RHS of PCB. All chips socketed.
-I have few of these revisions but mine doesn’t have ALL chips socketed. Only few sockets.

There were also the Platinum model made in Ireland with “International NTSC”-board on it (these are from my collection):

Platinum : week ?? 1986: 820-0188-C (c) 1986 / 607-0288-C / 8653
Platinum : week ?? 1988: 820-0188-E (c) 1986/87 607-0288-D / 8820
Platinum : week ?? 1988: 820-0188-E (c) 1986/87  / S-607-288-D / 8809

There isn’t any information actually, WHEN, they started the production of the Apple //e in Ireland. This would be really interesting to know. What day/week in 1983 ?

Fixing and diagnostics the board:

white_bars_at_beginning_s2
Some repairing was needed as it would not power up without giving vertical white bars on screen at first. I swapped first chip-by-chip starting from CPU, IOU and MMU but it didn’t make any difference.

random_chars_at_screen_1_s2
Next i swapped the EF-ROM chip (to date code: “8325”) and i got rid of the vertical bars but got screen full of random characters instead. That would usually indicate the board having issue with the RAM chips but i could not figure out what chip at what location was actually bad so i installed the “Apple //e Diagnostic card” and fired that away.

testing_with_diagnostic_card_s
Apple //e Diagnostic card:

error_at_f09_s
It showed that it had error at board location: F09, that’s RAM chip location, so i replaced that.  It’s nice to have such board with all chips socketed.. but no change!  Ah!.. it assumes the NTSC board layout?! I compared to NTSC and PAL board chip locations and realized: F09 = F06 in PAL board. Tried again and got error in board location F12. There’s NO RAM in F12 location in PAL board but comparing the NTSC board again, F12 = F09 in PAL board. I got an another RAM chip and swapped that and everything worked fine.

PROCESSOR:

The main processor was supposed to be regular 6502 but it was clearly replaced with R65C02P3 (450-13 8439). Swapped this to regular 6502 from date code “8309” so it was period perfect fit for the manufacturing date era.

ROM-CHIPS:

rom_chips_s

The Keyboard ROM : 341-0152 REV.A Apple 82 (eprom)
Video ROM : 341-0162 REV.B Apple 82 (eprom)
EF ROM : 342-0134-A Apple 82 ( > swapped to 342-0134-A “8325” Apple 1982)
CD ROM : 342-0135-A Apple 82 “8313”

So all look period perfect for this unit been made in early 1983. If i’d aim for more accuracy i would swap the EF-ROM “8325” bit earlier one from 1983 but that was what i had available.

THE KEYBOARD:

Few of the switches got easily stuck so i cleaned it with electronics cleaner spray and tried to twiggle and press repeatly the switches to get them working. The keyboard was the regular //e keyboard and there is the switch underneath the case for switching the character sets. What made me wonder, when the //e was released they used different keyboard in the beginning, atleast in North America. That keyboard had white letters and looked quite different to this common, later model. I have not however seen any early PAL model keyboards so i am not certain if there were this earlier style keyboard used in Ireland. 

keyboard_pcb_differences_s
The keyboard PCB was clearly different than the later one. The traces were much thinner. Maybe just different keyboard manufacturer.

keyboard_diagnose_errors_s
After cleaning it up i tested the keyboard. The keys “7” and “Open Apple” had issues even all traces seem to be OK – checked that with multimeter. The “7” occationally get’s stuck so hopefully more cleaning and pressing the switch will resolve that matter but for the “Open Apple”, it was all dead. So i swapped the switch (luckily i had one spare left) for it and it worked.

The Keyboard ROM : 341-0152 (REV.A Apple 82) did give me correct versions, Swedish/Finnish and English characters when flipped the switch underneath the keyboard. That was nice it was all original and working.

 

THE POWERSUPPLY:

psu_original_s
The powersupply was the regular, short, gold colored, Astec AA 11040C, 230v 50Hz 0.5 Amp model. Opened it and it looked clean and no caps leaking or bulging. I made the initial testing first with good known recapped //e (longer model) powersupply and tested the original one later. I should have either recapped it or removed the RIFA’s from it.. but this ones goes to collection not for daily use.

DETAILS:
(i like details collected, so this is mainly for safekeeping this information)

Case serial : A2AS2-100190 (Assembled in Ireland)
Case date : JUN 30 1982
Powersupply : Astec AA 11040C, 230v 50Hz 0.5 Amp
Board code : 820-0073-A | B-607-0664 (C) 1982
Board date code : 1083
Keyboard ROM : 341-0152 (REV.A Apple 82)
Video ROM : 341-0162 (REV.B Apple 82)
EF ROM : 342-0134-A (Apple 82) > broken > swapped to 342-0134-A “8325” Apple 1982
CD ROM : 342-0135-A (Apple 82) “8313”
CPU : R65C02P3 (450-13 “8439”)  (>swapped to 6502 “8309”)

Cards : 
-Disk II card (Apple, Made in Ireland)
-Apple //e 80col-64k card (Apple 1985, 607-0103-I)
-Printer Interface card (Taiwanese clone)

80col64kcard_earlier_revision_s
I swapped in an earlier model of the 64k/80-col card : 607-0103-I/820-0067-C (1985) to 607-0103-E/820-0067-B (1981) so it looks more period perfect.

case_early_3_s
All done.

What about my “//e->IIgs upgrade hack project” then? .. looks like this is all too good unit to be sacrificed for the IIe>IIgs upgrade hack project so it goes to my collection directly.. so need to find an another //e for this.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //e Forever.

 

LINKS:
http://wiki.apple2.org/index.php?title=CSA2_Part_1
http://www.hackzapple.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=8952&sid=ce5e21e35de0066c985d114abc3d14d0
https://www.mac-history.net/apple-history-2/apple-ii/2008-05-25/apple-iii-nd-apple-iie
https://www.applefritter.com/content/apple-iie-serial-number-variations
http://www.harrowalsh.de/APPLEBOX/APPLE2/appleboxkeypage.htm