Category Archives: Apple //e

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

 

Apple //e Platinum International edition? (Part II)

logo_s
I was able to obtain this model that i had wanted ever since i became aware of such model had been made, but it was very hard to find. Luckily was able to get one from Sweden where it seem to have been more common than over here in Finland. Not actually even sure if it was sold here at all, most likely not. It came also with SWE/FIN-keyboard that is very nice and proves it was indeed localized as well!

A2S2080 S Platinum:

img_8727_0_s

-A2S2080 S Sverige Platinum 
-International NTSC-board
-Board codes: S-607-288-D/820-0188-E 1986/1987
-220-240v Powersupply (699-0161-A) 240v, 50Hz, 0.5A, 70W
-Swedish/Finnish-keyboard layout (& switch).
-Video ROM: 341-0111-A ’85/86
-Keyboard ROM: 341-0110-A ’82,’85/86
-CPU 338-6503 (11453-27) “65C02”
-Board date: 8809
-Serial : 2A2S2-928023 (Ireland)

I have also just the board that i got earlier from Sweden, but it might be broken as well missing the CPU:
-International NTSC-board : B 607-0288-D/840-0188-E 1986/87
-Video ROM: EPROM
-Keyboard ROM: 342-0150-A 
-CF ROM : 342-0349-B 
-Board date : 8820

And one other Apple //e “65C02” that have “International NTSC”-board inside:
-Board :  Apple //e International NTSC 1986(c)
-Board codes  : B-607-0288-C / 820-0188-C
-Video ROM : 341-0328 Apple ’85 8502
-Keyboard ROM : 341-0325 Apple ’84 8502
-Board date  : 8653


Differences?

compared_to_other_models_s
From left: Apple //e 65c02 PAL , Apple //e Platinum “International NTSC” , Apple //e Platinum (USA)

compared_to_other_models_backside_s
From top: 
Apple //e platinum (USA) , Apple //e Platinum “international ntsc”, Apple //e 65c02 PAL

motherboard_s
INTERNATIONAL NTSC – uses the PAL IOU to get 50Hz, but the video signal is a 50Hz NTSC rather than PAL.

codes_s
Board codes:

date_s
Dates:

powersupply_s
Powersupply:

serial_s
Serial number:

Elsewhere?

So far i know these were sold in Europe in various countries as well in Australia but very few of them seem to pop out in public or the internet for some reason. It would be interesting to learn the history of these hybrid-machines as well  reasoning for the choise of different case and parts and not creating an similar product as in the States.


LINKS:
http://appleclub.pl/index.php/en/2018/04/18/apple-iie-european-platinum-2/
http://www.arcadecomponents.com/f/Apple_Chips.txt

 

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Titan Accelerator IIe

titan-accelerator-iie-ad-1_s
“The Accelerator //e was released in 1984 by Titan Technologies (formerly Saturn Systems) and was an upgraded version of the original Saturn Accelerator, in response to the introduction of the Apple //e. The card maintained the 64 KB of RAM of the original card and added the newer 65c02 microprocessor. This card solved the Auxiliary RAM incompatibility problem of the older card, however it did not speed up this second bank of RAM which was common on the Apple //e”.

Platform: Apple II, Apple II Plus, Apple //e
Form Factor: 50-pin slot card
Speed: 3.58 MHz
Cache: 64 KB on board RAM + 16 KB shadow ROM
DMA compatible: No
Upgradeable: No
CPU : 65C02 4MHz / mine had: R65C02P4 II450-I4 8715

titan-accelerator-iie_s
This card came to my posession with the Apple //e 65C02 “International NTSC” -board set i got earlier this year. That set was used in some old book printing house so no wonder they might have neeed some extra CPU power. Finding accelerators in Apple II’s over here is not exatly common.

titan-accelerator-iie_back_s
Backside:

Setup:

setup_cards_s
In Apple II or //e you can install the card in Slot 0. Replaces possible Language 16k-card. with //e any slot works out but suggested slot is 3. There’s DIP-switches for adjusting the slot settings, time sensitive: “FAST or SLOW”.

Using:

When installed, the accelerated speed is now activated in all applications. For the 1MHz usage, use preboot disk and choose “slow down” option before booting the software disk. With CP/M card installed the Accelerator //e wont accelerate these programs. Note: Some older software might not run with 65c02 processor.

Thoughts?

The card does what it should do, accelerate the processes nicely, but the ease of use is not up to date naturally. Using preboot disk to use the regular, 1MHz, speed is kind of annoying. Depending of your needs however, if you want vintage, old skool experience then it’s quite fine. But for modern everyday usage, there is other cards that do this easier. It’s matter of personal preference i guess.

LINKS:
Testing against other Apple II 8bit accelerators results:
https://wiki.reactivemicro.com/Accelerator_Speeds

 

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Ramworks III: VGA add-on extender (PAL/NTSC):

This is an VGA add-on extender adapter for the Ramworks III (by Applied Engineering, or clones like Ramworks IIII by Reactivemicro) and with Apple //e, it generates VGA-compatible, 720×480 pixels, video signal. This new version supports both NTSC and PAL Apple //e-versions. 

The location for the AUX-slot in NTSC and PAL Apple //e models is different:
-NTSC model the AUX-slot is in left bottom side of the board (from keyboard) 
-PAL models it’s closer to middle of the board alligned with Slot 3.

Using this adapter you can save one slot in NTSC-models compared to using product like “Apple II VGA Scaler” also by a2heaven.com or upcoming VidHDMI but with PAL-models the AUX-slot is however alligned with Slot 3 that can’t be then used sametime as Ramworks III-card is long enough to block the slot.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

ramworks_iii_rev2_cables_and_adapter_s

-Apple //e-VGA add-on extender board
-Push button with cables to switch video modes 
-Extension able with DB15HD-connector
-Manual can be downloaded from a2heaven.com site.

 

TECHNOLOGY:
from manual at a2heaven.com

RW3VGA-uses 2 LSI devices, a CPLD and 256k x 16 static RAM. The CPLD is configured as a scan line doubler, in that it stores the video information from the Apple //e (15Khz) frame by frame and the outputs the video as VGA 720x 480 (shows as 640×480 in some VGA-monitors) at 31Khz. The 256k x 16 static RAM is used as video frame buffer.

Setting the default mode:
You can set the default video mode using rotary selector on RW3VGA-board. The selected number is set default mode on power-up. It’s preset to “1” that is Color VGA (no scan lines).

SUPPORTED APPLE //e VIDEO MODES:

-40 and 80 columns text, with 24 lines 
-Low-Resolution: 40 × 48 (15 colours) 
-High-Resolution: 280 × 192 (6 colours)  
-Double-Low-Resolution: 80 × 48 (15 colours) 
-Double-High-Resolution: 560 × 192 (2 colours) 

COLOUR MODES:
1 – Colour
2 – Colour Alternative
3 – Shades of Green
4 – Shades of White
5 – Mono – Green
6 – Mono – White
7 – Mono – Amber
8 – Mono – Green (Bold)
9 – Mono – White (Bold)
10 – Mono – Amber (Bold)

Different color models in a running demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t5Vbto9Wf0

INSTALLATION:

ramworksiiivga_rev2_pal-ntsc_s

It is very easy to install, just be carefull when instaling the add-on board to your RamWorks III or IIII-card, there’s lots of pins and they should not be bent. Also attach the push-button with the cable to the card’s connector. You can route the wire thru the ventilation holes in the Apple //e’s sides outside.

There’s two different ways to get the video signal out of the adapter:

connected_vga_addon_cable_vga2vga_s

1) The adapter’s built-in VGA connector where you can attach the VGA-cable directly (but usually the regular VGA-cable wont fit inside the openings in the back of the //e). Or you can use adapter of somesort, VGA-cable-VGA to get the signal outside of the case – or like i once did, used VGA>ethernet adapter and cable (it worked amazingly well).

connected_vga_addon_cable_s

2) Use the small connector and provided cable-adapter to get the signal out of the case. 

vga_connected_back_s

And getting the connector out of the enclousure (would need some work to make it prettier).

So how does all those modes look like?

color_s  white_s  

green2_s  amber_s
Galaxian:

donkey_kong_s
Donkey Kong:

a2desktop_white_s
Apple II DeskTop:

a2desktop_green_s
Apple II DeskTop:

a2desktop_color_s
Apple II DeskTop:

appleworks_s
Closer look at 80col mode/AppleWorks:

Thoughts?

I’ve been using the earlier revision of this adapter (NTSC) for few years now without any problems. It gives really nice and sharp picture to your VGA-monitor. I’ve used small 4:3 Sony (15″) and 4:3 Lenovo (19″) and both have worked flawlessly. The difference between composite output and VGA naturally is remarkable and with this adapter, you can choose the color-modes as you please with the push button. 

The 80columns mode is best used with any of the bold modes, the text is more readable that way.

The only annoyance with PAL Apple //e is however the fact that the Ramworks III card is so long it does block the slot 3 from being used. This is not the case with the NTSC model where the AUX-slot is located in the left bottom corner of the board.

What else could be asked for? VGA-monitors are still easily available in various sizes and shapes, but it’s a fact that many new, modern displays are lacking VGA or even DVI-connectors these days.

There is, when writing this in November 2018, a HDMI-card from John Brooks coming very soon. So there’s more options out there.

 

 

 

a2heaven_logo

 

Ramworks III VGA add-on extender is available from https://www.a2heaven.com/webshop 
for $85.00 with free shipping everywhere.

 

 

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

Go see the doctor! – Apple //e Diagnostic Card:

original_card_s
The original card: (821-0188 Rev.A, Rev.B) (picture: asimov)

The card was used by service technicians to make diagnostic on Apple //e systems.  It contained a diagnostic program in Eproms and was able to find many basic hardware problem in the Apple //e. It was ment to be used by service technicians and it wasn’t publicly sold, therefore it’s naturally very rare.

cards_s
New clone card: (821-0188 Rev.B)

This is close to 100% clone of the original Apple //e diagnostic card made by Jay Graham with help of the retro computer community and introduced at KansasFest 2018.

Other (Apple internal) similar cards:

functest_edit_s
A2e Functional test card (1982)(SKA011-01) (picture: a2central.com)

slottest_s
A2e Slot tester card (1982)(SKA012-01) (picture: a2central.com)

How to use the Diagnostic card?

cards_2_s
Insert to any slot. The card by original design, on purpose, is too tall, so the lid can’t be closed. Push the red switch away from the keyboard to activate the ROM and start the unit. When turned on it tests the CPU and ROM’s (D8,D10) right away and you can see results on screen.

main_menu_s
From the menu you can run different hardware releated tests and get error messages if something fails.

(P) Processor test
(R) Read only Memory Test
– Are both executed when powering up the system and result can be read from bottom of the menu screen. Here those tests can be re-run if needed.

(M) Random Access Memory Test
-Each RAM of the board are been tested. The screen clears and alternates three times between two graphics pages and then screen alternates then times between a graphcs page and a black page, $D000-$FFFF. If an error occurs, it shows the location of the chip.

 char_test_s
(C) Character Set Test
-Shows all (four sets of) characters on screen.

 keyboard_test_s
(K) Keyboard test
-Shows the keyboard on screen and by pressing each key, you can test the operational status of the each key (US-layout).

 graphics_test_s
(V) Video Test
-High and Low resolution graphics are tested. Low Resolution test alternates two identical “lores” graphics  pages that have different message on bottom. The graphics should stay constant regardless of the displayed message. High Resolution is similar expect “1” or “2” alternates in the upper left corner of the grid.

(L) Loop ROM RAM and processor test
-This is continuous test of three first tests, ROM, RAM, Processor.

(S) Speaker test
-Plays five tones incrementing from low to high.

Usefull card for testing your just found Apple //e pile of computers or parts. Those other diagnostic cards look very interesting, SlotTest and FuncTest but those are even more rare. Haven’t heard anything them being cloned or taken apart.

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.