Category Archives: Apple //e

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

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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.

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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:

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Apple II DeskTop:

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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:

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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.

Apple //e keyboard repairs:

apple_iis_s

Got this Apple //e (on right) among other things from Sweden last year. All of them had some issues, this //e had broken keyswitch and the cap had gone missing so it needed repairing. Otherwise it was fully working so i went ahead and desided to fix it up. I had never actually replaced a switch before so it was nice to get such work done as i had the tools for it.

washing_the_keycaps_s
Before starting to repair the switch, i did general cleanup and dusting around and washing the keycaps. Sauna is great place to dry them up 🙂

Thanks to Eduardo in Canada, i got the switch and the keycap so i could start the repairs. The repair would be quite simple, if you’ve soldered before. Just desolder the broken switch and replace it with the working one. If you want information how to do it, you can watch the great repair video by Charles Mangin at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhXmUHXh4yc . I watched this as well before doing anything, just in case. 

Tools needed:
-Desoldering iron station, wick or pump.
-Soldering iron and solder.
-Pliers for removing the switch.
-Multimeter for testing continuity afterwards (optional).

Reparing:
Desoldering:
Depeding of your tools and experience, it’s either super easy and quick or annoyingly slow and messy. That’s why i got the Desoldering iron station. With it, it takes only seconds to remove soldering.

switch_removed_s
Replacing the switch:
When the solderjoints are desoldered, the old switch should be removed easily. Using pliers it comes out easily.

ready_soldered_s
Soldering the new switch:
Insert new switch and solder the joints.

multimeter_testing_s
Checking the soldering joins:
If you have multimeter set it to continuity and test the connections between the newly soldered joint and  next join in same line.

 

Other observations:

uk_rom-chips_s

-Board model : 920-0073-B // B-607-0264-F
-Board date : 8449
-CPU R6502-40
-All ROM’s are UK non-enhanced //e
-Video ROM : 342-0160-A
-CDROM : 342-0135-B
-EFROM : 342-0134-B

serial_s
Regular European Apple //e Assembled in Ireland.

switch_s
Oddly this have the switch underneath the keyboard! Usually that would indicate the unit was ment for market area where they had other languages than english, i.e. Nordics or Belenux-countries. With the switch you could swap the keyboard layout i.e. from SWE/FIN to ENG. So this might be just an unit with some swapped parts to get one working one.

apple_iie_uk_ready_s
All done.

 

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

Apple //e 65C02 > International NTSC

apple_iie_setup_1_s
Obtained this setup from a friend as a trade. It had served it’s life in book printing house in Tampere for long period of time. I saw few floppies they had used in production (too bad i did not get those) from early 1992.

board_codes_s
I believe it was originally regular 65C02 (“Enhanced”, as it’s called english-speaking countries”) model but was upgraded to “International NTSC”-board with Titan Acceletor IIe-card (the original 65C02 processor was removed from the board). The original board might have broken and they replaced it with new and only new board available might have been the “International NTSC” at at time. Maybe. Who knows. I’ve never seen these boards in any machines over here, nor the “Euro Platinum – as they are often referred” (the term however is not completely correct as so far i know of these were sold atleast in Australia as well). 

serial_s
The case had model number that was regular A2S2064_-serie, assembled in Ireland.

titan-accelerator-iie_s
I was specially happy to get (original, used in Finland) Titan Accelerator IIe-card with this setup! Apple II accelerators were not very common over here at all. As well it was nice to obtain an another nice duodisk-drive.

gsp-graphix-design-station-card_front_s
GSP Graphix Design station-interface card:

mystery_black_dongle_card_s
Somesort of a dongle-card? It’s perfectly sealed in metal casing. No way opening it up, it’s also quite heavy for it’s size.

mystery_black_dongle_card_top_s
Dongle/ROM-card are pretty useless on their own, but maybe someday they come in handy, worth saving up.

Saving local history.

The setup was as follows:

Apple IIe “65c02″/”Enhanced”>International NTSC
-Platinum board: “International NTSC 1986(C)”
-Apple Monitor II & video cable
-Apple Duodisk-drive & cable
-Apple Disk controller-card
-Titan Accelerator IIe-card
-GSP Graphix Design Station-interface card
-Dongle/ROM-card for the Graphix Design Station
-Apple 80col/64k-card

The board & ROM’s:

board_1_s

-Video ROM : 341-0328 Apple ’85 8502
-Keyboard ROM : 341-0325 Apple ’84 8502
-Board :  Apple //e International NTSC 1986(c)
-Board code  : B-607-0288-C / 820-0188-C
-Board date  : 8653

I was very happy to add this to my collection of Finnish Apple II history.

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever.

A peeled Apple IIe

Finally got around framing this cool Apple IIe poster. “A peeled Apple IIe”. It seems to be from Australia, so far i could find the “Kurrawood Computers” was located in NSW, Australia. It’s not in perfect condition, but when placed under the glass it does look good.

It’s good addition to my mancave/work-room wall.

apple_iie_poster_s

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple ][ forever.

 

WiModem232 w/OLED

What and Why? BBS’s and modems in 2018?

wimodem232_s
WiModem232 with oled-display / www.cbmstuff.com

From cbmstuff.com:

  • WiModem232 is an internet modem for (any) computer with RS232 interface port that
    emulates Hayes compatible modem. Plugging the WiModem232 to the serial port and you
    can connect to BBS’s anywhere, in 2018.
  • The WiModem232 requires access to your local router and supports easy WIFI-setup inc.
    WPS one-button setup.
  • Firmware updates are done using simple command that fetches the lastest firmware from the cmbstuff.com server and updates the WiModem232 without even having to remove the WiModem232 from your computer.
  • WiModem232 supports 300 to 115200 baud.
  • This model have 128×64 pixel OLED screen.
  • Requires external 5v power using Mini-B type USB-connector.
  • WiModem232 controlls all standard RS-232 lines: Rx, Tx, RTS, CTS, DSR, DTR, DCD and RI.
    So you can run your own BBS!

Using the WiModem232:

I haven’t used modems since late 80’s (calling to BBS’s) so this was all “new” to me again. I had no idea what to do really, so it was all learning from almost zero to me again. I had a huntch of cause…

So i started with buying an DB25-DB25 -cable that i connected to the WiModem232 and Apple’s own Super Serial Card II. The WiModem232 would benefit from a enclosure but right now there is no such thing available. The cbmstuff.com does have it coming (you can print/get it printed yourself) however.

I tried using different versions of ProTerm but for time being, i could make the ProTerm v1.9p working only.

Super Serial Card II -settings (thanks to Jeremy Apple@a80sappleiibbs)
-Block facing to MODEM (Jemery’s setup was facing to “Terminal”, but i could only get it working like this)
DIP-switches:
#1 OFF,ON,OFF,ON,OFF,OFF,OFF
#2 ON,ON,ON,ON,OFF,OFF,OFF
(you can check your SSC-cards manual for the DIP-switch settings & details)

settings_s2
 ProTerm v1.9p :
-Modem: Null modem Driver (RTS/CTS)
-Port: Apple Super Serial Card (Slot #2)
-300 Baud (for setup)

Basic commands :

ATI – that gives information from the device itself, good indication the connection is working. The WiModem232 display says “looking for router” untill the connection is been established.

AT*N – to see list of available wireless networks you have access to.

AT*SSID NETWORKNAME,PASSPHRASE – to connect your wireless network with passphrase. Connecting is possible with WPS as well if you choose to do so.

connected_s
connected

When connection was made i changed the connection type to TELNET with command:
AT*T1

calling_bbs_s

..and made connection to BBS with : ATDT a80sappleiibbs.ddns.net:6502

And voi’la. It worked.

There actually were a firmware update for the WiModem232 and it downloaded quite quick and worked fine. You can install updates with command AT*UPDATE.

Download the .pdf manual from cbmstuff.com website for more details.

Happy BBS’ing!

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple ][ forever.

 

Roadtrip: Swedish Apple’s

It all begins when i was contacted by Peter Fuks, who was an Chairman of the AUG (Apple User’s Group Sweden) in 1999-2002.

http://A2central.com
Apple User Group of Sweden – formed in the early 1980s, the AUG still has 30-35 enthusiastic members. The group usually meets twice a year in Stockholm and Gothenburg, usually 5-10 people each, and has an extensive software library, ”mostly older games on 5.25? disks. To join the group, the fee is 150 Swedish crowns (US $10) per year. For more information, visit the group’s web site at http://www.appleusergroup.org.

So Peter offered some Apple ][ material he needed to dispose due need of space and lack of time as well other hobbies taking time when he got retired and he knew i could preserve the software and if there were, anything else, paper material for the other users and for the future.

I was very honored and we figured out the dates as i’d need to travel from Finland to Sweden with ferry and take my car with me. It took some months to find the suitable dates and i booked the tickets to Viking Line-ferry that goes from Helsinki to Stockholm. It’s about 16.5 hour per side with the boat so it would take about two days for the trip in total.

Leaving: “It was Roadtrip time!”on_boat_s
So it was roadtrip time! My friend Marko joined me to the trip and i picked him from train station and we headed to the ferry. I booked the tickets so i could drive the car in the boat first, and get out, first. That would save time and nerves.

leaving_boat_inside_s
Lots of cars and trucks use the ferries to get over the sea to Sweden.

Arriving: “SĂĄ här är vi i sverige”
Arriving at 10:00 to Sweden. Weather was nice but slightly clowdy. Nice and dry compared to Finland when we left..

Driving to: “On our way to Järfälla”
Järfälla is about 20km away from downtown Stockholm to north-west so it’s rather easy task to drive there and back. There’s not that much time as the boat leaves back in afternoon but enough for quick round trip there. Or so we thought.. My GPS-navigator is about 10 years old that was however ok, it did work out well. Just IF i would have believed the route it offered.. I tried to use my own very easy, very fast route that i could now however track from the GPS-device itself…  so we drove some 15km to wrong direction first then i started to actually pay attention to the GPS and changed the route… and we found the place. Rather easily in the end 🙂

At Peter’s home: “Meeting Peter”
jorma_peter_marko_s
Me, Peter and Marko:

Peter and his wife, Gunnel, were waiting. So we drinked some coffee, talked about the tech in general (Peter collects old radios and those are so beautiful!) and the loaded up the car. We were sadly bit on a tight schedule so there were not so much time i was hoping. Peter and Gunnel were as nice people as you could think of.

Peter’s Computers:
peter_fuks_s

Peter have/have had, lots of Apple ][ computers over the years. He had kept two i think, of Apple //e’s. The main unit he had was really COOL hacked one with just motherboard inside, external keyboard, HDD, 5.25″ and 3.5″ drives with powersupply in another external case!
He had Slotbuster, Phasor cards on his board among PC Transporter setup. What an great period perfect hack-unit!

peters_apple_iie_s
Inside of the Peter’s Apple //e with SlotBuster-card.

 

Leaving: “Heading back to Stockholm”
apple_ii_from_sweden_packed_s
Car packed with Apple ][-goodies..

leaving_sweden_s

Getting back to the ferry thru downtown Stockholm was easier than i tought. The GPS took us thru the oldtown of the Stockholm and thru the  construction area of Slussen, but the route was so FAST. We got in time to the ferry and even had to wait quite a bit to get in.

getting_into_ferry_s
Waiting to drive the car inside the ferry at Stockholm harbor.

At home:
Roadtrip was over! Took about 40 hours for the total trip or so.

Of cos when getting home, i unloaded the material to my work/hobby/mancave-room but only few hours later, had time to start looking into them (i was exicited of cos).

What were there?apple_iis_s
Apple ][-case : REAL ][ but no serial number on bottom for some reason, only reads “2000”, Apple //e (taiwanese clone), Apple //e.

pineapple_board_s
Pineapple : Apple II+ clone motherboard + ROM card

boards_cards_sApple //e international NTSC board, CP/M card (Microsoft card clone) with Microsoft Softcard manuals & floppies. The //e board reads “broken” so it might need some work to get it working again.

user_news_swedish_s
The Swedish Apple User’s Group (AUG Sweden) “User News” – magazines from 1982-1983.
These are very interesting! These all will be scanned of cos.

books-catalogs_2_s
Manuals of all kinds and some game manuals for various games (copied), Apple II books etc. Some of the books “Bag of Tricks” and “Beneath the Apple DOS” seems to be Taiwanese/Hongkong copies. Deep Dark Castle Magazine’s are interesting, somesort of BBS-user’s magazine i think?

books-catalogs_s
Few books, catalogs, Beagle Bros. manuals, Pineapple catalog/magazine.

books-catalogs_3_s
Apple Answer Books Vol.1 and 2 and some manuals and catalogs.

softcard_s
Microsoft Softcard manuals with disks (13-sector).

original_software_s
Original games (EPYX)) and Apple Special Delivery title and even one Apple /// software.

software_tapes_s
Early (1979) original games in casette with boxes (!). These things are quite rare.

magazines_sMagazines of all kinds: Call A.P.P.L.E., Nibble, Byte, InCider, User’s News (Swedish) etc.

broderbund_sBroderbund – catalogs.

hdd_s
Heavy-beast, HDD-drive (assuming 5MB) with the interface card. Never have had an “real hdd” with Apple ][ before.

hdd_back_s
Connections in the back. Made in Sweden i’d say.

card_connection_s
Interface-card.

scsi_card_s
Model/number.

floppies_s
Floppies : about 50 pcs (Apple II and CP/M).

Lots of material to be preserved! It’s like christmas for geeky Apple ][ guy like me.

FinApple 2017 (c)
Apple ][ forever.

 

Sega SG-1000 & Colecovision on your Apple //e ?

SEGA SG-1000:

 

SONY DSC

Was the very first video-gaming console released by SEGA in 1983.
Running with Zilog’s Z80 3.58MHz with amazing 1kB of RAM and 2kB of VRAM and capable of displaying up to 16 colors.

 

COLECOVISION:

colecvision_1

Was Coleco Industries’s second generation home video-game console released in August 1982.
Running with Zilog’s Z80A at 3.58MHZ

So what is this “CP/M Turbo 7 with VDP-1000 Plus”-combo then?

01_cards_front_s

Ian Kim of Apple2.net from South Korea have made very interesting board-add-on to his previously released, CP/M Turbo 7-card. It’s called “VDP-1000 Plus” wich is an VDP-option board which you can add to your CP/M Turbo 7-card. If you add it later, it requires some soldering or if you buy them together as a kit, they come completely ready product.

Basicly it allows running SEGA SG-1000 and Colecovision games on your Apple //e at 2MHz.
Both of those systems were Z80 based (and this opens interesting thoughts..) so the add-on card CP/M Turbo 7 acts as an processor for those two systems and the VPD-1000 Plus-add-on works as video generator for both. Currently they sell about 160 dollars + shipping at Ian’s Webpage (see link in the end) as a combo.

Explanations from Ian Kim:

vpd_1
CPLD chip have logic circuits to act as the SG1000 and Colecovision same I/O address decoders for Joypad, TMS9918 and SN76489. TMS9918 require 1bit DRAM 8pcs but, 1bit 16Kb DRAM is rare andmore it required negative voltage so, changed non negative DRAM but,
finally I decided to use 8bits one SRAM. it is much easier to find hence, the circuits should be much different than original.  Finally I’ve used one 9bit 32K SRAM. it is still oversize but cheap and one SRAM required. Three latch used and one Not chip. It were used to split data I/O and Address.

Sound generator chip is SN76489 which is used by SG1000 and Colecovision. it have three tones and one noise and it has some strange behavior it made sound after power ON not accessed but it generating noise maybe it is too much small to put reset function.

So, when I apply this sound chip and power ON the APPLE II, it start making annoying noise as beep… so, I must OFF this so used switch. Now, It is ON when the board start to work. Also Video output can be switched from APPLE II and VDP side. It active when  data come to VDP address.

vpd_2

So how it all fits in yer Apple //e then?

04_all_cards_assembled_sInstallation : you install the both cards together and then put the combined cards in SLOT #1. There’s the joystick connector you need to connect, and video signal you take to the internal video connector on the Apple //e motherboard as well the audio+video cables (red and white rca-type) you need to connect to your monitor for video and audio output.

video_connection
Internal video cable connection to motherboard:

05_installed_sInstalled.

speed
Set up of speed Z80-card to 2mhz “normal” otherwise the SEGA or Colecovision-modes are not working.

 

sega-or-col
Set up of system VPD-mode, choose which mode you wish to use (from the VPD-card). “SEGA” or “COLV”.

So, how you use it?

The card came with links to few disk images (.nib and .hdv) that contain the basic bootup (ProDOS) software you need to boot first from. I used the .hdv file (hdd image) with Apple //e Enhanced NTSC with CFFA3000. At boot you need to choose wich system you are using:

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1. SEGA SG-1000
2. COLECOVISION

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And after choosing it lists you the rom files that are included – or you have transfered to the disk image yourself. It asks what ROM-file you want to load up, and after you type the filename, it loads it up. The software itself is very simple basic program so you can modify it at will.

Then you’re, with luck, good to go!

 

It works! It works!

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H.E.R:O. (Activision) running with SEGA SG-1000-mode:
https://youtu.be/ecZ9xUZzejg

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Lode Runner (Broderbund) running with SEGA SG-1000-mode:
https://youtu.be/__5Yh0QvcKA

And one more gameplay video:
https://youtu.be/bODOZRQZq8w

Some games do not work, some games freeze or are too slow due the 2MHz mode the emulation works. There’s however coming an upgraded CP/M Z80-card wich should fix these issues with speed. Audio works great on those rom-images i was tested playing with.

By no any means it’s perfect of 100% compatible with all titles, but it’s close and i see lots of fun with these kinds of projects! Maybe the upgrade of the CP/M Turbo 7 card to faster speeds will make difference?

 

Afterwords .. and more:

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There’s a “APMSX” (AppleMSX) -card in development wich is an standalone card which emulates the MSX (Z80) and allows playing (some) MSX-games on your Apple //e. There’s also possibility of MSX2 (!) card coming after the MSX-card is released. This picture is static rom file loaded up with the card, it does not support the keyboard so it’s not usefull as of yet.

msxcard
EARLY APMSX development/prototype-card from Ian’s webpage.

This is SUPER interesting implementation for the Apple //e for sure, i personally can not wait for the MSX/2 card to be released!

This is absolutely one of the most interesting cards and ideas for long time in Apple ][-community!

We truly live the golden-age of the Apple ][.

LINKS:
Ian Kim : http://apple2.net
CP/M Turbo 7 and VPD : http://quick09.tistory.com/1376
User manual : http://quick09.tistory.com/attachment/cfile9.uf@245A6F405957414B121465.pdf
SEGA SG-1000 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SG-1000
Colecovision : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ColecoVision

(C) FinApple 2017 & Apple ][ forever!