Category Archives: Apple III

My Nordic Apple /// : Part ///

two_trees_s

These two ///’s are latest additions to my ///-herd. What made this super interesting was that
the other /// had different keyboard with not just symbols on it, but TEXT. I’ve never seen such.
Might be replacement for some program specifially or something?

If you have information about this, let me know. Thank you. Tack så mycket!

keyboard_closeup_2_s
Text in front of the keycap.

keyboard_closeup_1_s
As well in top. Some kind of special localization here.

Naturally i had to check them thru and repair when needed (repair the /// is that really needed?).

a3s1-58712_label_s

Unit #1, Serial A3S1-58712, Made in Ireland. 256k

This unit came with the different swedish keyboard with text on it. I’ve never seen this
anywhere before. it would be interesting to know more about this. This is not an any
early 12v model either. Just regular 5v, 256k model otherwise. This unit had the
Corvus HDD-interface card installed! Thank god, so i can access the Corvus HDD and
look into that as well.

blown_rifa_s

Naturally (heh) the powersupply blew up when i was testing it. Loud noise, smoke
and bad smell. This was expteced to happen. I know… i know, one should always
replace those safely capasitors beforehand….  but. Yeah. Lazyness.
Maybe i learn someday?

Repair log:
-Normal cleaning everywhere.
-Installed new feet.
-Powersupply, new safety capasitors replaced (0,22uF, 0,1uF).
-New keyboard light installed.
-Floppyemu works with adapter (.woz, .dsk)

-The internall disk III wont work: no spin. No even trying.
*Tested with disk II mechanism, no difference.
*Worked with floppyemu
*470uf 10V capasitor replaced to disk III analog board
*220uf 16V capasitor replaced
*10uf 25V capasotor replaced
*ALL IC’s swapped to analog board
= STILL DIDN’T WORK!

small_pcb_s

*Replaced the capasitors to the small pcb behind the disk /// (10uf, 35V) and the
pcb felt like it had something leaked on.. very sticky like Coca-Cola poured on it.
Cleaned, swapped the caps.

*Made new interface cable as well…

ready_and_working_s

…and it WORKS!

.. i think it was all-along the cable! Should have started with that LOL It looked
about perfect but after closer look there were some dent/hole on it. Well it doesn’t
matter, atleast the drive got good cleanup, speed adjustment and other mainantance
done 🙂

While i was at it – i installed the clock/calendar chip and battery holder to it as well
the great custom ROM by Robert Justice that works nicely with the Booti-card allowing
direct USB/HDD boot from diskimage. Amazing. If something good happened in 2020 this is it!

 

 a3s1-56600_serial_label_s

Unit #2 – Serial: A3S1-56600, Made in Ireland, 256k

This one was much easier – no much issues…

Normal cleaning, disk drive working fine (adjusted), swapped an universal power
supply to this unit from an another unit for testing and swapped the safety capasitors
to the original one.

341-0060a-g9_s

Both of these had :

-341-0060A (2kb*8) that is Video scan decode ROM at 50HZ

euro_a3_crystal_s

-1970002 NDK 14.25045 Crystal 50HZ (PAL)

I only get black/white even with the RGB cable…

Problock3 driver and custom ROM by Robert Justice:
https://github.com/robjustice/Problock3

Booti-card by David Mutimer:
https://ct6502.org

FinApple 2020 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

My Nordic Apple ///: Part II

apple_iii_fin_s

The previous repairs ended when the power supply started to no longer provide enough current to boot the unit so i ordered the Univeral Power Supply from Reactivemicro.com as i’ve done earlier as well. That’s the best you can get for your money. It’s designed for all Apple II and /// models. The Apple /// can be so problematic so it’s more than good idea to go the roots of the possible problems and replace that power supply in the first place. That’s where it all starts anyway.

Also needed a replacement light bulb for the power light as it was burned off. The unit CAN  be booted after pressing reset but that’s very annoying at least. Some references say the Apple /// won’t boot if the keyboard “power” lamp is burned, that’s simply NOT true. It does need just reseting the unit.

WHAT WAS LEFT TO BE REPAIRED OR TESTED?

-Ordering and installing the Universal power supply.   
-Rubber feet replacement.
-Keyboard power light bulb replacement.       
-Keyboard top cover repairs. 
-Reparing video chips.   
-Testing the keyboard layout with configuration file. 

INSTALLING THE UNIVERSAL POWER SUPPLY: 
 

rm_upsu_s

I ordered the Universal Power Supply with the new DC-output cable from reactivemicro.com and it arrived in few weeks (with some +24% tax added). It’s very straight forward to install for the ///.

1) Open and remove the basepan (main logic board) and remove the power cable from the main logic board.
2) Open and remove the power supply from the enclousure. 
3) Remove the original power supply and disconnect few cables as per instructions.
4) Install the new power supply PCB, the new power supply unit and attach the new cables as per instructions.
5) Screw the power supply back to the main chassis and attach the new DC-cable to the main logic board.
6) We’re done!

In this case i had to double check few things as the wiring was different than any of the previous /// power supplies i’ve had so i ended up swapping few cables around. But in the end, it worked perfectly.

Only thing that is annoying by design is the DC-output cable that goes from power supply to the main logic board. The opening between the power supply and the “wall” where the logic board is located, is quite small. The memory card connector hits the cable and it’s very tight fit almost damaging the cable itself. I would say that is design flaw by Apple originally.

RUBBER FEET REPLACEMENT:

new_rubber_feet_s

The two front rubber legs were missing so i replaced them with replacement ones. The ones i got from ebay were slightly smaller (but good for the Apple II) so i placed small piece of another kind of rubber sticker under it (cutting it to correct size) and the height was the same. 

 

INSTALLING THE NEW LIGHT BULB:

new_lamps_s

These lamps are available these days only online, atleast i couldn’t find any locally anywhere. Those lamps are  around $1.00 each depending where you buy them. The shipping in the otherhand… that was pricy. But what can you do? One could, if know how, replace them with modern led-lights. I just wanted to have the original style replacement at this time so i bought 10 pack of original Sylvania 7328 6v 0.2A bi-pin lamps.

keyboard_opened_s

It’s very easy and straight forward job – first need to remove the keyboard cover by just removing 5 screws underneath the keyboard and lifting the top of the keyboard part away.

lamp_removed_s

Removing the old lamp is easy, just pull it. It comes off easily.

new_lamp_installed_s

Replacing the new one is slightly more difficult as you really can’t see anything. Just push gently the new bulb in as straight as possible. The legs might get bent easily so get them straightened if needed. Replace the keyboard cover after you’re done.

I notised the keyboard cover was bit in “suffered” state, meaning the holes where the screws go (plastic pilars with hole on them in middle) had broken off from the right. Those would need fixing somehow or replacement cover. 

 

…EASY. BUT

power_and_j20_pins_s

As i had opened the /// several times over the weeks, last time i had put it together i had ACCIDENTALLY installed the DC-cable to J20 connector for some odd reason… so it would not power up. Now that’s not good! So i installed the DC-cable to correct connector (it DOES read “POWER” on PCB..) and powered it up, it DID power on but it did not display any video on LCD and very distorted image on very right side of the CRT monitor as well. BUT it did boot software so far i could see. So it’s not totally busted! We have (new) hope..

 

REPAIRING. AGAIN. (get used to it, it’s Apple ///):

page_506_small

Thanks to technical assisstance at Facebook’s Apple /// group, i was suggested to replace the first chip on line,  74LS153 (0.58€/ea locally). So i got few and replaced one. Sadly that didn’t help but i was very kindly assisted further looking into other chips in that line:

U90: LS153 @ L8 dip16 74LS153
U119: S175 @ B12 dip16 74LS175
U141: LS00 @ H2 dip14 74LS00
U146: S86 @ B13 dip14 74LS86
U147: LS11 @ K8 dip14 74LS11

Swapping these however did not help.  I had bought few more chips but didn’t test them at the time. 

Something odd happened! Later, after a long period of time, i tested the machine again, with different monitor and … it worked. WTH? What just happened? I am not sure if actually swapping the chips helped or something else happened. The “new” Samsung LCD/TV does better NTSC even not  perfectly correct colors however. But – i’m not complaining.

On thing i noticed (finally) however:

The European /// have (naturally) different crystal (50HZ) 14.25045/1970002. Making it NTSC/50HZ so that explains why no colors on most displays. It uses Video chip : 341-0060-A (instead of 341-0030-A in North America)

341-0060 – III – ROM 2kb*8 – Video scan decode ROM 50 Hz
341-0030 – III – ROM 2kb*8 – Video elements/attributes generator

https://kb.pocnet.net/wiki/Apple_Chip-Bezeichnungen

 

TESTING THE SWEDISH/FINNISH-KEYBOARD LAYOUT (configuration file)

testing_keyboard_layout_s

As this is Swedish keyboard model (same as in Finland) i thought to see how the localization works with SOS. I booted the SOS Utiltiies and with SCP i loaded up the language/keyboard configuration and saved it. It’s fun to see those ÅÄÖ on screen even i prefer US-layout in a long run. Happy to see Apple did put effort on localization this much. This leads me to thinking, there problably never were any Apple /// original manuals translated to Finnish?

Works in any SOS disk with SOS.DRIVER file on it and the driver added naturally.

Fully functional /// – is that even possible?

So after all the trouble, goofin’ around and repairs, the /// seems to be working fine. My herd of ///’s have grown since i started this article – so more repairs were ahead with two more of these. Luckily slightly easier.  /// is great machine with lots of potential. It’s great shame no more homebrew hardware/software have been released to it over the years. 

What still i haven’t figured out is that strange “humming” noise that most if not all, Apple ///’s make. It feels like it comes from the speaker… but why? Or is the the grounding in PSU causing this? 

 

FinApple 2020 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

Booti – card with Apple ///

booti_for_apple_iii_s

Booti – card by David Mutimer is nice small card (or two parted card) for Apple II. It is smartport/blockdevice card meaning you are able to use it as (ProDOS) HDD. It’s NOT a floppy emulator.

The support for Apple /// is based on Problock v0.0.4 beta by Robert Justice who also provided driver boot floppy images as well HDD images. See his github for more details (link at the end).

booti-card_apple_3_s

The card fits really nicely without any problems inside the Apple ///. Some cards like CFFA3000 and CFFA2 had their problems before. It’s very tiny card.

I installed the Booti – card to my “main” /// to see if would work in different scenarios and emulations (expect CP/M that i didn’t get around testing).

My setup:
-Softcard /// (#1)
-Titan /// plus (#2)
-Titan /// plus //e (#3)
-Booti (#4)
-Clock chip/batteries
-OnThree 512k RAM expansion

-Booti = Slot 4 + extention cable for USB – memory (get’s the USB – memory outside of the case, more convinient surely)
-Setup to Blockmode 

Robert is offering these images at his github:

selector.start_pb3.dsk – a Selector boot disk with the driver preloaded.
sos_selector_hd.zip – a 16mb po file for use with the above disk
bosboot_pb3.dsk – a bos boot disk with the driver preloaded
bos_cffa_32.hd – MAME hd file for CFFA2 with /BOS & /HOME.
bos.po.zip – a 16mb po file with BOS for use with BOOTI

configuration_menu_s

Files needed:

-Setup the Booti with “bos.po”- a 16mb po file with BOS for use with BOOTI
-Boot floppy “bosboot_pb3.dsk” – a BOS-boot disk with the driver preloaded.

The driver works with according to Robert:

-CFFA v1.3 – The CF Card needs to be formatted for Apple2 mode. This means 32mb partitions which are  problematic with SOS.
-CFFA v2 – Only tested with MAME emulation. The CF Card needs to be formatted for Apple2 mode. This means  32mb partitions which are problematic with SOS. . In MAME, if you use the option to mount a 16mb .2mg or .po image directly, then it works well.
-Booti – Tested with the card set to block mode
-CFFA3000 – Works ok booting Selector and sysutils, but will not work with BOS for some as yet undetermined reason
-Focus – Only tested with the MAME emulation

There is also cards like ClassicIDE that is basicly clone of the CFFA2. 

 

Setup/regular Apple ///

-Boot with Apple II emulation (48k) floppy (built-in)
-Boot Apple II floppy > break 
-Go to monitor > CALL -151
* 42:FF N CX0AG (where X=slot where booti card is installed)
-> Configuration menu
-> Choose the HDD image “bos.po” in this case
-Boot with boot floppy i.e. “bosboot_pb3.dsk” (make real floppy or use suitable emulator with adapter cable)

Setup with Titan cards installed:

-Boot with TITAN emulation floppy. 
-Boot BOOTI firwmware update disk in //e mode 
-BRUN FS (doesn’t work everytime for some reason)
-> Configuration menu
-> Choose HDD image

Or you can access the menu from monitor:

-Boot with TITAN emulation floppy.
-Start //e emulation > break
-Go to monitor > CALL -151
* 42:FF N CX0AG (where X=slot where the booti card is installed)
-> Configuration menu
-> Choose HDD image.

 

 

Apple /// mode:

hdd_working_s

I was able to boot the BOS-HDD image and load all software preinstalled to the image. This is really awesome solution compared to anything else! I am not fan of configuring partitions and formats to CF – cards..

 

Apple //e mode (Titan):

a3_total_replay_s

Under the Titan, Apple //e emumation i tested the recent brilliant collection of games, “Total Replay” and it worked as well! I just would need joystick installed to my emulation card in order to play the games.

 

What next?

Robert have shown videos where he is able to boot the HDD image *directly* from the USB-memory.  He’s developing custom ROM for the /// that will allow him to do just that. That is what have been in dreams of Apple /// user’s since 1980. Direct boot from HDD. Nice!

 

LINKS:

https://github.com/robjustice/Problock3
https://github.com/robjustice/Problock3/releases

 

Apple /// forever!
FinApple 2020 (c)

Apple /// – The ReActiveMicro Drive/Turbo IDE Controller

“We offer the ReActiveMicro Drive/Turbo IDE Controller in several configurations. It can come fully setup “Plug And Play” ready with a presetup 512MB CF Card and Dual CF Card Adapter. Just install the card in your Apple //e enhanced and boot to ProDOS or GS/OS. Or you can buy the card with or without the IDE to Dual CF Adapter and CF Card”. (reactivemicro.com)

 

card_s

Thanks to Henry Courbis/Reactivemicro, i got my hands on the latest (under development) firmware that should allow the card to be used with other than Apple //e enhanced and Apple IIGS -models.

I tested the card with ][+ and ][ europlus (64k), and it worked fine as ProDOS hdd and all software loaded up nicely what i went thru of. My good ol’ europlus give it’s magic some while testing – that was first time for me ever. It gave nice popcorn smell for the room..

There is no driver for Apple /// so it would not obiously work with the /// but, as i happen to have the Titan Plus /// and Titan Plus //e cards installed, i thought to try the card under //e 128k emulation.

installed_s
Installed in vacant slot 4.

It does work, kind of. It crashes occationally, not totally sure why as of yet. But i was able to load bunch of software and games from the ProDOS 32Mb partition. 

prodos_loaded_s

-Titan //e emulation floppy booted
-Start //e emulation
->RESET<
-PR#4,1 (Slot 4, Partition 1 for the ProDOS hdd partition)
-Loads up the ProDOS 2.4.2 menu system
-Loading software/games (Karateka, Choplifter etc).

karateka_a3_s

“Karateka”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHctOJn8Jmk

The built-in Apple ][+ emulation mode would not work with the card due the silly limation of 48k RAM on it.

So.. hope somebody makes driver for the card so it can be used as HDD in /// mode as well….
 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

 

Tillbehör till Apple!

booket_card_s

Just few finds lately,

Apple II & /// brouchure “Tillbehör till Apple” (Gylling System-Elektronik AB), Febuari 1982, In Swedish. In English it would be translated as “Accessories for Apple”. It lists all kinds of producs that were available for Apple II and /// in Sweden, late 1981-early 1982.

Disk II analog board, for repairing some Disk II drive i have with missing analog board/broken parts. Never have too many of these. Actually i could use complate DISK II-drive without the enclousure, to replace one early DISK /// (in Disk II enclousure) mechanical parts. Contact me if you have one?

 

“Tillbehör till Apple” PDF (OCR in Swedish) is available here: https://archive.org/details/Tillbehor_Till_Apple

The quality is not perfect. This is first scannings with the new CZUR AURA book scanner and i’ve not got the setup pefected as of yet. I might rescan this but here it is for time being.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Nu tittar vi nÀrmare pÄ Apple ///

logo_s

Found recently a Swedish microcomputer magazine issue, “Mikrodatorn – Nr. 3 April 1981”. It had preview/test of very early Apple /// with 96k. Those were imported to Sweden by Gylling System-Elektronik AB who later also published a lof of Apple II and /// Software and manuals translated to Swedish. I have few of those catalogs already (scanned at archive.org).

This short article is now scanned at:
https://archive.org/details/NuTittarViNarmarePaAppleIIIMikrodatornNr3April1981Swedish

Always looking to find more Nordic Apple II and /// material (software, hardware, manuals etc)!

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

 

My Nordic Apple ///

closeup_keyboard_1_s_s

One thing i’ve wanted to find for ages, but with such a little luck so far, was Apple /// that would have the localized keyboard (Swedish/Finnish) but those have been oddly difficult to find. Apple ///’s were not by far popular (business) computers in Nordics area and most ///’s seem to have have.. failed and recycled long long time ago.. 

In Sweden, they must have sold more ///’s than elsewhere in Nordics area as they did produce and translate software manuals in Swedish. I have few software packages that have Swedish manuals included in the package. This makes me wonder, what other products there might have been released?

But yes, patience is a virtue.. and i was finally able to find one! With the strike of luck i was able to locate one from Sweden and it was very kindly, shipped to me.

The case is in fairly good condition but naturally some yellowing is evident. There’s some sticker glue residue that should be easy to clean off as well one sticker that have fell off and reveals much lighter color beneath it. The Apple /// logo oddly seems to loose it’s color so often but it’s easy to repaint with silver paint pen.

..and with the ///’s, one should not expect to have stable unit.. very easily.

DETAILS AND SPECIFICATIONS:

bottom_plate_s
Bottom pan metal – “wavy” kind = early A2S1-era of models.

keyboard_layout_s
Swedish/Finnish keyboard layout is quite different from the typical US model.

apple_iii_keyboard_swedish_s
Swedish/Finnish-layout:

apple_iii_keyboard_us_s
US-layout:

 

serial_s
Serial number: A3S1-020817
12v, 128k model originally according to the serial label. It looks like it’s been upgraded to 256k (markings)so the board would have been upgraded to 5v as well.

psu_back_codes_s
Regular european power supply: PSU 220VAC | 50-60HZ | 0.5AMP
Should really replace the powersupply with universal powersupply from reactivemicro.

OPENING AND CLEANING:

Just basic cleaning to be done before testing.

I opened the case and removed things that actually can be removed. The Apple /// case is one heavy construction that weights about 12 KG when assembled. The only parts that come off easily are : the top case (plastic), keyboard cover (plastic) and the keyboard assembly itself, floppy drive, the main logig board (with the base pan attached) and the power supply (with base pan attached).

case_empty_opened_s
The rest of it is the very heavy, one piece, casing that holds all these components. I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed this case – it makes so little sense to create such closed enclousure without basicly any ventilation holes anywhere. Not even for the power supply, expect in back, but if you have four cards installed… no holes anywhere. They might have been thinking passive cooling with the basicly one-piece heavy metallic enclosure but.. it just doesn’t work very well.

apple_iii_arrived_condition_s
Top case:
Removed the top case and cleaned it. Some label-off spray was good choise for removing the sticker glue residue. There were also one sticker that was obiously removed and underneath the plastic was lighter in color. Only Retr0brightning would solve that one if would retr0bright whole enclousure. It doesn’t bother me that much really. It is kind of mark of the past, lived life.

case_empty_opened_keyboard_s
The keyboard seems to be missing few screws underneath the case. Need to find replacements for those. Used some wipes and compressed air to get rid of all that dust and crust from the there. I was lazy at this point to actually wash the keycaps (will do so before putting it back together…). The spacebar seems to have some issues as it seems to lock down from left side easily. Need to investigate that mechanism how it works and give it good cleaning.

main_logicboard_s
Removed the board from the case and investigated it. It looked fine and normal. While it was removed, it’s always good idea to press down all the chips.. (remove static electricity first or use the wrist band) and clean it up with isoprophyl alcohol if available.

upgraded_chips_logicboard_s
The board was originally 12v model but it was upgraded to 5v operation by swapping few IC’s at locations:
C11 (341-0044 > 341-0061)
C13 (341-0042 > 341-0063 (for 256K memory board)

position_r58_modification_s
Also the location R58 have been modified as it’s clearly been desoldered.

“Also the R58, which is located just above location C13. On a 12-volt logic board a 27 ohm, 1/4 watt resistor will be present. On a 5-volt logic board R58 will be missing and a solder bridge will connect the small solder pads on the logic board under R58’s mounting position on the board.”

ram_expansion_5v_256k_s
As the main logig board was upgraded to 12v > 5v – the memory board were upgraded to 256k 5v board.

 floppy_drive_s
Just removed the protective cover and the analog board, cleaned it with compressed air and some parts with isoprophyl alcohol. The read-in head was really amazingly clean, but cleaned it as well.

internal_floppy_drive_serial_s
Floppy drive serial nnumber.

 psu_manuf_date_s
Power supply ooked really clean. Made in week 51, 1980. The protection around the power cable seems bit worn, but i’ll put an another layer in top of it for time being.

apple_logo_s
Repainting the logo. Silver paint pen is great for this. Paiting with slightly dry tip of the pen gets it done. Easy fix.

 

So.. let’s hope it works….

 

SOME BASIC TESTING:

12-volt models have diagnostic’s in ROM so that’s what it goes into when it’s botted without the disk. It passes it OK.

first_hardware_test_ok_s
I tested booting the /// with the test disk, “Confidence test”. It booted fine and tested the system without any issues. The RAM test went thru nicely, i didn’t however run it with extensive period of time in this point but long enough to see if there would be any instant issues.

However when rebooting, sometimes the unit feels like it’s not receiving enough current so it seems to fail loading the screen and it get’s all messed up. Also some buzzing sound (getting louder) could be heard. I think all ///’s make strange noises..  Also the keyboard light seems to have been burned off. That means when the unit is started, it goes directly to the diagnostics mode and in order to boot it, one needs to hit reset+control to boot it. The burned lightbulb does not prevent using the computer, it’s just annoyance.

But i went for the safe way and ordered the proven, high quality, “universal power supply” from reactivemicro.com.  It’s very easy to install and you can order new connection cable as well. Should receive it in few weeks, i hope.

adjusting_the_drive_speed_s
I kept testing the unit with known risk of the power supply releasing the “magic white smoke” anytime.. and realized the floppy drive might need some mainantace, so i just did what i’ve done with my other ///’s. Started with obious reasons, swapped the IC “CA3146” and it helped the loading process. Then adjusted the speed and the disk hardware test went thru just fine. Booted also the Apple ][ Emulation mode and “Oidzone” the game by Michael Packard, played fine. It’s still picky when/what type of disks it would read..

adjusting_knob_s
Adjusting the drive speed: 

logo_repainted_s_s
The original logo was worn off so i painted them with silver paint pen. It wasn’t perfect and might need some rework, but it’s pretty ok so far.

wap_disk_keyboard_files_s

After i found the Swedish/Finnish -keyboard layout file (apple3.org: APPLE-3-WAP-SYS-02B.dsk) i tried to make working disk that the Nordic one would read. No dice. It just wont read them! I does read mostly all other floppies i have made for the ///’s but the new ones, no. Odd. ADTPro works with Uthernet II but for some reason when i try to Receive the file, it crashes ($A01). All hardware tests are ok. After a while (kept it running for longer time) it starts to refuse booting, giving random video errors and characters on screen. This is a sign to put it aside, and wait, for the Universal power supply to arrive. I could.. of cause, borrow one power supply from an another /// of mine. Let’s see if i get around doing so. 

What is left to be done?
-Install the new Universal Power supply.
-Keyboard light bulb replacement
-Test the keyboard layout.

 

NORDIC MATERIAL WANTED!

I hope to find more Nordic Apple /// software and manuals etc. I have the devices to preserve the materials either by scanning or reading floppies to disk images (.dsk/.ar2/.woz) with Applesauce.

Any help is very much appreciated with this task. It would mean a lot for me.
Thank you.

 

LINKS:

Apple3.org 
https://www.apple3.org 

Universal Power Supply
https://www.reactivemicro.com

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

Apple III PFS report med Handledning för anvÀndaren:

booklet_and_keyboard_s

Found an nice boxed copy of “FPS: Report” for Apple ///. What makes it interesting (to me) is that it’s complete set (it looks like it) and it’s localized version and have two manuals in Swedish. These localized materials are very interesting to me.

 

box_opened_s

PFS: Report (Apple ///)
-Two software floppies “Report”, “Softwork”
-FPS: Software Catalog
-FPS: Report – Manual (Ringbound, In English)
-FPS: Report – Handledning för användaren (Two Swedish manuals/are the same)

 

The disks are now imaged to .dsk and .woz and available in “ususal places”.

I’ll scan the Swedish manual when i finally.. someday, do receive the new book scanner i’ve ordered.

 

These kinds of finds keep me going with this hobby!

Please contact me if you have more Nordic Apple II or /// software, manuals – or anything.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever

Apple /// Softcard ///

The Softcard /// was produced by Microsoft specifically for the Apple ///. It was basically the same as the original Softcard produced for the Apple II which was Microsofts’s very first hardware product. The Softcard /// was just redesigned to fit inside the Apple III. The Softcard /// gave the Apple /// the ability to run the CP/M operating system and included a Z-80 CPU with 64k RAM. Relased in June 1980.

I’ve kind of wanted this card for some time and been looking for one but so often the price have been too high for me and availability has been quite poor. Luckily recently i was able to win auction that had the card and two floppies with it.

card_s
-Softcard /// 
-SOS-CP/M Utilities Diskette (076-0001) Apple 1982
-Apple Softcard III CP/M Master Diskette v2.20 (076-0002) Apple 1982

The manuals were missing but i believe i have most of the manuals that belong to the original package as well the CP/M book by Osbourne.

INSTALLATION:

What the manuals mentions that the card can be inserted in any slot but slot 2 is recommended. One drive is needed, but two drives are recommended naturally for smoother experience and usage. Also the 5-megabyte ProFile hardrive is supported.

I installed the card to the Apple /// that had Titan /// plus // & Titan /// plus //e – cards and the “OnThree” 512k memory expansion -card installed. That would make the /// even more usefull with even larger software support :

– Apple /// 256k/512k 
– Apple //e 128k 65C02
– CP/M 56k

My setup was as follows:

a3_cards_installed_s

#1 – Softcard ///  
#2 – Titan /// plus //
#3 – Titan /// plus //e
#4 – CFFA3000 (for Apple II-testing purposes)

This all reminds me of Commodore 128. You could run C64, C128 and CP/M software on it as it had dual processors inside:
-MOS 8502 @ 2 MHz (C64 & C128)
-Zilog Z80B @ 2 MHz (CP/M)

 

WHAT NEXT?

setup_s

Next step is to install the ClassicIDE-card with CF-card acting as HDD. I’ve had the card for years but there haven’t been much use for it after getting CFFA3000 for the IIGS. The ClassicIDE should work with the /// with CFFA-driver but that’s something to be seen. The physical space is very limited so i need to get an angled IDE-adapter in order to install the CF-card.

I do have 5MB Profile drive but .. it’s really noisy and how realible it is, who knows. If that can be modernized with CF-card, it’s fine with me.

I do have the “Legend Memory S-Card” that i thought to put on /// but right now i’m running out of slots.  I might install it to my another /// that is quite in stock condition, only calendar/clock-battery added so far. Just need to get RAM-chips to it..

There’s not lots of options for OS’s to be run with the ///:
-SOS
-DOS 3.3
-ProDOS 2.4.2
-GEOS
-A2Desktop
-Mousedesk
-CP/M
-BOS

That reminds me, i should install and test the mousecard with the /// (& //e emulation).

THOUGHTS?

Running CP/M software with Apple /// at the time, was as uselfull as it was for Apple II’s. There were large base of business software made already for CP/M when the /// was released so it was usefull addition to your ///. In this case as i have both of the  Titan cards on my /// the support for different software is quite maximized as the Titans allows 128k 65c02 Apple //e software run on the ///.

There were never that much software released for ///.. You bought your expensive and unrealiable /// and used  Apple II and CP/M software on it..sad. The /// had great potential.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// 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.