Category Archives: Apple III

Cursor /// for Apple ///:

cursor_apple_iii_keyboard_company_s

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

cursor_iii_closeup_front_s

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

cursor_iii_serial_number_s

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

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

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

2) Two orange, regular buttons.

Both have the same product code, K680-0002

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

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

sandman_closeup_s

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

oidzone_s

Apple II emulation mode:

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

 

Game cards for ///

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

 

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

gamecard3rb

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

 

The Gameport ///

micro-sci-gameport_s

MicroSci Gamport /// 

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

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

 

Modifications:

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

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

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

PARTS YOU WILL NEED:

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

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

A 25 watt soldering pencil and some rosin core solder.

INSTRUCTIONS: 

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

 modify

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

 

Apple /// forever!
FinApple 2020 (C)

 

 

 

 

Corvus hardisk file transfer:

front_s

I got this super interesting 20MB hardrive made by CORVUS earlier this year among other Apple II and /// hardware. These things were really expensive and reasonably rare specially over here in the Nordic region.

psu_s

What was nice that it was 50/60HZ 120V/240V so no need for power converters.

fuse_s

The fuse holder had interesting options from 100 up to 240V.

inside_s

Inside view.

 

back_s

Backside view. These can be attached to VCR or an another Corvus unit etc.

There’s lots of switches so first thing first, i looked for manual how to check all the dip switches and switches under the front panel…. at this time i was only intereted what data was on it, if any, and if it actually would work.

The actual data rescue:

This is how i did it. There might be better ways but this is how i got the files out of there. I could have imaged the disk maybe, with ADTpro, but i did want to play around with Pascal, the Corvus software and the Booti-card this time.

-Corvus HDD 20MB with Corvus-interface card in Slot #4
-Booti-card in Slot #2 with USB memory, ProDOS 16MB hdd-image with pre-made folders.

-Boot floppy: “Corvus Utilities for Apple ///”  (had .CORVUS drivers, added .PROFILE .PB3 by Robert Justice) and then Apple /// Pascal disk 1 as it’s Pascal based software.

corvus-hdd-volumes

Just basicly executed the  : VMGR.CODE (Corvus Volume Manager).
-The drive had Pascal volumes on disk that needs to be mounted first. Size can be anything no limits.
-Listed the volumes
-Mounted volume to #x (x = number) i.e. /LASSE

-Filer > Transfer
– /LASSE/=, /USB/= (choose all files from folder and copy).

 

Data and documents:

What were there? Lots of documents about “Sagobyn” (i had to look it up what it was) as well private letters to Lindgren family members. At first i thought these were written by world famous author, Astrid Lindgren herself, but after taking closer look they were actually written by Lena Törnqvist during 1988-1990. Lena Törnqvist is a Swedish literary scholar and librarian, who until 2006 was curator at the Astrid Lindgren Museum.

Sagobyn:
“The idea of creating a ‘story village’ with settings from Astrid Lindgren’s books originally came from the Isaksson,  Jalminger and Soowik families in Vimmerby. In 1981, they built the first house together, Katthult, on a 1:3 scale. Over the years, more settings were added to Sagobyn (the story village), as it was then called, all built on a 1:3 scale. In time, the facility became too big for the three families to manage and they sold Sagobyn in 1989. The change in owner led to the creation of a new company – Astrid Lindgrens Värld AB. Since January 2010, Astrid Lindgren’s World has been owned jointly by Astrid Lindgren Förvaltning AB (91%) and the Municipality of Vimmerby (9%).

We can confirm that when we closed the gates for the 2018 season, Astrid Lindgren’s World had had 10,542,842 visitors from the start of 1981 to today.”

Astrid Lindgren:
“Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren, 14 November 1907 – 28 January 2002) was a Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays. She is best known for several children’s book series, featuring Pippi Longstocking, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, and the Six Bullerby Children (Children of Noisy Village in the US), and for the children’s fantasy novels Mio, My Son, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, and The Brothers Lionheart. Lindgren worked on the Children’s Literature Editorial Board at the Rabén & Sjögren publishing house in Stockholm and wrote more than 30 books for children.[4] In January 2017, she was calculated to be the world’s 18th most translated author,[5] and the fourth most translated children’s writer after Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Lindgren has so far sold roughly 165 million books worldwide. In 1994, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for “her unique authorship dedicated to the rights of children and respect for their individuality.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrid_Lindgren

These files were delivered to Lena Törnqvist/Astrid Lindgren museum.

FinApple 2020 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

 

Apple ProFile repairs:

fin_profile_logo_side_s

Just some thoghts about few Apple Profile hardisks i had repaired recently. Basicly all of them needed new safety capasitors (aka “Rifa’s”) on their power supplies, some cleaning and even trying to repair and gluing the broken case back together.

Drive #1 (from Spain)

This one i’ve had for some years. I originally got it with early 12v model Apple /// (that i no longer have). The drive had it’s case broken during transporation but it did work. So i opened this to do some repairs to the case, clean inside and do some mainantance for the power supply by replacing the safety capasitors.

spa_profile_logic_s

Oh boy.. was this thing FILTHY! Lots of dust absolutely EVERYWHERE inside. Just insane. Lots of cleaning to be done…the logic board was so dusty i could not even read the text from chips or board itself.

spa_profile_rifa_s

Power supply had almost blown Rifa’s on it. Good timing to swap those. Should never power up anything with these on before replacing them….

 spa_profile_hdd_s

The case itself was also dusty and had lots of black dust from the motor. Cleaning time…

 spa_corner

I did what i could and glued the pieces i had left to the case – it’s not pefect but that will have to do. 

spa_glued_corner

Atleast the case holds up now a bit better.

spa_profile_bottom_part_corner

Every possible corner of the drive was broken….

spa_back_grille

The drive itself worked after the cleanup and power supply repairs. It was SOS formatted but erased and empty.

 

Drive #2 (Sweden)

swe_rifas_blow_s

When i received this Profile earlier this year, i booted it with the /// and found Catalyst menu. When accessing the installed software the safety capasitors (aka “Rifa’s”) exploded… lots of smoke and nasty popcorn smell. It took some days to get rid of that smell..  That wasn’t even all, the ///’s power supply did the same a bit later – so it was time to get the soldering iron and get to work!

swe_board_s

Opened up the drive & took some photos for documentation (good practise). The drive was quite clean inside, just some dust but nothing compared to the “Spanish” Profile…

swe_psu_under

The power supply pcb was really difficult to remove. Those screws were really stuck due some locking glue/paint on them and took lots of time removing them. 

swe_psu_s

One safety capasitor had blown but i changed them all as i had the parts:

0,01uF (2pcs)
0,1uF  (1pcs)
0,47uF (1pcs)

 

swe_lots_of_solder_s

Lots of caps in this board were soldered really annoyingly as the legs been bent towards the pcb itself, like in “L” shape. Took lots of time to remove some of these. Also they used A LOT of solder at factory. Good practice if nothing else.

After that did just overall cleaning for the case and put it back. 

swe_catalyst_menu_s

Hope the drive itself is still readable, it does make horrible noise when it’s spinning. Sounds like the hardisk bearings (?) are about the give in. There’s some bad blocks on that drive as well. Should backup that….

Drive #3 (Finland)

fin_profile_front

This Profile i found locally and the unit itself is pretty clean.

psu_recapped_s

Did the same mainantance to it as the others, new safety capasitors and cleaning. The drive was really clean, only the analog board was bit dusty. Quick job and we’re done.

fin_clean_s

The drive inside after just a bit of cleaning.

Any data on it?

It was nice to notice that the Profile drives can be reasonably “quiet” as well.. Felt like a new drive compared to the other ones. Found that that the disk was ProDOS-formatted, but SOS is able to read it. There were some Apple II data on it, the typical Appleworks data, some basic programs and games. Too bad i do not have Apple II profile interface card – but the data can be preserved with theh Apple /// as well.

..and ADTpro fails.

I installed the Uthernet II and used ADTpro 2.0.3 (for SOS) with Uthernet II activated. However, it would read about 60-80 blocks then start to give errors (XXXXXX). Transfered one DOS 3.3 floppy without any problems. hmm… what gives? Transfering whole 9728 block hdd would really take long time so another solution was needed…

fin_data_s

So, let’s just filecopy then.

I thought to use Robert Justice’s disk “SOS System Utils” with Problock3 driver. I had Booti-card in slot #2 with empty ProDOS 16MB HDD-image on it. Added regular .PROFILE driver to floppy. Checked and changed the name and slot settings for the profile drivers so they don’t conflict with each other.

File copy:
.PROFILE2 /PROFILE – interface card, driver and profile drive (prodos)
.PROFILE1 /HDD16MB – booti + usb + 16MB prodos hdd image 
->File copy

Copy the files:
.PROFILE2/=
To the files:
.PROFILE1/=

Took only few minutes and we’re done.

Cables and interface cards:

profile_interface_card_1984_s

I honesty didn’t know this – well i haven’t used the Profile very often so it hadn’t been something i’ve worked closely with. But. There are two different types, revisions if you will, Profile interface cards for the Apple ///.

Early card:
-DM1 and DM1 are 330 Ohm resistor arrays.
-Made before Oct. 1983.

Later card:
-DM1 and DM1 resistor arrays changed from 330 Ohm to 100 Ohm.
-Made after October 1983.

Cables: 
590-0046 Flat for either card type 100 or 330 Ohmm resistors.
590-0202 RFI shilded for only the new 100 Ohm resistor interface card.

apple3_tower_of_power_s
“Tower of /// Power”

I’m looking for Profile Interface card for the Apple II (820-5006).

FinApple 2020 (c)
Apple /// Forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.