Category Archives: Disk II

Light up my drive : DISK II-LED

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

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

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


INSTALLATION:

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

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

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

INSTALLING TO APPLE //C:

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


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

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

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


THE DISK II-LED COLOR CONTROL PANEL:

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

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


LED CONFIGURATION:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TESTING THE LED COLOR SETUPS:

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

 

 

THOUGHTS?

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

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

 

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

 

 

a2heaven_logo

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

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.