Category Archives: Hardware

Let there be S-O-U-N-D! – Mockingboard 4c for Apple //c

setup_1_s

Mockingboard 4c is Apple II mockingboard version specially made for Apple //c. There were Mockingboard D for the Apple //c made back in the day, and it was placed in external enclouse. It however wasn’t 100% compatible with the other Mockinboard-supported software or games. The same goes for the Mockingboard 4c.

mockingboard-d-box-front-b-fixed_s
Mockingboard D (apple.asimov.net)

The Mockingboard 4c works as it would be installed in Slot #4, but does not support the speech-chip. It have also possiblity to adjust the audio levels from Apple //c’s own audio knob, by just soldering one cable. There’s also set of two speakers, you can install inside your Apple //c for stereo output. There’s also a cable provided you can install to have the audio output to external amplifer/speakers.

Mockingboard 4c is developed, manufactured and sold by Ian Kim of apple2.net in South Korea and it comes in complete package with :

-The Mockingboard 4c card with 65C02 installed
-User’s Manual (printed)
-Set of two speakers with wires
-Wiring for adjusting the audio level of the Mockingboard 4c (needs soldering).
-Ext. audio cable 

 
INSTALLATION:

case

-After opening the Apple //c it’s pretty simple and straightforward.

teline_1_s
-If you have model A2S4000 – you need to remove the keyboard bracing due lack of space otherwise and the board wont fit inside. It’s matter of just pushing two connectors and removing the bracing.

installed_1b_sjpg

-Remove the 65C02 CPU and insert the CPU to the Mockingboard’s CPU-slot. Mine however came with 65C02 already installed. 
-Solder the supplied wire to UA14 4th pin (red circle) and attach to the board. I tried using “hook cables” but there’s not enough space installing one properly.
-Install supplied set of two, speakers inside the case, front in each side. I used hot glue to keep the speakers in place.

The Mockingboard 4c is actually installable to Apple //e as well (confirmed by Ian Kim) you just need 40-pin DIP-connector cable to move the board further away from the processor slot itself as there’s no space for the board. Why would you do it is then again an another question.. but it could be done. It could save you a slot in //e..

I tried replacing the 65C02 with ZipChip 4000 but i could not get it to boot. It went totally garbage screen directly either 4MHz or 1MHz modes. There’s no space either for it under the keyboard, even with the braces removed.

My setup: Apple //c (PAL, Nordic):
+ Custom ROM 4x (by https://github.com/mgcaret/rom4x/blob/master/rom4x/README.md)
+ Mockingboard 4c with two speakers (by apple2.net)
+ A2CVGA-adapter (by a2heaven.com)
+ wDrive (by kboohk.com)
+ Internal-External Drive Switcher for Apple IIc (by bigmessofwires) 
+ Laptop replacement powersupply (from ebay)

 

USAGE?

Some software/games needs patching to work correctly, mainly those with hardcoded Mockingboard slot-coding (5 instead of 4). Ian have released many of these at his webpage : http://quick09.tistory.com/search/mockingboard?page=4 in .nib format.

Mockingboard 4c uses the Slot 4 but the //c is already using it permanently. It needs to be configured when Mockingboard 4c is wanted to be used.

From applesoft:
POKE 50179,255:POKE 50100,255

or from monitor:
]CALL-151
*C403:FF FF

Restart:
PR#6 
or *C600G 

for booting the Floppydisk or Diskimage.

I played several games that had Mockingboard support on them and they worked fine and sounded as good as they should. Also tried several of music disks/demos as well and most of them worked as well. 

The small speakers are not very high quality but you can install the cable and use external speakers as well if you want. I didn’t install that as i wanted to kept the setup minimal by size, everything installed inside. 

THOUGHTS ?

It is great that also Apple //c user’s can enjoy better sound quality in form of Mockingboard 4c, eatleast in some extent. Some software however do require patching in order to work or manual configuring before booting. So it’s pretty much matter of trying how to get the title running and working. 

Installation is not that difficult if you follow the instructions. But it does block the possibity to use memory expanions or clock-chips. 

My unit does make some static hum when it’s turned on. Not sure what causes it, the design, installation or vintage parts being just old.

There’s something so cute to have Apple //c with mockingboard installed!

 

LINKS:
Video: https://youtu.be/9QXbLK3mdUQ
Mockingboard manual & disk images at: http://wwww.apple2.net 

logo_ians_dream

Mockingboard 4c is available from http://www.apple2.net or http://www.ebay.com 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever.

Aapi Juntura – interview:

I thought of interviewing a long-term Apple II user, Aapi Juntura, to my blog and to collect his thoughts and memories of early Finnish Apple II history and his career with Computers, hardware and Information Technology.

I sent few questions to Aapi by email. This is rough English translation from the original Finnish interview. 

aapi_juntura_insinoori_edit_s
AAPI JUNTURA

Who are you and where you come from?

Aapi Juntura: Siina Maria Keskinarkaus gave birth to me in April 1943. My father Otto Jalmari was a small farmer. A total of 11 children were born into the family, of wich seven are still alive. I am the middle one.

I attended elementary school in Peurajärvi in 1950-1956, secondary school in Ranua in 1956-60.

google_map_s
google maps

I got into TVH (Road and Civil Engineering Authority) as a trainee in summer of 1960 and after that i took map drawing course. In the spring of 1961 i took engineering job at district of Kemijärvi where a giant company Marion dug a new riverbed in the Kemijoki river. Served in the Finnish Army in the Oulu Artillery Regiment 1962-1963. I was a rookie from Ranua, who protested against the superiors.. According to the military passport i’m a sergeant.

I applied for Oulu University of Technology in 1960, and i got to choose wether to start in 1961 or 1964. So I rented a room in downtown from a elderly person. He heated the oven and kept the washing water in the enamel containers. In addition, he often talked about nice things about human life. In the dances of the workers house 1965 I met a postwoman who worked with IBM punchcards and got even paid for doing so. I didn’t want to live together because she was moody and only 18 years old.

poroja_s
Reindeers in Lapland

I graduated as a civil engineer in 1968. I went in the summer of 1968 to Sodankylä to work as a foreman on a forest road road construction site. Engineer Esko Valtanen from the district asked me to apply for a job in the engineering district and there i designed bridges, forest roads, drains etc. I handled the checkups of water passages in Lapland. Mikko Puronlahti advised to become a vocational school teacher for techical/map-drawing. In Lapland, vocational school students were in 1960s and 1990s the most eager to learn in my opinion. The work as of a teacher was very rewarding, the teacher learns the most. A couple of times they asked me to apply for a principal’s post but that would have ment less summer vacation time and the daily race for resources and have pecking order i didn’t care much of.

 

What was your first touch to computers and when?

VTT (technical research centre of finland) had purchased computers of the size of a closet and there Pekka Malinen taught us FORTRAN-programming at TEKU (University of Technology) in the spring evenings. The first print of the program that was run, we got “SYNTAX ERROR”. It was just colon being incorrect.. A third run produced a table with a line printer moments at different points in the beam. At that time, there were electronic calculators with the tube screen and they were able to calculate trigonometric calculations as well. The real big change happened in 1972, the HP35 calculator made spreadsheets unnecessary. It’s reverse Polish logic RPN was handy in my work for at least a decade. Popular Elektonics-magazine i found through a family friend, Hannu Ylioja. There were ads for devices and components and wiring diagrams.

hp35
HP-35 calculator

Vocational school had electrical and radio engineers and i was also interested what they studied. The first radio I built in 1974. That’s where my Electronics hobby began. In 1977 there were rumors of memory circuits and microprocessors. So the school acquired a microcomputer building kit in 1978.

apple_ii_setup_s
Apple II setup for drawing and printing

The first Apple II came to Lapland central vocational school in 1980 by a new teacher of telephone dept. Four programmable SHARP-calculators were networked in it.

At school, Markku Siivola (a psychiatrist from Muurola) held Apple evening courses about Word Processing and Spreadsheets, Magic Windows and VisiCalc. Then it became clear in seconds that typing had taken a giant leap. No scratching or correcting but proofreading and editing on screen before printing. Cost estimates and lists were redone due to minor changes. All you need to do is make changes to the spreadsheet and at the same time the total amount is done. Maybe a 90% improvement compared to the mechanical calculators.

watamabe_plotter_a3_picture_2_s
Watanabe digi-plotter, map of land division drawn (1982).

In addition, with Apple II’s graphics tablet most maps could be digitized and then edited in many ways, the scratch pen and knife became obsolete. The Watanabe Digi-Plotter was able to print A3-size illustrations. The print scale and details could be selected or added. Lots of development opportunities at once!

I was a map drawing teacher and immediately made a purchase proposal for Apple ][ despite the fact that back in 1972 the acquisition of an electronic calculator (HP35) the Principal found it unnecessary. I remembered this in my purchase proposal presentation, total cost: 40,000 FIM. The normal annual purchase limit was 2000 FIM. To my surprise, there was no quarrel and a year later, in 1981, we reached the digital age with the students. 

The jobs for the following years had been selected. I programmed just about everything about map and document production on a computer, if a good program didn’t exists. There were thousands and thousands of BASIC program lines. 

As a tool for teaching and learning, the Apple II turned out to be a great tool for about five years, the limits came against the limitations of speed, display and memory at the end naturally.

Graphics charts were used as a basic tool for digitization for surveying training in mapping. In this case, the map on paper became adaptable and versionable for different uses. Although the accuracy of digitization was not good, it was a good fit for teaching assignments. In addition to the lines were needed map characters, text size and gradient variation, color rendering was needed. Areas were created when the pattern was digitized to be closed.

Splitting the map into sub-drawings came at the same time, so it could print separately, borders, roads, buildings, fields, plots, landmarks, etc … I needed to control the printers one by one, for example the HP-GL had to be learned. The mapping software expanded to PC’s, including terrain measurement and related computing. The whole project i was able to sell to other schools for 5000 FIM from wich the taxation took 60% off …

When you obtained your first computer and what was it?

osi-80_s
Ohio-Scientific

Ohio-scientific was in used before the first Apple ][. Ohio Scientific’s motherboard ad was on the back cover of Popular Elekronics Magazine. It could be ordered from the US and paid with a VISA card. So I immediately got a credit card and an import license from the License Office, which was then needed for foreign trade. I remember the device arrived in a few months in 1980. The price was less than a thousand marks.

In addition to the boot rom, the motherboard had a BASIC interpreter. Similar to Apple without line drawing capablity. The only block graphics was the ASCII extension 128 … 255. The display has 24 rows and 24 columns. There was 8 kilobytes of static RAM-memory but the expansion seemed troublesome to get done.

The tape recorder was 150 baud for the Kansas City code, which almost could be read in the contents of the download code on screen. It took about 8 minutes to fully load the memory.

There were games from around the world, Aarvark from Canada had done a couple of cassettes of shooting games. Within a couple of year i had about a dozen of casettes

It could be used to learn the basics of programming just like any other system of its time. The children were also interested in it. Neighbors (religious) denied visits by their own children when they heard about the computer.

As a monitor i used a 14 “mobile TV which i modified with capasitor after the video selection circuit. The school’s TV-dept teacher Eero Niemelä told me how to do the modification and not get killed by electricity. TV-deflection requires a voltage of 25 kV.

Ohio Scientific had to switch to an EPROM-monitor program. It allowed you slightly editing the editable line.

apple2_s
Self built Apple II clone.

Due limited memory and display in Ohio Scientific, a better system had to be purchased. It was Apple II that was available as components and with floppy drive from Germany. Paying for an order in advance by check annoyed me greatly. Risky business so to speak.

apple_ii_setup_self_made_s
Self built Apple II with Silentype printer.

The pictures above shows the first Apple II clone built by myself from components on a circuit board. The cases were self-made with using the school’s edge machine and a cutter (damper cost 10mk/m2). Joystick has two potentiometers joined (i wrote article how to buld it at Omenahyve magazine). There is a film of both sides of the circuit board in my storage. I still could make the circuit board.

I ordered the components from Germany in 1980-81. I waited a couple of months. The guy sent a paper picture of the device and was going to ship as soon as he got all the parts (about 150pcs). The import license had to be obtained from the licensing agency. In Germany i had to pay “Vorkasse Schek” in advance 4000FIM (back then Apple II cost about 10.000FIM). When the delivery was delayed and customs numbers had to be given to customs i felt anxious. The announcement i saw in German-language magazine MC (Micro Computer).

Later, my wife’s sister’s husband was working in England at the time. He bought a used Apple II and sent it to Finland. I bought Finlux TV and a MiniTel-text terminal as a scrap in Kajaani to be used with it.

aj83_s

In this picture (from 1983) shows a used Apple II i purchased from England (it had unstable power supply). Also the 12″ green monitor came from England. The thermal printer printed on 5″ paper, but paper availability was poor. Print accuracy was moderate (the cord was twisted around the axis as on old radios).

apple-finlux_s

Pictured here is my work horse, Apple II 64KB RAM, PAL, Color TV, MV Monitor with 80 characters / line custom sync, joystick (self-made), thermal printer (silentype), 2 * floppy 143 kB Sheet metal enclosures made from 1mm sheet metal by my self.

a2-86_s

I built the last Apple II around 1985-86 for nephews as a gaming machine. I also made the power supply myself.

 

Apple II, why Apple II? What was best on it?

Apple II was selected by needs and features it fullfilled:

  * Line drawings or graphics are required.

  * Expansion, 7 slots

  * Easily expandable memory.

  * Sounds and games.

  * Applesoft was well documented and easily usable.

  * Support, that is, the network of user’s existed.

  * Clones and motherboards readily available and ROM-copying easy.

  * Peripherals available: printers, plotters, graphics tablets, PAL and RGB-color cards, etc..

  * A wealth of articles in German, English, Italian …

  * Large variety of good usefull software: VisiCalc, DB master, Word Processing.

  * Lots of pirated software available.. and copy protections easily defeted.

  * Lots of enthuastic users!

 
I actually borrowed the school machine for the weekend and came with the boys to the conclusion that we had to get it, it had colors and audio!

 

Was it difficult to get programs or hardware from Finland at the time?

A few programs were purchased with VISA from USA, for example: DB master, Spredsheet, Magic Window, Copy II Plus. There are not many original packages left. Mainly programs were exchanged with acquaintances. Cracked programs were bought from Singapore, for example.

Popular games included : Karateka, Boulder Dash, Choplifter, Chess, Space Invader, Spider, Sammy Lightfoot, The Spy Strikes back, One on One, Minit Man, The Quest, IFR Flight Simulator, Starblazer, Ultima IV..

 

What did you do with your Apple II?

Maps, databases, programming, gaming .. hardware building.

I was on vacation in Italy in 1981 and it was raining so I went around bookstores and found Applesoft the book had a whole bunch of interesting program examples. Magazines had examples of voices programming and drawing a plot map. Fine coincidence and generous rain. 

 

You have also lectured about information technology? 

In southern Finland I went to give few presentations around 1983-85 about Apple II and computer-aided design and digitalization. Some listener was amazed about where i came from. Some people were amazed that somebody from Lapland arrived and acted like expert on such matters..

Few years ago, when I bought an old mowing machine, i met a man who said that he was my course back then and had stated to his wife that “it was a futile course”. Now he had changed his thoughts about it and found that their children do everything with their computers from morning to night.

YLE (National Radio/TV) reporter made a story about me on the radio. Later, a TV-program for School-TV was shot at school for a couple of days. The program was aired a couple of times during prime time. MTV (Commercal TV station) also filmed a news clip about house design.

yle
On YLE-TV program

The YLE archive contains 1985 new school tools:
https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2014/08/14/tietokoneet-koulujen-opetuksen-tukena (only watchable in Finland, geoblocked)

There is a video on the use of information technology at the Central Vocational School of Lapland. Our part starts at about 12 min

You have made and published programs for Apple II, would you tell more about them?

aapi_juntura_3d_house_building_s

Because Apple II had better drawing and graphics features, in one Saturday morning a element-housebuilder/salesman (private constructor) arrived to my doorstop and wanted a piece of computer equipment and a program to do everyday routines for him. At the same time, it would be a good selling point in advertisements that it was “computer desgined”. We ate, bathed, and played around with the computer equipment, went to the sauna and the house salesman took the train back home.

I looked at the elements of the house suppliers. They were 30cm wide, then, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 cm. The base images of such are simple and 1/10 size would fit the entire floor plan. First you had to make the elements by manufacturing and then using them (selection, transfer, turning). Texts and dimensions had to inserted. Saving the image as a bitmap and element database was required also. I added more features to the database, such as price. Surprisingly from the ground plan pages and ends and cost estimates were also added and created. I didn’t get the process taught for the element-housebuilder, that he would have sold houses with. Result was, plain zero.

I offered the program to a software bank and set the price at 20,000FIM, same as one Apple II’s price at the time. I was surprised when they paid and so they got their first CAD software (Computer Aided Design).

You also wrote articles to “Omenahyve”-user’s magazine?

artikkeli_ho

The articles in “Omenahyve” were published in 1982-1988 and contained, among other things, the following topics:

-Automatic Drawing (Apple Graphics Tablet, Watanabe digi-plottter)
-Purchasing Ananas (Taiwanese Apple II+ clone)
-Apple for Musical Instrument (La Mela Musicale)
-Joystick building
-Making graphical patterns
-New power supply to Apple II
-Book reviews
-Databases
-TV as monitor
-Building a EPROM programming card
-Micro-Computer assisted House Design
-Terminal for Monitor
-Copy Programs (CopyII+, EDD, Locksmith etc) and protections.
-Game port expansion

Most “Omenahyve” magazine issues are scanned to pdf:
https://archive.org/search.php?query=omenahyve 

Just the file size is unreasonably large, sorry about that.

I also wrote a couple of pages of “Light Pen” magazine about a house design program.

joystickin_tekeminen_s
Article how to build your own joystick/Omenahyve.

 

You are also published author of Computer books?

kirjat

“Mikrotietokone työkaluksi” / Microcomputer as a tool (National Board of Vocational Education, National Printing Center) 1984/1991 editions. 

The Board of Vocational Education asked the school to make a textbook for group work and learning. Others refused but i collected a couple of hundred pages and asked for a opinion from the principal..  but all the material i delivered got lost by him! Maybe it wasn’t good enough, so i did an another draft, and i no longer offered it to others to review.

I wrote, photographed and rasterized the material, text printed through printer adapter of disc typewriter. I glued the rasterized pictures to the openings and my son’s line art clips as well. I sent an A5-size booklet to the subscribers. I remember that the proof-reader was the real pain in the ***. The cover image had been transformed looking like crazy person! What a butcher!

So i did the book a second time. That’s where thousands of copies were sold and taken to print an another edition. I think I got an hour’s pay for this job just like the school cleaners. Jealous double. But i did heard a couple of praises as well. A relative of mine was at the University of Oulu and he was amazed that my book was used as the basis for the lecture. I went to Jyväskylä for a course and there were 20 pages of my book copied for me to study from!

 

What happened after the Apple II?

pc-v30-1984_s
PC-V30

I searched the drawers for pictures and found some. It explains why Apple II was left aside in the end. It was better than the IBM-PC but worse than the Olivetti M21. Variability was imitated by many manufacturers. From xerox sheet metal i made PC-V30 (8086 Clone, 10MHz), with floppy drives, old power supply from HP. It had display card text 80/24 and resolution 640*240 (as far as i can remember) and the TV was used as monitor. I ordered a few 14″ monitors from Germany without a case, also for school. I made tin covers myself.  They still work, in 2019. Apple’s Macintosh wasn’t practical at school with a lack of variety of peripherals needed. So it was app IBM-PC compatibles after that.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Apple //c (4100) variations

us_euro_from_top_s

Thank’s to Mr. Retr0bight AKA “Apple //c whisper” – Javier Rivera helping me to get the American version of the 4100 and Jean-François Walter for the European (French) 4100 version.

This model has been missing for ages as i don’t think it was sold in the Nordics area (?) atleast i’ve never come across of any. The localization code for “S” is missing so i would assume it was never localizated for Sweden/Finland.

4100-serie european localizated versions are:

A2S4100Z
A2S4100C
A2S4100E
A2S4100F
A2S4100Y
A2S4110F 
A2S4100AB

4000-serie european localizated versions are:

A2S4000Z
A2S4000F
A2S4000B
A2S4000N
A2S4000D
A2S4000T
A2S4000Y
A2S4000S
A2S4000FN
A2S4000SF

D = German
F = French
P = English
T = Italy
S = Sweden/Finland 

Not sure about the other codes..

 

So what’s the Differences?


euro_lights_text_s
The european 4100-model doesn’t seem to have the power and disk light logo’s changed from symbols to text.

us_lights_text_s
American model.

us_euro_from_bottom_s

The serial label: American model (left) have pressed text and European model (right) had the same sticker as in 4000-serie had. 

 
us_board_s
The boards are the same, here, the North American one:

 

euro_board_s
And here, the European one.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple //c Forever

Some Apple //e’s that came from trade-in

Like i’d need more of Apple II’s?

Made an trade with some Commodore stuff that i didn’t need to some “project condition” Apple //e’s. Still kind of need those parts for the “Stealth GS” (Apple //e->IIGS) modification i have planned, so these come in handy.. so i’ll use one of these for that project and maybe sell the other two. Good justification isn’t it?

All of them were really dusty and dirty with spiderwebs and god know what else (please wear gloves when cleaning such “barn finds”!). Got some compressed air, lots of IPA, took all of them to parts, washed everything and put together again for testing. Fun stuff.

One of them was of of those “early” models, different case material and design, reminds of ][ plus. Never have too many of those!

pickup_s
Pickup and way to home..

sauna_s
So all units taken to parts, washed and put to dry up in a sauna.

ipa_bottles_s
Bought some more IPA. This is 99.9% clear stuff, liquid and in spray form.

keyboard_keycaps_assembly_2_s
That was lots of keys 🙂 

different_keycaps_s
One set of keys were shaped slightly differently. I had not personally seen such before.

serial_date_version_2_s
The “early” model had again these handwritten date codes. Why? Stamped “2083” but handwritten “8336”.

 rusty_connectors_s
Quite a bit of rust in those connectors. Glassfiber pen is good for removing that rust. Those are cheap in ebay if needed.

wiring_mod_s
Interesting video mod (?) of some sort made. There were Taxan RGB card installed but this wire didn’t go anywhere.

color_swith_blue_s
The color switch was different type i had seen before.

board_corroted_s
The other two //e’s were both from week “8450”. The other one had some corrosion on the bottom pan.

black_bottom_pan_and_a2e_board_pal_6502_s
..so i painted it black. Looks better!

The results?

Apple //e 6502 “early” 
Board date: 2083, 8336 written in board
Serial : 2A2S2-128111
Board : 820-0073-B (c) 1982 B-607-0264-
Board stamp: R8314
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-A
EF ROM = 342-0134-A
Video ROM = EPROM
Keyboard ROM = EPROM

Cards:
+Disk II – Interface card (made in ireland)
+Kaga Taxan II EV8 – 80col RGB card 

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-New keyboard cable made.
-Hardware test (diagnostic card) run and everything OK!
-Original power supply not tested.

-Still needs the Apple //e logo repainted.

 

Apple //e 6502, non enhanced, PAL, Swe/Fin
Board date : 8450 
Serial : 2A2S2-342311
Board : 320-0073-B | B-607-0264-F 
Board stamp: R8449
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-B
EF ROM =  342-0134-B
Video ROM = 341-162-A 
Keyboard ROM = 341-0152-A

Cards:
+Disk II interface (made in ireland)
+Apple 64k/80col (607-0103-J)

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-Bottom pan have corrosion > painted black
-Case ok. Marking “A” on side.
-Corrosion on motherboard connectors > removed.
-Resistor blown at R43.
-New main logic boad swapped with swe/fin rom and 6502 CPU
-Hardware test (diagnostic card) run and everything OK!
-Original power supply not tested.

 

Apple //e 6502, non enhanced, PAL, Swe/Fin
Serial : 2A2S2-342223
Date on board : 8450
Board : 320-0073-B | B-607-0264-F 
Board stamp: R8448 
CPU = R65C02P3 8439
CD ROM = 342-0135-B 
EF ROM = 342-0134-B
Video ROM = 341-162-A
Keyboard ROM =341-0152-A
Long original power supply

Cards:
+Disk II interface (made in ireland)
+Apple 64k/80col 

-Basic cleaning for the case, keyboard caps removed and washed etc. 
-No retr0bright treatment
-2 x new 3M legs swapped.
-Corrosion on motherboard connectors > removed.
-Original long power supply not tested

 

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

The Ultimate Universal Power Supply for Apple II’s:

FIGHT THE POWER!

top_1_s

“The Ultimate Universal Power Supply” is the real ultimate solution to your Apple II what comes to power supplies. It have new case, “Ultimate Enclosure” by UltimateApple2 and the Universal Power Suply v1.3 bulit-in from ReActiveMicro. It supports voltages from 90-240V AC making it useable anywhere in the world. You just supply the correct power cable used in your country. There’s //e and IIGS versions available (different power connector) or you can choose “Universal DC output cable-set” for it as well. It provides both different power connectors and USB-A connector. (Reactivemicro.com)


INSTALLATION:

I wanted to replace the power supply i had in my “main rig” (Platinum //e) even it did have recapped “heavy duty” Applied Engineering Power Supply already. I have other plans for that one later. The “main rig” is filled with cards, mainly modern so they might not draw as much current as vintage cards would but still, i feel more confident with modern power supply solution installed. And it looks so modern too.

The installation itself couldn’t be any easier, just needed to unscrew and remove the original power supply and replace it with the universal one. It would have been nice if the package would have had the installation screws too, still very much of Plug-n-play.

power_connector_back_s

Universal DC Output Cable supports all models: II, II+, IIe and IIgs in the same cable. It also also has a 4-pin Female Molex and a USB-A Female connector for extra connectivity if ever you should need such.

installed_1_s

The cables that were not used, i just tide together and pushed aside. It was bit tight fit as i have the RamWorks IIII (reactivemicro) with the VGA-extender addon-board (a2heaven.com) installed, just where the power cables come out from the power supply’s enclousure.

It IS the ultimate solution!

rm_logo_jpgUltimate Universal Power Supply is available from https://www.reactivemicro.com/shop/

a2heaven_logo

Ramworks III VGA add-on extender is available from https://www.a2heaven.com/webshop/ 

Preview at Finapple at https://finapple.hho.fi/finapple/index.php/2018/11/24/ramworks-iii-vga-add-on-extender-palntsc/

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.

From Plus to Europlus:

apple_ii_plus_europlus_s
Yet an another Apple ][ Europlus rescued… i couldn’t help myself even i really don’t “need” any more of these. I don’t even usually use pre Apple //e models that often.. But we all hobbyists know how it is, don’t we?

Production details:

  • APPLE II – MAY 1977 > MAY 1979 – A2S1 – BLACK & WHITE label from 0001
  • EUROMOD – ???  1978 > AUG 1980 – A2S2 – BLACK & WHITE label from 500.000
  • PLUS – JUNE 1979 > DEC 1982 – A2S2 – GREEN & WHITE label from 0001
  • EUROPLUS – AUG  1979 > EARLY 1983 –  IA2S2 – GREEN & WHITE label from 600.000

Production/assembly started in Cork, Ireland, in mid 1980.

 

Apple II europlus:

serial_s
Case serial : A2S2-29471

This seems to be originally Plus-model and upgraded to Europlus to be used in Europe before the Europlus was introduced. The Cork, Ireland, factory indeed started operating in Mid 1980 so this predates that. The actual Cork made europlus would have IA2S2-prefix and serials starting from 600000.

 

board_date_s
Main logic board serial : 8005

 

revision_four_s 
Main logic board Revision 4 (with 16K memory blocks)

 

slot_seven_2_s
Slot 7 have the sticker glued on “This slot only for euro color PAL/SECAM card. Do not use any other card”

 

chips_s
ROM chips (from late 1978 to late 1979).

ROM model/date/code:
ROM F8 = 7943 341-0020-00
ROM F0 = 7919 341-0015-00
ROM E8 = 7906 341-0014-00
ROM E0 = 7903 341-0013-00
ROM D8 = 7907 341-0012-00
ROM D0 = 7851 341-0011-00 

 

Other materials:

apple_ii_plus_setup_s
-Disk II inferface card (clone)
-Epson printer card with cable 
-1/2 height 5.25″ floppy drive (Model: GYE 55-A)
-The Applesoft Tutorial (book) 1979
-Apple II reference manual (book) 1979
-Basic Programming reference manual (book) 1979
-Pair of Paddles (16-pin)

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Europlus Forever.

VGA-scaler for Apple II

a2vgascaler_jpg-100374-500x500
Picture by a2heaven.com

This is bit older product, but still available (atleast occationally) from a2heaven.com 

There’s now also VidHD-card available for Apple II’s so there’s more options to choose from. VidHD requires however 1080p capable display (and those are 16:9) so if you want more authentic user experience with 4:3 display, this is option for you. VGA-displays are around and very easy to get, any type, color and size, be it CRT or LCD. 

VidHD add’s new graphics modes to Apple II, where VGA-scaler does not. It just grabs the video signals and converts it to VGA. Glad there’s many options for the hobbyist.

There’s also similar product available, add-on board for RamWorks III card – Ramworks III VGA extender that does the same trick. It’s installed to AE RamWorks III card and outputs VGA signal as well. That solution saves you a slot if you already have RamWorks III or IIII (by Reactivemicro).

So basicly, 
It is a card that takes the Apple II video signals and converts it to VGA signal output. It works with several Apple II models from II, II+ to //e models, PAL and NTSC. It can be installed in any regular slot of Apple II. Depends of which slot it’s installed, different cable setups must be installed.

It outputs the standard VGA 720×480 output. So the monitor must support that resolution. The VGA-scaler supports 20 different dispay modes with: color, color alternative, monochrome (green, white, amber – regular or bold modes for each), and emulation of scan lines for each mode (emulating CRT monitors for more retro feel).

The color modes can be changed with by pressing the button and the default mode can be chosen with dip switches at the card itself.

-40 and 80 columns text, with 24 lines.
-Low-Resolution, 40×48 (15 colors)
-High-Resolution, 280×192 (6 colors)
-Double-Low-Resolution, 80×48 (15 colors) * enhanced //e only 
-Double-High-Resolution, 560×192 (2 colors) * enhanced //e only 

It would be very interesting to find if this could be used with Apple /// ?

package
picture from a2heaven.com


The package comes with:

-VGA-scaler card 
-VGA-extention slim-cable and VGA-adapter
-Purple cable with clip
-Red cable with clip
-Yellow cable with clip (shielded cable for 14M signal)
-White cable with clip 
-5 jumpers, white, red, green, blue and yellow.
-Switch mode cable with button

Detailed installation manual pdf can be downloaded from a2heaven.com 

 

INSTALLING:

installed_s

I had it installed in an another unit earlier but now i installed it to my “test/hack” Apple //e UK PAL (unenhanced). I replaced the hook-cables as well as i found better type that are easier to install in tight spots like those IC’s that aren’t installed in sockets.

It’s relatively easy to install after you get the idea from the manual. It’s good idea to read it few times to be sure what you’re doing. There’s several revisions of each board made.

In this case, using //e and installing it to Slot 7, it required 3 wires to be installed:

– SEROUT > D12 74LS10 PIN 3  
– GR > C8 344-0022 PIN 2  
– 14M > C13 74LS166 PIN 7

The VGA-cable can be attached to the card by either directly to the VGA connector, or using the supplied slim-cable that allows you to get the cable out of the Apple II case and attach the VGA cable outside of the unit. The regular VGA cable wont fit inside the case from the slot openings of Apple //e.

 

DIFFERENT DISPLAY MODES:

modes
Picture from a2heaven.com

 

zaxxon_closeup_lines_s
With scan-lines

zaxxon_closeup_no_lines_s
Without scan lines.

 

zaxxon_closeup_lines_green_s
Monochrome green

 

The modes can be changed with by pressing the button. The default mode can be chosen with dip switches at the card itself.

-Color modes | with scanlines on/off
-Mono / regular / bold | with scanlines on/off

 

THOUGHTS?

The installation is bit tricky but if you take your time and carefully aproach the task, it’s not that complicated. There’s just different Apple II models and main logic board types that are different.

vga_card_installed_s

It does take one precious slot from your Apple II but that is not serious sarcifice as the result is much clearer video output. Another option would be the Ramworks III VGA extender if you already have the RamWorks III or IIII-card. One gains also different models of video, monochrome models, different color modes and as a extra feature, the scanlined modes that do look nice, emulating the good ol’ CRT.  So basicly the product is no-brainer to get unless you want the HDMI then you need to look into the VidHD card instead. It’s up to you.

I have the Ramworks III VGA-externder in my “main” //e and it works great, it needs naturally the Ramworks III or IIII-card but i happened to have one. That way i could save a slot and have RAM-card. Not bad. This VGA-scaler works similary, it just needs the slot and setting up is slightly more complicated (board variations). Both solutions have worked for me as i do not need right now the 1080p HDMI output. That might change however someday, if nothing but curiosity. But right now, i am very happy with VGA. The color modes are neat! Switching between them is quick and easy even i found myself stuck in few modes most of the time and not changing them. But, the option is there.

 

 

 

a2heaven_logo

VGA-scaler is available from a2heaven.com

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Custom fonts for your Apple II : MultiFont-ROM

setup_1

MultiFont-ROM is custom ROM in a adapter that comes with push button & potentiometer to change the font that is currently used by the system. The font can be changed on-the-fly. There is total of 8 different fonts pre-installed and selectable by the user. 

It is designed to work with Apple //e, //e enhanced – PAL or NTSC.

It comes with:

– The adapter with the EPROM chip installed and preprogrammed (27256).
– Potentiometer with adjusting knob and wiring.
– Push button with wiring.

 

INSTALLING:

installation_pal_e_s

The PAL and NTSC Apple //e’s are little diffferent so the installation is a bit different to each as well. When installing, some revisions of the main logic board might have the lower quality plastic sockets that require more force when installing the adapter. Be carefull not to break any pins.

PAL Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM.
On PAL Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 28-pin so you need to install the adapter so that the pins 1,2 and 27, 28 are NOT CONNECTED.

NTSC Apple //e
Locate the VIDEO ROM (341-016X-A) and replace it with the MultiFont-ROM. On NTSC Apple //e the main logic board the socket is 24-pin so it can be installed directly.

Buttons/Potentiometer:

The push button cable can be connected to either of two pins of the adapter (it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right alligned).

With potentiometer the orientation doesn’t matter either, you can install the cable either way to the connector. The MultiFont-adapter will auto-detect type of connected control device.

The buttons can be routed out of the case in few ways, either from the back side and out using the slot holes, or simply thru the vent holes. Unless you’re Hot Rodder and run your Apple //e without the lid .. 

 

HOW ABOUT USING IT?

With the push button installed, when you press the button, the font changes to next one. When you hold it for more than 2 seconds, the chosen font is saved as default and it is set as default font even after power cycle.

With potentiometer you can change font by rotating the wheel and the chosen font is defaulted.

The preprogrammed fonts on the ROM look like the following:

 font_8_s

font_7_s

font_6_s

font_5_s

font_4_s

font_3_s

font_2_s

font_1_s

 The fonts are useable in any software, anywhere. I played “Zork III” text adventure with different fonts and it was surely looked different. Not all fonts are suitable for such use as of playing games for example, but as the fonts are edit- and replaceable, the possiblities are endless.

zork_iii_5_s 
Zork III

zork_iii_4_s
Zork III

zork_iii_3_s
Zork III

zork_iii_2_s
Zork III

zork_iii_1_s
Zork III

 

SOFTWARE FOR MAKING/REPLACING FONTS:

There is downloadble software available for Windows, from a2heaven.com, writen by Plamen Vaysiov:

apple-ii-font-editor-software_s
FontEditor : to edit or design fonts of your own

combine_fonts_software_2
CombineFonts : to combine several fonts to single combined binary file.

You can add 8 different fonts to the binary. The ready binary then can be then burned to suitable EPROM-chip (eprom programmer needed) and used with the MultiFont-ROM adapter. I didn’t have any suitable EPROM-chips at hand time time, but i’ll be testing this when the order arrives from China..

 
THOUGHTS?

It is cool little device. It’s installed in the Video-ROM socket and you are able to use the Apple’s default font as well. The preprogrammed fonts are all different, including one Japanise. Design your own, edit the existing ones – possibilities are endless. Add your Apple II to have fonts from C64.. Atari… Spectrum… anything you want.

Change fonts because you CAN! Hackin’ away.

 

a2heaven_logo

MultiFont-ROM is available from a2heaven.com 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.