/// and floppy disk replacement

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I know you can use a CFFA3000 with an Apple ///. I was wondering if anyone has tried to use a floppy replacement such as Nishida Radio's Unisdisk or Option 8's SD card reader?

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speedyG's picture
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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

That´s not a good idea !
the cables of the Diskdrives at the Apple /// are not same as
the cables at the Diskdrives of the Apple II !
At the Apple /// some wirecores are used for daisychaining and
decoding of the up to 4 Drives
( including the internal drive ).
There is a pretty good chance of damaging your diskinterface at the mainboard.
speedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Hi,

I made an adapter to go from the Apple /// 26 pin drive connector to the DB19 connector was able to use an IIe 5 1/4 drive ok as the second drive.

If you made a similar adapter, I see no reason why you could not use the disk emulation part of the unisdisk. The smartport is not usable as it requires a disk interface using the IWM and there is no driver support for this combination.

Its interesting that the apple3 floppy has extra circuitry to enable the apple3 to detect that the user has changed the floppy. When the apple3 is placed in apple2 emulation mode, it disables this. This would be a limitation of using an apple2 drive, it would not detect the disk change.

/Rob

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

rjustice wrote:

Hi,

I made an adapter to go from the Apple /// 26 pin drive connector to the DB19 connector was able to use an IIe 5 1/4 drive ok as the second drive.

Can you share your pinout? There are more than a few people who would be interested in this. There has been talk on and of for years on the apple3-l mailing list, but a real one has never surfaced.

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

rjustice wrote:

Hi,

I made an adapter to go from the Apple /// 26 pin drive connector to the DB19 connector was able to use an IIe 5 1/4 drive ok as the second drive.

If you made a similar adapter, I see no reason why you could not use the disk emulation part of the unisdisk. The smartport is not usable as it requires a disk interface using the IWM and there is no driver support for this combination.

Its interesting that the apple3 floppy has extra circuitry to enable the apple3 to detect that the user has changed the floppy. ??? When the apple3 is placed in apple2 emulation mode, it disables this. This would be a limitation of using an apple2 drive, it would not detect the disk change.

/Rob

It´s quite several years ago, that i had an APPLE /// ( entire system was sold in 2008 )...
but as far as i remember the feature recognizing the disk change was not related to hardware,
but rather more to the SOS operation system and the fact that it - similar to the beginning development of UCSD -
and also previously released ProDOS for the Apple II series - did prefer at diskoperations to
work with paths instead of using devicenames and therefor at each diskaccess did update a ramtable
with the current availiable/present volumes and paths
.

If making of an Adapter - it is therefor highly recommended to make an Adapter for the rearside of the Apple II - to daisychain all signals from the 26 pin Flatribbon as passthrough to the following drive too - just picking the the requested signals for the Disk II drive from the cable and plugging to the rear ( similar to the rear PCB of the Apple /// drives.

Layout of such PCB might look like this:

speedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

I used an old header cable from a pc parallel port and cut off the DB25 connector. I then used a solder type DB19 female connector and soldered the ribbon cable to this. I have a pic of it, not sure how to add an image to a post here.

This made me check my wiring and I realised I had made a mistake in the second drive enable. I fixed this and tested with a Duodisk connected and it works fine as D2 & D3.

Here are the pinouts: (need to open it in a fixed spacing font)

26 pin Header on Apple ///
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 |
| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+

DB 19:
,-------------------------------------------------.
\ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 0B 09 10 /
\ 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 /
`---------------------------------------------'

Cable pin details

Function DB19 26 pin header

GND 1 1
GND 2 2
GND 3 3
GND 4 4
-12V 5 5
+5V 6 6,19 (optional to connect 19)
+12V 7 7
+12V 8 8
ENABLE2 9 24 (A3 ENBL2)
WRPROT 10 23

PH0 11 14
PH1 12 15
PH2 13 16
PH3 14 17
WREQ 15 18
HDSEL 16 25 (A3 SIDE2/1, not really needed)
ENABLE1 17 20 (A3 ENBL1)
RDDATA 18 21
WRDATA 19 22

There is definitely extra logic on the disk3 analog board. It has two extra flip flops that track the write protect switch to detect if a drive has been removed and then disable the read data line. What made me look for this is the AII emulation line is extended out to the external disk drives. This is to disable this logic on the A3 drives when in A2 emulation mode. If you dig up the schematic for the D3 analog board you will be able to see this.

/Rob

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

rjustice wrote:

I used an old header cable from a pc parallel port and cut off the DB25 connector. I then used a solder type DB19 female connector and soldered the ribbon cable to this. I have a pic of it, not sure how to add an image to a post here.

This made me check my wiring and I realised I had made a mistake in the second drive enable. I fixed this and tested with a Duodisk connected and it works fine as D2 & D3.

Here are the pinouts: (need to open it in a fixed spacing font)

26 pin Header on Apple ///
+------------------------------------------------------+
| 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 |
| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 |
+------------------------------------------------------+

DB 19:
,-------------------------------------------------.
\ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 0B 09 10 /
\ 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 /
`---------------------------------------------'

Cable pin details
Function DB19 26 pin header

GND 1 1
GND 2 2
GND 3 3
GND 4 4
-12V 5 5
+5V 6 6,19 (optional to connect 19)
+12V 7 7
+12V 8 8
PH0 11 14
PH1 12 15
PH2 13 16
PH3 14 17
WREQ 15 18
RDDATA 18 21==> This is Enable 3 at the Apple III Diskport !!! ???
WRDATA 19 22

WRPROT 10 23 ==> This is AII-line at the Apple III Disk !!!
ENABLEB 9 24 (A3 ENBL2) ==> this is in fact the Side1/2 at the Apple III Diskport !!!
HDSEL 16 25 (A3 SIDE2/1, not really needed) ==> this is NoConnection
at the Apple III Diskport !!!
ENABLE1 17 20 (A3 ENBL1)==> this is WritePprotect at the Apple III Diskport!!!
[/b]
There is definitely extra logic on the disk3 analog board. It has two extra flip flops that track the write protect switch to detect if a drive has been removed and then disable the read data line. What made me look for this is the AII emulation line is extended out to the external disk drives. This is to disable this logic on the A3 drives when in A2 emulation mode. If you dig up the schematic for the D3 analog board you will be able to see this.
/Rob

Hello Rob,

this pinout really surprizes me a lot !

AT THE MOMENT I´D RATHER WARN EVERYBODY NOT TO USE THE ABOVE POSTED INSTRUCTIONS !!!

Do you really want to tell me, that you use:

as Write Protect at the Apple Disk ( Pin 10 ) the AII- signal ( pin 23 )from the Apple III Disk Pinout ?
and
and as Drive Select/ Enable B (pin 17 ) at the Apple Disk the WriteProtect-signal from the Apple III Disk pinout ?
And you realy write DATA at the Apple Disk side ( pin 18 ) from the Enable 3-signal from the Apple III Diskport ???

and instead ignore the true "DISK Select"-signals at the Apple III Diskport:
Pin 14 ==> Enable 1
Pin 22 ==> Enable 2
Pin 21 ==> Enable 3 ??? ==> used in your Cablepinout as RDDATA ???

The point ( maybe working ) correct - besides the mistakes listed above is:
as Enable B ( pin 9 ) at the Apple Disk side ( in this case mentioned above to be used with DuoDiskcable to the Duodisk )
the connection to Side 1/2 ( pin 24 ) at the Apple III Diskport side....

this seems to me to be an amazing miracle....

there must have happened a lot of mess with the notes you made....

speedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

david__schmidt wrote:

Can you share your pinout? There are more than a few people who would be interested in this. There has been talk on and of for years on the apple3-l mailing list, but a real one has never surfaced.

Hello David,

i just picked the related info´s together - not to forget the mentioned mistakes above....

here is the bunch:

first of all the circuitplan of the Analogboard of the DISK /// from Apple:

and from the circuitplans of the mainboard and the 2 plugs there i extract here the
part displaying the plug for the internal drive and the plug for the external drive:

added remark:
as you can see, the pins 21 and pin 22 are left at the internal connector as NC ( no Connection )
leaving the Enable 2 and Enable 3 away and the selection siganl is here given at pin 26
as a derivate from pin 14 and making the difference between ALL external possible drives Enable1 to Enable3
and claiming the so called "slot" signal as difference between external its internal drive.

At the other hand in the analog circuitplan that "slot" signal is just a passthrough at all external drives -
just indicating that the entire bunch of external drives divert from the internal drive.

Instead at the external drives the daisychaained drives are selected by the Enable1 to Enable3 signals
and by "decrementing" the signalpins throughout the daisy chain ( by droping the priority signal )
each time a drive is added to the chain ( EnableX = EnableX-1 ), like displayed in the next picture !

So in fact the real difference of selecting a drive within the external daisychain is determined by the
Enable1 to Enable3 signals.

that information put together result to the sketches below:

but in fact there is also a important technote to remember about the Diskport of the
Apple /// + ! There a DB25 is used ! And it seems that there was a problem with it:

Because it is common today, that several users might use PRESS-PLUGS for
Flatribbon cables there could rise a danger potentially, if someone presses
a Flatribbon DB25 at a Apple ///+ Diskport and at the side of the following Adaptor
pressing also a 26 pin plug ( 2x13 ) at the adaptorside and
causing exactly the damage noted in the technote. therefor i designed the adaptor
with the ability to remove the connections to the pin 13 by removing the jumpercaps
from JP1 to JP 3 !

thats mentioned in red letters in the circuitplan:

resulting from that circuitplan is the following Adaptor PCB ( also containing
the drive selection jumper at JP4 ) - here solderside view:

here is the same adaptor with the traces of the top view:

and here a view of both layers together to enable follow-ups of the traces:

I guess that will solve a bunch of problems.....

sincerely
SpeedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Just to address your concerns Speedyg. If you actually looked at my diagram you would note that I had the pinout layout for the A3 connector labelled like this:
(this was due to an existing diagram I used to document the wiring)
NOTE: pins number run along the connector in two rows

26 pin Header on Apple ///
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 |
| 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+

This is clearly different to what you are looking at, i'm sorry for confusing you. If I convert it to the pinout layout you are using it ends up like below. This is the same as what you had!.

This is what you are using:
26 pin Header on a///
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 |
| 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
NOTE: the pins number zig zag across the connector as it runs along!

I standby my adapter as I have TESTED IT ON REAL HARDWARE and it works well. Its actually quite easy to make the adapter, it allows either a IIe unidisk or duodisk to be used.

link to a few pics:
adapter pic1
adapter pic2
adapter pic3
adapter pic4

And the same wiring but using the same pinout layout as you used for the A3 end:

26 pin Header on a///
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 |
| 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+

DB 19:
,-------------------------------------------------.
\ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 0B 09 10 /
\ 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 /
`---------------------------------------------'

Cable pin details

Function DB19 26 pin header

GND 1 1
GND 2 3
GND 3 5
GND 4 7
-12V 5 9
+5V 6 11,12 (optional to connect 12)
+12V 7 13
+12V 8 15
ENABLE2 9 22 (A3 ENBL2)
WRPROT 10 20

PH0 11 2
PH1 12 4
PH2 13 6
PH3 14 8
WREQ 15 10
HDSEL 16 24 (A3 SIDE2/1, not really needed)
ENABLE1 17 14 (A3 ENBL1)
RDDATA 18 16
WRDATA 19 18

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Posts: 2421
Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Hello rjustice,
i´m happy that it just turned out to be a different notation.

In fact the notation i´m using is the international used notation
convention ( as also used by Apple Computer themselves - and identical
to the numbering also at the mainboard and all interface cards -
including of course also the Apple /// analog board ).....

Just two additional questions:
By using a DB25 cable i asume the computer you are using is an
Apple ///+ ? If yes - did you also note the technote i included above
to the displays and mentioning the advice to cut off pin 13 at the
DB25 ?

My concern leaving the message with the warning was to protect
the members here from possible damage of their computers ....
I´m glad it turned out just to be a unusual notation.

just by the way : welcome to the community and have a nice time here....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

No Problems Speedyg.

I'm using a Apple ///, not a plus. I'm using the 26 pin header connector that has a notch on one side, so its not possible to easily put it in the Apple/// incorrect. So it seems quite a safe option to use. (Assuming it gets wired up correctly!) Your right though, if you get the wiring wrong, you can get +12v where you don't want it!

One thing the Apple /// lacks is a nice easy modern floppy replacement option. The CFFA3000 works fine, but I still need a physical floppy disk inserted to boot from. I'd Love the CFFA3000 to be able to take over the internal floppy controller in native Apple/// mode. I suppose there is just not enough /// users our there to justify the development of this as an option.It would need modified firmware and logic.

I love the press M to get the menu option available for the CFFA3000 when in the ii or iie.

/Rob

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

rjustice wrote:

One thing the Apple /// lacks is a nice easy modern floppy replacement option. The CFFA3000 works fine, but I still need a physical floppy disk inserted to boot from. I'd Love the CFFA3000 to be able to take over the internal floppy controller in native Apple/// mode. I suppose there is just not enough /// users our there to justify the development of this as an option.It would need modified firmware and logic.
/Rob

The point of solving that problem isn´t the interfacecard... even with the profile or with SCSI card your facing that problem...
the problem is rather more located at the firmware ROM and SOS. If the firmware ROM would be patched that way,

That the internal drive would get less priority at the boot stage and the slots would be scanned and
detect a blockdevice like SCSI or IDE controller and set the priority of that device higher than the
internal floppy - it would be possible to overrule that lack of "must boot from floppy"....

According to the history of the development and the small similarities between Mac 128 K and the Apple ///
it might be a solution to examine and compare both firmware codes and - maybe using a cross compiler
to translate a small piece of code from the 128k Mac back to 6502 code and replace the firmware ROM
with an "updated / patched" newer ROM version that corrects the "no boot from harddisk bug".....

OR A KIND OF CHEATING SYSTEM:

Or if your are a fan of keeping the computer itself in original status ( like i am ) :

http://www.ebay.de/itm/DISK-II-emulator-for-Apple-II-series-computer-/291205284147?pt=UK_VintageComputing_RL&hash=item43cd300133

This unit would demand/permit to mount a removable adaptor for use with the internal floppy connector
( maybe as cableadaptor like similar to yours ):
1: internal floppy adaptor > from internal drive connector to DISK II connector at this device instead of internal floppy
2: mount this unit inside at interface card area
3: transfer SOS image with drivers and startup routines (*) to SDcard as diskimage
4: startup with that image

(*) the startup routine should contain a menu to select other bootup image from SDcard and a option
to select a routine that sets the current volumes to the volumes at the CFFA3000 or other Harddisk
replacement device

the advantage of such a solution:

you can setup at the SDcard up to 3 different individual floppyimages:
=> 1 to Boot up SOS
=> 1 to boot up UCSD for the Apple III
and => 1 to Boot up CP/M if a Softcard for the Apple III is inserted

- and besides there is enough space at the SD card to store also several diskimages that you can´t run from
harddisk...

That´s just an idea how to attempt a easier solution without patching and with the ability ( in case you want to sell in later days the Apple III ) to remove adaptor and SD drive and get the Apple III in original status.

this solution would require an other adaptor than the one i have shown above
( bearing in mind the difference between internal and external floppydrive connector
as displayed above - see remarks to pin 26 )
but at the other hand : it avoids the trouble with damaged floppies....

speedyG

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Posts: 35
Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Looking at the pinouts again, i can see that if you had the original style apple2 drive with the 20pin plug, then you could crimp on a 26 pin plug with the ribbon cable at the pin 1 end of the plug and then this would work with no other mods as an Apple3 Drive number 2.
You would have no way of daisy chaining the other drives, but I would suspect that most people are only looking to connect an additional drive. That was what I was after originally.

This would be the easiest way to get a second drive connected.

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Posts: 1013
Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

The most useful addition of a Disk ]I[ replacement would be the internal drive - to be able to boot without anything actually spinning. Would it be possible to just do the "crimp" technique to get a single Disk II (replacement like the SDisk II) talking as disk 0 inside the case, and then still use more drives daisy-chained off of the back connector?

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Hello David,

the internal disk connector is in a "special way" completely independent from the rear connector
to the "external" drives. Therefor if connecting a SDdisk module, like the one i mentioned,
to the internal connector - it won´t disable the external "daisy chain"....

Only the external drives are "daisy chained" and first drive at "external" rear connector will
always be drive 2!
Viewing the Enable signals at the driveports above, you will recognize that only the signals
for drive 2 to 4 are at the rear connector ( in fact to the "real" counting you would have to
start at "Enable0" to "Enable3" to see all four "drive select" signals....

that´s also the reason that the enable0 is not availiable at the rear port.....
It´s just at the internal port at pin26 ( inverted to "low" and at pin 14 as noninverted signal ).

I´m not sure - but it seems also to be the reason, that the internal drives don´t have same frame
like the external drives ( external drives have vertical front
- while internal drives have 60 degree angle backward at the front ).
And internal Analog board has no rear "Out" connector....

sincerely
SpeedyG

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

I tried the diskII with a 26pin header crimped on, works fine. The A3 seems to be pretty picky in regard to drive speed. When I tried to format a disk from the system utils, it came up with an error saying drive to fast. When I checked my disk II, it was a bit fast. Seems my old DiskII drive speed is a bit wobbly as it was still getting a few errors even after adjusting it. I also tried a slimline clone drive and it also needed the speed adjusted. Its speed is very constant as its a direct drive motor, and works well. I also plugged it into the internal drive position and all worked ok.

This has been a good exercise as my A3 has been a bit flakey when using the cffa3000 and trying to setup selector3. While checking the pinouts of the adapter I noticed that the +5v supply was a bit low. I did some checking and was able to "adjust" the supply and now the cffa3000 works flawlessly. I'm sure the low supply was why things where a bit unpredictable.

Here is a few pics:
connector pic1
connector pic2
plugged in as internal drive pic1
plugged in as internal drive pic2

/Rob

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

rjustice wrote:

I tried the diskII with a 26pin header crimped on, works fine.

A grand experiment, thanks! This opens up a number of possibilities with a minimum of fuss.

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Re: /// and floppy disk replacement

Wow. Great thread! Has anybody actually tried this with a unisdisk yet? Apple III with no spinning media sounds like just what the doctor ordered.