Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

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Joined: Dec 20 2008
Posts: 217
Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Thanks very much for all your hard work.

If you have a moment, can you detail how the SD cards should be set up? Is it just two 32M ProDOS partitions created with CiderPress that it will see?

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Peter Rittwage
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tokabln's picture
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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 111
Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Ladies and Gents,

today my package arrived at noon. It was well packaged (with a little gift) and all parts are looking good.
Many thanks to Florian for his great work.

So I already assembled the whole stuff but it's not tested yet, because I just asked Florian by email how
to assemble the LED as there is no polarity printed to the board.

For sure I can follow the wiring... but I'm lazy Wink

Just one recommendation to those who will solder it within the next days.
To get high quality solder points... just use some solder flux (e.g. FL112) like I did.

Wish all of you a nice xmas time...

Update (03:12 PM GMT+1):

I just saw the link to github where you can find the schematics and more... so my card can be tested now.

https://github.com/freitz85/AppleIISd

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Torsten aka tokabln

freitz's picture
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Joined: Jun 11 2013
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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Hi,

the schematics are in the PDF on Github. The long leg of the LED has to go into the bottom hole.

I'll try to describe the following process from memory, because I'm on vacation and only have CiderPress on the laptop, but no empty cards to test:
Be sure to open CiderPress in admin mode (right-click, "open as administrator"), otherwise you won't be able to write to a card that was previously formatted with FAT.
Select Tools -> Volume copier (open volume), uncheck the "open as read-only" and select the SD card. Triple-check that you choose the correct disk!!!
The disk image characteristics window should open. Select "ProDOS block ordering", the filesystem is not important. After selecting the first entry, choose "Load from File" and copy the first ProDOS image to the drive. After that, the list will expand and show more partitions.

Have fun with the kits!

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freitz's picture
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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

I have added a page to my blog on how to prepare a SD card for use with the AppleIISd. It also contains a link to a bootable image:
Blog

I hope this helps to get started!
Regards, Flo

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Joined: May 9 2014
Posts: 112
Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

I’m happy to report that my card is now working fine with my IIGS! Thanks to Florian for working out the issues with the ROM image!

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Can you please tell me what SD card (vendor and amount of memory) is been used?

The reason why I'm asking is, that my SD card interface doesn't work at my Apple //e. I'm getting the Copyright message but then I'm not able to read or write (from/to) the card. If I'm using and 8GB card, my system crashes with the message I posted earlier in another thread.

If I'm using a smaller card, same problems except that the system doesn't crash.

So I'm not sure if I made a mistake during assembly... but don't believe so because I'm getting the Copyright message.

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Can’t remember the make at the back of my hand but it’s probably a 2 GB Transcend.

1978AppleII's picture
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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Any more of these kits available?

These work on all of the Apple II family line? Pretty awesome work guys!!

Many thanks!

Jennifer

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Joined: May 2 2010
Posts: 49
Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

Hi all

my kit has arrived! Thank you again Freitz!

One thing I'd like to read up on, before I get time to build it - a question for everyone apple2 cp/m aware really.. is it possible to create a cp/m hard drive image and boot my iie from it?

I read ciderpress can read and modify cp/m disk images but i am not sure if that includes hard disk / ,po images and can this card boot from such an image if I write it to an sd card?

and of course, if it exists can anyone please share a link to such a .po file?

thank you!

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

@1978AppleII: I am sorry, but all kits are sold out. However, I may make some more PCB. I'll let you know.
The card works only in the IIe enh. and upwards at the moment, because it contains 65c02 code. But it's nothing that could not be changed.

@iainjh: I am not familiar with the way CP/M accesses disk drives, but I guess it may have some kind of common interface to handle block access. Is there any information available. It should be possible to write a wrapper function that uses the onboard read / write routines.
Is there any information on writing drivers for CP/M available?
Boot should be possible, because my interface does nothing different than the Disk II does: it loads sector 0 to $800 and then jumps to $801. From there, the OS takes over.

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

My kit arrived yesterday, 05Jan2018. Long way from Germany, but worth the trip!
Completed the kit today. Very nice work Freitz, and I appreciated the gummies too! Smile
The kit was complete. Documentation is on his website.

The most difficult part of the build was to NOT loose the parts in the kit.
When unwrapping the SMD components, you need to be careful not to loose them. (!)
They are, after all, about the size of a flea turd. Shock
I would suggest installing all of one type of SMD component before you unwrap the next,
as you really can't identify the values visually. Freitz labeled them for easy identification.

I had the same LED that Freitz used on his prototype build so I decided to use the same type
rather than the one supplied with the kit. Nicer looking IMHO.

Photo of competed board here.

Lastly, if you've never worked with SMD assembly before or do not have expert soldering skills,
you will find this kit difficult to assemble. Time spent (by me) for this was a little over 2 hours.
You will need a very fine soldering tip for this assembly. You will also need 0.25mm solder for
the SMD's, or you will need solder paste (such as SD-528T alloy) if you use hot air soldering.
I did not use hot air soldering on this, though it likely would have been faster. I really wanted
to do it with a soldering pencil, as most of the components required it. But if I were to do it again,
I'd finish the SMD components with air first, then use the soldering pencil for the rest.
I found that using solder paste on the SD Card socket assembly made it neat and easy to install.

This is an awesome Apple ][ project and I hope Freitz finds time to continue it's development.
If we can make it work for DOS on an Apple II (not IIe) that would be a plus. (pun intended) Cool

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

I built mine today and it works great. I reversed the LED, but that was easily fixed. The SMD caps and resistors are TINY! I am glad I have a magnifying lamp or it would never have been built.

I was able to copy files back and forth with CiderPress easily, and copied my old FocusDrive data over to it.

It would be nice to have more than two partitions whenever you get a chance, but for now it works great!

PS: The only build problem I had was I could not get the top pads of C12/C13 unbridged. Are they supposed to be connected? Mine are, and everything works, but it looked like on the layout it was not supposed to be. I think they are both ground, though, so it's OK?

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Re: Building my own SD card interface for the Apple II

C12/C13 are both grounded on that end, so you should be OK.

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