Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc motherboard? (Update: Yes it can!)

10 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Dec 11 2010
Posts: 48

I seem to be dealing with a double-dose of trouble here. Not only is my recently-acquired Apple II Plus ailing, but I just discovered that the internal disk drive in my Apple IIc is no longer reading or writing disks. I already plan on cleaning the heads (Need to find some anhydrous alcohol) and calibrating the RPMs, and failing those I'll just try to find a new drive off eBay or someplace else, so I don't quite yet need help with that specific problem.

However, I am wondering if, in the meantime, it may be possible for me to connect an older Disk II drive directly to the internal drive connector on the IIc motherboard, and temporarily use the system in that manner. Although the connector is a physical match, my limited knowledge of the Apple II line in general makes me feel it wise to ask first, just to be sure.

If they are compatible and I am able to hook them up without trouble, this does raise another issue. The connector on the Disk II drive cable isn't keyed (It can be connected either way), nor does it indicate which pin is pin 1 (All of the cable wires are gray). Thus...I don't know which direction it should be connected. I don't yet have a controller card for the Disk II drive (I've been ordering parts individually as my budget allows), so I'm not able to use it for reference in identifying pin 1 on the connector to properly connect it to the IIc motherboard. So...assuming I can successfully use it with the IIc, which way should the connector go?

Thank you.

AttachmentSize
Disk II running on IIc.jpg94.56 KB

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Offline
Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

torindkflt wrote:

However, I am wondering if, in the meantime, it may be possible for me to connect an older Disk II drive directly to the internal drive connector on the IIc motherboard, and temporarily use the system in that manner.

I haven't had my IIc+ apart in a while, so I can't remember what connectors are where. But you'll get a whole lot of nowhere hooking a Disk II to a connection expecting a 3.5" drive. The IIc+ will boot off of a Disk II hooked to the 19-pin port off the back. So you'd need a newer-style drive with a D-shell connector on it. I have seen adapters sold, but I can't locate any at the moment.

On a IIc+, the internal 3.5" drive is connected to (virtual) slot 5, and a disk II hooked to the external connector is connected to (virtual) slot 6.

Offline
Joined: Dec 11 2010
Posts: 48
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

It's not a IIc+, it's an original IIc with ROM version 4.

Offline
Joined: Apr 11 2006
Posts: 1013
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

torindkflt wrote:

It's not a IIc+, it's an original IIc with ROM version 4.

Oh! Oops - I put the plus together with the IIc. Here's the pinouts for various disk drives:

http://www.1000bit.it/support/manuali/apple/R023PINOUTS.TXT
(search for '3.5" and 5.25" Drive cable pinouts')
Judging by where the power goes, it doesn't look like the pins match up (assuming the numbers are the same for the internal and external connectors... unknown by me). So, sorry, I don't know!

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2609
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

torindkflt,

I believe that there is a bare IIc drive for auction on eBay right now. I think that the starting bid on it is $9.99 plus shipping. I have to concur with the rest of the folks about the use of a Disk II for a IIc.

Good Luck,

Steven Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2609
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

Ebay item 200549505249 is a bare drive for a IIc, but the asking bid is $34.95.
Thats a bit much for a bare drive, you could get an entire IIc to be used for parts for that price. Take into account that the seller is a vintage computer museum out of New York. Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 359
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

I once tried connecting the internal drive from a IIc to a Disk II card and it worked fine. That being the case then I'd expect it to work the other way around.

lefevere's picture
Offline
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 57
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

__________________

.
my apple collection

Offline
Joined: Dec 11 2010
Posts: 48
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

Well, I decided to go for broke and just try it. Lo and behold, it works!

As said, this will only be temporary until I can get a permanent replacement for the IIc. I'm actually wanting to use the IIc to create disks that I can, in turn, use on my II Plus, since I have a homemade serial cable I can connect the IIc to my laptop with for transferring. Glad to know this will get me by for now!

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2609
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

I forgot to ask; and you did not say in your first post whether or not you have an external disk drive for your IIc? If so, why not just use the external drive until you get a replacement? Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Offline
Joined: Dec 11 2010
Posts: 48
Re: Can a Disk II drive be connected directly to the IIc ...

I do not have an external drive for the IIc, but I do plan on getting one along with a replacement internal drive if I am unable to repair the one I have now. The computer literally came from a junk pile at my old high school ten years ago, so I have no accessories for it at all, nor did I have any disks (The DOS disk it's booting in the pic above I bought off eBay before learning how to do the null modem transfer trick). That's why I'm using a portable digital TV for a monitor (Which, admittedly, works well for the IIc size-wise).