Memory expansion on a //e ?

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What is the most amount of RAM memory I can put into a //e machine, and how would I go about it? I'm not interested in IIgs, just the //e.

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transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
Posts: 465
Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

Keatah wrote:

What is the most amount of RAM memory I can put into a //e machine, and how would I go about it? I'm not interested in IIgs, just the //e.

Well, There's not really a rule as far as I know. With an AE Ramworks in Auxiliary slot with a 2 meg expander you could have 3 MB right there. With a RamFactor you can have 1 MB on the board and add the 4 MEG expander. That would be 8 MB with just 2 cards, and I’ve only mentioned Applied Engineering brand cards. You could put a RamFactor in every slot and have huge amounts of ram; that would surely kill your power supply however.

A RamCharger would take loads of strain off of your //e’s power supply. It would also effectively turn your RamFactor into a permanent ram disk as your ram would always have power to it.

Then of course there's non-ram alternatives in vintage SCSI hard drives like the Sider brand ones.

Also the new flash drive cards have near unlimited memory.

Maybe I’m answering the question wrong, Hope this helped.

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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

I thought 4MB was the most you could have that was operationally accessible with the RAMFactor cards with the daughter board(s), in a IIe. Good luck finding that set-up. It was expensive when it came out, was third party, and so it's a rare grouping to find. I'm not sure about what software took advantage of it, but probably an old ad will tell you.

Apple came out with an expansion board that could be populated up to 1MB for the II+ and IIe. As it could work as a RAM Disk (a virtual high speed harddrive), and you could load multiple programs on it, you could have very fast work sessions. It's referred to as the Slinky Card. I happen to be selling one here (check for the For Sale forums), and there was one up on eBay for $100, fully populated, before shipping costs.

Of course you should remember to first have a 128k/80column Card (adds 64k to the computers existing 64k) in slot 0. The Slinky card can go in a couple of different slots.

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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

I've not had luck in finding a 2meg or 4meg expander for sale, nothing at a reasonable price anyway.

I'm only interested in RAM expansion. For things like Siders and CFFA - that's something else entirely. My target goal is about 6-10 MB. If I had the time I'd go ahead build A 2meg expander myself. But that isn't going to be for a while.

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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

Quote:

I thought 4MB was the most you could have that was operationally accessible with the RAMFactor cards with the daughter board(s), in a IIe. Good luck finding that set-up. It was expensive when it came out, was third party, and so it's a rare grouping to find. I'm not sure about what software took advantage of it, but probably an old ad will tell you.

A fully loaded RAMFactor is 5MB. The 4MB add-on was an AE product (not 3rd party) and yeah... somewhat hard to get. I sent one to ReactiveMicro for cloning, Henry may have the Gerber files (might not). You can see my card's glamor shots located here:

http://www.downloads.reactivemicro.com/Public/Apple%20II%20Items/Hardware/RAMFactor/4_Meg_Expander/Pics/

You can run 2 5MB RAMFactors off of one RAMCharger, with a splitter cable (an option you could order from AE). I have done this, along with a 3MB RAMWorks card for giggles and grins just to say I had an Apple IIe with over 13MB.

It's also possible to piggy-back multiple 2MB cards on the RAMWorks card (some re-wiring required). That's how AE sold RAMWorks cards (advertised up to 14MB in size).

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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

Keatah wrote:

I'm only interested in RAM expansion. [...] My target goal is about 6-10 MB.

What are you after, really? Do you want to do a bunch of in-memory crunching of something where you need to see all that memory "at once?? Or do you want to feed that memory to virtually the only commercial application that could make use of it, AppleWorks?

If application development is your goal, I'm sure there are design points we could talk about that kept a working set of memory swapped in that was in the reasonable confines of a typical memory expansion space - virtualizing memory out to a CFFA or similar when needs get really big. Developing the operating system to do memory virtualization on the 8-bit Apple II is basically the responsibility of every application developer anyway. (AppleWorks is one such operating system in this sense.)

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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

Sort of. I want to work with large text files for one.

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transwarp II guy's picture
Joined: Mar 7 2013
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Re: Memory expansion on a //e ?

Keatah wrote:

Sort of. I want to work with large text files for one.

Hello Keatah,

The cheapest and easiest ram memory cards you can get a hold of are the Ramworks III & the apple 256k-1MB memory cards. They show up frequently on ebay and don’t ever sell for over $90.

However for what your wanting to do (It sounds awesome btw) I would suggest trying to get a hold of 2 RamFactors and 1 RamCharger and build your own Y cable like sfahey suggested. The rarest part to find would be the 4meg expanders.

RamFactors/RamChargers don’t sell for cheap but they don’t sell for super high prices either.
Take a look:

RamFactor by its self:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-II-1MB-Memory-Expansion-Card-by-Applied-Engineering-/261160688043?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3cce63d9ab&nma=true&si=Kl5GVYUCeM3Nm0agPsP0vnMMjYE%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

RamCharger by its self:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-APPLE-II-II-IIe-APPLIED-ENGINEERING-RAMCHARGER-ram-charger-/360613582926?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item53f63e984e

Complete set up:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/RamFactor-RamCharger-Combo-Rebuilt-Tested-with-Manuals-/330897272579?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accessories&hash=item4d0b03af03&nma=true&si=Kl5GVYUCeM3Nm0agPsP0vnMMjYE%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

I purchased that last listing and I’m loving the RamFactor/RamCharger set up. It’s way better than my old 1MB apple memory card. Having the partitions is really helpful.

I have my fully populated 1 MB apple memory card for sale on ebay, it has the original box w/ shrink wrap and the manuals. It’s also fully tested, and I’m the original owner. If your interested in it I can lower the price some, right now it’s BIN at $90.

Still your best bet would be a pair of RamFactors for what your trying to accomplish.

There are also plenty of other brands I can back up as I have used them for years. The “checkmate” 1 Meg aux slot card is great, and I actually prefer it.

There's also some 4 Meg aux slot cards made by some brand that are good, when I remember what brand they are I will post them up.

The ultimate set up for a IIe in my opinion would be either a RamWorks III w/ 1 meg plus 2 meg expander or checkmate 1 meg with 2 meg expander for the aux slot. Then have 2 RamFactors fully populated with 5 megs each, with a REQUIRED RamCharger set up. Without the RamCharger your power supply would be dead quick with that much ram. That would be over 13 MB to work with, 10 of which would be permanent ram disk memory, even under power outages as you will have the battery back up. It would be an awesome set up and a half for sure. I would then throw in a 256k Transwarp accelerator for some real fun!