Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

15 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922

Is there a need for this? Considering there's only been 1,000 of these boxes ever made.

I have only ~5 hours of "Apple II" time this week, and how to best appropriate it. Manual scan or Sider drive teardown..?

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

I have yet to do an in-depth study of these. I have serial numbers 990 and 154. It will be interesting to see the differences, if any.

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

if the manual contains also a circuit-plan of the box a scan would be very fine because it would uncover how the box is interfaced with the computer....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2609
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

Keatah,

I have to agree with Speedy; if the manual contains the schematics of the PCB and connections for the Expansion Box, it may be useful to anyone who may want to recreate it, or even build one that is better than the original.
Now wouldn't that be nice? Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

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

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

ohh hellya that would be fine. The manual does not contain any schematics unfortunately.

Of my two chassis, I think I may relegate #900 to spare parts. And #154 to operational/collector status. So we would have to reverse engineer these.

The logic circuitry doesn't seem all that complex or involved. Certainly no custom parts. And the majority of connections would be the parallel slot-to-slot wiring, which is a lot of repetition anyways.

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

Hello Keatah,
reverse engineering probably will be a tough job, but if the manual is scanned it would be very usefull to take some really good pictures with highest possible resolution - it would be a great gratification and just if the one board is taken appart for spares - it would be really great to make one picture with the populated part of the box, were the chips can be identified and thereafter - if the parts are taken off the board - probably if possible to pull off all parts with a hot-air-fan and getting scans from the unpopulated board from topside and bottom side.....

I do remember that in the beginning 80´s a magazine published a story about a "slot-repeater" that was later repeated in the book "the custom apple" - that part in a special way just repeated with a plug to an external PCB the slots 2 through 5 ( i.e. 4 slots ) and another part of the story explained how to connect two apple II computers with an additional VIA port card both computers together.... i´ll scan that within the next 2 months and put the links in the thread "hardware and special topics"....

it will be great to compare the both solutions with each other....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

hello AF-members,
as i anounced several days ago i´ve now scanned the doucumentpages of the ElComp Slotrepeater including the pCB-docs and layout and i´ve published it in my Applebox-pages at:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/slotrepeater.htm
so you can download the PDF-File from there and view the document.
As explained in earlier posting i suggest this to be the preliminary publishment that lead up to the development of the mountain Expansion Box....

happy downloading and happy building...

speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

Yes there seems to be a lot of parallels between the repeater and mountain hardware chassis. No pun intended. Eventually I'll tear #900 all apart and strip it completely, down to taking parts of the board. #154 needs just a tweak here and there to make MIB NIB quality.

Perhaps we can reverse engineer the board from scans and detailed pictures. Don't forget the plug-into-the-apple-console interface card is chockfull of parts. This will be more difficult to handle. I don't think I'll tear it apart. Or remove chips and sockets to see the traces. But we can trace things out pretty good with a DMM I a-reckon..

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

well keatah,
based on my knowledge from the slotrepeater and the similarity i´d guess that the interface card just buffers the slot-signals to the box and probably the slotdecoding is removed from the external-board ( in the slotrepeater it´s located at the external PCB ) and instead at the Mountain Box moved over to the interface card..... this would be indicated if the 74LS138 chips are not anymore on the external PCB but instead on the interface card.... the other signals like all timingclocks, the adressbus and the databus are for sure latched on the interface.....

If i get clear scans from the box-boaard ( back- and frontside ) and good hires pics from the interface-card ( back- and frontside ) i should be able to do the reverse engineering and end up with a acceptable circuitplan.... a scan from the manual would be usefull too...

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

There is no schematic or diagram in the manual. There is a good breakdown of the multitude of jumper posts.

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

well thats not the point for the manual - of course a schematic would be usefull, but the infos about the jumperfield in conjunction with the pictures help to reconstruct the schematic at least at the jumperfield.

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

I had extra time this week due to two aborted hardware projects.. So I turned to reading about the LHC and high-energy particle physics. And scanning the manual, of course.

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

hello Keatah,
i´m very cute for the link to get in touch with the manual-scan and if possible the pictures taken up till now from the box and the PCB.....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

Hello AF´s, Hello Keatah,
there seems to be no progress in this thread anymore..... can we expect some progress in future ?
greetings speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: May 27 2009
Posts: 922
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

Re-open the thread! There is progress! Today, I've decided to make the manual available. Expect to see it on Asimov soon enough.

From the descriptions and limited info in there, no one will be able to build or duplicate the assembly easily. Anyone wanting to do this will need a good set of photos, I believe. I'm not willing to tear down my tested and working chassis, it's in too good a condition. But my second box isn't in all that "perfect". So maybe that will suffice.

On this second box I'd go as far as pulling chips and playing with a DMM, or desoldering sockets to get the wiring documented. I doubt I'll have the time to actually draw up the schematic itself, but with the appropriate detail I'm sure someone here can.

Enjoy!

__________________

On a clear disk you can seek forever..

MarkO's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 10 2011
Posts: 666
Re: Mountain Hardware expansion chassis manual?

speedyG wrote:

hello AF-members,
as i anounced several days ago i´ve now scanned the doucumentpages of the ElComp Slotrepeater including the pCB-docs and layout and i´ve published it in my Applebox-pages at:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/slotrepeater.htm
so you can download the PDF-File from there and view the document.
As explained in earlier posting i suggest this to be the preliminary publishment that lead up to the development of the mountain Expansion Box....

happy downloading and happy building...

speedyG

I noticed that the "Coupling of Two 6502 Systems" section of your document refers to the 6522 I/O chip..

Here are some John Bell "32-bit Parallel for APPLE II+ IIe IIgs" with the MOS 6522 chips.. eBay Auction Unused, and eBay Auction Used, with Cables.

These might provides a Quick Way to connect a couple Apples together... I have wanted to get a couple of these to try Data Acquisition with...