Searching for information's and software

3 replies [Last post]
tokabln's picture
Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 104

Dear community,

I got hold of 3 Apple II(e) cards for which I'm looking to get some information's that allows me to use them with my Apple //e

  • Unitron U-2180 (Parallel Printer card ?) - looking for technical information (switch setting / manual) and driver software
  • Karl Blome 256KB RAM Expansion card. (8x D41256C RAM chips) - looking for technical information (manual) and driver software
  • Karl Blome "Steppel" card (Serial card ? using a SY6522 clip) - looking for technical information (manual) and driver software

Is there anyone out there who has some information's about these cards and/or some supporting software ?

Wish all of you a good start into 2016

Unitron U-2180.jpeg233.08 KB
Karl Blome 256KB RAM.jpeg244.64 KB
Karl Blome Steppel.jpeg233.14 KB

Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

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speedyG's picture
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Searching for information's and software

Hello tokabln,

first welcome to the board...

but second to your question:
it´s far enough not precise...
what cards are you talking about ? If you don´t place a link to pictures of that cards,
nobody knows what you are talking about or asking for..... telepathic vision hasn´t been
invented in this universe till yet....

so of course we also do not know what kind of supporting software you are talking about....

just to give you a idea: there are more than 500 different kind of interface cards out there
for the Apple II ..... and up till now i don´t even know if you are talking about the Apple II
or for example about the Macintosh.... ( with complete other kind of cards ).....

just some hints:
at the top right there is a field labeled: "search"
if you enter there topic or name of card you might probably recieve former threads related to
that card or topic....

At the FAQlink - also top right corner - you might get usefull info´s how to place pictures within your postings....
i´d recommend to spend some time on reserch and reading here the FAQ to discover here
how to use this board effective..... the more info you publish in your question - the more precise
we will be able to answer your questions....

even if you search at right top field the term "newbie" or "pictures" you will find postings with
valuable hints how to add such info´s to your postings....

we will await curious your further adding of information.... and if possible we surely will
reply also your questions......

sincerely 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....

tokabln's picture
Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 104
Re: Searching for information's and software

Dear speedyg,

many thanks for your welcome message and the shared information's

I already searched the internet and the applefritter forum if there is anything available supporting my request... and I found nothing. Just a french internetpage where the Unitron card is shown and another page having some pictures as well. I tried to contact the french guy but actually without any success.

As you mentioned, I just took some pictures and made them available at my thread...

I'm interested in any information (technical as well as manual(s)) that allows me to use these cards in my Apple //e

Hope this helps...

again many thanks and have a nice start into 2016


Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

speedyG's picture
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2376
Re: Searching for information's and software

Hello tokabln,

i can pass over at least some information, though maybe not that specific,
like you expected:

1st card Unitron:
That a Interfacecard for hooking up a printer with centronics port. This might
be verified by view to the plug at the other end of the cable.

In former days that Centronics port was rather common 8 bit parallel port and
a lot of old dot matrix printers used that kind of port like Epson
Models 80 MX / FX or 85 MX / FX and Citizen or Oki and also old printers from Canon or HP.
That port outdated in the period about 1998 by changeover of printers using
USB port instead of serial ports....
There is a difference between 1st and 3rd card: The DIP switch at the rear side of the
card may be assumed to determine by switching if protoboll lines ACK etc. are triggered positive or negativ....

3rd card Steppel:
same valid as explained to first card....
just one point to keep in mind:
In that days no cardmaker really used standards also at the interfacecard itself !
So the cable at first card may probably not work at the third card.
several manufacturers used specific own "homebrew made cables" between their cards
and the centronics plug.... this card has no switches so you may assume it to be using "standard"
wiring like used at the epson printer interface card.

2nd card 256 kB RAM:
Are you sure that at this card really 256 kb Chips have been used ?
By the picture the labels are not readable.... maybe a closeup would permit a confirmation.

Up till now i´d rather more guess the card to be a clone from other 16kB languagecards
made for the Apple II or II+ with on board refresh. The difference is that those without
own refresh use a spare socket with cable and relocate one chip from the mainboard to the
card to pull refresh from the mainboard....
the other cards with own on board refresh like this one didn´t need that relocation of the chip
and the 16 pin flat ribbon cable.

Only if the chips are really 256 kB chip´s ( like i did not expect ) the card may be of use in the IIe.
In that case it will turn out to become difficult. That kind of cards still used ( each by itself with own
"factory standard" the bank switching - so software from other cards in general won´t work with them.
That would lead up to a "try and error" trail....

If its really a 256 kB card - that kind of cards have been used like RAM Disk floppies for storing floppy contents
in memory to speed up access.

for further research i´d recommend to search the following links:

in that directory you will see availiable stuff from other centronics printercards....
some have quite similarity with your first and third card.
For some similar cards there are manuals availiable too....

In general the correct slot for such printer cards is slot 1.
The card then is activated by PR#1 command at the promt or from the program and then activates
the printer and directs text to the printer port and by that activation - depending to the
connected printer ( see manual of used printer ) - you may also send so called "control codes"
to the printer to give the printer commands, in which kind of way the printer shalll print the
text ( i.e. bold/ italic/ understrike printing or graphical dot printing commands ).

the second link :

leads to the directory with the 16kB language cards for the Apple II.

You should hunt there for similar cards to your second card with own refersh at the card.

If the card contains really 256 kB Chips then you may use this following third link:

In that directory are also some 256 kb Cards listed and you may compare pictures to find a similar card and examine if for the similar card there is a manual or software availiable.

please note: This second card is determined for the regular slot and NOT FOR THE AUXILIARY MEMORY SLOT of the II e !
If you insert this card in that auxiliary memory slot you will damage your IIe seriously !

That card may be used in any regular slot if it´s really a 256 kB card.

Otherwise if it´s ( like i guess ) a 16 kB language card - then it´s determined to be used within slot 0
at the Apple II or II+ !

good luck for your hunt and research.

sincerely 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....