Hardware Developement and special Topics

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to the community,

this is another very simple project for beginners and besides it might solve for several fans a problem:
not everybody in the community is that lucky to own a original apple][ joystick - but a lot of them have
somewhere a PC-joystick on the shelf.... so here is an

Adaptor for the Apple ][ series and use with
either a apple-joystick or a PC-Joystick

and it provides

an additional plug to access the 4 annunciators from the gameport

for use with future simple projects like lightorgan or homesecuritysystem and burglar-alarm-system

these additional projects will be added within the next weeks to and they are that simple,
that such projects have been used in earlier days in highschool for learning how to
programm the Apple II and how to interface this computer with very simple methods !

so just have fun ... load that games for use with joystick and start the jump ´n run session....
or draw with paint de luxe nice artwork !

the link to the pictures and the plans:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxgameport.htm

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

speedyG wrote:

Hello to the community,

this is another very simple project for beginners and besides it might solve for several fans a problem:
not everybody in the community is that lucky to own a original apple][ joystick - but a lot of them have
somewhere a PC-joystick on the shelf.... so here is an

Adaptor for the Apple ][ series and use with
either a apple-joystick or a PC-Joystick

and it provides

an additional plug to access the 4 annunciators from the gameport

for use with future simple projects like lightorgan or homesecuritysystem and burglar-alarm-system

these additional projects will be added within the next weeks to and they are that simple,
that such projects have been used in earlier days in highschool for learning how to
programm the Apple II and how to interface this computer with very simple methods !

so just have fun ... load that games for use with joystick and start the jump ´n run session....
or draw with paint de luxe nice artwork !

the link to the pictures and the plans:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxgameport.htm

this page has got the first update !

it´s the film and plan how to make the PCB No.1 for the first set of experiments !

with this PCB you might switch up to 16 devices external


with the use of peeks and pokes of the annunciators of the gameport....

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

first partial update performed... it´s not complete yet, but if gives impression of the programming and the way the program will be commented and explained ....
the purpose of this partial update is to see if there is any feedback, that i hit the level of highschool and amateurs or if it is too complicated for beginners to enter with this level....

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF-members....

after all no feedbacks have been made up till now - so i´ll just go ahead and continue and guess that its O.K. the way it has been performed up to now.....

the next update has been executed and now the code for the switching of the devices is complete and commented ....

next week i´ll perform the next stage and show how to extend the gameport as a kind of detector for security-system

and how to extend the code used up to this point for extending the system of switching devices
to be extended to react after external incident causes the security-system to detect a security breach.

up till then have some pleasure playing around and creating own code....

speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

SpeedyG,

For my own part, I think everything you've been doing is excellent and I thank you.
I haven't had the time to try and do any of the mods you have written about, but I read each one with great interest.
I have just recently found out that I have a new job and have been filling out all the required forms and such. It will be nice to be employed again.

Steven Smile

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

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello Steven,
i really wish you all the luck you will need to get the job.....
i really do unterstand your situation - i´m in a rather worse situation, because i am off from business now since November 2006 ( when i had my second heartstroke )with no chance anymore to get into my profession as administrator for very large database-systems and mixed networking platforms.... the doctors told me that a turnback would kill me because there is to much responsibility and stress related to the job ( even more if i would turn back to perform as freelancer ).....
and any other "simple job" with less stress would be just as harmfull because of the physical limitations ( only some 48% to 52 % of remaining capacity in the heart muscles ... the rest is scarf-tissued )....
so i had to learn to limit myself to my boundaries....
but for you i guess it would be great to get back and meet every day companions "in faith" and solve together the daily issues and challanges succesfully... thats a great feeling after each solved challenge....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Speedy,

Yes. I had congestive heart failure about 8 years ago and have a pacemaker/ defib unit installed. Once the Doc told me I could go back to work, I was back at it again. I've worked with some great teams the last few years.
Through it all I've had my Apples to keep my mind busy.

Keep up the great atricles. I think you have found your new calling, just doing work on the Apple II's.

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

speedyG wrote:

Hello to the community,

this is another very simple project for beginners and besides it might solve for several fans a problem:
not everybody in the community is that lucky to own a original apple][ joystick - but a lot of them have
somewhere a PC-joystick on the shelf.... so here is an

Adaptor for the Apple ][ series and use with
either a apple-joystick or a PC-Joystick

and it provides

an additional plug to access the 4 annunciators from the gameport

the link to the pictures and the plans:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxgameport.htm

NEXT LARGE UPDATE COMPLETED !

With this update the developement of the \"Piggy-Pack-PCB\" is completed !


It can be plugged to the top of the previously introduced Base PCB and
it provides the User with indicator-LEDs to show the state of the used lines
and
it provides additional connectors and optional parts to be used with the Base PCB.

With this "Piggy-Pack-PCB" a lot of additionel experiments and
new additional usage of the Gameport is provided for very simple interfacing !

Within the next days also the coding will be continued and it will be explained
how to use the additional features....

speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

So now again the next update has been performed.....

now the program-modules to pickup the values from the hardware of the PCB´s
have been completed and commented

and we are aproaching the the coding of the
mainprogram with large leaps......

this update contains within the commented part several important issues related
to the so called "PIGGY-PACK-PCB" and if you intend to make those PCB´s it´s realy
important to read that stuff because it might help you to avoid mistakes while
populating the PCB´s !

sincerely
speedyG

Edit from 8th June 2012:
absence note

there will be some delay now caused by the absence for 2 weeks due to some surgery in the left
schoulder at the hospital ( some torn off muscles must be fixed back ). Probably i get the chance to
check very short in only to check for mails or messages but no work will be performed and no answers
untill I´m back home in front off my own computer.....
have pleasent times and see you all later alligators....
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Good luck with the surgery SpeedyG!

Mutant Pie

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Watch youreslf in the hospital Speedy. You know how doctors like to Peek, Poke, and Prodfor no reason.
See you when you get back.

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

hello all AF´s together,
i´m back from my "vacation" in the clinic and everything went well ... i´ve been "enhanced" with several srews and some "patckwork-sewing" with the optimistic view that i can use the left arm in a couple of weeks again some 95% - if i keep on trail and start up with gymnastic in 10 days... so further posting in this thread will be delayed another 2 or 3 weeks - till after the point i get rid of the "additional bondage-set" that i have to carry the next 10 days that fixes the left arm at the moment to the body.... at the moment i have to do everythinmg with only one hand...
the most important is that everything went well and the doctor told that he was able to fix the torn off 3 muscles back again in proper shape and that after 10 more days i will be permitted to start using the arm again...
as soon as i am permitted to use the arm again i will continue the updates of the gameport-adaptor series with pictures of the PCB´s and some additional items and then continue with the coding and documentation and make a .DSK image with the code for downloading ... and besides i will split the pages within my site to get the bunch more handy to speed up the time to load that pages... so the next updates may be expected in about 2 or 3 weeks...

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Speedy,

Glad to hear it.
Happy you are doing better.
I'm sure you Doc said "Don't rush.", so listen to him. lol
See you back up here soon.

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

bushnrvn wrote:

I wasn't sure where to put this, I figured anything I would hypothetically produce would be for the Apple II so I figured I'd start here.

I'm interested in learning about hardware development, especially in the Apple II arena. I was just wondering if anyone had any good starting points? Where did you start? Any tips for beginners? All responses are greatly appreciated.

Hello buchnrvn,
i just picked up your question from the other thread and put in here some lines mentioned in earlier posts here above:

MarkO wrote:

I also found a very nice Reference Book at Apple2OnLine, called Apple Interfacing. Unfortunately is is Locked from Printing and is formatted 4 Book Pages per page, so it is real Hard to read...
I ordered a Used Copy through Amazon.com..... I should have it in a week or so...

and

apeedyG wrote:

Nice book... its one of those that i bought in the beginning 80´s a reference in the shelf....
I guess your talking about the one from Jonathan A. Titus, ISBN 067221862-3
the more comprehessive one is from Charles J.Engelshere "Interfacing & Digital Experiments with your Apple"
ISBN 0-8306-1717-5, its good for the high school level as teaching intr with additional intro to basic electronic knowledge,
but my favorite is "Hardware Interfacing with the Apple II Plus" from John E. Uffenbeck,
ISBN 0-13-383844-7 because its for engineer level the best one .... it also includes the main parts of the related datasheets to and samplelines of code to access the related Interfaces and really nice projects...
it might be a good idea to get that one too....

last not least to mention the book:
"the custom Apple" which repeated several projects from the elComp magazin...
some of them i scanned and republished them in my homepage and set the links in earlier postings in this thread....
sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Wow. Thank you very much, speedy. I'll look into this tonight. I've bookmarked this thread for future reference.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello AF-members,
long "vacation" is over and after several weeks this is first sign of life ......
after the recreation is partialy done and i got rid of the bondage-system i started up first to update the pages related to the Gameportadapter with several simple tasks:
the one huge page with long loading time was split down to several smaller pages for faster loads and i added several pictures of the PCB´s and items used with the PCB´s to get a idea how flexibal the design is....
i hope that navigation became more handy and usefull.....

the link to the main entry of the page was left unchanged so anybody who bookmarked the page needs no change....
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxgameport.htm

although i still have another surgery to be done too - so the progress of the contents itself are still not up to full speed.... but i will try to continue the program with the topic and a routine to test / calibrate joysticks and the routines for the display within the hires-pages as modules as soon as posible....
sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all Af-members,

within the last months a lot of threads about keyboards and keyswitches.......

i decided to make a general page related to that topic and explain the functions and the different kinds of keyswitches used in various keyboards and basic knowledge how to fix problems and how to replace keyswitches if no repair is possible. The entire page is located at:

http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxkeypage.htm

i hope this limits the amount of new threads related to this topic and i will add in short future another page about the basics of the operation of the keyboard-encoders.

feedback to possible enhancements of the page are welcome....

this was just a task put in between before continueing the pages related to the gameportadapter that soon will be continued too....

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

I used to have a peripheral called a Dtack 68000.
It was a 68000 CPU on a board for the Apple II.
While I no longer have the hardware, I came across some of the disks here.
Not sure anyone needs them, but if doing a 68000 board they might come in handy.
Just thought I'd mention it.

Btw, anyone remember the Number Nine video board for the Apple?
Very high res for the time, but didn't have a lot of software support.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Neon Forests wrote:

I used to have a peripheral called a Dtack 68000.
It was a 68000 CPU on a board for the Apple II.
While I no longer have the hardware, I came across some of the disks here.
Not sure anyone needs them, but if doing a 68000 board they might come in handy.
Just thought I'd mention it.

Hello Neon Forests,
probably it might be the best for preserve to upload that disks in DSK-format to asimov.net.......
I´m sure some of the members troughout AF and Apple-Webring are hunting for such disks......

Neon Forests wrote:

Btw, anyone remember the Number Nine video board for the Apple?
Very high res for the time, but didn't have a lot of software support.

If i can trust my memory that card was designed for use with ancient Video Seven RGB-monitors...
and few later up to my memory the company "vanished / changed" and thereafter it turned out as another company that distributed one of the very first CAD-design-software-systems at the Apple ( which was atronomical expensive ...)and additionaly if i remember correct the system was then related to Wacom Tablets ....

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF members,

so now also the second part has been added that treats in detail the keyboardmatrix and the decoderchips including datasheets for download .....

http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxldecoderpage.htm

i hope this solves the last issues related to this topic and it remains as a kind of basic reference to everybody who is forced to get into the details or wants to learn about the basics of this topic.....

just by the way.... why not create a forum to collect such kind of basical pages as a kind of reference and collection of help-pages ? it probably might help to save space within the system of AF and avoid redundant threads.... just a idea....

sincerely speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

SUPERPROTO Apple II prototyping cards are now available...
Price is $65 for a kit
Bare PCBs (no components are $35 each or 4 for $125

$10 shipping to anywhere

Check out my wiki page for more information and some example projects
www.willegal.net/superproto

send email to:mike@willegal.net for more information.

regards,
Mike Willegal

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF-members,
now the important parts of the referencepages related to DISK II Drives are completed....
Basicpage:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxdiskiipage1.htm
speedadjustment:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxdiskiipage2.htm
track zero adjustment:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/appleboxdiskiipage3.htm
so at this point i´ll just take a small timeout to solve other tasks waiting to be solved....
in a several days i will also create the final page related to the topic of the read/write compensation
that will explain how to optimize the performance of the electronics of the read/writehead and
common repairs at the analogboard ( for example exchanging the damaged chips if the cable to the
controller was plugged wrong way in and some chips got fried... so some drives might become resurected ... )
the other advantage of optimizing the electronics is that the drive probably can use the tracks 36 to 40
with safe reading and writing... and besides that page will cover some common tricks of protectionshemes
used in the old days to protect gamedisks....
up till then enjoy the pages have fun ... hoping the pages are usefull to the community and reduce threads to the topic of drives ....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

I hope I'm not hijacking this thread, but one peripheral (actually two combined) that I'd like to see available again was a thing called an AppleThrottle.
This was basically a small 555 clock that polled the interrupt line on the CPU causing it to slow down or even stop.
One could slow down games or fast machine language routines in order to debug them.
It had a pot and a switch or two to change the speed or stop processing entirely.

When I built mine I combined it with a readout for the address and date buss.
Originally I used separate LEDs, but later used BCD-7 segment decoders (and some homemade diode arrays) so I could see the actual address and data on the buss.

Has anyone ever seen or heard of the AppleThrottle?
It was featured in some magazine way back then.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF-members,

just a short remark:
the page 3 and the related PDF-File have been updated and some remarks and hints added and the part related
to adjustment with the scope has been added !

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

speedyG wrote:

one of the main reasons I started to reactivate my apples is reasoned by the fact that i want to spend again more time with the computers and get back to the pleasure by playing with them....
In former days I spent quit a lot time not only on repairing the computers of the members of our local user group but also playing around with the availiable chips and developing interfaces to the apple-bus.

At the moment one of the ghosts spooking around in my mind is the point, that in the old days i didn´t buy a mocking board
but on the other hand today instead of getting one from ebay or somewhere else it schould be worth a little time to think about an alternative: since the days of the mocking board the market has developed lots of soundchips and the "half-aged" ones ( usually for example used on the 16 Bit soundcards from creative like the soundblaster or ESS like those on the MS-Tech ) are nowadays thrown to the waste because nearly nobody is running anymore WIN98 and

at the other point the drivers for that kind of cards are outdated due to the fact that lot of the companies didn´t make new drivers for XP...

on the other hand the docs availiable to those chips are quite good and it should not be to difficult to get the chips off the card and together with 2 Audio Amp Chips like TDA 2006 or 2010 or other alternate chips and some decoding chips to interface with the datalines and some adresslines should also be possible with not to much brainwork....

the other point ( that is a point viewed by watching the distribution of Rich Drehers CFFA Card ... ) there seem to be enough people out there to think about realizing small batch of PCBs ( say some 100 Cards or so ) ....
Last but not least the issues of the mocking board are in the meantime well known und in the meantime also the bugs around the IIGS and the problems from that hardware is also public and well known - so it should be possible to come around that issues and get something really great...

are there some other guys that have interest in starting up a speacial thread for developement of such soldering products ?

other ideas could be for example an Interface to control solarpanels ( including the need to follow the sun to ensure efficiency ) controlboard for home security alarm system or similar projects...

I´m curious on the replies to this thoughts...

Between the running tasks with the apple 1 cards i just had a spare day to continue with the task mentioned above.....
and of course allthough Mike Willegal claimed that it´s not to hard to get a Mockingboard or a replication....
well this card will beat the mockingboard when its finished... that´s for sure....
- just my opinion... and i want to keep it compatible with the existing software, so that there is no need for writing new one... at least for the sound and the normal speech function.... in fact the real challenge will be to write the algorythms for the part that shall perform the speech recognition and the other part that shall perform as MIDI interface...
the actual development stage:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/applebox_soundcard.htm

sincerely speedyG

1st EDIT:

After yesterday the 6522´s and the AY-3-8910´s had been connected - today the SSI263A speech-chips have been integreted
( this chip only support speech output ) together with the required oscillator and for both part switchable the output
selectable
between LINE OUT ( output for external Amplifier or active speakers 0,7 Vpp ) or MiniAmp ( max. 1,5 Watt per Channel ) and the output jacks.

Next will be to add the requested posts ( or say port ) to pickup the signals offered from the internal IIGS soundchip
and the handling of that siganls in the card....
a special exemark to the problem that the sound at the IIGS seems to have something like a groundloop which produces quite large amount of noise and checking if filtering is recommended....

sincerely speedyG

2nd EDIT:


so today i spent quite a lot time by designing the speechinput-processing part of the SP1000 together with the ADC0832 and some related logic..... thats done and completed in the circuitplan and tommorow i´ll try to fit the stuff on the card allthough i guess i must enlarge the needed space at the card now....

i allready was forced to scale up the size of the sheet containing the circuitplan to DIN A2 to keep it readable.....
but now i have at least enough space to add within that space the rest of the circuitplan....

that´s the price to pay if i want finally a card that beats any other card that has ever been designed for the Apple II series... and the card fullfills this demand although it´s still not finished up yet......
but i guess it´s amazing for those who follow up this thread to watch the progress and at the end think about the final outcome of this task( hopefully at the end of this month ).....

sincerely speedyG

3rd EDIT:

Today the parts have been arranged on the card and the lines have been routed...... up to the current status -
according to the actual circuitplan....

in fact there are 3 tasks to be completed within the next days....:
Integration of the port from the IIGS to the card........
integration of the digital and analog input for MIDI and analog recording
and the output of digitaloutput and MIDI-port output
and then finally the glue logic requsted to determine which part of the card is used in the very moment....
and the related adressinglogic.....
as well as the portlogic of the datalines switching between:
input to the computer or
output from the computer

as everybody can see - the full hight of the card is reached - so in case of spaceexpansion this can only be realized by expanding in the length and there is also not very much place left....
it seems that at the end i will have a "extreme squeezing session" upfront ahead....

but in the next 2 or 3 days there will be a break.....
so i wish a merry christmas to all AF members here....
sincerely speedyG

4th EDIT:

Today i revised the circuitplan of the sound and speech card and ordered the schematic for better overview in sections and created a PDF-file for better reading of the current status.....
now also the II GS Sound connection is integrated too, as well as the small 1,5 Watt Stereo Mini Amplifier....
the remaining part to be done is the MIDI-Sound section.
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/applebox_soundcard.htm
Any comments are welcome.......
sincerely speedyG

5th EDIT:

After several days of evaluation and scanning the material related with MIDI i have to state here several points:
MIDI seems even after several decades to split away from regular electronics like rocketscience from automotive electronics.....
even after more than 25 years of development it seems that no company succeeded in pursuaying the market with a relevant standard....
there are at least 5 different standards of command bytesets, and even more than 15 different kinds operational byte sets...
to say the truth it seems every company in the market just play around with an very own "company command standard"
so its foolish if i would believe to just implement a kind of simple "MIDI-interface" ......
and it would be more stupid if i would believe to just complete such task in 1 or 2 weeks...
what i will be able to do - is to ad an interface that provides at the plugs a set of repeating 3 bytes in serial order that matches with the MIDI-standards.....
the rest must be solved by the software.....

And that will cost several months to setup a software that interfaces with different MIDI-devices... each company own standard requires for each company own software driver setup....

At the moment the most target leading attempt will be to get as much information as possible about the Apple MIDI-Interface Card ( like circuit-plans, manuals, disks with software stc.) - if anybody has any information on that topic to share i will appreciate that very much ( in that case please send pm here in AF ) and then to keep as close as possible to their design to make sure that at least their software will work with the card....

but this will require several months of time to invest... so :

at the very moment i will step back and surrender from the attempt to integrate the MIDI-Interface at the very moment....

and the 2 chips in the circuitplan ( the 6840 and the 6850 ) will stay without connection to the rest of the board and the remaining unused gates will stay in that status too.... later when starting up with the integration i will have to see if any of the unused gates will be needed...

this will occur in a later revision of the card.....

so at the moment the issue will be to find as much space as possible to remain unused on the card in the layout for spare for the later development and expansion to MIDI....

instead i´ll now at the moment continue with the optimization of the space on the card to compact the layout and then at least get a testversion of the board to continue with the requested software for the speech-input and the software requsted to switch between the different parts of the card....

the software will act as TSR ( Terminate and Stay Resident ) programm - written in assembler and controlled by special key combinations .... that programm will be loaded into the RAM in upper area and then the memory limit will be set down just below of the used area... thereafter pressing the special key- will activate menu where the card will recieve instruction how to behave.... after that command is issued the card switches to the desired mode of operation and the programm terminates again back to resident status.... untill special key is pressed again....

thats it for the moment....
sincerely speedyG

6th EDIT:

Well now also the layout of the Sound- and Speechcard has been revised and compacted....... the spare area left in the one edge of the card is reserved for a later revision, where the MIDI electronics should be fitted in that spare area....
also the routing has been completed up to 3 lines left, that are related to the handling of the Read/Write lines and the handling of the IRQ.
So that will only cause very small change, but no change in the layout anymore.....
that means this views of the card on the mentioned page is nearly the final version.....

http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/applebox_soundcard.htm

i plan, that i will get a testversion of that PCB within the next 6 weeks and test it then within the following 2 weeks..
it is planned to show the card in action at the VCFe ( Vintage Computer Festival europe ) in Munich at the end of April...
if there is no further feedback here, i will guess that there is no interest in further publishing of information on this topic ..... up till now the feedback was also "nearly mothing" - if you check the preleading entries you will find out that only one or 2 posts have been related to this card.... it seems that people prefer to stay happy with a mocking-board copy that does not work in a IIGS - and / or prefer to stay with major problems of not beeing able to use the IIGS Ensonique port realy....
so why unleash that sound abilities, if sou can stay at the very point and hangout a little bit more longer with the problems that are availiable ???

that´s at least the point that seems to turn out when judging the reactions up till now....
sincerely speedyG

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Comment to SpeedyG's Sound Card

Not sure what I could offer that could possibly be constructive to the project, however I'm interested in the final result and also interested in buying a PCB when it materializes.
Thanks for sharing this among us Apple II folks and don't let the Forum silence indicate non-interest.
I can assure you that's not the case. Thanks again.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Perhaps Speedy you can do a modern version of sprite board-TMS9918a + ay sound (Byte magazine article) or Ampermagic clone?
I've always wanted one of these since the eighties.But now that the ICs are abundantly available on ebay.
It's a lot simpler than your current undertaking. Nonetheless, outstanding.
I'm keeping tabs on what's available from homebrew enthusiasts like yourself (in my lifetime please).

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

tylak wrote:

Perhaps Speedy you can do a modern version of sprite board-TMS9918a + ay sound (Byte magazine article) or Ampermagic clone?
I've always wanted one of these since the eighties.But now that the ICs are abundantly available on ebay.
It's a lot simpler than your current undertaking. Nonetheless, outstanding.
I'm keeping tabs on what's available from homebrew enthusiasts like yourself (in my lifetime please).

Hello tylak,
well related to the first part i sent a pm.....
dependent to the infos given to the PM i´ll try to think over - but i guess at the moment i´ll be faster if i just stay at this very design and complete that first.... its a pitty this idea wasn´t meiled earlier...

and to the second... ?
well i started on this project based on the primary idea on July - and made a break for the development of the apple 1 cards ( 4 cards in 5 months... ) and they are now waiting for order completeion of the testversions...
- and then i returned to this project 3 1/2 weeks ago...

if you view the development within a total of 4 weeks - well how fast is that ?
large companies with more manpower used up to 1 year for the development of less complex cards...

reviewing the fact that the apple 1 cards will be completed within a total of less than 5 months you might expect the final version of this card up till May of this year with software till July or August...
i guess you try to survive till this period is over and i guess your chances to be quite well to solve this challenge....

sincerly speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

SpeedyG, Instead of breaking up your rhythm on this project, it is sometimes better just to let you run with it. I downloaded the wiring diagram (2nd or 3rd revision) and was pleasantly surprised to see the Mic input circuit. ( I have plans for this part of the project.) So, I am just patiently waiting till you open up orders. Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello littlejohn,
then you will be very happy to hear this:
i have for that section a well documented assembler code.....
the reason:
i had in 1985 from VOC 2020 a system with speechinput for the IIe that permitted direct speechinput to the editor or at commandline permitting to programm direct by speaking linenumbers and commandtokens....
( similar to the later in the 90´s developed Dragon Dictate under OS/2 und 4 years later availiable under windows95 )
this assemblerprogram also treats the switching logic of the automatic gain control and the basics of speech recognition algorythms...
so after the completion of the card this programm will be released too....
then you can alter that program for your own needs....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

tylak wrote:

Perhaps Speedy you can do a modern version of sprite board-TMS9918a + ay sound (Byte magazine article) or Ampermagic clone?
I've always wanted one of these since the eighties.But now that the ICs are abundantly available on ebay.
It's a lot simpler than your current undertaking. Nonetheless, outstanding.
I'm keeping tabs on what's available from homebrew enthusiasts like yourself (in my lifetime please).

Well Tylak,
in the meantime i have examined that stuff about the TNS9918a......
First of all it´s rather more simple soundcard but the important point: its a tweaking card for advancing the graphic´s and rather more important: up till now i havn´t seen any games that really support that card....

so at the first point: that card does not even match the very most important point of my demands to get a card that integrates Sound, Synthesizer, Speechout and Speechinput and rather more: that most of the availiable games support in at least one way the ability of the card as mockingboaard, or as arctic speech output or as listener speech input or as synthisizer like the Phasor from AE and that also supports the IIGS ensonique port like the THX board or similar cards like the Soundmeister.

It would be a thought worth to think about the TNS99819a, if at least a bunch of software would support that card.....
- but thats not the fact.... - i´d rather more spend time later to try an attempt for upgrading the graphics for higher resolution like EGA 640 x 480 pixel to get better graphics on the screen of the IIGS while viewing the desktop of the OS and supporting small sprite-like symbols to get more items to the visible part of the desk instead.... probably in the second half of the year and similar to the attempt of the second sight card.....

maybe your luck permits you to aquire a arcade card from ebay... then i will be glad ro see a review, that explains how many games really get supported and enhanced by that card....

sorry.....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

speedyG wrote:

- i´d rather more spend time later to try an attempt for upgrading the graphics for higher resolution like EGA 640 x 480 pixel to get better graphics on the screen of the IIGS while viewing the desktop of the OS and supporting small sprite-like symbols to get more items to the visible part of the desk instead.... probably in the second half of the year and similar to the attempt of the second sight card.....

maybe your luck permits you to aquire a arcade card from ebay... then i will be glad ro see a review, that explains how many games really get supported and enhanced by that card....

sorry.....
sincerely speedyG

Speedy,
No worries,
I've to say I totally agree VGA is the way to go and would support the project if it's available for the //e also.
thanks for reviewing.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF-members,
during the past years i have placed here a lot of links to pages within my site APPLEBOX.
In fact that has been only a part of the subdirectory of Electronics...

In the mean time this directory has been expanded quit a lot and it´s getting now a own
entire topdir in my site now - specialoly now because i´m currently adding several hundreds of new pages....

within the past 2 weeks i´ve added about nearly 400 pages.....
the new contents bear following topics:

- dozends of interfacecards not yet availiable at asimov
with documentation and circuitplans !

- conplete sourcelistings of programs and patches
for example a wide range of patches for different controllers to use 80 track drives with different systems
patch for removal of CPM2.2 Bug and other stuff more....

IMPORTANT FOR MUSICIANS :

- the entire description of modification and expansion of Apple II computer ro real working synthisizer
including detailed plans of 3 interface cards and program source listings for this entire system.....
in printed version this project cover more that 50 letter pages...

- a 150 pages of how to make a CPM86 computer with 8086
with complete Software and details
of interfacecards and circuitplans

- a 50 pages of how to make a CPM68k computer with 68000
with complete Software and details
of interfacecards and circuitplans

the entire stuff from old download pages will be moved to the new basic entrypage within the next 2 weeks.

At the moment the most of the new stuff has not been translated and remains in German language.....
but some people won´t want to wait several months till that entire stuff has been translated to englich language
or quite a lot of guys are able to read German language sources or know someone able to translate....
so therefor here is the link to the new relocated contents....

the NEW LINK to the APPLEBOX is:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/APPLEBOX/AppleboxIndexpage.htm

at the moment the entires are marked with flags indicating the availiable language....
and as well known : circuitplans and technical details often don´t need translations
and same is often valid to sourcelistings of programs...

if page seens to be empty try few days later.... my wires are running hot while uploading that stuff....
it nearly 1,5 GB of content and maybe parts of that content uploading completes tommorow or up till next weekend....
then all pages should display correct....

translöation of that huge bunch of pages ( remember please that´s more than 400 pages of stuff ! )
will require quite a period of time....
so english translations will become availiable within next months ......
and i will try to carry out that tasks besides of my other tasks
by respect to amount of demands for translation
and their urgency....

within the next 4 to 8 weeks another amount of 250 or 300 pages will be added.....

i hope the stuff will be usefull to the community.....
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to You All
I Have after 15 Years un-packed My old IIc and joined Applefritter bevakar i reslized hos much I Have forgotten just the thing to copy files starting up My Ramcard and all of that (it maybe been easyier with My IIGS)
I am really Stunned with all the things that happens here Wow
My goal Is to connect the Raspberry to the IIc Have all the stuff but no nullmodem cable yet they are hard to buy here in Sweden so i Have to wait à couple of days

Regards Ragnar

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Greetings Ragnar, and Welcome Back!

Happy New Year All!

I just wanted to say...

Last Year (2013) was a great year for innovation in the Apple 1 and Apple II communities.
This is due, I think, to the efforts of folks like: Ken, David, SpeedyG, Wendell, and Rich, just to name a few.

And there are so many others that I just cannot name them all as I am afraid that I might miss someone.

All the new hardware and software that is out there to be had...It takes my breath away just thinking about it. lol

In my opinion, 2014 is going to be just as good, if not better.

There are so many people, both old hands and folks new to the Apple II, coming up to the web sites to see what is happening,
and contributing to the mix.

Happy 2014 Everyone!

"Apple II...It's STILL Alive!"

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics: Keyboards

Good Morning All,

I figured I would share my trials and tribulations with one of my latest acquisitions.
An Apple II Plus that (apparently) was left in a barn for a looooong time.

The fact that it had the remnants of a Wasps Nest attached to the motherboard under the keyboard should have told me something.

The case has Green spray paint all over, no lid, and lots of dirt.
Most of the bottom pan screws had to be drilled out to remove the pan.
The pan itself is a little bent.
The existing chips need a thorough cleaning and have been removed from the motherboard.
The motherboard....well, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it yet.

I have this idea about unsoldering the sockets, for use elsewhere.

I figured I would save the keys and mechanisms from the keyboard.
Most of the keys also have green spray paint on them.

I am extremely inexperienced with the Datanetics type boards, or any Apple keyboards for that matter.

I did not realize that the two wires for each key are soldered to the main board,
so I removed the screws holding each key mechanism, turned the board over and used a flat-tip screwdriver
to pop them away from the board.

I did not realize until I was finished what I had done. DOH!

Rookie Mistake Warning!!!

If I had taken the time to actually look at what I was doing, I would have unsoldered each key.

Several lessons learned here:

1. Sometimes, not even a Sow's Ear can be turned into a Silk Purse.
2. Look before you leap.
3. Take the time to actually go over everything in your head before you actually perform the operation.

Now, I know all of these things.
I knew them before I started.
I just paid no attention.

Someone here will probably learn from my experience, which is a good thing.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AFmembers again...
several postings above i´ve been posting stuff about the plan to design a entire new kind
of Apple Sound- and speechcard..... up to the moment the basiccard is nealy finished and just required a new update...
the reason was the design of the second "Piggyback" card.
As explained previously the maincard will be able to replace:
1. Mockingboard card
2. Arctic Speech Output card
3. SP1000 Speech Input card
4. IIGS THX- Sound Output card
5. Very simple Synthisizer card
The maincard switches beztween these different modes by using special adresses and so called "softswitches"
besides there are also several "mixed modes" possible like a mix of 1 and 2 together.

Rhe boarddesign id very complex and therefor there is also the ability to add several features by plugging so called
"Piggyback" cards to the maincard.
The first Piggybackcard is a complete replacement for the "Chroma Synthisizer Interface card" which offers
a complete hookup of a compatible synthisizer system.
Now i have completed the design of the second Piggybackcard:
Its the long missing and previously announced completion of adding a MIDIport to the system with
2 MIDI Outputports
2 MIDI Inputports.

Here is the design:

The card will be made in one step as one board and then after recieving that PCB it must be cut in the marked area.
this gives us 2 boards:
the "Piggybackcard" which is to be plugged to the maincard and the connectorsboard ( the smaller part ) .
because the CHROMA Synthisizer Piggyback isn´t present while this card is plugged to the maincard - the Chromaportplug
at the maincard isn´t used for the piggyback Chromacard and therefor that plug may be used to connect a
flatribbon cable to the card leading the flatribbon cable outside of the computer and plug there the
smaller connectorsboard with the MIDIconnectors.

Here´s the circuitplan of that second "Piggyback" MIDIcard.

At the moment i have to change seval signallines st the maincard which will cause some minor changes in the citcuitplan of the mainboard....
but the layout of the first "Piggyback" Chrome card won´t change:

And the layout of the maincard will also remain without changes:

that´s current status......

speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Speedy, wow, that's crazy neato!

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello to all AF members,

just to complete the previous posting:
here are the other pictures of the maincard:

first layer of the solderside:

next layer of the componentside:

the both layers combined together:

and of cource the revised circuitplan of the maincard:

not to forget the first piggybackcard created for use with synthiszers:

here the layer of the solderside:

the view of the layer at componentside:

again both layers combined:

and of course the component layout:

not to forget the circuitplan of the first Piggyback Card for use with Roland compatible Synthisizer:

so that´s at the moment all of the current status of the "Monstercard" for sound and speech.....
and it´s two piggyback cards

depending to the kind of use, the user then may decide if he wants to connect Roland compatible
synthisizer decices and plug the first piggybackcard 1 to the maincard

or if using just any kind of sysnthisizer with the MIDI-connectors the plug in the piggybackcard 2

or if not using external devices for own soundcreations just leaving the maincard empty without any piggybackcard....

in such cases then only the very basic synthisizerfunctions are availiable similar to a electric organ
and playing with the keyboard as keys....

next step will be to make an alternate maincard with more modern synthisizerchips from CEM and SSL

speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hi SpeedyG

Looks like a very interesting and fun project.

You need to pay special attention to the ground plane on any Apple II peripheral board. Apple released a tech note about power and ground plane issues on peripheral boards, which you should find and read. I've had ground plane issues with much more simple Apple II peripheral board designs.

Best of luck and regards,
Mike Willegal

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Posts: 250
Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Speedy. I want to know how you can use this kind of card with MIDI and an Apple iie especially if the software no longer exists that can utilize sequencing.

I have been looking for a copy of Passport Designs Mastertracks Pro iie. I used to have one but it seems that lately, that software is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND... Like that interface card you're looking for. Another user has posted that there was another software that can use MIDI for the iie called, Midi/8 Plus.

Here is a link to an image of it but the copy protection is in place:

http://eightbitsoundandfury.ld8.org/misc/

Here is a discussion on it:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.sys.apple2/Y5WxtPeCz4o

Only one issue of The Computist has a "softkey" for it but as you can read from the discussion, it doesn't work on that image. Also, from the name, MIDI/8 Plus it seems to be able to only sequence 8 tracks at a time. The other software, if I recall can do 16.

Also, please note, that there are a number of Roland synthesizers that can be used with a MIDI interface card and a computer. The model number people usually use is the Roland MT-32.

However, after that model was done, Roland MIDI became standardized and so Roland came out with the SC-55.

You can read up on several Roland models here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_GS

BTW:

I have in my possession a MIDI interface card for the apple ii. It was not made by Passport Designs but it is compatible with that card since it is a clone. I compared the chip names and such when someone on ebay about 2 or 3 years ago was selling such a card.

If you need pictures, I can send them to you. It is a Sentech MIDI interface card for Apple ii.

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Speedy,

I think it looks great!

What is it going to cost you to produce the main boards?

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello AF-members,

at least those those who read this thread seem to spend some time with headware development.....

in former days i started to enter that topic by reading the book "Apple Interfacing" from
Jonathan Titus, David Larson and Christopher Titus. For those who like to order the real
book the ISBN No.: is 0-672-21862-3. Otherwise this book is also availiable at the
APPLE Documentation Center for download.

This book contains very detailed description how to design Interfacecards and how the
hardware coding is performed and several experiments that explain the tasks accompanied
with several programming examples.

The problem is that the book contains the description, how to create a kind of
"linking prototype board" to connect the Apple II and the breadboard system,
but only very small film how to relize it.

I just stumbled few days ago over my scetches and the films i have made in the 80´s
and i just now entered again the papers in my new CAD system to remake the prototyping
interfacecard.

I just made a page on the draft with the link to the book and the results from the CAD task:
http://www.appleii-box.de/appleboxAppleIIInterfaceTestCard.htm

here just a small preview:

and the circuitplan:


enjoy....
speedyG

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Wow Speedy,

Every time I turn around you pull another rabbit out of your hat.

Amazing! LOL

Steven Smile

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

This "Apple Interfacing Board" something you are going to produce?

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Re: Hardware Developement and special Topics

Hello littlejohn,

in the time between the mid of this year and it´s end i will place a order for several boards together
in a larger collecting order to keep the cost lower.

If you wish to start it by yourself earlier, you may get from me by email the Gerberfiles for the board. I
n such case please pass over a pm with normal emailadress where i can append the files.

The reason is that i have several projects pending:

the Apple II Sound- and Speech card also several postings above with it´s 2 "piggybackcards"
a couple of Interfacecards for the Apple 1, which are at the moment under revision
due to sdresing conflict with the CFFA card for the Apple 1 and this problem is partially solved now,
and maybe the Interface card for the alpha syntauri ( in another thread here )
this interface testing board
and a board for testing and use of the Gameconnector of the Apple II for controlling external devices
and measurement
( also here in another thread ).

I´m not copyrighting any of that boards - otherwise i would not have released here the links to the related pages
and released the entire stuff about them, including the layouts and the circuit shematics...... it´s rather more
published as "open source" projects and if you don´t find here the entire stuff you just have to jump over to my
related homepage at : http://www.appleii-box.de/ and gather the rest of the information there.

The only problem for the community here is the fact that i have relocated the site about 3 months ago to this
new site-adress here in the posting and i´ve added several hundreds of new lettersize pages up there which are
still in German language and it will take another one or 2 years to translate that entire bunch of nearly 500
letterpages..... and make same pages in an english structure.....

at the moment i´m using a system of "flagging" the pages to indicate which stuff is in english and which stuff
is still in German language....

When i startup the ordering of my cards, i will announce this here to give the members a chance
to jump on the train and get their own cards, by joinning the order.

sincerely speedyG

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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....