Weird issues on a couple II's...

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volvo242gt's picture
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Firstly, am dealing with an original Apple II. Fire it up, it shows the usual garbled characters, then the monitor prompt. Hit reset. Another monitor prompt appears just below it. The rest of the keyboard is unresponsive. Machine has 32KB of RAM installed in it, and does exactly the same thing whether or not there are any cards in it. Also is the same with the shift key mod installed or reverted to stock. Other than this issue, and the usual iffy video out jack, it seems to be a solid machine with just the usual layer of dust from sitting for nine years or so. I do have a couple II+ machines lying around that I could swap parts back and forth with. Might fiddle around with that either tomorrow or early this coming week.

Secondly, I am having issues getting a Unidisk 3.5 recognized on my Enhanced //e with a Laser UDC. Do I need to dumb down the Unidisk 3.5 by turning it into an Apple 3.5 Drive before the UDC will recognize it? It's been a good 26 years since I last read the A+ magazine that showed all the various floppy drives that would work on a II series machine, so I'm a bit rusty. Bought the drive in 2005, a few months after I bought the //e from someone in Oregon, but never was able to source the actual Liron card for it.

Anyway, been awhile since I've visited the forums - might've been late 2004, early 2005. Was pleasantly surprised that I remembered my login info.

-John
(II, 2 II+, 5 IIe, Mac 128K, 2 512K, Plus, SE, 2 SE/30, 2 IIci, G4 digital

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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

Once you have hit Reset, try hitting Control and B simultaneously. This should, in theory bring you up into BASIC. Failing that, try the machine with a DiskII card in and see if that works. Other then that, I (unfortunately) don't know much about troubleshooting Apple IIs.

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volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

Thanks. I'll try it again and see if it'll work. I did bring one of the II+ machines inside, so, failing that, I can try swapping things between the two and see if the II can be fully functional.

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

Hello volvo242gt,
first of all you should determine which kind of apple II your sitting in front of.... remember that there are 2 basic sorts of machines: the very old ones with Integer Basic in ROM or the later ones with Applesoft in ROM. You can compare the versions by checking the ROM-numbers at asimov.net .... there are both versions of computers listed and both versions of ROMs are listed there too..... besides at first look to the computer: the old ones have that blocks labeled with 4K 16K at the side close to the powersupply. At the later models this blocks are missing. depending to the results it might turn out that not everything might be interchangable.... and of course Integer version needs other diagnostic than those with Applesoft inside.... those with Integer are easier to handle if the RAM is upgraded to 48 kB and a Languagecard is inserted. This results from the fact that the content within the F8 Autostart ROM operates in differents way then... the same is valid if the DISK II Interface is inserted.... that also works different if language card is present or not....
but first of all it should be possible to resume to basic in both kinds of machines and then it is upmost important to first get the keyboard working completely correct... otherwise all later tasks will become realy frustrating and timeeating....
then i await for your feedback....
sincerely yours speedyG

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volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

The machine I'm dealing with is definitely an original II. The II+ that I brought upstairs last night has the autostart ROM in it, unlike the II. ROM chips are different, and the D0 and D8 positions are empty on the II, but filled on the II+. The II also has the green slots with end tabs, whereas the II+ has the final version RFI board and backpanel. I will get some photos of the boards later today and post them up on my flickr photostream with a link.

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volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

Did some more work on it today. Swapped a keyboard from a II+ into it. Still no response, except for the reset and control keys. Also put more RAM in, bumping it up to 48K. Noticed the ROM chips were kinda crusty looking, so began pulling the chips to clean and reseat them. Proceeded to pull the sockets off the board. So, until I get them replaced, the project is sidelined.

On the IIe, still trying to figure out why ProDOS won't recognize the Unidisk 3.5 drive hooked up to the UDC controller in slot 5.

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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

volvo242gt wrote:

Did some more work on it today. Swapped a keyboard from a II+ into it. Still no response, except for the reset and control keys. Also put more RAM in, bumping it up to 48K. Noticed the ROM chips were kinda crusty looking, so began pulling the chips to clean and reseat them. Proceeded to pull the sockets off the board. So, until I get them replaced, the project is sidelined.

On the IIe, still trying to figure out why ProDOS won't recognize the Unidisk 3.5 drive hooked up to the UDC controller in slot 5.

Here's a post from comp.sys.apple2 back in 2006 about using the UDC with the Unidisk 3.5:

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Comp/comp.sys.apple2/2006-05/msg01124.html

from reading the post it appears there are 2 versions of the UDC and the second one doesn't seem to recognize the Unidisk 3.5

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volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

That explains it. Thanks. Guess I need to bypass the circuitry that turns it inot a Unidisk 3.5 and turn it into the regular Apple 3.5 drive.

*edit* Meh, I'll leave it alone, and see if one of the IIc's I have is upgraded. If not, the upgraded ROM is cheap, so I can use the drive with that instead.

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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

If keyboard is not working on one, but same swapped into the other does work, then it could be a lot of things. It would be good to know if it boots disks, but you need autostart ROM for that. Otherwise you don't know if it's just not getting keyboard signal, or something further along in the process.

volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

True... At the moment, the project is on hold, until the board is repaired. Will probably be one of the last computer-related projects this year for me. Ahead of it is getting the Macs working properly. Also need to test the //c's, which I currently don't have the power adapters for...

-J

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speedyG's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

volvo242gt wrote:

The machine I'm dealing with is definitely an original II. The II+ that I brought upstairs last night has the autostart ROM in it, unlike the II. ROM chips are different, and the D0 and D8 positions are empty on the II, but filled on the II+. The II also has the green slots with end tabs, whereas the II+ has the final version RFI board and backpanel. I will get some photos of the boards later today and post them up on my flickr photostream with a link.

Hello volvo242gt,
at least then that one is a version with the set of Integer Basic in ROM and that one also has the old content in F8 meaning that it does NOT contain the complete so called "Autostart-routine". If no diskcontroller is inserted it will quit to the Monitor because the Soft-reset-routine isn´t complete. Only if a Diskcontroller is inserted the PROM of the original diskcontroller "completes" the soft-reset-routine....
But independent from that - also in the monitor the keyboard should work properly ( i.e. all keys working ) otherwise the first trouble to solve will be the keyboard....
( bear in mind that probably one of the former owners pluged in the keyboard wrong and that the buffer and the strobe/acknowledge handling chip might have been damaged and causes malfunction of the keyboard..... )
then the next step should be performed, to get that computer booting....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

I've read many times over the years that using a Unidisk 3.5 with the Vtech UDC will fry the UDC. As a result, I have never tried it. Since Apple 3.5s and Superdrives are so much more common anyway, why risk it?

(Although, if you do get it working, you may have undone an Apple II myth.)

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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

On an original Apple ][ with integer ROMs, at boot, and after reset, you will be in the monitor (* prompt). CTL-B gets you into integer basic (> prompt). To boot a Disk ][, PR#6 (or whichever slot the disk controller card is in) from BASIC, or 6 CTL_P from the monitor. If the keyboard isn't working at all, look for a bad chip. If a few keys work, you have oxidized keyswitch contacts which are very prevalent on the old keyboards. Sometimes the keys can be cleaned by just exercising them a lot. Sometimes contact cleaner will help, but it also washes the lubricant off the mechanism and may make the keys kind of sticky. If there is a ROM in D0, it is the Programmer's Aid, which was an option. D8 will be empty.

If you have an Applesoft ROM card, the switch will determine whether it boots and resets into INT Monitor or FP BASIC.

If you add a Language Card (16K RAM card) in slot 0, it should have an autostart ROM on it, so the system will boot and reset into BASIC and if a Disk][ is present it will try to boot from disk. The Language Card requires 48K RAM on the mainboard, and DOS requires at least 32K of RAM.

So it sounds like your problem is keyboard. Those keyboards are nearly all giving trouble at 35 years old, even the ones which have been in more or less constant use since 1977.

Hope this helps clarify how the early Apple][ boots.

volvo242gt's picture
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Re: Weird issues on a couple II's...

Thanks. The project is on hold for now.

Re: the Unidisk 3.5, guess we'll see if the card works with an Apple 3.5 drive, once I've sourced one that's not being auctioned off by someone who has SteveJobsitis. I did discover that one of my //c's has the correct ROM for the Unidisk, so I can use it with that computer.

-J

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