Quickloader Reboot

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Quickloader Reboot

Some of you will be aware I started work on designing a more compact verison of the original Quickloader card.

Macnoyd did the hard work and created a schematic of the original card for me to work from.

With that schematic I put in a solid 3 hours work created a new smaller, low chip count design  and board layout.

Well tonight I kicked in another 5 hours and wrote the GAL rules that will pull it all together and make it work.

I also just ordered prototype boards, so in a week I will know if  it works.  Once I know thew design works I'll order a production run of the new boards with gold edges.

 

There is a plan to write some software that will take the eprom images created by the original utilities and write them into the flash ROM on the card without the need for a universal programmer running on a PC.   Eventually that proram will be included in the standard ROM image.  But until that utility is written a programmer will be needed.

 

This is what the protoype card looks like. Its quite small at 56mm x 66mm.

 

 

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+1 on that David!

Looking good !  ...

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Nice work!

Great work! Looking forward to trying out the Quikloader... 

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The prototypes are complete

The prototypes are complete and waiting on DHL pickup, so I should have them on Monday. If all goes well then I'll order a production run of 40 cards. So we are probably a week or two away from production cards being ready to ship

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This is what happens when ...

This is what happens when you lay out a board when you're over tired ...

 

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Woops...  Components on wrong

Woops...  Components on wrong side...  :-/

 

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So much effort to wire a

So much effort to wire a prototype by hand. I'd rather spend $30 and get boards made

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David_M wrote:So much effort

David_M wrote:

So much effort to wire a prototype by hand. I'd rather spend $30 and get boards made

 

But in a sad sort of way, I actually enjoy it.  Gives me total freedom with a little bit of semi-instant gratification.  ;-)

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I found some time tonight to

I found some time tonight to do a little more work on the prototype and I believe I have overcome the timing problem preventing the cards flash ROM being programmed by the Apple 2.

Code written to put the chip into command mode and retrieve the chip ID now works.  Being able to put the chip into command card is needed to be able to issue erase commands and write commands.

Now all that remains is to write the program to allow user updates to the cards ROM and to tesat it in more machines to ensure it is stable and fully compatible.

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Great! Interested ...

Great!  Interested to see your result.  I'm currently working on the Flash ROM code now. (going a bit slow right now)  Maybe at some point we'll be ready for a whole new product intro.

I think there's great value in an "instant load" card like the QuikLoader.  Bootable SSD's are great but this card does have the advantage of instant selectable DOS plus 2.5 times more "instant load" applications over a floppy emulator.

Looking forward to your result.

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quikloader-rev10-production


The quikLoader Reboot is now shipping.  The utility to update the onboard flash with your own programs comes pre installed on the card so there is no need for an external programmer.
 

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so, how do we go about

so, how do we go about ordering one, and how much does it cost ?

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Does this card as the

Does this card as the original require its users to give-up or modify their physical language/16K cards and Saturn cards?

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Not sure about the Reboot version, but...

Not sure about the Reboot version, but the original QuikLoader and QuikLoader Compact works fine with my original Saturn Card.

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According to quikLoader

According to quikLoader Installation Manual V4.2 on pages 1a,1b, 2 , the requirements and problems with the original RAM cards are described...

 

https://www.apple.asimov.net/documentation/hardware/io/S.C.R.G.%20Quikloader%20-%20Read%20Me%20First%20-%20Installation%20Manual%20%28V4.2%29.pdf

 

 

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Yes, you are correct ...

I had this issues with the original 16K RAM card and had to follow Jim Sather's recomendation .  The 16K RAM Cards that have the ribbon cable tied to the RAM on the motherboard seemed to be the type consistent with the issue described in your above reference.

I haven't looked at the logic on the Saturn 128K card but I'm using an original Saturn card and it seems to work fine without the described modification.

To be clear, this is in reference to the original TTL version QuikLoader by Jim Sather.   I can't speak for the Reboot version.

I guess now would be a good time to introduce a new TTL version of the QuikLoader based on the original design by Jim Sather.  This is the result of breaking down the original QL board to a schematic, removing the chip enable circuit to the separate EPROMS, tying the address lines direct to the new Flash EEPROM and replacing with a 512K Flash chip.  The QL code used by Jim Sather is what controls this board and each 64Kx8 section is "banked" in the 512K x8 chip in sections from $0000- 7FFF, $1000 to 1FFF, etc up to $7FFF.  The board design was based on my prototye (shown at the top of this threat) and created by an AppleFritter member who also shares this enthusiasm and has re-created the original QuikLoader board in recent past. The design of this compact version board is exactly as Jim Sather designed it, only instead of spending hours programming EPROMS, you get the same result in 10 to 15 seconds using a flash programmer.  This board does not use GAL technology.  Strictly TTL.   Flash EEProm programming devices for changing the EEPROM code are readily available on eBay for around $50-$75.

 

I'm currently working on some great new ROM files for this unit and will annouce availability soon.  Stay tuned....

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The Saturn's logic after

The Saturn's logic upon reset is the same as of the original language/16K RAM cards, e.g. not to change RAM card's state upon reset ,  therefore  the quikLoader is NOT compatible with both. This behavior allows persistent code to replace ROM after reset and is quite useful. 

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I think I follow what you're saying ...

I think I follow what you're saying regarding the RAM card not resetting with the QuikLoader, but I'm unsure of what you mean when you say "NOT compatible".

When I turn on the computer OR Reset the computer, the QuikLoader takes over the bootup  every time.  If there is something in the RAM Card after a Reset, depending upon what's there and the memory location pointers that access the memory card,  more times than not I would have to do a hard reset to bring things back to norm.  This also happens a lot with games and utilities, particularly the ones that are big memory users, so re-boots are not unusual to most.

If I force the QuikLoader to (say) load ProDos upon startup, it does so by loading the RAM card each time.  If I load DOS, Integer Basic get's moved into the RAM card each time.  If there is something in the RAM Card, it over-writes it.  The QuikLoader actually uses the RAM card as a part of it's function, so I don't fully understand what you are saying when you say 'not compatible'.  Please explain.  Thanks in advance.

 

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Are you using the built-in

Are you using the built-in RAM card of the //e with your experiments? I showed you the original  documentation of the quikLoader and the incompatibilities described there must be very clear...

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No, I am using this with an Apple ][ Plus

Yes, those application notes are pretty clear with regards to the ][e.

All my testing is done on the Apple ][ and Plus.  The ][e was a new model when the QuikLoader was around, and by the looks of the QLoader documents, Jim Sather was making last minute corrections and additions in order to keep up.  I vaguely remember this at the time, though I never had used a ][e.  By the time the ][e went through it's "enhanced" upgrade, the QuikLoader had pretty-much ceased production.  I'm not sure how well the card works with a ][e with exception of games.  I have a ROM copy of AppleWorks with French titles for the ][e. but I've never actually tried it in a ][e.  I tried it in a ][ Plus and it fails.

 

After I get a few Flash RAM sets going for the ][Plus to get this party started, I'll start working on ][e compatibility issues.  One step at a time...

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