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Hello to all AF-members,
This again it turns out that sometimes a big portion of patience is usefull......
I made the alpha syntauri pages about 4 or 5 years ago....
NOW AFTER 5 YEARS I FINALLY GOT THE LAST REQUIRED PICTURES
that enable me to detect and reverse engineer the other interface card that was
distributed with the later systems !
Few weeks ago i recieved from new member chobbs the missing pictures and i was able
to create the schematic of this interface too and thereby uncover the last undetected
mystery of the system ! The entrypage of the entire documentation is:
The page about this later interface is now availiable at:
I've updated also the Alpha Syntauri TechDocs ( as summary technical manual from all pages )
that also can be downloaded by use of the former published / updated link as PDF file:
so enjoy the completed documentation and pages.
My interface has the red arrow by the busted pin also. Maybe it's a key for the connector?
Too bad I didn't see this thread earlier, I have the 1983 dated card.
as far as Mr. Hobbs said, at his card the pin was present and broke later.....
at the other hand at pin 1 and pin 2 there is same voltage.....
That's a lot of info you've received.
To keep going like this you either have
to be Dedicated, Medicated, or a little of both. LOL
Of course, each of use has a Holy Grail
that we are seeking. Mine has been the
CCard from Jeff Mazur.
The updated version of this has been on
the back burner for several years, but some day, it will happen.
You got to have faith.
or like me madness ! :ebc:
The main point is - that finally the last part of the system is now uncovered
and that now the documentation is completed by the last piece of reverse engineering.
Did you get your Alpha Syntauri working? As I offered a couple of years ago, I have a working syntauri which I bought in 1981 and may be able to answer some questions, but you must write and ask or you won't get answers. I can tell you that the 4 octave and 5 octave keyboards are not old and new models, they were cheap and expensive versions which were sold at the same time and worked with the same interface card. The big keyboard with velocity sensing cost an extra few hundred dollars. Your keyboard looks like a Pratt and Reed model used from 1980 through 1983, so it should work with the interface you have photos of. The one with a DB25 on the card facing the front.
The one with a 2-row IDC connector facing the top may be a later version compatible with the early one, or not. I've never seen one of those, nor the keyboard that goes with it. Syntauris were not common, even in 1984.
The disk you list as containing ALF software is part of the Mountain Hardware version. I believe it was mislabeled on the 8-bit Sound & Fury website, and has been copied several places. I have never seen the ALF version of syntauri software anywhere.
Your ALF diagram and photos are missing part of the card. If you are interested, I can post the circuit at audioimprov.com.
I don't visit applefritter often. This visit was prompted because i found the link to speedyG's website from mine was broken, and I wanted to fix it. It's fixed now.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Henry Spragens,
It's working "very basic" ..... at the moment....
After I got the missing pictures 3 months ago from Mr. Hobbs and after the cuircuitplan has been detected
I rerouted that interface and last month I created the required Gerber files to order a such interfacecard.....
This month that card will be ordered from PCB manufacturer and i hope i can complete that card in August....
There is in fact a quite big difference between both interface cards :
At the simple one ( with the DB25 connectionplug )only about little more than the half of the pins are used
while at the other interface ( with the adaptor cable ) all pins are used / occupied .....
When I have that card I will turn back to the keyboard again for further examinations.... it seems that
also at the keyboards there has been different inferface PCB's used internal - otherwise the difference
at the Apple interface cards would turn out to be useless....
At the moment i guess the "very basic" operation of my keyboard is resulting from the fact that it should
instead be used with this later interface card with it's extended signals at the DB25 cable......
I do have in the meantime both: ALF card and Mountain Computer Music System ....
and I do have a bunch of disk images from different sources..... but I guess it to be more intelligent to wait
for the completion of the second interface card and the testing both possible combinations:
______________________ Mountain Music System ...... ALF card
simple DB25 Interface............. X .......................................... X
later Adapter card .................. X .......................................... X
and resulting from combination - the requested kind of software.
Up to the moment the documentation of the hardware was the main focus of the page
After verification and test of the second interface and the other testings the main
focus of the page will change from hardware documentation to the software documentation....
I recieved several correction notes to the historic facts also from other sources too
and due to the switchover of the focus there will be a bunch of corrections to the various
pages .... if you like to use portions of the pages within your site it's O.K. if you just
set somewhere in the text a refering note to the source where it has been taken from....
thanks also for your explenations in this previous posting .... i will add this information in my pages
within the corrections....
I surely will contact you, when the second interface is completed and testing and examinations have been performed....
At the moment thank you very much for your posting and the additional information....
Be sure to check which interface you have inside the keyboard. I will post pictures of my keyboard at my website. If the Apple II interfaces are different, it could be fatal to connect the wrong one. The chips inside the keyboard are very hard to find if you damage them.
I don't understand what you mean by "very basically working". If you can play notes with your keyboard, it works. All it does is send keypresses to the Apple. It works or it doesn't. The contacts at the individual keys will need to be cleaned a couple of times every year. These old Pratt & Reed keyboards used piano wire for contacts because it's springy. Unfortunately it tarnishes and oxidizes. The Apple interface card is very simple, easy to make on a prototype card, 3 chips and a DB25. Your test card will tell you if you have traced the circuit correctly.
If there are questions, email me. It could be several years before I have a reason to visit applefritter again.
Good luck with your project,
I just finished assembling pieces from various sources to complete an Alpha Syntauri System. My Keyboard board and Board that goes in the Apple II match what's on your site, so I figured it was legit to plug it all in. After diagnosing a bad 74LS368A chip on the board in the computer, everything is working pretty darn well. Now I'm just missing the foot switches.
1) For the sake of completness, does anyone have a detailed shot of the different revisions of the board inside the keyboard?
2) Does anyone have details on the foot-switches? Are they just like a contact switch on/off, or is there like a potentiometer in them?
answer to your questions:
1: there is only one revision of PCB inside of the keyboard.
2: the footswitches are only switches. I've added up some pictures on detail
of that footswitches at the bottom of the page:
When i started up i only got the keyboard without interface....
no documentation availiable then.....
it took me 7 years to get system complete and running and to
create entire technical documentation.....
hope you downloaded the pdf file of the docs and they have been usefull....
I guess my 3 year wait wasn't so bad then!
I started with an interface card, Mountain Computer Cards and software, but no keyboard