I bought one of those Apricorn Super Serial Pro cards.
I can't find ANY info on this card at all. I know it's a serial card of some kind for apple II, but I have no manual of any kind.
I'm mostly curious on how to connect a db9/db25 connector to it, I don't want to assume anything just looking at the card.
I've been digging for information for a year now and it's as if the card doesn't exist.
It's NOS, from ebay, bought it assuming I'd eventually find info, but just haven't found a damn thing.
Little help anyone? The big eeprom chip has the apricorn logo and SSPRO V1.0 printed on the protective label.
Is it this one?
Sadly no, it's not that one.
Here is a pic.
O.K., You are missing the piggy tail that would probably have a mini-8 or maybe a DB25 on it. You mentioned DB9, and that is an option, but not what was typically on Apple II stuff back in the day. DB9 serial ports were mostly a PC clone thing. Anyway, the pads marked J1 are where the piggy tail should go. An educated guess is that the pin marked 1 probably wires to pin1 on a Mini-8 and there appear to be 8 pads, so it is probably a straightforward 1-1. Serial is pretty forgiving so you can get away with some experimentation in wiring it up. Anyway if you want DB9 you'd probably just need to look at the pin assignments for Mini-8 and the pinout of a DB9 serial port and map it. Same for DB25. If you're really worried or it doesn't work straight off it doesn't look like it would be too hard to trace the pins back to the RS232 serial dri ver chips (classic 1488/1489 pair) and the 6551 serial chip. Data sheets for those are readily available.
Once you've figured out the J1 output pinout for the card you should document that.
While you are at it, you should dump the ROM contents and upload them for historical preservation.
Anyway, maybe not what you were looking for, but I hope it helps.
Actually looking closer at your pic, it looks like it only actually had 5 wires hooked up. So I'll revise my guess a little to say maybe the original piggytail was a DIN-5, like a //c serial port. So it is highly likely you can look at the pins that were used and they probably map 1-1 with a //c serial port. If not directly 1-1 it shouldn't take much to figure out what the mapping is.
The 6551 ASIC chip has a datasheet easily found on Google.
You can trace these signal lines directly to the 1488 and 1489 chips (Tx & Rx) to sort out which pins are Tx , Rx, CTS, DSR, etc.
Shouldn't be difficult. I may have one of these cards, though not handy at the moment. If I find info for it, I'll let you know, but in the mean-time, you should be able to trace those signals from the 6551 to the pins on the 1488/1489 chips to determine where the signals end up on that open pad array.
Regarding the card itself, IN#1 and PR#1 (if you put it in Slot 1) should activate the card in both directions.
I'll see what the card reports back with the commands listed.
Din 8 serial sounds possible to me too, are we looking at RS 232 or RS 422 then?
I'll digest the very helpful comments and see what I can come up with.
Also here is the back of the card if that helps anyone analyse this card more carefully:
RS232. Mini-8 is what the IIgs used for its serial ports, like the early Macs of that time. However, as I said, in this case I suspect that the card may have had a DIN-5 like a //c due to it appearing to have originally had 5 wires soldered to the board. That's fine for most things, but bringing all 8 signals is better for high speed work like modems. The //c's serial ports weren't great for that due to only 5 pins. For hooking to modern gear a DB9 or DB25 can make finding a pre-made cable easier or eliminate adapters. But the Mini-8 cables or even DIN-5 are available from places like IEC, and adapters are available also, so there are multiple viable choices for you.
RS232. Mini-8 is what the IIgs used for its serial ports, like the early Macs of that time.
But not the first Mac, also called Mac 128 and Mac 512.
The standard RS-232 was introduced in the 1960s: DB-25. Apples serial cards used this DB-25, also the IBM PC and most of the "PCs" in that time, also serial terminals as the VT100 or VT220.
The first Mac was introduced in January, 24th 1984 with DB-9. There was no room for DB-25. The Mac Plus came in 1985 with MiniDIN-8, there was no room left for DB-9.
The Apple IIc came in April 1984 with DIN-5.
The IBM PC/AT (model 5170) came in August 1984 with DB-9.
The Apple IIgs came in September 1986 with MiniDIN-8.
This Apricon Serial Card came in 1984, says the image mentioned above. So I think that there is just one choice: DB-25 :-)
The card may have been made with different piggy tails. Even though it may have came out in 1984, it wouldn't seem like it would make sense to only solder 5 wires out of 8 pads if they were using a DB25. //c 1984 with DIN-5, this card 1984... ??? Mac with DB9 1984? 8 pads, but maybe not all 9 used on the DB9 anyway, so that would be a possibility also. On the other hand the Apple SSC only has a max of 10 pins used out of the DB25, because that is all the IDC-10 connector on the board that the piggy tail plugs into has. But anyway, I think there could have been more than one choice, even back in the day. And certainly if one is making a new piggy tail now, there are several viable choices.
Mac with DB9 1984?
... and this a serial connector but not a RS-232. It's a RS-422 or RS-485.
On the other hand the Apple SSC only has a max of 10 pins used out of the DB25, because that is all the IDC-10 connector on the board that the piggy tail plugs into has.
This is the RS-232 standard defined in the 1960s. You can use more pins if you have handshakes and signals which are not available in an Apple II (or even a Mac).
True, but has little relevance to anything as far as what connector could be used on this card. Even if this particular card originally came with a DB25, a DB9, DIN-5 or Mini-8 or even some other connector could be used.
So the card simply reports back "Apricorn SSI" I tried using some of the commands in the "Super Serial Imager" instructions - hoping they were similar or even identical commands, but maybe I haven't read it thoroughly enough to get it to tell me anything other than nothing.
Was really hoping someone out there had the manual, but I'll just have to keep working at it...
Did you (or has anyone) ever get this card working? It looks like it could be a nice one to try to clone. Have you dumped the ROM?
The issue with cloning this card is sourcing non-defective 6551 chips in quantity. The current stock at Western Design Center is well documented to be buggy. That leaves hit-or-miss buyting them from Aliexpress or eBay where you never know whether you are getting defective chips, remarked, "refurbished", etc.