Cannot get Yellowstone Card to work

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Cannot get Yellowstone Card to work

Hi all, hope you're having a good day!

I purchased a Yellowstone card for my Apple IIe over a year ago after hearing about how much everyone loved it and all the different software options it could open up to me. However, when I put it in my system it will not work. I tested it extensively and messaged Steve from Big Mess O' Wires back and forth many times and we just unfortunately hit a brick wall and I decided to give up at the time. I decided to pick this back up again because I really want to get this card working with my system.

Steve and I came to the conclusion that there's some kind of hardware fault with my Apple IIe after doing the following:

  1. Replaced the Yellowstone card for a second one that was thoroughly tested before shipping
  2. Replacing the entire motherboard due to a short circuit at the time that fried several chips
  3. Replacing the power supply insides with a new one due to that short circuit caused by the previous dead power supply
  4. Taking out all cards from the system and only leaving the Yellowstone card plugged in
  5. Testing it with both a regular 5.25" Floppy Drive and a FloppyEmu I own.

When I do this, the system will turn on and I can get to the BASIC ] prompt by pressing Control-Reset, but I cannot boot anything with the card using PR#6 or just letting the computer boot normally. In fact, if I have it boot normally, I get some garbled characters on the screen like @ symbols here and there.

Steve had me look into the ROM by doing the following:

] CALL -151 (starts the Apple II’s built-in monitor program)* CFFF (deselects all peripheral cards)* C600L (disassembles the ROM from the card in slot 6)

This will test whether the card’s boot ROM can be read correctly. The result should begin with:

C600-  A2 20     LDX #$20

C602-  B4 00     LDY $00,X

C604-  A2 03     LDX #$03

C606-  A9 00     LDA #$00

C608-  10 1B     BPL $C625

C60A-  18        CLC

C60B-  90 01     BCC $C60E

C60D-  38        SEC

C60E-  A9 FF     LDA #$FF

C610-  30 13     BMI $C625

C612-  4C FF CF  JMP $CFFF

However, my results are very different from this. I am attaching a picture with my own results, but if you compare my hex numbers to Steve's, mine are wrong in most of the places where bit 3 should be a 1. Instead, I get a 0 bit.

My entire Apple IIe is basically new at this point, the only remaining parts that are the originals are the shell, the keyboard, and the monitor, so I really don't know how to solve this issue. Would anyone here know how I can proceed to test this further and hopefully find a solution? Thank you for anyone that wants to help!

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
Testing it with both a

5. Testing it with both a regular 5.25" Floppy Drive and a FloppyEmu I own.

When I do this, the system will turn on and I can get to the BASIC ] prompt by pressing Control-Reset, but I cannot boot anything with the card using PR#6 or just letting the computer boot normally. In fact, if I have it boot normally, I get some garbled characters on the screen like @ symbols here and there.

 

Can you boot the system with a regular Disk II card and a real metal Disk II drive?  The above statement is unclear if you can or not.

 

It looks like you suffered quite a bit of damage to your IIe and blaming the Yellowstone at this point is not the right course of action.

 

If you are havving difficulty booting it normally with a Disk II drive and Disk II card, then you likely have some RAM issues that need addressing.  Run the power on self test to see if you have any RAM faults.  Power up with the closed-apple key pressed.  

Once you can cleanly boot with a regualr 5.25 disk and Disk II card, then the next thing to do is to try a regular boot up with a 5.25" drive and the yellowstone card.

Then move on to more challenging bootups like Disk II emulated bootup with a Floppy Emu (if you have one), then a Smartport bootup using a Floppy emu, or a Unidisk 3.5, or an Apple 3.5, etc..

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Thanks for your reply!Sorry,

Thanks for your reply!

Sorry, I should have mentioned that. Yes, I can boot everything just fine using a regular Apple IIe disk drive card. I can connect a 5.25" floppy drive to it and boot from it, and I can also boot from my floppy emu without any problems, that's why this is so confusing. The Yellowstone card is the only one that won't work.

And yes, I've ran RAM tests on the system and never had any problems with that either.

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
Does the Yellowstone card

Does the Yellowstone card work any better (or worse) in say Slot 7, 5, 4, 2 or 1?

It ought to work in any of those slots.

 

This could eliminate slot conneciton issues as a cause.

I can try listing the Yellowstone's ROM when I get home tonight.

 

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
It's all the same on any of

It's all the same on any of the slots I try yes, definitely not a slot connection issue

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
Here's mine - as you can see

Here's mine - as you can see it matches the expected code exactly.

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Yeah that's what it should be

Yeah that's what it should be, but I'm not getting that and I can't figure out what's causing the discrepancy and therefore the Yellowstone card to not work...

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
What I might suggest is to

What I might suggest is to install the Yellowstone in slot 5 and a regular Disk II card in slot 6 and then see if you can boot into DOS or ProDOS via slot 6.

 

If you can, try running a diagnostic software like Apple Cillin, or better yet, APTEST.

You can get an image of it here:

https://macgui.com/downloads/?file_id=9611

Look for memory errors or other bogeys.

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Alright, I'll run all the

Alright, I'll run all the tests in that program and see what happens. And yes, I can boot just fine to ProDOS or any other image using the disk drive card on 6 and Yellowstone in 5. I'll get back to you with the results.

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
With or without the

With or without the Yellowstone card on the system, I'm getting "ERR$D56D" when I run the Apple //e ROM test. I also get "ROM Test Bad" when testing the Yellowstone card using the Disk Interface Test, but the regular disk drive card passes the test.

Everything else passed... Any idea what that error code might be for?

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
I don't know what that error

I don't know what that error is, but it's not a big deal to install a known-good ROM set to eliminate that problem.

It could also be a ROM select issue.  Maybe someone here can elaborate better.

The Yellowstone card will always fail the Disk Interface test because the test is just scanning for the factory ROM code in the Disk II card.  That's normal.

S.Elliott's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Jun 23 2022 - 16:26
Posts: 207
ROMless IO test
MoonMoon405 wrote:

With or without the Yellowstone card on the system, I'm getting "ERR$D56D" when I run the Apple //e ROM test. I also get "ROM Test Bad" when testing the Yellowstone card using the Disk Interface Test, but the regular disk drive card passes the test.

Everything else passed... Any idea what that error code might be for?

Those ROM tests suggest that Yellowstone is returning bad data when the motherboard activates its IOSEL signal.  (eg: the "boot ROM" signal)  But that doesn't establish whether there's a similar problem with its DEVSEL signal.  (eg: the "IO ports")

Here's a test that will determine if the controller's DEVSEL ports are working:

  1. Install Yellowstone in slot 3 of an Apple //e and attach a 5.25" floppy disk drive.
  2. Install any type of 5.25" disk controller in slot 6 and attach a 5.25" floppy disk drive.
  3. Boot a DOS 3.3 diskette from the disk drive in slot 6
  4. Put a DOS 3.3 diskette into the drive attached to slot 3 and type "CATALOG,S3"
    1. If the DEVSEL ports are working, the drive will activate and DOS will print a catalog listing without any errors
    2. If the DEVSEL ports have the same 1-bit error as the IOSEL ports, the disk drive will activate but the command will fail with the message "IO ERROR"

 

Important: This test requires DOS 3.3, not ProDOS, because DOS 3.3 does not use the controller ROMs -- it accesses the IO ports directly.

To illustrate, here's a screencap of an Apple //e with a MicroSci A2 controller in slot 3, in 80-column mode to demonstrate that the motherboard has turned off the controller's ROMs, yet DOS 3.3 can access a disk drive in slot 3:

 

This test should help distinguish whether that 1-bit error affects Yellowstone's entire data bus interface vs just ROMs.

Online
Last seen: 43 min 54 sec ago
Joined: Jun 6 2020 - 10:50
Posts: 415
baldrick wrote: The
baldrick wrote:

 

The Yellowstone card will always fail the Disk Interface test because the test is just scanning for the factory ROM code in the Disk II card.  That's normal.

To clarify, if the Yellowstone is booted in Disk II mode, it will pass aptest's disk interface test. It will fail in the default Yellowstone/smartport mode. Personally I've just got in the habit of always using disk II mode when running old 5.25" disk images due to the fact some do fail to boot when in Yellowstone mode. 

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Alright, I performed the test
Alright, I performed the test by plugging in a physical 5.25" drive with a DOS 3.3 floppy to the disk drive card in slot 6, and then plugging in a Floppy Emu with a DOS 3.3 image to the Yellowstone card in slot 3. I did indeed get an IO Error, as shown in the picture. What would this mean then?
S.Elliott's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Jun 23 2022 - 16:26
Posts: 207
That's a surprise result. (And it makes me sad.)
MoonMoon405 wrote:

Alright, I performed the test by plugging in a physical 5.25" drive with a DOS 3.3 floppy to the disk drive card in slot 6, and then plugging in a Floppy Emu with a DOS 3.3 image to the Yellowstone card in slot 3. I did indeed get an IO Error, as shown in the picture. What would this mean then?

 

Oh dear, that's an unwelcome surprise.  I didn't expect the disk to show a catalog listing and an error.

 

It was a complete surprise that it would read some sectors okay, and then also show an error.  I expected one or the other...not both!

 

I think Yellowstone uses some low-voltage chips, so it uses three LVC245 bus transceivers in mixed-mode to pass data between Apple's 5-volt bus and Yellowstone's low-voltage components.  You seem to be getting unreliable access to both the ROM and the IO ports, so I suspect one of those LVC245 bus transceivers has an unreliable bit.  Unfortunately, that leaves me without any troubleshooting ideas because they're surface mounted parts so you can't trivially swap them out.

 

Everything might be working just fine inside Yellowstone's low-voltage data bus, but data bits aren't reliably making to the motherboard's II data bus.  (Groan.)

 

Or maybe my guesses are just totally wrong.  Especially since I was so surprised by your test result!

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
If I'm understanding what you

If I'm understanding what you mean correctly, I don't think the Yellowstone is the problem because this is the third card I've gotten from them, and it's always been the same issue and thoroughly tested before shipping out. Assuming this issue lays in my motherboard somewhere, any idea which chips I could begin to replace to see if it makes a difference?

S.Elliott's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Jun 23 2022 - 16:26
Posts: 207
Maybe there's hope
MoonMoon405 wrote:

If I'm understanding what you mean correctly, I don't think the Yellowstone is the problem because this is the third card I've gotten from them, and it's always been the same issue and thoroughly tested before shipping out. Assuming this issue lays in my motherboard somewhere, any idea which chips I could begin to replace to see if it makes a difference?

Ooo, that's a revelation.

Since the ROM listings are showing a bad data bit, the most plausible motherboard component would be the 74LS245 bus transceiver at motherboard location B2.  That's the motherboard component that connects the CPU's data bus to the expansion slots.   All 8 data bits must pass through it.

So it's possible Yellowstone is emitting data at a slightly lower voltage than the Disk II, and maybe your motherboard's 74LS245 just isn't reliable at that voltage.  (Problems with 74LS245 transceivers are common enough that it's worth investigating.)

Search your other circuit boards.  You might find one you can borrow for testing.

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
Thank you for your reply,

Thank you for your reply, that's very helpful. I don't have one unfortunately but I ordered a pack of them that should be here tomorrow. I'll see if a new one makes a difference, and if not I'll just return them and keep investigating. Will post the results soon.

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
It wooooooooooorked :DThe

It wooooooooooorked :D

The LS245 was indeed the culprit. I replaced it this morning and now the Yellowstone works.

Thank you so much for everyone that helped me, I am so grateful to finally resolve this issue after almost two years of going nowhere... I am able to boot any images off of the Yellowstone card using my floppy emu.

(Side note, I'm still getting the ROM error on that diagnostic software, but I'm not getting any issues when using the card anymore, so I'm not sure if I should worry about it.)

Online
Last seen: 1 hour 14 min ago
Joined: Jul 5 2018 - 09:44
Posts: 2581
You might try some different

You might try some different diagnostic software.  Make sure whatever you are using knows about Enhanced //e ROMs and the difference between them and the originals ROMs and the ][+ ROMs.  Some older diangnostics softtware will always report models it doesn't know about as bad.

 

Check here for some to try:

 

https://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/disk_utils/diagnostics/

 

 

 

 

Online
Last seen: 43 min 54 sec ago
Joined: Jun 6 2020 - 10:50
Posts: 415
The A2e 2.1 diagnostic

The A2e 2.1 diagnostic available at the link above is the most recent official Apple diagnostic. The keyboard test can even be set to test the platinum layout as well. It also supports testing the //c (all 4 rom versions). That would probably be your best bet for testing your roms (and all other hardware). 

MoonMoon405's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: Feb 15 2024 - 23:11
Posts: 11
I ran the A2e test and

I ran the A2e test and everything passed. Looks like I'm all set to go, thank you all for your assistance.

S.Elliott's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Jun 23 2022 - 16:26
Posts: 207
Pay it back
MoonMoon405 wrote:

It wooooooooooorked :D

The LS245 was indeed the culprit. I replaced it this morning and now the Yellowstone works.

Thank you so much for everyone that helped me, I am so grateful to finally resolve this issue after almost two years of going nowhere... I am able to boot any images off of the Yellowstone card using my floppy emu.

Be sure to notify Steve at BigMessOWires, and send him a link to this thread.

He would undoubtedly be interested in this outcome because Yellowstone was especially impaired by the problem, even though Yellowstone was not at fault.

Your motherboard's LS245 has undoubtedly gone out-of-spec at pin 5, which transceives data bit 3:  either its VIH threshhold exceeded 2.0v, or its noise floor exceeded 0.4v.  That's just a guess, but it's logically consistent with everything that happened: Yellowstone's LVC245 transceivers would be vulnerable to that problem because they emit a lower voltage than the TTLs on a Disk II, so it has tighter tolerances.  Your surprising slot 3 test result was especially enlightening because it demonstrated that Yellowstone was capable of reading the sectors and generating the correct signals, but the bits were not reliably getting through to the CPU.

If the motherboard's bus transceiver starts going bad, as yours apparently did, it would affect low-voltage cards like Yellowstone before it affects traditional cards like Disk II.  That's not a fault in Yellowstone, but it's useful knowledge when you're troubleshooting a problem like this!

Offline
Last seen: 1 day 19 hours ago
Joined: Apr 26 2016 - 08:36
Posts: 681
Hey @S.Elliott -  That was

Hey @S.Elliott - 

 

That was some slick remote troubleshooting.  Well done.

 

Online
Last seen: 1 hour 14 min ago
Joined: Jul 5 2018 - 09:44
Posts: 2581
baldrick wrote:Hey @S.Elliott
baldrick wrote:

Hey @S.Elliott - 

 

That was some slick remote troubleshooting.  Well done.

 

Agreed!  Good work!

 

 

 

Log in or register to post comments