Cards I'm building today SimpleSerial, DiskII and SmartDiskII

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Cards I'm building today SimpleSerial, DiskII and SmartDiskII

PCBs came in yesterday from JLCPCB...  I'm building these three today...  SimpleSerial, a 6551 based SSC compatible card, DiskII, a Disk II controller compatible that uses EPROMs incstead of BiPolar PROMs and SmartDiskII, a card that is a LiRON workalike.  I am waiting for parts to come in to complete them but this is what is done so far.  I have 4 more PCBs each, not sure how many of them I will populate.  I don't really need anything but the DiskII cards.  I've already got a bunch of SSC cards and a LiRON and a couple Yellowstone cards so I have what I need there...  Just love building them I guess...  Too bad there isn't much market for this stuff.

 

 

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 There may be a small market.

 

There may be a small market.  Figure out what it costs to make a single board, multiply it by 3, and put it on ebay to sell.  Maybe somebody will want it.

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I'm not sure it is worth the

I'm not sure it is worth the trouble anymore.  I've had basically nearly zero luck selling any retro related items on eBay recently.  A few years ago the market seemed a lot better.  People seem to think the price just for the parts is too much for anything.  They want everything for nearly free.

 

 

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https://www.applefritter.com

IMAGE(https://www.applefritter.com/files/styles/95-percent/public/2024/01/17/DiskII-partial.jpeg)    How dare you!?!?!  Keyed connectors on the card, you'll go broke!  I love it!  I've made the mod on some original disk II controllers.But, seriosuly if you're going to clone cards wouldn't it be better to clone ones that aren't so easily available today?If you have blanks you want to sell, where you at? I might be interested in the disk controllers just for the EPROM.

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Holy crap, it's so tough to

Holy crap, it's so tough to make that reply flow right.Only way I could get the inline image was with BBCode, but that filters out whitespace, nbsp and other important spacing stuff. That was frustrating. 

Filtered HTML did not allow <img> tag, just showed as <img src="falkdjflsajdf">  instead of displaying the image.

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inline images

To include an image inline, click Media Browser and switch to its Library tab. Paste the image file name (less directory path) into the search box and hit the return key. Then select the image you wanted and click Submit. The next screen is for setting the <img> style, click Submit again. Images are also included if you quote a prior post or copy & paste it.

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EPROMs are easy to find, I

EPROMs are easy to find, I have enough to build out the blank PCBs I have.  Probably not going to bother trying to sell any.

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robespierre wrote:To include
robespierre wrote:

To include an image inline, click Media Browser and switch to its Library tab. Paste the image file name (less directory path) into the search box and hit the return key. Then select the image you wanted and click Submit. The next screen is for setting the <img> style, click Submit again. Images are also included if you quote a prior post or cop

Thanks, but can't quote the OP and just watnted to use his original image.

I was trying to just inline link to OP's image (via URL) and not download, upload, link but will remember that for next time.

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softwarejanitor wrote:EPROMs
softwarejanitor wrote:

EPROMs are easy to find, I have enough to build out the blank PCBs I have.  Probably not going to bother trying to sell any.

 

 

Makes sense.

Your green tape looks like my favorite Scotch.3M 233 auto detailing tape. 

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jeff d wrote:softwarejanitor
jeff d wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:

EPROMs are easy to find, I have enough to build out the blank PCBs I have.  Probably not going to bother trying to sell any.

 

 

Makes sense.

Your green tape looks like my favorite Scotch.3M 233 auto detailing tape. 

 

 

It's actually FrogTape brand and it is the stuff primarily designed for latex house paint instead of automotive paint.  I always have a bunch painter's tape around for putting race numbers on cars.

 

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Update...  All the

Update...  All the SimpleSerial cards are mostly done.  I just have to find the 1488 and 1489 line drivers for three of the cards.  They're around here somewhere I just need to dig around.  I also need to make the "piggtrails" for these cards.  I have all the parts here, I just haven't gotten around to making them yet.  They're designed for PC clone style DE9 connectors instead of DB25 like the Apple Super Serial Card and the 10 pin IDC connector on the board has a different pinout.  Make a note of that if you build these cards.

 

If you notice I had to use different style capacitors for the three 330nF.  That's kind of an oddball value so I had trouble finding them, some came from a multi-pack and the other ones I found were 500V rated so much larger.

 

 

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Another update...  Just

Another update...  Just finished all the soldering on the DiskII cards.  I just need to burn the EPROMs and stuff all the chips in the boards.  I am waiting on the 74LS323 chips, they are supposed to be here in the next few days.  I have all the others in stock.  I may need to replenish a few after this.

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Update 2 for today...

Update 2 for today...

 

Soldering work (mostly) done on the SmartDiskII boards...  Same story I need to burn the EPROMs and stuff the chips.  I may have to order a few to finish these, not sure I have all the chips or at least enough of all of the 74LS parts.  I also as you can see I also ran out of shrouded 20 pin IDC male connectors, so those will have to wait a few days for them to come in.

 

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The Simple Serial card is

The Simple Serial card is intriguing.  Is it a one-to-one Super Serial card replica/clone?  Do SSC drivers work on it at high speeds?

 

The Disk II replicas are also pretty neat, but since there are more of those than there are actual Apple IIs, there may not be as big of a market for those as say you LIRON replica.

If it's a true LIRON replica I think that there would be quite a few folks interested in buying one, especially since genuine LIRON cards for for hundreds.

 

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baldrick wrote:The Simple
baldrick wrote:

The Simple Serial card is intriguing.  Is it a one-to-one Super Serial card replica/clone?  Do SSC drivers work on it at high speeds?

 

The Disk II replicas are also pretty neat, but since there are more of those than there are actual Apple IIs, there may not be as big of a market for those as say you LIRON replica.

If it's a true LIRON replica I think that ther

 

The SimpleSerial Card is pretty much software compatible with the SSC.  If you use 6551 chips which don't have the bug that WDC's current W65C51 apparently still has it should work like an SSC at high speed.  The areas where it is different is it does not have DIP switches, so all changing of settings needs to be done by software and also it does not have the jumper block to flip the signals between terminal and printer modes (DCE/DTE) so just use a NULL Modem adapter or a cable that is TX/RX flipped if needed.  Also as I mentioned the pinout for the piggy tail is different and it is intended for use with DE9 connector instead of DB25.

 

The SmartDiskII is mostly a LiRON clone, but it uses a special version of the SoftSP ROM code.  However, for most purposes it can be used just like a real LiRON with a UniDisk 3.5 or most other SmartPort capable devices like wDisk, FloppyEmu or FujiNet.  Since the Yellowstone card came out the price has dropped way down on LiRON cards and they don't seem to demand the high prices they used to.  The SoftSP cards and LIRONGP code for the Grappler+ have also lowered the price on the original LiRONs.  Even though the cost to build the SmartDiskII card would allow a price point below that of Yellowstone and there are reasons to prefer using it over LIRONGP on a Grappler+ (only using one slot for example), I am still not sure that it would be worth trying to sell these even though I will probably have at leasrt 2-3 that I won't really need in a week or two when the remaining parts I need to complete them come in.

 

 

 

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I always find the Apple II

I always find the Apple II SSC to be picky about its 6551. I have a tube of 80's rockwell 65C51 that work great in stuff like P-LAB's apple-1 wifi modem, but won't respond in a SSC. Meanwhile finding the right 6551 has revived several SSC cards for me on more than one occasion.

 

 

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I've been thinking of

I've been thinking of modifying a version of the SimpleSerial card to delete the 1488 and 1489 and add an LM1117-3.3 and replace the connector for the piggy tail with one that an ESP8266 ESP-01 module could plug directly into.  It should be fairly easy to change the KiCAD project to do that.

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softwarejanitor wrote:delete
softwarejanitor wrote:

delete the 1488 and 1489 and add an LM1117-3.3 and replace the connector for the piggy tail with one that an ESP8266 ESP-01 module could plug directly into

You probably need to add level conversion between the 5V logic signals on the SSC, and the 3v3 UART lines on the ESP. It is possible that the ESP has clamping on the RX line that could be tolerant of the 5V signal, but I'm not sure the 6551 ACIA will always be happy with a 3v3 high logic level trom the ESP TX signal.

 

You might be OK, but it's not something I would advise.

 

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chrisa850 wrote
chrisa850 wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:

delete the 1488 and 1489 and add an LM1117-3.3 and replace the connector for the piggy tail with one that an ESP8266 ESP-01 module could plug directly into

You probably need to add level conversion between the 5V logic signals on the SSC, and the 3v3 UART lines on the ESP. It is possible that the ESP has clamping on the

 

I'm not sure about the level conversion on TX/RX.  I will have to check on that.  I have a couple of USB modules an ESP-01 plugs directly into and if I remember right they just have one chip like a CH340 USB serial controller and a 1117-3.3V regulator on them.  But possibly the CH340 does level conversion, I don't know, I'll have to look at the data sheet.

 

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 possibly the CH340 does

The CH340 is 5V tolerant. While it is possible that your particular module manufacturer has added diodes to their board to prevent damage from connections 5v logic,  Espressif lists their logic inputs as 3.3-3.6V only.  A couple of small signal MOSFETs should do depending on your data rate, or a 74LVC245 is another option.

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Just curious - what chip

Just curious - what chip programmer do you use to program the Lattice GAL22V10 chips?

And the EEPROMs...same one, I presume?

 

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I use an Xgecu TL866-II+ for

I use an Xgecu TL866-II+ for Atmel ATF22V10.  I can use my older Minipro TL866CS for Lattice GAL22V10, but the older one won't do the ATF22V10.  It will do EPROMs which require 21V programming that the newer one won't though so I keep both.  I think both will do the 28C64 and 28C256 parts if memory serves.  I also have one of the current Xgecu T48 programmers but the support for it in the Open Source minipro software is new so I haven't used it much yet.  The Open Source drivers are important because I don't have Windows.  The minipro software will compile and run on either Linux or MacOS.

 

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I need to get a Minipro...I

I need to get a Minipro...I think it will do both GALs, if I'm right.  I'm interested in the opensource Minipro software - have you got a link?

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You will find it very

You will find it very difficult to find a TL866-II+ since they've been out of production for a while.  There may be a few out there, but the places that still have them appear to be asking a premium.  Most places will ship you a T48 even if they say it is a TL866.  The support in the Open Source minipro software is very new for the T48.  I haven't used it much yet.  Here is a link to the code on Github:

 

https://gitlab.com/DavidGriffith/minipro/

 

 

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This is also useful: https:/

This is also useful:

 

https://github.com/blurpy/minipro

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:You
softwarejanitor wrote:

You will find it very difficult to find a TL866-II+ since they've been out of production for a while.  There may be a few out there, but the places that still have them appear to be asking a premium.  Most places will ship you a T48 even if they say it is a TL866.  The support in the Open Source minipro software is very new for the T48.  I haven't used it much yet.  Her

How does the T48 compare?If the TL-866+ is remotely expensive I would recommend a top3000 instead, but that is personal experience and preference primarily. Both do EPROM, GAL, PIC pretty well, but the Top3000 can do 42 pin EPROMS with no adapter and I found it better for some certain ICs. 

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The TOP 3000 is useless to me

The TOP 3000 is useless to me because it only works with Windows.  There used to be Open Source support for older TOP programmers like the TOP2049, but as far as I've ever found that's the newest one in that line that is supported.

 

The T48 is around $75 with shipping.depening on where you order it and what extras it comes with.  I've never needed to do larger than 40 pin chips, but I have the adapter to do it if I had to, although that was an extra cost.  I also have an adapter to allow programming EPROMs that require higher than 21V.  I haven't used that yet either, but I got one in case I ever do.

 

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I think the T48 might be the

I think the T48 might be the way to go.  There are a lot of janky looking retailers on the internet that sell it, but it appears you can buy it directly.

 

https://xgecu.myshopify.com/collections/xgecu-t48-tl866ii-3g-programmer

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T48
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T48

Yes, you are absolutely correct, I got mine in less than two weeks and I have paid €48 free shipping. It's working great out of the box. They accept PayPal so no risk to lose your money if the package gets lost. I'm happy I brought it to my Apple Attic 

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softwarejanitor wrote:The TOP
softwarejanitor wrote:

The TOP 3000 is useless to me because it only works with Windows.  There used to be Open Source support for older TOP programmers like the TOP2049, but as far as I've ever found that's the newest one in that line that is supported.

 

The T48 is around $75 with shipping.depening on where you order it and what extras it comes with.  I've never needed to do larger than 4

Understandable. I need to try the linux/mac software for the TL866-II I do have. 

 

I burned enough chips to expend a top2049, but the 3000 is still going strong. The 2049 lasted me years of much heavier use than it probably should have seen. But yes, I did accept having to use windows for them, and kept an XP laptop specifically for those burners. 

 

Maybe I'll add a T48 to the arsenal, seems reasonable enough. 

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It's neat to see your builds

It's neat to see your builds of these cards, please let me know if you find anything that should be improved. 

Also, on the SimpleSerial, my version suffers from the same issue as the the one I derived it from, https://github.com/jmthompson/ssc/issues/1 so it's only partly functional. I hope to have a full Super Serial clone out pretty soon, with no PLDs and still only 100mm wide.

 

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Nice Cards.  So, I am going

Nice Cards.  So, I am going to try to build a few of the SmarDisk  cards for my IIe collection.  

 

I think I found all the parts even the 74LS323s, but I can't find a place that sources the 2758.   Can someone point me to a place that has those? 

 

Thanks,

Jay 

 

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You should just use a 2716
jwg1962 wrote:

Nice Cards.  So, I am going to try to build a few of the SmarDisk  cards for my IIe collection.  

 

I think I found all the parts even the 74LS323s, but I can't find a place that sources the 2758.   Can someone point me to a place that has those? 

 

Thanks,

Jay 

 

 

 

You should just use a 2716 there. I should make that clearer in the BOM

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bradleyb wrote:jwg1962 wrote
bradleyb wrote:
jwg1962 wrote:

Nice Cards.  So, I am going to try to build a few of the SmarDisk  cards for my IIe collection.  

 

I think I found all the parts even the 74LS323s, but I can't find a place that sources the 2758.   Can someone point me to a place that has those? 

 

Thanks,

Jay 

 

Yeah, I used 2716 in the ones I made.  I don't think the burners I have will do 2758 or 2708 anyway even if I found any.  2716 are cheap and readily availale.  I just got a bunch more to replenish all the ones I used recently.

 

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Awesome thanks.  I have the

Awesome thanks.  I have the parts on order.  I'll let you know how they turn out. 

 

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