Display dimming while booting program

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Display dimming while booting program

I have an Apple IIe, using an LCD TV as a composite monitor. Video is a simple composite to composite connection between the TV and IIe.
When I try to boot ProTERM (a terminal emulation program), there is a certain spot that the video dims. The disk keeps chugging along, and then the screen brightens.
Does anyone have any ideas what this might be, or what to check?
Any help appreciated.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

Hey Rick, could be many things.

To narrow it down, I would first recommend trying your //e on a different television, to see if the same thing occurs. That will rule out any peculiarities with your particular LCD TV set.

I would also try connecting your //e to your television with a different AV cable, just to rule out any interference that may be leaking into the video signal.

If the same thing occurs on a different set, my guess would be that the //e's power supply can't quite keep everything powered when the disk drive is reading/writing. You could test this by removing any extra peripheral cards inside the //e to reduce the load, and then try boot a disk.

Power supply servicing is a simple process, and I'm sure someone on the board has a decent set of instructions floating around.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

Rick - what kind of Device is ProTERM initializing?

Since you say this happens at one point in the program startup, I'm speculating that this is at a point where the device (modem, or whatever) is being initialized - the device in question is trying to pull more power.

If possible, I may suggest removing the device that is being used and starting up the ProTERM software. Alternatively, try temporarily changing any settings (if ProTERM allows) - to initialize another port. Then restart ProTERM. If the display does not dim after these changes, you'll know that it is either the device itself or the initialization process.

Alternatively, if you can, try some other terminal software that uses the device in question and determine if behavior is the same.

My gut is telling me that if this is the only time you note the screen dim, it has something to do with the serial device.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

I have a serial cable connected to a TNC (terminal node controller), a sort of radio modem. I never have the TNC turned on when starting ProTERM. I have tried to use ZLink and it sometimes stops midway in the startup process. Again, I usually have TNC off. I have tried to remove the serial card. One of the two programs complains when there is no serial card. I might set everything up tomorrow and make sure which program complains. I do have 2 serial cards. I get the same results when using either. I'll also try to take some decent notes during the startup process and I'll try changing slots to see if that does anything.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

I do have 2 serial cards. I get the same results when using either. I'll also try to take some decent notes during the startup process and I'll try changing slots to see if that does anything.

Hmm. Changing slots is a good idea - if simply to get more data.

One other quetion on the TNC: Does the TNC have its own power source? (Based on what I'm reading about these devices, I'm guessing so.)

Back to CWJ_Wilko's thinking on the IIe side, do you have many other cards/slots filled or other modifications that may be pulling atypical amounts of power?

The other thing that's a possibility is some mechanical issue in the drive. I'm wondering if there's a certain type of head movement or other other motor movement that creates a drain, or if this particular physical floppy is gunked up.

If you don't use this IIe for much else, it may be a drive or disk issue.

A good disk utility, or using a bit copy utility such as Copy II Plus to copy the entire disk (and watch for dimming) may be useful.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

OK... this is what I did with the IIe this morning:
Swapped out the 5 1/2 drive card (for daisy chain drives)
Took out the 64k/80 column card.
Remove the SSC.
ProTERm stopped with an error message saying it required an Apple II with 128k (paraphrase). The message was bright, then dimmed, then was bright. The only card in the IIe was the drive card.

Replaced the SSC, 80 column card. Started ProTERM. When it got to the ProTERM message mentioned earlier in the thread, it was bright, then dimmed, then bright, then the drive stopped where it should.

I was able to transfer a file from the IIe to a netbook at 9600 8N1 even though the SSC was set for 2400.

I tried ZLink. It would not communicate with the netbook at 9600, but did at 2400, but I was unable tor transfer a file from the IIe to the netbook. I assume ProTERM can override the SSC settings, but ZLink can not.

Then I removed the cable from the netbook, attached a 9 to 25 adapter, which I use with other computers, and plugged into the KPC-3. No communication. Both the KPC-3 and SSC are set for 2400 8N1.

I then swapped out the serial cable for another and connected the TAPR TNC 2. Both TNC have their own power supply. Using ProTERM there he usual screeen dimming and therewas no communication with the TAPT TNC. Using ZLink, I could see the TNC startup screen showing the TNC was starting up, but I could not send commands to it.

I believe the screen dimming and the lack of communication with the TNCs are two different problems. I am at a loss on how to diagnose them.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

I don't know if this adds anything, but I ran the internal system diagnostics (pushed Closed Apple) on the IIe three times and got System Good 3 times.

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

Hey Rick. I'm assuming you know this already, but ZLink can override the SSC dip switch settings. In fact, almost any terminal program I can think of will override the dip switch defaults.

OpenApple + W will open the baud rate settings and stuff in Zlink. OpenApple + ? will show all key commands.

This is a total hunch, but could you try adjusting the DIP switches and the software configurations for 7N1 instead of 8N1? I only mention this because, after many frustrating nights trying to sort out communication issues with my SSC, changing the settings to 7N1 fixed everything.

That, and toggling forward interrupts on the DIP switches, that is SW 2-6. The SSC manual mentions that the ][ and ][+ don't deal with interrupts from the SSC and to leave this off, but I have had enormous success toggling this to ON with my //e in ProTERM and ZLink.

For posterity, here is my dip switch settings, in case you want to try and emulate a working SSC card. But like I said, software should override much of this (maybe except for interrupts?)

1-1: OPEN
1-2: OPEN
1-3: OPEN
1-4: CLOSED
1-5: CLOSED
1-6: CLOSED
1-7: CLOSED

2-1: CLOSED
2-2: CLOSED
2-3: OPEN
2-4: CLOSED
2-5: OPEN
2-6: CLOSED
2-7: OPEN

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

Is ProTERM copyable to another floppy? I'm not sure if you looked into the physical disk/drive suggestion I mentioned above (the drive mechanism causing the power dip).

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Re: Display dimming while booting program

For several reasons, it took me all day to DL APTEST, get it to the netbook, over to my GS and convert the DSK to a floppy. As I was booting APTEST on the IIe, I was getting the fading problem. I didn't pay attention to were in the process it would occur. I ran the Apple IIe ROM test and got ERR$56D. The disk interface and 80 column card tests both generated ROM TEST BAD errors. The serial card tested good. The internal test (closed-apple) gave System OK.

I'm getting a Platiunm IIe this week with a 80 col/64k card, disk card and Disk ][. I think one of my serial cards should be OK to put in.

I think I'll try putting my Apple 5 1/4 drive cards in the Platinum and run the tests again. I find it hard to believe both cards are bad.

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