The Freed 6809 card revisited

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Joined: Mar 26 2021 - 16:47
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The Freed 6809 card revisited


My recently-completed prototype 6809 card designed by Alex Freed.Runs OS9 nice and stable. Tested on my Apple 2e Platinum in slot 4.

Card runs at 1+ MHz, has no attached peripherals or memory. It relies entirely on the Apple host for I/O, display and keyboard.

Design based on the Stellation Two "The Mill" implementing the Motorola MC6809E. I made a few changes to impliment the CMOS Hitachi HD63C09E.

Was a fun project, "bumpy" ride,  learned a lot.  Picture attached.
CVT's picture
Last seen: 10 hours 43 min ago
Joined: Aug 9 2022 - 00:48
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Very nice!

Very nice! Here is a link to a topic from this forum about the original card:

Last seen: 17 hours 59 min ago
Joined: Feb 18 2024 - 23:00
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That's awesome ... I never

That's awesome ... I never heard of such card before for apple.

After reading through the thread CVT posted, I'm wondering what else you have running on that beside OS9; basic, assembler, pascal, program, etc.

Please do tell :)

Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Mar 26 2021 - 16:47
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Freed 6809 Card Software

Guess one wonder what you are going to do with your newly-aquired bit of retro Apple hardware. The 6809 offered a lot of potential at its time. Besides a boot disk for OS9 and a demo disk to show the dual-CPU potential on the Apple hardware, very little productivity software that I could find.


I have played a bit with BASIC09 as supplied on the OS9 boot disk. BASIC09 was a joint project with Motorola. A few quirks, but one can do some useful work with it. Given the CPU only runs at 1MHz. Thus far, have not used C or Pascal on OS9 and not yet found a way to get it working on that platform. I'm still persuing that.

There are some software on the Asimov archive that may be useful to develop OS9 drivers for typical Apple hardware.  Apparently the developers did some work based on the Mountain-CPS multi-function card, including a clock, serial and parallel support. From what I gather, software development is left to compile/edit using Prodos tools, then transfer code from Prodos to OS9. Also may be useful to use an Apple 2 emulator of some sort to develop and test code. and use CiderPress to transfer the result to OS9.


There is a Pascal Speed-Up application that I believe works in conjunction with Apple 2 UCSD Pascal. I've only experimented with that briefly as I'm not much into Pascal at the moment.


The fun is more playing with a bit of unique computing history.


Last seen: 5 hours 55 min ago
Joined: Apr 1 2020 - 16:46
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Benefits of the 6809 ? And a few left over ...

In post #4, 'jbforrer' wrote:


" The 6809 offered a lot of potential at its time. "


Uncle Bernie comments:


I remember when the 6809 came out. It did cause a lot of  "ohhhs" and "ahhhs" and similar noise in the electronics scene. Computer geeks  (including me) marveled at its "potentials". A lot of hype. And then ... almost nothing:

A few adoptions in the home computer field like the TRS-80 Color Computer (the "CoCo") and the Vectrex video game console. The CoCo was not impressive  in terms of speed.  Actually, it was quite slow. The Vectrex was cool but never gained market momentum, most likely because most of the games released for it sucked.

The 6809 as such also piqued a lot of interest in academia, who at the time always embraced the latest tech fad, such as the 6809 itself, the ill-fated because bug-ridden National Semiconductors 32032, and the INMOS Transputer etc.  

I still have some of these ICs around which were acquired with great enthusiasm and then forgotten as soon as the fad withered away. I still wonder where the real benefits of the 6809 are. I have a few, I think 68B09, send me a PM if you want one, I'd look what I really have.


- Uncle Bernie







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