IIGS Questions

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IIGS Questions

Hi All,

Loving my //e but I'm thinking I want to add a IIGS to the mix. I want to try to figure out what will I need on top of my current setup to get it working, as most IIGS systems I have seen for sale are incomplete.

My //e has a color composite monitor, DuoDisk (with the 19-pin connector), two Disk ][ drives (with the 20-pin card), FloppyEmu, and a null modem connection from my Super Serial Card with the RetroFloppy cables to my PC for ADTPro.

I assume I need the following for the IIGS, what am I missing? :

 

1. RGB monitor with cable

2. RAM expansion card (how much should I get)?

3. A different cable to connect from the serial port on the IIGS to the DB9 to USB cable.

4. At least one 3.5" drive, is there a specific controller card for those?

5. IIGS keyboard and mouse

6. CFFA3000

What am I missing or forgetting? Not looking to add a Transwarp or anything like that, just want to more or less recreate what I had back in the mid 80's, plus the quality of life improvement with the CFFA3000.

Thanks for any help.

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The IIgs does not need any

The IIgs does not need any controller cards for standard 5.25 and 3.5 drives with db19 connectors. It's built in and allows you to daisy chain two of each drive, plus smart port hard drives.  Duodisks can be used with a IIgs, but require some modifications inside the drive to make them work reliably with a IIgs. Your Disk II drives would require a Disk II card. The IIgs was designed to work with the "Apple 5.25 Drive" (a9m0107) with a db19 and daisy chain port. 

 

As you already have a Floppy Emu, a CFFA3000 somewhat becomes less important, IMO. The FE can operate in dual 5.25, single 3.5, or smartport hard drive mode with the built in drive connector on the IIgs. In hard drive mode, it can mount up to four 32mb drives at once. You may want to consider getting the daisy chain adapter for the FE, as it maximizes your ability to mix in real drives.

 

For the memory, 4-8mb will most likely be enough. Anything over 4mb, the IIgs uses a slower access method for the remaining memory. You can find new aftermarket cards being made today for this.

 

You may want to consider getting a stereo adaptor card for the Ensoniq chip in the IIgs. It gives you the ability to connect a set of external speakers for a lot better sound when using IIgs software. Legacy Apple II software just uses the built in speaker. There are some modern ones of these made as well as old ones that appear on eBay from time to time. 

 

You can also get an Ethernet card (Uthernet II) that can be used in your IIe as well as the IIgs. ADTPro can transfer via Ethernet as well as serial. Don't expect to go surfing the web, but you can find apps that allow you to connect to some text only services, like BBS that are set up for telnet over the Internet. 

 

 

 

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Also look at Booti cards

They're a good alternative for hard disk access. I have one in my IIgs and I love it.

https://ct6502.org/product/apple-ii-booti/

(I mounted a panel mount USB extension in mine so that the USB is externally accessible. Makes it a lot easier to update disk images)

 

Chesh

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CheshireNoir wrote:They're a
CheshireNoir wrote:

They're a good alternative for hard disk access. I have one in my IIgs and I love it.

https://ct6502.org/product/apple-ii-booti/

(I mounted a panel mount USB extension in mine so that the USB is externally accessible. Makes it a lot easier to update disk images)

 

Good versatile card, but better suited for use on a IIe.

It's pretty slow booting up GSOS on the IIGS.  

 

If you want to run GSOS, by the way, I'd highly recommend an accelerator - a Transwarp GS or Zip-GS.  Be prepared to spend more money on one of those than on the GS itself.

 

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Yeah Nah.

For now I'll stick to running games :-D

 

Chesh

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The iigs can use a Duodisk

The iigs can use a Duodisk without problems if the analog card is the correct revision.

A Disk II can be modified to have a db19 male connector so it can hook up to the iigs smartport directly.

A special db19 female adapter can be installed on a Disk II controller card which would turn it into a standard 5.25" controller card.

Ive done this to my Disk II and it's controller card.

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1. RGB monitor with cable To

1. RGB monitor with cable

 

To use the IIgs RGB out you need a very specific Apple monitor, as the ones for Macs or PCs in general won't work due to sync signals, etc.  There are other options these days to use a modern LCD display, etc.

 

2. RAM expansion card (how much should I get)?

 

As much as you can get.  Most IIgs software will run in 1MB.  A lot of it will take advantage of more than that though, so one of the 4MB or 8MB cards is nice to have.  Garrett's Workshop makes a nice card for the IIgs.  Modern cards that use newer chips are a nice improvement over vintage cards in that they typically consume a lot less power, which saves wear and tear on the power supply, generates less heat, etc.

 

3. A different cable to connect from the serial port on the IIGS to the DB9 to USB cable.

 

Yeah, the IIgs uses Mini-8 serial connectors.  IEC https://iec.net still makes and sells a lot of cables for Apple II including various Mini-8 serial cables.

 

4. At least one 3.5" drive, is there a specific controller card for those?

 

The IIgs has a built in 3.5" controller, but it will only work for certain Apple drives.  If you want to use Mac or a lot of 3rd party 3.5" drives you will need a different card.  BMOW is coming out with a new card called the "Yellowstone" which will be able to handle a lot of drives that the built in IIgs controller can't.  And it should be a lot less expensive than the rare Apple LiRON or other vintage cards like the Apple Universal Controller (SuperDrive 1.4 M) or the Laser UDC.

 

5. IIGS keyboard and mouse

 

You need ADB keyboard and mouse for a IIgs.  The ones Apple sold for the IIgs will work, but I think some older Mac and compatible keyboards and mice from other makers like Kensington will also work.  You'll probabyl have to go used here, as most companies including Apple quit making ADB devices a long time ago.

 

6. CFFA3000

 

Really nice to have, but there are alternatives like Booti, FloppyEmu or the ReActive Micro MicroDrive Turbo.  Check out all the alternatives before you commit to something as the CFFA3000 is not cheap.

 

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Further to what softwarejanitor added.

1. RGB monitor with cable

 

To use the IIgs RGB out you need a very specific Apple monitor, as the ones for Macs or PCs in general won't work due to sync signals, etc.  There are other options these days to use a modern LCD display, etc.

If you get a 15KHz monitor, a very simple passthru cable can be made. This is what I use. There's an entire wiki of compatible 15KHz monitors abounding out there. Mine is an ACER-V226HQL.

 

5. IIGS keyboard and mouse

 

You need ADB keyboard and mouse for a IIgs.  The ones Apple sold for the IIgs will work, but I think some older Mac and compatible keyboards and mice from other makers like Kensington will also work.  You'll probabyl have to go used here, as most companies including Apple quit making ADB devices a long time ago.

BMOW do a nifty ADB to USB adapter that'll allow you to plug in a USB keyboard to your Apple IIgs. I've also seen a project out there to use an Arduino to adapt to PS/2 keyboards and mice.

 

Cheers!

 

Chesh 

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