New computer kit, software compatible with Apple 1..

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Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: Oct 5 2017 - 09:17
Posts: 11
New computer kit, software compatible with Apple 1..
Image icon PE6502.JPG1.05 MB

Hello All,

I'm pleased to announce a new build-it-yourself kit, called the PE6502.

It is 100% compatible with Apple 1 software. Here are some features:

- 4" x 6", professional (made in USA) 2-layer circuit board.
- All new, all high-quality components, including WDC 65C02, and WDC 65C21 chips! All chips socketed.
- 32k RAM, 16K ROM (featuring onboard "Applesoft Lite", Integer BASIC, Krusader assembler, Krusader mini-debugger.)
- Fast serial port, with onboard hardware handshaking, for fast code transfer to and from the PE6502.
- Onboard terminal software features a working delete key, ctrl-alt-del terminal reboot, text color codes, and more.
- Full expansion slot (expansion cards now in development: MOS6581/SID interface card, CFFA1 mass storage card.)
- Includes ribbon cable/DB9 connector that connects to an onboard header on the PE6502.
- PS/2 keyboard input, RCA composite output jacks.
- Well written, comprehensive assembly manual.

You must supply:
- composite monitor, or TV with this connection, or an RCA-to-SVGA converter and SVGA monitor.
- PS/2 keyboard (usb to PS/2 converters won't work.)
- 7-9v, DC, tip-positive, 350-1000ma power adapter.
- a serial-to-USB interface if your "mothership" computer does not have DB9 serial.

Please check out for more info, including my new web forum with detailed assembly pictorial. Assembly manual available from the main site.


Last seen: 3 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: Jun 5 2008 - 07:26
Posts: 475
Re: New computer kit, software compatible with Apple 1..

I think that these replica projects are all just fantastic. However, I think that they really need to include provisions for a Cassette Interface in order to really replicate the original Apple 1, user experience.

There are two options.

1) either make the expansion connector fully compatible with a clone ACI card (which requires -12 volts)
2) add the required ACI circuitry and connector onto the main board.

If I was doing it, I'd just build it in - I'm guessing that the added cost shouldn't be more than $5 or $10.

Just my 2 cents.

Mike Willegal

Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: Oct 5 2017 - 09:17
Posts: 11
Re: New computer kit, software compatible with Apple 1..

Thanks Mike!

I agree- cassette interface would be fun! I quickly looked into it, but realized I don't already have provisions for -12 volts. I am currently working on a backplane for this computer, that will contain 44-pin sockets that can accept Apple 1 (and replica) cards, including the tape interface. I'll include provisions for -12v to the backplane, just in case. I figure, this way, if someone wants a tape interface- they are already available from other vendors- just plug one in! I'm also working with the guy who makes the CFFA1, to adapt his product ROM so that it works with the PE6502.

There are other kits that are MUCH more authentic to the Apple 1 design- and I didn't want to compete with that- the ones out there are already perfect! This machine of mine is aiming to be SW compatible, but also different. And, since I'm going away from HW replica, I figured I'd build in some other features too- like Applesoft Lite. Not authentic, but still fun to play with! Smile Stretch goal is, with the planned SID card add-on, and hopefully with some fancy propeller video cogs added, the PE6502 can be a blend of Apple I, Apple II, and Commodore 64!


Last seen: 6 days 12 hours ago
Joined: Oct 9 2011 - 12:54
Posts: 1352
Re: New computer kit, software compatible with Apple 1..

Mike had figured out that the opAmp will work using ground instead of -12v, but it does make it a bit more sensitive to volume. you need more volume than my iPhone can produce, but I can get consistent loads with a real cassette player which has a much higher gain available.

To make a consistent circuit that can be used with an MP3 player, what you could do is replicate the ACI circuit (forget all the LED stuff, it's un-needed) and add a small preamp to the circuit that is adjustable. Provide a test point and either create a test signal to allow the user to calibrate the preamp to the circuit or use a loopback on the audio out from the ACI looped back to the audio in of the circuit to calibrate the preamp with a scope or digital voltmeter (this is how you calibrate PT's cassette interface, though it uses a PLL circuit). A circuit like this should be cheap enough to add to your replica, but provide the fun of loading from ACI (usually using an MP3 player or iPhone).

I personally won't use a something like a CFFA1 on a replica-1 or mimeo. Since the Apple-1 never had a disk drive, it kinda kills the experience for me. With the CFFA3000 or BMOW stuff on an Apple II, it feels different because that machine had a disk drive avail, so having a virtual floppy disk seems like a good compromise over having to cause wear on your floppy drive and disks. For the Apple-1/Replica-1/Mimeo with ACI, you can get the best benefit of a virtual disk when using an MP3 player or iPhone, having easy access to a library of software, but keep the "back in the day" feeling.


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