New iie hardware

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Joined: Oct 18 2020 - 00:53
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New iie hardware

Has anyone created pcb plans that can be sent to a place like pcbway for new apple iie hardware?  I'm interested in things like serial boards, ide boards, or scsi boards.  Some of the prices of these things are getting silly.  And it seems like I should be able to solder my own together without too much trouble.

Last seen: 5 hours 31 min ago
Joined: Mar 31 2020 - 19:55
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A new replacement for the //e

A new replacement for the //e mainboard would >= £2000. 


You would not save money in that route, even if it were to exist. Establish what cards you want and need to accomplsh your goals. 


You need to realise that the cost on repop bards is so high because the production volume is so low. A replacement //e mainboard that incorporates all of these things would reuire many tens o thousands in time for desig, the the parts alsone would cost £2000. That means that a break even cost would exceed that.


I hae designed retro HW and brought it to maket. It is not a cheap prospect, ad the reason that all of this HW costs so much to the consumer, is simply because it costs that much to produce and to manufacture. In an ideal world, one of us woud own a PCB mill, one of us would have a huge stock of alterra parts, and one of us would own a plastic factory. In reality, when you want something as simple as a custom connector the overhead is US£25K+.


I designed custom HW for other systems, and the cost for one connecotr that I needed was 25K tooling, n a minimum order of 5K pieces at US$10/piece. Thus, US$75K ust for one part on a product where that was only one of many parts. When I needed custom springs made to provide stock to service old 80s disk drives, I had a US5k tooling cost an a minimum order of 5000 springs a US$0.20 a piece. Spread the tooling cost across the springs, and I need to sell every one for US$1.20 us to break even.  Considering my projected volume need was < 200 pieces, I would need to charge US$40 per spring  to break even. 


Can you imagine paying that for one extension spring? People would accuse me of price gouging, but that was my legitimate raw cost, and I would not even make a profit in the process, while being accused of trying to fe over clients. t ust is not worth it. 


Paying a few hundred for cards isn't price gouging. Most people who do this barely break even. 

jwg1962's picture
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Joined: Jan 29 2012 - 07:17
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I second what Timelord is

I second what Timelord is saying.  I did the Apple IIe diagnostics card and it took alot more time and money than I thought it would, but I learned alot.

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Joined: Oct 18 2020 - 00:53
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This is surprising.  You can

This is surprising.  You can get a circuit board design for the Amiga 500 and have a small run made by pcbway for not very much money.  I think the minimum run is like 10 boards or something.  A lot f people do this and sell the extra boards on ebay.  So they're generally inexpensive.  Getting the custom chips for the Amiga 500 is another matter.  You usually have to cannibalize a dead board.  The same is true for the commodore 64.


The Apple 2e was supposed to be made from off the shelf parts.  I'm surprised the same situation doesn't exist for that machine.

Lee Adamson's picture
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GGLabs makes a clone of the

GGLabs makes a clone of the Apple II SCSI card.  It's available as a kit.  $20 for a bare PCB or $30 for a bare PCB and all the PLAs (if you don't have a GAL programmer).  You supply everything else, including a NLA scsi controller chip (that for now is still readily available on ebay from various shady Chinese electronics scalpers).  It was a common chip in many different scsi cards for many different architectures, so I don't see it getting too rare anytime soon.  Board requires soldering SMD components, but they are all 1206 size iirc and aren't too difficult to deal with.


I'm happy with mine.  Here's my assembly video:


The BMOW Apple2Pi is essentially a super-serial card with no ROM.  If you added the ROM, a MAX232 or two, and a DB connector, you'd have a super serial card I think.  I've built it (without the ROM) on breadboard before.  It's a pretty simple board.  Problem is the new-production 65C51 chips have a critical bug in the hardware implementation, so for full compatibility you have to get an older out of production 6551.  These are still available on ebay from the same shady Chinese electronics scalpers, but they are getting pretty expensive and given how popular they are with all the rest of the 8-bit community (lookin' at you, C= guys. ;P ), I 'spect the price will continue to rise.  It appears that WDC has no plans to fix the bug in the 65c51, and have basically been telling people to "design around it".


GlitchWorks sells a protoboard with an Apple II bus connector on it.  It probably wouldn't be too awful to strap up a serial card on it, but I don't think I'd want to do anything too super complicated on protoboard.  Well, I guess one could wire-wrap for more complicated stuff, but that would get in the way of the neighboring slot or two I 'spect.

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Joined: Oct 15 2012 - 08:59
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Where can we get the Apple II SCSI card

Where can we get the Apple II SCSI card for $20?  Looks like GGLabs is out of stock.

Anyone else carrying these?

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