Unable to get serial started on IIe to use with ADTPro 2.1.0

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Unable to get serial started on IIe to use with ADTPro 2.1.0

I'm new to the forum and just pulled my IIe out after being in storage for a long time. I'm using ADTPro 2.1.0 to create some disks, but am having some trouble getting the serial working. When I enter IN#2 and press RETURN, I don't see the APPLE SSC: prompt. What I get is a bracket and then a random character after that.

Example: ]p

I verified that the card is in the second slot from the left as you look at the machine from the front, the dip switches are set to SW1: 1001111 SW2: 1101100, and the jumper block has the arrow pointing up since I'm using a null modem cable.

It's entirely possible the machine needs some TLC, but I don't know where to start with that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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IN#2 + CTRL-A

You said you entered "IN#2" and RETURN ?

You get the "SSC" prompt by entering "IN#2" then Ctrl-A. Have you tried that?

And just in case, here's another thread from someone who had similar issues:

https://www.applefritter.com/content/adtpro-and-apple-super-serial-card

 

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No, when I execute "IN#2" I

No, when I execute "IN#2" I do NOT see SSC

According to the documentation I should see that and then I press CTRL-A. Even if I do press CTRL-A at the prompt that does show up, I get various other responses. Sometimes it beeps at me and I see the character after the bracket change or other times it'll clear the screen, I'll get 80 column text size, and I'll get other random characters in the upper left corner of the screen.

It's totally not working the way it should. I already read the article that you mentioned above, but it's not addressing the issue that I'm having. I've reseated the card many times and have verified the dip switches and pin block orientation many times now. I'm not even far enough along the process to even have the cable be an issue yet, so after the first few comments in that thread, it doesn't apply to my situation.

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So here's something

So here's something interesting. I took out all the cards that aren't necessary leaving only the serial card in slot 2 and the floppy controller in slot 7. Now when I execute IN#2 it beeps 4 times rapidly at me and I get the following output and the floppy drive starts to spin up like it was rebooted. I can hit CTRL-Reset to stop it just like when I'm booting and it'll stop spinning. Here's the output that I get:

 

](flashing cursor)

00A2-     A=E2 X=00 Y=01 P=B5 S=EA

](flashing cursor)

00A2-     A=BE X=00 Y=01 P=B5 S=E2

](flashing cursor)

00A2-     A=6U X=00 Y=01 P=35 S=DA

](flashing cursor)

00A2-     A=C8 X=00 Y=01 P=B5 S=D2

The normal prompt is here

 

I performed a system check (open apple + closed apple on boot) and got KERNEL OK. Is there another diagnostic that I should do to do a more thorough system test? Is there anything that's not covered in the test that I could test some other way to see what the issue is? I'm not convinced it's the serial card as the culprit, but it's not out of the question.

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I'm assuming you don't have

I'm assuming you don't have any other disks with diagnostics like MECC's computer inspector or the Apple diag disks, correct?

 

You could try using the built-in monitor (machine code interface, not the display) to test your memory. 

See the later part in a post I made in this thread:

Logical problem with Apple II europlus error and random freeze | Applefritter

 

You'll need to start with the call -151 to get into the monitor from the basic prompt ']' after resetting when booting. You could also pull the SSC and Disk controller for this test as those won't factor into the RAM test.

If you have a RAM problem that will need to be addressed first. The ROMs on the SSC could also be bad, but that's not the first place to check. Would also be good to confirm your power supply is putting out good voltages. Imortant to keep in mind, a working power supply doesn't not mean a good supply.

 

When you get a stable system I would suggest the Apple Memory Test v1.4 and MECC's Computer Inspector as the first steps for better testing than provided with the monitor memory check and system diagnostic (apple keys on startup) tests. 

 

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I tried a differnt approach

I tried a differnt approach to using ADTPro and decided to go back to the audio method. I was originally seeing a number of issues with that method too, but with all but the serial and disk I/O card in there now, I thought I'd give it a shot and see if it would work better with what I believe was at least part of the issue, the 80 column card. Huzzah! I was not only able to get it to load ADTPro  over audio without any errors along the way, but now the autdio signal from the Apple to my laptop was working.

I was able to make a disk with the MECC diagnostic on a disk and ran that. It confirmed that the memory is fine. There aren't many other useful diagnostics that I can use for at the moment, but at least it booted and ran the program with no issues. 

While running MECC, I checked out the report of what's in each of the slots, and it correctly identified that the disk I/O card was installed, but the serial card came up with a dash '-' instead of a name. It knew that something was there because it didn't list it as "unknown" like it did for the empty slots. So maybe the serial card isn't working correctly.

 

I'm reasonably confident at this point that the main machine is working well. I may need to get a new 80 column card, perhapse one with some additional memory on it, and might need to get a different serial card. I'll try out using the serial card again loading ADTPro from disk instead of from an image over serial.

 

The main thing is that I'm in business and can now basically function with DOS 3.3. It's a matter of figuring out the peripherals states and get them replaced or repared as needed.

 

Jeff D. I checked the PS after your suggestion. That was a good call. The positive 12 and 5 v pins are showing just over 12 and 5 volts respectively, but the negative pins are showing about -11 and -4.8 v. Is that right? Do they need to be exactly the same as the positive pins or at least much closer than that?

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The negative voltages are

The negative voltages are fine. The +5V rail should be exact (under load). With the original PS it's normal that the other rails are slightly off. Even the -11V is fine and normal.

Concerning the PS, the usual hint: if you haven't changed the RIFA capacitors yet, then those will probably pop within a few hours. It's recommended to swap them before they go, rather than having to clean the stink afterwards...

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You said:No, when I execute

You said:

No, when I execute "IN#2" I do NOT see SSC

 

After you enter IN#2 and RETURN, you then must enter CTRL-A & RETURN.

 

Then you will see the Apple SSC. You won't see Apple SSC after entering IN#2.

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Sounds like your SSC is bad,

Sounds like your SSC is bad, unfortunately.

 

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AFAIK an empty slot should

AFAIK an empty slot should show as "-", not "unknown" in MECC CI.  And your SSC should show up.  The fact it's not means it most likely cannot read the ROM, and something is wrong with the card/sot.

 

For example, my slot 7 is empty and is shown as a "-" and my SSCs are properly identified.  My Phasor clone in slot 4 is also shown as a "-", most likely becasue it does not have a ROM.

 

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Another point of reference,

Another point of reference, my rom 255 IIc will show unknown for slots 5 and 7. Because the rom has something there (IIc slots are virtual since everything is built in), but it's not really anything useful or identifiable.

 

 

So if you have truly empty slots that are coming back as "unknown", I think you have bigger issues than a bad SSC.

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Sea-Apple wrote:Jeff D. I
Sea-Apple wrote:

Jeff D. I checked the PS after your suggestion. That was a good call. The positive 12 and 5 v pins are showing just over 12 and 5 volts respectively, but the negative pins are showing about -11 and -4.8 v. Is that right? Do they need to be exactly the same as the positive pins or at least much closer than that?

Those voltages look fine, there will be differen results if the power supply is loaded (motherboard connected) or unloaded. The loaded supply is really the state you need to verify, but it sounds like that's what you did.  The -12 could be closer to -11.5 but -11 should be fine. RS-232 uses +12/-12 so maybe... but I'd have to take a closer look.

 

As to the CI not identifying your SSC that does sound bad. I had mentioned the ROMs on the card could be bad, but so could any other compoent. Did you try moving the SSC to a different slot? It shouldn't make difference, but it would be a good test to just verify that slot isn't damaged. Soo many potentials for issues, best to start elminating supects. You're making good progress.

 

The audio (asciiexpress.net) option is a great move, and I agree your RAM is looking good. One other question on the SSC and this really wouldn't affect CI from identifying it but you should make sure the switch block (the part with the arrow) is pointing the correct direction and the switches on the card are configured correctly. 

 

You mentinoed the 80 col card is a concern. Is it the standard card or the extended (64K) version? If it's the latter you should grab the Apple II Memory Diagnostics v1.4 from asciiexpress and run that. In order of RAM test quality from least to best would be: self-test, CI, Memory Diag.  From memory diagnsitcs, use the one that doesn't stop on first error but also  checks the extended memory on 80 col card. CI does test this memory too, but best to use mem diags program. At least that's my opinion...

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Cleaned up everything and tried again

I decided to give my machine a deep clean and check to make sure that the mainboard was in good health. Long story short, the issue was a bad serial card. I took every chip out and inspected them for any possible oxidation  and they all looked good. Reseated them to make sure that they had a good connection. I put everything that I have in there without the serial card, and the MECC system inspector was able to identify everything. Added the serial card and things went South. AFIKT, the machine is working as expected, I just need to get a different serial card. Thank you everybody for your help and advice. I still want to check out the PS and get some of the parts in there that condition the line replaced since I'm sure they're aged out by this point. 

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