Upgrade the Disk II controller with shrouded headers

Hardly a month passes without hearing of some Apple II owner who inadvertently killed their disk drive by attaching the cable incorrectly to the Disk II controller.

The rival MicroSci A2 controller uses shrouded box headers instead of the open headers on the Disk II.  Not only do these ensure the cable is aligned correctly, they're keyed to ensure the correct orientation of the cable too.  I've never heard anyone complain of killing a disk drive attached to one of these A2 controllers.


So I included a Shrouded Box Header 20 Pin 2316R-20G  in my last order from Jameco.

Tonight I removed the Drive 2 header and replaced it with the shrouded header on my Disk II controller.


The new connector sure makes it more convenient to attach the second drive cable, even with the Disk II controller installed inside the Apple II.  Even 

It's such an improvement that I will replace the other connector, too.

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Great work. Too bad there isn't a shell that could slide over the connector without soldering. Maybe a 3D printable idea for someone?


Definitely an improvement that everyone should do to their controller cards!

hackerb9's picture

A very good idea. Do you have a link to the shroud on Jameco?

Hi Folks,

@jeffmazur I saw your comment and thought I could contribute.  I designed a 3D printed Connector Shroud that fits on the Disk ][ Interface Card.  You can get the files at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:6471531

As you suggested, it is a no-solder solution.  It slips down over the pins and then has a bar that pushes through to capture it.  No modification to the original board.

What an excellent idea.