EDIT: It's back again! I've just moved house so took a while to get everything reconnected. Note that if you're logging on tonight you might face slow speeds as my Internet connection is being thoroughly used to update my main PC.
Not really sure where to go from here - I would love to make it more engaging somehow, put up some games and the like. Or something else... I'll think.
Please join me at wilkiie.ddns.net, Port 1985.
Would anyone be interested in connecting to a new BBS?
At the moment I think I'll keep it by invitation only. There's certainly a question of network security by putting up the DNS and my IP address all over the web.
I also want to gauge the level of interest before I slowly start increasing my system uptime. At the moment it's only switched on when I can monitor everything closely. I'm not worried about wearing out the components faster, as I'm getting better at replacing defective capacitors and such, but I'm not really at the stage where I want to leave 30 year old hardware unattended - and if the interest isn't there, there's not much point.
I believe that this is the only Apple //e BBS currently running anywhere in the world. There have been others in recent years such as The Matrix Returns but I've had no luck connecting to any of them. Not only is this the only Apple //e BBS running, but it's likely the only BBS running on actual 1980s hardware from any manufacturer (although I would be delighted to be mistaken).
I mentioned in an earlier post that I enjoy taking pictures of my Apple //e; I find myself trying to capture the essence of vintage computing in these photographs. Keeping a BBS online is just another outlet for me to preserve a piece of computing history. It was great fun trying to get everything communicating, and a thrill when I finally 'dialed in' from outside my home network.
The lesson I've learnt so far is that Internet users of today (including myself) take so much of the usability and reliability for granted.
It's currently running off two Disk ][ units, but I can later expand this to four drives for more space (I have a spare DuoDisk). Perhaps a CFFA card can expand it further? I've also ordered a no-slot clock off eBay, as I'm stuck manually setting the date every morning, and I would like to have timestamps on mail and posts.
So just PM me for the details.
I'm slowly increasing my uptime as I become more comfortable with leaving the //e unattended. The power supply has been recently inspected (by me) and had a capacitor replaced, so I'm feeling better about leaving it on for longer periods. Still won't leave it on while I'm sleeping though.
In saying all that, the current window for connection would be something like:
0700 - 2100 Australian Eastern Daylight Time, or
2000 - 1000 UTC/GMT, or
1300 - 0300 PDT, or
1600 - 0600 EDT.
When the system isn't up, you should be receiving a message from the software explaining why, and what the next likely window is.
There's not much to see there yet, admittedly, but hopefully it will grow.
PM me for connection info.
Whelp 50 hours uptime, and looks like some baud rate issues started to creep in. I think the Super Serial Card is overheating, I suppose specifically the oscillator could be overheating, and losing its timing? Does anyone have any experience with this?
It's summer here in Australia so may need to invest in a PC fan for the Apple //e. I have read many reports from 'back in the day' about Apple IIs running for years on end without issue, but it's worth considering that the majority of its components are now 30 years old, and perhaps don't have the tolerance for heat that they used to.
I'll shut down for a while and let everything cool off.
I ran an AE line on an Apple IIe for years, and back then if I didn't have a fan running on it I would have issues and the components were new. You should definitely have some form of system saver or fan on the machine if it's running continuously.
Thanks Zan. Most 'official' system savers that I've seen for auction are 110 volts and I'm running on 230 volts here in Australia. Thinking I might just get two regular PC desktop fans.
I would be interesting in connecting to this BBS.
Every Apple iie should have a system saver installed unless it has a power supply more powerful than the original.
I've decided that after waiting far too long for a system clock and having trouble, I'll open this BBS to the public and gauge some interest. You can find the address at the top of the thread where I've edited.
I will connect again... I have my Uthernet II cards working, so I will see if I can get a simple Telnet connection working...
I ran a GBBS Pro BBS from 1986 to 1993 called Dura-Europos (including many modifications in my spare time).
I am currently retired (I have lots of time) and working to resurrect the BBS from old backup disks. I am using an Apple IIe I got off eBay. I am using a Raspberry Pi, emulating a 2400 baud Hayes modem (my GBBS software only supports specific modems from the eighties..). I was delighted when my very first attempt to logon from my Windows machine via telnet, was successful (imagine my delight when the same old welcome screen appeared). I am using a CFFA card for storage (plus an accelerator card)
I am getting close enough to where I started researching what is required for somebody outside my home network to connect. I was a bit taken aback by what my internet provider charges, plus I still have questions around that topic.
Anyway, I just saw your post and was delighted by it. I thought I would say what I am up to also. I will try your board today probably.
Good luck with it.
PS: the battery is dead in my old clock also, I have to set it each time I start the computer. At least it recognizes the year 2016! I had to make program changes to GBBS Pro to have it recognize the date properly.
Hey Skip, think I saw you login last night, was great to see. As far as the clock goes, I have to manually set the date each day, and the timestamps are very unreliable. Maybe next pay I'll get a new no-slot clock and see how it goes.
Still trying to learn a lot about the software to make the most out of it. I've seen a handful of Commodore BBS sysops even in this year providing games and other things. I feel like games might be the way to go, as it may be more engaging than just having the bulletins themselves (but you surely can't have one without the other!)
May need to buy a new power supply. The one I have is burning up with extended use, very hot to the touch. It's been recapped so I'm not too worried but all the same. My //e is packed:
3: 80column/64k memory
5: Disk II card
6: Disk II card
I think the dual Disk II cards are drawing quite a bit of power. The software can work fine with just two drives but I prefer to use four, less disk switching. And I'm pretty confident that I would be one of the only Apple //e users left with more than two drives running at once! At the expense of the poor power supply though. The heat buildup is immense.
I don't know what the time difference is between Washington (state) U.S. and Australia, but I think it is quite a bit. So it may have been last night for you, it was maybe 3 hours ago (about 11 AM my time).
Regarding heat buildup, I believe that disk drives do draw a fair amount of power (others on here would know more about that). Are they 5 1/4" or 3.5" drives? (just curious).
Do you have your cover off of your Apple IIe? I am using a small fan to blow air into the rear of the cabinet (I left a picture in my thread on 'Heat issue')
If you are having trouble with time stamps, it is probably not the fault of your clock (assuming it is keeping time). If I remember, GBBS Pro was not Y2K compliant and gets confused with years later than 1999. I modified the code on mine to patch it. If you are interested in changing the code of yours, I can see if I can review what I did (did most of that when I was tinkering with the board off-line back in 2005).
Nice to feel like I have a fellow GBBS "sysop" after all these years.
Just a thought on games, if you are interested, the site "BBS: The Documentary" has 3 games for GBBS Pro at this link:
Just by coincidence, I created the Gladiator game, and expanded the other two. :bigsmile:
It might be tough to run those from floppy drives though. I have some smaller games from other authors, I could dig through them if you want and see what is there.
Actually Skip if you could pass along that code when you get a chance, that would be great! I actually have problems with dates after December 31 1989, not sure if I have an older version or not that is even less Y2K compliant. Think my clock problems are mostly to do with the battery though, I'll get a replacement one day.
EDIT: I have 4x 5.25 inch drives running, two Disk ][ units and a DuoDisk.
Sorry if anyone is trying to currently connect, some excessive humidity and heat in Sydney is causing havoc. I'm investing in some new mini PC fans to try and blow some fresh air into the case, without having the cover off. If that doesn't work it might be time to replace that power supply with something more modern that runs cooler.
The //e power supply is often too hot to touch!
Good luck with your fans.
Your date sounds about right. I found from experiments, that I had to add 30 years to the year ACOS think it is.
It appears ACOS gets the date from your clock card and stores it in a system variable called date$. You can modify the value of date$, but you have to be careful, it seems pretty touchy. Below is a little test module I made for experimentation. My idea was to store the value of date$ in second variable (dz$ below), then modify that variable. I discovered that modifying dz$ also modifies date$ (by reference?).
You might try running the test module, then leave a test message in your forum and see if the date is correct. If you want, you might try adding the code to your logon.seg. However, I have not tested that.
My system is using a different method that involves keeping a small date file. Since it seems to work OK, I did not pursue the above method further. This method is embedded within other code, and I made it back in 2005, so I would have to review and "distill" it, if the module below doesn't work out for you.
I use a routine I added to the system.seg module for linking to any module (so long as it is in a drive spec configured for GBBS Pro). I will include it at the bottom. Note the last line in the test module links back to system.seg when done, you would need to modify the drive specifier (k:) to point to wherever you have your system.seg.
Hope this helps.
Whoops! I just noticed that all leading spaces were removed by this forum when I saved my post, this converted all lines into labels as far as ACOS is concerned! I will make the actual labels bold so you can spot them. You will need to insert 1 space in front of all code lines. All comment lines (beginning with ";" must be left with no space in front).
;.. Near as I can tell (from trial and error), it is best to NOT modify
;.. date$ directly (unforseen consequences?). However, if you first store
;.. the value of date$ in another variable (dz$ below), then modify the value
;.. of the second variable (dz$), it somehow indirectly changes the value
;.. of date$?!?!
input @2\"Run again? Y/n:"i$
if i$="N" goto compile
;.. date originally produced by ACOS is 30 years behind (i.e. 1986)
;.. so if the year portion is less than 50, assume we hav already
;.. doctored the date. Repeated doctering keeps adding 30 years..
if dy<50 print "Year<50, not adjusting date.":return
;.. Add 30 years (from testing of ACOS with time card)
;.. take the last 2 digits of the 4 digit year.
print "OK.":link "k:system.seg"
End of getdate.s module^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Here is the routine in my system.seg module I use for manually linking to other modules. You would need to add a line to the "system" menu that calls it.
print \"Link to another program"
input @2 "enter name of program (ie 'a:temp'):" i$
input @2 "enter public label in program ( if none):"xw$
if i$="" goto system
if (mid$(i$,2,1)<>":") and (mid$(i$,3,1)<>":") goto linkup
if x print i$".S not found, proceed? y/[N]:";:input @2 a$:if a$<>"Y" goto linkup
if x open #1,i$+".G":x=mark(1):close:if x print i$".G not found.":goto linkup
if xw$<>"" link i$,xw$
After my 2nd cup of coffee, it occurred to me it might be better if I were up attach a .shk file containing those code snippets.
your correct.... 4 Disks running is a big heat issue at the IIe poweraupply....
at the thread:
i gave the link to the thread , where i mentioned a possible solution:
see the posting #13 !
The additional solution to the weak powersupply was also mentioned there:
besides at the appleii-box.de another new page has been added:
it´s related to DIY building of a telephon modem.
Thanks as always speedy. I have 4x mini 12v fans on order at the moment, I'm planning to install them (somehow!) across the right ventilation gap in the case, probably to suck hot air out.
An alternate configuration would be to have 2x fans sucking in cool air from the outside on the right hand side, and 2x fans near the power supply to push hot air out generated by the PSU. But there's not really a lot of room for that. I'll post my work here once I've done it.
If all else fails a power supply upgrade is not outside my experience level, I'll probably go whole hog and get a mini-ATX power supply as described.
I just mention, that in the past years the cooling technology has made advantages....
therefor it won´t be a bad idea to think about adapting a technology used in modern laptops....
that constructions even work in small spaces.... that was also the reason mentioning the one thread with pictures of 90 degree ventilation.... in fact at most IIe´s there is enough space at the rear of slot 3 due to the fact that it is in general not used - because the auxiliary slot in front is instead occupied....
and at the rear panel behind slot 3 there are 2 in general unused outlets for mounting of DB25 plugs.
That 2 outlets together offer quite a big area to suck hot air out of the cabinet and blow it at rear outside of the case.....
are example for such usable fans.....
and usíng a saw you can make a fitting mounting bracket of 2mm or 3 mm aluminium to get mounted with 2 scews to each outlet... and it would be easy removable in case you later want to sell a system and put it back to original condition...
The only non original mod would be to add a black cable to 0 Volt inputplug pin at the bottom of the mainboard and a red cable to the + 12 Volt and add to that cable plugs to connect to the supplycable of the fans.
And if you don´t want to solder at the bottom of the mainboard you may instead plug a shortened cutted old prototype card in slot 3 and pick the voltage from that schortened cutted card.... that even be also be a removable solution without changing the original parts themselves.
With a tiny flat card solution you might even add a kind of temperature regulation sensing the temperature inside the case with a NTC resistor and some few electronic components controllling the fansppeed by controlling the power....
such solutions have often been used in former days in powersupplies of the IBM Power supplies at the 90´s and there are still a lot of circuitplans for such regulations for 12 Volt fans out there in the internet....
I do not profess to have ANY expert knowledge as to air flow mechanics. However, you mentioned fans sucking hot air out or two in and two out.
I have a related heat exchange/airflow experience, albeit not computers. Take it for what its worth. The engine room on two of our boats would average 110 degrees in the summer.
Two intake fans, one exhaust. When we switched to one Intake and two exhausts (forced air, high speed blowers in an engine room with two 671 detroit engines and two 371 50kw generators)
it lowered the average temperature by almost 10 degrees. You need inflow (three natural vents in same space provide inflow) and forced air intake is better than natural airflow, even when assisted from the exhaust fans, but letting it out helped more than bringing fresh, cooler air in.
Just trying to apply other worldly experience to our favorite hobby
the fans should be uded for sucking the air from center area inside case to get pushed out at the rear behind slot 3
( and of course at that area there is no wall or other braking limit like shelves or similar to the airflow
so finally it´s pushing hot air out at the rear....
and in the current thought there are plenty openings at the side cuts of the case for letting
air come in the case.... so air flow then should enter the side venting cuts getting sucked to the middle and tossed out at the rear....
because in general st slot 5 and slot 6 cards are inserted with higher borders while at the powersupply
the powersupply has less height a brief guess would be that about 60% of the airflow inside the case would enter at the powersupply side while at the side of slot 7 only about 40% would be part of the airflow of the 100% tossed out at the rear....
and just besides to the experience you made at the boats:
how large have the opening vent holes have been letting air get inside, how large have the opening been getting the air out of the box and how much heat was generated by the engines and what was total size of the box ( volumina of air inside the box ) ?
Just to clarify speedy, my PAL Apple //e has both Slot 3 and the auxiliary slot occupied by the huge 80col/64kb memory card, so there is no room at all from slots 1 through slots 3.
There is a tiny gap at slot 4 where a fan could be placed, but the gap between cards is so small. Slot 4 on mine has two half-height vertical gaps, and one is taken up by the video output for the 80 col card (which I currently use to dual screen).
Slot 7 is also free however there's a tangled mess of ribbon cables that would need to be sorted before I could place a fan there with exhaust.
My tiny fans arrived today and they're quite good, obviously their size makes things a little less efficient, which is why I bought four of them.
There is a full height horizontal gap on top of the power supply that could be used as an exhaust. The fans are perfectly sized to fit there, I could fit at least two side by side. If I were to place fans directly above the power supply, would they be best as exhaust or intake? I'm thinking exhaust, as they would point out to the back of the case?
Intake fans could then be placed along the right hand side ventilation strip inside the case.
Speedy I'm seriously considering picking up a proto card to fit into slot 4 where I can get 12v power. I don't really want to solder onto the mainboard unless I absolutely have to, I would actually rather run cable directly out of the power supply from the 12v solder pads in there. It's too bad there isn't a handy jumper for 12v anywhere, or is there?
I'm also going to install a temperature sensor from an outdoor weather station to monitor temperatures inside the case. Right now it's literally by hand - if I can touch the power supply and not get burnt, then it's doing okay!
Your thought will do....
but it will only solve the one part of the task cooling down...
the second part of the task is caused by the poor limits of the powersupply itself and
the fact that it´s ruunning at the very top of it´s limits.... at 100% to 120% of it´s
given duty cycle....
the bigger advantage of the task will be reached by change or upgrade to a "heavy duty powersupply"....
The limits of the normal supply are at + 5 Volt = 5 Amp
and at the +12 Volt = 1,5 Amp
with 4 drives the +12 volt is at the limits...
The regular supply only offers total of 65 to 80 Watt
upgrading the powersupply to a model´offering at least 130 to 150 Watt will surely solve the major
part of the task and besides stabilize the operation of the entire computer and extend it´s life....
Agreed, upgrading the power supply will be the next big project. It's something that I wanted to avoid, to try keep things as stock as possible, but the fact of the matter is that other BBS users in 1985 would have been employing the exact same methods to improve their //e.
Time to find a slim power supply I can gut.
Or simply Go External...
You could probably squeeze in one of these in the space above the //e Power Supply to suck in hot air and expel it though the case slots above the power supply. http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cyclone-Blower-Expansion-Cooling/dp/B000051299
The better idea - if you want to keep your original stuff is to besides also search for damaged old
Apple power supplies and use their cases for housing of the upgrade and then exchange the entire
powerunit keeping it original besides on the shelf....
Its really too bad that they don't make these anymore:
The "Little Power" Power Supplies were supposed to be really good.
Rats ... heating issues.
Yeah I still haven't got around to try installing those fans. May not now that I've decided to try put together an Apple 1 Replica instead. I should probably start turning it off for one or two hours a day to give it a rest, seems to help.
If you toss the upgrade of the powersupply ahead - the aging of the original supply will be forced ahead.....
in such case a longer lasting solution would be the so called "buggy supply"
- in fact its a external XT supply with cable adapter to plug in the Apple mainboard.....
refering to my page the cabeling is displayed there in the chart.....
if you delay the upgrade i´d recommend to at least use insted such an external solution....
Definitely considering it speedy, in fact I did have a brief though to use the Apple II power supply for my Apple I project, and grab another or a modern PSU for the Apple //e.
In any case I have recapped the Apple ][ power supply last year so I'm not expecting any major blowouts, although these things will only get rarer as time goes on... better take care of it!
Sorry about the weekend outage, I was away from home and am becoming increasingly nervous with an overheating power supply. Back online tonight.
sorry to hear that, but it was predictable recognizing that the supply was
forced to work at it´s limits with 4 drives connected....
Do you have a card replacing a Harddisk system like CFFA or microdrive ?
That could turn out to become a alternate solution - if you replace two drives
connected to slot 5 by usage of such a system and it also would offer - besides
dropping demands to the powersource dramatically also to handle larger volume
of space availiable at slot 5 for storage.... just another alternate thought besides
usage of an external supply.
Another benifit: I did some performance tests with my CFFA card vs. my RAM drive card. Turned out the CFFA card was just as fast. So I got rid of the RAM drive.
For the test, I loaded a text file into both. The file contained 662 lines of text. I then ran a little search utility which reads in each line in sequence and checks it for the text being searched for. This was on an non-accelerated IIe.
It took 77 seconds to read each line in the ram drive, and 78 seconds reading from the CFFA card.
I replaced the RAM card with an AE transwarp accelerator, I included acceleration on the CFFA (original) card slot. I then re-ran the read test from the previous post. It took 24 seconds to complete reading from the CFFA card, down from 78 seconds without the accelerator card.
I've thrown the BBS back online following a huge effort to move house. Updates are in the original post (and on the BBS of course!)
My PS doesnt run hot, but ive replaced all of my CAPS and some resistors (especially anything over 1MOHM) as they drift upwards.
Having a leakdown tester that goes to 600V for tube gear, I can tell you that the electolytics did not age well in the apple II. Same as the C64. Ive since replaced the electrolytics with higher rated values which from a DC perspective stops the dragging down of the power on the DC rail which in turn makes the power supply work harder to maintain voltage.
The ceramics caps are fine and will last forever.
its worth noting that the other non power related electrolytics , or bridge capacitors after 40 years will change substantially with temperature. While your oscillators wont change , that caps that govern them will........ You could test this with a dgital oscope for pass/fail
Check this simple solution.
I mounted a 12V 9cmX9cm fan on the right side with two pieces of foam on the sides and a thin rubber feet for the perfect fit.
It is quite effective if You don't have long cards in slot 7 and it does'nt require screws, it stays in place by itself.
I power it with an external 12V power supply that powers also my vintage Sanyo VM4509 monitor (otherwise it's a 110V monitor in a 220V nation!)
Luca that fan is brilliant, can't believe it fits so perfectly. Is that a ][ Plus though? The //e has a slightly different case and I'm not sure the fan would fit as well.
jrubin interesting about the caps, I always suspected as much and I think I have replaced a fair chunk of those on the //e power supply. However I haven't changed anything on the SSC cards themselves, or the //e motherboard, perhaps a capacitor is drifting elsewhere?
We should know soon. I have spliced in an ATX power supply as was suggested to me a long time ago. It's messy (and noisy) but somehow I didn't make the //e explode by getting my wiring mixed up. It's running now if anyone wants to try logging on. I'll monitor it throughout my afternoon here. If problems persist then it's not my //e power supply but rather elsewhere. Will be interesting to know for sure.
edit: Within 10 minutes of booting I'm already seeing some telltale dropped characters, which I previously blamed on the //e power supply. Looks like there's more to this after all. May shut down for a while.
mine is a ][+ yes.
You can do something similar in the IIe: rubber feet on the bottom, foam compressor layer on top.
For those that are following on, I have to admit to a stupid, stupid mistake (actually, two).
For whatever reason, I had swapped my FTDI RS232-USB converter for a cheap knockoff. I've moved back to the FTDI converter and I'm experiencing no baud rate drift (or whatever the problem was). Working really well now. Problems with my baud rate still may occur under heavy loads and intense heat, though, as I experienced last year. But it was sure satisfying to figure out that this bout of trouble was due to cheap, replaceable hardware that had nothing to do with the Apple.
Also mentioned earlier was that my BBS had difficulty hanging up the call after user initiated termination - turns out this was another silly mistake of mine. I had been using a straight through serial cable with the SSC jumper set to Terminal. My knowledge gap prevented me from understanding that this wouldn't allow some signals to reach the client, and my configuration should have included a null modem cable with the jumper set to Modem.
I'm a bit embarrassed for not knowing the fundamentals, but still learning a lot. Maybe my mistakes can help someone else in the future.
I'm not back on full time, I need a longer USB cable...
The Apple ][e "can" have a different case....
The first Year and Half or so of the Apple ][e production have the same Jerry Manock case as the Apple ][ and ][+.. I have Three Apple ][es with the Jerry Manock case.