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Thread: Apple ][+ with no keyboard?

  1. #1

    Default Apple ][+ with no keyboard?

    Hi all,
    sorry for the stupid question but I haven't seen many of these in my life (yet). Can an apple ][ europlus (rev.7 motherboard) start normally with no keyboard attached? I mean with the flat cable's dip connector removed from the motherboard.
    I ask because the keyboard is composed of two pcbs, the actual switches' PCB and a daughterboard with the encoder and other logic chips. The connectors between these two pcbs are very dirty and oxidized and I'd rather clean it carefully but in the meantime I would also start debugging the motherboard, but I'm not sure if the firmware wants maybe to get some status from the keyboard or something before booting correctly?
    Thanks
    Frank

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iz8dwf View Post
    Hi all,
    sorry for the stupid question but I haven't seen many of these in my life (yet). Can an apple ][ europlus (rev.7 motherboard) start normally with no keyboard attached? I mean with the flat cable's dip connector removed from the motherboard.
    I ask because the keyboard is composed of two pcbs, the actual switches' PCB and a daughterboard with the encoder and other logic chips. The connectors between these two pcbs are very dirty and oxidized and I'd rather clean it carefully but in the meantime I would also start debugging the motherboard, but I'm not sure if the firmware wants maybe to get some status from the keyboard or something before booting correctly?
    Thanks
    Frank
    Ciao. The motherboard should start without the keyboard normally and even boot from a drive until a key press is needed by the software.

  3. #3

    Default

    Yes, ][ and ][+ only, of course. Other models continuously do a self-diagnostic without a keyboard.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Yes, ][ and ][+ only, of course. Other models continuously do a self-diagnostic without a keyboard.
    Thanks a lot for the answers! That's good, so I can leave the keyboard disconnected until I make it behave. Another question then: with no add-on cards, what am I supposed to get on the screen on a successfull startup? All I see at the moment is either an almost solid hires screen, or almost all ?-filled text screen. Looks like some chips don't make good contact on their socket, this is an ALL-socketed ][ europlus... lots of work...

    Thanks again!
    Frank

  5. #5

    Default

    Hmm.... On an original ][, you have to explicitly press RESET to get past this, but on a standard ][+, you don't. I'm not sure about the Europlus. You could assert /RESET or /NMI at the processor and see if you get a prompt.

    On second thought, the reset circuit may normally be in the keyboard on a standard ][+ and late ][, so maybe my earlier comment is wrong and you technically might need the keyboard (or alternately assert /RESET. Someone else could confirm or deny this.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Hmm.... On an original ][, you have to explicitly press RESET to get past this, but on a standard ][+, you don't. I'm not sure about the Europlus. You could assert /RESET or /NMI at the processor and see if you get a prompt.

    On second thought, the reset circuit may normally be in the keyboard on a standard ][+ and late ][, so maybe my earlier comment is wrong and you technically might need the keyboard (or alternately assert /RESET. Someone else could confirm or deny this.
    This board (rev. 7) has a 555-based reset circuitry on the motherboard and it works, so the 6502 definitely gets a reset pulse, but looks like something is really preventing it to execute much. I've tried also to use the keyboard Reset key but you need to flip a switch on the keyboard PCB to make it actually work as a reset button, no change in behaviour with the keyboard reset anyway.
    Next step would be checking the Address and Data buffers with a nop generator, then dumping the ROMs.

    Frank IZ8DWF

  7. #7

    Default

    Okay that's good. The switch then changes the behavior from just the RESET key to CTRL + RESET.

    But you've got your work cut out for you.

  8. #8

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    It turns out that it was only the 7408 on position B11 not making a good contact with its socket, too easy so far. The machine now beeps, prints Apple ][ on top of the screen then goes on a prompt ] with block cursor blinking.
    Now I would connect a floppy controller (what slot is "standard" for it?) and try some diagnostic software. What software should I use? I have a //c to transfer floppy images to real disks.
    Also, can I use a 64k/80 columns card on the ][+?
    Thanks in advance

    Frank

  9. #9

    Default

    Slot 6 is standard, but almost any slot will work.

    Slot 3 is the best place to put an 80 column card. Note that no 80 column card is really a standard for a ][+. Most software will work with most cards, however. If you don't already have an 80 column card, try to find one that includes lower-case capability.

    Also note that common 80 column cards intended for the Apple ][e are not really 80 column cards at all; they are ][e specific RAM expansions.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Slot 6 is standard, but almost any slot will work.

    Slot 3 is the best place to put an 80 column card. Note that no 80 column card is really a standard for a ][+. Most software will work with most cards, however. If you don't already have an 80 column card, try to find one that includes lower-case capability.

    Also note that common 80 column cards intended for the Apple ][e are not really 80 column cards at all; they are ][e specific RAM expansions.
    Yes I've found out the documentation for my 2 x 80col/64k expansions, they're really only meant for the IIe "special" slot 3.
    Does anyone want to swap?
    I can also make my own cards, I just need a schematic for expansion cards meant for the ][ (plus/europlus), any pointer appreciated!
    I've found some "apex II diagnostics", is that good for the ][ europlus?
    Thanks
    Frank

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