Back in the early 2000s I managed to buy a couple of Apple IIe PDS cards (at a price far less then they go for now). Over the years I’ve learned several tricks for how to use these cards as a way of bridging the old Apple II systems, through a classic Macintosh to modern systems. A lot of what I’ve discovered is less useful now with things like ADTPro, and FloppyEMU, but I’ve decided to start documenting what I’ve discovered in case someone else is setting up one of these cards.
This blog entry covers:
- Does you system support an Apple IIe card?
- Getting an Apple IIe card (ebay is your best bet)
- Replacing the 2 capacitors on your Apple IIe card that may leak over time
- Setting up your Apple IIe Card
- Creating a Y-Cable (untested)
1. Does your system support an Apple IIe card?
Before you spend money or time on one of these cards, please check that you own one of the supported systems. The Apple IIe card is only compatible with computers that have the LC style processor direct slot (PDS) and can work in 24-bit addressing mode.
1.1. Supported Systems
The following table lists the systems where the cards do, or “should” work.
Many of these systems are duplicates with different names. For example the Macintosh LC 475, Quandra 605 and Performa 475 are all the same specifications, just release for different markets.
|Macintosh LC||Yes||KB TA46886|
|Macintosh Color Classic||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Color Classic II||Should||Has LC PDS/24bit mode (KB SP208)|
|Macintosh LC II||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh LC III||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh LC III+||Should||Has LC PDS/24bit mode (KB SP210)|
|Macintosh LC 475||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh LC 520||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh LC 550||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh LC 575*||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Quadra 605||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Performa 250||Should||Has LC PDS/24bit mode (KB SP218)|
|Macintosh Performa 275||Should||Has LC PDS/24bit mode (KB SP219)|
|Macintosh Performa 4xx||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Performa 55x||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Performa 56x||Yes||Same source as LC|
|Macintosh Performa 57x*||Yes||Same source as LC|
* Note: The 68040 versions of the Macintosh LC 5xx and Performa 5xx series do not recognize the Apple IIe Card when there is a communication card occupying the Communication Slot.
1.2. Software for the Apple IIe Card
The following table lists the released versions of the Setup Software for the Apple IIe card that I’ve managed to verify:
|Release||Supported Systems||Release Description(s)|
|1.0||System 6.0.8 (perhaps 6.0.7)||KB TA46108|
|2.0||System 6.0.8 (perhaps 6.0.7)||KB TA27874|
|2.1||System 6.0.8, 7.1||KB TA46597, KB TA42072|
|2.2||System 6.0.8, 7 Pro, 7.1||KB TA30421|
|2.2.1||System 6.0.8, 7 Pro, 7.1, 7.1P, 7.5.5*||KB TA30134, KB TA28525, KB TA37820|
|2.2.2d1||System 6.0.8, 7 Pro, 7.1, 7.1P, 7.5.5*||KB TA33463|
* Works with 7.5.5 on my Colour Classic, LC III, and LC 475 systems.
2. Getting an Apple IIe Card
If you don’t already have an Apple IIe Card your best bet is Ebay.
If the card you purchased doesn’t have a y-cable, and you can’t find one on ebay, you still have several options:
- Use the Apple IIe Card to run ProDOS applications off ProDOS partitions on your hard drive, some Dos 3.2 applications off disk images, or Dos Applications/Games coveted to run under ProDOS.
- Use ADTPro and a serial null modem cable to connect the Macintosh System that is hosting your Apple IIe Card to a real Apple II
- Buy a y-cable built by Option 8
- Create your own y-cable (see section 5)
3. Before you use your Apple IIe Card
You will likely want to get the two silver capacitors replaced, because these cards are typically mounted face down, if these capacitors leak they can really cause havoc to your system, it’s best to replace them before using your card too often, or could be the reason why your card doesn’t work.
The 2 silver capacitors in Figure 3 need to be replaced. They are both: 22uf 35v 0.236″ L x 0.126″ W (6.00mm x 3.20mm). I got mine from Console5.com.
4. Setting up your Apple IIe Card
The Apple IIe card’s manual provides most of the information you need to do the setup. But there were a few things I’ve learned that you’ll want to know:
- Your boot drive/disk must have the ProDOS file system enabler installed to be able to create and work with ProDOS partitions. The enabler is include with the Apple IIe Card software version 2.2.1, and on my premade drive images.
- You have to use the patched version of HD SC Setup 7.3.5 to create your ProDOS partitions. When I tried LIDO the Apple IIe Cards software could not see the partitions… that might just be something I’m doing wrong… let me know.
- It’s best to start with a blank drive (KB TA31420) so you can partition your drive to include two ProDOS partitions (or use one of my premade drive images).
- Using HD SC Setup, you are limited to two 32MB (32767KB) ProDOS partitions per drive. SCSI2SD’s ability to treat a single SD card as multiple drives gets around this limitation, giving you the option for up to 8 ProDOS partitions…. I have 4, the most that my Apple IIe card can use at the same time.
- Do NOT copy Apple II files on to your HFS partition, this can lead to weird issues where the resource fork is added to your files. I get around this by using ShrinkWrap Version 2.1 to create mountable (and editable) 32MB ProDOS disk images that I use to backup my Apple IIe files.
- If you have accidentally corrupted your Apple II files with a macintosh resource fork, you may be able to fix them using ProDOSTyper by Ivan X or UnForkIT by Ivan X.
To save yourself some time, feel free to download one of my starter drive images that includes a minimal version of OS 7.5.5 ready for use with your Apple IIe card. You can write my images to your SD or CF card, or use the image as an emulated drive in an emulator to copy it’s contents on to your own drive images.
I personally have a 32 GB card in my SCSI2SD adapter, setup as two drives so I can have a total of 4 ProDOS partitions. I created the first 2GB drive image using SoftMac, then wrote the image on to my SD card, inserted the card in my Macintosh LC 475, booted, then initialized the 2nd drive how I wanted.
I also have two OS 7.5.5 folders on my boot disk, one with 32bit mode enable and all the extensions I use for network, CD, midi etc. and a second with 32bit mode disabled (24-bit mode) with all extensions removed other than the ProDOS file system extension. I switch between them using System Picker by Kevin Aitken.
5. Creating a Y-Cable
I have not created my own cable to verify this information (I already have one). But I am thinking of making one as a backup (if I can’t buy one), I may only create a single cable so a floppy drive can be connected, which is more important to me than a mouse or joystick…. I wonder how hard it would be for BMOW to create a 26 pin to 19 pin adapter for the floppyEMU….
To create your own cable you’ll need the following 3 types of connectors (linked to some sources I’ve found):
- DB19 Female connector (Floppy) these are hard to find.
- DB9 Female connector (Joystick/Mouse/Paddle) these are easy to find.
- DB26 Male connector (Apple IIe Card) these connectors seem to be still in use for some auto diagnostic tools.
5.1. Connecting the Connectors
The information on how to wire these 3 parts together was found on http://www.vintagemacworld.com, a now defunct site, still available on the internet archive by Phil Beesley. Phil is not clear on the pin layout for the joystick and floppy, so I’m assuming (I haven’t done my own trace) that he used the same orientation and numbering approach as the image he provided for the IIe card connector for the other two connectors:
The following table was created based on Phil’s work and pin layout diagram (figure 4, above) to make it easier for me to see how the connections are grouped and how the D26 pin male connector’s pins are connected through the Y-Cable to the ports of the female D9 (Joystick) and female D19 (Floppy) connectors:
|Floppy (F) (figure 6)||Joystick (J) (fig. 7)|
|17 F||14 F||11 F||08 F||07 F||02 J||04 J||06 J|
|19 F||16 F||13 F||10 F||04 F||03 F||05 J||09 J||07 J|
|18 F||15 F||12 F||09 F||06 F||01,02 F||08 J||03 J||01 J|
For some reason the Joystick connections appear to be more randomly organized, while the Floppy connections are mostly sequentially grouped, I’m hoping that the information is correct. I will likely need to get the tools to do my own trace.
5.2. The DB9 (Joystick etc.) Connector
|Apple IIe Card||Joystick||Function|
|01||01||Mouse ID / Joystick Button 1|
|03||08||YDIR / Game Control 1 / PDL1 / Joystick Y-axis|
|10||07||Mouse Button / Joystick Button 0|
|12||05||XMOVE / X-Axis|
- No Game Port function on //c, IIc+; this TTL-compatible input can be read at $C067
- No Game Port function on //c, IIc+; this TTL-compatible input can be read at $C066
5.3 The DB19 (Floppy) Connector
|Apple IIe Card||Floppy||Function|
- PH0 to PH3 = stepper motor phases