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Finally an affordable stereo sound card for the IIGS


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#1 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:47 AM

I have been holding off and using mono sound for quite a while as the stereo sound cards are usually quite expensive. Until I found this on ebay today:

 

http://a2central.com...y-byteboosters/

 

At $50 I am psyched. I have been giving a lot of love to my Amigas recently, but not so much to the IIGS and it needs it. I purchased the Darkram 8MB upgrade a while ago and it is top notch, so I am certain this will be a great product. And finally stereo sound!



#2 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:07 AM

I have been holding off and using mono sound for quite a while as the stereo sound cards are usually quite expensive. Until I found this on ebay today:

 

http://a2central.com...y-byteboosters/

 

At $50 I am psyched. I have been giving a lot of love to my Amigas recently, but not so much to the IIGS and it needs it. I purchased the Darkram 8MB upgrade a while ago and it is top notch, so I am certain this will be a great product. And finally stereo sound!

 

That looks Pretty Cool....

 

Thanks for posting that...

 

MarkO



#3 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:59 PM

I received it yesterday and installed it tonight. Awesome stuff! The sound in stereo is truly night and day. Such a great value. If you don't have one of these it is a must have imho.



#4 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:40 PM

I just wanted to say that I played quite a few games with my youngest daughter today using this card and a cheap pair of Logitech speakers ($11.88 from Walmart!) tonight and had a blast. Even with the cheap speakers it was such a great experience. I cannot emphasize more that if you are using the default mono output or even worse the built in speaker you NEED to get this card. The seller has a few left:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...-/182474233355?

 

I have no affiliation with him other than purchasing this and his 8MB "DarkRam" product. Both are just fantastic and the price is just great. If you don't have stereo sound already on your IIGS you are really missing out on what that Ensoniq sound chip can do. Installation is very easy. Install the card into any slot (it doesn't consume the slot resources at all) and plug the cable into the sound header. Next run a 3.5mm cable from the card out of the machine. 

 

The only grip I had was that the 3.5mm cable supplied is too thick to fit through one of the breakout slots on the machine. Luckily I had a thinner spare purchased from a local dollar store last week that I was using for something else. Used that instead and it is fantastic. This thing will never leave this IIGS, that's for sure :)


Edited by eightbit, Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:41 PM.


#5 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:54 PM

I bought one to support the maker, I already have a AE Sonic Blaster in one IIgs and a SuperSonic in the other,  but you are right it a neat simple card that is well thought out.



#6 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:12 PM

Really sad news from the developer via an email through ebay I received today:


New message from: ch-systems (1,660Red Star)



"I have very sad news, and it is actually quite depressing.

I just get threatend by a guy on ebay who mentioned that if I manufacture the item in germany, I do not have all the right certificates, EU-conformity, electronic waste, etc. etc. To get that is just out of reach for my as a single enthusiast, it would cost me thousands on registration and fees to have my Apple IIGS products approved. It pretty much like the Underwriter Laboritories, FCC and such in the US.

In a law suit I could get fined up 100,000 EUR.

So I am afraid I will not will have to stop selling any of the Apple II add-ons on ebay permanently. I just removed all the cards and such :(

There's sooo may ****heads on the world, who seem to feel important by doing that.

If I would live outside germany and sell it, things would be much more easy. Not sure what I should do now with all my boards and also the yet to be finsihed projects. "



Can someone actually do this to him? There are many other devs in Germany (Individual Computers, etc) and I wonder if they all need to have these "certificates"? It is really a shame as he had some other really great stuff in the works.

#7 Calibus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 10:26 AM

I bought one on the 30th and it shows as being in the  mail - guess I just got in under the wire...

 

I was considering one of the 8meg upgrades too - guess I should have went with it.



#8 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 5:10 PM

I bought one on the 30th and it shows as being in the  mail - guess I just got in under the wire...

 

I was considering one of the 8meg upgrades too - guess I should have went with it.

Yeah me too like a day before the announcement.



#9 Arnuphis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 1, 2017 5:42 PM

Yes I grabbed one as well just in time. That really sucks about the license thing. He should holiday in the US for a couple of weeks and make a bunch here! :-D



#10 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 2:20 PM

A lot of the time there are exclusions for Custom or Small Runs of Products, but Germany is also known for being Super Restrictive, when it comes to Commercial Businesses...

 

 

You might have the Manufacture contact SpeedyG, who lives in Germany to see if he has any Ideas of what might be done...

http://www.appleii-box.de/

 

 

MarkO



#11 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 3, 2017 9:37 PM

I'm really glad I purchased the darksound and darkram....both fantastic products. He was also working on a PSX controller adapter which I was looking forward to. I was in email conversation with him and now apparently the emails have vanished for some reason. I checked my gmail account inside and out and they are not there. Could they have been recalled? Very very odd. He last told me that if anyone wanted to purchase the products to get in touch with him directly, but now I don't have that email at all...argh. 



#12 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 4, 2017 6:27 AM

OK, I got back in touch with him. This is what he said in the last email:

 

"Hi Bruce,

 
in case somebody wonders / asks you where the DarkSound, DarkRAM and DarkCache products went. Let them know to send me a PM email to this account. Thanks!
 

Alex."

 

So, you can still obtain these. I don't want to willy nilly put his email up on the forums due to spam, so if anyone wants to contact him for hardware PM me.



#13 papa_november OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:55 AM

There has to be some kind of hobbyist exemption in the law for super-low-production products or perhaps a distributor company for hobbyist projects to get around this issue.


Edited by papa_november, Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:56 AM.


#14 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:04 AM

He should partner with someone..



#15 FABombjoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:16 AM

PM sent, I'd love to distribute these!



#16 Arnuphis OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:59 AM

I got mine and its great. Some apps only produce sound out of one speaker though. I guess they were in glorious mono for the sake of the internal speaker.



#17 papa_november OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:31 PM

For what it's worth, I changed the sound jacks on mine to connectors so I could hook it up to a cool back-panel connector plate I found and I can't seem to get any sound out of it. Still need to troubleshoot further.

 

For people with working ones: does it mute the internal speaker when something is plugged into the audio output?


Edited by papa_november, Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:35 PM.


#18 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:34 PM

For what it's worth, I changed the sound jacks on mine to connectors so I could hook it up to a cool back-panel connector plate I found and I can't seem to get any sound out of it. Still need to troubleshoot further.

 

For people with working ones: does it mute the internal speaker when something is plugged into the audio output?

 

It does not mute the speaker when you connect the 7-pin jumper cable to J25.

Besides turning down the control panel volume and removing the internal speaker connector itself, only plugging in a 3.5mm connector to the jack on the back will mute the internal speaker.

 

Make sure you have the 7 pins lined up properly with J25.  Remove you memory card to get a better look if necessary.



#19 papa_november OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:21 PM

I meant to ask if it mutes the audio output from the internal speaker when you plug an audio cable into the audio out connector on the card.

 

I suspect the motherboard connector could be reversed, but if it is it must have been wired the wrong way around on mine - I have mine plugged in in the proper orientation. Can anyone post a photo of how it's plugged in on their working setup?

 

If mine is plugged in right and I reverse it, I'm terrified of screwing up my motherboard.



#20 Rockin' Kat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:08 AM

Damnit. Now there aren't any left for sale now that I see this... Soundcard I have doesn't have an input, which would be kind of cool.

 

Anyway, on muting the audio from the built in speaker, personally, I find there are some things where the monaural sound off the built in jack is a better choice, so the best solution is really to just plug a 3.5mm a/b switch into both the output from the stereo card and the output from the built in jack on the IIgs logic board, this mutes the built in speaker and gives you a quick easy switch between sending stereo or mono sound to whatever external speakers you are using with your IIgs.


Edited by Rockin' Kat, Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:11 AM.


#21 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:17 AM

I meant to ask if it mutes the audio output from the internal speaker when you plug an audio cable into the audio out connector on the card.

 

I suspect the motherboard connector could be reversed, but if it is it must have been wired the wrong way around on mine - I have mine plugged in in the proper orientation. Can anyone post a photo of how it's plugged in on their working setup?

 

If mine is plugged in right and I reverse it, I'm terrified of screwing up my motherboard.

 

No, the onboard speaker will continue to work when you connect the 3.5mm plug to the Stereo Out on the Darksound board.

 

The "orientation" of your J25 connector is probably correct.  Be sure that the pins line up, 1 through 7.  It's easy to be off by one pin.  It is not easy to plug this in wrong orientation, because the cable would be twisted around and hard to route back to the card -- just as it is natural to plug in the Darksound board in the "right" orientation -- if it were wrong, that extension cable wouldn't even reach J25.

 

Make sure you're testing with a game or music program.  The system beep does NOT get produced through the Darksound board (or any stereo card from any manufacturer).  Zany Golf is weird, it plays it's introduction music through one channel only, but the gameplay generates stereo sound.



#22 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:56 AM

I am in contact with Alex at ByteBoosters, and we would like to offer a collective order for the DarkSound http://a2central.com...y-byteboosters/ and 8 MB DarkRAM http://a2central.com...for-apple-iigs/

 

Cost for each is expected to be what they had been offered for on eBay.
$49.99 plus $9.99 shipping for the DarkSound.

$63.33 with shipping included in the price for the 8 MB DarkRAM expansion.

 

Reply here with "Count me in", or PM me -- and I will contact you in-turn.



#23 FABombjoy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:03 PM

He should partner with someone..

 

Working it out right now, but I should be stocking his products here shortly!



#24 papa_november OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:55 PM

I did not know any of that! I went straight for the Control Panel beep to see if it was working. Further testing indicates that it does play music/sfx from applications, as well as the TransWarp startup whoosh (which plays too soon to be heard on a Framemeister setup). Thank you for the tip.

 

I wonder how hard would it be to mix in the regular Apple II beep channel. It'd have to be intercepted off the board with a clip probe or soldered wire or two I guess.

 

bKpY7hK.jpg

 

This is the mod I did. The audio backplane connector is coincidentally a perfect fit for the DB-19 port hole.

 

 

No, the onboard speaker will continue to work when you connect the 3.5mm plug to the Stereo Out on the Darksound board.

 

The "orientation" of your J25 connector is probably correct.  Be sure that the pins line up, 1 through 7.  It's easy to be off by one pin.  It is not easy to plug this in wrong orientation, because the cable would be twisted around and hard to route back to the card -- just as it is natural to plug in the Darksound board in the "right" orientation -- if it were wrong, that extension cable wouldn't even reach J25.

 

Make sure you're testing with a game or music program.  The system beep does NOT get produced through the Darksound board (or any stereo card from any manufacturer).  Zany Golf is weird, it plays it's introduction music through one channel only, but the gameplay generates stereo sound.



#25 Bloodnose OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:05 AM

That is really slick papa_november.  My only concern (if it were mass-produced) would be the molded DB-19 inside the case interfering with most slots.  The mount point right of slot 7 seems clear.





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