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Osgeld

Virtual Serial Host for Apple II computers

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This is a long drawn out story so bear with me...

 

Back what seems an eternity(2012) ago, a comp2.sys.apple2 user named Ricarrdo pointed out a dead in the water project that allowed a specific revision apple IIGS to go out the serial port, hit a windows program, read a hard disk image and return it like it was a nativly installed hard disk.

 

Not knowing much about it and asking questions I found the authors home page

 

http://apple2.boldt....=terserialdrive

 

and messed around with it, not getting too far. Luckily David Schmidt of ADTPro fame took an interest and bolted on ADT pro's magic serial drivers (along with ethernet drivers) which not only increased speeds from 19200 to 115200 but made it compatible with every classic apple //, IIgs and apple ///

 

the day that was released, now a part of the standard ADT pro package, I wanted to make a stand alone box, so my apple II would not have to be tied to a big honkin windows/linux/osx PC.

 

darn well knowing this software driver was not compatible with many applications, I felt that as a rom 255 IIc owner, meaning no slots, that some mass storage was better than none at all. I set about porting the software to an AVR micro using a standard SD card as storage.

 

Originally dated for October 2012, I have been absolutley slammed at work so here it is, darn near April of 2013 and I have 10 final PCB's and enclosures in the mail, a machinest to mill the enclosures, open source schematics, and soon to be released firmware to provide the virtual serial drive's server software in a small stand alone box.

 

Goal # 2 is to keep it under 50 bucks (before shipping) which is well within target.

 

Goal #3 is to provide ADT pro support so I can image a disk direct to SD card, or download an image file to SD card and copy direct to 5.25 140k floppy, but its not fully functional of this writing.

 

There has been numorous postings on

 

https://groups.googl...comp.sys.apple2

 

mostly mirroring activity on

 

http://osgeld.a2hq.com/

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Wow, this is great looking!!

My IIc has been waiting for somethink like this.

I've used the A2GameServer, which is nice, but again requires the PC to be there...

 

At that price, I'll be in for sure...

 

I'll be watching for updates!

 

Thanx,

 

desiv

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Wow, this is great looking!!

My IIc has been waiting for somethink like this.

I've used the A2GameServer, which is nice, but again requires the PC to be there...

 

At that price, I'll be in for sure...

 

I'll be watching for updates!

 

Thanx,

 

desiv

 

Said it all Ditto!!

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I would be interested in purchasing a Unit or Two, as well...

 

Do you have a Time Line for their availability???

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I am hoping to start getting them out in may, currently 2 weeks away from even getting the enclosures, and having them machined (hopefully not by me) , meanwhile I do have one of the PCB's hooked up and its just software polishing until then.

 

the inital batch is only 10 units, if there is enough demand I will do another, likewise the design is/will be open source I just have not released final anything yet, outside the SD card one could make it using though hole parts and perfboard if they wanted

 

 

ps: the realtime clock in that demo is not on the unit, its a costly option that has very little use outside of timestamping your files

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Is there any limit on the size of the SD card that you can use with this? If there isn't then it would theoretically be possible to load up an SD card with all the Apple II software the //c is capable of running. I'm definitely interested.

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Is there any limit on the size of the SD card that you can use with this? If there isn't then it would theoretically be possible to load up an SD card with all the Apple II software the //c is capable of running. I'm definitely interested.

 

The Limit is usually the Interface Circuitry..

 

 

SDSC (SD): 1 MB to 2 GB, some 4 GB available.

SDHC: 4 GB to 32 GB

SDXC: ≥32 GB to 2 TB

( from Wikipedia )

 

I would guess that the current Atmel Chips ( this project uses the AT Mega 328 ) support SDHC as well as the older SDSC so the Limit would be 32GB.

 

Here is another Atmel Project with SDHC Support, SD/SDHC Card Interfacing with ATmega8 /32 (FAT32 implementation).

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Been looking for something like this for a while most other computers from the classic era have something similar beats using floppies

 

Please count me in for 1 when available

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I assembled one to continue software development, and after a week of debugging I have the stupid serial connector wired up backwards

 

I got to spin off new boards, that will take about 3 weeks to receive

 

meantime I am going to patch the one I have made up and make sure everything else works fine (all indications point to yes) and if so I will be open to offering the screwed up blank pcb's at cost if your willing to gather the components,solder it up, and patch the serial connection via wire.

 

US residents only, blank board, no components, BOM, schematic, and current software which only supports Virtual Serial Drive from ADT functionality via download.

 

you will need to be able to solder SMD parts, and have an avrisp programmer to load firmware

 

please respond if interested.

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you will need to be able to solder SMD parts, and have an avrisp programmer to load firmware

That let's me out... ;-(

 

Good luck...

 

desiv

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eh I am only a month and 30$ out, its not like I just took a kick in the balls ... stuff like this happens all the time ( I work in electronics development, least I didnt order 1000 of them)

 

which part kicks you out, the smd part or the programmer part?

Edited by Osgeld

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you will need to be able to solder SMD parts, and have an avrisp programmer to load firmware

 

please respond if interested.

 

I'd be out as well, both from the soldering standpoint and the avrisp programmer. Oh well.

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I will have new boards soon enough so no worries, just trying to recoup some cost on a "OMG YOU DUMBASS" moment

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I am still interested..I solder on surface mount boards and know how to order from digikey, mouser, farnell, etc..

 

what do I need to do??

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which part kicks you out, the smd part or the programmer part?

Possibly both...

Never done any surface mount soldering, although I did get a hot air rework station for Christmas.

 

So, I suppose that's a maybe...

 

I don't know what an avirsp programmer is, so I'm pretty sure I don't have one.. ;-)

 

desiv

(Well, I did just solder a surface mount push button back on my car remote. Not a pretty job but it works, so I supposed it's not in the realm of impossibility that I could do that...)

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you the same MarkO on the comp.sys.apple II group? just pm me your zip code and a email address (its such a pain getting email addresses off of google groups)

 

desiv, its not really that hard, there is nothing super fine pitched, just a little fiddly getting the parts lined up and soldered down on two corners, everything can be drag soldered very easily, I have made 2 of these things so far (1 on home made laser etched board) and swapped every chip out on this one using nothing more than a soldering iron, but if you dont have a programer, or an arduino to act as one (as I used) then you will end up with a board that does nothing

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you the same MarkO on the comp.sys.apple II group? just pm me your zip code and a email address (its such a pain getting email addresses off of google groups)

 

<< SNIP >>

 

 

Yes, I am.. I saw this thread here at AtariAge, and then went to comp.sys.apple2 and your Blog..

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but if you dont have a programer, or an arduino to act as one (as I used) then you will end up with a board that does nothing

 

Something like this work (after my extensive 3 minutes of googling) or is it more involved than that?

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9825

 

I'm not familiar with AVRISP at all. I've heard or arduino, but haven't used them...

 

desiv

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Hi all - please consider me very interested, I've been trying to identify the right serial-to-ethenet option for my beloved old Apple II Plus!

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last month I finally got off my ass and released 9 units out to the wild, seems to work as expected

 

the current release only supports virtual serial drive, if you have not used VSD before its part of the ADT distribution ... you need a pc and a serial link tween that and your apple II TRY IT BEFORE YOU COMMIT

 

this removes the need for a pc, it still has all the same limitations of a software driver, programs that occupy the same memory space will barf your machine, but its better than nothing (//c owner here) and its fairly cheap

 

attached is the project files, and release them as OSH (open source hardware) one could replicate the device using the attached zip using an arduino, breadboard, MAX232 chip, 74HC4050 level shifter, SD card breakout board, small handful of caps and a connector or 2, if you use my gerber artwork for printed circuit boards, consider it zlib license

 

software compiles under arduino 1.x and uses SDFAT library (not the watered down basic SD library) which is included, Arduino, SDFAT LIB, and ADT pro reserves its rights as software I used to complete the project, my software, though not as simple as blinking an LED, was constructed on all of the above and is considered open source under the Zlib License + the individual licenses used for project completion

 

above is a video of its proof of concept on a radio shack breadboard in action, here is another using the real deal hardware.

 

see attached zip for project details

 

FYI I still have 1 completed in box unit for sale, 40$ shipped to COUSA residents only, I don't deal with international at the moment

 

If there is enough interest I can and will do another batch of 10 fully constructed units , consider that this cost me a few hundred dollars to make a batch and tons of time to make the cases, at best, meh, by hand, and the price will increase due to component cost (mostly shipping, I took a bit of a wash on 40 bucks shipping included)

 

Images of the original units that are already sold off... if nothing else but for giggles

 

P5240011-757x1024.jpg

 

P6010011.jpg

 

P7090013.jpg

 

AppleSerialHost Project Files.zip

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