• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

Apple II Daughter Boards (Z-Engine / Grappler Plus)

raoulduke

Well-known member
I would like to test a Grappler Plus card for which I don't have a ready cable (to printer).  Is that possible?  When I try to enable the slot it's in the machine doesn't produce a response on the screen I can use to debug.

I also want to test the Z80 coprocessor card.  I found three "ALS CPM Card" disk images (in .po) format that I'm hoping - as they say - are ProDOS, boot, and CP/M disks respectively, and it should then be self-evident.  But if anyone knows of the manual that'd be fantastic.

And to bump the previous, but less interesting paragraph, any sort of online list detailing how to test a grappler would be appreciated.

 

Elfen

Well-known member
The Grappler Card is a parallel printer card. Typing "PR #[slot the card is in]" will cause it to not give a prompt because all commands are now going to the printer and not the screen. Typing "PR #0" should return it back to the screen. This is true with all printer cards - parallel and serial. Only real way to test it is to have a printer attached to the card, but if it goes out and back with the PR Command, it should be working fine. The rest is configuring the card to meet the printer's options with dip-switches on it.

If I remember correctly, the C\PM Boot disk needs to be formatted in Apple DOS 3 or 3.3. It wont work in ProDOS. The other disks needs to be formatted in C\PM. You will need the 16K Language card in the Apple II/II+ for a full 64K.

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
Thank you.  I had tried that before and that was actually my reason for asking.  When I type "PR#1", the prompt ROM/ProDOS (tried both) prompt disappears leaving onlyl "PR#1" is displayed.  When I then type "PR#0" there's no change.  I had resocketed the chip.  

I do note that on that four-switch box at the rightmost of the cards, the 1st jumper is off and jumpers 2-4 are on.  Should they all be off (per this)?  It seems like the card is activating and then getting stuck.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Elfen

Well-known member
Hmmm... PR#0 should default back to the screen... Unless it is expecting a printer to send a acknowledged return signal.

The switches are for Parity, buad rate and other Printer connection stuff. You can play with the settings as there is no printer attached to the card. The manual should be somewhere online, you just need to google it.

 

Elfen

Well-known member
Is the language card in Slot 0 when you test the printer card? If the Language card is flakey, it might cause problems when you say PR#0. Try it with and without the language card.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

raoulduke

Well-known member
I was just basically following the manual. Yes mem card in 0. I thought the manual said that was fine (maybe not), but I was a little lost as to how the PR#0 command wouldn't just activate the mem card. But I also may have tried it without. It's an 'EZRAM 2' card. Are those common?

Oh actually I put in the stock Apple card for the second round of tests.

 

Elfen

Well-known member
As is, unless AppleSoft load integer BASIC, there should be nothing loaded into the language card. So there should be nothing there. I'm speculating that the RAM on the RAM Card might be iffy as the reason as to why PR#0 is not working.

EZRAM 2 is (I believe) an Apple IIe/IIc product and SHOULD NOT work on the Apple II/II+ If it is on the standard Apple II Connector, there is a chance that it may work. Thing that might be a problem is it needed software for it. Got a pic of it?

Another juicy item to have is MicroSoft's Z80 card - with 64K on it so you don't have to use your Apple's RAM. It's hard to find as not many of them were made compared to their regular Z80 card. There are other makers of this card as well.

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
I was waiting to do a bunch of tests.  When I broke the IIe out today, a) I couldn't get it to recognize the col expander/memory card; PR#0 had no effect (captain), so I tried both cards... neither seems to work - which concerns me as to the Aux slot/board; B) I have to test a joystick and I was unable to load Frogger (relevant because that's the specific Apple ][ Disk Server file I loaded last week) nor anything else.  I'm going to switch over to Windows now to see if that has some appreciable effect (which it shouldn't) and to see if I can get c2t-96h to work, which it doesn't on OSX.  If so I can try to test the Z80 card with its software; though that card seems to work.

Very concerned about the IIe I've had for 20 years, though.

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
Oh great; I can't edit the smiley back to b ).  I think because I just recently installed a new I/O card in Slot 6, and my Disk II is in Slot 7, when the "Insta-Disk" was attempting to format (or not format), the non-existent Apple 5.25" Drive was preempting the Disk II and it was just outputing errors.

Sadly this does not impact the Aux slot issue...  However... I observe the columns change when I try PR#1-4; PR#5-6 control the second drive; PR#7 controls the main drive; PR#8-9 do nothing... exactly like when I try to enable the grappler.  So this makes me wonder whether the commands are somehow messed up on my IIe - or I just don't understand what I'm doing.  The main drive is Slot 7, so that's fine; the second drive is Slot 6 (so PR#5 shouldn't work, right?); the Z80 is PR#1 - so PR#1-4 shouldn't do the same thing.  And the col expander is Aux.  However, the Z-engine may also just adjust the columns.  So maybe it's time to reseat all chips on the board...  The Frogger disk I burned with the 5.25" plug-in floppy didn't read on the Disk II, which was anomalously weird (could they be different formats/side failure?).

Finally, when I tried the three ALS disk images (ALS CPM, ALS CPM Boot, ALS CPM Boot ProDOS) on Kegs on my phone, the latter two said "***Unable to Load ProDOS***" and ALS CPM loaded and said it could not find the Z80 card.  On my IIe, all three said "***Unable to Load ProDOS***".  Not sure what to make of that [i tried both drives].

I'm also getting an Apple IIgs tomorrow morning so this is going to get compounded in complexity [a sick IIgs setup too; hopefully it works lol].  Although I don't think I'll be able to actually link the IIgs to any of this, assuming it works.  I think the easiest way to get software to it is going to be 3.5" floppies burned via classic Mac, but I may be wrong.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

raoulduke

Well-known member
Elfen, IIEZRAM was just a generic clone that was in my IIe, which came from an NJ public middle school.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Elfen

Well-known member
Excuse me as I'm doing this from the top of my head and not referencing a II/II+/IIe in front of me...

The Apple II Series has 8 slots - numbered 0 to 7. (The IIe has 9 - 8 + that RAM/Aux Slot but we are not counting that.) The PR# command works based on the slot number you give it. Pr#-ing to anything greater than 7 should do nothing or should give an error (depending on the Apple Basic you are using).

Slot 0 is usually the Language card, but without a language card, it defaults to keyboard and video.

Slot 6 is usually the Disk Drive card and nearly all software makers recognizes it as the default Disk I/O Slot and their programs point to it. It is rare for a program to ask for where the Disk Drive card's location.

Slot 1, 2, 3 & 4 is usually a printer/modem card - parallel or serial.

Slot 7 is usually for a second Disk Drive card, like the Apple 3.5in drive card.

Slot 1 & 2 are also used for C\PM Cards if they have it. Later on when they were made, RAM Extension cards were put there as well though these cards were rare. They pushed the Apple II to 64k to 512K of RAM by bank switching. Problem was there no absolute standard to bank switching so there was little to no support for them. There were a couple of RAM Disk programs that used them but they were proprietary to the card.

Slot 3 in some cases there was also 80 column video cards that went in there, again, like the RAM Cards, non-standard. Not until Apple made their own and made a standard for the IIe.

Slot 5 is where many put experimenter cards in like EPROM Programmers.

Given all that, people tend to put cards where they wanted because to them it either looked good or it made some logical sense to them. Because of that things did not work out because the software assumed that cards were in another place. So in the minimum - the Disk Drive Card should be in Slot 6.

Looking at your EZRAM II Card, it looks like it has corrosion on the last to pins on the right. Somebody might have put in backwards into the slot at one time it would do that before frying out. And J1 on the left is a fuse. Check it with a multimeter, if somebody did put in backwards, it would have blown to save the card and the Apple IIe. So if the card is not working, chances are that J1 is blown. If you get 80 columns when you PR#3, then it should be fine but boot up ProDOS and Apple Works - that will tell you how much RAM you have in the Apple IIe, including the EZRAM II.

When you PR# to Slot 6, when you have two drives on the card, it should access Drive 0 for a while first and turn it off, and then turn on Drive 1 for a second and then turn it off. If it is just 1 drive on the first port (Drive 0), it will access that one drive and that's it. If it is in the other port without a drive in the first port, then it wont access the second drive because it is expecting a drive in the first port.

The AUX Slot in the IIe is tied to Slot #3. So putting a 80-column/RAM card in there and giving the command PR#3 will activate 80 columns. PR#0 should bring it back to 40 column. You should be able to test that on the IIe. So if you have an 80column/RAM Card in the AUX Slot on the IIe, there should be nothing in Slot 3. If you have a card in Slot 3, move it to another slot or else you will have software conflicts between the two cards.

That's it as far as hardware is concerned. I need to think and look over my Apple IIs for the software side of the equation, which will be my next post.

Before I forget - look at your IIe's CPU. It should say either 6502B or 65C02. If it is a 65C02, then it is an Enhanced Apple II and boot up with "Apple //e" If not, it should boot up with "Apple IIe." If it has a 65C02 and boots with "Apple IIe" then somebody swapped out the CPU but not the ROMs.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

raoulduke

Well-known member
I really appreciate that info, Elfen; I'm going to reorganize my slots accordingly, but I'm actually going to keep the Z80 card in the IIgs I think (assuming that works - I'm guessing we have no collective knowledge of that).  It looks like the Grappler works fine on my IIgs but not (in Slot 1 either on the IIe, which is troubling for my IIe - including when the Aux memory is pulled).

Dammit I just put the thing away; I forgot to check the CPU, but I think it says IIe - it's definitely not enhanced and I doubt serious work was done on it, since it was in the school until it was given to me in the late-90s.  Middle school seems like it doesn't make sense but I remember carrying it home (I was a small kid).

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
Hey Elfen, I've revived this trial on a IIgs; I read the Z80 card needs to be in slot 4 but I've gotten a slew of symptoms with that (or in slot 7, for instance).

I came back to your comments and now I'm curious how I can use DOS 3.3 formatting on IIgs.  I know it's a file translation option on the GSOS install, but not when formatting.  The ALS images seem too large for [non-HD] 5.25" floppies so I'm not clear on what that means.  One of the images is like 550kB, one is I think 150kB, and one is 16.8mB but only 44k is used.  So maybe they were adulterated and one is intended for 3.5" and one for 5.25"... but they're not the same.

I don't know; the documentation dearth in this case really pisses me off.  I did once get it to start to "Install CPM" which I think means it does work and I just don't understand what I'm doing.  But I couldn't get back to that prompt - mostly I get a "no CP/M card present" which makes me think I don't really know how to enable it.  Typically I go to an interrupt prompt, type PR#4 and then boot to one of the ALS disks (on the assumption I need to enable the card for it to be detected).  When I try the PR command in actual ProDOS, I get "no device connected".

Sorry for the rant; no urgency on response, I just want to eventually put away my IIgs.

 

Elfen

Well-known member
The C\PM Card is a "Blank" card, meaning that there is no ROM or minimal ROM in it to tell it what to do. Most other cards have a ROM in it to tell the Apple what it does. With C\PM you need to install the OS like DOS and the 6502 DOS Boot block loaders will jump to the C\PM Z80 if it sees it.

That would mean that you need to format a disk in Apple DOS 3.x (3.3 being the most popular) and copy the C\PM disk to it. This disk is the only Apple DOS Formatted in the Apple-C\PM System. In other disks used by C\PM will be C\PM formatted (usually in Drive #2).

If you are using this on a IIgs, you need to go into your IIgs Control Panel and look at your slot configuration. On the IIe, IIc and IIgs, Slot #3 is for the 80column card. So the C\PM (or any other card) can not be on Slot #3. Slot #5 seems to be the least used slot of the system as I recall, so you can put the C\PM card there.

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
I have it in 4 although 7 is set by default to "Your Card" and since you can only choose Your Card/AppleTalk for Slot 7, I'm stuck with that on "Your Card" and I've changed Slot 4 to "Your Card."

I use DOS 3.3 on my IIe but I didn't realize it would run on IIgs.  So here's a question...  It looks like DOS 3.3 cannot read/format 3.5" floppies.  Did anyone make a utility to format on GSOS?  I can read the 3.3 images in GSOS but they're read-only.  Having said that, the ALS images also contain "ProDOS" files, so maybe this is an even more obscure issue...  We'll see, I guess.

[As an ironic sidenote... maybe it's a ProDOS version issue?  I think the card properly enabled on DOS 3.3, allowed me to then call the disk drive... but the smaller of the two images really doesn't work, so it just gives me the "Unable to Load ProDOS" error.]

//

Silly question, I've been reading that IIgs Rom 3 at least has a Disassembler mode (and maybe Assembler mode) periodically when using PR#4, I wind up at a prompt with an asterisk that spits out hex codes, memory addresses (or ROM addresses maybe) and math operators.  I sort of assumed that was me accidentally accessing the Z80 or a ROM on the card or something.  Is that actually the 6502?  Because once I tried some of the three-letter names assigned to these numbers and accidentally wound up at a stalled Finder boot screen that I assume (since I had no disks in; it was a little freaky) is either a ROM-boot finder possibly?

 
Last edited by a moderator:

david__schmidt

Well-known member
A couple of notes here - the IIgs is a poor host for a CP/M card, as it will have to be dialed back to 1MHz in order to work properly.

And the IIe (and IIgs) only have 7+1 slots: 7 card slots numbered 1-7, plus the aux mem slot.  There was no phyiscal slot 0 after the II/II+.

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
[This is all done on Normal speed, because I read a note to that effect - is Normal Speed 1mhz?

I tried it on my IIe also to no effect, but I'll note that ALS's software seems to be too large for 5.25" floppies, which is really my only option on my IIe anyway - plus 128k of RAM.  I'm afraid that's the only hardware I'm working with now.]

 

raoulduke

Well-known member
Is it possible I've been misinterpreting what those ALS images are?  I posted the archive in the first post.  There are three - the only one that actually boots is ALS CPM; one of them appears (after unzipping) to be almost 17mb which is clearly a glitch, or empty space or something).  But each seems to have ProDOS files and then CP/M files in a folder.  I just assumed that was intentional, but perhaps it's not per se a DOS 3.3/ProDOS formatting issue but that the images were actually intended to be split and written separately to each a ProDOS (the ProDOS files) disk and a CP/M disk (the CP/M folder with CP/M files); and then each would probably fit on a 5.25" floppy - I'm not sure that's precisely correct but most of the files would; and all of some of the archives would lol

So I have to format one of these for CP/M...  I guess I'll try OmniFlop before I break out the Kaypro, although it's only being blocked by the CC 560 I have to work on anyway...

 
Top