CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

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CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby mrad01 on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:32 pm

Terry has a great writeup on the CFFA3000 card in his IIGS, but I thought I would add that inside my Platinum IIe machines - it is amazing too. Load up a ton of .DSK files onto the root of a USB stick, connect it into a USB extension cable (which goes out the back from the card, around to the front for easy access). The CF card is faster, but the USB rolling around to the front of the machine is very easy to get to - and MUCH faster than a floppy (or even a Profile I suspect)

I have moved my floppy controller card down to slot 1, put the CFFA3000 into slot 7, and assigned the Disk II emulation to slot 6.

If you are *thinking* about the CFFA3000. Stop thinking. Go and order one NOW before they run out. I am very impressed. There is something similar for the ZX Spectrum - I'm going to order one right now. It changes the 8 bit computer experience! (Some say it isn't a pure experience - sure, I get it. But I just want to play the games too sometimes)

Right! I'm off to play every Apple II game ever made..... (ha!)
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby falco on Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Well, I've just ordered a CFFA3000 from Rich Dreher, and an A2MP3 and two Super Encoders from Briel Computers. I've decided to see what new and different things I can get the RGB-modded ][ Plus to do. It's already been given a tweak or two by the previous owner, so giving it a few more aftermarket capabilities seems to be the right thing to do. I have another ][ Plus with a dead keyboard encoder too, so US$30 seems like a bargain for a replacement keyboard encoder, even leaving aside the added features.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby mrad01 on Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:25 pm

falco wrote:Well, I've just ordered a CFFA3000 from Rich Dreher, and an A2MP3 and two Super Encoders from Briel Computers. I've decided to see what new and different things I can get the RGB-modded ][ Plus to do. It's already been given a tweak or two by the previous owner, so giving it a few more aftermarket capabilities seems to be the right thing to do. I have another ][ Plus with a dead keyboard encoder too, so US$30 seems like a bargain for a replacement keyboard encoder, even leaving aside the added features.


Wise move, the CFFA3000 will change your life! Who knows if he will do a 3rd run...
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby falco on Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:37 pm

I did consider ordering two, but thought that might be a bit extravagant in the end. One thing I am wondering about is memory expansions. Expanding the GS is easy (I have a few of them with decent amounts of memory) but the most I've ever had in a Plus was 128k. Somewhere I still have an accelerator card, I think it was about 4MHz. I should find that and put it in as well.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby Gibsaw on Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:50 am

The most you can reasonably commonly use is 128k and even then, pretty much only in a IIe... The closest thing to standardisation the IIe ever saw was the extended auxiliary slot 80-col, and there's very little software out there that knows what to do with more, even when presented with it in that manner ... and even less that knows what to do with a non-aux-slot memory card.

Also, even if the II+ had the architecture to be able to extend memory in that manner, you'd come up against the requirement for a 65C02 which pretty much coincided with the extended 80 col becoming common.

Most memory extensions for the II+ are an extension of the "language card" idea from memory. Most copied a design from "saturn". (which is probably what you had in your II+) Apple's implementation was known colloquially as a "slinky" but I'm not 100% sure how it worked or if it was an "extended language card". (My "slinky" is still shrinkwrapped, and I haven't read the docs yet)

This was another idea that was close to "standard" but again, not much knows how to use anything but the normal 16k of RAM provided in the standard Microsoft/Apple "language card".

Get a language card for definite, if it doesn't have one .. but beyond that... To be honest, you're wasting your time unless you have something very specific in mind, or are planning on writing it yourself. Usually the best you can do is to find the "Appleworks" driver for the card itself and get a larger desktop ramdisk... but I'm picking your Apple II isn't your main word processing platform these days. :)
Last edited by Gibsaw on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby falco on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:11 am

Yes, that's exactly what it was, though I think the card was a clone. If I recall, it provided five 16k blocks that could be switched in and out like the language card. And also, as you say, I think it was only AppleWorks that supported it, though I don't quite recall the details of that, I might be thinking of my //e which had more. To be honest, it's more for the sake of having a ][ Plus spec'd out to its maximum than adding a great deal in functionality; for functionality I have a late model //e or GS I could use, and I'll probably set them up as well. I'm working on a room in my basement for this gear, I'd like to have three or four Apples set up, probably this ][ Plus, a very standard and original Europlus, a platinum //e (or maybe a non-enhanced one), and a GS. I'll also need two or three Spectravideos, at least one ZX81, probably a Mac 128 and Plus, and a home-made S-100 Z80 machine. I have a few projects there! Providing some method of software image storage for all these will be interesting but not too hard. I'd need both tape and disk, GCR and CP/M, and probably MS-DOS, though the latter two should be pretty straightforward.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby tezza on Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:24 pm

Yes, I tend to tailor my machines to the software available. For instance my IIGS ROM 3 has the standard 1MB onboard. I wondered about getting a RAM card for the RAM expansion slot but I couldn't really see the point. There are few IIGS programs I know of that take advantage of it. Same goes for my TRS-80 Model 4. It's 64k even though I do have the expansion kit for it to take it to 128k. Hardly any software took advantage of that though so I figure what's the point. Also, it would then not reflect the 64k badge shown on the keyboard bezel.

One thing about Apple II+ and cards though. How many card need to go in before cooling might become a problem. My Europlus has the language card, an 80 column card and the Disk II card. I'm thinking of adding a serial card, printer card and PAL card to reflect a fully-decked out system. That's 6 of the 7 slots occupied. Does cooling become an issue?
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby falco on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:17 pm

It was pretty common to fit cooling fans to the side of them, this particular machine has mounting points for a standard sized fan there (one of the period modifications), and I have a clip-on one I might use. I'd worry more about power supply capacity though, I think. Having said that, I doubt the modern bits (MP3 card, CFFA3000) will consume a significant amount of power, and the CFFA3000 is likely to consume far less than a running Disk II, so I think it'll be OK.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby Gibsaw on Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:18 pm

Yes it does... cooling does become a problem, and so can load on the power supply, depending on what you put in. In terms of period equipment, the "kensington system saver" solves the cooling issue, and third party PSU's ("Applied Engineering" and others) were available.

However, as falco has mentioned. The biggest power drain on the system is the moment the Disk II starts it's motor. The CFFA 3000 won't use much.
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: CFFA3000 in a Apple IIe

Postby falco on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:52 pm

I have to say, the Plus and //e I had in the 80s were both very comprehensively filled - I think I had 6 or maybe all 7 slots in both filled, and I never had any PSU capacity or cooling issues. I'm not going to worry about it a great deal, though I could replace the Plus's PSU with one out of a late model //e, I have a few of those that have far better output current ratings than the regular ones. They are original Apple parts, so I guess they were fitted as standard to some machines.
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