Suggestions for Replica SE v.2.0

Talk about your replica, what you have done and what you use it for

Suggestions for Replica SE v.2.0

Postby J. Calhoun » Dec Sun 31, 2006 12:51 am

Having built and played with the Replica I SE for a bit, I have had a few thoughts as to things I would do differently if I were Vince. Who knows, maybe there will be a revised SE — an SE2. Others, feel free to disagree or add your own thoughts:

• Try to track down a yellow RCA jack for the video out (red makes me think audio).

• I'd drop the USB option from the basic kit. Perhaps it can be an add-on for another $10 or so. In fact, I wonder if the board needs a USB option at all. There will be some sort of USB-Serial solution for the PC forever. Partly this suggestion is for cost savings, but partly as well to keep the Replica I a little more authentic.

• On a future board I might drop the ATX power connector. The voltage regulator/wall-wart option is good as are the direct header pins for supply regulated 5V. The ATX option is cumbersome (it dwarfs the the Replica I) and overkill (the current ratings that is). The wall-wart is a fine option especially for first testing the Replica I when you complete it. A small regulated supply is I think ideal (tapping into the direct header pins). The builder can find these for $10 or so from the various surplus warehouses (you only need to swing 5V at 2A).

• I might like to see a card edge connector instead of the header pins so a CFFA1 could be inserted directly to the board.

• Why doesn't your pin-out on the ASCII keyboard header match the Apple II's? Even if I tracked down an Apple II keyboard I would need to make a custom cable to connect it to the Replica. I would probably try to be pin for pin compatible with the Apple II.

• And for the pie-in-the-sky option, it would be interesting if there was a way to have a bunch of software pre-loaded in some sort of demo-mode. Perhaps if you hit the RESET with a key held down or something like that you could get Start Trek or whatever pre-loaded. Maybe a different software title for each numeric key so you could have several depending on how you boot up. This is a questionable feature since it strays from the authentic. But it might balance that with it's utility. It allows someone to demo the Replica I to a friend and also allows the builder to try out something fairly complex right after completing the kit.

Those are my thoughts; things I might change. Of course it is a selfish list since it is the Replica that I would want.

Things I would not change:

• Keep the sockets for all chips. It's one of the things that set the Apple II apart from the other 8-bit machines of that era.

Keep the ASCII keyboard header. This with an Apple IIe keyboard encoder is the way to enter text into the Replica I.

• Keep the small footprint.

• And keep everything else you've done. It's a great kit.
Last edited by J. Calhoun on Dec Sun 31, 2006 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cheese1113 » Dec Sun 31, 2006 2:03 am

The ATX needs to be there to supply the -12V necessary to operate an ASCII keyboard IIRC. The ASCII socket works fine with Apple ][ keyboards. I am using a ][+ keyboard and it works wonderfully. As for for an edge card connector, that would make it hard to connect a nice 3 connector expansion interface.
Last edited by cheese1113 on Dec Sun 31, 2006 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby daustin777 » Dec Sun 31, 2006 3:00 am

The USB is currently an option. It's not part of the basic kit. I did get the option and I'm using it. Most of my other computers have USB but only one has serial.

I'm currently using an ATX power supply, even though I'm not yet using an ASCII keyboard. I know I have one stashed in my storage space, somewhere :D . I think it's impressive to show how small the replica is compared to the power supplies of modern computers, though I'm working on a small 5v switching supply.

A couple Mods I'd make-
I'd add the new version of Krusader v1.2 to the ROM and have the backspace option available when ordering.

I'm having a blast with this thing!! Thanks for making it available!
--David Austin-- replica 1 se, CFFA1, MicroKIM, [kits]
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Postby J. Calhoun » Dec Sun 31, 2006 1:11 pm

The ATX needs to be there to supply the -12V necessary to operate an ASCII keyboard IIRC. The ASCII socket works fine with Apple ][ keyboards. I am using a ][+ keyboard and it works wonderfully.


I tried an Apple II Plus keyboard and it didn't work.

I'm guessing now, from what you said that:

a) mine didn't work because I didn't have the -12V (I got rid of the ATX PS too soon perhaps) and,

b) the pin-out discrepancy in the documentation is Apple I vs. Replica I. I assumed Apple II pinout was the same as the Apple I.

Maybe the documentation could illuminate this; the Apple II+ keyboard shares the same pinout as the Replica I and the ATX option is required to use an Apple II+ keyboard. Is that true? Is -12V supplied using the wall-wart option?

As for for an edge card connector, that wold make it hard to connect a nice 3 connector expansion interface.


That's true. I guess my thoughts are that few people will need three cards (or even two) and that a three card connector could still be designed (albiet a little more kludgy since it would either require the cards to come out parallel to the Replica I motherboard or some strange umbilical cable).

The USB is currently an option. It's not part of the basic kit.


Then I need to RTFM so to speak. It's been a while since I ordered it and I probably just ordered the whole works at the time.

But just to be perfectly clear, I'm having a blast with this thing as well. Vince seems to be a perfectionist so I'm just offering feedback. From some of the other feedback, it seems the ATX option is a popular one.

My complaint about the ATX option is the 1) bulk, 2) noise (fan noise) and 3) over-kill nature of it. My objection to the wall-wart is just a general objection to wall-warts (I don't like those heavy things dangling from the machine, hanging off the wall, losing them later or wondering which wall-wart goes with which device).

Though this flys in the face somewhat of the whole Replica I concept, putting a small switching power supply on the board would be interesting. One that handles the meager 2A demand plus suplies the -12V. Or perhaps an optional power supply kit that, size-wise works with the Replica I footprint.
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Postby vbriel » Dec Sun 31, 2006 5:07 pm

These are good points and a lot to answer. I like these questions because they help with designing the boards.

First of all, yes the pinout of the replica 1 ASCII matches the Apple IIplus pinout so it should work but you need -12V. The Apple 1 is a different pinout than the Apple II. Also, you need to jumper JP4 to disable the ps/2 encoder.

USB - It's not going away. If you have the USB option, have you done the power by USB option yet? You can power your replica 1 off of the USB port and you don't even need a power supply. I can't tell you how easy this makes using the replica 1. Just today I was using it to run a program I was using. I didn't need a power supply or video monitor. I used the USB with Hyper Terminal did what I needed.

I'd like to eliminate the large power ATX and there are power supplies out there that are smaller that get the job done, but I needed a standard that was easy for users to get.

Expansion - Yeah, I'm going to go to the edge slot like the Apple 1 with card edge on the side to add the expansion header if wanted. That will be in my redesign I do when the last batch of replica 1's are sold out. Originally I put the 40 pin because it is easy for people to attaach pin cables to and run to a breadboard. In reality, it is more authentic with the 44 pin slot.

Yes, red RCA is audio, I can switch when all 200 I have in stock are gone :) Actually I'm down to the last 40-50 si it will be soon.

Don't worry, I won't stop using sockets and I won't go to cheap sockets. I will stay with the more expensive machined sockets because there is no way I'm sacraficing that quality. Sockets are needed because of mistakes, blown IC's, etc.

Pre-loaded software would be nice but please see the CFFA1 card video. This is as good as it gets. This is nearly a full blown OS prodos compatible card.

I really like these discussions because this what I need to determine what people like and don't like in the replica. Here's some things I have to take into consideration in the design:

1. Price. Less components keeps the price down. The lower the price, the more people can afford a replica 1. I really really would like to work out a $99 kit in the near future. Maybe the next revision will have that price tag.

2. Easy to build kit. The SE is more difficult than the previous version but with the oval socket holes, soldering is easier than ever.

3. Features everybody wants, none that nobody wants. Originally I wasn't even going to put the serial DB-9 on there but I got a lot of requests from older Mac users wanting this on there. It was easy to make the USB an option and just keep the serial. In the future version I may go without a built on serial (maybe) since the multicard I'm developing will have a true serial port. But then if I do that, I loose the power by USB feature. Hmmm....

The funny thing is the 2 things I used to get hammered about the most was not making it look like an Apple 1 and no power LED. Well, it has a power LED now :)

I'm trying to reduce 2 IC's in the next revision (outside chance at 3), reduce jumpers to make things more automatic and keep the size small, maybe even a little smaller. The only way I know what people want is to get feedback.

As a side note: I do have a sample IC that converts 5V into -12V. While this would add a chip, it does eliminate the need for the ATX. I will keep this in mind when I do any future redesigning. Lol, replica 1 TE (Third Edition), or WE Woz Edition? (probably not possible without his ok) I should email him and ask, after all, I have met him now:

Image

Woz' motto, simple design, few components. Keep the comments coming.

Vince
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Postby cheese1113 » Dec Sun 31, 2006 5:41 pm

Woz Edition! That is perfect! Maybe you could get him to sign all the boards just like the Apple IIGS.
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Postby vbriel » Dec Sun 31, 2006 10:25 pm

cheese1113 wrote:Woz Edition! That is perfect! Maybe you could get him to sign all the boards just like the Apple IIGS.


Actually I read somewhere he thought there was going to be a couple thousand made and it turned out Apple made like 10K Woz edition GS. He didn't actually sign them all, just a printed signature.
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Postby cheese1113 » Dec Sun 31, 2006 11:37 pm

Yea I figured it was just a printed signature. Perhaps print his signature on the silk screen or something.
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Postby sfahey » Jan Thu 04, 2007 11:03 am

vbriel wrote: Actually I read somewhere he thought there was going to be a couple thousand made and it turned out Apple made like 10K Woz edition GS. He didn't actually sign them all, just a printed signature.


The signature run was only supposed to be 10K, but over 100K were produced. The Woz sig GS was never rare.
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Postby vbriel » Jan Thu 04, 2007 11:09 am

Are there that many? Wow!
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Suggestions for Replica SE v.2.0

Postby fsafstrom » Jan Thu 04, 2007 1:14 pm

I would keep the USB option, my serial port is already taken and I only use the USB option.
To keep an authentic look, you could just remove the silk screen that outlines the USB option.

Another thing I would like is to be able to re-program the EEPROM on the board or replace it with NVRAM and be able to Read/Write to it.
Think of it as a "Bios flash" so to say... :D

The 40 pin expansion bus could get a socket that fits the IDE cable, that way you cannot connect the bus in any wrong way...

That would be my two cents...
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