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Apple IIe - Not possible to use 5 1/4 card in slot 5?


eightbit
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I am still a little new to this. Tonight I installed a VGA scaler in slot 7 (works great!) and was going to leave slot 6 open for an eventual CFFA card. I figured I'd move the 5 1/4 card to slot 5 and leave slot 6 empty for now. But, it woudl not boot. The first drive would just continually click strangely and not read the disk at all. I moved the card back to slot 6 and all is fine.

 

Is slot 5 designated for 3 1/2 inch drives only? Or can you not have slot 6 empty and stick the card in slot 5? Any advice is appreciated!

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I think I might have my answer. According to the controller card manual they want you to install the first controller card in Slot 6 first and then if using a 3rd and 4th drive a card in slot 5. I am assuming you cannot just bypass slot 6 and use slot 5 for first and second drive. If anyone can confirm this that would be great.

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This may not be a very helpful answer, but in case no one offers anything more specific...

 

Apple II slots are funny in that they look universal, but a lot of software is coded to certain assumptions, like the 5 1/2" drive controller always being in slot 6, any printer or other parallel connection always being in slot 1, an 80-column card and/or extra memory always being in slot 3, and so forth. (Slot 3 and the 80-column card slot are almost one and the same as far as the computer is concerned, even in models like the IIe that have them as separate physical slots.) So, putting the drive controller in anything other than slot 6 is likely to result in funny behavior.

 

There's a bit more of an answer here.

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But I am referring to this in an Apple IIe :)

 

In any case, it is probably the software. I only have one disk game (Abuse) and that's all. I have been using it for testing. Eventually I'll either make more using ADTPro, but I am banking on adding a CFFA3000 to this IIe anyway so that's pretty much all I'll need in the end.

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Ok. Now that I know it's an Apple //e I can tell you it will boot just fine from Slot 5. Straight outta the box. I even clearly recalled doing that years ago and had recently done Slot 5 boots without trouble. Copy II+ recognized it was starting from slot 5 and displayed Slot 5 Drive 1, Slot 5 Drive 2, as being available.. Several action games loaded and whatever else I was doing worked.

 

This is the definitive answer:

http://www.applefritter.com/?q=content/disk-questionslot-selection#comment-72529

 

And this is why:

http://www.applefritter.com/?q=content/disk-questionslot-selection#comment-72528

 

In keeping it simple - the reason behind the reasoning of "certain cards going into certain slots only" is a general attempt to set a standard for software to follow. Nothing was set in stone in those days and the arbitrary assignments evolved organically.

 

Some cards insisted on being in a certain slot because their onboard firmware was written that way. Or certain software was written to "find" a certain card in a certain slot. This Disk II controller card was NOT one of those. And standard DOS didn't give a shit where it ran. It works in slot 1-7. Likewise I could put my modem in any slot, and my printer in any slot. I just had to be sure the software knew about it.

 

Now, some copy protection or funky non-standard RWTS routines were only slot-6 aware. So that's going to cause problems.

 

---

 

If you can't boot a standard DOS 3.3 or ProDOS disk in slot #5 then there is a hardware issue. Dirty slot, bad connections, bad slot selector logic on the board. Something.

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yes you should be able to boot and run most disks from pretty much any slot, but the non standard standard is your SSC is going to be in slot 2, your disk controller is in 6 and blah blah blah

 

its a bit less of a problem in prodos as it assumes multiple drive configurations including ramdisks, hard drives and various external witchcraft

Edited by Osgeld
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I recall when I first used this system I had been able to boot a ProDOS utilities disk from slot 5 (can't find that disk now) so I am sure the slot is fine. I think it is the one game disk I have in there that just will not boot...so it is probably just the software. I'm not worried about it...was just curious. Soon this will have a CFFA3000 as well and the disk controller card and drives will be gone forever :) I am not so nostalgic on disks...I just would like to easily run software like I do with my IIGS with the CFFA3000.

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But I am referring to this in an Apple IIe :)

 

In any case, it is probably the software. I only have one disk game (Abuse) and that's all. I have been using it for testing. Eventually I'll either make more using ADTPro, but I am banking on adding a CFFA3000 to this IIe anyway so that's pretty much all I'll need in the end.

 

If you want an even quicker way to make disks for testing using just a 3.5mm audio cable, you can always use: http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/

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I see that myself and SpeedyG get a mention... ;)

 

I would add the SpeedyG list, Slot #4 is also the Mouse Card Slot too..

 

MarkO

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SOLVED!

 

Well, I came home tonight and started troubleshooting. All I would get from slot 5 was "UNABLE TO LOAD PRODOS" with disks that work fine when the card is in slot 6. So, what is the issue with slot 5?

 

Then something occurred to me. I removed the Transwarp card and bingo, slot 5 works for loading the disk. I investigated further and it turns out that the dipswitch on the Transwarp that corresponded with slot 5 was on and was accelerating the slot. I turned that switch off and popped the Transwarp back in. Now it works ;)

 

It appears the Disk II controller card does not like to be accelerated. I received the computer and cards as a bundle and just put everything in expecting all of the dip switch settings to be correct since the original owner had disk controller cards in both 5 and 6 (I took the spare card out). Maybe someone will find this information useful one day!

 

I do appreciate all of the posts and the help though. This is exactly why I really love the Apple II community. Just good folks always willing to help each other out!

Edited by eightbit
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I utterly failed to ask if there were any other cards in the system. I incorrectly assumed that a front-line troubleshooting step was done - and that's to remove all non-essential hardware and use only what is in question.

 

In essence, the whole Disk II sub-system does not like acceleration. It is built and based upon strict timing signals from the 6502 following a specific routine in DOS. If the timing is off by a single iota, well, then, so will be the data coming in from the drive. If it comes in at all. And that's why drive speed is important to be set between 298-300 RPM.

 

In doing things that way, Woz was able to significantly reduce chip count and make the drives affordable and reliable.

 

You can read more about it in:

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.com/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/machines/Understanding%20the%20Apple%20IIe.pdf

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.com/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/machines/understanding%20the%20apple%20ii.pdf

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I utterly failed to ask if there were any other cards in the system. I incorrectly assumed that a front-line troubleshooting step was done - and that's to remove all non-essential hardware and use only what is in question.

 

 

My fault entirely. I don't know why I didn't think of removing the accelerator until today. I didn't know enough about it to know that it was actually so configurable that you can turn on and off acceleration on each slot at will. That and the fact that the controller was working fine in slot 6. Live and learn :)

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for what its worth I wouldnt dump your disk drives until you get a feel for the CFFA, not everything plays nice with prodos

 

I have a pretty good feel for it. It has been in my IIGS for over a year :) It has shortcomings and not everything works, but the vast majority of software works fine with no disk fiddling. It is enough for me with what it does work with....which is like 98% of all software I have tested.

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My fault entirely. I don't know why I didn't think of removing the accelerator until today. I didn't know enough about it to know that it was actually so configurable that you can turn on and off acceleration on each slot at will. That and the fact that the controller was working fine in slot 6. Live and learn :)

 

It's been a while. But most accelerators are //e computers on-a-board. And when it comes time to access slot-5 or slot-6 (per your switches), the computer-on-a-card operates at the 1MHz speed for the duration of the access. This works well for most all stuff. There's a few rare things that can trip that up however.

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Yeah, you know what it was is that I thought originally that there were set in place "slot rules" (I am new to the Apple II series, I didn't grow up with them) and I was kind of blindsided by that and was leaning too much on the thought that the last owner had it already "set up".

 

Not sure why I did that with this machine. Just relaxing more with it I suppose ;) Normally I would have removed all cards but the controller and tested.

 

Guess I'm just getting old ;)

Edited by eightbit
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If you want an even quicker way to make disks for testing using just a 3.5mm audio cable, you can always use: http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/

 

 

I made a few disks today using this. Incredibly awesome and fast.

 

Do offline versions of the disks converted to audio exist for download, as well as a player to play them back (if they are not wav and some proprietary format)? It would be awesome to have a collection stored offline and run a 3.5MM audio cable from a PC sound card to the Apple II and use the PC to play back the audio images and create disks without having to do it through an online server.

 

Either way, this works and works well. Oddly (and ironically) enough I can only create them using my duaghter's iPhone. I always get a checksum error with my Galaxy S5.

Edited by eightbit
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