Apple II

Explaining 4K 60Hz Video Through USB-C Hub

May 19, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

USB-C offers exciting new capabilities, including external monitors connected through the USB port. USB-C converters to DisplayPort or HDMI are common and inexpensive. USB-C hubs with external monitor support are also common, but understanding their capabilities and limitations can be extremely confusing. Some are Mac-compatible and some aren’t. Some

Apple II

Floppy Emu May Feature Update

May 16, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

New features are blooming like May flowers for the Floppy Emu disk emulator. This firmware update has something for everyone!

Lisa

The emulated rotation speed of Lisa floppy disks can now be manually adjusted within a range of +/- 6 percent. This only affects the TACH signal that the

Apple II

More AVR ICSP Footprints

May 14, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

I’m continuing to research options for alternative programming headers for AVR microcontrollers, building on the ideas I discussed earlier. For one-time programming purposes, the standard 3 x 2 pin 0.1 inch header is just… too big. I’m on the hunt for something that’s smaller, and that can be used

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Apple II

Take a Tour of BMOW Labs

May 13, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

They say you can tell a lot about a person by looking at his work-space. I thought it would be fun to take a break from stuffing boxes today, and make a short video tour of the BMOW Lair. I’ve mentioned before that it’s not a large space –

Apple II

Alternative AVR Programming Header Ideas

May 11, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

That ubiquitous six pin header for in-circuit programming of Atmel AVR microcontrollers – it’s the standard, but it’s not a great standard where size and cost are a concern. Can I do better?

Programming most AVRs requires a six wire interface, with a clock, serial in, serial out,

Apple II

Daisy Chainer Testing

May 11, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

Good news: the Daisy Chainer for Floppy Emu is finished, and working nicely in all my tests. With the Daisy Chainer, a mix of real and emulated disk drives can be combined into a single Apple II daisy chain for maximum flexibility. The real drives can be attached before

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Apple II

Floppy Emu Chameleon Firmware

April 29, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

Here’s a fun party trick: firmware for the Floppy Emu disk emulator that emulates a 5.25 inch floppy drive, but then reconfigures on the fly as a Smartport hard disk emulator. Why is this useful? It’s not obvious at first, but if you’re a Floppy Emu owner with an

Apple II

Daisy Chainer Update

April 24, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

Picking up after a month hiatus, I’ve assembled one unit of the Daisy Chainer for the Floppy Emu disk emulator, and it seems to be working. I’ve only had time to do brief testing, but so far so good, and the power/ground weirdness observed in the breadboard prototype appears

Apple II

PCB Autorouting

March 27, 2019 Big Mess o' Wires

The Apple II Daisy Chainer for Floppy Emu is done, and I’ve ordered a few PCBs made for testing. This proved to be a surprisingly challenging board to lay out and route the traces. It’s a simple two-layer board, and I wanted to keep it as small as possible,