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Apple II Wifi modem card – gauging interest

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
I created a Wifi modem card for use with Apple II computers (6551 based with an ESP8266 WiFi modem). It has a very simple design, with enough Super Serial card compatibility to work with DCOM for accessing Web BBSs and I have a (windows) program that allows DSK images to be transferred to 140k disks.

I was wondering if there was any interest in a card such as this, before I go to the work of cleaning up the design files and source code and posting them online? I used all 5 of the PCBs that I ordered, but I can easily have more manufactured -- is there any interest in PCBs, or just the design files?
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,123
Location
Connecticut, USA
I'm curious of the price as well. With several serial choices out there will the card be cost effective? Will it be tailored towards any particular terminal communications program for the apple?
 

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
I'm curious of the price as well. With several serial choices out there will the card be cost effective? Will it be tailored towards any particular terminal communications program for the apple?

Honestly, I had not given it much thought. The PCBs are very cheap, If I order 10, they are only a few dollars each. The WiFi NodeMCU controller was $9 for three on Amazon. The most expensive chip was the 6551, at $6 from unicorn electronics.

So, if there is interest, I am happy to put together instructions and release all of the PCB Gerber files (to make PCBs) to the wild. I would then post a link to the files here, and we can go from there.

If it seems that there is interest, I am sure I can do another production run (of the PCBs only) for something around $10-15 each (including shipping). If someone needs programmed eproms, or needs the NodeMCU microcontrollers flashed, I could help on a limited basis but I do not have a ton of time and this is only one of the projects that I have in the works. I created this for my own use primarily, and don't really aspire to be in the business of selling retro computer stuff :)

Dan
 

dabone

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
1,066
Location
Chattanooga, TN - USA
I made a 6551a based swiftlink compatible card for the 64 recently myself, and the issue some people may have is sourcing a working 6551a.

I was wondering on your card, which apples have you tried it in, and did the rf coating inside the cases hurt the wireless performance?
 

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
I made a 6551a based swiftlink compatible card for the 64 recently myself, and the issue some people may have is sourcing a working 6551a.

I was wondering on your card, which apples have you tried it in, and did the rf coating inside the cases hurt the wireless performance?




I have tried it in a 2e and 2+ with no issues. I have not tried it in a 2e enhanced, platinum or GS (yet). It is hard for me to estimate how the coating has affected the wifi, it has not been a problem for me, but my router is less than 15 feet from the computers I am testing.
 

mjauthen

New Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
1
Location
Ohio
I would be interested! I would even print my own boards and such if the designs are an available. I currently have a IIe and I have a friend with a IIc that wants to do more with it. Would be fun to finally setup my own BBS. :)
 

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
I would be interested! I would even print my own boards and such if the designs are an available. I currently have a IIe and I have a friend with a IIc that wants to do more with it. Would be fun to finally setup my own BBS. :)

I am not moving very fast, but the boards seem to check out. I just need to put some documentation together and post a link. 20200930_202109.jpg
 

VERAULT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
5,123
Location
Connecticut, USA
Two questions. Which terminal programs are you using with it (which are the most supported?) And Unless I missed it whats the price roughly?
 

geneb

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
497
Location
Graham, WA USA
If it's built to be compatible with the Super Serial Card, it'll be a great buy for any of the Apple II line...

g.
 

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
It is compatible-ish with the super serial card. The super serial card allows you to set the serial parameters via dip switches, but this card uses parameters that are hard coded into the firmware. Also the firmware is different between the two cards. I have not extensively tested it -- but I do know it works well with DCOM 3.21a.

I have not had a ton of time recently, but I am making progress getting the files on-line for others to use. Hopefully before the end of the year . . .

Dan Werner
 

thenzero

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
424
Location
Perry, GA
Sorry to revive this old thread but…Dan can you share your design? I think there is a lot of community interest in something like this!
 

danwerner21

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Messages
12
Project files can be found here:


Note that I have not spent any time cleaning this up or creating any documentation. It is expected that the ESP32 has Bo Zimmerman's wifi firmware loaded. (https://github.com/bozimmerman/Zimodem)

I have created a few of these boards and have used them with some success. I am happy to answer any questions although I do not regularly check the forums, so best to use my e-mail address vic2020Dan at gmail dot com.

Dan
 
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