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Project: CFFA for Apple II, II+, IIe, IIe enh, IIgs


Project Status:

03/26/2014:
CFFA3000 Run#3 is just about finished. As I type there are 6 boards left. After these are gone I will start working on a pile of 25 boards that failed initial testing. I will attempt to repair these boards in the coming weeks/months and offer them for sale. Please check the order site from time to time during April and May to see if any boards have become available. I will put up another interest list to see if there is enough interest for a fourth run of boards. Thanks to everyone who purchased run 3 boards!!

11/16/2013:
With the help of Dave Schmidt we have a new tutorial video about setting up the CFFA3000. This is perfect for first time users who want a little help getting started.
As of today we have shipped about 260 units of the 390 ordered so far. We try to ship about 40 units per week.

9/11/2013:
We are now accepting orders for Run#3 of the CFFA3000 board! This run is 575 boards in size. I expect to ship the first 25 units on Sept 23, 2013. You can use the order link on the left in the navigation bar or click here.

8/18/2013:
The parts for Run#3 have shipped to the assembler. They should have the assmebly completed by the end of the month. Then they will get shipped back to me for programming and testing. Once I know that the first-article off the assembly machine works, I will open up the order site and contact everyone on the interest list. Shouldn't be much longer now...


Here are a couple videos about the CFFA3000:
1) A high level introduction what the CFFA3000 does.
2) An initial setup tutorial for getting started.

Project Introduction:

This page describes a project to create a CompactFlash / USB-Flash Interface card for Apple II computers (][+, //e, //e enh or //gs) that started back in 2002. Over the years I have build 2000 CFFA cards in 8 batches. The card is in its third generation which dropped the IDE support and added USB flash storage support. It also supports FAT16 and FAT32 formatted devices for easier transfer to/from your PC. I did the original wire-wrap prototype over the span of several months. This project is very much a case of old technology (the Apple II computer) meets new (CompactFlash cards and Altera CPLDs). My reasoning for this project is described in detail in the Background section, but suffice it to say, I wanted to be able to pull out my old Apple II and use it from time to time to reminisce about the early days of personal computers. I wanted a reliable way to store my Apple II programs and data files for many years to come. Due to the long term reliability prospects of floppy drives, and my general laziness, I decided a mass storage device is what I needed.

CFFA3000 project Introduction:

At the end of 2008 I sold out of my 6th run of CFFA cards. Instead of making another batch to meet demand, I decided it was time to design something new. The main shortcoming of the CFFA card was its lack of support for operating systems other than ProDOS. It was not possible to store and run DOS 3.3 games from the CFFA. So I decided to try desiging a new CFFA that would have these new features: 1) Floppy disk emulation at the nibble level and 2) USB flash drive support for storage of .dsk image files. The effort to design a new CFFA now called the CFFA3000 took about 2 years. The long development time was mainly because this is a hobby for me and not my normal job, also the CFFA3000 is about twice as complex as the orginal CFFA.

Looking for the CFFA1 for Apple1 Project? Click Here!

Great tool for CFFA users:
All CFFA owners who use Windows... Andy McFadden has come out with an excellent tool called: CiderPress. This tool will allow you to read and write your CFFA formatted CF cards right on your PC. It will make an excellent backup tool. Check it out at Andy's Site

Information about the "3 jumper" fix for older CFFA V1.2 cards: (Runs 1, 2, and 3) A problem as been found that explains why many CompactFlash cards have never worked with the older CFFA cards. I was motivated to find this problem when I realized that SanDisk 256MB cards were not working properly. To summarize, the address lines were changing near the end of the ATA bus cycle seen by the CF card. This seemed to be tolerated by the smaller SanDisk cards, but not the 256MB card or many other brands, like Lexar. So after much debugging I found the problem and was able to fix the problem with a new release of the CPLD logic (V1.4), and the addition of 3 "rework" jumper wires to the board. Click here to see the front of the board, and here to the back.



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