CFFA for Apple II
The first 500 boards have arrived back from the assembler! I have just tested 3 boards and they all work. My tentative plan is to open for pre-orders next Saturday (Feb 24) in the afternoon. This date is subject to change. I will email everyone on the waiting list when I am ready. There is still much for me to do before I am ready. I have a day off work for president's day (US holiday) next Monday which helps. Note: there was no email status update about this.
Great news! Today we verified that 4 CFFA3000 "first-article" units off the assembly line function perfectly in two Apple IIgs computers. The assembler is
now in the process of building the remaining 996 units which will take about 4 weeks. We are currently working to get everything ready to open for pre-orders sometime in mid to late February.
Finally the remainder of the parts are on their way, via FedEx, to the assember. They will conduct an inventory count, and if the part counts are correct begin assembly of Run#5! This process will take about 4 weeks + a week to ship the boards back to me, if all goes well.
I see an update is long overdue... I am still waiting for one more part from supplier Arrow. It should be here soon. Most of the other parts and PCBs are already at the assembler in California. I sent a out CFFA3000 Run#5 status Update #2 email on Dec 18th, 2017. I am hoping to start pre-orders in late February, 2018.
For expected pricing information please click at the FAQ link on the left.
I recently sent an email to the interst list titled: CFFA3000 Run#5 Status Update #1. If you didn't get that email and you believe you are on the Run #5 CFFA waiting list, please visit my shop and sign up to the mailing list . Occationally I do forget to add people to the list. If that happened you, I appologize.
I have placed orders for all of the CFFA3000 Run#5 parts over the last week. The lead-time for some parts is approaching 4 months! These are "estimated" lead times so parts may arrive sooner, I don't know. But it is also possible that the CFFA3000 availability will get pushed out into early 2018. I will update this site as I learn more about actual delivery dates. I have ordered enough parts to build 1000 units so I am pretty confident that everyone who would like to buy one will get one. This will very likely be the last time I build this design, because the parts are getting much harder to find and way more expensive. I don't know if I will try to design something new in the future, but it would likely not happen until 2020, if ever. Note: For this run the switch will not be an option but will be included with each unit. The cost of the board will be higher, which was unavoidable. Whether the switch has a cover this time is still TBD. I will post an update once that is determined.
I am in the process of getting quotes for all of the parts and assembler fees and will be ordering parts soon. Note: Some parts have lead times upwards of 14 weeks, probably because they are older 5v parts in some cases. I have not made the final decision on the batch size yet but it will be at least 500 units. I have more than 500 people on the interest list at this point. Pretty crazy when you think about it. Apple II forever!
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.
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.