Discussion:
"International NTSC" Apple IIe motherboard?
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Linards Ticmanis
2006-01-04 20:55:09 UTC
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Hello,

some time ago somebody around here mentioned an "International NTSC"
Apple IIe motherboard among other board revisions. My question is, what
is this board like? Can it be used in conjunction with a PAL IIe
housing, and can it make use of the keyboard/character set switch of
those machines? The reason I'm asking is because around here most
equipment is now multinorm anyway and Apple NTSC graphics look better
than PAL for most things.
--
Linards Ticmanis
mdj
2006-01-05 01:05:19 UTC
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Post by Linards Ticmanis
some time ago somebody around here mentioned an "International NTSC"
Apple IIe motherboard among other board revisions. My question is, what
is this board like? Can it be used in conjunction with a PAL IIe
housing, and can it make use of the keyboard/character set switch of
those machines? The reason I'm asking is because around here most
equipment is now multinorm anyway and Apple NTSC graphics look better
than PAL for most things.
This was the final revision Apple IIe board as used in the platinum
IIe's shipped internationally. Functionally, it's much the same as its
predecessor international board; has the aux slot inline with slot 3,
has
the charset switch, runs at 50hz refresh instead of 60hz. Platinum
boards
also have the 'shift key mod' installed (so pressing shift triggers
PB2) and
have superfluous circuitry in the game connector, and can lock up if
you
accidentally press a button on an attached joystick and one of the
apple
keys at the same time.

Personally, I've never been satisfied with the PAL output of the
original
international board; the colours were just plain wrong. In Australia,
machines sold with Colour monitors also included an interested extended

80 column card which had a really nice PAL output on it, which even
suppressed the fringe effect.

Remember that if you use that board, you'll be getting a 50hz video
signal
instead of 60. In my experience, multistandard monitors/tv's tend to
not
recognise this signal as NTSC and will give you monochrome output (The
same phenomena is present in the IIc, and in the IIgs running in 50hz
mode
on it's composite output), with the exception of the Apple Color
Composite,
which was specially designed to handle these signals.

My own IIe is fitted with a platinum edition US issue motherboard,
primarily
because I wanted to regain slot 3 for other purposes. Doing this loses
access to the charset switch, but other than that is a nice upgrade,
since I
have additional room for cards. If you're planning on using a standard
NTSC
capable monitor/tv for display, I'd import one of those from the US
(should
be able to get one for $5 or so on ebay - I did). And if the switch is
really
important to you, grab one of Bill Garbers switchable character ROM
boards ($15 from memory) to gain that functionality back.

Alternatively you'll find the board you refer to in a platinum IIe
locally, but
dont be surprised if you can't generate a colour output on your
display.

Cheers

--
mdj
h***@freenet.de
2006-01-05 05:30:07 UTC
Permalink
Additional info:

An Intl.-NTSC-motherboard may be fitted with a crystal and an IOU-chip
from a 60-Hz (US) NTSC-board - turning this board into a "real"
NTSC-board with the differences pointed out by mdj.

In fact I did this to get a french video card to work with 60 Hz -
which it did, until it stopped working ;-)

However: Appropriate care should be applied when desoldering the
50-Hz-IOU-chip (its not socketed).

Is it worth it? IMHO: No.

If you have a 60-Hz-IOU chip and the right crystal you probably have a
working NTSC-board.

At the moment I use a 1984-US-motherboard which works best and gives me
what I want most (on my current NTSC-capable TV-set): The closest
approximation what a games developer (or gamer) saw on his screen under
the best circumstances in the beginning of the eighties.
Because I wanted to use this board in a German case I had to tinker
with the cables (keyboard and speaker) and to get German characters on
screen I use the German ROMs and a nice adapter, which is sold by
GSE-Reactive.com. Highly recommended.

bye
Marcus
Linards Ticmanis
2006-01-05 13:04:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@freenet.de
Is it worth it? IMHO: No.
That's what I think too after reading the answers.
Post by h***@freenet.de
At the moment I use a 1984-US-motherboard which works best and gives me
what I want most (on my current NTSC-capable TV-set): The closest
approximation what a games developer (or gamer) saw on his screen under
the best circumstances in the beginning of the eighties.
Because I wanted to use this board in a German case I had to tinker
with the cables (keyboard and speaker) and to get German characters on
screen I use the German ROMs and a nice adapter, which is sold by
GSE-Reactive.com. Highly recommended.
Well, it seems that this beast doesn't support the German keyboard
layout though; I guess I'll stick with my PAL machine.
--
Linards Ticmanis
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