Explorations with Low-Powered Devices for the Apple IIe/IIgs

I recently posted my experiences with using a Bluetooth module to perform wireless ADTPro transfers with my Apple IIe.  At that time, I was powering the Bluetooth module from an AC adapter.

Seeing that the Bluetooth module power adapter was a standard +5v USB power adapter, I suggested a simple Apple II  peripheral card with a USB female port to provide the +5v power needed by these modules or devices.  +5v is readily available from pin 25 on the slot connectors (maximum of 500mA for all peripheral cards according to documentation).  A few minutes with the soldering iron came up with this contraption:

AppleII-USB-5v-1 AppleII-USB-5v-2

It surely was a product of an amateur, but it was enough for a proof-of-concept so that I could put the Bluetooth module inside the Apple IIe without an additional power line coming out of the case.  And with that, I was again performing wireless ADTPro transfers from my laptop using Bluetooth.

AppleII-USB-5v-SerialBluetooth

One thing to note about this Bluetooth module is that the serial port speed is set to 9600 baud by default.  The recent versions of ADTPro have removed support for 9600 baud.  You’ll have to follow the instructions for the Bluetooth module to configure it to start up at 115k baud.  115k is faster anyway, and the serial transfer speed is still slower than the Bluetooth transfer speed (meaning that it’s still the serial segment that’s the slower part of an end-to-end transfer).

Moving to the IIgs, I pulled out from my stash of devices a tiny Wi-Fi bridge IOGear GWU627.  This acts as a standard Wi-Fi bridge (802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n), except that it is very tiny and can be powered by a standard USB power adapter.  I put an Uthernet card in slot 2, my homemade USB peripheral card in slot 3, and wired them altogether with the GWU627 bridge also inside the IIgs case.

IOGEAR-GWU627-1 AppleII-USB-5v-Uthernet-1

With a standard Marinetti installation, my IIgs is now wirelessly connected to my home network.  DHCP works over the wireless bridge, and the IIgs receives an IP address from the home router.  The Marinetti applications Casper web server and Telnet client work as they should.  This could be a good way to run a 24×7 web server from your IIgs and make it available to the Internet – of course, only with the proper port-forwarding rules in your home router and only if your ISP allows hosting a web server and does not block port 80 incoming to your network.

AppleII-USB-5v-Uthernet-2 AppleII-USB-5v-Uthernet-3

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