"Apple WIIe" & "Apple Piie" – My Apple IIe Emulator Projects for Wii & Pi!

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
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Update: This "Apple Piie" system has been superseded by "Apple WIIe". See the post below.

Welcome to :apple: Apple Piie

I wanted to get an old Apple //e running with the games and apps I used to own and enjoy when I was 9, but realized there were a lot of restrictions. Whilst the games are readily available online as .dsk files for emulators, if I wanted to run the actual disks I'd need working drives and some way to put the files onto disks, or to buy them from eBay and hope they worked. There were other concerns too.

But I realized if I got an emulator, I wouldn't need to worry about all that, and I could also run other classic computers from my past too, not just the //e.

I decided to have a little fun and bought a faulty Apple //e, took out the innards (and sold to good homes as parts), then placed it all inside. Here's what you'll need:

Shopping List

1. A Raspberry Pi Model B (with Wi-Fi, power, 8GB SD card & more): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G1PNG54/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00G1PNG54&linkCode=as2&tag=secure0dd-20&linkId=LVHWVXCPB5T3UH7C



2. A powered USB hub (to fit Apple //e case slot if possible): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B0ZOCPS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00B0ZOCPS&linkCode=as2&tag=secure0dd-20&linkId=O4RMMMEJNGWUFIFL
(Note: Not the old one pictured – I learned that unpowered hub introduced problems, so go for this powered one.)



3. An HDMI cable.

4. An Apple //e keyboard > USB adapter: https://www.tindie.com/products/option8/retroconnector-keyboard-shield-for-apple-iie/ (see below - bottom)
NB: To toggle Function Keys on and off, use the CAPS LOCK button.



5a. Optional: An Apple //e joystick > USB adapter: https://www.tindie.com/products/option8/retroconnector-joystick-interface-for-apple-ii/?pt=directsearch
See below: top-center, bolted neatly into the existing case slot



5b. Or better still, an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller adapter > USB, which can support 2 controllers: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E0OB7MW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00E0OB7MW&linkCode=as2&tag=secure0dd-20&linkId=ZGJLJOZUKEA4I4WT (only this official one works)



6. Upgrade!: A USB sound device if you want less glitchy sound & to use the original Apple //e case speaker, by running a cable from the headphone jack to it under the case's keyboard: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HISGRW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007HISGRW&linkCode=as2&tag=secure0dd-20&linkId=BM34XN6WJYELMM76



Using a hot glue gun I arranged all the items in the Apple case, connected all the USB devices, and lo and behold, it just works.



"Erm, we've met before, but it's been 30 years so I forgive you for forgetting."

You can send games and ROMs to the Pi via Cyberduck over your Wi-Fi. Yes, this Apple //e has Wi-Fi!



Software Setup

  1. Install the RetroPie software onto the SD card in your Mac: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-turn-your-raspberry-pi-into-a-retro-game-console-498561192
  2. Put the SD card in the Pi and set up the Wi-Fi: http://www.howtogeek.com/167425/how-to-setup-wi-fi-on-your-raspberry-pi-via-the-command-line
  3. It's good to also update RetroPie straight away using these commands, then following the appropriate menu option:
    cd RetroPie-Setup (if not already in that directory)
    sudo ./retropie_setup.sh
  4. Install the Xbox Wireless Controller drivers (if applicable): https://github.com/petrockblog/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Setting-up-the-XBox360-controller and/or download the xboxdrv driver via the RetroPie menu as per the above commands)
  5. You can set up the soundcard by following the instructions at http://asliceofraspberrypi.blogspot.kr/2013/02/adding-audio-input-device.html and make it the default system device by following https://learn.adafruit.com/usb-audio-cards-with-a-raspberry-pi/updating-alsa-config
  6. Start copying ROMs (emulator game files) over to the appropriate "roms" subfolder on the Pi, via Cyberduck, and have fun!
NB: The Apple emulator that comes with the RetroPie package is "LinApple" and it is a little bit work in progress. The sound can be a bit glitchy. I find the emu itself runs well if you set the speed to "25" in the config file (easy via Cyberduck FTP into your Apple Piie). You can also choose which Apple to run - ][, //e, II+, etc. Unfortunately the dev is not very interested in improving it.



My total cost was about $150 including the Apple //e, but without the optional joystick adapter. After selling the Apple //e parts that were inside it, it cost approximately $0 total.

So I thought I'd share some photos of it to anyone else interested in this fun project to help anyone else wishing to do the same. Hit me up with any questions, and enjoy the trips down memory lane! ;)

 
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Renzatic

Suspended
Okay, that is incredibly clever.

To complete the experience (or at least a good approximation thereof), you need to find an old Apple IIe monitor, shell it out, and fit an equivalently sized LCD inside the case. The only problem would be finding a 12" 4:3 LCD these days.
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Thanks guys. That's a nice idea about the :apple: monitor, but as I also have an Amiga and Commodore 64 under my big-screen LCD (just out of frame), I'm going to have to stick with the HDMI switcher setup I have :rolleyes:

LinApple has a nice 'CRT scan lines' emulation mode if you hit 9 (F9) a few times, which will do nicely :D
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
Neat. I've periodically been checking auction sites in NZ for a broken Acorn Archimedes to do the same sort of thing. There wouldn't even be any emulation involved there since the Archimedes used an ARM chip and the OS has already been ported to the Pi natively :)

For some reason using an Apple II never crossed my mind though!
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
It would look good in am Archimedes.

You might just be able to fit a Pi in a ZX81 case too, yes.

I say choose your favorite physical computer that gives you the most nostalgia, then run all the emulators from a Pi inside that. :)
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Neat! I think this will be the way a lot of people start encasing their Pi devices to give them keyboards! :D
 

WMD

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2013
175
7
Florida, USA
Whilst the games are readily available online as .dsk files for emulators, if I wanted to run the actual disks I'd need working drives and some way to put the files onto disks, or to buy them from eBay and hope they worked.
Just putting it out there... there's a device out there that acts as an SD card reader for the Apple II. I think the creator was selling them on eBay. It plugs into the Disk II controller card and has 16 "slots" on it, allowing you to put 16 .dsk files on it and have them read into the computer as floppies. That way, you could download images and use them on the actual hardware without needing any actual floppy disks.
 
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WMD

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2013
175
7
Florida, USA
Oh yeah...also wanted to say, it's amazing how empty the Apple II case is, now. All that stuff (which has far more computing power than the A2) fits into a tiny fraction of the space the Apple II motherboard took up. :)
 

MattInOz

macrumors 68030
Jan 19, 2006
2,755
0
Sydney
This might be the only time in my life that I'll side with C64 over Apple ][e but...
Given all that space inside a C64 case might have been a better fit.
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Update: I've added an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller > USB adapter inside the box too. It's looking a little less spacious ;) I can now use my 2 wireless controllers for the emulator. See above for link and setup instructions.
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
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Ireland
Yes I looked at that. Sadly it's $150.
I got one from a guy in Bulgaria through ebay. Works amazingly and it was only €50. Came with a Disk II cable, 8GB SD card, manual and the adapter. No hassle just plug and play. Brilliant item.

This is me using one here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1719280&highlight=sd+card+adapter+apple+ii
 
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IIeBoy

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Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Does it also turn your Apple into 7 other emulators? ;-)
 

tevion5

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Jul 12, 2011
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Does it also turn your Apple into 7 other emulators? ;-)
Ehm nope, it's basically just an Disk II drive that takes SD cards instead, with the ability to switch between multiple disk images on the same card.

I forgot to say though, great work! Really like the project you've put together :)
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
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14
Just teasing! ;-) And thanks. Yours is a great solution too.
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Yes I did. I used the keyboard adapter listed above. There may be one for the Atari too.
 

IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Tell me, did you manage to hook the keyboard up through the Raspberry? I ask because you've inspired me to something similar with my old Atari 800XL, and I want to know how well I can integrate it all together.
BTW I used to have an Atari 400 (runs the same games as the 800 mostly). RetroPie has an Atari 800 emulator built in... Get all the 400 ROMs from http://www.theoldcomputer.com/roms/index.php?folder=Atari/8bit/os then hit "1" when in the Atari 800 emulator to find the option to specify the ROM locations. Pick the folder you put them in on the Pi, and exit the emulator. Next time you start it, it should work.
 
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IIeBoy

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 26, 2009
91
14
Upgraded with real Apple //e speaker sound and wireless joysticks

Hi guys, I thought I'd let you know about a couple of little upgrades pictured now in the original post:
  1. Sound output through the original Apple //e speaker: I bought a $2 Raspberry Pi USB sound 'card'. On a hunch I took a standard 3.5mm cable from the soundcard headphone output jack, cut that cable, twisted the L and R cables together to form one 'mono' cable, and twisted the earth cables together too, and inserted the 2 exposed cables into the pins of the old original :apple: Apple //e case's speaker. It worked! The sound comes through with that familiar sound! It also takes some of the processing strain off the R-Pi resulting in less glitchy sound. See software setup instructions above.
  2. Wireless joysticks: I bought the Microsoft Xbox 360 wireless controller USB receiver for Windows. After installing the drivers (as detailed above), I can control everything using the 2 wireless controllers. The receiver sits in the Apple //e case.
I do need a little help getting the sound card working on a per emulator basis, but to use the full quality Pi sound for other emulators. Feel free to contribute any ideas at http://blog.petrockblock.com/forums/topic/how-do-i-set-retropie-to-use-a-usb-sound-card-instead/

If nothing more, these upgrades are at least making use of all that empty space that was in the case! :D
 
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