This week I received a beta Brain Board from Mike Willegal. This board came with the Wozanium pack which will cause an Apple II to function like an Apple 1. This a great way to get the Apple 1 experience without having to build a replica. The assembly took me about 40 minutes and it works great!
I’ve added a ROM card to my Apple II containing Applesoft ROMs. Thanks a bunch to Mike Willegal for suppling the card.
The most distinct chip on an original Apple 1 is definitely the MOS 6502. This chip originally came in a white ceramic package, and that is what shipped with the original Apple 1 computers. When I decided to build my replica using original parts, I set out to find this chip. As it turns out, this is a relatively sought after chip. They rarely come up for sale, and when they do they can claim hundreds of dollars. After a few months of searching I finally found one. What I did not know when I started searching was that this chip actually came in three different variations of the white ceramic packaging. The Apple 1 computer used a package with no external ground strap. This was the very first package used on the MOS 6502. Later MOS shipped two white 6502’s with an external ground strap. One had a centered strap, the other ran along the edge. The original packaging is the most rare, and took me almost a year to acquire.
Today I received a bunch of Interface Age magazines in the mail. This magazine carried the very first Apple 1 advertisement in July of 1976 as well as an article about the new company. In September the magazine printed a 6502 Disassembler by Woz and Allen Baum, and in October an article by Steve Jobs about connecting the SWTPC PR-40.
I realized that I have never posted a photo of my complete Apple 1 setup. My setup includes my Apple 1 motherboard, my custom Apple 1 keyboard, a Panasonic RQ-2102 cassette player, and an Apple IIe monitor. The monitor isn’t shown here in the photo, but it is shown in the video below:
After building my cassette interface and loading programs successfully from an iMac, I wanted to try loading programs from a cassette player. Thanks to Wendell Sander, we now know that the Steve’s used a Panasonic RQ-2102 cassette player. Luckily these exact players are still made today and I was able to get a new one very easily.
After finding the right cassette player, I wanted to create some authentic-looking tapes. A few tapes were included in a recent eBay auction so I have something to model after. I still have some work to do on the cassette labels, but here is what I have right now.