Aiie! A Portable Apple //e Emulator

After seeing a quite impressive portable Apple II Emulator built on an AVR Microcontroller, hardware hacker Jori Bauer thought he could…

Jeremy Cook
5 years ago

After seeing a quite impressive portable Apple II Emulator built on an AVR Microcontroller, hardware hacker Jori Bauer thought he could make a few improvements to take advantage of all of the Apple IIe’s (or //e)1MHz speed and 128k of RAM. For this feat of miniaturization, he chose the Teensy 3.6 board, with its 180MHz ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit processor. Importantly, he had one lying around in his house, along with other elements included a button, LCD display, joystick, battery, and protoboard!

Once he had his parts together, Bauer set to work figuring out how to properly mount and control everything. Buttons for each of the keys were soldered to the breadboard, and input to the Teensy was controlled via the Arduino Keypad Library. The joystick was squeezed onto the breadboard by detaching it from its normal PCB base, leaving just enough room for the Teensy beside it. This configuration means that getting the SD card out is a tight squeeze, but can be removed when necessary.

With the joystick/keyboard inputs, as well as LCD control, he nearly ran out of the 50+ Teensy I/O pins during the build. Impressively, the PCB still looks reasonably neat underneath! And if all of that wasn’t enough, he even added a physical thermal printer that can be controlled with PrintShop. If you’d like to build your own, the writeup is quite extensive, and he’s even designed a PCB for it that he plans to try out in the future!

Want to create an embedded Apple //e emulator of your own? You can find Bauer’s entire project log here and all of its code on GitHub.

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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