Hackster will be offline on Friday, March 1 from 9pm to 10pm PST to perform some scheduled maintenance.

Augusto Baffa's Baffa-2 Homebrew Micro Gains Apple II+ Compatibility — Including Expansion Cards

Boasting Wi-Fi, disk and printer access, and compatibility with original Apple II+ expansion cards, Baffa-2 is a beast by 1980s standards.

Gareth Halfacree
1 month agoRetro Tech / HW101

Vintage computing enthusiast Augusto Baffa has added new functionality to his modular Baffa-2 microcomputer project, this time bringing Apple II+ support — incluyding compatibility with original Apple II+ expansion cards.

"After other projects, I had to build my main childhood computer: the Apple II+," Baffa writes of the upgrade. "My Apple II+ clone was designed under the Baffa-6502 platform on which I implemented the Apple-1 clone, and it's a natural continuation of the previous project. I spent some time studying the Apple II project to simplify it as much as possible, without losing any of the functionality of the original computer."

The Baffa-6502 variant of the Baffa-2 is back, and now it's an Apple II+ clone. (📹: Augusto Baffa)

Baffa's original eponymous Baffa-2 machine was inspired by Grant Searle's famous breadboard CP/M computer project and the popular RC2014 modular microcomputer. Being modular in turn makes the Baffa-2 upgradeable, with the Baffa-X board set adding Microsoft/ASCII MSX standard compatibility — and the Baffa-X2 offering, as the name implies, MSX2+ support. The Baffa-2+, meanwhile, put the system into an all-in-one 3D-printed housing inspired by the CRT terminals of old.

To turn the Baffa-2 into an Apple II+ required some additional hardware — starting with the core boards, which added compatibility with software loaded from cassette tape (or a modern audio device). These were followed by three quality-of-life boards: one which adds a Disk II floppy drive interface, another which acts as a Grappler+ interface for a printer, and a final one which offers Wi-Fi connectivity for convenience.

The machine includes an adapter for original Apple II+ cards, like this Softcard Z80. (📹: Augusto Baffa)

The final upgrade was slot adapter, connecting to a single Baffa-2 bus slot and providing eight slots compatible with original Apple II+ expansion cards. This allowed Baffa to take two cards from his original, much-loved Apple II+ system — a Saturn 128kB RAM expansion card and a Softcard with a Zilog Z80 secondary process, which added compatibility with Digital's CP/M operating system to the Apple II+ — and use them with his modernized clone.

Baffa's full project write-up, including video demos of the machine running Lode Runner and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, is available on Hackaday.io; his earlier Apple-1 clone project is available on a separate page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles