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Board Revision 1.2

Introducing Floppy Emu version 1.2: it’s blue, because blue makes it go faster! Buy yours now from the Floppy Emu product page.

Version 1.2 is a minor update that cleans up a few details. You may have noticed that the silkscreen labels on the version 1.1 boards looked a bit strange, with some overlapping labels and most parts labeled twice. That will teach me to submit my designs to the PCB fab without inspecting the Gerbers first! Version 1.2 corrects this, and makes everything much more readable.

More significantly, the pin assignments on the LCD connector have changed. The leftmost pin was 3.3V in version 1.1, but now it’s RESET, and the other pins have changed as well. This was done to accommodate a change that’s occurred in Asia where these LCD panels are made. About six months ago, I noticed that two versions of this Nokia-clone LCD were available for sale online, seemingly identical except for the order of the pins. Over time, LCD panels with the old pin layout became harder and harder to find, so I’ve switched to the new pin layout beginning with version 1.2. I had to replace my stock of LCDs, and was left with a few old-style LCDs I can’t use, but that’s the price of progress!

Did I mention that it’s blue?

You’ll also notice a through-hole resistor footprint labeled LIGHT, adjacent to the PREV button. This was added to make it easier for people to mod their boards to enable the LCD backlight. I think the backlight looks like poop, so I don’t enable it for the Floppy Emus I build. Some people really, really want the backlight, though, and this was meant to give them a way to do it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. The new-style LCD modules surprised me by reversing the polarity of the backlight LEDs, so the circuit I designed doesn’t work. Doh! Eventually there will probably be a version 1.3 to correct it. The vertical spacing between the two LCD headers is also a bit off, so that’s another point to address in a future version. But other than those minor headaches, I’m quite happy with this new version 1.2.

Mounting holes were added to the corners of the board in version 1.1, with the idea of supporting a case for the Floppy Emu. But to my knowledge, no one has made one yet. It should be simple to cut and drill two pieces of acrylic to act as top and bottom plates, and put them together with standoffs like a sandwich. It wouldn’t be a true case due to the open sides, but it would still look pretty spiffy. More advanced makers might use the mounting holes to anchor a custom 3D-printed case. At least one person was working on a custom case that looks like a miniature external Apple drive, but never quite got it to work. If you’ve got a cool case design, post it in the comments!


Read 3 comments and join the conversation 

3 Comments so far

  1. Danilo Angelo - January 7th, 2023 2:21 am

    I just acquired one of these (standard beige board however), to use along my Apple II clone.
    So it happens I am not being able to write to the floppy images, just read.
    I want to confirm that this device should be able to save data as well.
    Can you confirm it?

  2. Steve - January 7th, 2023 8:14 am

    Unfortunately you’ve purchased a counterfeit device. Please do not support unauthorized counterfeiters, and report them wherever you see them. It’s frustrating to find people who flagrantly steal my designs and take money directly out of my pocket, because the design and sale of my custom hardware devices is my family’s main source of income. You can buy a genuine Floppy Emu from the BMOW store at

  3. Danilo Angelo - January 7th, 2023 12:42 pm

    Oh, I see. I was (1) not aware that I was buying a BMOW device (I’m new to the Apple II scene); and (2) not aware it was not an open project.

    Suppose the device I have is indeed well functioning (if we determine it to be), would it be possible for me to pay directly your margin so that you keep your income and I don’t have to double pay the device, let alone the killing import taxes we have here in Brazil?


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