RAM2E II (GW4203B) -- 8MB RAM for Apple IIe ][e -- new 2024 production For Sale

RAM2E II (GW4203B) -- 8MB RAM for Apple IIe ][e -- new 2024 production
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RAM2E II (GW4203B) -- 8MB RAM for Apple IIe ][e -- new 2024 production:

RAM2E II (GW4203B) provides the Apple IIe with 8 MB of auxiliary memory and enables double-high-resolution graphics and 80-column text display modes.

Low-Power, SDRAM-Based Design

Thanks to a modern, low-power design, RAM2E II uses only 0.2 watts (40 mA @ 5V) in typical use and 0.5 watts (100 mA @ 5V) in heavy use with an accelerator. In contrast, a typical 80-column card consumes over 1 watt of power, and a 1 MB RAMWorks III consumes 2 watts or more. Unlike other IIe auxiliary memory cards, which are built with vintage asynchronous DRAM chips, RAM2E II uses modern SDRAM. This design allows for low power consumption and improved reliability over other memory cards using 15+ year old chips.

Small Size, Low-Profile

RAM2E II features a small board outline and is the thinnest Apple IIe auxiliary memory card ever produced, at under 4mm thin. Small and thin dimensions improve the mechanical compatibility between RAM2E II and peripheral cards installed into the IIe's Slot 1.

Adjustable Capacity, Highly Compatible

RAM2E II is highly compatible with existing software that utilizes RAMWorks memory standard. An adjustable capacity feature allows the memory size to be set to 64 kB, 512 kB, 1 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB, or 16 MB , improving compatibility with software expecting a particular memory capacity. Capacity settings can be set temporarily or saved in nonvolatile memory. The capacity adjustment utility is available on our website.

Ecologically Friendly, Gold-Plated PCB

RAM2E II is built with a lead-free, ENIG gold-plated, 4-layer PCB and is fully EU RoHS-compliant. All units are tested extensively before shipment, and only new parts are used to build RAM2E II.

Open-Source Design

RAM2E II's design is fully open-source. The schematics, board layouts, CPLD firmware, and utility software are all freely available for commercial and noncommercial use. To download the design files, visit the Garrett's Workshop GitHub page.

Activity LED

All RAM2E II cards sold since October 2023 are equipped with an activity LED. By default, the LED is disabled and will not illuminate. If enabled using the GWRAM utility, the LED will illuminate during RAM access cycles.

Note for Revision A Apple IIe Owners

If you own the uncommon revision A Apple IIe and are interested in RAM2E II, please read this! RAM2E II requires a small modification to be compatible with the with the rev. A Apple IIe. The modification consists of removal of the “DHGR” jumper resistor or cutting the associated jumper trace. Revision A machines can be identified by their part number “820-0064-A” printed at the top of the motherboard near the slots. If you have a rev. A Apple IIe, please contact us before purchasing and we can make the modification before shipping your RAM2E unit. However, do note that with the modification made, RAM2E II will not support the double-high-resolution graphics display mode.

Note for A2Heaven VGA Scaler Owners

If you own the A2Heaven VGA Scaler and are interested in RAM2E II, please read this! There is a slight incompatibility between RAM2E II and the A2Heaven VGA Scaler as shipped. As owners of the VGA Scaler will know, a long jumper wire is required to connect the VGA Scaler to the Apple IIe’s 14.318 MHz clock signal. This arrangement causes glitches in the 14 MHz clock signal and is therefore not compatible with RAM2E II. Just a slight modification to the wire arrangement is necessary to fix the problem. For customers purchasing a new RAM2E, we can at your request mount a special connector that supplies a buffered copy of the 14.318 MHz clock signal. Connect the VGA Scaler’s 14 MHz clock wire to this header.

A more technical description of the issue with the A2Heaven VGA Scaler follows:

The incompatibility involves the mishandling of the Apple II’s 14.318 MHz master clock signal by the VGA Scaler. The VGA Scaler connects to the 14.318 MHz clock through a long wire. The addition to the clock signal line of this wire in combination with the input capacitance of the VGA Scaler’s FPGA causes significant distortion to the clock waveform. This distortion includes ringing and long rise times. While the slower response time of the ICs in the Apple IIe makes the Apple itself insensitive to this distortion of the clock signal, a more modern card such as RAM2E II is susceptible to these clock signal artifacts. In our testing, the jumper wire arrangement can cause instability and periodic memory errors in RAM2E II. Adding an additional 50 ohm series resistance to the clock wire going to the VGA Scaler minimizes the impact of the wire arrangement and allows the system to run stably. Alternatively, the 14 MHz clock can be buffered with a fast propagation delay buffer, thereby isolating the clock networks and mitigating the clock artifacts.

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