Project UFIC (USB For IDE Controllers)
The idea of this project is not to take the Compact Flash (CF) outside of the Apple II case but instead place a USB CF Reader inside it. UFIC is an alternate solution to the problem of accessing a CF card (or IDE/ATA hard drive) which is positioned internally in an Apple II computer.
UFIC is an adapter which plugs in between the Microdrive IDE controller and the IDE/ATA to CF Board. It consists of two IDE/ATA plugs, a type B USB plug, a USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge and a switch.
The operation of the adapter is very simple. When the Apple II computer is turned off, the adapter allows a USB connected PC to access the CF card (or hard drive). When powered on, the system bypasses the USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge and functions like it did without the adapter.
Note: You still need a utitlity on the PC side such as CiderPress (http://www.faddensoft.com/) to access the data on the CF card (or hard drive).
Note: A 2.5 inch hard drive will require more power than can be supplied using one USB port (multi USB port cable is needed). A 3.5 inch hard drive will require an external power supply.
Note: This adapter is specifically build for the Microdrive IDE controller. The same principle could be used for other IDE controllers like the CFFA and the Focus Drive. The only difference being different connectors ie CFFA would need 5 volts from the controller card instead of pin 20 and the Focus Drive would need 44pin plugs. A USB CF Reader could be used instead of the USB to ATA/ATAPI bridge to give the same result.
Suppliers of IDE Drives :-
Microdrive IDE controller - http://www.reactivemicro.com/
CFFA - http://dreher.net/?s=projects/CFforAppleII&c=projects/CFforAppleII/main.php
Focus IDE HD Controller - http://16sector.com/