Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tempest

Using Two Disk Drives With a C-64

Recommended Posts

Is there any reason to use more than one disk drive with the C-64? I'm not familiar enough with the games for the system to know if they generally supported more than one drive. I know on the Apple II that unless you wanted to swap disks for eternity that a second drive was almost a must, but I'm not sure about the C-64.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest use I ever got out of multiple was for copying disks. I can't think of too many games that would support multiple drives, most just relied on swapping the disk in whatever drive number you loaded from.

 

For my modern usage, I just keep one hooked up for reading disks into my 1541u. Other than that, I don't use one anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest use I ever got out of multiple was for copying disks. I can't think of too many games that would support multiple drives, most just relied on swapping the disk in whatever drive number you loaded from.

 

For my modern usage, I just keep one hooked up for reading disks into my 1541u. Other than that, I don't use one anymore.

That's what I figured since most C-64 setups I've seen only have the one drive.

 

One of the reasons I was considering getting a second drive was as a place to put my monitor. I'm limited on space but I thought if I put two 1541's side by side then I could set the monitor on top of them (like I do with my Apple II). I'm not sure if that's safe to do with 1541's though, the Apple drives (Duo Disk anyway) were specifically built for that.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Besides it being cool looking to stack a couple of 1541's, only real reason I could see maybe, is if you used GEOS a lot on a bog standard system. But a C64 used mostly for gaming? Nah. No point at all.

Edited by save2600

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it safe to stack a monitor on two 1541's side by side?

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it safe to stack a monitor on two 1541's side by side?

I don't see why not, those things are pretty solid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it safe to stack a monitor on two 1541's side by side?

 

Tempest

I used to be worried about that kind of thing back in the day (when they were $200-$300ea.), but now-a-days, I'd say go for it. The scare back then also was magnetism from the monitor's tube. Either it would erase the disk or magnetize the drive's heads. Malarky I cry! Sitting a drive directly beside a monitor never hurt anything. AND remember... Apple had a dual drive for years that was designed to act as a monitor stand as well.

 

I bet 2 1541's propping up a monitor, such as the 1702, would not only look nice, but be real practical as well.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet 2 1541's propping up a monitor, such as the 1702, would not only look nice, but be real practical as well.

That's what I'm going for, just like the Duo Disk. Now I just need the second drive. There's someone selling one locally (working and tested with the cable) for $20 so I'll probably just snag that. IIRC to set the drive to be the second drive (device 9) you need to cut a trace on the board. I hate doing stuff like that.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what i remember (when did i do that mod, '85 or so? :D) cutting the trace wasn't that bad. i put in the toggle switch too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I think I may keep it as device 8 and use that drive to connect to my PC via the XM1541 cable. I'm not sure if the cable would work if it's set to device 9. Then again I'm not sure if the cable is going to work period. :)

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New question. Is it worth seeking out a C-128? I'd imagine that the number of games that are incompatible far outnumber the handful of games that used the 128 mode.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C128 rocks because of its keyboard. Then there's the 80 column screen mode if you're into programming, etc. 1571 drive holds twice as much data as the 1541 and it's speedier. Overall good looking system, more like an Amiga. Keyboard is the finest you will see in a C= 8-bit. CP/M mode too if you're into that sort of thing.

 

I have a boxed C128 for sale and a great conditioned 1571 (no box) if you're interested :)

Edited by save2600

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New question. Is it worth seeking out a C-128? I'd imagine that the number of games that are incompatible far outnumber the handful of games that used the 128 mode.

 

Tempest

 

Not too many games that use C-128 mode. The biggest advantage is a couple of bug fixes and what not with the C-128.

 

Or you could do what I had back in the day -- a C-128D. Not only does it have a good internal disk drive, but you can set the monitor on top of it easily. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or you could do what I had back in the day -- a C-128D. Not only does it have a good internal disk drive, but you can set the monitor on top of it easily. :)

Yeah I've been looking for one of those, but they're pricey beasts. Almost got one at MGC but I ran out of money. :(

 

Are there many incompatible games with the 128?

 

I have a boxed C128 for sale and a great conditioned 1571 (no box) if you're interested :)

Only if you're interested in trades or it's going fairly cheap. I think I'd rather hold out for a 128-D.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much repeating everyone else, but...

 

Two disk drives are awesome for quick and convenient disk copying, but for simple game play it's not really an issue. A few games are multi-disk, but very few of those were coded to allow for two drives. Most just tell you when to swap the disk.

 

I'd be leery of putting a monitor on top of disk drives, though when I stop and think about it, it probably wouldn't hurt the disks. I used to have an Apple IIe set up with a DuoDisk and Apple color monitor, and now I've got a bunch of disk drives for three different computers all sitting near or in between monitors. If I were going to see any disks erased by a monitor's magnetic fields, I probably would have by now.

 

However, I would also be concerned about heat. 1541 drives generate a lot of heat. Once, after a long round of game play, I had a 1541 overheat to the point of interfering with data being loaded from disk, and that was without anything blocking the vents. I finally started keeping a fan in front of the drive, and turning it off between loads when I could. Now I use a 1541-II, which does a much better job at keeping cool.

 

I never have acquired a C-128, so I can't comment too much on those. I do know you are missing out on very few games by sticking with a C-64, though. I imagine a C-128 would be great if you actually want to try something productive, or are curious to see what kind of demos and such people have written for the 128. But for all the classics, a 64 does just fine.

Edited by FujiSkunk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually I'm not sure if the monitor blocks the rear vents or not. I'd have to check.

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had a C-128D as a kid, my Dad bought that monitor (one of the Commodore ones, I don't recall the model number) at the same time as the system. When he set it up, he had the monitor on top of the system. I asked if that was okay, and he said 'Sure. I don't see any vents here, and the store guy said it could handle the weight.' And it did, cause it set there for over eight years.

 

There is a nice keyboard that came with it also, with a fairly long cable.

 

Compared to many of the 'combo' computer/keyboards made in the day (including the C-64), the 128D has a more 'modern' look to it, with the combo disk drive and the seperate keyboard.

 

I've heard reports that people had problems with the power supply. I don't know if that includes the 128D or not -- I never had any issues with it. If you do get a 128 or 128D, just be carefull of it.

 

I had hundreds of games for the computer back in the day -- a lot of programs from Loadstar, a magazine on disk that we subscribed to, as well as (cough) copied games from friends. Everything ran fine on the 128D -- no problems with the 64 emulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is something that i've always been curious about as to why commodore users had to physically modify their hardware just so it would register 2 separate disk drives, could you imagine Atari users doing the same thing with their 810's/1050's etc, surely it would'nt have added to the base price for a commodore disk drive to add a toggle switch (a la 810/1050 etc) at the back of the drive and make life easier for commodore users

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is something that i've always been curious about as to why commodore users had to physically modify their hardware just so it would register 2 separate disk drives, could you imagine Atari users doing the same thing with their 810's/1050's etc, surely it would'nt have added to the base price for a commodore disk drive to add a toggle switch (a la 810/1050 etc) at the back of the drive and make life easier for commodore users

 

They should have added a track-zero sensor before they added the toggle switch. Ever tried formatting a new disk in a 1541? It's painful!

 

Commodore were grand masters of eliminating absolutely every non-essential (and several essential) parts from their machines to maximize profit and minimize the price.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is something that i've always been curious about as to why commodore users had to physically modify their hardware just so it would register 2 separate disk drives, could you imagine Atari users doing the same thing with their 810's/1050's etc, surely it would'nt have added to the base price for a commodore disk drive to add a toggle switch (a la 810/1050 etc) at the back of the drive and make life easier for commodore users

They probably didn't think anybody would buy multiple drives. The first high school I went to(80-82) had Commodore PETs in their computer lab. There were 6 or 7 PETs per table daisy chained to a single drive.

 

When they came out with the 128 line they added with switches and track zero detector to the 1571.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They probably didn't think anybody would buy multiple drives.

Which is funny when you consider that Atari made accommodations for up to four drives to be chained together back in 1979 (eight if you have four 815's).

 

Tempest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to check out that excellerator plus DD (a UK 3rd party c64 compat. DD) and see if they did what commodore didn't (i.e add a drive toggle switch)

 

I believe the excellerator and oceanic drives were basically one of the same (both available from evesham micro's)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, I would also be concerned about heat. 1541 drives generate a lot of heat. Once, after a long round of game play, I had a 1541 overheat to the point of interfering with data being loaded from disk, and that was without anything blocking the vents.

I was about to mention this too... at one point in the 80's, I actually had a fan sitting on top of my 1541 to keep it cool.

 

Here's the stack of disk drives sitting next to my C-128:

 

drivestack.jpg

 

Not all of them are hooked up at once, but they all have their uses. The main advantages of having multiple drives is for productivity. GEOS will love you for it, as will CP/M if you're sporting a C-128. Even non-GEOS stuff like word processors will work far better if you're loading your own data from a different drive than the program is on. I think there are a few games that will use multiple drives, but when there are a bunch of games that need up to 8 disk sides (Pools of Radiance), having two drives doesn't even really help anyways.

 

The C-128 really isn't much of a help for games, aside from a small handful that have some improvements in 128 mode. Ultima V and Rocky Horror Picture Show do... I think the Infocom text adventures can take advantage of the 128 as well (less loading and 80 column mode? I can't remember off-hand). The real advantages of the C-128 are in programming and productivity, with built-in sprite editor, machine language monitor, 80 column mode and CP/M support. Most of that isn't much use to casual gamers these days though.

 

Commodore were grand masters of eliminating absolutely every non-essential (and several essential) parts from their machines to maximize profit and minimize the price.

Considering the drive was $400 when it was released, I honestly can't blame them. Just about every third party drive and even later Commodore drives (1541-II, 1571, 1581, etc) included toggle switches on the back.

 

--Zero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are those "Suncom Starfighter" joysticks? Did you put the red balls on there yourself?

 

 

BTW, I envy you for that nice collection of drives, especially the 1581 ;)

Edited by Herbarius

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...