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Atari PAC-MAN Fan

VIC-20 SD2IEC Help?

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Hey Guys!

 

I just got an SD2IEC drive to work with my VIC-20 and cannot figure out how to get it going. I followed all the steps on the sheet of paper, downloaded the necessary files, typed the appropriate commands, but still nothing. Am I missing something here? Whenever I type in the commands it tells me to, it says "DEVICE NOT PRESENT".

 

 

Also, when I power the unit on, The red and green buttons blink on and off constantly. Is this a sign of a defective serial/cassette port or something?

 

 

Please help!

 

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It defaults as unit 9 or 10 IIRC, but if the two LEDs blink constantly, it sounds like the card is missing/bad or the firmware is not properly installed. I know the device automatically updates if it finds a newer firmware on the SD card, but it should only happen once.

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Using a blank card, put your browser file on 1st. In my case FB is my browser. Then put your programs on the card after it. I type Load"*",8 Enter, then RUN, enter. it loads a menu of my programs/disks to mount. Default is device #8, unless you change it on most of those.

Vic-20 drive commands are the same as for C64, and the SDIEC device also. You just need have the appropriate programs/browser for your particular computer series. I have one version that works for C64 and Vic that uses the serial cable and attaches to the cassette drive port for power, my other version uses the C64 cart port.

Edited by zylon

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Using a blank card, put your browser file on 1st. In my case FB is my browser. Then put your programs on the card after it. I type Load"*",8 Enter, then RUN, enter. it loads a menu of my programs/disks to mount. Default is device #8, unless you change it on most of those.

Vic-20 drive commands are the same as for C64, and the SDIEC device also. You just need have the appropriate programs/browser for your particular computer series. I have one version that works for C64 and Vic that uses the serial cable and attaches to the cassette drive port for power, my other version uses the C64 cart port.

 

Can you tell me where you get your VIC-20 roms?

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Can you tell me where you get your VIC-20 roms?

 

You can get some here https://romsmania.cc/roms/commodore-vic20

 

or, just use this. ;)

 

BTW- did you know that many cassette and disk games for VIC will run on a C64, it just makes it a tiny window in upper left corner of screen. Playable, if your TV/monitor is large enough to see.

Commodore VIC-20 - Full Romset.rar

Edited by zylon

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You can get some here https://romsmania.cc/roms/commodore-vic20

 

or, just use this. ;)

 

BTW- did you know that many cassette and disk games for VIC will run on a C64, it just makes it a tiny window in upper left corner of screen. Playable, if your TV/monitor is large enough to see.

 

Whenever I try to load a rom, It will do 1 of 3 things:

 

1. Take me back to the file menu.

2. It will say "READY", but if I type "RUN", nothing happens.

3. Freeze.

 

I am missing something else?

Edited by Atari PAC-MAN Fan

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Whenever I try to load a rom, It will do 1 of 3 things:

 

1. Take me back to the file menu.

2. It will say "READY", but if I type "RUN", nothing happens.

3. Freeze.

 

I am missing something else?

 

Do you have any memory expansion? Otherwise, it should run like in this video. Skip to around 5min

 

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Do you have any memory expansion? Otherwise, it should run like in this video. Skip to around 5min

 

 

I didn't know I need a memory expansion. This video shows no expansion in the cartridge port.

 

Edited by Atari PAC-MAN Fan

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I didn't know I need a memory expansion. This video shows no expansion in the cartridge port.

 

 

He's only running the stock memory and an old cart game. he does say you need different browsers for different memory amounts of games. What are you trying to load? Try a basic game for unexpanded vic, such as Omega Race, or Avenger. I always had a +32k ram cart in mine.

Edited by zylon

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He's only running the stock memory and an old cart game. he does say you need different browsers for different memory amounts of games. What are you trying to load? Try a basic game for unexpanded vic, such as Omega Race, or Avenger. I always had a +32k ram cart in mine.

 

I tried Omega Race. It took me back to the file menu. :?

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I tried Omega Race. It took me back to the file menu. :?

 

You might have to check on Denial forums. I sold off my VIC 3 yrs ago and can't test anything further. Last thing I can think of is, did you unzip the files before adding to the card? Only time I've got sent back to menu was when I hit a bad file, on either 20 or 64. You could also try downloading one common ROM from that site I linked and add it to cart. I never used the ones in that RAR file. I'd only acquired it in case I got a VIC again.

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You might have to check on Denial forums. I sold off my VIC 3 yrs ago and can't test anything further. Last thing I can think of is, did you unzip the files before adding to the card? Only time I've got sent back to menu was when I hit a bad file, on either 20 or 64. You could also try downloading one common ROM from that site I linked and add it to cart. I never used the ones in that RAR file. I'd only acquired it in case I got a VIC again.

 

Yep. I unzipped the files and still nothing.

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Yep. I unzipped the files and still nothing.

 

Well, I don't know what to tell you, as mine both worked as expected. Perhaps you got a defective one?

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Well, I don't know what to tell you, as mine both worked as expected. Perhaps you got a defective one?

 

I dunno. I'll contact the seller soon.

 

Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it. :)

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I don't have a VIC, but with the C64, you need to make sure you are not using "cracked" versions of the games. The SD2IEC uses stock methods to load software, so the file you are trying to load matters. Go to The Future was 8 bit site and download the massive file. There is a library of software known to already work with the SD2IEC and I believe there is a bunch of VIC software in there.

 

I know that I got different results on the C64 if I actually exited the file browser and loaded the program the "regular" way. Just browse to a file and press the button on the SD2IEC that exits to READY - your disk should now be mounted (If the program is on a disk). Then you can try to load the directory or Load "*" and see if it works outside of FB.

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BTW- did you know that many cassette and disk games for VIC will run on a C64, it just makes it a tiny window in upper left corner of screen. Playable, if your TV/monitor is large enough to see.

Not really. The two computers are so different that only simple BASIC programs will run on both systems. Anything that deals with graphics beyond PRINT/INPUT/GET statements, or for that matter sound and joystick input, won't work on a C64 unless it was specifically programmed to detect the computer model and adjust things based on that. There may be a few pieces of software that do, but my experience is that 95+% of all VIC-20 software is not runnable on the C64.

 

Try a basic game for unexpanded vic, such as Omega Race, or Avenger. I always had a +32k ram cart in mine.

Both the games you mention are 8K cartridge games which require RAM in BLK5, $A000 which is not present in an unexpanded machine. Even if one has a such memory expansion plugged in, one needs to trigger a soft reset like SYS64802 in order for a such cartridge game to start. Without the memory expansion, the computer will just reset to BASIC as the program won't be in memory.

 

Generally look for games up to 3584 bytes in size. Besides the ROMs site you linked to, there also is a decent amount of software on the Zimmers FTP, though only a handful of the commercial tape games.

http://zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/vic20/index.html

Edited by carlsson

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It might help if you told us where you got your SD2IEC from. If it came from TheFutureWas8Bit, it will be pre-configured for drive 8. If it's from Retro Innovations, it will be drive 10.

 

Did you delete the file extensions when preparing your SD card? That was my problem when I first started using an SD2IEC with CBM Filebrowser as detailed here:

https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48553&highlight=

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Not really. The two computers are so different that only simple BASIC programs will run on both systems. Anything that deals with graphics beyond PRINT/INPUT/GET statements, or for that matter sound and joystick input, won't work on a C64 unless it was specifically programmed to detect the computer model and adjust things based on that. There may be a few pieces of software that do, but my experience is that 95+% of all VIC-20 software is not runnable on the C64.

 

Both the games you mention are 8K cartridge games which require RAM in BLK5, $A000 which is not present in an unexpanded machine. Even if one has a such memory expansion plugged in, one needs to trigger a soft reset like SYS64802 in order for a such cartridge game to start. Without the memory expansion, the computer will just reset to BASIC as the program won't be in memory.

 

Generally look for games up to 3584 bytes in size. Besides the ROMs site you linked to, there also is a decent amount of software on the Zimmers FTP, though only a handful of the commercial tape games.

http://zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm/vic20/index.html

 

Hey, I tried. :) Anyways, I did have a decent (to me) amount of tape games that did run on a C64.

Edited by zylon

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Hm, that sounds peculiar to be honest. Those gotta have been very generic book type-ins, like from the Usborne books "Computer Battlegames" and "Computer Spacegames".

 

I suppose it is possible to write a simple VIC-20 simulator on the C64 if one ignores most of more advanced features and the fact it would run in a small window, but then you'd need to load the simulator first. Actually I think I've seen a such program once, though it didn't impress me much, to quote Shania Twain.

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Both the games you mention are 8K cartridge games which require RAM in BLK5, $A000 which is not present in an unexpanded machine. Even if one has a such memory expansion plugged in, one needs to trigger a soft reset like SYS64802 in order for a such cartridge game to start. Without the memory expansion, the computer will just reset to BASIC as the program won't be in memory.

 

So....

 

BOTTOM LINE: I need to buy a RAM Expansion Cartridge?

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So....

 

BOTTOM LINE: I need to buy a RAM Expansion Cartridge?

 

 

Yep. An 8k one at minimum. It's worth it, at least was to me. I had way more fun with my VIC than the 2600. YMMV

Just did a quickie ebay search and there were several for sale, with a couple under $20

Edited by zylon

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Yes, if you want to access just about all of the VIC-20 library you need a memory expansion. I would suggest you look for a modern 32-35K expansion for just a little more, instead of a classic 8-16K expansion that will be limiting anyway.

 

A technical detail about the VIC-20 is that the memory is divided into slots of 8K each. Here is a brief memory map which you don't need to know by heart but helps in the discussion:

 

$0000 - $03FF: Built-in RAM (1K) used by the operating system with a few bytes left here and there for user routines.

$0400 - $0FFF: Expansion RAM (3K) divided into RAM1, RAM2 and RAM3.

$1000 - $1FFF: Built-in RAM (4K) used by BASIC and machine code programs, graphics, screen matrix. Quite reconfigurable.

$2000 - $3FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK1.

$4000 - $5FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK2.

$6000 - $7FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK3.

$8000 - $8FFF: Built-in Character ROM.

$9000 - $9FFF: I/O area where the VIC chip, VIA chips and built-in 1K nybbles (4 bit wide RAM) resides.

$A000 - $BFFF: Expansion ROM/RAM (8K) referred to as BLK5.

$C000 - $DFFF: Built-in BASIC ROM

$E000 - $FFFF: Built-in KERNAL ROM

 

All autostarting cartridge games are located into BLK5, while a regular 8K RAM expansion would be configured to go into BLK1. Some of the larger cartridges also use BLK3 for a total of 16K ROM, rarely you see other configurations like BLK1 + BLK5 or the Scott Adams text adventures which use BLK2 + BLK3.

 

If you get an older, simple memory expansion it would need to be modified in order to use it to its fullest. Commodore's own expansions VIC-1110 (8K) and VIC-1111 (16K) have internal solder pads where you could install switches to make it switchable, so one of the memory blocks maps into BLK5 instead of BLK1. It would mean the extra memory is not available from BASIC anymore but it would be configured to load a game cartridge dump.

 

Many larger memory expansion cartridges are switchable from the manufacturer, meaning either you can configure each block of 8K into one of the areas above, or it has fixed combinations like this:

 

No expansion at all

3K expansion

16K expansion (which is backwards compatible with 8K expansion)

24K expansion

32K expansion (BLK1-3 + BLK5)

 

Yes, it is cumbersome and may feel awkward for a new user but the bottom line is look for a larger, slightly more expensive memory expansion from the start. Otherwise you may only feel disappointed you bet on the wrong horse.

 

MAXRAM Cartridge = 39 GBP (seller in the UK, so overseas for you)

Barebones 35K switchable cartridge = 30 USD (seller in Texas)

Another 35K switchable cartridge = 30 GBP (seller in the UK)

 

Of course you have a couple of even more expensive and capable cartridges, like the Final Expansion 3, the Penultimate cart etc which often come with built-in SD2IEC but as you already bought that device you don't need one more SD card reader. You might be interested in UltiMem by Jim Brain though, which has 1 MB RAM (nope, not a typo) and 8 MB Flash where you can preload software and make your own multicart. It may take a bit of configuration and I don't know if there is any software that fully takes advantage of it, but it gives the most bang for the buck.

 

UltiMem = 50 USD

 

There is an eBay seller who has a 24K expansion too, but it doesn't seem switchable so it would not be able to load cartridge games and thus I don't link to it. Honestly I don't understand why someone designs, builds and sells a such expansion today, when you can go from 24K to 35K for just $5 more.

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Yes, if you want to access just about all of the VIC-20 library you need a memory expansion. I would suggest you look for a modern 32-35K expansion for just a little more, instead of a classic 8-16K expansion that will be limiting anyway.

 

A technical detail about the VIC-20 is that the memory is divided into slots of 8K each. Here is a brief memory map which you don't need to know by heart but helps in the discussion:

 

$0000 - $03FF: Built-in RAM (1K) used by the operating system with a few bytes left here and there for user routines.

$0400 - $0FFF: Expansion RAM (3K) divided into RAM1, RAM2 and RAM3.

$1000 - $1FFF: Built-in RAM (4K) used by BASIC and machine code programs, graphics, screen matrix. Quite reconfigurable.

$2000 - $3FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK1.

$4000 - $5FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK2.

$6000 - $7FFF: Expansion RAM/ROM (8K) referred to as BLK3.

$8000 - $8FFF: Built-in Character ROM.

$9000 - $9FFF: I/O area where the VIC chip, VIA chips and built-in 1K nybbles (4 bit wide RAM) resides.

$A000 - $BFFF: Expansion ROM/RAM (8K) referred to as BLK5.

$C000 - $DFFF: Built-in BASIC ROM

$E000 - $FFFF: Built-in KERNAL ROM

 

All autostarting cartridge games are located into BLK5, while a regular 8K RAM expansion would be configured to go into BLK1. Some of the larger cartridges also use BLK3 for a total of 16K ROM, rarely you see other configurations like BLK1 + BLK5 or the Scott Adams text adventures which use BLK2 + BLK3.

 

If you get an older, simple memory expansion it would need to be modified in order to use it to its fullest. Commodore's own expansions VIC-1110 (8K) and VIC-1111 (16K) have internal solder pads where you could install switches to make it switchable, so one of the memory blocks maps into BLK5 instead of BLK1. It would mean the extra memory is not available from BASIC anymore but it would be configured to load a game cartridge dump.

 

Many larger memory expansion cartridges are switchable from the manufacturer, meaning either you can configure each block of 8K into one of the areas above, or it has fixed combinations like this:

 

No expansion at all

3K expansion

16K expansion (which is backwards compatible with 8K expansion)

24K expansion

32K expansion (BLK1-3 + BLK5)

 

Yes, it is cumbersome and may feel awkward for a new user but the bottom line is look for a larger, slightly more expensive memory expansion from the start. Otherwise you may only feel disappointed you bet on the wrong horse.

 

MAXRAM Cartridge = 39 GBP (seller in the UK, so overseas for you)

Barebones 35K switchable cartridge = 30 USD (seller in Texas)

Another 35K switchable cartridge = 30 GBP (seller in the UK)

 

Of course you have a couple of even more expensive and capable cartridges, like the Final Expansion 3, the Penultimate cart etc which often come with built-in SD2IEC but as you already bought that device you don't need one more SD card reader. You might be interested in UltiMem by Jim Brain though, which has 1 MB RAM (nope, not a typo) and 8 MB Flash where you can preload software and make your own multicart. It may take a bit of configuration and I don't know if there is any software that fully takes advantage of it, but it gives the most bang for the buck.

 

UltiMem = 50 USD

 

There is an eBay seller who has a 24K expansion too, but it doesn't seem switchable so it would not be able to load cartridge games and thus I don't link to it. Honestly I don't understand why someone designs, builds and sells a such expansion today, when you can go from 24K to 35K for just $5 more.

 

Just got my 35K expansion cartridge in the mail today! It works perfectly! Thanks for all your help! :D

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