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bluejay

Way to transfer files from a PC to Commodore Computers?

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Regarding the Pi1541, after reading more it seems it defaults to a high level browsing mode, similar to the SD2IEC but without the functions to even recognize any fast loaders. This breaks all forms of cartridges and programs implementing their own fast loaders. By mounting a disk image with e.g. a file browser, the unit switches over into full emulation mode and once there fast loaders appear to work? It can be setup to automatically mount a such image so you always are in emulation mode.

 

Also going back to some threads in this forum, we've had users quoting their total cost for a Raspberry Pi + Pi1541 to be equal to a SD2IEC or equal to a Ultimate-II+. Obviously there is a ~$100 price gap inbetween those so perhaps it depends from whom you buy your Pi and the hat, also if you're including money for a shell, power supply, cables etc.

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8 hours ago, carlsson said:

The Pi1541 is supposed to fully emulate a floppy drive, including the CPU and RAM so you can send any commands to it and reprogram on the fly. However the question here is how well it works in practise, or if those who had issues mainly suffered from PEBCAK (look it up if you don't know the acronym).

So most likely it will work well if I know what I'm doing. Right? However, I am not too familiar with the various X*1541 cables. What are the differences between XE/XM/XU, etc?

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I can't imagine that an RPi4 project with everything included is really all THAT much cheaper than 140Eu.  Is it?

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X1541 - The original cable, between PC LPT and floppy drive. It requires an SPP or PS/2 type parallel port found on 286, 386, 486. All wires, no other components.

 

XE1541 - The extended cable, used on Pentium 1 and upwards running MS-DOS. It features four 1N5819 or BAT85 Schottky diodes to make some signals only go one way.

 

XM1541 - The multitask cable, essentially the same as XE1541, but two wires swapped which makes it usable in Windows 9X/2000/XP etc and Linux.

 

XA1541 - The active cable, which replaces the Schottky diodes with transistors and resistors. Intended for special PC motherboards with a so picky parallel port that the XE/XM cables don't work.

 

XH1541/XH1571 - The hybrid cables, used together with the X1541 cable (not XE/XM/XA) and a modified floppy drive that lets you transfer data to the drive at a higher rate.

 

XP1541/XP1571 - The parallel cables, used together with an X/XE/XM/XA1541 cable and a modified floppy drive that lets you transfer data from and to the drive at a higher rate.

 

XU1541 - The original USB cable, so you don't need a parallel port any longer.

 

XUM1541 - The extended USB cable that also supports parallel cables. The ZoomFloppy is an implementation of the XUM1541.

 

XS1541 - The serial cable which connects to a PC serial port or USB, and supports both the IEC port and IEEE-488. It uses different software than all the above cables and acts more like a terminal. I don't know how widely it is supported.

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1 minute ago, wongojack said:

I can't imagine that an RPi4 project with everything included is really all THAT much cheaper than 140Eu.  Is it?

True, though some people have reported they managed to run Pi1541 on an overclocked Pi Zero or even a Pi rev 1, though I don't know how well it works. Pi rev 3 should certainly work, perhaps rev 2 as well. Actually the developer of the Pi1541 states it is not given the software even works on a Pi rev 4.

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8 minutes ago, carlsson said:

True, though some people have reported they managed to run Pi1541 on an overclocked Pi Zero or even a Pi rev 1, though I don't know how well it works. Pi rev 3 should certainly work, perhaps rev 2 as well. Actually the developer of the Pi1541 states it is not given the software even works on a Pi rev 4.

https://commodore4ever.net/products/pidrive-zero-raspberry-pi-hat-1541-1581-commodore-64-128-vic-20-emulator-oled-pi1541

A google search resulted in one of these. If this works fine, I think it'd be a very affordable and good solution to everything. For $60 including the Pi Zero, I'd rather invest in this than spend $20+ or $35 for an xm1541 or xu1541 respectively to use with software that might not even run on the systems I have.

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Yeah, one has to assume the product works as specified which would make it a good alternative.

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@bluejay I expect the XU1541 cable to work on any machine.  TBH, the drivers are finicky, like they often do not reestablish the device connection if you disconnect the USB cable.  Otherwise, this device has been amazing.

 

If you are not hot-and-heavy to invest in something and willing to experiment, I have that XM-1541 cable available.  I can also let you try out a spare XU-1541 so you can try before you buy one.  TBH, I am not patient enough to walk you though the driver installation (usually pretty hands-off,) but I could probably just get them running with a remote assistance session.

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2 hours ago, bluejay said:

https://commodore4ever.net/products/pidrive-zero-raspberry-pi-hat-1541-1581-commodore-64-128-vic-20-emulator-oled-pi1541

A google search resulted in one of these. If this works fine, I think it'd be a very affordable and good solution to everything. For $60 including the Pi Zero, I'd rather invest in this than spend $20+ or $35 for an xm1541 or xu1541 respectively to use with software that might not even run on the systems I have.

Interesting, I read the description . . . It says you just need a regular serial cable, but it clearly shows the 15xx cable in the picture.

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I've tried running star commander on the Compaq and it does indeed run fine, but I can't check whether it actually works or not as I don't have a X1541 cable just yet.

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SD2IEC Adapter SD Reader for Commodore C64, C64C, C64G, ViC20 No cables #783

 

$34.06 USD. Just saying...

 

I’m not sure what you need 100% compatibility for ? I’ve yet to find something I can’t run. I purchased this one with a case and a pass through for about the same price as the RPi device (which is neat and would be fun to play with). 

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Hm, more and more variations on existing products, for less and less price. I'm glad I'm not into development and manufacturing of hardware, the competition would easily kill me or at least my margins. Good for the consumer though.

 

I agree that very rarely you'll come across a dump of an original game that implements its own fastloader, which won't run on the SD2IEC. If you're into scene demos, more of those will have issues though I believe in recent years groups try to make their fastloaders compatible with the algorithms recognized by the device. One of the reasons to keep reinventing the wheel is not so much to make a better routine, but simply pride not to be dependent on somebody else's work, or risk being accused of not being elite enough to make your own loader. Casual users on a budget are the losers to that principle, but perhaps those never were the intended audience anyway.

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2 hours ago, mdivancic said:

SD2IEC Adapter SD Reader for Commodore C64, C64C, C64G, ViC20 No cables #783

 

$34.06 USD. Just saying...

 

I’m not sure what you need 100% compatibility for ? I’ve yet to find something I can’t run. I purchased this one with a case and a pass through for about the same price as the RPi device (which is neat and would be fun to play with). 

This does not work for me. I have a C128 which has the cassette port on the LEFT side of the serial port, and that SD2IEC is expecting a VIC-20 or C64 with the cassette port on the RIGHT side of the serial port. Also, it does not have any extra ports for daisy chaining therefore will not let me use my real 1571.
I hope it did work though, looks pretty well made for it's price.

Edited by bluejay

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I use a Zoomfloppy (about $45) to transfer .d64 and .g64 to actual floppy. PC USB -> Zoomfloppy -> 1541/1571 and voila! I also use it to archive my disk.

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On August 12, 2020 at 5:07 AM, carlsson said:

Regarding the Pi1541, after reading more it seems it defaults to a high level browsing mode, similar to the SD2IEC but without the functions to even recognize any fast loaders. This breaks all forms of cartridges and programs implementing their own fast loaders. By mounting a disk image with e.g. a file browser, the unit switches over into full emulation mode and once there fast loaders appear to work? It can be setup to automatically mount a such image so you always are in emulation mode.

 

Also going back to some threads in this forum, we've had users quoting their total cost for a Raspberry Pi + Pi1541 to be equal to a SD2IEC or equal to a Ultimate-II+. Obviously there is a ~$100 price gap inbetween those so perhaps it depends from whom you buy your Pi and the hat, also if you're including money for a shell, power supply, cables etc.

I love my U2+ since beside the drive emulation it also includes a REU, multiple SID emilation and networking all in one. 

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I count to three previous mentions of the ZoomFloppy... Also the best solution depends on what you're trying to achieve. Bluejay at first was asking for a way to bootstrap programs directly from a PC to a C128, and in the next breath mentioned SD2IEC and Pi1541 of which neither does that. We then briefly moved into terminal programs and the 64HDD which is an aging solution but one of the few that will let you use a PC per se as a virtual floppy drive.

 

All those X-series cables, of which the ZoomFloppy is a modern reincarnation of, are great if you instead are trying to transfer software from PC to a physical floppy disk. It took 40 posts (!) before we got to know that Bluejay owns a real 1571, in which most of the X-series cables start to make sense.

 

As seen in this thread, there are more than one way to skin a cat, and for each solution there are a number of variants of it, at different prices and types of implementation. Still there are a lot of solutions not even mentioned yet. The diversity generally is good because it will help everyone find the solution that is perfect for them, but it will also confuse buyers who don't know what is out there when there are so many different options doing slightly different things, and trying to decide what they really want to accomplish.

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On 8/11/2020 at 3:05 PM, bluejay said:

for the commodore I have a 1571 and a C2N.

I mean I did mention I had a 1571 and a c2n when you asked. I just wanted to have a way to have programs loaded into my commodore, and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on some points. Having to write to a physical floppy is *slightly* inconvenient as I only have a handful of floppy disks to use, but if it's a solution that works, then I'm happy with it. sd2iecs and pi1541s are great but slightly more expensive. u1541ii+s are just too expensive.

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DSDD 5.25" floppies are not impossible to come by.  You can pick them up on eBay for anywhere between $1 and $2 each in packs of 10, sometimes more.  I actually have quite a stash.

 

For example,

https://ebay.com/itm/273878443965

 (high shipping cost)

https://ebay.com/itm/173723429403

 (free shipping)

https://ebay.com/itm/143675616429

 (reasonable shipping, one of my old favorite brands)

 

If this works out for you, I predict you will stick with the real thing for a while but then hunger for more or better. :)  On the plus side, even if you stop writing to real disks you will be able to read real disks into D64 format.  Whatever floats your boat.

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1 hour ago, bluejay said:

I mean I did mention I had a 1571 and a c2n when you asked. I just wanted to have a way to have programs loaded into my commodore, and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on some points. Having to write to a physical floppy is *slightly* inconvenient as I only have a handful of floppy disks to use, but if it's a solution that works, then I'm happy with it. sd2iecs and pi1541s are great but slightly more expensive. u1541ii+s are just too expensive.

If you're at all interested in tape software (or have the patience to use that as a transfer medium), you can convert .tap images to .wav and record them as audio onto a cassette for the c2n.  Doesn't require any special hardware if you already have an old audio cassette deck and a basic 3.5mm cable.

 

https://github.com/lunderhage/c64tapedecode

 

But if your main goal is a virtual disk drive so you don't need floppies at all, then you really do need to buy a hardware solution.

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@White Flame I've handled cassettes before; I know that. I've already tried loading a few programs with audiotap and it didn't work. But at the moment I'm looking for floppy based solutions. Thanks for letting me know though!

@OLD CS1 I'll probably buy more disks when it seems absolutely necessary. But for now, the 10 or so disks I have should work. I can always overwrite new programs onto old programs that I don't use. It's what I've been doing with my Apple //e.

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The ones I shipped to you for your portable II, came from amazon.  The 10 pack was pretty reasonable.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K58FPFG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

OLDCS1 has a noticeable dislike for Amazon though, so he will always steer you away from it.

Alibaba also carries new stock of the item, but you have to swim against the endless sea of labels and label makers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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