dinsdag 17 juni 2014

Commodore 1541 Ultimate II cartridge

The commodore 64, the best selling home computer of the eighties has stolen the hearts of many people.
What if you want to play those old games or like messing about on the good old C64?

Emulators are an option but nowhere near perfect and most emulators are terrible at emulating the famous SID soundchip and it doesnt really give you that nostalgic feeling.

Maybe you still have a C64 around but how do you get software from your modern PC to your C64 floppies? Sure you can get cables to connect your C1541 drive to a PC like the XM1541 or XU1541 and try to mess about with Starcommander or CBM4Win like i show in this video 

but good luck if you are running a 64 bit version of windows, it wont work.

Luckily there is another way and its called the Commodore 1541 II Ultimate. A nifty piece of hardware that lets you use micro SD(HC) cards and USB mass storage devices on a real commodore 64!

What it basicly does is emulate the Commodore 1541 diskdrive (hence the name) so you can use C64 diskimages and use it like a real floppydisk.
The 1541 ultimate II supports .D64 and .G64 images as standard and .TAP files with an additional cable. 

It also emulates a host of fastload cartridges such as Final cartridge III, retro replay and epyx fastload.
Another nice feature if you plan to use the GEOS OS is the emulation of the C1750 / 1764 REU memory expansion units.
If you really love the sound of your old 1541 diskdrive... the 1541 II ultimate even has a built in feature to emulate those sounds as well.

For all the detailed specs of the unit and ordering you can check out the official website:

The device itself is simple enough, you stick it in the back of your C64's expansion port and connect the serial cable to the C64 , just as you would do with a real C1541 diskdrive, put in a microSD or USB disk loaded with diskimages and you're ready to go.
On the back are three buttons, from left to right: freeze menu for the cartridges, main menu of the 1541 ultimate and a reset button. There are also some LED lights that show wheter the device is on or off and if there is any cartridge or storage activity.

When you press the middle button a menu appears where you can scroll through the diskimages or just start typing the name of the image and then select the image you want to load. You can then either mount and run it directly or choose to just mount it and use it with a fastload cartridge (which is recommend if you value your time)

 In the menu's there are a variety of options to choose from such as which fastload cartridge to use, which drive number to use, how big the REU size should be, a freeze menu for the various cartridges, you can set the clock, audio options (for the diskdrive emulation sounds and built in SID chip) , create directories and files and so on.

 The device really can be configured in any way you like.

 With the 1541 ultimate you give your beloved Commodore 64 a second life. It gives you all the advantages of emulation with easy to obtain diskimages but on the real hardware so without the disadvantages of emulation. If you're a Commodore64 fan, you will love this device.

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