The SD2IEC interface is a modern mass storage device for Commodore computers and is best described as an emulated floppy drive. However, unlike Commodore disk drives that require actual floppy disks with their limited storage size, the sd2iec uses more modern SD storage media. Just imagine how many 100’s if not 1000’s of c64 program’s you can fit on just one 4GB SD card!
I’ve actually had this item stored away in my desk cupboard for a few months now and not really had the chance to play with it that much but after seeing my ozzy c64 up and running again, thought I’d take another look.
Mine was hand built by one of our members at the Retro Computer Museum (thanks Charlie) and it made me smile when it arrived in the post complete with ‘retro’ packaging!
Box contents included the sd2iec board, connecting cables….
…and as an extra bonus, a JiffyDOS chip for my Commodore 128 to dramatically speed up loading times. Sadly my C128 is poorly at the mo, so that will have to wait for another day.
Front side, showing the status LED, buttons and components.
Rear side showing the SD card slot and Sirmorris’ very well made circuit board.
After formatting a 2gb SD card (fat16) with my netbook, I copied over a few Commodore disk images of both .d64 and .prg type. To keep things organised the sd2iec supports directories Therefore i created folders for games (sub folders a-z), music and demos.
To make life easier browsing through the directories on the actual C64 I’ve copied over a file manager based on recommendations from my friends Jon and Stu.
With the sd2iec board plugged in to the c64 serial port (and cassette port for power), switched it on and was greeted by a brief self test LED light show!
On screen, the familiar C64 boot screen…and no puff of smoke.
To do anything useful you need to load the file manager into memory by typing – LOAD”browser”,8 (where ‘browser’ is the name of the file manager).
After a second, Type RUN to load the File Manager.
All of the folders created earlier are now presented onscreen and can be browsed through with either the cursor keys or joystick.
It’s very basic but it does the job perfectly and is lightning fast.
Select a file to load and the C64 thinks it’s loading from floppy disk.
There’s a whole host of homebrew program’s available online and one of these is a rather natty SID tune player called SIDPlay64.
I’ve copied the program to my SD card and a few of my favourite SID tunes from the High Voltage collection. The front end is really easy to use and all the controls via keyboard are clearly explained on screen. It’s so nice to hear the original C64 SID chip do it’s stuff!
As you can see, loading time is about the same as if from original floppy disk and although it’s pretty rapid, it can be increased dramatically by installing a JiffyDOS rom chip inside the C64.
Chatting to my mate from the Retro Computer Museum today, Jon has offered to send me switchable JiffyDOS roms for both my C64 and C64c. Huge thanks Jon, I can’t thank you enough! I’ll be following your ZX Speccy composite mod soon!