SD2IEC – New toy for my Commodore 64

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!

20111029-195201.jpg

Box contents included the sd2iec board, connecting cables….

20111029-195420.jpg

…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.

20111029-200212.jpg

Front side, showing the status LED, buttons and components.

20111029-200330.jpg

Rear side showing the SD card slot and Sirmorris’ very well made circuit board.

20111029-200451.jpg

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.

20111029-201631.jpg

Select a file to load and the C64 thinks it’s loading from floppy disk.

20111029-201840.jpg

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!

20111029-202410.jpg

Game time!

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!

Advertisements

3 responses to “SD2IEC – New toy for my Commodore 64

  1. mine came in a real ghostbusters box, also made me smile.
    im liking the look of that SID player. I need to get the 64 back out once ive tidied up my desk.
    i managed to recreate your C128’s fault whilst fixing my own so hopefully Andy will have tried a new CIA in it and fingers crossed its fixed, if not ive got a spare ill fetch with me in November

  2. Ghostbusters, Nice! SID player is really good as the files are so small too. Got 43,000 tunes at only 62mb!

    Wonderful news about my c128, i’ll ask Andy the next time I’m at HQ. Would be interested to understand what the problem is and what the faulty parts function is/was.

    If I don’t speak to you before, have a great holiday Jon.

  3. those pesky cia’s are pretty unreliable in their old age probably cause they run fairly hot.
    they control a lot of the stuff inside the commodore from keyboard input to the serial port, without them the machine is completely useless.
    maybe its worth adding low profile heatsinks to them if its getting a lot of use.
    not sure why a dodgy cia caused the machine to go into monitor mode and print DSAVE though

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s