Reprogramming of the complete Framework to the OpenCBM architecture. This brings a more flexibel and powerful interface
Start of the project
Please click the pictures to enlarge.
Here you see an Olimex
Board AVR-P40-USB that was used to build a XS-1541. The only thing that needs to be done is to solder a floppy plug.
|XS-1541 build with an
Olimex Prototype board
|Diagram of a XS-1541
Since 30 years the I own floppydisks using the 8050 format, and I've always wanted to copy them to a PC container format. Even more since there exist very good 8bit emulators like VICE
End of may 2008 I discovered the german Forum-64 and realised that there are still a lot of individuals that enjoy old Commodore hardware. I got in touch with the X1541 cable and the derivates, that sadly are just usable on PCs with a parallel port. But since more and more modern Computers are not equipped with this type of interface, the idea was born to create an adapter using a port that is available on all computers, now and in the future: the serial port is, and will be available, for it can easily be replaced by USB. So XS-1541 was born, whereas the 's' stands for serial port.
Here you may find the XS-1541 in germans Forum-64: klick
We use a standard wiring for the Amtel, thats why every prototype board can be used. The quarzchrystal needs to have an 'odd' frequency, otherwise the communication speed cannot be setted exact to 115K.
The Commodore diskdrive cable is to be soldered direct on the Amtel controller. Some people told me this is not the perfect way, you may need electronic drivers and other parts for this being technical correct.
But, what shall I say: it works as it is. Why protect the really cheap Amtel controller with electronic parts that are really expensive? The XS1541 can handle 3 devices on each bus. In my eyes there is no need for supporting more drives, so no additional electronic is needed. If anybody feels the need to build the perfect solution, I'll congratulate and like to ask if I can publish the curcuit n this site.
The XS-1541 needs to be connected to the serial port of a PC or any other hardware that has a RS232 port (C64 anybody?). It is accessed by any available terminal program, that copes X-Modem protocol. The operating system doesn't matter at all. Windows, Linux, MacOS, PalmOS etc. work, as I said, just the termialprogram is required.
Under Windows you can use the build in "Hyperterminal" for example.
The settings of the serial port have to be 115200, 8, N, 1. (115200 baud, 8 databits, 1 stopbit and no parity. Handshake is not needed.
If using USB boards (i.e. the Olimex) a virtual COM interface is setted up. You do not need drivers, simply 'plug and play'. All you will see is a new COM port. The PC won't notice if the XS-1541 is connected to a serial port or a USB port. Please keep in mind that also virtual USB-COM ports need to be setted to
After resetting or turning on, the XS-1541 answers with a startup screen. From now on it is waiting for your commands. The command is typed into the terminalwindow and is confirmed with 'return' key.
If the command causes an error, the XS-1541 will let you know this. Some commands produce an output that will be printed direct in the terminal screen.
Other commands (read file, read a whole disk) are sending files to the PC or want to be feeded with files from the PC. In this case the XS-1541 asks you to initialise the X-Modem File transfer.
The complete manual of all available commands is to be find here: XS1541-Docu.txt
The software of the XS-1541 is flashed to the Amtel controller. The firmware is under permanent development, so it is useful to update from time to time.
The firmware is delivered as a HEX File or Sourcecode. You either need a programmer to write the file to the Amtels flash, or you need a Amtel that is equipped with a bootloader. In the last case you do not need a programmer ;).
If the Amtel has no bootloader yet, you need to flash an AVR programmer at least once to write the bootcode on the chip.
You can find out if the controller is equipped with a bootloader, if the LED of the XS-1541 is turning on immediately after power up, or 3 seconds later. 3 seconds later means bootloader.
Within these 3 seconds the bootloader is active and a firmware update can be initialized. The bootloader is compatibel to "AVR-Prog" (Windows) and "AVRdude" (Linux). Both programs are available for free and able to use the HEX file provided on my Download site.
Remark: AVRProg can only handle serial interfaces COM1 to COM4.
This hard- and software is like all things in life not perfect. You can help me to make it better in sending me an Email with you suggestions to: t (dott) winkler (at) tirol (d0t) com
commands of the XS-1541:
All mentioned Trademarks and firms may be itellectual property of the owners.All Information provided on this site is given regardless of potential patents or rights and just for educational use. Every usage is explicit on your own risc.
Please do not contact me, if your Amtel board, your PC or your floppy get demaged, if a fire burnes down your house, the street or the whole city you live in, and the developing smoke raises the global warming about 30 degrees, millions die of thirst and the rest gets slaved by aliens that appear, because it is such a cuddly warm place to live at. So be warned and think about what you are doing, carefully!!