Discussion:
Advice on the best drive emulator?
(too old to reply)
Kenzo
2022-05-06 14:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Can anyone recommend the preferred drive emulator for making use of .d64 files?
I want to run the .d64 files on my 128 after I have downloaded onto my windows PC.
I see various hardware on the Bay but not sure which will work on a 128 in either mode.
Daniel Path
2022-05-06 07:54:55 UTC
Permalink
Hello Kenzo,

06 May 22 07:56, you wrote to All:

K> I want to run the .d64 files on my 128 after I have downloaded onto my
K> windows PC.
K> I see various hardware on the Bay but not sure which will work on a
K> 128 in either mode.

SD2IEC works perfectly with a c128, but i think any other device will do. :)

Regards,
--
dp

-=>> telnet://bbs.roonsbbs.hu:1212 <<=-

... 9:49pm up 32 days, 9:56:24, load: 78 processes, 281 threads.
Paul F├Ârster
2022-05-06 19:42:45 UTC
Permalink
Hi,
Post by Daniel Path
SD2IEC works perfectly with a c128, but i think any other device will do. :)
I second that. I love my SD2IEC. ­čĹŹ

Cheers
Paul
Kenzo
2022-05-06 22:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
Hi,
Post by Daniel Path
SD2IEC works perfectly with a c128, but i think any other device will do. :)
I second that. I love my SD2IEC. ­čĹŹ
Cheers
Paul
So my physical 1541 prevents the C128 from completing boot up when the drive is powered on and serial cable connected. If I kill the power to the drive while the 128 boot up is hung, the 128 completes booting. Same if I disconnect the serial cable while the 128 is hung on bootup. And the drive does not respond to load command, 128 reports drive not ready.

I opened the drive case, board is internally very clean, and no burnt or bloated caps. I am guessing one or more of the logic chips is bad. Looks like the MOS chips are from 1984. I am using an aftermarket serial cable, the cable pins look correct when compared to online pics, and continuity pin to pin on each end is good. I guess these serial cables are supposed to be pin to pin straight wired.

If I get some ambition in the next few days, I will use my scope to check for activity on the logic chips. My understanding is that with the scope ground on a chip ground and scope lead on address or data pins, I should see high speed voltage oscillation, indicating logic activity...

Hate to give up on all my floppies, even if I pick up an emulator...
Paul F├Ârster
2022-05-07 11:43:33 UTC
Permalink
Hi Kenzo,
Post by Kenzo
So my physical 1541 prevents the C128 from completing boot up when the drive
is powered on and serial cable connected. If I kill the power to the drive
while the 128 boot up is hung, the 128 completes booting. Same if I disconnect
the serial cable while the 128 is hung on bootup. And the drive does not
respond to load command, 128 reports drive not ready.
I opened the drive case, board is internally very clean, and no burnt or
bloated caps. I am guessing one or more of the logic chips is bad. Looks like
the MOS chips are from 1984. I am using an aftermarket serial cable, the cable
pins look correct when compared to online pics, and continuity pin to pin on
each end is good. I guess these serial cables are supposed to be pin to pin
straight wired.
If I get some ambition in the next few days, I will use my scope to check for
activity on the logic chips. My understanding is that with the scope ground on
a chip ground and scope lead on address or data pins, I should see high speed
voltage oscillation, indicating logic activity...
Hate to give up on all my floppies, even if I pick up an emulator...
The usual suspects are:

1. Bad power supply of the external drive.

2. If you have a 128D, you may have a drive number conflict. The internal
drive is #8. If the external drive doesn't have some other number assigned
(usually #9), then you will most likely experience exactly such symptoms.

3. The drive cable has a reset line (see below). Usually, it's wired through,
but I have seen few few cables which have no connection there. Considering
your described symptoms, it may make sense to try with a cable that does NOT
connect the reset line. The downside is that pushing the reset button on the
C128 or even powering it down and up again will not make the drive notice any
change. If you want to reset the drive too, you'd have to do that separately
then.

Reset is on Pin 6:
see http://www.hardwarebook.info/Commodore_Serial_I/O

Cheers
Paul
Kenzo
2022-05-08 03:57:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
Hi Kenzo,
Post by Kenzo
So my physical 1541 prevents the C128 from completing boot up when the drive
is powered on and serial cable connected. If I kill the power to the drive
while the 128 boot up is hung, the 128 completes booting. Same if I disconnect
the serial cable while the 128 is hung on bootup. And the drive does not
respond to load command, 128 reports drive not ready.
I opened the drive case, board is internally very clean, and no burnt or
bloated caps. I am guessing one or more of the logic chips is bad. Looks like
the MOS chips are from 1984. I am using an aftermarket serial cable, the cable
pins look correct when compared to online pics, and continuity pin to pin on
each end is good. I guess these serial cables are supposed to be pin to pin
straight wired.
If I get some ambition in the next few days, I will use my scope to check for
activity on the logic chips. My understanding is that with the scope ground on
a chip ground and scope lead on address or data pins, I should see high speed
voltage oscillation, indicating logic activity...
Hate to give up on all my floppies, even if I pick up an emulator...
1. Bad power supply of the external drive.
2. If you have a 128D, you may have a drive number conflict. The internal
drive is #8. If the external drive doesn't have some other number assigned
(usually #9), then you will most likely experience exactly such symptoms.
3. The drive cable has a reset line (see below). Usually, it's wired through,
but I have seen few few cables which have no connection there. Considering
your described symptoms, it may make sense to try with a cable that does NOT
connect the reset line. The downside is that pushing the reset button on the
C128 or even powering it down and up again will not make the drive notice any
change. If you want to reset the drive too, you'd have to do that separately
then.
see http://www.hardwarebook.info/Commodore_Serial_I/O
Cheers
Paul
thanks paul,

I also tried a commodore serial cable but still no luck for the first 1541 I tried. I had 3 other drives in storage which I retrieved and tested. A 1571, 1541, and 1541 II.

The 1571 won't power up but using the same power supply the 1541 II works fine. And the second 1541 also works fine. So I have two drives working, but not the 1571 yet.

And I had 4 computers in storage, a 64 and three original type128s. The 64 powers up, but composite connected monitor is blank. I have to do some research for that. Maybe the 64 does not output composite video?

The three 128s all work fine. Next I will try the two 1764 ram expansion modules. The one I have that was boxed comes with a commodore higher powered power supply. I will check the output voltages before powering up with it.

So now that I can read disks, I guess the next step is to clean and lube the drives, and then figure out a way to convert the physical floppies to .d64 files, since I don't expect the drives to work forever.
Paul F├Ârster
2022-05-08 05:28:09 UTC
Permalink
Hi Kenzo,
Post by Kenzo
The 1571 won't power up but using the same power supply the 1541 II works
fine. And the second 1541 also works fine. So I have two drives working, but
not the 1571 yet.
I'm not sure that you can use a 1541-II power supply with a 1571. I'd do some
research before trying that because a bad power supply can not only not power
up the attached device correctly but it can kill it. So I'd be careful when
trying a Commodore power supply with a different device than what it was built
for. You should basically always assume that Commodore power supplies are NOT
interchangeable between devices.
Post by Kenzo
And I had 4 computers in storage, a 64 and three original type128s. The 64
powers up, but composite connected monitor is blank. I have to do some
research for that. Maybe the 64 does not output composite video?
The C64 has a composite signal. It's pin 4 of the connector.

See: http://www.hardwarebook.info/C128/C64C_Video

But your VIC chip may be fried (or the monitor of course). Or it may suffer
from a bad connection. It's hard to say without detailed info. I suggest
taking the VIC chip out and clean the contacts, then put it back in. This can
be easily done if the chip sits in a socket. If it's soldered in then you may
have some soldering to do. But instead of soldering it back in I would put in
a socket.
Post by Kenzo
The three 128s all work fine. Next I will try the two 1764 ram expansion
modules. The one I have that was boxed comes with a commodore higher powered
power supply. I will check the output voltages before powering up with it.
I can't comment on the 1764. I never had one of those.
Post by Kenzo
So now that I can read disks, I guess the next step is to clean and lube the
drives, and then figure out a way to convert the physical floppies to .d64
files, since I don't expect the drives to work forever.
Most things are on the web already in d64 format. You'd have to search hard
for some things, though. But if you want to do the conversion yourself, then
there are several options, of which I can recomment two:

1) if you want to do it on the C64/C128, then use method 4 of:

https://diginoodles.com/writing/media-production/transferring-commodore-64-disks-to-modern-formats

2) get a Star Commander cable and connect the drive to a PC running DOS. Then
you can use the Star Commander:
https://sta.c64.org/sc.html

Though the second option is very comfortable and reminiscent of the well known
Norton Commander, it requires an old PC running DOS and having a parallel
port. You'd also need to aquire one of the X1541 flavor of cables. It's all
documented on the Star Commander homepage.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Paul
Robert Roland
2022-05-08 11:44:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
I suggest
taking the VIC chip out and clean the contacts, then put it back in. This can
be easily done if the chip sits in a socket. If it's soldered in then you may
have some soldering to do.
From what I understand, the VIC2 is always in a socket. It is,
however, likely to be one of those cheap single-wipe types which are
notorious for having bad connections.
--
RoRo
Kenzo
2022-05-08 13:35:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Roland
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
I suggest
taking the VIC chip out and clean the contacts, then put it back in. This can
be easily done if the chip sits in a socket. If it's soldered in then you may
have some soldering to do.
From what I understand, the VIC2 is always in a socket. It is,
however, likely to be one of those cheap single-wipe types which are
notorious for having bad connections.
--
RoRo
right, i misspoke about 1571, it is the first version and uses just iec power cord. but it won't power up. I have book on trouble shooting and repairing C64, but since I now have three working 128s, fixing the C64 work will be on back burner, as will troubleshooting the 1571. First order of business I guess will be to convert all the physical floppies to d64, and get the ram expansion running with GEOS.
Robert Roland
2022-05-08 21:03:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenzo
it won't power up
It is likely that the power supply has failed.

The 1571 has a very simple linear power supply. It should be easy to
fix.

There is even a fuse, winch needs checking.

Also, the solder joints for the transformer can crack. The transformer
is heavy, and there is nothing other than the solder joints holding
it.

Be careful with mains voltage, though.
--
RoRo
Kenzo
2022-05-08 21:48:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Roland
Post by Kenzo
it won't power up
It is likely that the power supply has failed.
The 1571 has a very simple linear power supply. It should be easy to
fix.
There is even a fuse, winch needs checking.
Also, the solder joints for the transformer can crack. The transformer
is heavy, and there is nothing other than the solder joints holding
it.
Be careful with mains voltage, though.
--
RoRo
Thanks, I ordered a zoomfloppy today.
Regarding the 1571 I should just replace the linear power supply with an SMPS. If the fuse is blown there must have been a reason. There is a meanwell that is a good match. And there are 4 electrolytics on the logic board that should also be replaced. If I later find the heads are bad, I can use the SMPS for a different project...
phigan
2022-05-13 11:52:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenzo
Thanks, I ordered a zoomfloppy today.
I'm really liking this thread.

Just wanted to chime in that I too have a C64 that powers on with just a
black screen. I tried changing out the VIC and that made no difference.
Even tested the original as well as relacement VICs in a known good
system, and they both work fine. The first suggestion I got was to try
replacing the PLA, which I did, and also made no difference (also tested
that in the known good system). I don't _see_ any issues with any of the
caps on the board, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any.

I'd be very interested to hear what's causing yours to do the same if
you should find out :).

Jelly of your C= collection! Never had a 128.
Kenzo
2022-05-13 14:06:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by phigan
Post by Kenzo
Thanks, I ordered a zoomfloppy today.
I'm really liking this thread.
Just wanted to chime in that I too have a C64 that powers on with just a
black screen. I tried changing out the VIC and that made no difference.
Even tested the original as well as relacement VICs in a known good
system, and they both work fine. The first suggestion I got was to try
replacing the PLA, which I did, and also made no difference (also tested
that in the known good system). I don't _see_ any issues with any of the
caps on the board, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any.
I'd be very interested to hear what's causing yours to do the same if
you should find out :).
Jelly of your C= collection! Never had a 128.
One book I have says a bad 6502 can also cause a black screen. I guess the moral of your story is you really have to troubleshoot electrically, just replacing arbitrary chips is not guaranteed to solve the problem. I have the documentation and equipment so I will be doing that soon and will update progress here.
Andreas Kohlbach
2022-05-13 19:18:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by phigan
Post by Kenzo
Thanks, I ordered a zoomfloppy today.
I'm really liking this thread.
Just wanted to chime in that I too have a C64 that powers on with just a
black screen. I tried changing out the VIC and that made no difference.
Even tested the original as well as relacement VICs in a known good
system, and they both work fine. The first suggestion I got was to try
replacing the PLA, which I did, and also made no difference (also tested
that in the known good system). I don't _see_ any issues with any of the
caps on the board, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any.
I'd be very interested to hear what's causing yours to do the same if
you should find out :).
If there are no other solution I recommend Adrian's Digital Basement on
Youtube. He appears to be a specialist when it comes to the C64 - and I
remember he had to deal with a lot of "black screeners" and always found
the culprit.
Post by phigan
Jelly of your C= collection! Never had a 128.
Neither did I. A friend had and I was envious. Probably because of the
shape of the shell, as we usually booted into C64 mode and did things a
C64 can do itself.
--
Andreas
Robert Roland
2022-05-13 20:20:55 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 13 May 2022 11:52:25 -0000 (UTC), phigan
Post by phigan
a C64 that powers on with just a
black screen
The most useful tool for troubleshooting a black screen C64, is the
Dead Test Cartridge. Note that a black screen and a blank screen are
fundamentally different.

Throwing parts at it is a lottery. If you want to continue the
lottery, the RAM chips are a very common fault. The bad news is,
there's eight of them (or two if you have a later revision). Leave the
computer on for a minute or two and check for hot RAM chips. If they
get hot, they are definitely bad, but they can also be bad if they are
not getting hot. The Dead Test can sometimes tell you which specific
RAM chip is bad.

Another common problem is the power switch. It switches both the 5 V
DC and the 9 V AC. If the 5 V DC is not working, you will get a black
screen on the earlier revision (the longboards).

Have you checked voltages? That should come before even the Dead Test.
--
RoRo
phigan
2023-03-12 03:52:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Roland
Have you checked voltages? That should come before even the Dead Test.
Will definitely be searching about this later when I'm not on the 8bit
typing on a BBS :), but do you know of a doc/page that has a list of
points with proper voltages that could be indicative of problems?
Paul F├Ârster
2022-05-12 15:41:12 UTC
Permalink
Hi Robert,
Post by Robert Roland
From what I understand, the VIC2 is always in a socket. It is,
however, likely to be one of those cheap single-wipe types which are
notorious for having bad connections.
I don't know if it always sits in a socket. If so, the easier is it to take
care of it. Sometimes it also helps to check the soldering of either the
socket and/or the chip.

Cheers,
Paul
Kenzo
2022-05-08 17:28:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
Hi Kenzo,
Post by Kenzo
The 1571 won't power up but using the same power supply the 1541 II works
fine. And the second 1541 also works fine. So I have two drives working, but
not the 1571 yet.
I'm not sure that you can use a 1541-II power supply with a 1571. I'd do some
research before trying that because a bad power supply can not only not power
up the attached device correctly but it can kill it. So I'd be careful when
trying a Commodore power supply with a different device than what it was built
for. You should basically always assume that Commodore power supplies are NOT
interchangeable between devices.
Post by Kenzo
And I had 4 computers in storage, a 64 and three original type128s. The 64
powers up, but composite connected monitor is blank. I have to do some
research for that. Maybe the 64 does not output composite video?
The C64 has a composite signal. It's pin 4 of the connector.
See: http://www.hardwarebook.info/C128/C64C_Video
But your VIC chip may be fried (or the monitor of course). Or it may suffer
from a bad connection. It's hard to say without detailed info. I suggest
taking the VIC chip out and clean the contacts, then put it back in. This can
be easily done if the chip sits in a socket. If it's soldered in then you may
have some soldering to do. But instead of soldering it back in I would put in
a socket.
Post by Kenzo
The three 128s all work fine. Next I will try the two 1764 ram expansion
modules. The one I have that was boxed comes with a commodore higher powered
power supply. I will check the output voltages before powering up with it.
I can't comment on the 1764. I never had one of those.
Post by Kenzo
So now that I can read disks, I guess the next step is to clean and lube the
drives, and then figure out a way to convert the physical floppies to .d64
files, since I don't expect the drives to work forever.
Most things are on the web already in d64 format. You'd have to search hard
for some things, though. But if you want to do the conversion yourself, then
https://diginoodles.com/writing/media-production/transferring-commodore-64-disks-to-modern-formats
2) get a Star Commander cable and connect the drive to a PC running DOS. Then
https://sta.c64.org/sc.html
Though the second option is very comfortable and reminiscent of the well known
Norton Commander, it requires an old PC running DOS and having a parallel
port. You'd also need to aquire one of the X1541 flavor of cables. It's all
documented on the Star Commander homepage.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
Paul
Zoomfloppy? Looks great for converting physical floppies to D64 copies in windows and reverse?
Robert Roland
2022-05-08 20:13:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenzo
Zoomfloppy? Looks great for converting physical floppies to D64 copies in windows and reverse?
I have a Zoomfloppy. I definitely recommend it.

The accompanying software (OpenCBM) does not provide a GUI, but there
are 3rd party solutions available for free. I use cbm-transfer.
--
RoRo
Robert Roland
2022-05-08 11:41:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenzo
The 1571 won't power up but using the same power supply the 1541 II works fine.
Wait. What?

The 1571 has a built-in power supply. It is powered directly from the
mains wall socket.

You didn't plug the power supply into one of the IEC ports, did you?
--
RoRo
Andreas Kohlbach
2022-05-06 23:20:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul F├â┬Ârster
Post by Daniel Path
SD2IEC works perfectly with a c128, but i think any other device will do. :)
I second that. I love my SD2IEC. ­čĹŹ
I should have a look at SD2IEC.

Would had recommended VICE, which emulated the C128, C64, PET,
VIC-20... And accepts .d64 files among others.
--
Andreas
Paul F├Ârster
2022-05-07 11:27:19 UTC
Permalink
Hi Andreas,
Post by Andreas Kohlbach
I should have a look at SD2IEC.
Would had recommended VICE, which emulated the C128, C64, PET,
VIC-20... And accepts .d64 files among others.
yes, I highly recommend both, the SD2IEC solution to replace a physical drive,
and VICE for emulation.

If you use a Mac, there's also VirtualC64 and vAmiga, but these are C64 and
Amiga only, hence excluding the other Commodore 8-Bit machines.

https://vice-emu.sourceforge.io
https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/SD2IEC

Cheers
Paul
xxxx
2022-05-08 18:38:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kenzo
Can anyone recommend the preferred drive emulator for making use of .d64 files?
I want to run the .d64 files on my 128 after I have downloaded onto my windows PC.
I see various hardware on the Bay but not sure which will work on a 128 in either mode.
You should try Pi1541 is much compatible than SDIEC
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