View Full Version : Hardware conections to PC

January 10th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Hi All

I have more or less stopped using my C128 and one of the main reasons was the poor quality of screen of my monitor a (Phillips 8833)

I would like to get back into using some of the programs I used and wrote and downloaded an emulator for my PC
The picture quality on there is much better but I am not sure how I go about actually plugging my HD100 and 1541 drives along with the dormatrix printer which has the din type conecting cable

If anyone can point me in the right direction I will be able to give it a go and be very grateful


January 10th, 2010, 12:11 PM
If your PC has a parallel port, you can build or look to buy an X-series cable (http://sta.c64.org/xcables.html). The two most popular ones are XM1541 and XA1541. They are made out of different components depending how sensitive your PC is. The X-series cable connects a floppy drive to the PC and next to using software to transfer files, the VICE emulator can also make use of a drive connected this way. Usually however D64 images are more practical to use once you have transferred them from your old floppies. In theory both the matrix printer and CMD HD-100 should be possible to hook up with the same cable, but I don't know about the software support. It may be worth looking up though.

XM1541 is quite possible to build yourself if you are good at soldering. The XA1541 cable though is quite complicated so you could better buy a ready-made one from a web shop, eBay or similar. There used to be even older cables that simply connected the devices line by line without any diodes or transistors in the way. However these original X1541 cables usually only work with pre-Pentium PCs and in MS-DOS, so not really worth the trouble to look one up.

January 10th, 2010, 01:06 PM
Good suggestion from carlsson, but I'm confused.

Is your screen giving a bad picture? iirc the C128 has an RGB out, so you can use several different screens for it. Once I used my IBM monitor, it had the same input that the C128 outputted.

Plus, the C128 can output composite so there's a nice out put to use as long as you have the cable.

January 10th, 2010, 10:26 PM
The RGBI output is only for the 80 columns VDC mode. For the 40 columns mode (C128 and C64 mode), you have to choose between composite or video with separate luminance and chrominance, a.k.a. S-Video. The latter gives a somewhat sharper picture, but may require you to roll your own cable as well as your monitor or TV must have a S-Video like input.

January 11th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Thank you both for your help. I have found one of these cable adapters and ordered it so I will when it arrives and I have had a chance to try it out report my progress

To clarify. I don't think my monitor has anything wrong with it but after looking at one of these flat screen PC monitors for a while there is no comparison really


January 30th, 2010, 09:13 AM
Right the adapter has arrived and I have plugged in a 1541 drive. My brain appears to have gone a bit mushy now. Can someone remind me of the load command please. I seem to remember it is load "#8,1" but I cannot find the # key when running the emulator. I have downloaded the vice emulator and pressing the # key just brings up an = sign.


January 30th, 2010, 09:23 AM
It'd be ' LOAD "*",8,1" ' (without the '), with the wildcard.

January 31st, 2010, 03:08 AM
Many thanks I have had a quick try but no luck at getting it to see any drives so when I have time this week I will spend more time on it and no doubt be back with more questions later


January 31st, 2010, 04:40 PM
But you're getting a picture on the screen? Is it showing? Try doing some basic stuff, like a loop. This is just for testing, might have drives that need cleaning, too, or more.

February 19th, 2010, 11:42 AM
Hi everyone

Sorry to have been a while

February 19th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Hi everyone

Sorry to have been a while but I posted an answer which didn't seem to make it through cyberspace
Just so everybody is clear what I'm trying to do I will try and explain. The drives I have tried to use with the PC are all fine. They both work with my 128 with no problems.

What I am trying to do is simply transfer all the programs and files I have on them to the PC so I can use them in the emulator. I assumed that they would simply be accessible via the emulator just like they are from the 128, but I seem to be barking up the wrong tree here. If I understand this correctly what you do is transfer all the files etc over with a piece of software on the PC and then you can access them from the emulator. Do I have this correct?

This then leads me to the next question which is when you have a program transferred and have then modified or adapted it etc do you then save this on the PC? If so when you type save (program name), 8, 1 where will the file go? Do you have to create a Commodore folder or partition on the PC?

I suppose what I really need is the dummies guide on how to do all this.

When I tried to access the drivers from the emulator it appears to be able to see the 1541 Drive but not the HD 100 plus the drive working lights stay on permanently when ever they are plugged in.
The adapter I have got is an XM. and XE which uses the original Commodore cable. It didn't have any instructions on how to switch between the two.

So any further guidance on where I can find out how to do all this will be greatly appreciated.


February 20th, 2010, 09:10 AM
I think the keyword you are looking for is D64 which is an emulator format to contain a whole floppy disk image. What you would do is to use some software (OpenCBM, Star Commander etc) to dump a floppy disk to a disk image. Then you mount those images inside the emulator, and they will act like real floppy disks. If you transfer individual files, you will end up with loads of files which can be a bit difficult - but far from impossible - to use with the emulator. You would just have to set it up to read a directory on the PC hard disk as if it was a floppy drive, rather than mounting a floppy disk image.