WiPeD 1541 Ultimate
This article was deleted from the english wikipedia due to "Unambiguous advertising or promotion"! Read with care!
The 1541 Ultimate is a peripheral developed for the Commodore 64 (C64) by Gideon Zweijtzer. It's a C64 compatible cartridge that carries an Action Replay, The Final Cartridge III, Super Snapshot, Retro Replay or TurboAss with Codenet support (whatever the user prefers) and a fully compatible FPGA-emulated Commodore 1541 drive that is fed from a built-in SD card slot with C64-compatible files (e.g. .D64 diskimages or .PRG single program files). The first batch of 1541 Ultimates were shipped in early April 2008, costing 100 EUR for the basic version and 120 EUR for the "plus" version with 32 MB RAM. Due to strong demand the second and third batch were produced and shipped in early October 2008. From the second batch on, the normal version without the 32 MB RAM was discontinued due to weak demand. Also, a new Ethernet option is available for an extra 40 EUR, with the Ethernet logic directly soldered onto the board and the port just below the SD-slot.
The 1541 Ultimate's target group is fairly wide. Convenience is a dominant factor, since a 1 GB SD card can hold 5814 standard-sized Commodore disk images and is much easier to backup and copy. However, the ability to transfer data from either PC or Macintosh computers is also important, since many Commodore owners either no longer have a functioning 1541 disk drive or lack other means of transferring disk images (of self-made or downloaded content) to a real C64.
The difference between 1541 Ultimate and other SD-based & .D64 mounting cartridges (like the MMC64, Super Snapshot 2007, or MMC Replay) is that the 6502 microprocessor that powers the 1541 floppy and the 1541's mechanical behavior (even sound) is fully emulated, making it theoretically compatible with almost anything. File selection and management is done via a third button on the cartridge that brings up a new menu on screen. The 1541 Ultimate also works in standalone mode without a C64, functioning just like a normal Commodore 1541 would. Disk selection of .D64s is then done via buttons on the cartridge, and power is supplied via a mini USB-port.
There are other hobbyist projects similar to the 1541 Ultimate like 1541 III, MMC2IEC or the follow-up SD2IEC, but most of them do not emulate the 1541's internal workings and are only compatible with kernel loaders (SD2IEC being the exception, supporting at least some fast loaders).(1) Furthermore, all of these projects are originally do-it-yourself schematics, although some shops sell readymade units. Also, being standalone units, they lack means to comfortably navigate the SD-card and select .d64 diskimages like the 1541 Ultimate does when plugged into the expansion slot.
The 1541 Ultimate is in high demand within the Commodore 64 enthusiast community, and has been since before the first batch shipped. Due to the long waiting list, units are sold on eBay for more than the original price. The maker actively works with users to fix bugs and extend the 1541 Ultimate's functionality, a behaviour which has added to its stellar popularity. Firmware updates are released quite frequently, and most of the time new features or cartridge images are added besides the expected bug fixes and compatibility improvements.
- Full emulation of a real Commodore 1541 diskdrive
- Uses .D64 files stored on SD card (supports .G64 files as well, Read only)
- Configurable diskdrive-ROM (1541/1541C/1541II or custom)
- 1541 RAMBoard memory expansion optional (16K)
- Secondary 'IEC-drive' for direct access to FAT filesystem
- FAT/FAT32 support, with sub-directories and long filenames
- Supports SD V1.1 cards as well as SD V2.0 in High Capacity mode (SDHC)
- C64 cartridge emulation: Final Cartridge III, Action Replay, Retro Replay, Super Snapshot, Turbo Assembler+Codenet
- Commodore 1750/1764 REU emulation, size selectable from 128 KB up to 16 MB
- Optional: Integrated RR-net compatible Ethernet port
- Select, mount, create .D64 images, browse disk images
- Create new directories, delete files
- Ultra fast DMA load of single file programs (directly from SD / from a .D64 with automount and from a .T64 file)
- Configuration screen, with resident settings
- Load of last disk on power up
- Can be used in stand-alone mode to mount disks into the emulated 1541: keeps the cartridge port free, powered through Mini-USB connector, controlled through buttons and IEC. (no Ethernet support yet in stand alone mode)
- Board size: 68 x 100 mm (68 x 96 mm for the first batch)
- 250k-gate FPGA
- Full size 6-pin DIN connector (IEC)
- 512 KB SRAM
- 2 MB Flash ROM
- 32 MB SDRAM (version without 32 MB RAM discontinued)
- 2 emulated 6502 cores, one with the original clock (emulating the 1541 CPU) and the other with 25 MHz (handling the .D64 management and SD-access)
- Full size MMC / SD card compatible (Mini/Micro SD possible with adapter)
- Stereo audio output (for 1541 drive sounds)
- 6-pin expansion pin-header for connection to tape port (for C2N emulation), or other future features
Case for the 1541 Ultimate
- Summer 2009 Loriano Pagni, designer of the Minimig case, releases the 1541U, a hybrid cartridge-case for the 1541 Ultimate board
1. "1541-III: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- 1541ultimate.net - Official 1541 Ultimate homepage
- retrohackers.com - Independent review of a 1541 prototype
- commodore-gg.hobby.nl - First public presentation of an early prototype in Holland at a meeting of a dutch Commodore usergroup
- YouTube video of 1541 Ultimate production
- retrozentrale.net - Review of the 1541 Ultimate (german)
- Loriano Pagni releases the 1541U, a hybrid cartridge-case for the 1541 Ultimate board and this is the video