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Welcome to the 1541 Ultimate Website!!
July 29, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Quick Project Status

  • 2014-07-29: Yesterday, the first bunch of 1541 Ultimate-II boards have arrived. Unfortuntately not all, but the assembly company managed to finish 130 boards, despite their overloaded production factilities. In this week, all of those 130 boards will be tested and prepared for shipping! Unfortunately some need to wait a little longer, as there are already more than 130 paid orders. Before the end of this week, everyone who already made a payment will receive an E-mail with further details.
  • 2014-06-27: The latest news regarding the production batch: I expect the first units from this batch to arrive to me on July 22. The planning of the assembly company is the primary reason; they just cannot do any faster due to the limit in their production capacity. There were also some issues with the availability of the components. I will make sure that I have everything ready here to make shipping fast and efficient.
  • 2014-04-30: New (last?) production batch started. 
  • 2014-04-29: Last 17 units were shipped. -> SOLD OUT!
  • 2014-04-24: Latest payments processed. ONLY 3 UNITS LEFT UNALLOCATED!
  • 2014-04-24: Investigation started to see if a new production batch is still feasible.
  • 2014-04-16: Shipped 38 units. (Were actually mailed after easter.)
  • 2014-03-28: Another 52 units shipped today. There are now roughly 50 units left.
  • 2014-03-08: 133 units were shipped today. There are about 100 left.
  • 2014-02-25: I just received a message from the assembly company, that the finished boards have finally been shipped to me. The coming weeks I will be testing and shipping!
  • 2014-01-05: The new USB controller that I said I was working on has made its first transfers on real hardware with real USB devices. Software needs to be updated now to use the new controller.
  • 2013-12-04: Finally having some time again to work on the firmware. Making good progress with new, more versatile USB controller in the FPGA for V2.7.
  • 2013-12-01: New feature developed: write back tape images (.TAP) to real tapes, using the Commodore tape deck. (To be released soon.)
  • 2013-08-10: New version available for download: 2.6h. Small enhancements. (Working behind the scene on 2.7. ;-)
  • 2013-07-13: Been working on revised USB host controller logic in the FPGA, to speed up things. This is required to successfully implement network support on the 1541U-II.
  • Starting from firmware 2.1, the 1541 Ultimate-II includes full SID emulation (multi-channel)
  • Firmware 2.0 also runs on the Ultimate-I!  (Of course, only the features that MK1-hardware supports will show.. no RTC, no USB, no C2N (tape), etc...)

Ultimate-II is open source!  See the documentation on the download page on how to set up the build environment. This document (which is work in progress) also explains how the FPGA and software is structured. Click here to browse the archive. 

BugList and WishList webpages available for registered users (see left in menu).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 July 2014 20:04 )
 
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Introduction to the 1541 Ultimate Project

Note: News items can now be found in News (see the menu at the left..)

What is it?

The '1541 Ultimate' is a storage solution for your Commodore home computer, such as the C64, C128, C plus4, C16, etc. This piece of hardware implements a 'real' 1541 diskdrive for Commodore computers. There are two versions of this board; the 1541 Ultimate-I and the 1541 Ultimate-II. The 1541 Ultimate-I uses an SD-card or MMC-card to store the floppy disks, while the 1541 Ultimate-II uses MicroSD and USB pen-drives. Both the 1541 Ultimate-I and the 1541 Ultimate-II contain a replica of all the necessary hardware to be fully compatible with a real drive.

The '1541 Ultimate-I' can be used as a cartridge in the C64/C128, or as a stand-alone unit for use with other Commodore models with a serial bus. In cartridge mode, the user can view the SD-card content with just a simple push on one of the buttons, and 'mount' .d64 images into the floppy drive. In stand-alone mode, the user can use the buttons to navigate through the directories, or send IEC commands to a secondary device on the bus. This secondary device also allows saving and loading files to the FAT file system directly, but is not as compatible as the 1541 drive.

Currently, the stand-alone mode is not yet supported on the 1541 Ultimate-II, and can therefore only be used as cartridge on the C64/C128. This will be a matter of time; stand alone mode is planned for the 1541 Ultimate-II as well.

Context

The '1541 Ultimate' once started as a personal hobby project, that has grown into a mature device that can be very useful for current Commodore users. It enables the user to copy real 5.25" floppy disks onto a flash storage device, and run them from there, without the C64 knowing that it is not a real drive it is talking to. Floppy disks are prone to aging, and many floppies are on the verge of getting unreadable. So in the context of the greater "Preservation Project" that is carried out by Commodore enthousiasts, the '1541 Ultimate' can do a lot of useful work.

In January 2009, Gideon's Logic Architectures was founded; a single-person company officially registered with the chamber of commerce in the Netherlands. This was necessary to correctly handle tax issues. Since this date, hundreds of 1541 Ultimates have been produced and shipped.

I would like to make the '1541 Ultimate' hardware available for all Commodore enthousiasts, especially because this piece of hardware is very powerful and can potentially do a lot more than 'just' implementing a replacement for the 1541 drive. I hope that people can understand that although this board has been made with a lot of care and enthusiasm, it is still a hobby project and not an official retail product. Being a one-person company means that it is sometimes hard to attend to all E-mails and questions at the forum.

Click here for feature list and specifications.

Ultimate II board

 

For backing up your floppies, also have a look at KryoFlux USB Floppy Controller

kryo_logo

KryoFlux is able to read Commodore floppies and create .D64 files. And of course, these work well with the 1541 Ultimates!

 
 
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