What is it?
The '1541 Ultimate' is a storage solution for your Commodore C64 and C128 home computer. 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. Currently, over 2500 units have been sold, which indicates that the 1541 Ultimate is an acknowledged product in the C64 community.
The '1541 Ultimate-II' is basically a cartridge for the C64/C128. With a simple press on one of the buttons, a menu will pop-up on the Commodore screen, allowing the user to view the SD-card content, and 'mount' .d64 or .g64 images into the floppy drive.
The '1541 Ultimate-I', the predecessor of the 1541U-II, is also a cartridge, but can also be used in stand-alone mode. The user can use the buttons to (blindly) 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. In stand alone mode, the unit can be used on other Commodore models as well (Commodore 16, PLUS/4, etc.) 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.
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.