Help in using of XE1541 cable

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Moad'Dib
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Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Moad'Dib »

Hi There!

So finally I bought a C64 with its equipments yesterday . :cheers: I'm as happy as I was 25 years ago in the age of 15 when I got my so waited C64. :D
In the package I have:
C64 C
1541 II
Oceanic OC-118N
Action Replay 7.5
XE1541 Cable
Tape Dataset
2 Turbo Joystick
~ 50 pcs of EMPTY floppy disks

And here is the problem... I have only empty floppy disks, no any games, so somehow I will have to create disks with the use of XE1541 cable and some software.

This is what I have done but still not success:
1. I have a notebook with a Parallel port on it, I plugged the XE1541 into this. I have a Windows XP on the notebook.
2. I plugged the XE1541 also into the serial port of my floppy drives (I tried out both of 1541II and OC-118n)
3. I turned on the notebook, booted Windows XP
4. I turned on Floppy drive
5. I started Star Commander

What I experienced is that:
1. First of all the Floppy Drive's engine starts to working continuously, the green led lighting. It stops only if I turn of the notebook. Is this a normal working?
2. Of course I saw only the Window's C: drive both of the Star Commander's windows. I couldn't find the floppy drive.

I suspect the following things:
1. Faulty of the XE1541 cable
2. My notebook's parallel ports works in a wrong setup
3. I don't know... and I am sad... :sadnod:

Any help would be appreciated! :worship:
Last edited by Moad'Dib on 09/09/2013 - 9:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Chris Abbott »

I remember needing a revised XE1541 cable to make it work with current computers because of changes to the parallel port: also there are different parallel port modes you can experiment with, but this was a LONG time ago. It's unlikely the cable is faulty.

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Moad'Dib »

Hi Chris!

It is not really a "current computer". This notebook is from ~2003-2005. So I think it is capable to do the proper work for me.

I watched again Commie's video in the other topic where he mentioned that the parallel port has to be set on "two way data transform mode" in the bios. I think I haven't tested this mode yet, and I'm not sure if I saw this option in the bios. I will look after that...


In addition should I run a "Scan for hardware changes" on "Ports (COM&LPT)" item in the Device Manager? Or is there a driver I need to install on Windows XP to be able to see the connected Floppy Drive unit?
Or is there any other doings I should do previously?

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Chris Abbott »

Not a clue... but the BIOS is definitely where you should be heading.

I had to use something like Star Commander to see the 1541 though: I certainly didn't see it as a Windows drive.
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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Analog-X64 »

Chris is correct. for post 2000 Computers you need to add diodes to the cable.

There is instructions here on how make a cable.
http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/~schepers/xe1541.html

I usually make my own cables. :D
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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Moad'Dib »

Analog-X64 wrote:Chris is correct. for post 2000 Computers you need to add diodes to the cable.
There is instructions here on how make a cable.
http://ist.uwaterloo.ca/~schepers/xe1541.html
Hi!
I have the same cable. I suspect that the problem is the wrong bios setup. I've been working on it about four hours now and still no success.

Ok, the bios has the following options:

Parallel Port Addresses:
378
278
3BC

At Port Address 378 you can choose:
Normal
Bi-Directional
EPP
ECP

At Port Address 287 can choose:
Normal
EPP

At Port Address 3BC can choose:
Normal
Bi-Directional
EPP
ECP

So I have an XE1541 cable. Which combination goes with it from the list above? :confusion:

At the end of the list I've started to feel that maybe my notebook's parallel port doesn't compatible with XE1541 cable...?

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Chris Abbott »

I don't think the port address will matter, as long as you know it. Other than that, I think Bi-directional is probably the charm.

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Analog-X64 »

What does XP tell in you Device Manager? Does your Parallel port show? or you get an Unknown Device.
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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Moad'Dib »

Yes, XP has recognized the port, you can see it Device Manager. But...

Yesterday finally I made a bootable MS-DOS 6.22 cd. I hoped that with DOS I will achieve success. I didn't...
But I also copied X1541Test utility on the CD which made to check compatibility between parallel port and XE1541 cable. This utility told me that my notebook's parallel port isn't compatible with the XE1541 cable. ... :cry:

So now I will get an old machine with an old and hopefully compatible parallel port.

I will come back with news later. Thanks for your help and suggestions, I really appreciated it guys!

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Commie_User »

I think I can help. Again.

Star Commander for Windows needs adjustment of batch files too. Which is why I stick with DOS, using a boot floppy from an old copy of 98 or Me. That works fluidly.

Problems also arise programming for the parallel in Windows. Which is why it was such an achievement having Windows compatibility for the SNES Magicom transfers. (Similar in the Atari ST transfer program outright appending the floppy driver system to get it to work: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php . Windows just isn't retro-friendly.)




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Oh YEAH: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8091&p=88599#p88599




Also, if there's no option in BIOS for bi-parallel then that usually means it's only bi. Older computers ('90s and back) were the ones you needed to select.

I know you saw my video but perhaps look again. It will show you where to download boot disks from and mentions getting started with the DOS version.






Enjoy.

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Waz »

Moad'Dib wrote: But I also copied X1541Test utility on the CD which made to check compatibility between parallel port and XE1541 cable. This utility told me that my notebook's parallel port isn't compatible with the XE1541 cable.
If you didn't already try it, the BIOS setting used to work best with the parallel port at address 378 and using Normal or Bi-directional. On some BIOSes "normal" equates to the old SPP setting, which is what most X1541 and XE1541 cables work best at. I used to remember back in the days of my old Win95 box that Star Commander doesn't like anything other than that address.

Also, instead of Star Commander have you tried OpenCBM? (formerly CBM4WIN). There's a Windows version which you can install, and there's a GUI interface add on for it. That used to work flawlessly for me even in WinXP with a parallel port.

Either that, or an XA1541 cable is your best bet - that is much more compatible with all sorts of parallel port, both Star Commander and OpenCBM support it, and it has all the extra diode bits and talks happily.
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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Commie_User »

Hmmm, OpenCBM. I vaguely remember trying that myself but it still looks like you need do a whole host of clicky things to get it going. Certainly at first glance it looks like a stack of DOS applets ineffective in Windows. (I saw no installer on the website at least, nor anywhere else.)

I do remember plumping for Star Commander in DOS because it was by far simply the easiest, with no fiddling involved, and compatible with the XE1541. This looks like the hard sell but it's literally as easy as booting from cold and it just works.


________________________


Look, just take the floppies man.....

[youtube][/youtube]
Boot: http://www.leftiness.org/BOOT_DISK.zip
Star Commander: http://www.leftiness.org/StrCommander.zip

These are my own copies, just to make doubly sure. Simply type SCMAIN and you're good to go.

Though just one thing - if you have a hard drive formatted to FAT, it will be more convenient. Otherwise, you'll need to floppy swap a bit more.


________________


ADDENDUM: But scurrying around the Web some more, it looks like my copies have been overtaken, so you could have your Windows solution yet.






Though for me, I'd rather plump for the Commodore in an attache case.

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Moad'Dib »

Hi guys!

It just has began to work! It seems the problem was that I don't have an XE1541 cable but I have an XM1541 cable. So I didn't think at all that I should have to set cable type XM1541 in Star Commander.
When I set the cable type to XM1541 it started to work. :D

Anyway thanks again your help guys it was very usable!

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Re: Help in using of XE1541 cable

Post by Commie_User »

Oh fantastic stuff. And now you have all our advice as backups.

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