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Setup and first use of Pi1541

Pi1541 is a Raspberry Pi hat created by Steve White(his page), that simulates C64 5 /4 floppy drive. Allowing you to load programs/games from an SD card to your Commodore 64/128 machine.

What you need

You will need a Raspberry pi, Pi1541 hat, pi power adapter, Serial Cable and a micro SD to make this work.When you get the Pi1541 hat and assemble everything, you need to setup the SD-card.

This is how it should look like after assembly.


SD card setup

  1. Format an SD card to Fat32 this can be done in Windows (right click on drive and select format)

  2. Download the Raspberry Pi Firrmware from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

  3. Once downloaded Unzip the archive.

  4. Copy the 3 files (bootcode.bin, fixup.dat and start.elf (found in firmware-master\boot)) into the root folder of your SD card.


  1. Unzip the supplied zip file (Pi1541.zip) to the blank SD card. (This will create a folder called 1541 in the root folder of the SD card(*). This is where you can place your Commodore disk images and folders).

  2. Copy over a file that contains a 1541 ROM image into the root folder of the SD card. ROM can be found here (I used 1541-II.251968–03.bin)(rename the file!) The ROM must be called dos1541 or d1541.rom or d1541II or Jiffy.bin.

  3. (OPTIONAL) Copy over a file that contains a CBM font ROM into the root folder of the SD card. The ROM must be called chargen and can be found here.(I used characters.901225–01.bin ) (rename the file!) Copy your disk images(games, programs) and folders into the 1541 folder now found on the SD card.

If you have a handy OLED you’ll need to enable the screen in the configuration (options.txt). I had to uncomment:


LCDName = ssd1306_128x64

But it depends on your hardware.

Setup and usage

  1. Now that you have a working SD card it’s time to set up: Insert the micro SD to Raspberry Pi

  2. Connect the Raspberry Pi with Pi1541 hat to your Commodore with Serial Cable and micro USB power supply

  3. Power on the Raspberry Pi with Pi1541

  4. Turn on the Commodore 64

Loading Files with FB64


Mounting and lunching FB64 Commands:


LOAD”$”,8 — — — — mounts the drive
LIST — — — — lists the available files from the Pi1541 (optional)
LOADFB64" — — — — loads the default file browser, press RETURN
RUN — starts the file browser

You can use the cursor keys to chose the .PRG file and run it with RETURN key.


FB64


Run d64 file

Commands:


LOAD”$”,8 — — — — mounts the drive
Navigate with button 2 and 3 on your pi1541. Press 1 to select/mount your image.
LOAD*,8 — — — — load mounted image (* will load first file on the drive)
RUN

Button navigation, button 1 is the far left, button 5 is the far right.


Pi1541 navigation, button 5 can be used to add disk images to a mount list so that you can change images on the fly when playing a multi-disk games.

Alternative method for loading .d64 files:


OPEN1,8,15:PRINT#1,"CD:ZORK.D64":CLOSE1
LOAD"*",8
RUN

In this example we’re trying to load zork.d64.

Using fastloader to load .d64 files:

I use Epyx Fast Load and Action Reply. Download the .PRG and put it to 1541 folder.


LOAD”$”,8 — — — — mounts the drive
LIST — — — — lists available documents (optional)
LOADEPYX.PRG",8 — — — — loads the software fastloader
RUN
Navigate with button 2 and 3 on your pi1541. Press 1 to select/mount your image.
LOAD*,8 — — — — load mounted image (* will load first file on the drive)
RUN

Loading game with Epyx


Loading multidisk files:

Multidisk software can be for easier access, added to the list with button 5.


Note the numbers before the file name, representing the file order on the list, files are added with button 5.


LOAD”$”,8 — — — — mounts the drive
Navigate with button 2 and 3 on your pi1541. Press button 5 to add your image to the list.
LOAD*,8 — — — — load mounted image (* will load first file on the drive)
RUN

When asked to change the disks, use navigation to so switch the disk and press select or just change the file order.

OLED display

It is possible to also add OLED screen to the hat, that displays additional info. If you decide to do so, you also need to update the options.txt as described before.


1.) Shows the track number (metadata from the d64 image), 2.) Disk number displays which disk you have mounted (for multidisk images), 3.) the same as 2.), 4.) file name, 5.) power LED, 6.) Activity LED



  • Note: Capital letters in file names will be displayed in gibberish. (press shift and C= key to get lower/upper case letters) or uncomment (remove the //) in the options.txt file.


//LowercaseBrowseModeFilenames = 1

Case:



Usually cases depend on the form factor of your Pi1541, since this is a popular open source project there are multiple variants and form factors available. Please make sure yours will fit in the case.


I went with Cem Tezcans design: https://cemtezcan.com/blog/n178/pi1541-case-design-hobby-project

another variant that I like: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3329176

Resources

Video guide on how to set up (not mine).


Official page:

Setup

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