SD2IEC how to guide, part 1

Main

Now that we’ve made SD2IEC device it’s time to use it. Apart from SD2IEC we also need an SD card, regular size in this case (if you want you can modify the schematic and build it to have micro SD card slot instead). But of course, you can use mini/micro SD cards with it via SD card adapter you usually get with these smaller cards. It supports SDHC cards so even 32GB ones should work, but there isn’t so much C64 software to fill it :). SD card should be formatted with FAT16 or FAT32 file system. I used 4GB one and used about 1GB out of it. I downloaded C64 TOSEC archive, took games in D64 format from it, deleted all games that weren’t English editions and ended up with around 1GB of files. I’ve uploaded my D64 pack to dropbox if anyone want’s this pack. All files are sorted alphabetically and every game is it’s own folder. After files are copied to SD card we can start using it. There are two ways to do it. Hard way and easy way. Let’s start with hard, old school, way :). SD2IEC emulates original Commodore floppy drive, so to see what’s on SD card you type same command as with real drive.

LOAD"$",8

$ is directory list, 8 is ID SD2IEC reports to. On schematic from previous article this is selectable with jumpers. If you didn’t solder jumper headers it defaults to ID 8, which is most commonly used. After pressing Return key C64 will load directory list and return to command prompt. It will look like this:

Load

This means it loaded file/directory list of floppy, or in this case SD card, into memory and it’s ready for next command. Btw. this will overwrite any BASIC program currently in memory.This is how it looks, there will also be cursor cube blinking under “READY.” but my camera took picture just as it blinked away. To see this list we need to type

LIST

and press Return key, it will look something like this, depending on what files you have on your SD card.

List

Now to enter the folder, in my case I have D64 inside C64 folder. To enter C64 folder I need to type this command

OPEN1,8,15,"CD/C64/":CLOSE1

Again, Return key and after that

LOAD"$",8

to load new directory list and

LIST

to see it. As you probably guess “/C64/” part is the folder name. In my case I have files separated by their starting letters and inside have each game in separate folder

Folder List

Folder List

Next I entered folder B and Bubble Bobble, commands are these

OPEN1,8,15,"CD/B/":CLOSE1

Again

LOAD"$",8

to load, LIST to see folders contained and then enter folder you want. I couldn’t simply enter Bubble Bobble because C64 interprets spaces a bit differently to PC. It writes left arrow instead. So it’s better to check how it looks first, this is what I needed to enter

OPEN1,8,15,"CD/BUBBLE←BOBBLE/":CLOSE1

And now (after yet another LOAD"$",8 followed by LIST) I can finally see my D64 file

Folder List 2

Folder List 2

Unfortunately it displays files with 8+3 naming convention and instead of PC like ~ character it uses something like small greek letter pi. Command that mounts D64 file is similar to browsing commands

OPEN1,8,15,"CD/:BUBBLEπ1.D64":CLOSE1

again with

LOAD"$",8

followed by LIST we get to see what’s inside D64 file

Mounted D64

Now we just need to load the game. In this case there are two executable files, trainer and game itself. Easiest thing to do is to just let it load first executable file with this command

LOAD"*",8

Asterisk sign mean exactly this, load first executable file. If we wanted to load only the game we could explicitly write this and load only the game with this command

LOAD"BUBBLE BOBBLE",8

Also, instead of "*" we could have written complete trainer name

LOAD"BUBBLE B.+8M/REM",8

but "*" is quicker and usually we want to start first executable… Of course, after loading is finished typing RUN and pressing Return key will start the game

Starting

Starting

Bubble Bobble

Trainer intro

One command I haven’t mentioned yet is navigating backwards through folders. We can go to drive root folder or just one folder back.   Navigate to SD card root:

OPEN1,8,15,"CD//":CLOSE1

Navigate one folder back:

OPEN1,8,15,"CD/←":CLOSE1

It is also possible to mount D64 directly if you know file path, in this example it would look like this

OPEN1,8,15,"CD//C64/B/BUBBLE←BOBBLE/:BUBBLEπ1.D64":CLOSE1

This will mount D64 file so now we just need to load the game and run it as described above..   That was the hard version, but I think it doesn’t hurt to know. There’s also an easier way, a lot easier :). There are few file managers that make this whole process easy. I use CBM Filebrowser, simply unzip the files to the root of SD Card. If main site is offline you can download version 1.6 from the link at the bottom (current version at the moment of this writing). There are few versions inside the zip file, for different commodore computers, like FB64 (C64), FB128 (C128), etc… But there’s a loader that figures this out instead of you so you can simply type

LOAD"FB",8

FileBrowser Load

FileBrowser Load

After loading is done start it with RUN command and it’ll detect your CBM machine and start correct browser.

FileBrowser Start

FileBrowser Start

When it loads you’ll see what’s on SD card. Browsing is easy, you can do it either via cursor arrows on the computer and Return key to enter directories or start programs, or via joystick Up/Down and fire.

FileBrowser Screen

FileBrowser Screen

This makes file browsing a lot easier, here’s that same D64 file opened via CBM FileBrowser. Contents is the same as either way.

FileBrowser Bubble Bobble D64

This time I started game, not the trainer, so it got directly to menu.

Bubble Bobble loaded

Bubble Bobble loaded

And that’s it for part 1, in part two I’ll write about how to deal with multidisk games and how to increase load speed because this original speed is slooooooooow!!! 🙂

*EDIT*

Updated games collection. Old files are fine, but multidisk games don’t work because of long file names. Problem is that it shortens long file names and autoswap.lst has full names in it. Another problem is the way it does that, on PC it would be shorten in the way of file00~1.d64. Unfortunately I don’t know what character SD2IEC uses, on C64 it’s a sign that looks like greek letter pi. I’ll have to test if SD2IEC also looks for this pi sign or if I can put ~ in file name and he’ll find it that way.

For now here’s v1.1 games collection with workaround. Multidisk games are renamed to disk01.d64, disk02.d64 and so on.

Download:

Games collection on Dropbox v1.1 – 339MB

CBM Filebrowser 1.6 on Dropbox – 135.12 kB

Games collection on Dropbox – 337 MB

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Posted on December 11, 2014, in Commodore, Commodore 64, DIY, Retro computing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Nice Tutorial.
    By the way, I’m going to build a SD2IEC myself so which are the schematics you followed?There are a lot of variants.Thanks.

    Like

    • Schematics I used are in previous post. I’ve put two schematics there. Depending on what voltage regulator for 3.3V you’re going to use since they don’t all have the same pinout although they have the same package :/.

      Like

  2. please reupload your D64 pack to dropbox

    Like

  3. I’d love to see the image pack but it says disabled…

    Like

  4. Thank you so much!

    Like

  5. Hi

    Looking this very interesting project but CBM Filebrowser 1.6 on Dropbox link is not working

    Could you pls update?

    Regards

    Like

    • Strange, it works now. Anyway, it’s free software so if link fails google can find it easily.

      Like

      • Hi again

        Ok, now working ¿? and discharged without any problem.
        Pcb home made today. Will see when pieces could arrive to build one as soon as possible !!!

        Regards from Spain and thnks for sharing.

        Like

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