Re: USB Stick on c-64 tape port?

From: Marko Mäkelä (
Date: 2008-03-05 21:25:01

On Wed, Mar 05, 2008 at 04:24:52PM +0100, Anders Carlsson wrote:
> Antitrack wrote:
>> Well, i was thinking about "very cheap mass storage for the c64";
> A thought: Wouldn't be possible to take an old PC, connect its serial 
> port through a C2N232 to the tape recorder and make the PC act like a 
> file server, similar to how 64HDD works for the IEC connector? Maybe this 
> software already exists.

Sorry, not that I know.  The new C2N232I has a serial bus connector, but
I did not port the IEC routines to the ATtiny2313 yet.  In 2003, I made
a prototype implementation on a hacked C2N232 that runs the AT90S2313 at
a different clock speed.  That implementation seems to properly implement
the device primitives (I was able to emulate LOAD, SAVE, and OPEN by
sending the right commands to the RS-232 port of the C2N232).  However,
I never wrote a file server application.  I wanted to finish the
serial bus implementation first.  One bug is left in the firmware: it
cannot act as a host and talk to a 1541.  If I remember correctly,
something is wrong in the ATN handshake ("device not present").

Since that time, I have been a busy father of two kids.  I hope I can
revisit it some day.  I'd need some free time, lots of inspiration and
a logic analyzer, all at the same time. :-(

Speaking of the C2N232I, I have 5 devices available, at, say, 20 euro
plus shipping.  This is like the C2N232, but in a straight case, and
there is a (currently unusable) serial bus connector sticking out at the
top.  The hardware was designed by Nicolas Welte, who should presumably
have a larger batch ready any time now.

> As for a related project, how about the MMC2IEC project that already 
> exists and is working? I don't know how much that device interfers with 
> IEC communication and speed loaders, but from a practical point an MMC/SD 
> memory card costs almost as little as an USB memory stick these days, if 
> not even less.

I once dreamed of a C2N2332 project (C2N232 + MMC; 2332 = 232 + 2100
in Roman numerals), but I gave it up for two reasons: the scarcity of
MMC sockets, and the need for some external input.  Yes, after a
power-cycle, the C2N2332 could have served an auto-starting loader when
the computer switched the cassette motor on.  From that point on, the
loader would have been able to access any file on the MMC.  But how would
the C2N2332 know which loader to serve?  One for the C64, VIC-20, C16,
C128, 8032 port 1, 8032 port 2, or for an older PET?  Some extra input
would have been needed for that.


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