USB-to-C64 ? (fwd)

From: Marko Mäkelä (
Date: 2001-11-27 17:07:44

Dear Robert,

I don't know of any USB related project for the Commodores.  But I don't
think it's impossible; one could possibly find enough information in the
USB driver source code of Linux or BSD systems, even if the relevant
standard documents cannot be obtained at a reasonable cost.  Let's see if
anyone on the cbm-hackers list warms up for this idea.

I wouldn't try to interface the USB directly to a 6502-based processor;
instead, I'd use a simple microcontroller that is better equipped for the
task.  Along these lines, I'm developing a simple device that acts as an
interface between the cassette port of any 8-bit Commodore and an RS-232
asynchronous serial line.  With my custom protocol (for which the driver
can be loaded using the standard cassette protocol), it transfers data at
38400 bps.

Alas, I've heard that USB has a complicated protocol stack that might be
too big to fit in a small microcontroller.  I don't know if this is true.
Also, implementing a file system (which would be required in the
application you are suggesting) is no trivial task.  I guess the
microcontroller would need several kilobytes of memory for buffering data
and several dozens of kilobytes of program code memory.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 09:57:15 -0600
From: Robert Eaglestone <>
Subject: USB-to-C64 ?

Greetings Mr. Makela:

I've been browsing the web, looking for someone who has
thought about creating a protocol translator that could make
a USB mass storage device look like a 1541 (or a group of

I've also been looking for the protocol standard used by
the C64 to talk with the 1541, without success.

Perhaps you know of someone who has figured out if such
a project can or can't be done.  Or perhaps you know
someone who would know if it could be done.  If you
know of such people, could you let me know?  I am very
curious about it (if only because my 1541-II is not getting
any younger).


Robert Eaglestone

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