Of all the methods of loading stuff into your Commodore, the SD2IEC family of SD readers are the business. SD2IEC emulates the basic functions of an 1541, as well as supporting fast loaders like JiffyDos and Final Cartridge III and Epyx Fast Loader.
So stop wearing out your old tapes, move on to the 21st century and start using flash memory!
These tips are my recommendations and not the ONLY way of using an SD2IEC. If you are already a Commodore disk drive user, you’ll get the hang of it in seconds! If you’ve never used a real disk drive, follow the information here, and you’ll soon be using your Commodore like a grown up!
Below you'll find a brief explanation of how to prepare an SD card, installing FileBrowser and directory structure. (Easy option further down the page!)
Formatting an SD card:
Simply format any SD card as FAT16 or FAT32. In most circumstances a QUICK FORMAT will do. If you are having any trouble using your SD card in your SD2IEC, try formatting with the official SD Card formatting tool.
Download the latest version of CBMFileBrowser and extract all of the content of "PROGRAMS" to the root of your blank SD Card. Now delete the TXT file and remove the extensions from the FB files.. eg.. FB.<NOTHING> FB16.<NOTHING> etc
To keep your file structure neat, create directories for your files. Something like this..
Quick note, if you don’t have a diskswap button.. when searching for disk image, try to avoid multi disk D64’s if you can, some games have been converted either to .prg’s that you can just run from a directory, or the larger capacity D81 disk image.
Insert the prepared SD card into your SD2IEC and from BASIC type LOAD”*”,8<ENTER> RUN<ENTER>. This should load and run filebrowser. To navigate the menu either use cursor keys or Joystick in port2. For single D64 images, just open the D64 by pressing RETURN or FIRE and then select the first PRG file to LOAD.
Using Multiple Disk programs
For multiple D64’s you will need to create an AUTOSWAP.LST file so the SD2IEC knows what disk to load and in what order. It is also possible to do this via command (See BASIC COMMANDS)
AUTOSWAP.LST - Create a text file (notepad on PC) and simply enter the file names of the D64’s eg
And don’t forget to save the file as AUTOSWAP.LST not AUTOSWAP.LST.TXT
To load your multi disk images, use FileBrowser to open the directory containing the D64 images and the AUTOSWAP.LST file, then press Q to quit filebrowser. Now press the diskswap button to select the first disk (button nearest the data cable). Type LOAD”*”,8<ENTER> RUN<ENTER> to load from the first disk image and when the program asks for the next disk press the button again. When the SD2IEC reaches the end of the AUTOSWAP.LST file, it will loop back to the beginning of the list.
New to SD2IEC v4 (3 Button)
AUTOSWAP automatic file generation. To use this feature, from the directory containing your Dxx images, press both the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons at the same time. The SD2IEC will create a file called AUTOSWAP.GEN. You can use this file straight away or you can edit it if the order is incorrect and rename it to AUTOSWAP.LST for future use.
Changing Directorys/Images via BASIC
These commands can be entered from Basic as well as from your freezer card menu.
Changing directories (CMD syntax)
OPEN1,8,15,"CD/SOMEDIR/":CLOSE1 - change to SOMEDIR (relative)
OPEN1,8,15,"CD//":CLOSE1 - change to root directory
OPEN1,8,15,"CD//SOMEDIR/":CLOSE1 - change to SOMEDIR (in root)
OPEN1,8,15,"CD:←":CLOSE1 - go to parent directory
Using M2Is or D64s
OPEN1,8,15,"CD//SOMEDIR/:SOMEGAME.M2I":CLOSE1 - change to/mount SOMEGAME.M2I
OPEN1,8,15,"CD//SOMEDIR/:SOMEGAME.D64":CLOSE1 - change to/mount SOMEGAME.D64
OPEN1,8,15,"CD:←":CLOSE1 - leave M2I/D64
LOAD"//SOMEDIR/:SOMEFILE" - load SOMEFILE in SOMEDIR (filename gets separated from path using colon)
Change device address
OPEN1,current address,15,"U0>"+CHR$(new address):CLOSE1 - change sd2iec device number to new address
OPEN1,device address,15,"XW":close1 - this will save settings to eeprom (required if you want to set new device address as default)
Too much work for you? Like to take the easy option?.. Well here it is!
1. Quick format your SD card to FAT16 or FAT32.
2. Download SD2IEC-Collection.exe or .7z and unpack DIRECTLY onto your formatted SD card.
3. Insert the SD card into your SD2IEC and type LOAD”*”,8<ENTER> RUN<ENTER> ** LOAD"FB",8 if your PC didn't unpack in the correct order **
When loading multi disk games, EXIT FB (Q) in the directory containing the D64’s you want to use, then press DISKSWAP button to select the first disk. Next type LOAD”*”,8<ENTER> RUN<ENTER> When prompted, press DISKSWAP to select the next disk. If you have any problems formatting your SD card, try the official SD Card formatting tool found here.. sdcard.org Some characters may be displayed as symbols. DON'T PANIC.. This is how your Commodore deals with upper and lower case. It's best to make sure your filenames are all lowercase if you want an easy read!
If you find anything in the SD2IEC-COLLECTION that doesn't load, please let me know so I can update the file with SD2IEC compatible versions. Ta
SD2IEC loading speeds are the same as a real 1541.. Slow! But it can be sped up by fastload roms or cartridges. JiffyDos is the best overall fastloader solution available for most Commodore computers, but JiffyDos is a ROM chip that needs to be installed inside your computer. This does mean that you might have to use a soldering iron if your ROM is not in a socket.
Another solution is cartridges. Various carts work fine, I have tested The Final Cartridge III and Epyx FastLoad myself. FCIII can be pricey but it does support freezing. EFLr can be found here..
Regarding the Final Cartridge III.. an early version of the FCIII's rom can cause a problem loading. This has been fixed an alpha release of the firmware.. A special thanks to Johan for getting to the bottom of this. Alpha releases can be found here www.sd2iec.de/nightlies/ (sw2-64k for 644 version sw2-128k for 1284)
Q. Does the SD2IEC support all game images.
A. No it doesn't, but it does support just about everything you'll ever really need.. D64, D81, D71, M2I as well as PRG's (M2I might be dropped in future firmware)
Q. Does the SD2IEC fully emulate the 1541
A. No, it does not fully emulate the 1541, so programs that require 100% true drive emulation can fail. But these are few and far between, the only device that 100% emulates the 1541 fully is the 1541U-II. But that does cost of a heck of a lot more.
Q. How do I change disk?
A. If you have a cased SD2IEC, just use the diskswap buttons. (See Multiple Disks above) Or you can change disk via BASIC, a Freezer Card, using a program like file CBM-filebrowser, or by adding a disk swap header and switch. Alternatively, some multi-disk games have been converted over to D81, or just PRG's, completely removing the need to disk swap in the first place.
Q. I've got a disk swap button, but how do I work it.
You'll need to create a text file called autoswap.lst, and this will need to be saved into the folder containing your disk images.
You will of course need to tell the SD2IEC what to load, to do this add the file infomation to the autoswap.lst file.. Something like this
TIP.. Another good way of doing this is to rename the files. As most multi disk games are 2 disk, just create a autoswap file like this..
Then you can copy the same file to any of your game directorys, and just rename the disk images to 1.d64 and 2.d64
It's even easier if you have a v4 SD2IEC - From the directory contraining your Dxx images, simple press BOTH Previous & Next at the same time to auto generate the autoswap list. (Move info above)
Get it? Good!
What to people think of my SD2IEC's?
SD2IEC firmware is available as Gnu Public License v2 www.sd2iec.de Ingo Korb