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X1541 Cable

Project: 1541 <-> PC data transfer cable
Target : 1541, 1570/71
Time   : 25 min.
Cost   : <10 US$
Use    : Transfer data between PC and C-64, for example data you
         downloaded from internet on a PC disk, or save your old
	 C-64 software to PC harddisk or save it for use with an

         Additionally, you can build an XP1541 cable to triple
         the speed.

Links: X1541 - The Idiot's Guide


Cable which connects to the PC's parallel port (SPP mode only!) and to the serial bus jack of a 1541.

You can't solder?

Here you can buy an X1541 cable / adapter:


The cable described here was originally designed for the program 'x1541', which allowed transfers between PC and C-64 via the parallel port. 'x1541' is rather old and does not work on modern PCs anymore, but its cable survived and defined a standard for nearly every transfer program, for example Star Commander, Trans64, X1541 and probably other transfer programs on PC. To increase transfer speed, you can additionally build an XP1541 cable.

An important Note: NEVER connect the floppy drive to your PC and a C64 and have both switched on simultaneously! I highly recommend that you use a separate floppy drive exclusively for data transfers with the PC.



  1. Read Joe Forster's 'The X1541 Interfaces' first! Not all parallel ports are compatible with the X1541 cable!
  2. Disassemble the DIN connector.
  3. Strip the wires at one end of the cable and solder one wire to each pin of the DIN connector, except for pin 1, which is not needed.
  4. Put the plug sleeve on the other end of the cable and move it to the plug so that it is ready for assembly.
  5. Now strip the wires at the other end of the cable and solder them to pins 1,14,16,17 and 18-25 of the subminiature connector as follows:

    [Picture of DIN - D-sub connection]
    (Click here for ASCII version)

    The interconnection between pin 2 and pin 15 of the 25-pin plug is not needed by all programs, at least not by Star Commander, but since the original program 'X1541' uses it for autodetection, you should add it, now that you are at it :)

  6. Connect the cable to your 1541 and to your PC.
  7. Turn on the drive and the PC.
  8. Configure your favorite transfer program to use the right parallel port (LPT1, LPT2 or LPT3). Note that it MUST be in SPP mode if you have an ECP/EPP capable printer port; it won't work in ECP/EPP mode! For Star Commander, you would execute scsetup.exe. You should also configure them to use the slowest (most secure) transfer speed first, if possible.
  9. Insert a formatted disk into the 1541 and try to access it using one of the transfer programs, e.g. for Star Commander hit [Alt]-[F1] and then 8 (or 9 if your drive's device address is 9), the Star Commander should now display the disk's directory.

    If the program cannot access the drive, adjust the delay value (at least there is one in Star Commander); see the program's documentation (or press F1 while in the appropriate dialog box in Star Commander).

  10. Disconnect the cable (WITH THE FLOPPY SWITCHED OFF!) and assemble the DIN and the DB-25 connector.

Possible failures

Updated: June 29th, 1999
Created: February 4th, 1997
Status : Verified on September 23rd, 1997

Site copyright © 1997 by Marc-Jano Knopp
This document is part of MJK's Commodore 64 & LCD Page
Brought back to life by Peter Schepers, Dec 10, 2005 because I really liked this site!