64Copy Central


Building the X1541 Serial Cable

Parts needed:X1541 cable parts

Visit the ports, parts & pinouts page for a descriptions of all the above parts.

Tools needed:

The X1541 serial cable is the original PC-to-1541 transfer cable, dating back to 1992. It was designed for parallel ports of the day, which were standard (normal) or PS/2. It utilized the bidirectional nature of the control lines which present-day ECP and EPP ports don't have. Present day ports, even though they claim to be able to emulate PS/2 or standard, simply won't work due to hardware-level implimentation problems. This restricts the cable to vintage systems of 486 and older.

Even though this cable is the easiest to build, requires no extra components like diodes (XE/XEP, XM/XMP) or transistor/resistor modules (XA/XAP) and has the most software support, it is very dated and only works under DOS. This cable is meant for very old hardware, and I do not recommend building one unless you also have such hardware. This cable works with Star Commander and 64HDD, but not MNIB/NIBTOOLS.

If you're not sure this is the right cable for you, see my cable picking guide to check.

Cable copyright Leopoldo Ghielmetti, 1992

Step 1: Prep the DIN6 plug and attach the wires

Serial wires in DIN6
Wires attached to the DIN plug.

Step 2: Prep the DB25 connector and attach the DIN6 wires

DB25 solder bridge DB25 serial wires
The solder bridge on the DB25 from pins 18 to 25. The DIN6 wires attached to the DB25. Note that this is an old photo and it is not completely correct so don't compare your cable to this one.

Step 3: Check the cable

Cable pinout chart

DIN6 (male)
DB25 (male)
2 (GND)
18-25 (GND)
3 (ATN)
4 (CLK)
5 (DATA)
16 (INIT)
18 to 25 shorted

Step 4: Finish the cable. Mount the DB25 end into the hood

DB25 in hood Finished X1541 cable
The DB25 mounted in the hood. (Once again, this is an old photo and is not correct.) The completed X cable.

X1541 schematics

Schematics drawn using ExpressPCB, a free and excellent solution which also supports PC board layout editing.

Email the author: Peter Schepers | Last updated: Sept 12, 2011