A blog about my music, my studio and my DIY projects.
11 February 2012
petSD for the Commodore PET 2001
A long time ago I bought an old Commodore PET 2001 in quite a good condition. It came along with a tape drive with just a few very simple games on it. Of course there is much more software out there for the PET but I needed a reliable and comfortable way to get it on there. Then I found a DIY kit on the internet called 'petSD'. It simulates a disk drive and stores it files on a SD card. It is quite easy to build. The only thing that is a bit tricky is the SD adapter itself since it is SMD and has very small pins to solder.
The website has very clear instruction for the assembly. You can also see a battery on the PCB and that actually is for a clock interface that should tell the PET the current date and time. I don't think I'll actually use that. But then it was time to switch the power on and everything looked OK. I did notice the odd looking centronics like connector and thought that would hook up to a port on the PET. And I was wrong :) Good preperation..... NOT !!. It is a IEEE 488 interface and there is one on the PET offcourse but it has a different connector. So you actually need a cable to hook it up. I thought it would be easy to find something like that on E-bay, but WRONG again.
After a long search and reading a lot of forum articles I managed to stumble on the TPUG (Toronto PET Users Group) from Canada. And they had them on stock :) So after that I had to wait for that cable to arrive before I could test the petSD. And today it arrived! So I hooked it up right away and did a LOAD "$",8 and LIST and got a directory listing of all the programs I already put on the SD card. So it actually worked :) Very cool.
And then it was time to test some games. My youngest daughter also joined and played with the old machine. She was complaining that it was slow :) LOL. Sure it is. But now I can put all the software ever made for the PET on a 512 Mbyte SD card. I already found some games that don't fit in the standard 8 Kbyte of RAM. So next thing is looking for a memory expansion for the PET. So if you happen to have one laying around. Let me know :) OK. If you are interested in the petSD project. You can find more information on this URL: http://www.retro-donald.de/sinchai-shop/
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