Written and Maintained by Gregory Nacu

1541 Ultimate II+

Last modified: Sep 04, 2018,  Page views: 715

Home Page: http://www.1541ultimate.net
Categories: memory, network, storage, audio
Compatible: C64, C64c, SX-64, c128*, c128D*, (* Some features not compatible with c128 and c128D)
Price: € 149.95
How to Order: Follow instructions on the order page
Documentation: http://rr.c64.org/wiki/1541_Ultimate
Three 1541 Ultimate II+

Comes in multiple colors

1541 Ultimate II+ with top case open

Circuit board with top case open

1541 Ultimate II+ without its case

Circuit board without its case

Left profile with case. IEC serial, USB, Audio In/Out

Left profile with case. IEC serial, USB, Audio In/Out

Right profile with case. USB, 100Mbps Ethernet

Right profile with case. USB, 100Mbps Ethernet

Extra Hardware

Black IEC serial cable IEC Serial Cable

Similar Hardware

IDE64 v4.2uIEC/SDFinal Expansion 3

My Take

The 1541 Ultimate II+ is the latest version of the 1541 Ultimate. I've got it in the featured spot on the Buyer's Guide because of its epic nature and the sheer breadth of its features.

The 1541 Ultimate II+ has a deceptive name. The name made me think it was just some sort of basic 1541 replacement, perhaps even the ultimate 1541 replacement, but essentially just a floppy disk storage alternative. This is completely wrong. The 1541 Ultimate II+ offers a staggering array of brilliant features and functions all packed into a very small, sexy and professional case.

It is a bit costly. At 149 euros it's ~175 USD or ~225 CAD. But, when you consider what it contains and what it costs for those products if you buy them as stand–alone solutions, it's actually a bargain.

Here are some of its features and their approximate prices (in USD) as roughly equivalent individual products:

  • GEORAM — $65
  • EasyFlash 3 — $60
  • Freezer Cart — $60
  • Digital Audio — $25
  • Additional SID — $50
  • SD/USB Storage — $70
  • Generic ROM cart — $25
Total: $355

Add those together and you're well beyond the price of the 1541 Ultimate II+, but spread across a bunch of devices, and that doesn't include many of the other features of the 1541 Ultimate II+.

I've purchased one of these for myself, and it is pretty great. It's not a perfect replacement for everything. There are still good reasons for buying many of those other hardware products individually, but it is an amazing piece of kit.

Read my complete editorial review, and technical deep dive in the C64 OS weblog here: Review: 1541 Ultimate II+

I got two. Greatest retro add-on of all time IMHO. Rob O'Hara — Twitter, 2017

Want to support my hard work? Here's how!

Description

  • Full, cycle accurate emulation of two real Commodore 1541 diskdrives.
    • Uses .D64 and .G64 files stored on USB stick
    • Supports .G64 files as well (Read/Write)
    • Configurable IDs
    • Configurable ROM (1541/1541C/1541II or custom)
    • RAMBoard memory expansion (up to 40K)
  • Built-in Speaker; outputs drive and floppy sounds
  • Support for USB storage devices (stick, card reader, and even HD)
  • 100 Mbps Ethernet port (for use with Telnet or FTP)
  • FAT/FAT32 support, with sub-directories and long filenames
  • ISO9660 support with Joliet, for reading .ISO files and access external CD/DVD drives through USB
  • Battery backed up Real Time Clock
  • Command Interface module with UltimateDOS
    • Accessible module through I/O space that allows direct commands to Ultimate-II
    • Ultimate-DOS, I/O space driven direct file access to SD/USB
  • Dual SID implementation, optionally 8 voices each
  • Ultimate Audio module
    • Up to 7 voices of sampled audio simultaneously
    • Accessible through I/O space
    • 8— or 16—bit samples
    • up to 48 kHz sample rate
  • Built-in SID player; plays SID files on either 'real' SID or emulated SID.
  • C64 cartridge emulation
    • Final Cartridge III
    • Action Replay
    • Retro Replay
    • Super Snapshot
    • Turbo Assembler w/ Codenet
    • Epyx Fastloader
    • Custom 8K/16K carts
    • Custom Ocean / System3 carts (up to 512K)
  • Commodore 1750/1764 REU
    • REU Compatible
    • Size selectable from 128K up to 16 MB
    • Can be combined with Retro Replay and SuperSnapshot compatible roms
  • Flexible freezer menu
    • select, mount, create D64 images, browse disk images
    • create new directories, delete files
    • Ultra fast DMA load of single file programs (.PRG files on USB, inside .D64 or .T64)
  • Configuration screen, with resident settings
  • Tape emulation, through special USB3.0 cable to tape port of C64*
    • Load .TAP files to C64
    • Capture tape data from C64 to .TAP file
    • Capture tape data from a datasette and store it as .TAP file
    • Write .TAP files back to tape, using a Commodore tape deck
    • (* Tape emulator cable is an accessory, which is needed to work with tap files.)
  • Totally rewritten firmware, for easier expansion and maintenance

Specifications

  • Board size: 62 x  90 mm
  • Sturdy ABS plastic case
  • 1M-gate FPGA
  • Full size 6-pin DIN connector (IEC)
  • 5 MB Flash ROM
  • 64 MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Three USB host ports
  • One 100 Mbps Ethernet port 
  • Stereo audio output
  • Stereo audio input (currently not yet used)
  • Specialty USB 3.0 port with USB 2.0 signals for storage device OR cable to tape adapter board (for C2N emulation), or other future features.