1541 Diagnostic Cart

Repairing Commodore 1541 Diskette Drives (link) is not something I have tried before. But when I recently had these four broken drives thrown in my general direction I had to take up the challenge! The problem with diskette drive repair’s is that most diagnostick software has to be loaded from disk. This is especially a problem if the only drive you have is broken! To overcome this, Jani from World of Jani (link) has created a 1541 Diagnostic Cartridge with all the tools needed for reparing the old drives. The tools include, among others, head alignment check, error scan, speed check and sector view. He managed to fit all the tools into an 8kB cartridge as a 16kB cart would have overwritten the BASIC interpreter. It is possible to get commercial versions of the cart from Protovision (link) but the binary code is free for use so I decided to make my own cartridge.

This is the heap of broken 1541’s that I have to fix sooner or later:

I used a cheap 8/16kB Universal Cartridge PCB that I got from Sharewareplus (link)

The 1541 diagnostic Cart .bin file is available from Jani’s wesite. I used my TOP853 EPROM burner and a C2764 8kB EPROM for burning the image. The cartridge was mounted inside a standard cartridge case.

The software loaded as it should. Pressing RESTORE will return to the menu. This is the menu.

All I have to do is to get started on the faultfinding 🙂 I will update the repair log section of the site when I (hopefully) get them working again.

© breadbox64.com 2017

3 thoughts on “1541 Diagnostic Cart”

  1. Good luck with the project(s), and please keep us updated – perhaps with a few video clips, too!

  2. So, were you able to fix your drives using the cartridge/program? I bought one of these cartridges and it gives me some errors on almost every test but I have no idea what to do to fix the errors.

  3. You are talking to my bad conscience here… I have to admit when I made the cart I had all the best intensions to get on with the repair project. However, since then most of my C64 time has been spent on developing the MechBoard64 and get that project going. I still have the four diskette drives disassembled in my workshop, I just haven’t gotten around to bringing them back to life. Hope you’ll be able to fix yours 🙂

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