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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:48 pm

Jim Drew, the owner of CSMStuff.com, has been tinkering with an idea to upgrade his SX-64. He decided to try and make better use of the empty upper bay that is typically used like a glove box for holding loose floppy disks, maybe a Sharpie and disk labels, manuals and other detritus.
mySX64.jpg
Photo by moi. (This is my SX-64 for demonstration purposes.)



The result of Jim's design experiments have lead to this:
photo-1-sx64.jpg
photo-2-sx64.jpg

Jim Drew:
The left display is for my Super Tracker II (digital track display that I sell), and the right display is for the uDrive - a cycle exact 1541 emulator (also a cycle exact multiple different disk drive and hard drive emulator).
Presumably with this integrated design concept the Super Tracker would work directly with the uDrive, not the built-in floppy drive.

The Super Tracker display is pretty interesting, especially for the detail oriented crackers out there:
The Super Tracker II displays the current track (including half-track), density level, write protect status, drive motor status, and number of syncs on a track. The SuperTracker II can also control an auxiliary output which can be used to set the disk drive's device number, or even for switching between two different drive ROMs!
Regardless of what the this does, I kind of dig the design in general - just the look and feel of it all. The blue outline is a really nice touch.

I think it would require modifying the storage bay to account for the wiring, etc. But how cool is that?

User avatar
Huxley
Website

Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:22 pm

Mannnnn... if this ever became a product, I would be the first nerd in line to buy one! Looks absolutely fantastic :D

Huxley

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:27 am

Very cool. I have a Super Tracker II, and am very much looking forward to the uDrive even though I prefer to use actual disks 99% of the time.

SX-64 has been on my want list for quite some time. Still waiting for a decent one at a decent price. It will probably never happen but you never know.

User avatar
JimDrew
LHC, AZ
Website

Posted Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:49 am

intric8 wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:48 pm
Presumably with this integrated design concept the Super Tracker would work directly with the uDrive, not the built-in floppy drive.
The SuperTracker II is in fact for the built-in 1541 disk drive. This is something that I have been selling for many years now. I make a kit that you can install in your 1541, 1541-II, or 1571. Some people have also put them in the C128D.

In regards to the upper bay replacement shown above, the left display is for the SuperTracker II and would give you info on the real 1541. The right display is for the uDrive. That is a cycle exact disk drive emulator that I have demo'd and tinkered with for many years (like 6 or something ridiculous like that). It's somewhat like the Pi1541 in that it is cycle exact, but it is tiny (see below) and required about 30mA of current. I designed this to be installed inside of your C64, but people scream and yelled that they wanted an external unit. So, I designed an enclosure and now I guess I need to really finish the uDrive because I paid for the tooling and have actual plastic injected molded cases sitting here in various colors! By the way, that blue surround border is a separate piece of plastic, just like the SX-64's blue surround border (no, that's not painted - that is 4 separate pieces of plastic glued and pressed into the face).

I have a lot more info on this stuff on my Discord server, which everyone is welcome to check out.

https://discord.gg/rrqTTCTCYm

uDrive board - size compared to a U.S. penny
udrive-2.jpg
SX-64 themed external uDrive enclosure (not a rendering)
udrive1.jpg
udrive2.jpg
Same thing in clear
udrive3.jpg

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:27 am

The uDrive is quite impressive!!

Especially considering the internal option. As always it’s then a question on how to use it (buttons vs. onscreen etc.) and exchange storage, but I must say that at this size every C64 should have one 😆.

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3D-vice
Germany

Posted Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:26 am

Very nice! I just love those geeky projects for our beloved 8-bit machines. :commodore: Reminds me of continuing my case design work for the Handheld 64 ...





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