The XA1541 active cable


The XA1541 active cable is a serial cable that connects Commodore machines or drives to the PC parallel port. It's a substitute for the X1541 cable, XE1541 extended cable and XM1541 multitask cable and has been designed to work in all modes of all parallel ports on all PC motherboards. It's compatible with all parallel ports and with all Commodore machines and drives and clones that have the usual serial bus port.

Hardware requirements

You need the following hardware to make use of this cable:

Software support

The cable is supported by the following PC software:

Important notes


Method 1. If you can't or don't want to put the electronical parts onto a small board, you may solder them together with simple wiring. You can find the details on how to build this cable at the construction page.

Method 2. A more reliable and elegant solution is to put the complete circuitry onto a small board and hide it inside the case of the parallel plug. You can find the details on how to build the cable, with this board, at the construction page.


The assembled cable for Method 2 looks like this: complete cable, top of parallel plug at PC end, bottom of parallel plug at PC end, DIN plug at Commodore end.

These pictures should give you an overall idea on how the cable looks like and how it should be properly assembled. However, when building a cable yourself, you should not rely on the pictures only; see the construction guides instead.


Connect the serial plug into the serial port of your Commodore drive. Connect the parallel plug into the parallel port of your PC.

Important! Do not plug or unplug cables while your equipment is switched on. Make sure that all components of your equipment are connected to the same, properly grounded power outlet. Put your equipment far away from monitors, TV sets and other devices with strong emission, otherwise cables may pick up interference and you may experience data loss or corruption.

If you have problems with your cable then you can test it with XCTest and XCDetect.

Copyright and license

The XA1541 active cable is © by Michael Klein and Nicolas Welte, 2000. If you produce and sell cables or adaptors that are compatible with this cable then you must give credits to the copyright owners. If your adaptors are built onto printed circuit boards then you must also make the complete layout available in a format and resolution that is suitable for high quality reproduction.

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