The XE1541 extended cable


The XE1541 extended cable is a serial cable that connects Commodore drives to the PC parallel port. It's a substitute for the X1541 cable and has been designed to work in all modes of all parallel ports on all PC motherboards but read the important notes for exceptions. It's compatible with all parallel ports and with all Commodore drives and clones that have the usual serial bus port.

Hardware requirements

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

  • A PC with a parallel port
  • A Commodore 1541, 1570, 1571 or 1581 drive, or any other Commodore drive or clone that has the usual serial bus port

Software support

The following PC softwares support this cable:

Important notes

  • Don't let the name "XE1541" fool you. This cable works with all kinds of Commodore drives that have the usual serial bus port, not only the Commodore 1541 drive.
  • If your Commodore 1541, 1570 or 1571 drive is already fitted with a Commodore parallel cable then you might be better off with the XEP1541 adaptor which makes use of the parallel cable and triples the transfer speed.
  • There's a variant, called XM1541 multitask cable, of this cable which works under Linux, as well.
  • We have found the cable to have severe problems with ASUS P5A(-B) motherboards and certain laptops. If you intend to use a cable on such a PC then use the XA1541 active cable instead.


You can find the details on how to build this cable at the construction page.

If you already have an X1541 cable then you can find the details on how to transform it at the construction page.


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

Make sure to 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.


The XE1541 extended cable is by Nicolas Welte and Wolfgang Moser, 1997. 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.

Source: The Joe Forster-STA homepage