Can you use a 1541 drive to dump C64 (or any other 5 1/4 inch) disks?

It has become clear that it is impossible to dump all the contents of many original disks through a 5.25” Commodore 1541 drive. Even though the 1541 is fully programmable, it has a very limited memory. Also, the drive CPU is way too slow for a generic reading solution, you need to write one program for each specific “task”.

Doing it this way would require reading through different programs to get working dumps for many protections. This is something that we are not going to do - it is rather pointless and error prone. For a start, we would have to try to dump each track on a disk with “just” (for example) 20 different methods. We are pretty positive there were many more commercial protection systems than this available at duplicators.

You can do the maths. It could be weeks to get a perfect dump of C64 disk using a 1541 drive in a worst case scenario.

So now it is evident that we need to dump through a generic 5 1/4 inch drive, not a 1541. This way we will have the benefit of seeing everything written to the disk as we currently do with 3.5 inch disks. This would be plain impossible through a 1541 based dumping program, as would getting any density information due to the slow CPU.