The C64 (and other 8-bit Commodore machines) thread.

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by lupin, Nov 8, 2014.

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What 8-bit Commodore machines do you have in your collection?

  1. Commodore KIM-1

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Commodore PET/CBM

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  3. Commodore CBM-II (B128/B256/128-80/256-80/500/600/610/700)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Commodore MAX

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Commodore VIC-20

    9 vote(s)
    11.3%
  6. Commodore 64 (The older brown fat model known as the "Breadbin")

    40 vote(s)
    50.0%
  7. Commodore 64C (The newer beige slim model)

    37 vote(s)
    46.3%
  8. Commodore 64GS

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  9. Commodore SX-64

    4 vote(s)
    5.0%
  10. Commodore Educator 64

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Commodore 16

    4 vote(s)
    5.0%
  12. Commodore 116 (Cost-reduced version of the C16 sold only in Europe)

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  13. Commodore Plus/4

    5 vote(s)
    6.3%
  14. Commodore 128

    8 vote(s)
    10.0%
  15. Commodore 128D

    8 vote(s)
    10.0%
  16. Commodore 128DCR (Cost-reduced and bug-corrected version of the C128D)

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  17. Commodore Prototype/Unreleased (C65/C900/LCD/Other)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  18. Commodore Emulator - I don't have real Commodore 8-bit machines anymore :(

    13 vote(s)
    16.3%
  19. Commodore Emulator - I've never seen/owned real Commodore 8-bit machines, but wish I did!

    1 vote(s)
    1.3%
  20. Commodore Remake - FPGA or similar modern day implementation

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  21. Commodore Candy - I thought Commodore was a car model...?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Alby1976

    Alby1976 Member

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    Mt Isa, again....
    What a score.
     
  2. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Just trying to get a C64 working. Old style.

    There is no sound. The 6581 gets warm but nothing doing.

    There are some chalky looking marks on the underside of the motherboard that match the shape of the RF modulator, I have cleaned everything but they seem permanent. Any ideas before I try a new SID or perhaps a SwinSID?

    It has blown its fuse at some stage too, the old one is wrapped in foil :tongue:

    Edit: It is possible the marks on the board are flux from a repair, the pattern is strange though. Further checks reveal it is getting its 5 and 12v DC. Have tested the same setup with a working machine and got sound. Looked at audio out with my CRO. Nothing at the chip. Ordered a SwinSID Nano on ebay, $27 delivered. I have listed to some online comparisons and it has some issues but it should be fun to play with and will be useful for diagnostics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  3. Draxx

    Draxx Member

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    If he happens to have a spare 128D keyboard, please let me know - been hunting for one for ages!
     
  4. ZXR

    ZXR Member

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    He had it all packed away in boxes in his shed, so I didn't get a chance to see it all at Christmas. I have to move a bunch of boxes to get to the boxes with all the goodies inside. Hence the reason we didn't get it done at Christmas.

    I'm hoping to get back out there some time in the next month or so, so I'll check it out.

    -ZXR
     
  5. @rt

    @rt Member

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  6. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Restoration project, saved it from my parents place. Bit dirty but no yellowing.

    Whats the go with the power supplies guys? Do you just replace them?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    I had one of those supplies. I never gave it the chance to destroy my computer :) Go back to the bottom of page one of this thread to see one possible hack.

    I logged on though to post about a SwinSID.

    I had a C64 with a suspect SID (see above). Rather than pull a good one and risk wrecking it at some point in the process (or having the mobo trash it though I blamed one of the three PSUs that came with two computers...) I bought a SwinSID implementation on ebay for about $25 delivered.

    It is a digital SID emulator that is available as a drop in replacement (no paddles though for Arkanoid, oh well). It removes the analogue output charm of a C64 so I was a bit skeptical but it seemed better than the other options (including potentially broken or partially broken units for sale on ebay). Also it is interesting in its own right.

    Installation was simple. One jumper for the two kinds of SID and an outline in the silkscreen showed me 'the end with the notch' to properly orient it. I now have sound :) and one confirmed dead 6581 :(

    The verdict is that it sounds awesome. I can't pick any differences between it and the real thing so far except that it a little too hifi :) There are some AB comparison videos on youtube that show some more significant differences but the firmware is improving all the time. I plan to solder on a header to keep it updated with a USB to TTL serial adapter I have.

    SwinSID FTW.

    EDIT: Firmware improving all the time may have been an exaggeration it seems. Still good already though :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  8. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Cheers for that!

    After a good clean I made a box that could feed the power from a Snes PSU and a USB cable.

    Wake up old man:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Nice one. ;) The fuses and capacitors I put in are overkill. It appears though that we both buy plastic boxes at the same retail chain.
     
  10. callan

    callan Member

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    I've wondered about the Swinsids - good to have some first-hand experience. We need more chips re-implemented as drop-in replacements. At the top of this list I would put the TED chip for Commodore PLUS4/C16's. Those TEDS are fragile, self-destructive (even when powered off!) - and there's no replacement for them. I am terrified that in a few years we'll only have software emulation to enjoy..

    It always warms my heart to see another Commodore resuscitated. I'm very glad you didn't use that old power brick. They're widowmakers..

    Callan
     
  11. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    I did wonder about that!

    Ordered an S-Video cable and an sd2iec today. Super hyped to play some of the games I loved as a kid again and show them to my son.
     
  12. warrenr

    warrenr Member

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    still got my C64 in a box - I think it hasnt been powered on in 15 years! from memory video ram was the issue - too paranoid to even try and fix it :(
     
  13. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Still waiting for my flash disk, made a joystick today :D

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Emulation? Oh the humanity! I have heard ted is fickle.

    A C64 nut I know (springystick on these forums) had a listen to my swinsid through some hifi gear on the weekend. He thought it was awesome. I still prefer the signature misbehaviour and fidelity problems of the genuine article but honestly it is very good indeed. I have seen PLAs and ROMs for the c64 too (I suspect you have too Callan).

    Nice stick nimmers (looks like you made another trip to jaycar for the box :cool:). I use these ones with buttons on the stick.

    The clip over hoods that you can get for the 9 pin connectors prevent proper insertion of the plug. I have had good results with sanding the little hooks down a bit with a bit of a bevel and better results by cutting them off and getting adventurous with the hot melt glue inside the shell...

    Edit: not sure how old your son is Nimmers but my four year old boy is nuts for Buggy Boy with unlimited time.

    Edit2: WarrenR the C64 reloaded motherboard should be pre-order-able any day. It might suit you :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  15. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Brand new C=64C cases made from original molds on Kickstarter. Someone please find the 'breadbin' moulds, I have lots of nice kit in lots of bastardised and damaged cases.

    Bit of an update on the swinsid too. I have a C64C that I believe to be working fine. However, Grand Prix Circuit's distorted guitar etc. sounds better on the swinsid than the sid in the C64C (the 8580). I will trial another C64C but I think it is to be expected based on wikipedia's SID entry "many SID musicians prefer the flawed 6581 chip over the corrected 8580 chip. The main reason for this is that the filter produces strong distortion that is sometimes used to produce simulation of instruments such as a distorted electric guitar."
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  16. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Some serious weirdness spied inside a C64 PSU I picked up last night. I took the lid off and look!


    Click to view full size!



    Click to view full size!


    Is that a custom aftermarket switch-mode 5v side? The heatsink even sits top to bottom inside the case by the looks of it. Neat! Note the two different colour cables for the 240v and C64 sides.
     
  17. callan

    callan Member

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    It is an external Commodore 128 power supply, with a C64 cable grafted on the end of it, and the label transferred. The schematic (I think!)can be found HERE.

    It's a linear design, not switchmode, but it's still lot better built than the C64 widowmakers, so you've done well there. It's got more headroom than the standard C64 PSU as well, and has enough oomph to support a REU if you have one.

    Here's a picture of a C128 external PSU in my collection:
    Innards:
    [​IMG]

    Note the different colours for the wires in the output cable.
    Case:
    [​IMG]

    Note the reversed colour scheme of the label.

    Nice score :)

    Callan
     
  18. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I'm currently using a C128 PSU for my C64 too. The 128 PSU's case was cracked when I bought it, which caused a louder than normal hum, so I transferred the guts of it into my old C64 PSU. Classic Commodore move, re-using whatever they could - they just changed the sticker on top.

    I didn't chop the cable though, I'm using an adapter that I bought on the interwebs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd like to build or buy a modern replacement for this PSU one day, I've come close to going down the wall warts option a couple of times but it always seems a tad too hard.
     
  19. partybear

    partybear Member

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    Where did you buy the 9v ac wall wart, my psu is dead.
     
  20. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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    Jaycar has them.
     

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