Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

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Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby tezza on Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:23 am

These are two machines Jono (Spidersweb) passed to me on a recent visit. I've been playing with them and thought I'd report progress to anyone whose interested.

First task was to find PSUs. The Commodore 16 was easy. I just used a spare PSU I had for my Sinclair Spectrum. The PSU issue on the Plus/4 was solved by changing the square socket to a round one poached off a C64 junk-board plus some jumpering. I could then use the C64 PSU. (As an aside, in reading recent posts about C64 supplies I'm now feeling paranoid about these things! I might make up a Wall-wart solution sometime in the future.)

Both machines booted up! The C16 is fine but the Plus/4 had an issue with tracks lifting off the delicate ribbon keyboard connector. I managed to hack up a fix (as a previous owner had tried to do) but it will probably only last as long as the next time I unplug it. Despite this some of the keys take a fair amount of pressing to get a response. I'm sure it's the membrane rather than the connector at fault here. The feel of the Plus/4 keyboard has to be one of the worst I've come across. Yuk! Very mushy, similar to my Atari 130XE.

As with my recent TI-99/4a find, getting these two machines made me find out a lot more about them. Even though they are certainly not classics and are generally derided, the whole TED thing is an interesting part of Commodore history in it's own right. I'll probably add them to my formal collection, get a software library, write a restoration article, make a video etc. , etc. They will give me something to play with in the coming winter months.

Thanks Jono (P.S. the Atari 800XL worked just fine too).
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby SpidersWeb on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:59 am

Excellent result! The Plus-4 and Atari were from Ben's collection originally. The C16 I had just because it 'looked nice'.

Yeah the Plus-4 has a bit of a toy feel to it. Glad to hear they're all running.
I haven't had any issues with C64 supplies - but I am using the later C64C ones that are nicely vented and I don't think they're potted with glue - not sure if they're immune or I've just been lucky.
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..and the Amiga 500

Postby tezza on Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:09 pm

The Amiga 500 came up very nicely too. I had a junk keyboard which I used to find a replacement for that missing key. Now it's cleaned up it looks better than my original one! And the drive seems faster so it might become my showcase unit.

I've just been playing lemmings on it. So frustratingly addictive!
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby tezza on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:56 am

These machines are now an official part of the collection.
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... plus-4.htm
Tez (Terry Stewart) (Administrator)
Collection: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/col ... /index.htm
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby RonTurner on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:20 am

I have never really understood the C16 ? its not an upgrade to the C64 with the
disk drive still running through the (ultra-slow) serial port, and only 16K of RAM, but oddly it out performs the C64 in colour range !
Its definitely a C64 downgrade, and not really a business machine ? its definitely budget, but trendy in graphite finish (like a bum in a suit)
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby am1933 on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:02 am

tezza wrote:These are two machines Jono (Spidersweb) passed to me on a recent visit. I've been playing with them and thought I'd report progress to anyone whose interested.

First task was to find PSUs. The Commodore 16 was easy. I just used a spare PSU I had for my Sinclair Spectrum. The PSU issue on the Plus/4 was solved by changing the square socket to a round one poached off a C64 junk-board plus some jumpering. I could then use the C64 PSU. (As an aside, in reading recent posts about C64 supplies I'm now feeling paranoid about these things! I might make up a Wall-wart solution sometime in the future.)

Both machines booted up! The C16 is fine but the Plus/4 had an issue with tracks lifting off the delicate ribbon keyboard connector. I managed to hack up a fix (as a previous owner had tried to do) but it will probably only last as long as the next time I unplug it. Despite this some of the keys take a fair amount of pressing to get a response. I'm sure it's the membrane rather than the connector at fault here. The feel of the Plus/4 keyboard has to be one of the worst I've come across. Yuk! Very mushy, similar to my Atari 130XE.

As with my recent TI-99/4a find, getting these two machines made me find out a lot more about them. Even though they are certainly not classics and are generally derided, the whole TED thing is an interesting part of Commodore history in it's own right. I'll probably add them to my formal collection, get a software library, write a restoration article, make a video etc. , etc. They will give me something to play with in the coming winter months.

Thanks Jono (P.S. the Atari 800XL worked just fine too).


I had the exact same problem with my Plus 4 keyboard when I first got it, complete dismantling and a tin of compressed air did the trick, it's not perfect but is usable, you do sometimes get the odd missed response.
I also feel completely vindicated by your comments about the keyboard, I never really liked it and I also found it similar to the sponge-sorry I meant the 130XE.
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:28 pm

RonTurner wrote:I have never really understood the C16 ? its not an upgrade to the C64 with the
disk drive still running through the (ultra-slow) serial port, and only 16K of RAM, but oddly it out performs the C64 in colour range !
Its definitely a C64 downgrade, and not really a business machine ? its definitely budget, but trendy in graphite finish (like a bum in a suit)

I don't even think Commodore understood it. The TED chip theoretically meant it could have been a brilliant wee machine, but why would you buy one when you could just buy a 64?
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Re: Commodore 16 and Commodore Plus/4

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:39 pm

I got a magazine recently off trademe with an advert for the C16.
"Software, with a built in computer!"
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