That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

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That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby kevman3d on Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:17 pm

Ok, so I finally managed to source the 9VAC walwart I needed last week... I found a 9VAC 1.5A under the house in a box with a rather decrepit old flatbed scanner and 2 12V DC adapters (ravaged by the scorn of unclosed box under a house). I tested it - didn't work - cut off plugs in case contacts were broken. wound the wires to my Multimeter probes... Nada... Then... I realised I'd had the Multimeter on the wrong setting! Doh. Switch to AC Voltage and viole... Working just fine. :roll:

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Anyway, after cutting off the USB on the end of a 5v adapter, attaching a 2.1mm DC plug to both the adapters and then wiring up the DIN to two 2.1mm sockets (handy using screw-in terminal plugs), heatshrinking the wires, testing the connections and grabbing a C64 - I took a deep breath and...

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Flicked the switches...

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Yes! C64c starts up straight away!

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I used a 5-pin DIN AV cable from the Atari XL which worked fine, though I did notice the TV glitch occasionally (jittered up and down a scanline or two). Keyboard seems like it needs a clean (both contacts and the old sellotape someone had decided to place on all the keys), though I have another non-functioning C64c that I'll probably just transplant across...

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Very happy!

So I tested the breadbin C64, and the VIC20 I have here. Apparently the VIC has the same power pins (after checking online, looks like it does). Plug in the VIC - and I get black screen with green lines on the right of each character column. Damn. :(

Plug in the breadbin - light goes on... And... No video signal. Nada. Tried the RF, hit auto-tune on the TV and leave it to go all the way through... No sign of a C64 screen. Sigh. :cry:

However its nice to know I now have a working 7-pin power connection for the commodores. Just have to start searching online for clues on repairing the other two when I find time. Anybody here know if these symptoms sound common - Nothing from the C64 (even though power light is on) , and the black screen of the VIC - and what I should be looking for?
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Re: That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby LilJoe on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:29 pm

Good post, about to build one myself, just need a din connector
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Re: That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby Clym5 on Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:07 pm

LilJoe wrote:just need a din connector

I think you might need more than one. If I need to make up DIN cables, I always get an extra because I know I'll mess at least one up. But that's just me with my shakey hands that somehow can magically do SMD.
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Re: That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby kevman3d on Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:53 am

Clym5 wrote:
LilJoe wrote:just need a din connector

I think you might need more than one. If I need to make up DIN cables, I always get an extra because I know I'll mess at least one up. But that's just me with my shakey hands that somehow can magically do SMD.


I bought 4 - just in case... LilJoe - If you want one, PM me your address and I'll post it to you (they're brand new) plus some heat shrink tubing for the wires, otherwise if you prefer to buy them, I got mine from JCar... They tend to be fairly Cheap.

I ended up only needing one (though you never know when you may need a spare one (wire up an additional cable or two, perhaps)) - I'd expected it to be much harder, but as long as you tin the ends of the wires and snip them to about 3mm or so, apart from my shaky hand, they went in fairly cleanly. The trick I found was is making sure they're short enough as the end of the pins isn't too deep... A bit of flux, an alligator clip to hold things in place and viole... :D

Just heat shrink them with a short piece of tubing and let the nerve-wracking stress of hoping that you measured and tested the cables before you plug things in. :lol:

I also bought screw-terminal power sockets and plugs. Saves on soldering. I would have bought them from JCar as well, until I checked Surplustronics in Queen St which were half the price. Surplustronics also have online ordering, so I'd go there for those. Unfortunately they don't sell 7-pin DIN's... Only 5-pin. :(

Plug
http://www.surplustronics.co.nz/products/6262-21mm-dc-plug-with-screw-in-terminals

Socket
http://www.surplustronics.co.nz/products/6263-21mm-dc-socket-with-screw-in-terminals
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Re: That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby RonTurner on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:19 am

I hate to rain on your parade but.... I think the point of the PSU is to be able to lose the old PSU components, I dont see the point, you have gutted the PSU to replace the 30 year old insides with other 30 year old components ?

I dont know how you get on where you live but if you put a box under a house in chch the silverfish move in.

Jaycar sell horrible Din plugs and everything else has flat batteries thats is why I think of jaycar as a B-grade electronics store, going to jaycar is like clothes shopping at the warehouse.
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Re: That good old home-made C64 psu and results...

Postby kevman3d on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:14 pm

RonTurner wrote:I dont see the point, you have gutted the PSU to replace the 30 year old insides with other 30 year old components ?


Hi Gav... :)

Just to be clear - I didn't actually replace any components or gut anything 30 years old... All I did was wire 2 small 2.1mm sockets to the back of a 7-pin DIN. Then I plugged two walwarts in... If you are referring to the 9v, I wouldn't exactly say it was 30 years old (though it is definitely more then 10). Replacing the only thing "old" is simply a case of buying a new 9v adapter. :D

Jaycar sell horrible Din plugs and everything else has flat batteries thats is why I think of jaycar as a B-grade electronics store, going to jaycar is like clothes shopping at the warehouse.


I agree on that point. They are pretty plasticy, plus for the sockets and plugs parts Jaycar were over twice as expensive then Surplustronics was. If surplustronics stocked 7-pins I would have bought them there when I got the other plugs. They said that they don't stock anything more then 5-pin, which was unfortunate. I just wanted the DIN's pretty quickly, and it was the most convenient way to do it from work. Sometimes I'm a little impatient - and while the quality isn't great, they do the job for now... :)

The next project when I get time is to review a few online guides and see what I can do about those two non-functioning Commodores. It would be nice to see them 'alive', though I'm not stressing over it at this stage as I have plenty of other non-vintage things to keep me busy.

Cheers!

Kev.
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