Fun with Commodore 64s

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Fun with Commodore 64s

Postby Carcenomy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:14 am

I didn't have anything else planned for this evening, and decided enough was enough and that I needed to have a working Commodore 64!

I have a stack of the monkeys, and not a single one of them behaved properly. After some poking I found two of the five I have showed at least a glimmer of life. The other three look pretty dead - no display output whatsoever and dim power LEDs. The two that DID look almost lively had garbage screens at best, rolling wrong coloured screens at worst. Weirdly, both seemed to start better when the 1541 was connected...

After having to build a new AV cable (how the heck does something this simple fail?!) I started running through some diagnostic check sheets with great success - one machine had a failed PLA, the other a failed VIC, both of which I acquired from the other dead machines. Huzzah!

Sadly the machine that had the failed PLA still isn't stable - after a few minutes of running, it'll freeze up. I'm suspecting CIAs, but as none of them are socketed, I'm going to have to desolder some to try out. The other machine however came up 100% - it's stable and loads software correctly. It just needs a good Retr0brighting and should be fit for general use! Very satisfying seeing a previously deceased machine come back to life.
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Re: Fun with Commodore 64s

Postby tezza on Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:50 am

Carcenomy wrote:Very satisfying seeing a previously deceased machine come back to life.


Isn't it just. Well done on the ressurections!

I've had to unsolder one of those PLA chips in my time in order to replace them. Not too hard....just takes a lot of patience.
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Re: Fun with Commodore 64s

Postby Carcenomy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:55 am

Further work unfortunately will have to wait till pay day, my solder sucker is knackered and I don't have any wick. Very keen to see if I can get the single C64C going... always preferred its shape over the classic breadbin.

If anyone was curious about how I ended up with so many dead 64s, my uncle was quite the avid C64 user right through to about 1995. His personal good working machine got given to an aunty who ended up giving it to Alan Gilchrist, while these five were stashed under his workbench. All of them have signs of having had reworks performed in the past, so I'm guessing he'd attempted repairs back then unsuccessfully. Sadly, my uncle passed away a few years back from a heart issue. A few months back my cousins were cleaning out the shed and came across these machines, but neither of them knew how to set them up correctly and so they came into my possession. I'm sure it'd have made Barry proud to see them operational again.
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
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Re: Fun with Commodore 64s

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:12 am

It's great to read about machines being returned to working condition.

I acquired a number of faulty ZX81s a few years ago under similar circumstances; a friend's father had passed away leaving couple of boxes of ZX81s and parts.
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