C64 S-Video cable – the easy way, and with no SCART

November 17, 2012

I made another C64 S-Video cable for a fellow Commodorist. Instead of using SCART, this time I made the cable as an actual S-Video lead, which admittedly is more universal than the SCART connector. Also this way it doesn’t take that much effort to make the cable.

This time I present you step-by-step instructions on how to make the thing. For more theoretical approach and details about the wirings and components, check the other post where I made the SCART cable.

I think the best and easiest way to make a cable like this is to use an ordinary S-Video and audio leads. And that’s what we’re going to do here.

Here’s what we need. An S-Video lead, an ordinary audio cable with RCA male connectors, an 8-pin DIN plug for the C64 Video port (check the other post for connector type details) and a 330 ohm resistor. Additionally you might need some heat shrinking tube, and of course, a soldering iron plus some solder, and tools for wire stripping and cutting. Not to forget a continuity tester or multimeter. Read the rest of this entry »

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EasyFlash 3 hands-on

February 16, 2012

At the end of last year skoe released the EasyFlash 3 design. Just like the original EasyFlash, the design is open source, so basically anyone is able to start making those. It’s likely that these boards start surfacing from different sources. The first place selling assembled EasyFlash 3 cartridges I found was Retro-Donald’s Sinchai-Shop, and mine’s from there.

There are already at least two board designs. One like mine here, a short cartridge with buttons on both sides. The other design has longer board and the buttons are at the back in the usual way.

You North-American folks are probably pleased to know that RETRO Innovations is going to manufacture and sell them as well.

And yes – this is your JiffyDOS on a stick .. err.. cart solution!

Seriously, calling EasyFlash 3 just that is a vile devaluation (and I’ve seen it already happen). It’s much more than “just” a KERNAL on a cartridge. Read the rest of this entry »


New DualSID boards

January 1, 2011

SID-goodness just keeps on coming. Some while ago Tomi Malinen released his DualSID twin-SID PCB. Depending on how the board is assembled and configured you can add either SID model to any C64 model. Additionally, the second SID address can be configured using jumpers. With DualSID board you can have both SID models in one C64 or configure yourself a stereo SID setup for any twin SID application. Anything goes. It’s probably the best and most versatile PCB design so far for adding another SID chip into C64.

I ordered myself few kits already a good while ago, but I have been lazy with my C64 activities lately and have not yet assembled them. I will have to come back to this topic once I have assembled and installed one.

Meanwhile if you’re interested for such board get familiar with the DualSID web site.

Here’s a picture of the kits I ordered:

DualSID-boards and components unassembled

Three DualSID boards and components for one 6581 and one 8580 model. While the board is the same there are different ways to assemble it depending on which SID model you are going to have as the second one. The FAQ on the site will help to understand the possibilities, limitations and why there are two different ways to assemble the boards.

Also, HVSC update 54 is out!


C64 twenty years after

August 24, 2010

This summer was my 20th anniversary of owning a Commodore 64. Yes – I got mine when it was already the dusk of C64’s commercial life. But still for many years to come it was the most popular gaming machine among my friends. But why do I still play around with mine? What it gives you in 2010? Of course a great deal of my C64 hobby is nostalgia. But there’s more.

After I had moved away from using the C64 in favour to then-modern PC, I found my interest to the good old Commodore in late 90’s when I found some demos on a BBS and ran them on a C64 emulator. I wasn’t expecting that the C64 could run such effects that could be seen in e.g. Smash Designs’ Triage demos. I was amazed and I wanted to be able to run the most amazing demos I could find on a real machine as the emulation was far from perfect by the time. At this point I had few different models of C64s and I was transferring floppy images to 5,25″ DD floppies with Star Commander. Read the rest of this entry »


Cultural act

August 10, 2010

Yesterday there was an unusual story in Finnish newspaper Kymen Sanomat and also few other cooperating subnational newspapers. It was about Commodore 64 and sports games. That’s right.

How this came to be?  A friend of mine, Juha Rika – who has found C64 again after years, is working in that newspaper. He got this idea together with his collegue – a sports editor – to arrange a gaming session with their C64-nostalgic workmates and to have a story written of it in the newspaper. Of course this counted as work time. Getting paid having fun playing C64 is quite unusual – I salute you guys! Read the rest of this entry »


How to identify C64 and SID model

July 1, 2010

I have come to notice that the different models of “normal” C64s can cause some confusion. Special models and different casings aside there are two main versions of Commodore 64 – the original hardware design and the new, cost reduced hardware design. There are some differences between these two designs and the greatest difference is the SID chip. Original motherboard design has the 6581 SID chip and the new model has 8580. These motherboard designs comes in the various casings all mixed up.

Four different models of C64

C64 C models can have either motherboard version. A C64 G will most likely have the new “short” motherboard – it’s not 100 % sure however. The brown “breadbin” C64 is always assembled with the old “long” motherboard.

Read the rest of this entry »


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