Recently purchased a Commodore 64C off Ebay. The purpose is to take the system and utilize the SID chips to generate sound using the Mssiah Cartridge off MSSIAH.com. If you haven’t noticed I like to play with Synths and restore electronics for fun.
The Commodore 64C I got through Ebay was a well cared for unit that worked right out of the box. In order to get video to my LCD screen, I had to purchase cables from 8-bitclassics.com. The exact cable I got was the 64 8-Pin DIN to S-Video & RCA AV Cable. The best part about this cable is that it allows you to chose between using S-video or RCA and it allows you to output left and right audio. The entire purpose of this project is to output audio from the C-64c. This cable roughly reached $23.99 shipped.
While the unit I have has a good power brick, the old Commodore 64s had power issues where the Power Bricks would possible cause damage to the chips. Add the age of the power brick on top of this issue, it’s only a matter of time before it could potentially fry my system in some way. Since the cost of replacing the SID chips on this board can be up to or over $50, I decided to purchase a replacement from c64psu.com. The Power Supply itself was around $58.91 shipped. I’m limiting the amount of use on my Commodore as I wait.
Once I got the Commodore 64C and the 8-pin DIN cable, I hooked it up to my LCD and the cable worked wonderfully. No issues in quality whatsoever. There was just one issue. I wasn’t able to get sound whenever running One Line c64 Basic Music. Commodores use a programming code called Basic. It’s pretty much the basic programming language needed to run programs or develop your own software. Passing this code did not generate any music though and failed. Checkout Nickm.com who discusses this topic more.
10 poke 54272+rnd(1) *25,rnd(1) *256 : goto 10
This line of code should generate 18 minutes of music but I got nothing but silence. Looking it up online, I found a wonderful video on YouTube where another enthusiast tested their unit and did some basic troubleshooting.
After plugging in and using my Voltameter, I found that the voltage was not matching what was needed on the upper right pin(28) on the 8580 SID. I was not able to get the expected 9v. Following this guys video, I was able to identify the fuse needed and placed an order on the fuse. The fuse needed is a 1.5A 6.3x32MM FST ACT. A 10 pack cost $7.08. I bought these on Amazon. Once I was able to get these in, all I had to do was insert the fuse and voila. Sound.
The above test was using the MSSIAH cartridge, which has a sound diagnostic check you can use to play and validate the SID2SID mod.
I have two smaller projects for this coming up. I will be putting together a Pi1541, which emulates the 1541 Disk Drive used to store and load applications. Without it, you can’t really do much with the Commodore because all the code you type out will take forever to type and you can’t save or reload it if you make a mistake. It looks like a really fun project and I hope to share this with you.
In addition to the MSSIAH cartridge, I did get the SID2SID. Thankfully, the SID chip I have is fully operational, but I was able to order the second one from an Ebay Seller for below $40. Once I get this and validate a bit of knowledge gap behind it, I will attempt to add this mod later down the road.
If you like my post, let me know. If you have questions, please write to me. I’m still learning all of this, but having a heck of a good time going about it. Most of this a lot of people might know, but I hope that anyone else doing this will read and learn from what I’m doing here.