Commodore 64c. The newest addition in the 8Bitclub

Recently we acquired a Commodore 64c in working condition from an online auction site. These computers are pretty rare to find here in Bulgaria, because we had our own computer manufacturing industry back in the day. Plus, it came with the original box and European type power supply. At first sight the condition of the case and keyboard looked amazing. There was no severe yellowing of the plastic. Overall it just needed a good clean up and preventative recap job. So, let’s get to work.

After unboxing the Commodore, the first thing we noticed is that the Styrofoam has began degrading from its age. There was gunk all over the power supply cable which we cleaned with some isopropyl alcohol and all of the dirt came off.

Next was the disassembly of the computer. Inside it looked clean with some minor dust. After removing the RF shielding, we can see the motherboard ASSY NO 250469.

The motherboard and keyboard were removed from the case and we gave the case a quick wash with hot water and soap. Then all of the keys had to be removed from the keyboard and cleaned. All the springs were kept safe from losing in a plastic cup. The keyboard was working when we got it, so no further disassembly was needed.

Next it was time to deal with the motherboard which just needed some compressed air to blow off the dust. The chip sockets were cleaned with isopropyl alcohol and the chips were reseated. Then all of the capacitors needed to be replaced. There were not any leaks, but this is just preventative maintenance, because we are dealing with 30+ year old equipment here. The thing to mention here is when you are recapping your commodores is to get good quality caps so they can last for many years to come. The other thing is that there are caps hiding in the RF modulator and to replace them you need to remove the modulator from the board. Use caution when disordering it from the board, because it acts as a heatsink and it is easy to rip off a trace.

The final step was to get everything back together and to test the commodore.

Our Commodore looks amazing after a bit of TLC. It’s a great addition to our small but slowly growing collection. The next projects to come are building a Pi1541, so we can run software and games and a C64 saver, because the voltage regulators in these white brick supplies are notorious for failing and killing Commodores.

Here are the specs of the Commodore 64c:

  • CPU: MOS 6510 running at 1Mhz
  • ROM: 20KB
  • RAM: 64KB
  • VIC 2 video chip with 320×200 in graphics mode and 40 col, 25 lines in text mode
  • 8910 SID chip with 3 Voices, 6 Octaves
  • PORTS: RGB out, Cartridge slot, RF Output, Serial, User port, 2x Joystick ports, cassette unit port
  • CBM Basic 2.0
  • YEAR: 1987
  • Original Price (USA): $229

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