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Member Since 17 Oct 2007
OFFLINE Last Active Today, 4:18 PM

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In Topic: Preorder open for C64 Reloaded MK2

Today, 4:12 PM


I don't understand what you're saying here. You can easily do 4:3 pillarboxing on a standard 16:9 HDMI-centric display. In fact, that's what most modern classic console recreations with HDMI output do. 


Personally, I'm all in on HDMI, so I prefer that rather than having to convert anything. Native is best.


Greetings, Bill.


I'm pretty sure you know a lot more about HDMI than I (and gaming in general, seeing that collection you have!)


But what I was thinking of may or not me relevant, but I was assuming that it is.


I have always preferred Sony TVs, and in the CRT days, they may have been superior.  In the LCD days, probably not, but I still sort of like 'em.


On my Sony (a few years old) LCD, when I connect with HDMI, I don't get an option for 4:3.  As a matter of fact, I never do.  All you get is (upon hitting the "WIDE" button which should read "ASPECT RATIO" (but doesn't,), is "WIDE ZOOM", "NORMAL", "FULL", and "ZOOM."


Using those options and a Sony Blu-ray player I bought at the same time (several years ago) and hooked up through HDMI, the f-ing thing always stretches the picture.  No choice.  I WANT the "pillarbox" when watching old 4:3 DVDs.  I was frustrated, then (long time ago) I decided to hook an old composite cable from the player to the TV....BOOM!  "NORMAL" aspect ratio then correctly pillarboxed the old 4:3 DVD, correctly.  Great!  Except for the fact that I don't want it hooked up that way.  I want the highest common denominator, and then I get shit-stretched video when viewing old "fullscreen" (4:3) DVDs.  It really pisses me off, to this day.  Evidently, the TV "assumes" that if I'm using HDMI, I want widescreen.  It's not that big of a deal, because I actually prefer a small CRT for C64/A800 etc, anyway.


Would a 4:3 Commodore display stretch, or allow for pillarbox 4:3?  Who knows?  But S-video hooked to a 13" JVC TM-A13SU....


Attached File  JVC TM-A13SU.jpg   68.79KB   0 downloads


....will leave no question, and give an awesome display that looks correct (even better for the time since this is a relatively high-performance monitor relative to the age of the C64) for the time period, and it is that which I prefer.


I am not "against" HDMI; it is rather natural for systems that support 720p or greater.  Those systems suffer on an old CRT.  The C64 and Atari 800 (etc...etc..) shine on this CRT.


That is what I was attempting to convey.



In Topic: "Revive1027" Order thread

Yesterday, 1:16 AM

I've never had a 1027, but a friend did, and it was pretty cool at the time to have letter-quality.


Just to be sure - so I can forget about ever thinking to add one to the collection - THIS PROJECT IS DONE FOREVER AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY MORE.  That is correct, no?


Good job on the project, however!  It's great to see 1027 owners back in business again!

In Topic: Preorder open for C64 Reloaded MK2

Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:18 PM

I don't see why neither would appeal?  OTHER THAN THE COST, THAT IS!!  :)  But that is just the nature of niche electronics projects that don't achieve the economies of scale that Chinese toaster ovens do, at Walmart.


A modern, reliable, flexible, no-solder C64 is all that I'm after.  That sounds like a good thing, no?  Next time I go to hit the power switch in the wintertime in wool socks on a dry day and a spark jumps from my finger to the joystick pins, changing a CIA means lifting a lever!

In Topic: Preorder open for C64 Reloaded MK2

Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:14 PM

Thanks, OLD CS1, for your information.  I ended up buying a PAL 8565 VIC 2 from that guy....


eBay Auction -- Item Number: 291028103676


....which was (in my opinion) a bit expensive!  €33.99 translates to $40 as of this time.  But I found that PAL VIC 2 is not as common as one might have thought.  However, according to this Youtube review, the newer (8565 for PAL) VIC 2 gives a better picture and colors......(roughly 19:00 in the video).....



....so I like the flexibility of being able to choose your VIC.  I want the brightest, clearest picture, of course.


I also bought a couple of 8500 CPUs from the same guy (Germany) but I noticed he raised the price right after my sale.  They were 24.99 (about $29.50 each) yesterday, and they are now €29.99 each.....(roughly $35 now).  Hell, he was selling them for €18.99 (roughly $22.50) as recently as November 27!   I guess these Reloaded boards are driving up the demand???

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 222731440591


For the NTSC machine, I bought a Yankee 8562 NTSC VIC 2 - allegedly brand new - for a bargain of $17.50!  I bought 2, in case I want to convert the PAL machine back into NTSC in the future, since these were so cheap.  This is the same guy OLD CS1 linked to above....thanks for that, OLD CS1.

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 322894039162


Finding the CIA chips is a little more sketchy.  Since I was going with the 85xx series with everything else, I thought I'd look for the 8521 CIA which I think was used in 8-bit machines, but I can't find any.  I see 8520 which I think is an Amiga CIA with different clock (or something beyond my comprehension) and won't work.  So I had to settle for the 6526A since that seems to be the easiest to find, on Ebay.


Some of the Chinese sellers of allegedly new 6526 CIAs are selling fakes, or partially fakes.  Here's one such feedback....


Attached File  Fake CIA.jpg   21.15KB   0 downloads


I bought four of these (a little more money, but California it says instead of China) and I'll hope I don't get a fake one "made in 1935."

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 401388233494


Jens (the seller of the Reloaded MK2) sold me a couple of new 8520 SIDs (one for each machine; thinking if I wanted dual-SID I would change to the earlier version with better filters (or whatever), but I'm not particularly interested in that, yet.  He also combined shipping on my stuff and refunded me roughly $25 this morning, so that was nice.


So I have to agree with some of the criticism of this.  The boards are not cheap, and it's a bit of mouse-clicking (and obvious additional cost) to get the right chips, and it appears this project is driving up chip prices.


But, the S-video is exactly what I wanted.  I have zero desire to run a C64 over HDMI.  Everything I've ever seen HDMI is 16:9 aspect ratio, and I want 4:3.  I like CRTs for classic use, and I have a closet full of JVC monitors with S-video and that do PAL.  The idea is that when I get my retro-room (for computing and gaming) I'll have about everything on the same monitor and it will look tidy, unlike the shelf of a thrift store with TVs of all different sizes, shapes, colors, and brands.


I also like having the original "User Port" there, so if I run across a printer interface, I can use one of the old Epsons and do some classic Print Shop.  I understand there will be a header on the Ultimate-64, but that sounds kind of fragile.  Probably no big deal.  This Reloaded MK2 also does give you the flexibility of which VIC 2 and which SID (and how many) you want to use, and that is nice.  As well, I already have the 1541 Ultimate II and swapping it between the NTSC and PAL machine will be handy, rather than having it built in.  On the other hand, if one is going to build 2 systems anyway, one might just get 2 Ultimate-64 boards and load them both up and there'd be no swapping...LOL.


I am going to have a good look at the Ultimate-64 when it comes out.  I may have to consider that, as well, after recovering from some of this big spending.  I don't waste money on a lot of other things (cheap car, cheap clothes, etc), so this retro-vice I have I can contend with!


Has anybody gambled with these apparently NEW 64C cases, on Ebay???

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 232590083283


I wonder if they come with screws?  I'm sure there's no Commodore label, either.   While I prefer the original beige "breadbin," my spare/backup one has an awful case.  I thought I might put the PAL in one of these new 64C cases to easily distinguish it.  You never see the 64C white keyboard for sale, and when you do, it's all yellowed.  I guess I'll have to make a white case/brown keyboard bastard, but as long as it works!!!  :)

In Topic: Preorder open for C64 Reloaded MK2

Sat Dec 9, 2017 1:36 AM


I checked with Jens, if you have a registered account and a C64R order on that account you can purchase SIDs in the web store.



Thank you, Remo.


Jens is excellent, and replied to my email.


I had bought the board under a "guest" account.  That is, I had not registered, but just entered my info and went to Paypal, etc.


Then I was thinking that I had always wanted a PAL C64 for those games and demos, just as I have multiple NTSC and PAL versions of my Atari 8-bit.  Sucks that it's not switchable, so I went back and ordered a second board (again under "guest") to build a PAL C64.


Then I emailed him, and (he told me) his website is clever enough that if you order under guest, you can then go back and create an account and then IMPORT your guest orders into your newly-created account.  Your account will then let you order SID chips, as it "sees" that you have ordered board(s).  So that's what I did.


What a class-act, not only for the product, the clever ability to do that with your guest accounts and orders, and the guy was really nice.  He even said he'll refund me some duplicate shipping charges when he gets it all together.  I am impressed!


Now, only if I could find some other chips, but I am just beginning my hunt.  I did notice that their new 64C cases are on Ebay most of the time.  Mulling it over, although I like the old beige breadbox for nostalgia.


I had noticed that Gideon from 1541 Ultimate is also working on a C64 motherboard replacement, using FPGA solutions.  It also has the 1541 Ultimate built in.  I wasn't sure, but I think it's more HDMI-output oriented, and I'd rather have S-video (etc) for my old 64.  I'd also like the Ultimate on a cartridge to be moved between machines, rather than built into one.


But we'll see.  Anybody have any thoughts on the upcoming "Ultimate-64" board?  We'll see, after the Paypal account cools off from all of this.


I don't know too much about Commodore, but I have come to enjoy playing with this machine, and I especially like to play the slightly-different versions of my favorite A8 games while looking for the differences.  I also like to play the later games that SHOULD have come out in Atari 8-bit versions, but didn't because the companies dropped A8 support.  It's like a small part of gaming that I missed out on.


I will always be an A8 man at heart (you should see the pile of A8 I have here that aggravates others), but I was wrong to turn my nose up to this (C64) machine, so vehemently.  When the 1541 Ultimate (model 1) came out, I finally decided to try it, and it's fun, and that's all that matters.  I sold that and have a Ultimate II (what an unbelievable modern retro-peripheral) , but now I see they have an Ultimate II+!  I am thinking of ordering one, but I am kind of sad they got rid of the micro SD slot, as having a USB stick hanging off the cart doesn't seem as elegant.


When I first joined AtariAge several years ago, I reverted back into the silly ways of the BBS (1980's) days, and revived my anti-Commodore childishness in the infamous "Atari vs Commodore" thread (if you've been around here a while, you'll remember it), trashing Commodore as if I was 15 years old again.  Now, I drop hundreds of dollars on Commodore (8-bit) stuff, and I love it.  It's a wonderful time to be a C64 enthusiast, with stuff like this Reloaded and of course the 1541 Ultimate.


Now, the A8 gets a lot of great attention and devices as well, but not *quite* as much.  I suppose the A8 userbase was just so much smaller.  I'm looking forward to the 1088XEL if I can get one, but stuff like a new replacement motherboard that drops into the original case (C64 Reloaded), an ACTUAL NEW CASE, and stuff quite as sophisticated as the 1541 Ultimate II (and beyond) seem to be quite unique developments to the C64 scene, and damn, they are good!


I do also enjoy the Vic20 Multicart.  That's another home-run.




EDIT:  Not only do I not know where to get C64 chips, but where is a Yankee going to get something as unusual (in America) as a PAL Vic-II 6569 chip?  Any of my Euro friends have an extra in their parts bin?