Jump to content
RobertB

Ray Carlsen's new C64/128/VIC-20/Plus4 power supplies...

Recommended Posts

Ray Carlsen, Commodore repair technician, is building a small number of universal C64/128/VIC-20CR/Plus4 power supplies. Here are the details for the RC p.s.:

*Input – 120V, 60Hz (or alternate version 220V, 50 Hz for Europe/Australia)
*Output – 5VDC @ 5A, 9VAC @ 1A
*Fuse-protected, current-limited 5 volt supply
*built-in surge suppressor (Computer Saver)
*metal case, vented
*PS cable has C64 DIN connector for the C64 and VIC-20CR. C128 adapter to C64 DIN available for those who buy the RC p.s. and at extra cost. (For the Plus/4, the user is to send in the DC full-length cable of the original CBM power supply for attaching to the new RC p.s..)
*One-year warranty – If this RC power supply is not acceptable or fails in
any way, send it back for repair, replacement, or refund.
*RC power supply price - $100 US (not including shipping)
*C128 adapter to C64 DIN - $15 US (not including shipping)

For more details and photos, go to
http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/cbm/universal%20ps/

Check/money order preferred in USA. Paypal accepted for overseas orders.
Contact Ray at rcarlsen(at)tds.net

------

Mini-review of prototype #2

Quality. Durability. Ruggedness. Craftsmanship. These words all describe the Ray Carlsen universal power supply for the C64/128/VIC-20CR/Plus4. Though I've been testing prototype #2 for a few
months, it has never let me down.

When I received it in the mail a few months ago, I was immediately impressed by its construction. It had a metal, vented case with striking black and white paint. It used thick insulation over its heavy gauge
output cable. It sat on 4 sturdy rubber feet. Inside, there was plenty of air space for the components - a new, modern 5VDC unit putting out 5 amps, a new, modern 9VAC unit putting out 1 amp, and the Ray Carlsen Computer Saver which cuts out the 5V line should it go over 5.40 volts. Everything was neatly, firmly screwed down to the metal case. There was no messy mass of wires, just an orderly placement of the wires. On the outside of the case was one LED which showed the power supply had power.

The power supply had the looks, but did it deliver the goods? A big YES! I've had it running for hours, and it barely emitted any heat through the vents on the case. In fact, the Commodore computer to which it was attached felt much warmer. Whether on a VIC-20CR or a C64 or a flat C128, it never failed. It endured the SuperCPU, a notoriously power-hungry device. Thus, it should easily cope with the 1541 Ultimate cartridge and even good, old Super Snapshot - both which need a little more oomph in the
power department. Screen interference on the CRT monitor? None!

Ray hand-built it, testing and tweaking it until it met his critical standards. He showed me some oscilloscope screenshots of the 5V it outputs -- just clean power. He also showed me the oscilloscope
screenshots of a new power supply from a different company -- spikes all over the place... no clean power at all. In fact, that company's p.s. had such bad regulation that it varied from 4.9V to 5.3V.

Now the production model of the Ray Carlsen power supply has been released. Each power supply is hand-built and tested by him. The production model uses a slightly bigger, metal, vented case than the
prototype, because his supplier had the other one on back order. The production model has an improved, internal Computer Saver.

Reluctantly, I will return prototype #2 to Ray when I see him in the summer. However, I will then get the production model! I'm thinking about getting one for the C64/VIC-20CR and one for the flat C128. Then I'll be set for life. :)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Robert. I purchased one of these from Ray, I'm looking forward to using it!

 

Ray is a very knowledgeable and trustworthy individual. I've purchased a computer saver from him and also had a repair done by him in the past. It's really great to still have him supporting these old machines!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On May 10, 2014, I wrote:

 

> (For the Plus/4, the user is to send in the DC full-length cable of the original CBM power supply for attaching to the new RC p.s..)

 

For those who cannot send in that full-length cable, Ray now offers a Plus/4 adapter for his new power supply. See
Also, Ray now offers a 1581/1541-II power supply for $35 and a "dual" power supply for the VIC-20CR/C64 with 1581/1541-II cables for $135. (That dual power supply is an interesting design!) See
and click on the appropriate links.
Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand some Amiga power supplies are being made? Do you have any in stock that I can tell my local Amiga/Commodore club about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've built a few homemade C64 PSUs much like this. They were done entirely out of used parts though, and I always used plastic cases and secured the transformer/PCB with double-stick foam. This didn't always work out too well. The Carlsen PSUs improve on this by screwing everything down, even in the plastic cases.

 

I'd love to know where he gets his AC transformers from because the only way I can reliably get a 9V AC 1A transformer these days is to smash open the power bricks from old US Robotics modems. Far more importantly, his have switchable input voltages (110/220), which is not a very common feature on the low-voltage AC transformers that are typically found in electronics shops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

doctor clu wrote:

 

> I understand some Amiga power supplies are being made? Do you have any in stock that I can tell my local Amiga/Commodore club about?

 

Ray Carlsen also produces new power supplies for Amiga 500/600/1200 computers.

 

FCUG celebrating 33 years,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

July 18-19 Commodore Vegas Expo v11 2015 -

http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally managed to figure out the transformer he's using. It's an Okura LP433. It's sold as an 18V transformer, but it's center-tapped so you can cut it down to 9V. I even found a couple in one of my local shops.

 

The transformers in the US Robotics bricks are bare-bones, just 120V in and 9V out. They also lack mounting frames, which is why I resorted to double-stick foam. It's kind of odd that you can't buy a transformer mounting frame seperately when you can find just about any piece of metal hardware imaginable on the internet these days, but no matter.

 

Shells/housings are the other big problem. Project boxes cost way too much for what they are, and when I did my PSUs I'd just re-use housings from other PSUs that happened to be either orphaned or dead and big enough to hoise all the parts inside. I imagine the proper way to do it would be to track down a lot of suitable surplus PSU shells, fashion a simple sheet-metal chassis that is screwed/epoxied into the bottom of the case and bolt all the components to the sheet-metal chassis for easy service and replacement,

 

I've seen one of Ray's units in person though and he did make the right choices. Nobody else has the System Saver circuit, and nobody else is going to be using 100% new parts.

 

I just wish it was easier to source those Amiga/C128 connectors. Mechware was the only source for them for a few years, but he seems to have closed up shop for good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I asked Mech about his power supplies -- I missed out on them. He said he got a really stupid deal on a bunch of power supplies that he modded to work for the Amiga and he has not been able to locate them at that price, again.

 

I have been thinking about asking Ray about a very special PSU to run all of my Commodore stuff. Gonna take a few shiny pennies, so it can wait :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OLD CS1 wrote:

 

> I have been thinking about asking Ray about a very special PSU to run all of my Commodore stuff.

 

Yes, Ray likes building custom power supplies. It breaks up the monotony of building the same, regular Commodore/Amiga power supply over and over again.

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

July 18-19 Commodore Vegas Expo v11 2015 -

http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray's power supplies are an extremely important addition to the C-64 hardware these days. No one wants to use those old black bricks that we got with the C-64 here in the US. Jim Brain and Bil Herd are working pne a new PSU for the C-64, but that project isn't finished yet, so Ray Carlsen's PSU are important.

http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/custom%20ps.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do we order these?

 

"

For repairs to your equipment or questions, email: rcarlsen at tds dot net

"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On 13 Jun 2015, I wrote:

 

> ...Ray likes building custom power supplies. It breaks up the monotony of building the same, regular Commodore/Amiga power supply over and over again.

 

I'm reminded of a story Ray told me about how he custom-built a power supply for a user who wanted to power an Amiga 500 and a C64 from just one power supply box. He built it with one cable for the A500 which supplied the 5 and 12 volts, and on the other side of the box, he had a C64 cable which supplied the 5 VDC and 9VAC. Very custom!

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a Commodore 128 in a closet cleaning out my parents house. No Power Supply or monitor cable. Been looking for something to verify the computer works before I sale it on EBAY. I know if they do work, the computers go for $250 or more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the new front-end to his site, it might be more difficult for users to find the power supply they want.  You can still keep up with what's available and what's the pricing for them by going to

 

http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen/custom ps.html

 

Clearer and easier,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I purchased one of these for my C64/128 with extra power for 2 external drives. Rock solid performance and well made. If you care about your commodore then give it the best juice! It's worth the extra cost. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray is one of my personal heroes. Not only has he supplied me with the best PSU's you can get for these machines, but a vast array of knowledge and support. He just helped me resurrect a dead (free) C128. This man is literally the only person I can say I 100% trust with my Commodore equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...