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Spriggy

30+ years later ... back on the C64 wagon

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Well. Now that my 2600 set-up and cart collection are at a stage where I'm happy, it's time to move onto a project I've thought about for the last year. Revive some fantastic 80's memories and get myself a C64 set-up.

The video game crash in '83 didn't really come on our radar down here in Oz. After the 2600/Intellivision/Colecovision era, a lot of the aussies moved straight to the Vic20/C64/Amstrad. C64 was King .. or Queen if that suits your fancy ;) I was lucky to move to the C128d. Mum used it for word processing with the Star NL-10 printer and the brother and I naturally gave the C64 side of the 128 a spanking for many years! My next gaming unit was the Sega Megadrive, so Queen 64 fared us well! Even had a little C64 group amongst the local lads/friends. Gr8 f%#king memories!

 

I'm not fussy which system I get. 128, Breadbox, 64C. Will source a 14" CRT. Want to use a 1541 and floppies. Like my 2600 set-up and carts, I love the grab and stab nostalgic feel!

I'm open to modern hardware upgrades, like the LumaFix64. I'm 30 years behind, hence a complete noob, so much reading to do.

 

As always, opinions on which hardware upgrades are good, set-up ideas and the usual AA sarcastically obtuse abuse is most welcome.

 

Thank you Ladies.

 

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IMHO the short motherboard (in the majority of C64C, also in C64G) is much more stable than the older motherboard in the breadbox and early C64C. In particular it has a more reliable PLA chip, though also a bit more uniform sounding SID. Of course things may still break, but the more risks you eliminate the better. Also the power supplies to the entire C64 range are ticking bombs in that the 5V line may go bad, release 12V into the computer and fry it. You probably want a so-called C64 Saver device to be on the safe side. Of course if you go the C128 route in one way or another, it has a much more reliable power supply and you wouldn't have to worry about that. There may be more factors to it, but that is some starting points.

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IMHO the short motherboard (in the majority of C64C, also in C64G) is much more stable than the older motherboard in the breadbox and early C64C. In particular it has a more reliable PLA chip, though also a bit more uniform sounding SID. Of course things may still break, but the more risks you eliminate the better. Also the power supplies to the entire C64 range are ticking bombs in that the 5V line may go bad, release 12V into the computer and fry it. You probably want a so-called C64 Saver device to be on the safe side. Of course if you go the C128 route in one way or another, it has a much more reliable power supply and you wouldn't have to worry about that. There may be more factors to it, but that is some starting points.

 

Thx carlsson :thumbsup: Read some of those details last night at work in downtime. Have my eyes on a later C64C 250469-02 C64-E, checked by the Dead Test cart. Comes with a new kickstarter case (pressed from the same molds) with blue LED and custom badge. New Ray Carlson PSU (which I've read are the best), x2 unused Retroleum spare cap kits, new unused LumaFix64, new Retro Computer Shack AV/Composite/S-Video cable and custom protective cloth cover from Ambibay. MB and chips original. Might message him tommorrow. I'm only going to be using the 64 to play games/demos. No assembly programming or other shit. Will look at either the new revised Epyx Fastload cart (which I used bitd) or the new Final Cart III+, for 1541 fastload.

 

Again, any particular disk drive that would match this? 1541C or 1541 II I gather.

 

I think that's it. Thx in advance.

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Welcome back! I still have my Vic-20 and my C64 ready to go on my desk. I like using floppies also but you may want to get an SD2IEC drive. You can load software directly from an SD card.

 

Also, how cool is it that 3 guys from Australia, Sweden, and the United States can discuss their Commodore 64s together? Awesome!

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If I recall correctly, the 1541C is a bit of an oddball drive, so I would go for a 1541-II with a proper external PSU (yes, yet again Commodore cheaped out with the original ones, but this one is easier to substitute).

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The SD2IEC is probably your best drive option if you don't mind ditching real floppies.
There's also the IDE64 Project, which gives you a fast IDE interface for the C64.
It blows away a C64+drive with Jiffydos for speed, but many programs require patched versions to use it.
There is a web page dedicated to providing patched programs though.
You'd probably want an SD2IEC even if you bought an IDE64 to use for stuff that hasn't been patched yet.

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The changes to the 1541C were quite minimal:

 

https://dfarq.homeip.net/1541-vs-1541c/

 

My 1541C is my most reliable single density drive, of course that is purely subjective experience.

 

You will want some solution to easily move disk images from the PC to something the Commodore can talk to. They all have pluses and minuses, as noted above.

 

SD2IEC is probably the lowest cost and good enough to meet your needs as you explore the hobby. Once you get in deep, then you can shell out for more expensive solutions.

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Or if you have a spare Raspberry Pi of a recent model, you can consider the Pi1541. Buying it all in parts will make it more expensive than a SD2IEC or uIEC/SD but if you would have a Pi lying around doing nothing, it would be an affordable solution.

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Even if you use an SD option for your C-64, I believe a real floppy is still important. The 1541 II is a much better choice than the regular 1541. Personally, I use 1571 drives.

But, give the 1541 II a serious look. It isn't plagued by the many problems the 1541 is known for.

 

 

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Get yourself an Ultimate-II+ cartridge.

 

That's probably the best investment I made on my c64 recently.

 

Agreed. Easily the greatest add on for the C64.

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