A3000: Amber’s Variable Resistor

AmberSyncThe A3000 was randomly deciding to output a proper signal to VGA. I know the monitor I was using (or LCD) was capable of displaying in the right frequency range — but only 1 out 5 power ups would yield an active VGA display.

It was easy to tell when a good powerup would occur, as the VGA display would have some very dark gray vertical lines in the black screen.

Putting a scope on the VGA port showed signals on the RGB and H/V sync pins. Each signal looked okay from a casual inspection (comparing a good powerup versus bad). I checked all the pins around the board to see if there was anything missing on the way in to the VGA… but if the VGA signals looked ok either way (on or off) then it must be a very slight signal variance.

The variable resistor on Amber was very touchy. I had a spare that would work, but I re-soldered the old part just to be sure.. it looked like there had been some work previously done on it. Using a metal screwdriver, I noticed the signals jumping around on the V/H pins. Removing the screwdriver would change the signal as well. I had a plastic screwdriver for altering TBC signals — TBC’s did the same thing with metal tools.

Without worrying about over turning the resistor, I swung it pretty far. I then noticed it was loose. After screwing it down for a while, I felt a bump and then the signal seemed to tune easier. I found the sweet spot, rebooted — VGA stable. I waited 30 minutes with the machine off tried again, still good. Off for two days, powered it up — still working fine. Nailed it 🙂

C64: Asteroids Emulation on a C64

Link: http://members.aon.at/nkehrer/astc64.html

Well, it’s pretty awesome. A quote from the site, explains the awesomeness of this:

Since the nineties, arcade emulators like MAME can emulate the classics like Asteroids on the PC or the Mac. This program is an Asteroids emulator for the Commodore 64. The “emulation” of the arcade machine’s CPU is done natively by the 6510 processor of the C64. The video and sound hardware is simulated by the Asteroids emulator program. In this way, the original arcade game program is executed and interpreted, and the original game play is (more or less) exactly reproduced.

I can remember the disappointment in the conversions that showed up over the years of this amazing game. It was one of the first games I loaded in MAME to check out. Well Done Norbert!

C128X Graphic

C128X

At some point everyone thinks about making their own computer, I’ve always wanted to make one. The C128X was supposed to be used for a commodore themed website, never got down to making it. As my electronics skills are mediocre at best, I doubt that I could make a computer on my own — but I can at least design the look of one. I always liked the the 128D’s design, the pull out keyboard and the built in floppy. The A2000 as well I always liked especially for the front facing joystick and keyboard ports. The A2000 was a barn though, you could hide an entire other computer in there with room to spare (if you had the AT addon then you did have two).

The file for this is here:  C128X

Commodore 1571 Graphic

Commodore_1571

Another PSD, this time of a Commodore 1571 disk drive. You can get the file here: Commodore 1571. I remember getting a C128, which replaced the first C64 we had. My father managed to talk to Jim Butterfield, who arranged the original C64 purchase — first generation hardware coupled with a white 1541. It’s funny, as that original C64 was never traded away.. unlike that C128 which somehow I got an A500 for. Weird.

CBM 8050 Graphic

cbm8050

This is the image of the 8050, which I made in Photoshop. All the layers are there, to edit the details. If you want a copy of the file go here: CBM 8050 PSD

My BBS in the day had one of these, an 8250 and a SFD1001 attached to a BUS Card with a pile of 1541’s. The grade school I was in, had 4 pets sharing an 8050. That was the first network I noticed, then a pair of ICON’s showed up.

Amiga and Commodore Disk Icons for SD Cards

clogo8 kick icon source

A link to the Photoshop sources are here: Photoshop Files

A link to the actual .ICO Files are here : Windows ICO

I’ve also included with the ICO files the config file that you can use to make these a disk icon. These are nice to replace the SD cards default disk icon, great for people with MMC replays or Turbo Chameleon 64’s. Note: The Commodore PSD uses Adobe Photoshop CC’s 3D capabilities, the other file is a flat bitmap.