View Full Version : vic 20 psu options

September 6th, 2009, 11:59 PM
Hey guys

I've got a VIC 20 here which I bought from the USA. I live in Australia and as many of you would know, the power from the mains is quite different. 240v vs 110v. So this means I can't simply plug in the PS from the vic 20, unless I had a stepdown transformer. And then even if I had one of these, would the difference in Hz have an affect, or is that part of the stepdown transformer?

But, I also have in my possession 2 c64's - each with there own PS. Now as my VIC is a much earlier model (it has the 2pin power connector) it makes it impossible to use the C64 PS. So I was wondering if I was to use one of the C64 PS's and cut of the leads, pick up the 9v ac lead, and wire it up so I can plug it into the VIC 20. Will this work or am I looking for trouble?


September 7th, 2009, 12:58 AM
Unfortunately the two-prong VIC-20 will use at least 2A on the 9VAC line. The PSU is rated for 3A, at least in PAL land. The C64 PSU only delivers 1A on the 9VAC. Some people have tried what you suggest and barely get the computer to work. I think you'd be better off looking for a generic 9VAC transformer. Also consider some Atari power supplies which also generate 9VAC at higher wattages. However they may be just as rare as the VIC-20 one.

I have a NTSC VIC-20CR with the DIN connector. I power it using a 220V power supply without problems. As you mention, the 50/60 Hz could in theory make some difference, but I don't think it really matters in regular operations.

nige the hippy
September 7th, 2009, 01:33 AM
Try it with a step down transformer, if the vic 20 transformer is not "built to a price", then 50Hz won't be a problem, if it's "cheap and nasty" then it will hum, and overheat due to the core saturating.

September 7th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Agreed with carlsson, go with a beefy generic one since you have a 2-prong model.

September 7th, 2009, 07:31 AM
Thanks guys... So it looks like i'll need to spend some money either way... lol

Now another, kinda off topic question, is when I do plug the VIC into the tv via RCA, will it be a problem that its NTSC and here in aus we use PAL? (might be the other way round - i get confused) Or do most TV's nowadays accept both inputs?


September 7th, 2009, 07:35 AM
You may get a B&W picture. When you mention RCA, do you mean a composite video cable? If you are using a RF modulator, there is a risk your TV won't be able to display the picture at all, due to NTSC RF is much less common for PAL TV's to handle than NTSC composite video.

By the way, is there a particular reason you bought a VIC-20 from the USA? They may be uncommon within Australia but for compatibility reasons you should've been able to find one from somewhere in Europe. Shipping costs probably had been about the same if you chose the right seller (e.g. Germany, Austria, The Netherlands).

September 7th, 2009, 04:49 PM
yeap I mean composite.

Main reason for buying it from US was 1) starting to get rare over here in aus and when you do find one its got a steep price, 2)this one I got from the US was in excellent condition, with no yellowing or marks. Looks like it hadn't been used since 1980! and 3) original packaging and price was great (including shipping)

I don't really care if I get a chance to use it or not, if I can't then its just going to be a collectors item.


November 27th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I've done the same thing (bought a US VIC-20 for use in Australia) - same reason as matty - I saw a nice one and couldn't resist. I'm happy to keep my VIC as an "unusable" collectors item too, but I'd like to power it up at least once.

Mine has the DIN power connector. Will an Australian C64 power adaptor work? C64s seem to be much easier to find than VIC bits at the moment. And it would give me a good reason to add a C64 to the collection ;)

November 28th, 2009, 12:21 PM
Yes, C64 DIN power is identical to VIC-20, except for the power supplies are rated for higher ampere so it will last longer and can take more load. I power my VIC-20 with a C64C power supply.