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DoingTheUnstuck
November 7th, 2009, 11:25 PM
And I'm already having difficulties.
I bought a C64 from a person and, from what he said, it was in working condition.
His words were, "The last time it was used it worked perfectly and hasn't been used since then. It's just been in the back of my closet".
Well anyway, I got it and hooked it up when I got home and all the lights (like "power" and for the disk drive) turned on.
The only problem is the cord that plugs into my telelvision. This cord looks more on the used side than the others. When I plugged it in, I got nothing on my TV screen. The funny thing was, was that if I sort of jiggled the part of the cord that connects to the keyboard, the screen would change and these static-y lines would appear.
I decided to clean it with some electronic cleaner and noticed something. One of the little prongs that stick out (on the end that you plug into the keyboard) is bent.
Could that be my problem?
Everything else seems to be working properly, but then again, it's hard to tell whenever you can't see what's going on.
As far as appearence, everything looks well. There isn't any apparent damage. It looks like the guy who had it before me took good care of it.
Perhaps I'm just not setting it up right. I have no idea.
So, what do you think my problem could be?
Thanks :D

Jorg
November 7th, 2009, 11:44 PM
Did you search for the channel on your TV the C64 is 'broadcasting' on?

ahm
November 8th, 2009, 02:46 AM
Perhaps I'm just not setting it up right.
More than likely.

cgrape2
November 8th, 2009, 05:12 AM
Yep,check channel 3 and 4.That's where it where it will show up.Just like a VCR would.
cgrape2

DoingTheUnstuck
November 8th, 2009, 05:00 PM
So, when I plug in the Yellow cable into my TV, my television senses it and automatically turns to INPUT 1. Is there anything I need to change about that?
And the prong being bent has nothing to do with it?
Does that not really affect anything?

ahm
November 8th, 2009, 05:22 PM
So, when I plug in the Yellow cable into my TV, my television senses it and automatically turns to INPUT 1. Is there anything I need to change about that?

It's hard to understand what you're doing exactly with regard to video.

I understand you're plugging a yellow cable into your TV.
Is the jack on the TV marked? What does it say?

And, the other end of that cable plugs into the computer.
Is that end a large multi-pin connector? Or is it a single RCA plug?

rebeltaz
November 8th, 2009, 09:28 PM
I would think that the bent pin is the cause of the trouble. And it is possible that there is a bad connection inside the cable. Try hooking the c64 up to a TV using the RF output instead of the AV output.

Unknown_K
November 8th, 2009, 10:12 PM
A C64 has 2 types of video out, a round 5 or so pin DIN plug that ends in 3 RCA type cables, or the composite looking plug on the back that is for RF output. Quite a few people see the RCA type jack and connect it to composite in on their TV, which will not work. If you are using the RF out you need connect it to RF in (antenna) on the TV, radioshack sells a small adapter that converts the RCA cable end to a screw in type (like cable systems used) that will connect to the antenna in on the tv, then just make sure you are using the correct TV station.

Fallo
November 8th, 2009, 11:15 PM
And the prong being bent has nothing to do with it? Does that not really affect anything?

If the cable is no good, you can get another one on Ebay. The C64 also outputs S-video, if your TV has a connector for that.

DoingTheUnstuck
November 9th, 2009, 01:16 PM
AGH, this is getting complicated (for me).
I think what I'll do is post pictures of what I'm talking about since I don't have knowledge of what they are actually called.

ahm
November 9th, 2009, 02:04 PM
AGH, this is getting complicated (for me).
I think what I'll do is post pictures of what I'm talking about since I don't have knowledge of what they are actually called.

A novel approach might be to use a common reference, like this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64#I.2FO_ports_and_power_supply
and be able to use the actual names, as shown.

DoingTheUnstuck
November 11th, 2009, 08:23 AM
A C64 has 2 types of video out, a round 5 or so pin DIN plug that ends in 3 RCA type cables, or the composite looking plug on the back that is for RF output. Quite a few people see the RCA type jack and connect it to composite in on their TV, which will not work. If you are using the RF out you need connect it to RF in (antenna) on the TV, radioshack sells a small adapter that converts the RCA cable end to a screw in type (like cable systems used) that will connect to the antenna in on the tv, then just make sure you are using the correct TV station.

So, are you talking about the red plug-like thing that is beside the DIN plug?
I called Radioshack today and they said they had one of those adapters, so I'll be picking that up today. If that's all I am needing to do, then I suppose I'll be set. I'll post something if I'm still having problems.
Thanks!:D

ahm
November 12th, 2009, 12:00 PM
The Radio Shack part is called "Phone to F Adapter", part #278-255.

(1) Screw the adapter onto your TV set's antenna jack,
(2) run a cable* from there to the RCA phono jack on the C64,
(3) turn the TV on,
(4) turn the computer on,
(5) enjoy.

If you don't see a blue image, try channel 3 or 4.

We've discussed this at least once before...
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=1080

* A cable with RCA male plugs on both ends (yes like for an Atari).

Andy

DoingTheUnstuck
November 13th, 2009, 08:37 AM
The Radio Shack part is called "Phone to F Adapter", part #278-255.

(1) Screw the adapter onto your TV set's antenna jack,
(2) run a cable* from there to the RCA phono jack on the C64,
(3) turn the TV on,
(4) turn the computer on,
(5) enjoy.

If you don't see a blue image, try channel 3 or 4.

We've discussed this at least once before...
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=1080

* A cable with RCA male plugs on both ends (yes like for an Atari).

Andy



Okay, so I went to Radioshack and asked the guy for exactly what you typed.
The guy was completely condescending and basically told me that I had no idea what I was talking about.
I told him that my cable that hooked up to the TV (from the keyboard, the one with the 3 RCA plugs at the end) was faulty and I couldn't get a signal. I told him that I just needed that one part that you told me to get and he said, "No, that won't work. Whoever told you that was wrong". I just sat there for a while to bask in his ignorance.
So this is what he gives me (and by this time I am EXTREMELY fed up with his overall demeanor): He hands me an RF MODULATOR and a 2 FT COAXIAL CABLE and tells me that my "problem [is] solved".
I knew this wouldn't work because my RCA cables don't even work (because they are a part of that faulty cable)! So, I tried one last time explaining the problem only to be cut off by his senseless speaking.
So I just bought it. It was $40 worth of nonsense, but I wanted to just get out of there.
I am returning it today, getting my money back, and going to a different ReadioShack.
AGH, people are so difficult!

dave_m
November 13th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Radio Shack people are not usally the brightest electronics people in the world. Just ask for the item by part number: Radio Shack model 278-255.

Here is a link to the part on the Radio Shack website. It costs $3.39:

Phono Plug to "F" Jack Adapter (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2123169)

Bungo Pony
November 13th, 2009, 09:18 AM
Here is a link to the part on the Radio Shack website. It costs $3.39:

Phono Plug to "F" Jack Adapter (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2123169)

I'd never seen anything like that. I usually used one of those "TV / Game" switches that hangs off the back of the TV.:

http://www.vintagecomputing.com/wp-content/tvswitch_2_large.jpg

That little connector is nice and small!

MikeS
November 13th, 2009, 10:25 AM
Okay, so I went to Radioshack and asked the guy for exactly what you typed.
The guy was completely condescending and basically told me that I had no idea what I was talking about.
I told him that my cable that hooked up to the TV (from the keyboard, the one with the 3 RCA plugs at the end) was faulty and I couldn't get a signal. I told him that I just needed that one part that you told me to get and he said, "No, that won't work. Whoever told you that was wrong". I just sat there for a while to bask in his ignorance.
So this is what he gives me (and by this time I am EXTREMELY fed up with his overall demeanor): He hands me an RF MODULATOR and a 2 FT COAXIAL CABLE and tells me that my "problem [is] solved".
I knew this wouldn't work because my RCA cables don't even work (because they are a part of that faulty cable)! So, I tried one last time explaining the problem only to be cut off by his senseless speaking.
So I just bought it. It was $40 worth of nonsense, but I wanted to just get out of there.
I am returning it today, getting my money back, and going to a different ReadioShack.
AGH, people are so difficult!
Well, in all fairness I think he was absolutely correct and your "basking in his ignorance" is just in fact demonstrating yours... I bet he was saying, "AGH, people are so difficult!" after you finally left...

If you want to use that "faulty" cable, which is apparently what you were talking about, then an RF modulator is *exactly* what you need. Try it, it just may work.

Reread message #13: this adapter has nothing to do with the cable with several plugs, it goes on a *different* cable with an RCA plug on *each* end which plugs into the RCA jack on the C64; you need the adapter *and* this cable, if you don't already have one.

In any case, I wouldn't blame anybody for thinking that an RCA jack is composite video which it normally is, instead of modulated RF as it is only in the C64 and a few other ancient home computers.

And if, as you say, none of the plugs on that cable give you a picture when plugged into the TV's INPUT 1, your C64 probably has a problem anyway. Exactly where is this bent pin you mentioned?

Fallo
November 13th, 2009, 11:54 AM
In any case, I wouldn't blame anybody for thinking that an RCA jack is composite video which it normally is, instead of modulated RF as it is only in the C64 and a few other ancient home computers.

Systems up to the SNES and Genesis used RCA cables for the RF output, at the very least. And I wouldn't fault the guy at the Radio Shack, either. He probably doesn't even know what a C64 is. Heck, he probably doesn't know what a TRS-80 is, either ;)


And if, as you say, none of the plugs on that cable give you a picture when plugged into the TV's INPUT 1, your C64 probably has a problem anyway. Exactly where is this bent pin you mentioned?

I still think that the cable is no good. As I said earlier, go on Ebay and type "commodore video cables". At the very least, it will cost less than that RF modulator did.

But, if the OP still wants to try the RF output, then search for "rca coaxial adapter".

MikeS
November 13th, 2009, 12:26 PM
Systems up to the SNES and Genesis used RCA cables for the RF output, at the very least. And I wouldn't fault the guy at the Radio Shack, either. He probably doesn't even know what a C64 is. Heck, he probably doesn't know what a TRS-80 is, either ;)

I still think that the cable is no good. As I said earlier, go on Ebay and type "commodore video cables". At the very least, it will cost less than that RF modulator did.

But, if the OP still wants to try the RF output, then search for "rca coaxial adapter".
True enough; some of the game consoles used RCA jacks for RF as well. Still, if someone came to me with a cable with several RCA plugs of different colours and wanted an adapter to connect it to the TV's RF input F connector I'd also be inclined to suggest that it's not what he needs; if I wasn't told (and didn't know) that the unit in question also had an RF output I'd also suggest a modulator as the answer.

I sometimes feel sorry for the much-maligned (and probably underpaid) Radio Shack employees and what's expected of them. But I didn't mean to imply that the OP actually *needs* a modulator, just that it was probably a reasonable suggestion in that context.

It might indeed be the composite cable that's faulty; that's probably why the adapter for the RF cable was suggested, since the OP might well already have an RCA<>RCA cable connecting a VCR or DVD player and that would be quicker and cheaper than finding a replacement DIN cable to test if the C64 actually even works.

DoingTheUnstuck
November 13th, 2009, 01:01 PM
If you want to use that "faulty" cable, which is apparently what you were talking about, then an RF modulator is *exactly* what you need. Try it, it just may work.

Reread message #13: this adapter has nothing to do with the cable with several plugs, it goes on a *different* cable with an RCA plug on *each* end which plugs into the RCA jack on the C64; you need the adapter *and* this cable, if you don't already have one.


For one, I decided to give the guy's word a chance. I hooked everything up with the modulator, and it still didn't work, thanks.

And secondly, the part that is spoken of in message #13 (which I have read numerous times) is what I went into RadioShack for. I am completely aware that this part has to screw into an RCA cable with both male ends, and into the RF on my television. The guy wouldn't let me explain my problem, that's why he gave me what he did.

So, with his words proven frivolous (and perhaps yours too), I am going back to RadioShack to return my nonsensical equipment for something that will actually solve my problem.
Thanks. ;)

MikeS
November 13th, 2009, 04:09 PM
For one, I decided to give the guy's word a chance. I hooked everything up with the modulator, and it still didn't work, thanks.

And secondly, the part that is spoken of in message #13 (which I have read numerous times) is what I went into RadioShack for. I am completely aware that this part has to screw into an RCA cable with both male ends, and into the RF on my television. The guy wouldn't let me explain my problem, that's why he gave me what he did.

So, with his words proven frivolous (and perhaps yours too), I am going back to RadioShack to return my nonsensical equipment for something that will actually solve my problem.
Thanks. ;)
Well, I'm just reading what you wrote; I wasn't there, but if you talked about the DIN cable and said that the adapter was *all* you need, then I don't think you have any business calling him (and apparently me as well) ignorant. Considering how vague and confusing your descriptions have been here, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a misunderstanding. Why bother even involving the guy? You knew what you wanted, you phoned them, they had it, maybe you even had the part number, why not just buy it and be on your way? Did he actually demand to know why you wanted that part and *refuse* to sell it to you and instead *force* you to buy something you *knew* was the wrong thing?

Just my reaction to people who don't really seem to know what they're talking about themselves condescendingly "basking in the ignorance" of people trying to understand and help them... sorry 'bout that.

BTW, the adapter doesn't *screw into* an RCA cable ;-)

Oh well, enough frivolity; good luck anyway.

DoingTheUnstuck
November 15th, 2009, 12:55 PM
The Radio Shack part is called "Phone to F Adapter", part #278-255.

(1) Screw the adapter onto your TV set's antenna jack,
(2) run a cable* from there to the RCA phono jack on the C64,
(3) turn the TV on,
(4) turn the computer on,
(5) enjoy.

If you don't see a blue image, try channel 3 or 4.

So I went back to RadioShack and bought the part described above.
I hooked it up to my television and the screen went from fuzzy to black. So I'm getting some sort of signal, but I suppose something else is wrong. Maybe something is on the fritz internally.
I tried it with both channels 3 and 4; it still didn't work.
Perhaps I don't have everything I need. I mean, do I need to have a cartridge inserted?

And, my apologies, Mike, for being unnecessarily rude.
I was just frustrated.

Amberwolf
November 15th, 2009, 02:04 PM
Perhaps I don't have everything I need. I mean, do I need to have a cartridge inserted?
No, it should boot up to the ROM BASIC screen.

If it comes up black, it's possible that it is not booting, but that the video electronics are all working and generating video-black on the RF output. Since the DIN/AV cable also generates enough of a signal to cause your TV to switch inputs, it's likely this part (and cable) are working at least that much.

I have seen a number of C64 power supplies die outright (worse with the Vic20), but not usually not fully output to spec. It is possible there may not be clean power for the keyboard unit to run from, or that the capacitors inside it that filter the incoming power have aged enough that they are no longer doing so properly.

It has been so long since I've even *seen* my C64 I can't remember all the connections and whatnot. :(

I don't know where my C64 (or vic20) is right now, or I'd get it out and play with it, in reminiscence. ;) I thought they were in the closet with the Amigas, but they're not. :(

MikeS
November 15th, 2009, 07:23 PM
...And, my apologies, Mike, for being unnecessarily rude.
I was just frustrated.
Same here; sorry 'bout that.
And sorry it still isn't working; this is with a straight RCA<>RCA cable plugged into the RCA jack on the C64 and with an adapter connected to the TV's F type RF input, right?

Sounds like it's connected properly if the TV screen changes when you turn the C64 on and off. As Amberwolf says, you should get the BASIC screen; unlike Windows, in the case of a C64 a blue screen is *good* news ;-)

dave_m
November 15th, 2009, 07:49 PM
this is with a straight RCA<>RCA cable plugged into the RCA jack on the C64 and with an adapter connected to the TV's F type RF input, right?



I don't know much about the C64, but is there a tweeker pot for the RF and could it be way off?

DoingTheUnstuck
November 16th, 2009, 09:59 AM
Yes, that's with the RCA<>RCA plugged in.
I don't know what seems to be the problem.
What connections would I need to connect it with a monitor?
I know it;s a long shot, but perhaps I should try hooking it up to something else.
Am I getting desperate yet?

The guy on eBay (the one I bought the Commodore from) said that everything worked properly. So, I'm not really understanding what went wrong from Florida to Texas. Or perhaps he was pulling my leg?
I don't know...
:(

Fallo
November 16th, 2009, 12:32 PM
What connections would I need to connect it with a monitor?

The C64 outputs RF, composite, and S-video. It doesn't generate RGB, so it can't be connected to a computer monitor, if that's what you're suggesting. I'm certain that the problem is with the computer itself and using a different TV would not help.

Amberwolf
November 16th, 2009, 12:37 PM
He also said it "worked last time it was used", but how long ago was that? ;)

Stuff can go bad just sitting there. Wires and contacts can oxidize, capacitors age, etc.

Other possibility: do the video and RF inputs on the TV work with other things, like your VCR?

ahm
November 16th, 2009, 12:39 PM
I'm certain that the problem is with the computer itself and using a different TV would not help.
Especially if he's making the all-too-common mistake of running a cable from the computer's RF output to "Video In" on the TV.

DoingTheUnstuck
November 16th, 2009, 01:03 PM
All right, so the conclusion is that this just doesn't work.
So, I should be better off buying a whole new Comodore altogether, correct?
I'm not the one to take things apart and fix them.
I learned that the hard way with a Fujica rangefinder and am still regretting it...

tezza
November 16th, 2009, 03:03 PM
All right, so the conclusion is that this just doesn't work.
So, I should be better off buying a whole new Comodore altogether, correct?
I'm not the one to take things apart and fix them.
I learned that the hard way with a Fujica rangefinder and am still regretting it...

Well..they are often not that difficult to fix if you have a source of spare parts and can solder.unsolder.

However...there were so many of them made and (hence) they are readily available and go for such low prices second-hand, unless you want the challenge of repair I would advise just picking up another one. Hopefully one you can see working first.

Tez

billdeg
November 19th, 2009, 06:47 PM
I used to be reluctant to get into board repairs, but I have decided that there is a point where you just have to say what the heck, let's make this a learning experience, damn the torpedoes! Worst thing to result will be that you have to still get a replacement system anyway.
bd

DoingTheUnstuck
November 20th, 2009, 06:40 AM
So are you saying that I should just pop it open and see what's going wrong inside?
I have this overbearing hunch that the floppy drive works, and that the keyboard is the faulty one.
Sadly I do not know how to solder, but I know someone who does.
I feel like I truly have nothing to lose if I try to fix it.
Where should I start with all this?

channelmaniac
November 21st, 2009, 02:42 PM
Start with a logic probe, voltmeter, and a list of symptoms/fixes.

I sell replacement chips on my website... and if you need some that show out-of-stock just give me a shout. I have 6 PLA chips that aren't listed on the site that I just found before heading out on business travel.

RJ