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Thread: VI20 and C-64 composite video

  1. #1
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    Question VI20 and C-64 composite video

    I have been reading some threadss on the VIC 20 and saw that they support composte tv connections. Since Im getting ready to finally get a C-64 i was wondering if I can use the same composite cable. Also, can the C64 play VIC 20 cartridges.

    As always; Thanks much
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  2. #2

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    Yes, you can use a VIC-20 composite video/audio cable on a C64 (or on pretty much any other Commodore computer, for that matter).

    Most C64s have an 8-pin video output jack which also provides higher quality luma/chroma (S-video) signals for use with Commodore monitors, however it is backward-compatible with the VIC-20 style 5-pin cable as well.

    And as it should be obvious when you compare the two machines side-by-side, the VIC-20 uses a much wider cartridge slot than the C64, so VIC-20 cartridges will not physically fit in a C64. Additionally, the C64 has significant hardware and ROM differences compared to the VIC-20, due to its extra RAM and better graphics and sound capabilities, so most VIC-20 software will not run on a C64.

    The two machines use the same cassette and disk interfaces and formats, so you may be able to load a VIC-20 program on a C64, but you won't be able to run it.

  3. #3
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    There are plenty of 5-pin DIN C64's out there.
    Regarding software compatibility, this thread does a nice job.
    http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...referrerid=761
    Hope it helps.
    patscc

  4. #4
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    As for the VIC-20 composite output, it has signal on two different pins marked LOW and HIGH. Only one of the pins will make the cable compatible with a C64, Atari, Spectravideo, some TI99/4A IIUC etc. If you get a 5-pin composite cable made to work on a C64, it will work on the VIC too.

    You already got the answer about cartridges and software in general. To most part the user port to the left is the same. I seem to remember the signals are not exactly the same, but many peripherals (i.e. RS-232 adapters, modems, four player joystick adapters) would work on both.
    Anders Carlsson

  5. #5
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    Thanks... This seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Now when the C-64 arrives, I need to see what connections it already has available, what cables are included etc. Now, I also want to amke sure I completely understand: Are all of the console to TV connections compatible between the VIC-20 and C-64? From what I gether, yes they are, including the S-Video. If I choose to use the S-Video connection, can I also use a single RCA ro RCA audio cable to connect the two machines to the audio input? I understand that there may be some additioal Y cables and adapters to get in order to use them all, but I've seen photos of this. I think it was in the thread you refer to where I saw that.

    If I can use the simplified connector using a standard RCA Y cable that will go from the Commodore's RCA out, then using RCA to S Video on one side of the split, then standard RCA audio on the other, that will simplify things tremendously. Plus, the money I need to spend on cables, and adapters is greatly reduced. Wouldn't this also provide a theoretically better signal for the video as well?



    Quote Originally Posted by patscc View Post
    There are plenty of 5-pin DIN C64's out there.
    Regarding software compatibility, this thread does a nice job.
    http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...referrerid=761
    Hope it helps.
    patscc
    Thomas Chavez - All Things DOS - www.allthingsdos.com
    My Collection: Two IBM 5150's with working 5161 Expansion Units - One IBM 5160 XT - One Compaq Portable and One Portable 2, Mac SE FDHD, Apple IIe and TRS-80 Model 4, TRS-80 Color Computer Model 1
    Wanted: - IBM 5170 AT, IBM 5155 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor.

  6. #6

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    If you want to have multiple machines connected to a single TV and the TV only has one set of inputs I'd probably recommend getting an A/V switch like this one from Radio Shack. If you stick the two machines on a Y-cable at best you'll get a mess and worst case you might damage something if you have both machines on the Y-cable powered on at once.

    Regarding S-Video, only the 8-pin C-64s can supply that and the necessary chroma pin is one of the ones not included on the VIC-20's socket. So only composite cables are compatible between the two. (If you want to just get/make one DIN-to-TV cable and just swap it between units.)

  7. #7
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    On the chapter of internal modifications though, the VIC-I chip (6560/61) inside the VIC-20 natively outputs a separated video signal, so in modern days there exists hacks to tap those signals to get S-Video from the VIC-20 as well. Those who do may locate a suitable 8-pin DIN to get a configuration equal to the C64/128/16. But that is the advanced course and involves a bit of soldering before you get there. Personally, I'm quite satisfied with composite video output from my VIC's so I never took the step to mod any of them for S-Video.
    Anders Carlsson

  8. #8

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    Hey, Thomas, did you get your C-64 yet? Somebody I know wants to get rid of his and I was wondering if you're interested. It's also got games/software, two joysticks, power supply, monitor, disk drive and a stack of manuals with it.
    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3½" or 5¼" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen
    ☞ Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

  9. #9

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    ^i will take the monitor since i have the S-Video cable and also the c64 and software

  10. #10

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    Nathan, do you have any idea what it would cost to ship the monitor to... A? It's gonna be $125 or maybe more!
    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3½" or 5¼" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen
    ☞ Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

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