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Thread: HELP! Need repair for a 1983 VIController by Genesis Computer Corp

  1. #1

    Default HELP! Need repair for a 1983 VIController by Genesis Computer Corp

    Does anyone or know of anyone who can repair an ULTRA RARE 1983 VIController made by Genesis? It worked like a game cartridge, plugging into the user port on vic-20 and c-64 computers, and was a remote control system that allowed you to control household lights, appliances, etc. I have all the original parts, even the floppy disk loads and works, but the "cartridge" will now work. Very bummed because I think this might be one or one of the few still left in existence...

  2. #2

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    Are you sure your user port is working? These work very differently than game cartridges.

    If you do know for sure that your user port works, could you post a picture of the chips inside this device?

  3. #3

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    My original post meant to say that the 'cartridge' does not work...I don't have any other cartridges to use, but I did try the VIController in 2 different c-64s and a c-128. It is a fascinating piece of rare hardware. I do not have any pics yet but it has an electrical plug attached to it and it has to be plugged in before starting the c-64. I did take it apart but only took a cursory look. When the case is apart you can see a circuit board and underneath I believe I see a 16volt battery. I did not tinker any further and put it back together. If necessary I can send more pics...DSC00414.jpg

  4. #4

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    Is it possible I am looking at this wrong and that the cartridge in the user port does not load to the screen and that what is on the screen comes from the floppy disk, which loads just fine?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwaraksa View Post
    Is it possible I am looking at this wrong and that the cartridge in the user port does not load to the screen and that what is on the screen comes from the floppy disk, which loads just fine?
    Anything that plugs into a user port of a Commodore 8-bit is not a ROM cartridge (like a game or other software on cartridge). It's a peripheral that needs software to communicate with it and enable the user to operate it. The user port is a serial port. Essentially what you have is more of an interface, and not really a "cartridge" as most people think of it.

  6. #6
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    Yes,

    The software that runs on the computer is loaded off the floppy disk. The unit that plugs into the USER PORT is an interface to the external lighting/socket controllers.

    How do you know it doesn't work? What have you tried?

    Dave

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ral-Clan View Post
    Anything that plugs into a user port of a Commodore 8-bit is not a ROM cartridge (like a game or other software on cartridge). It's a peripheral that needs software to communicate with it and enable the user to operate it. The user port is a serial port. Essentially what you have is more of an interface, and not really a "cartridge" as most people think of it.
    The User Port is a little more than just a serial port. It is two synchronous serial ports and a parallel port.

    But the key here is that this is a "dumb" peripheral. It won't do anything without accompanying software. The software could be on disk or cartridge.

    Whilst this particular unit may be rare, what it does is not.

  8. #8

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    Do you have a way to make disk images of the floppies that came with it?

    If so please upload them somewhere so people in the future can access the software if they happen to come across this hardware without it.

    If you don't have a way maybe you would be ok with sending them to a reputable person here who can make the images?

    Oh also scan in the manual please! Thanks

  9. #9

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    Thanks to all for the replies. So much info to digest. The software loads great. I was considering making a copy of the floppy just in case because it might be the last of its kind. I truly believe this might "the only one left in the world" or at least that is the perception. It was made for c64 and vic20 by a company in Bethlehem, PA, Genesis Computer Corporation, that does not exist anymore and it was only available by mail order. The manual says it was shipped on December 12, 1983.
    I do believe that I have looked at this "thing" in the entirely wrong way. The hardware is software-driven. The software is fine. BUT it requires a BSR X-10, Radio Shack Plug n Power, or a Leviton Central Control remote switches. All of these things are unfamiliar to me because I haven't even heard of them....
    Surprisingly, there are 2 manuals in very good condition. One is shown in the picture and the other is called the super schedule user's manual. I swear they were printed by c64 printers, you know, dot matrix...

  10. #10

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    I listed it on ebay and apparently it is not as rare as I thought/dreamed. I wanted a gold mine for it, but probably won't get a nugget....

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