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Thread: Anyone ever crack open a C64C power brick?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone ever crack open a C64C power brick?

    And just how well did it crack? I remember using one of the unit's outputs with a portable TV I was given (a Bentley). I was too cheap to buy the OEM supply. Maybe that's what killed it? Anyway are they fixable to any degree? I figured I could drag a blade across the bottom, seemingly where the case "halves" were adjoined.

  2. #2
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    If it's anything like the C64 power supplies, you will find a solid block of epoxy inside. It's possible to crack them open but they weren't made to be.

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    So you kill yourself with a dremel or whatever. Any idea if the components are so off the wall that it isn't worth it?

    Edit: OK, clearly it's not worth it. It took all of 3 seconds after hitting send to come to the conclusion. Unless you can persuade me otherwise.

  4. #4

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    I haven't done it yet. But I expect that after sawing the brick open, it might be possible to expose the transformer secondary. Connecting a couple of fuses, a bridge rectifier, and a voltage regulator would be pretty trivial. It would be ideal to add crowbar protection.

    If the transformer secondary can't be exposed, an off-the-shelf transformer would be easy enough to procure.

    If I were to do this, I'd probably mill away the inside of the case, making it very ventilated. But after all of this, I wonder if it was worth the effort to save the original brick.

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    I'm not seeing the point either, as a small similarly sized metal enclosure, even a vintage one, could be appropriated and easily found components cobbled together.

    You had to say milling . My little "naked" EMCO F1 has had cold feet for too long (it's on the garage floor). Always so much to do. I can't even remember if I still have the transformer I saved after discarding the CNC controls.

    If anyone wants the brick, it's theirs for shipping. NJ 08758.

  6. #6
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    Sure, but I just removed the bottom to access the PCB traces. I had to dig a bit of the epoxy off of the ones I repaired.
    Then I used the Plug to chase the wiring to the PCB for the +5VDC. (That was the weak point in the ones I modified.)
    Once I found the Traces for the +5VDC Regulator on the PCB, I cut the traces just enough to remove the connections
    to the Original Regulator commodore used. Then, I added a Heat sink and Motorola MT-7805CT (5 VDC @ 1.5 AMPS) to
    the side of the Brick. All wiring was Teflon Wire with heat shrink covering it. It wasn't pretty, but it worked well. Never
    had one of those come back.

    Larry

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldkraemer View Post
    Sure, but I just removed the bottom to access the PCB traces. I had to dig a bit of the epoxy off of the ones I repaired.
    Then I used the Plug to chase the wiring to the PCB for the +5VDC. (That was the weak point in the ones I modified.)
    Once I found the Traces for the +5VDC Regulator on the PCB, I cut the traces just enough to remove the connections
    to the Original Regulator commodore used. Then, I added a Heat sink and Motorola MT-7805CT (5 VDC @ 1.5 AMPS) to
    the side of the Brick. All wiring was Teflon Wire with heat shrink covering it. It wasn't pretty, but it worked well. Never
    had one of those come back.

    Larry
    I remember doing this back in the 80s. If you worked really hard and carefully, you could salvage the transformer. I did this exactly once. From then on I just bought an 18 volt center tap transformer and enclosure at radio shack to build replacement supplies. The only thing I would salvage from the old one was the cords.
    PCjr, DTK PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 500, various old laptops, Commodore Colt, all working. I also have a 286 that I need to see if I can repair.

  8. #8

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    I did a couple of videos about the Commodore 'brick' power supplies last year. I tore down a black brick and white brick to the component level, even so far as to weigh the transformers to see if they were sized properly. Getting the epoxy block out pf the plastic case is easy, getting the components out of the epoxy is a LOT of work.

    https://youtu.be/nYcBERZUuB8

  9. #9
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    Don't bother.

    I think for some potting material the preferred method of removing it is to soak in some sort of solvent like kerosene or the like.

    Best to replace with a better supply.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffm3 View Post
    Don't bother.

    I think for some potting material the preferred method of removing it is to soak in some sort of solvent like kerosene or the like.

    Best to replace with a better supply.
    You can't dissolve the epoxy without dissolving the components, i.e. the varnish on the magnet wires, plastic on the capacitors, etc. Some people have removed the epoxy block and put a modern power supply inside. Some of seen look nice and others not so nice.

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