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Thread: Commodore 64 and 64c compatibility

  1. #1

    Default Commodore 64 and 64c compatibility

    My question here is mainly related to what the difference is between a Commodore 64 of the original variety and the later 64c. Will a 64c still run an original 1541 drive? Are there compatibility issues with mixing any components from the original and the 64c?

  2. #2
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    I have both the C64 and the C64c, they pretty much are identical except the C64c had more pins on the monitor cable plug then the original C64 (better output). All the cartridges, drives, etc will work the same on either machine.

  3. #3
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    Actually, the improved video output happened a few years before the C64C. You can find "breadboxes" with both 5-pin and 8-pin DIN connectors.

    Yes, all peripherals and software should work: disk drives, cartridges, keyboard mechanism (!) and so on. However, the main boards have been redesigned in terms of cost reduction, possibly soldering chips directly to the board instead of using sockets. Some chips such as the 8580 SID will run at 9V as opposed to the original 6581 SID which is a 12V device. You can search the Internet for a more detailed description, but internally you shouldn't swap chips without knowing what you do. Installing a 8580 in a breadbox may yield unwanted results if it is driven with 3V more than it is built for.

    I'm not sure if the C64C runs cooler than the original model, but obviously it has a slightly different form factor.
    Anders Carlsson

  4. Default

    The main difference is the fact the 64C uses the C128's chassis for the most part. That was to reuse materials. All in all, the 128 was a flop because of 64 mode and the near commodity status the 64 became, the 128 had no real place in a successful market.

    http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=998

    As you could read the link and see, there was a bit more integration of the motherboard onto less ICs. Again, a logical cost cutting measure. Personally, I have been itching to get my hands on a good condition C64c and a C128-D. My 2 128's are in crappy shape and have damaged keyboards.

    (anyone know how to fix non-responsive 128 keys, let me know, I am willing to work something out )

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure how much of the case the 64C and 128 desktop model have in common. Sure, they adhere to the same design, but are radically different in size.

    As to how to fix bad keys, have you tried disassembling the keyboard, clean it from the inside, perhaps apply new contact graphite spray onto the contact ends and so on? Are the leads printed onto the board like a C64 keyboard, or does it use conductive layers of plastic like in a modern PC keyboard?
    Anders Carlsson

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