Got a C128 for free, now what?

rkauer

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As the title. But I never used one before (I jumped from ZX80/81 to 286 PC to Amiga).

I know the very basic (press play on tape, do not poke to there or you'll burn your machine, etc).

I mean, what hardware is really needed?

Does 64HDD be enough for start instead a datassete/1541/1571?

How about a mouse?

I really need upgrades for gaming/demoing on this machine? A REU? Really?

Why does it hurts when I pee?

Can I eat the yellow snow?

---------- Post added 24th October 2010 at 00:16 ---------- Previous post was 23rd October 2010 at 23:41 ----------

Ow, where to find the DIN8 connector for A/V? DIY is the only way?

---------- Post added at 00:27 ---------- Previous post was at 00:16 ----------

Also, RGBi worth something? Does modern(ish) monitors accept this output?
 

SaviorX

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a stock 128 is probably plenty for games and demos.....the only thing that ever got much use with an REU for me was GEOS, tho some *animation* demos might run better from a ram disk....

a mouse...again....only with GEOS...

honestly, you might like to have at least a 1541/1571 to run original softwares, but would probably be ok with 64HDD or an uIEC/SD - 1541U etc

i dont really recall a lot for the 128 that wasn't perfectly fine in the '64' version, there wasnt a hell of a lot of 128 software in any case...

there are 8pin AV cables on the other place for around $10 (BINs)

i am pretty sure you can also get cables to use it on 1084/1902 monitors (for RGB/80 column mode)

here is the pinout for the 128s RGBi:

http://pinouts.ru/Video/C128Rgbi_pinout.shtml

the 128 is also a 64 of course, which you can see by typing go64 at Basic7.0 screen.
 
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quarkx

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The 128 is really a cool little machine.
First if you got the "wedge" version, You will want to get the Graphics RAM upgrade do do anything.
I have a few other threads on my 128, but the Mega 128 ROM is a must. I have a huge post on it, but I can't find it now.
BTW, a stock Amiga Mouse (tank) will NOT work with the C128. FWIU, the C128 mouse differs (But looks the same) by the Connector plug. The Amiga is longer with a metal band around it, the C128 is a really short plug.
the 1084 was actually made first for the c128 then "re-branded" for the Amiga Thats why some of the "original" Amiga monitors have the Commodore name on the bottom left hand Corner and some have Amiga.
We have all those threads on http://www.commodore128.org.
 

kokkiklhs

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the 128 is also a 64 of course, which you can see by typing go64 at Basic7.0 screen.

First of all, congrats for getting this great machine! It is far my favorite among all commies...
Well, in addition of everything above, I would vote for the 1571 floppy drive which is the official 128 drive, double sided, double density and autoboot, if you want to run software the original way... With 1571 you will also be able to run CP/M and its applications (yes, the 128 has a Z80B inside, as well), where the 80-column mode with RGBI cable will be much useful!! 80-column looks nice on a 1084 and you can see it by pressing the key/switch on the upper row of the 128 and also switching to TTL RGB on 1084! It also needs a reset on the 128 to display 80 columns, both 40 and 80 col. modes CANNOT be displayed simultaneously!
AFAIR all 1084 monitors were originally coming with both (40 and 80 column) cables, except of the amiga-oriented RGB cable, for use especially with the 128! So if you still have around 2 weird cables that came along with your 1084, that's what you need!
In C64 mode (it can be achieved also by holding down the C= key while switching on or resetting), the 1571 works like a 1541 (the older one, SS/SD, for the 64)...
As for a mouse, REU, GEOS and so on, they are least usable!
If you want to spend some extra bucks on the C128 (for "real" use with disks etc.), go for a XE1541 cable on ebay (or DIY), and also for a Datel Action Replay VI cartridge, it's really good!
If you just want to play games the fast way, go for MMC64 or something equivalent...
Good luck with your new baby, you'll love it!!!
(y)
 

SaviorX

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the 128 is also a 64 of course, which you can see by typing go64 at Basic7.0 screen.

First of all, congrats for getting this great machine! It is far my favorite among all commies...
Well, in addition of everything above, I would vote for the 1571 floppy drive which is the official 128 drive, double sided, double density and autoboot, if you want to run software the original way... With 1571 you will also be able to run CP/M and its applications (yes, the 128 has a Z80B inside, as well), where the 80-column mode with RGBI cable will be much useful!! 80-column looks nice on a 1084 and you can see it by pressing the key/switch on the upper row of the 128 and also switching to TTL RGB on 1084! It also needs a reset on the 128 to display 80 columns, both 40 and 80 col. modes CANNOT be displayed simultaneously!
AFAIR all 1084 monitors were originally coming with both (40 and 80 column) cables, except of the amiga-oriented RGB cable, for use especially with the 128! So if you still have around 2 weird cables that came along with your 1084, that's what you need!
In C64 mode (it can be achieved also by holding down the C= key while switching on or resetting), the 1571 works like a 1541 (the older one, SS/SD, for the 64)...
As for a mouse, REU, GEOS and so on, they are least usable!
If you want to spend some extra bucks on the C128 (for "real" use with disks etc.), go for a XE1541 cable on ebay (or DIY), and also for a Datel Action Replay VI cartridge, it's really good!
If you just want to play games the fast way, go for MMC64 or something equivalent...
Good luck with your new baby, you'll love it!!!
(y)

the 1571 can be put into double sided mode on a C64, C128 in 64 mode and i believe even on a VIC20 by typing:

open15,<d#>,15,"u0>m1";close15

and will then format as a double sided (330k) drive with the normal format command

open15,<d#>,15,"n:<diskname>,<2digitid>";close15

ie open15,8,15,"n:blankdisk,1a";close15
 

kokkiklhs

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the 128 is also a 64 of course, which you can see by typing go64 at Basic7.0 screen.

First of all, congrats for getting this great machine! It is far my favorite among all commies...
Well, in addition of everything above, I would vote for the 1571 floppy drive which is the official 128 drive, double sided, double density and autoboot, if you want to run software the original way... With 1571 you will also be able to run CP/M and its applications (yes, the 128 has a Z80B inside, as well), where the 80-column mode with RGBI cable will be much useful!! 80-column looks nice on a 1084 and you can see it by pressing the key/switch on the upper row of the 128 and also switching to TTL RGB on 1084! It also needs a reset on the 128 to display 80 columns, both 40 and 80 col. modes CANNOT be displayed simultaneously!
AFAIR all 1084 monitors were originally coming with both (40 and 80 column) cables, except of the amiga-oriented RGB cable, for use especially with the 128! So if you still have around 2 weird cables that came along with your 1084, that's what you need!
In C64 mode (it can be achieved also by holding down the C= key while switching on or resetting), the 1571 works like a 1541 (the older one, SS/SD, for the 64)...
As for a mouse, REU, GEOS and so on, they are least usable!
If you want to spend some extra bucks on the C128 (for "real" use with disks etc.), go for a XE1541 cable on ebay (or DIY), and also for a Datel Action Replay VI cartridge, it's really good!
If you just want to play games the fast way, go for MMC64 or something equivalent...
Good luck with your new baby, you'll love it!!!
(y)

the 1571 can be put into double sided mode on a C64, C128 in 64 mode and i believe even on a VIC20 by typing:

open15,<d#>,15,"u0>m1";close15

and will then format as a double sided (330k) drive with the normal format command

open15,<d#>,15,"n:<diskname>,<2digitid>";close15

ie open15,8,15,"n:blankdisk,1a";close15

Yep, this is totally true, but let's not confuse our friend with the infamous C= basic commands, he will abandon all hope on getting this thingy to work!!
:D :run:
 

SaviorX

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well IF he were to get a 1541/1571 the format command and the command for getting a directory (load"$",d#) are the minimums he will have to know :p
 

rkauer

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I think a floppy drive will take a lot of time to get: they where not much popular in Brazil and the item weights a lot.

So 64HDD or MMC64 or another flash device that emulates a drive is the way to go. A JiffyDOS ROM or other ROM enhancement can be a possibility, too.

I have a ROM writer and enough skills to make one from a flash-ROM, BTW. :)

But I'm pretty sure those are still copyrighted, or not?

I have a 1084SD in perfect shape and a DIY SVideo cable, so sacking the RF modulator and tossing the S-VHS circuit & plug on the place might be the way to go.

I already sacked off the nu-metal shield and place some glued heatsinks on the known troublemakers inside (CPU, SID, etc). Also fixed the power LED with a bit of hot glue. A small slow-rotation fan is necessary?

Opening the PSU grills is also good? The box, albeit resembling a lot with the A500 brick, is completely sealed (and weights a lot).

Also, upgrading the video memory can be a very easy task. I have all kinds of memory chips @home.
 

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TheCorfiot

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@rkauer

What ever you do, do NOT remover the modulator..

This modulator unit also carries out NTSC (or PAL) Encoding & feeds the Y-C signals to the Video port...Without it you will get a black screen....

The RAM upgrade is dead simple, simply unsolder the 2 4416 RAMS & replace them with 4464 RAMS... no links to change & you have upgraded the 80Column VRAM from 16K to 64K

The 8 Pin dins are sods to find,, sadly the chroma signal is available on the middle pin, however for std composite & audio you will find a 180degree 5 pin din fit's easily & the signals you need are available on those 5 pins..

Following linky has all the C128 pinouts
http://project64.c64.org/hw/C128%20pinouts.txt

TC :cool:
 

WhyreByter

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The only source for the special 8 pi/262 degree video connectors that I've found is here:

http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/b-ca-mas80s.htm

Really, the only thing you *need* for a gaming-ready machine is a floppy drive. The 1571 is the mate to that machine, as others have noted, but a 1541-II will do you well too. Or, some of the SD card based replacements.

Yes, the JiffyDos ROMs are still copyright; you can find the ROMs, or even just a license if you want to use your own ROM here:

http://www.jbrain.net/products/JiffyDOS-128-KERNAL-ROM-Overlay-Image-Set.html

Congrats on a great find! I've just finished restoring a C128/1571 I found, and love it! Just like I had when I was a kid... :)

Whyrebyter
 

rkauer

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@Merl: Not interested, soree.:p

---------- Post added at 23:06 ---------- Previous post was at 23:02 ----------

I think I have a solution for the DIN8 hens teeth, so here's my plan:

-I'll buy an ordinary 5pin (or butcher from a dead PC cable), sack the pins;

-Put those on the correct places (audio out/Y/C/GND);

-mold with super-putty or araldite to make my own connector;

-route the wires to a common S-VHS female plug;

-done
 

dabone

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My main retro computer is my 128.

The ram upgrade people are talking about is useful for a few demos, and a couple of programs. If you don't need it, there is no real reason to do it.
(Risen From Oblivion VDC is one demo that needs 64k vdc.)

For the best in solid state disk drives, the current king is the 1541 Ultimate. Full compatibility with 99.9% of disk based games, but pricey and a wait.

http://www.1541ultimate.net/content/index.php

What I use is a uiec/sd, based off the sd2iec firmware. Supports all software that ran off 3rd party drives and most cracked software that doesn't use custom fastloaders. I emedded one into my 128.
There are TONS of software that run fine on this solution, with geos support just being added to the beta firmware in the last month or so.

http://www.jbrain.net/products/uIEC{47}SD.html

Also, Jim is the only authorized seller of Jiffydos currently, so you can get one of those at the same time, a uiec and jiffydos are a great combo.
Fast and quiet, no heat, you get the picture.

http://www.jbrain.net/products/JiffyDOS-KERNAL-ROM-Overlay.html

A internal fan is not needed, as long as your internal rf shield is clean and your vents are not blocked.

I love my 128, but I'm a little biased, as the 128 was my favorite computer when I was a kid.

Enjoy you new toy.

Later,
dabone
 

jvdbossc

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Since there was not much software to be found on a local basis, I would hotglue the C= key pressed down that way it boots automatically in C= mode

:beer::beer::ROTFLOL2:

:shrug: I know that is a sad/funny remark but I am afraid that is how most of the people used it here as a C64.
 

SaviorX

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Since there was not much software to be found on a local basis, I would hotglue the C= key pressed down that way it boots automatically in C= mode

:beer::beer::ROTFLOL2:

:shrug: I know that is a sad/funny remark but I am afraid that is how most of the people used it here as a C64.

it is probably a shame that the Amiga came out so quickly after its release (6 months?)

there is some software for it, and GEOS128 was particularly good, but not a lot.
 

dabone

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Mine has the uiec embedded and a easyflash cart in it.
The cart has a few of my favs, but sdbrwse is the first program on the menu, so as soon as I turn it on, it's ready for c64 gaming goodness.

I don't use 128 mode much, not now, and not back then, and nobody really uses cpm.

I have a 512k REU for it, and ran a bbs off this one for a while in 128 mode, but for fun you are going to be using 64 mode 99% of the time.


later,
dabone
 

rkauer

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My main retro computer is my 128.

The ram upgrade people are talking about is useful for a few demos, and a couple of programs. If you don't need it, there is no real reason to do it.(Risen From Oblivion VDC is one demo that needs 64k vdc.)

Since the task is easy, why not?

For the best in solid state disk drives, the current king is the 1541 Ultimate. Full compatibility with 99.9% of disk based games, but pricey and a wait.

http://www.1541ultimate.net/content/index.php

What I use is a uiec/sd, based off the sd2iec firmware. Supports all software that ran off 3rd party drives and most cracked software that doesn't use custom fastloaders. I emedded one into my 128.
There are TONS of software that run fine on this solution, with geos support just being added to the beta firmware in the last month or so.

http://www.jbrain.net/products/uIEC{47}SD.html

I think I'll go for the uIEC/SD. No way to get a 1541U(II) and expensive.

A internal fan is not needed, as long as your internal rf shield is clean and your vents are not blocked.

I sacked out the nu-metal shield and glued some heatsink on the chips. Pictures later.

I love my 128, but I'm a little biased, as the 128 was my favourite computer when I was a kid.

Enjoy you new toy.

Later,
dabone

Will do.

Now I need something to start, so first step is the S-VHS socket, then 64HDD and later a uIEC. :)
 
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