So You Bought a Commodore 64? Modern Guide for Retro Buyers

Hello Chip Dippers. Welcome back to Perifractic’s Retro Recipes Now, something I get asked for a lot is whether I can do a guide for people that want to get into Retro Computing, specifically buying a Commodore 64 for the first time Now, either you’ve come from an emulator and you’ve never used a real one Or you want to really start from scratch and you love the idea of programming in basic and there’s pixelated games So that’s exactly what I’m gonna do today But I think for this it’d be really handy have someone here to represent the voice of the novice Oh, hi Puppyfractic! (dog speak “Hi!”) Um, I did say novice and you just recapped my Amiga 4000 Ahh.. Ladyfractic That’s better How are you? Fantastic. How are you? Not too shabby I haven’t seen you for a couple of weeks since we did that Amstrad PCW video together We literally just had breakfast (clears throat) Welcome to Perifractic’s Ret Ladyfractic Ladyfractic’s Breakfast Recipes So, if you are trying to buy a Commodore 64, you might find that the right information just keeps getting away from you Well, I’m here to give you some helpful steps so you can finally sink your teeth into it So here’s what’s on the menu today We’ve got these seven main points you need to know To get up and running with the Commodore 64 So for each of these options, we’re gonna give you two choices There’s gonna be my top pick which is the Chef’s Choice And a number two option which is the Retro Rubber-up from Ladyfractic Runner-up Right. Retro Runner-up from Ladyfractic (clears throat) Quick disclaimer though. These are just my personal opinions from my limited experience And, probably if you’re watching this and you’re more of an expert You’re gonna have some different opinions to me But I’ve really tailored this just to the beginner If you do have a second or third or fourth favorite other than mine Put it in the comments below where I’ll ignore it Thank you So as Puppyfractic goes to sleep Let’s get started with step 1 Buying a Commodore 64 For this, I really recommend taking a look at fleaBay… yeah eBay Uh..yeah, I said fleas On there, you’re gonna find a whole wealth of Commodore 64s But there are some things you need to know Firstly, a lot of people list them as untested Right? And you know what that is code for? Um Broken? Literally broken So, if you see something that says ‘as is’ or ‘untested’ That means that probably that person know it doesn’t work and they’re relying on you to make that gamble If you are selling a Commodore 64 like that just say so, you know? Be honest They can make great projects and repairs for people like me, you know I don’t know why people can’t just be honest. They’re ugly That’s right, stupid Well, one of us was lying Anyway, to help you with this ordeal I’ve put in the description below.. I’m gonna put this for every single thing I mentioned Actually, a link to eBay, which I’ve pre-formatted with the keyword search So it will find only tested, working Commodore 64s Now that leads on to the second thing, which is how much to pay So again Um.. how much should you pay? That’s a very good question So, in the description below again, what I’ve put is the second list, which is recently sold Commodore 64s That were also tested and working.. not as-is Broken Broken So check that out and you’ll get the most recent average price Now, there’s one more thing to keep in mind and that is whether the board has been recapped or refurbished Now, you know what recapping is? You’ve seen enough of my videos (I make her watch) Yeah, you wear lots of hats Just kidding! I’ve seen all the videos So, in your understanding, what is recapping a board? To me, recapping is just replacing a lot of the caps and the broken .. little bindings As Bjork would say “This is what it looks like” “Look at this.” “This looks like our city. Like a little model of a city.” And just putting in new ones That’s right. So, literally, I’ve got a board here All these blue things All these blue guys here Are what Bjork refers to is the ‘little city’ And they’re like little batteries It just help regulate power flow on the board Over time, because they are electrolytic Those electrolytes can break down and give out the wrong voltage Does Gatorade help?

Gatorade does help while you’re recapping.. to drink But the other issue is they can leak And nobody wants a leaky cap Thank you You can tell if a capacitor is about to go usually it will start to bulge on the top What I’ve also done in the description is put a link to any recapped Commodore 64s That’s recapping check out the link in the description (crashing noise) Just kidding Quick addition: there are two video formats of Commodore 64 is pal and NTSC America I do recommend pal because basically most demos and games were written for PAL And sometimes they won’t work on an NTSC Commodore 64 No, they won’t No they won’t So for this doget… category Our Chef’s Choice is buy a recapped and preferably refurbished Commodore 64 And now for Ladyfractic’s Retro Rubber Runner-up Runner-up If you can’t find a board that has been recapped Make sure that you look for one that is tested and working as opposed to ‘not tested’ and ‘as is’ (really fast talking) Now, there is one other consideration which is, which style to get And basically, this is the Bread Bin style. That’s this kind of nickname.. this was the original And this is the C64C which was the slimline case that came out after Basically, the Bread Bin, as you may know, inside has a bigger motherboard Meaning bigger bread Exactly Where there’s bigger bread bins, there’s brig brigger bread Get some toast She’s getting off her bed What that bigger motherboard means though, Is that these are a little harder to repair for example? For example, there’s a eight RAM chips whereas this only has two but they’re both identical They have 64 kilobytes of RAM Everything is completely compatible So, if you like this style get this style I personally like this a little better Although, this one has got some rather special key caps on it, which we’ll come to later Lego of my.. caps! They are Lego exactly Ah.. she’s so good, isn’t she? I write all his material I told you not to tell them Anyway, Slimline Case. Breath Bin Case 100% compatible with each other get the one you prefer Size does not matter That’s not what you told me You like the Slimline.. I like the Bread Bin Ah.. that makes more sense Now, the second item on the menu is power supplies Basically, these things are notorious for failing and destroying the machine What can happen over time as they start to give out the wrong voltage Again, sometimes due to the capacitors inside failing And that can basically fry your chips She’s off to get some fried chips now What are you getting? Um.. I think I’m going to get the chips Chips? Oh, you mean french fries? No, SID chips SID chips. Whoo.. tasty! Uh.. Waiter? I think the nicest thing to do is get a brand new power supply After all you’re spending all this time and money and energy on a brand new Commodore 64 So why not treat it some clean power So for this, my Chef’s Choice is this: the Electroware Power Supply These are made in Poland and every Jagshemash (jak się masz) (How are you?) Jagshemash (jak się masz) (How are you?) Chenquieh (dziękuję) (thank you) Every review Dobsha (Good) Every review that I’ve seen per this for the money, rates this the highest Just make sure you get the latest version direct from the seller because it has an even better 5V rail To power all your things So that is my Chef’s Choice And now over to Ladyfantastic for the Retro Rubb Runner-up Runner-up My choice is the C64 Saver It goes in between the power plug and the power supply cable so that you don’t get a power surprise By the way, you can even make your own power supply if you really want I’ll link, again, in the description below as with all these items to the video where I did exactly that Here it is now And this is basically two wall warts plug together A what? Wall Wart A wall wart? (American accent?) Wall wart Wah wah Is there a cream for that?, don’t put any cream on it You’ll get a short circuit But this was a really simple device that just combines a 9V and a 5V power supply Into an extension lead and houses immediately in this well ventilated case That was one of your first few videos It was, yeah. It was terrible So, next up on the menu is your storage device

How are you gonna get your games into your C64, otherwise? Now, the one you buy on eBay, it might come with a original tape drive She likes those Or even a disk drive If you get those, I’m not gonna go into all the details of maintaining those But there are two things you can do with a tape drive First one is you can clean the heads Head and Shoulders Yeah, well,, don’t use shampoo, use isopropyl alcohol Spray a little bit on a cotton bud and just give the head a little .. ee err ee err (higher pitched) ee err ee err That’s very good ee err ee err.. uu ee uu ee Second thing is there is a little screw hole No puns, please Where you put in a watch screwdriver Turn it very slightly left or right And it will align the head And there is a Cassette azimuth alignment program, which I’ll link to below Will help you, actually, get the right tracking So the games will load properly from tape Question is, how are you going to download that cassette azimuth alignment program get it into your computer Get it into your computer I say forget all that You will forget what you have learned I say, get an SD2IEC device That is my Chef’s Choice Borringg And actually, Ladyfractic’s Omniboard is holding one over there Isn’t it beautiful? Would you like to model it for us? This is a gorgeous little device And this may be a controversial pick for some of the more expert viewers But I’ll explain why I’ve chosen this Some people say is not as compatible and you should get a device that offers a 100% disk drive emulation But that’s not really an issue anymore Reason is, these are so ubiquitous now That any games that didn’t work for them have been patched so that they do And even new software like Cytronic and other software houses are putting out today Specifically says SD2IEC compatible So really, I don’t think in this day and age, especially for a beginner, that’s a huge issue It’s also adorable It is adorable And it’s great value as well Certainly the cheapest option And it doesn’t go in and out of stock like some of the other options do So, I also think there’s a lot to be said for something that really looks like the original disk drive But it’s just so cute (unanimous) Puppyfractic has eaten several of these.. here I think she’s full now Your disk drives You don’t want that But with this SD2, you see it comes with an SD card so you can choose any capacity disk drive you want That way you’ll never get ‘full’ And if you don’t want to fill up your disk, there is this internal option, as well Made by my mate Pete Quite recently Gaz Marshall has produced these 3D printed side panels So you can actually mount the SD2IEC inside the Commodore 64 Almost as if it had always been designed that way Now, over to seven of nine for the Retro Rubber-up Runner-up Runner-up My choice is the Pi1541 Now, it’s 100% compatible and it looks great But it is a little more expensive and it does run out a stock But I should also mention, third place to the Ultimate II+ This is a cartridge that goes in the back and, again, lets you load any disk files in that you need Problem with that one is it’s very advanced Actually, I think for a beginner, you can network files across through FTP And there’s a hundred other functions It is also a lot pricier again and occasionally goes out of stock But if in future you want to upgrade Gives you something to look forward to and you can always put your old disk drive on fleaBay And upgrade to an Ultimate II+ or something like that Anyway, that’s it for storage devices And that leads us to video output Got all your stuff, how are you gonna see it? Well, some people like to get original monitors And for that I’d recommend to pick up a Commodore 10804s or even a 10804 That’s actually a 10804S over there Although that one is Philip’s We’ll give it back to him later Yeah Yeah And for a Commodore 64, you’ve got two video of methods for outputting Pretty simple is Composite and S-Video S-Video is gonna give you a clearer picture Composite is honestly good enough anyway But this introduces another headache when you’re buying an old monitor Which is some are PAL, some are NTSC And you can only use a PAL Commodore 64 with a PAL monitor, generally speaking Although a couple of models do support both formats

Either way, you’ve now got to connect it For that, you’re gonna need a cable So I’m gonna link below in the description to the cable that I recommend you pick up from a great UK supplier And that’s gonna get you the output However, my personal preference is to display your output on to a more modern TV They’re easier to find too Much easier to find, cheaper, you’re not gonna have issues with capacitors on the monitor inside there So, if you’ve got a new TV There’s your problem Most of them don’t allow composite input or an S-Video input So, to get around this use an Upscaler This is basically a small box that fits between the computer and the screen And converts the signal whether it’s PAL or NYSC Into good old HDMI or not old.. new HDMI For this, my Chef’s Choice is the Framemeister XRGB Mini This is the all-singing, all-dancing Upscaler And it has so many cool features, but also, low latency That’s one thing you’ve got to look for You know latency is in Commodore 64 terms? No Yeah, there was a bit of a delay there for her to respond and indeed.. you’re right That is the delay Latency is the delay between the Commodore outputting the game sprite moving across the screen And the upscaler actually displaying it If you’re playing a fast pace Shoot ’em up You don’t want to delay Low latency is good And the Framemeister has it in buckets! But it also has cool features like has a scan line generator That will emulate that old-school CRT computer screen feel Another reason why maybe don’t need to worry about getting, perhaps, unreliable Commodore monitor That’s the Chef’s Choice and now for the Retro Rubber Runner-up Runner-up Over to Puppyfractic? Ladyfractic Oh, yeah, there’s two things He’ll get it eventually Yeah I won’t The Retro Runner-up is the Retrotink ‘tink’ Why do you tink that is the runner-up? I tink because it is cheaper, it has really great reviews It has good latency And it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles All-singing. All-dancing Las Vegas review But it gets the job done And it, you know, might end up looking like that Those are our choices for getting the video out of your Commodore 64 and into your Dog And that leads us to number five You’ve got everything working, what if you want to pimp it up a little bit Well, first problem we might have is that your bread bin case Could be slightly yellowed Now, hopefully that’s not the case No pun intended That isn’t the case.. it’s not yellow That’s not yellow But if it is, you can look into retrobrighting Now, again, that’s outside the parameters of this video But.. let’s say you want to replace the case There are a couple of options on the market And for this my Chef’s Choice goes to this This is the Pixel Wizard Slimline Case What’s the name? Pixel Wizard Can you say that again, fast? Pixel Wizard So, this is something that they actually make using your original molds Yeah, they bought the original Commodore 64C molds from one of the Commodore branches I think in Germany And they knock these out brand new I think that’s kind of incredible because this is a brand new Commodore 64C It’s like an oxymoron And ‘moron’ that subject in a moment But this comes in different styles, different colors and I like this two-tone SX 64 style And now that’s for my Chef’s Choice But what about the Retro Rubber-up? Runner-up Runner-up Over to Ladyfantastic The Retro Runner-up and the only way to get a replacement Bread Bin case is The Brixty Four Wow Made by someone named Perifractic Stupid name I like it Now the Brixty Four, as you can imagine, is made completely out of Lego bricks And it comes in a multitude of colors and And you get to build it all by yourself Can you put a real C64 motherboard and keyboard in there? You know, I’m pretty sure you can and I’m pretty sure there’s a video on YouTube Made by that same Perifractic that shows you how It isn’t cheap

The market sets the price for the Lego bricks But it is the only way to get a bread bin! That’s why it’s our Retro Runner-Up Well, thank you very much Ladyfractic You’re welcome Good name Thank you Quick additional point: if you happen to get a Commodore 64 that has a problem with the keyboard There are some solutions there Excuse me Hi. Do you sell C64 keys? Right here W-What’s this? 64 keys (clears throat) Not 64 keys, I need a key for a Commodore 64 .. for the .. for the keyboard Oh, okay. Lego aisle.. Aisle 12 Lego? Yeah Oh yeah.. good idea! Thanks! You’re welcome These are the Bricks-Key-Forr by somebody called Perifractic Great name And they’re again made completely of Lego And they are the only way to get replacement key caps for the Commodore 64 And there is also a brand new keyboard base you can put these on Called the MechBoard64 And that wraps up this part of the menu That leads us to our penultimate item on the menu today Futureproofing How do you make sure the motherboard itself stays in good working order? She gets a fatherboard to help her Or We talked about recapping earlier You could recap your board if you didn’t already buy it recapped Well for that, my Chef’s Choice is a Recap kit Now, honestly, this isn’t essential.. I’m gonna mark this as optional on my menu But if you do want to get into a bit of tinkering and you are good at soldering where you want to even try that For this, for the Chef’s Choice, I recommend’s Recap kit They really couldn’t make it any simpler on their website On their website, they list all the different motherboard revisions And you can find yours, just here, on your motherboard and that tells you exactly what kit you need Cause they’ll have slightly different capacitance to replace If you are going to replace the capacitors You’ll probably want to get a good soldiering and plan For that, my new recommendation and my, I guess, Chef’s Choice in Soldering Bonus! Bonus Is the HAKKO Soldering Iron Range I used to recommend X-Tronic and they’re still really good in my opinion But HAKKO just has a few extra bells and whistles and just feels a little bit nicer Removing the capacitors, I really can’t recommend enough the HAKKO Desoldering Gun It literally makes these things fall out of their homes Sad The little city If you can’t afford that and, honestly, it is expensive even though it was worth every penny for me You can just use a regular desoldering pump So, that is how you recap your board But, for our Retro Rubber-up we’re go Runner-up! Runner-up! We’ll hand over to Ladyfractic Now, for the Retro Runner-up, it is something that also comes from the same website, which was We’re not sponsored, by the way, I should just say Nothing in this video is sponsored Endorsed or any of that business (American accent) End of Disclaimer Second disclaimer: We are sponsored by our friends PCBWaayyyyyyyy Puppyfractic: PCCBBBBBBSS If you’re looking to get your own pc, b–‘s made Like this maybe This is the VIC-II² and a devise I’m going to be making a video of soon Because.. this is something that I invented along with my friend, Sean Harrington It lets you use PAL and NTSC VIC Chip in the same Commodore 64 and switch between them Um, what does PCB stand for? Well, as we all know, Perifractic’s Commodore Buyers’ Guide Sounds good Sounds good Now, for the Retro Rubber-U Runner-up! The Retro Runner-Up It’s a heatsink kit All of the heatsinks are self-adhesive and you just put them on the SID chip, the CPU chip, and the VIC chip I said them out of order just to trick you!

It’s good thing he knows where they are Okay, and that kind of wraps it up for Futureproofing Now, into the future to the final point on the menu And the final item on the menu brings us to playtime! Well, for this, you’re gonna need the joystick, right? Mhm And for this, my Chef’s Choice, has been sitting here, all along This is the SpeedKing Joystick It’s made by Konix and this is the one that I had as a kid And I figured it was just what I ended up with but it turns out most people love this one, too it just fits perfectly in the hand And.. you don’t need to find a desk to stick it on Konix SpeedKing There are more joysticks available So for that, and for our Retro Runner-up You said it! Said it right again Over to .. Seven of Nine Wow This happens to be Puppyfractic’s favorite joystick … It is the QuickShot II Turbo It’s got suction cups on the bottom There is really great response And also, on the back, there is a Auto fire option! Which really helps you destroy the Death Star Very cool Now, I imagine you get some ‘QuickShots’? (joystick clicking war) Okay, well, what about programming? So for this, I recommend you download the PDF of the original Commodore 64 Basic Programming Guide if you didn’t already get it with your C64 For that, you can actually start to pick up basic programming And start to key in some of those programs in there 10 line ones 20 line ones 500 line ones So make sure you save it to your SD2IEC So that’s gameplay and programming There are a million great games that won’t try to recommend any here except maybe Commando And Ghost Busters And Bubble Bobble However, if you do want to get some advice that kind of nature Check out the Facebook Commodore 64 group Unlike some other social networks and groups That one’s actually super friendly I’ve never seen any toxicity there and everyone is really helpful I’m on there, too. So if I see your post, I’ll try and help out with answer There’s about 20,000 members Is that it? That’s all So chances are someone will know the answer to your Commodore 64 question Another good one is Lemon 64 That’s another forum. That one’s kind of old-school. You have to login with your password But again, I’ve had a lot more technical help there with fault diagnosis and that kind of thing It wasn’t your fault.. don’t worry Thank You Lemon 64 But of course the Commodore 64 isn’t just games and programming It’s also known for its music and you might be wondering You know.. I was wondering .. how do you get into that? I showed this in a couple of my music videos where I bought the Commodore Music Maker keyboard It’s an overlay that goes over the Commodore 64 And allows you to press the correct QWERTY keys or corresponding notes QWERTY QWERTY And for this I recommend buying the Cynthcart You plug it in the back It will actually play the SID chip, live, kind of like a synthesizer So there it is. That’s how to play with and play your Commodore 64 And also wraps it up for our menu items We really hope that this has been helpful to you in buying your first Commodore 64 I know Puppyfractic here is a little tired So we’ll wrap it up Do check out the description for any updates, changes, or corrections to these items since this video First went live I don’t know about you but all this talk of buying a Commodore 64 is kind of made me hungry for one Do you want to go get some lunch in the Retro Recipe’s Restaurant? We literally just had breakfast Thanks for watching! Subscribe below! Subscribe below and Cheerio! She doesn’t like my disk disk Okay, so while Ladyfractic gets fractic Can you breathe? She can’t breathe right now