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How to check C64 power supplies?


eebuckeye
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I picked up a couple systems that are having problems and i want to see if the power supply is ok. Can I measure the voltage on the power supply pins with it plugged in and not connected to the computer?

 

What pins do I need to check and what is the expected values? I have a 4 pin supply PN 251053-02.

 

Thanks!

 

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If it's a black brick and it doesn't have any screw you can take out, check it in the dumpster and don't check it out.

 

You could also buy or build a C64 saver which will monitor the 5v line and stop the 5v rail if it goes up due to failed part.

An excellent answer! If you feel that you must check the PSU, make sure you do so with a load, or you won't get a usable answer.

Indeed, if these are the old "black box" PSU (or the equivalent) I would advise against using them at all. They will destroy your C-64. I would rather go the el-cheapo, two wall wart idea that has been covered on so many forums. Sounds awful, but if you buy good wall wart PSUs. I don't know where you're located, but if in the U.S., use PSUs From this distributor:

 

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_379623_-1

for the 5vdc side, and this for the 9vac side:

 

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_112336_-1

 

This will give you and excellent C-64 PSU, at a very good price (for a new PSU!) Jameco.com is an excellent source for electronics hardware.

Edited by motrucker
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Before chucking the old black brick, cut off the power cable and use them on new power supplies so you don't need to find the right plug or solder the plug end in. The cable by itself isn't known to have problem, only those that are inside the brick.

Good point. These cables can be used with anything from the wallwarts, to a C-128 PSU to work with a C-64.

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Good part of the 2 x wall wart set up is that there's a chance you have something kicking around already. It pays to only have a good quality 5V supply, like motrucker linked to, but the 9V side isn't critical. If you have a NES for instance, there's your 9V supply right there (9V, 1 amp). That's the same as some of the originals which is fine so long as you aren't attaching lots of power hungry devices to your C64. Also, of course you can use the 9V part of your original supply quite safely which means only having to get a 5V supply. I even managed to put a 5V USB supply inside a wedge PSU recently!

 

I think the main disadvantage of the 2 wallwart setup is purely cosmetic. If you can live with that, you're golden.

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I recently picked up a Maxtron PS-01 to replace a failed c= brick. Is this Maxtron known to be a good 3rd party supply?

 

I've seen these, but never used one. Can you open it up to check the inner works? I would want to nose around inside first.

Darn, just answered that question:

 

http://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=661969

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Charlie_ wrote:

 

> Is this Maxtron known to be a good 3rd party supply?

 

I've never had a problem with the Maxtron that I have. However, I'd rather use the something more powerful, like the heavy-duty Commodore p.s. or the Ray Carlsen deluxe C= p.s..

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

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Charlie_ wrote:

 

> Is this Maxtron known to be a good 3rd party supply?

 

I've never had a problem with the Maxtron that I have. However, I'd rather use the something more powerful, like the heavy-duty Commodore p.s. or the Ray Carlsen deluxe C= p.s..

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

 

I still use a Commodore 1764 PSU on one 64, and a C-128 PSU with a C-64 pigtail on it for another, since I use upgraded C= REUs quite often.

What ever happened to Jim Brain & Bill Herd's C-64 PSU project? It been a long time with no word.........

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It's already been said (in essence), but my opinion on stock Commodore PSU's: hold the ends of both cords, swing it around like the hammer throw in the Summer Olympics and let go. This provides some physical exercise, it helps with the hand/eye coordination and is more amusing than plugging it in and watching your SID chip slag. ;)

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Not all is lost. I asked the designer, and if the primary side of the transformer (2x115VAC) would be connected in parallel instead of series, it should be possible to use the design for North America too. The transformer is even specified to handle either 50 or 60 Hz. Due to space limitations, he didn't add the option to switch the power supply between 115V or 230V.

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I recently discovered that I have a Recoton power supply for a C-64. Are these decent?

 

I also would like to ask about what type of female din connector I should use to make an adapter to power my 2 pin VIC 20.

I have seen 4 pin and 7 pin hat look like thet would work ok, but I'm not sure.

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