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VIC-20 cart slot is the WORST.


VicViper
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Seriously, i had always heard the cart slot was bad but WOW. I actually broke a copy of Ms. Pac Man while trying to get it out of the computer!! The shell actually broke off inside the machine. is there a solution to this? Right now i'm thinking the solution is buying the Final Expansion 3, putting it in there and never taking it out.

Also, on a related note, rubbing alcohol to clean between the keys on the keyboard is a BAD choice.

Edited by VicViper
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Some VICs have tighter openings than others. It could be a difference bwteen two-prong VIC-20 and the DIN-style VIC-20CR. While cartridges sometimes can sit very tightly, I've never pulled so hard that the shell cracked.

please don't think me a Barbarian, I swear I didn't abuse my poor VIC carts. It's the big mean cart slots fault, I swear.
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Mine is tight as well. Broke a Defender cart in it once--the PCB actually pushed through the braces holding it in place inside the shell and broke them off, so the board was just loose inside it, with these broken plastic bits rattling around inside. Had to cannibalize a dead Atarisoft cart to fix it. :(

There's kind of a trick to inserting VIC-20 cartridges. You have put it in at a small angle and get one side started, then work in the rest as you go down the other end. :)

It would be nice to not have to pull the computer away from the setup and manhandle it just to get carts in and out, and then tuck everything back into place, but you can't have everything, I guess. :-D (Unless you have an Atari or TI system or something else with a cartridge interface that actually makes sense... :ponder: )

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Just a note: I previously examined the cartridge port on 18 Vic-20s of varying age to help create best practices in making homebrew cartridges related to minimizing connector wear and discovered that there are at least 5 different types/manufactures of cartridge connector used. Some are easier to insert into than others. All are gold plated except on the VIC-20 CR version which uses the cheapest connector. Most of the info is posted on the Denial forum.

Edited by norm8332
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A lot of the "tightness" in many of these models of because of the metal cartridge port guide. You can remedy it by either removing the guide entirely (it involves opening the machine, removing the motherboard and then the guide clips off of the motherboard...it is really not needed) or slightly bending up the metal area that has the "pad" attached to it if you do not want to remove it (look into the cart port to see what I am talking about). Some case molds themselves have the cart slot molded too thin for carts and the only thing you can do for that is sand or dremel the plastic very slightly to increase the size of the slot to accommodate carts. I used to hate the fact that some of these system slots would actually damage some cart labels due to the tightness so I have been down this road before ;) I have very easily modified every Vic I owned using the aforementioned methods and each one afterward had a cart slot that was a smooth as a NES cart entry :)

 

Oh and yeah, NEVER use alcohol on the keys. I guess you rubbed away some of the custom graphics :(

Edited by eightbit
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Oh and yeah, NEVER use alcohol on the keys. I guess you rubbed away some of the custom graphics :(

 

Alcohol is great stuff for most jobs... but I learned the hard way tonight that it easily removes the print from Color Computer cartridge labels :(

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Alcohol is great stuff for most jobs... but I learned the hard way tonight that it easily removes the print from Color Computer cartridge labels :(

 

That sucks. I know what its like man. I do...

 

If you were trying to clean sticker residue from the cart label a better trick is lighter fluid. Not a lot, just some on a paper tower and swipe quickly. The follow up with a swipe of Windex. That has been pretty much my method for the past 30 years.

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If you were trying to clean sticker residue from the cart label a better trick is lighter fluid. Not a lot, just some on a paper tower and swipe quickly. The follow up with a swipe of Windex. That has been pretty much my method for the past 30 years.

 

I see clearly you have been there :) Thanks.

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You have not seen a tight cart slot untill you put an Activision or Imagic cart in an Atari 7800. You can insert the cart, pick it up by the cart itself, and shake the hell out of it with no chance of the cart coming loose.

 

I have a 2 prong Vic 20 and have no problem with the cart slot. It is snug, but not overly.

Edited by scotty
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I have a 2 prong Vic 20 and have no problem with the cart slot. It is snug, but not overly.

 

 

As a Commodore user for a few decades now I will say that no two Vic-20's are the same. No two Commodore computers for that matter. I think Jack was a little more concerned about money than quality control ;)

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There was an extensive discussion about gold plating on edge connectors and the impact on the cartridge port connector on Denial. One of the things discussed is the fact VIC-20crs use very cheap connectors compared to earlier models of the VIC-20.

 

Also, in the past, I have seen only one VIC-20 where inserting and extracting cartridges was really difficult and it turns out the top plastic case/keyboard was from a VIC-20cr while the bottom and board was a 2-prong VIC. The 2 halves from different generations of VIC-20s don't match so well at all.

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