Again a huge gap between posts, but once more here is an update for you on what I have done in that period when I wasn’t writing here.

To start at the beginning, I recently retrieved my Commodore 64 from the cold dark and damp garage, before I realised I didn’t have a power supply for it. I bought a power supply from Ebay, but it was the wrong one (seller had listed incorrectly as a C64 one) when I got the right power pack, and once the Commodore 64 had warmed and dried I plugged it in, and lo, it still worked. I bought a Datassette drive from Ebay, and started looking forward to some more retro gaming goodness.

While I was waiting for the cassette drive, I stripped the C64 and cleaned the insides

and the outsides and cleaned the connector strips for the cassette interface.

Once the Datassette had arrived I plugged it in, and nothing. It wouldn’t turn a tape, and so nothing loaded. After much head scratching and talking to knowledgeable people in the Mark Fixes Stuff Facebook page we stripped open the Datasette and spent ages trying to find out where a loose wire had come off from. As I was messing with a Spectrum too, using a phone and a cassette adapter I tried that in the C64 with Tap Dancer, and something started loading, and then the tape wheels started moving too. I still got nothing to load though, so I sent away for a Cassette adapter card which takes the place of the Datassette and loads from any phone etc (allegedly) then I found there was intermittent power to the motor supply lines for the cassette deck as the power light sometimes lit and sometimes didn’t on the interface.

Tracing the 9V supply, I found we had a dodgy power switch, making a good 5V connection, but a very poor one for the 9V side of things. I ordered a switch, and soldered it in place (the poor C64 has been apart more times than a travelling fairground ride). Now the tape spins, the interface lights, but still nothing loads up. Is it time to give up on the Commodore 64?

In other news, I tested a second one of the ZX Spectrums I got in the big box of stuff, and although nothing showed on the screen, it did click when a button was pressed.I opened it up and twiddled with the screw in the RF modulator unit (which you should never ever do) and suddenly I had a picture on the TV. Checking the buttons, a few are not working, so it’s another membrane required. I have decided to composite mod this one using Mark Fixes Stuff Youtube video, results to be announced here later.

Finally I got to opening up the box and plugging in the ZX Specrum +2 128K machine I’ve had for a while, another tape loading problem here though. It would start loading then a buzzing would start on the TV speakers, and I suspect it was interfering with the tape sound into the Speccy too. I picked it up a few inches and dropped it, and then it loaded stuff from tape as it should, another fix I don’t think is recommended by people who know anything though.

That’s it for now then. Bye

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