CommVEx XII and VCF West XI recap

Two weeks ago I attended the Commodore Vegas Expo XII, and last week I’ve been at the Vintage Computer Festival West XI.

CommVEx XII

As the name describes it, it was a Commodore Expo in Las Vegas. But the format is a mix between conference and expo. It is a real expo, but with the social part of a conference. It is friendly and casual.

People give talks in a very informal way. I gave a talk + live demo about the UniJoystiCle. Everything went well except that in the middle of the demo my phone’s glass broke. But that wasn’t an issue since the accelerometer kept working.

Doing the UniJoystiCle demo

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UniJoystiCle v0.2.1 released

v0.2.1 powered from a battery. Can be powered from USB as well

Changes in v0.2.1:

  • Commodore 64 works Ok when the UniJoystiCle board is unpowered. The issue was that the 4066 chips were in an unknown state when they were unpowered. In v0.2.1 the 4066 ICs get power from the C64 Joy #2 port
  • Smaller holes for the DC Jack making it compatible with “common” DC Jacks.

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Repairing the Commodore 1581 floppy disk drive. Part 2

I assumed that the Commodore 1581 was failing because of a bad WD1772 IC (as documented in Part I). So I ordered a WD1772 replacement + the IC socket, I developed some basic desoldering skills, watched some desoldering videos, and also got a cheap desoldering iron from Radio Shack:

Only $11 bucks at Radio Shack

So, I removed the board from the Commodore 1581 and started to desolder the IC. To my surprise the $11-buck desolder iron worked pretty well. I was able to remove all the solder from the the pins in a few minutes. The desolder iron just takes some time to reach the needed temperature, but besides that, it seems to be a great tool for occasional desoldering tasks (a hobbyist desoldering iron cost more than $250)

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