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)

Continue reading “Repairing the Commodore 1581 floppy disk drive. Part 2”

The quest for the sacred diskettes

My Sacred Diskettes

In 1986 (or was it 1987?) I got my first computer, a Commodore 64. I started learning BASIC and during ’87 and ’88 I created some very simple games. Somewhere in ’88 I started learning assembly language (machine language to be precise), but I don’t recall coding any game using this language. If so, it must have probably been due to the fact that I lacked a good monitor.

Somewhere in 1989,  I switched to the Commodore 128. Whereas I continued creating games using BASIC, I also started coding some games in assembly language, profiting from the built-in C128 monitor, which was pretty decent.

In 1990 I started coding intros, doing some trainers, and re-cracking some games for a local computer shop (SADOI). And I kept doing that until 1992.

I stored all that sacred info (my games, intros, re-cracks, trainers) in my diskettes. At the time, my diskettes were my most valuable possession.

Continue reading “The quest for the sacred diskettes”

Finally, a Drean Commodore 64c

As a kid, I always avoided the Drean Commodore. I didn’t like them because they were not compatible with the NTSC software.

As an adult, I really wanted one basically because I’m from Argentina, and the Drean was produced in Argentina. And I want to make sure that all the software that I develop works on a Drean.

And in my lastest trip to Argentina I was able to get one 🙂 The condition of the computer is Ok, neither great nor terrible. It works, although I need to do more tests. Here are some photos:

Playing Popeye. Sound and video work Ok.
Without the cover

Continue reading “Finally, a Drean Commodore 64c”

¡Arriba las Manos! (Hands up!) music disk for the c64

A few weeks ago, we,  the Pungas de Villa Martelli, released “¡Arriba las Manos!”, a music disk for the Commodore 64.

It includes ten 8-bit songs, an animated hi-res graphic, an easter-egg, and you can control it with a joystick, or a mouse or the keyboard! Not even Apple puts so much love in the UX like us (the future is the c64!)

God bless the c64 (and the c128 as well!)

UniJoystiCle: Giving Eagle a try

I like Fritzing. I think it is great for small projects and it is very easy to use. But it has its limitations when creating the PCB, mostly because its component library is not very complete.

Eagle, on the other hand, is more difficult to use. But its component library is very polished. Also, companies like Adafruit and SparkFun create components for Eagle, so that is a big plus if you purchase components from them.

So, I re-wrote the schematic again in Eagle, and then created this PCB:

Continue reading “UniJoystiCle: Giving Eagle a try”

UniJoystiCle v0.2 coming soon

UniJoystiCle v0.2 coming soon.

Changes in v0.2:

  • [NEW] – ESP8266 device: supports 2 joysticks (uses three 4066 ICs instead of two
  • [NEW] – ESP8266 firmware uses AP mode by default. Uses SSID “unijosyticle” + last 2 bytes of mac address
  • [NEW] – iOS Client: Can be configured to use either joystick port
  • [NEW] – iOS Client: Auto-discover ESP8266 firmware using mDNS
  • [NEW] – iOS Client: UniJoystiCle mode also supports up, down and fire (jump)
  • [FIX] – Name: Renamed project from Uni-Joysti-Cle to UniJoystiCle (easier to search, shorter to type)
  • [FIX] – ESP8266 device: replaced NodeMCU LoLin with NodeMCU Amica
  • [FIX] – Sophisticated Glue Material: Uses gaffer tape, instead of duct tape

Continue reading “UniJoystiCle v0.2 coming soon”

Announcing the Uni-Joysti-Cle™

The Uni-Joysti-Cle™: The first and only solution to play Commodore 64 video games with your unicycle. Unique immersive experience, much better than VR.

It consists of five beautifully designed parts:

  • The Uni Games video game for the Commodore 64
  • The Uni-Joysti-Cle™ WiFi receiver, and its firmware
  • The Uni-Joysti-Cle™ smartphone application
  • A unicycle
  • Sophisticated glue material

Find all the information about this revolutionary device here: https://retro.moe/unijoysticle/

C64 Remote Controller: Prototype v0.1 works!…

…or How to use a 64-bit machine to control a Commodore 64.

 

No schematics or PCBs yet. But at least I have the materials that I’m using:

  • One Lolin NodeMCU (should work with any other ESP8266 that have at least five GPIOs)
  • Two 4066 ICs. I’m using this one.

…and this is the software that I’m using both for the NodeMCU firmware and the iOS client:

More info and upgrades coming soon.

Todo list:

  • Support two joysticks at the same time (for multiplayer games)
  • Support mouse
  • Support paddle
  • Save/Replay commands so that you can kind-of-replay your game
  • Service discovery so that you don’t have to hardcore the IP address