C64 cartridge port

This port is a rectangular opening at the back of the C64 case and is intended for expansions of the system. Since many important signals of the C64 are led to the connector, this results in a wide range of applications. The expansion port is mainly used for plugging in cartridges which are usually utility cartridges such as Action Replay 6, The Final Cartridge 3 etc. Contrary to the user port there are no freely programmable lines on the expansion port, i. Therefore the expansion port is not as suitable for simple projects.

On the positive side the connector can be made directly on the PCB, no unusual connector is needed. The expansion port is a 2-row EDGE connector with 44 contacts in total. The pitch of the contacts is 2. Jump to: navigationsearch. Pin assignment of Memory Expansion Port on the computer.

Category : Interface. In other languages Deutsch. Potential is 0V on ground, signal levels are measured relative this, can also be called "common ground". Signal from the video controllerwhich indicates that the bus data are valid. It will stop after the next read cycle and all bus lines will go to high resistance state. So other units can use the computer hardware.

Condition: the internal ram area is faded out. If this line is pulled to low, all chips will be re-initialized.This article is about the various external peripherals of the Commodore 64 home computer. Due to the backwards compatibility of the Commodoremost peripherals will work on that system, as well.

In the United States, the floppy disk drive was widespread. By contrast, in Europe, the C64 was often used with cassette tape drives Datasettewhich were much cheaper, but also much slower than floppy drives. The Datasette plugged into a proprietary edge connector on the Commodore 64's motherboard.

Standard blank audio cassettes could be used in this drive. Data tapes could be write-protected in the same way as audio cassettes, by punching out a tab on the cassette's top edge. The Datasette's speed was very slow about baud.

Loading a large program at normal speed could take up to 30 minutes in extreme cases. Many European software developers wrote their own fast tape-loaders which replaced the internal KERNAL code in the C64 and offered loading times more comparable to disk drive speeds.

c64 cartridge port

Novaload was perhaps the most popular tape-loader used by British and American software developers. Early versions of Novaload had the ability to play music while a program loaded into memory, and was easily recognizable by its black border and digital bleeping sounds on loading. Other fast-loaders included load screensdisplaying computer artwork while the program loaded. More advanced fast-loaders included minigames for the user to play while the program loaded from cassette.

One such minigame fastloader was Invade-a-Load. Users also had to contend with interference from magnetic fields. Also, not too dissimilar to floppy drive users, the Datasette's read head could become dirty or slip out of alignment. A small screwdriver could be used to align the tape heads, and a few companies capitalized by selling various commercial kits for Datasette head-alignment tuning.

Tape counter speeds varied over different datasette units making recorded counter numbers unreliable on different hardware. Kernal hard drive subsystem see below.

They were expensive and few were ever sold. The concept eventually succumbed to floppy drives. It needed a small program code to be loaded in the memory at [3] 0xCxCFFF [4] which collided with many other programs. The cost for the drive would have been equivalent to EUR in Which could handle 5. The was the standard floppy disk drive for the Commodore 64, with nearly all disk-based software programs released for the computer being distributed in the compatible floppy disk format.

The was very slow in loading programs because of a poorly implemented serial busa legacy of the Commodore VIC The disk drive was notorious for not only its slow performance and large physical size compared to the C64 the drive is almost as deep as the computer is widebut also for the drive mechanisms installed during early production runs, which quickly gained a bad reputation for their mechanical unreliability.

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Perhaps the most common failure involved the drive's read-write head mechanism losing its alignment. Due to lack of hardware support for detecting track zero position, Commodore DOS formatting routines and many complex software copy-protection schemes which used data stored on nonstandard tracks on floppies had to rely on moving the head specified number of steps in order to make sure that the desired head position for formatting or reading the data was reached.

Since after physically reaching track zero, further movement attempts caused the head drive mechanism to slam producing the infamous, loud, telltale knocking [1] sound into a mechanical stop, the repetitive strain often drove the head mechanism out of precise alignment, resulting in read errors and necessitating repairs.

As a side note: some demos exploited the sound generated by the head moving stepper motor to force the disk drive to play crude tunes " Bicycle Built For Two " was one by varying the frequency of step requests sent to the motor.The CPU can only see a maximum of bytes.

Ultimax mode. It is a predecessor of the C64 with less RAM. You do not need ROML for a cartridge to function and can be left out. If a normal cartridge is present, it executes the kernal and checks for a cartridge identifier string. Commodore 64 Expansion port pinout:. A chip and a two input AND gate consisting of two diodes and a resistor. You can also use a 74LS Update Text was correct but QC slipped on the drawing. Thanks to mATE for notifying me about it.

Text was correct but again QC has slipped on the drawing. Thanks to Bart for the heads up. Hello, what to burn on an eprom? If I have a. CRT file, is it enough to put it there verbatim not to strip any headers?

It holds a header with information of what kind of cartridge, name etc. The file should be a. I have dead test cart files and would like to burn them to and place them in a board that I can use to test my C64s. Thank you. If you have a scriptblock or something similar enabled in your browser it might not do that.

Depending if the signals are high or low, it will define which memoryarea will be used. Is there any documentation on the protocols used for developing peripherals like the superCPU for the expansion port?

Or is this all reverse engineered? However, everything is not documented and there are some very creative engineers and programmers out there :.So I filmed the process of replacing the port.

Hope the video can help someone else with cartridge problems. This is probably the most horrible job that I ever attempted. It is better to snip the legs on the known broken one an then desolder the pins separatelyand us a hot air gun to salvage the known working one.

Commodore 64

It took about 90 minutes, I could do it again in about minutes this time with my Hakko Desolder gun, which I did not use in this video. That slowed me down also. Should help many C users. This is one reason I have been using a cartridge expander for years though. They really do help. You can see at the start of this video that I had been using one also! That need to be removed first, otherwise it would be really difficult to remove mix of melted plastic and old soldering. If necessary to use de-soldering wick, reasonable short time is mandatory - few seconds only, with extra cooling time between another attempt, If does not work at once, with quite a bit of flux all the time!

Otherwise there is a high risk to pool up tin traces from old PCBs. It requires quite a bit of patient, experience and definitely not the cheapest soldering iron most of people may have. I Need another project now to film that.

Tip: Get C64 Forever for super-comfy C64 emulation with pre-installed games, demos and other goodies! Commodore Cartridge Port Repair. View previous topic :: View next topic.

I just released a new video on my C64 Cartridge port replacement.

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Back to top. I also replaced the cartridge port on my Ultimate It definitely was NOT a fast job. Steverd wrote:. De-soldering with and especially without temperature controlled de-soldering station may easily turn into a nightmare All times are UTC.Today I jammed some wires into the back end of a 30 year old computer to see if it would blow up.

The early microcomputers were made for hobbyists more than for casual users. The very first ones came as kits that you had to build yourself, and even after that it was expected that a significant number of users would want to experiment with the hardware itself. The C64 did not come as a kit, of course, but it did come with a user port — a port really, just the exposed edge of the circuit board on the back of the machine that you could plug your own electronics projects into.

The first problem was figuring out how to physically attach my project to the user port. My soldering skills are decidedly mediocre, and the odds of something going horribly wrong are, frankly, pretty high. The other ends of the wires are plugged into a breadboard.

Why, blinking LEDs, of course. The resulting circuit is trivial — I connected an LED to each of the 8 parallel lines. The software side is similarly straightforward. For example:. Line 20 sets up the port by telling the CIA to make all 8 parallel port lines outputs, and line 40 turns the individual lines on and off. The register is 8 bits wide, and each bit is connected to one of the output pins.

If we send the numbers 0 through in order, the LEDs will turn on and off showing the binary versions of each value. If you connect the wrong lines together, for example by making a short circuit or plugging the connector in upside down or something, there is a real chance of damaging the C By the way, there was a series of articles about user port projects in Commodore Magazinestarting in the May issue.

If you know how to get hold of those issues, check them out. Brings back memories. When I was in high school 20 so years ago, I did some of the very same things. I gave my dad my design idea and he helped me design a buffer circuit from transistors and relays.

I probably got the memory locations from the very same mag you mentioned. I am now working on the Arduino. What I did find was port manipulation for Arduino.

c64 cartridge port

Have fun. By the way, where did you dig up a C Thanks for the comments. As for C64s, I actually have two.

C64 User Port - a trivial example

The oldest I picked up at an Iowa State University surplus sale about years ago. Actually, part 1 starts in the April issue, then part 2 skips forward to the June issue. Solid blog post!


Would have been nice to see the hookup diagram as part of the post. I love this. It reminds me of my o-level project. The concept was basic; type warehouse location coordinates into C64 basic program. I built the warehouse retriever robot the software and interface. It had a motor on each rear wheel which meant it was very nimble e. Also, it could quite easily calculate the best route to the desired location.

Expansion port VIC20

I wrote the C64 control program, constructed the interface to the C64, built and programmed the warehouse retriever robot, and user interface. The program would successfully return the desired item back to the start position ready for deliver to the customer.

c64 cartridge port

Hi, Nice to read this.This port is a rectangular opening at the back of the VIC case and is intended for expansions of the system. All important signals of the VIC are available on this port. This results in a wide range of applications. From just connecting a simple reset buttona modem and EPROM programming device there are almost all imaginable expansions possible. On the VIC the expansion port is almost only used for plugging in cartridges which contain application software, games or additional RAM.

Commodore 64 peripherals

One of the most recent developments for this port is the Final Expansion. In opposition to the user port there are no free programmable lines at the expansion port, i. Therefore the expansion port is not suitable for simple projects. The expansion port is a 2-row EDGE connector with 44 contacts in total. The pitch of the contacts is 3.

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Attention: The pin assignment is mirrored to the expansion port of the C Jump to: navigationsearch. Category : Interface. In other languages Deutsch. If you pull this line to low, all chips will be re-initialized.While the device is awesome, I felt the documentation was less than stellar. And that led me to put together this resource to help others who are first experimenting running SD Cards on the Commodore series of computers. This is not the parallel version used on the Commodore PETs, but rather a stripped down serial version that was designed specifically for the consumer lines.

The IEC serial bus is used for many different types of peripherals, the most common two being printers and disk drives. The tape drive was also on this serial bus, albeit on a different physical connector. This allows Commodore computers to read and write to SD cards rather than than 5. Additionally an SD card is far more reliable and less prone to damage as compared to floppies. At least a nice PDF you can download right? One word of caution as I found out quickly, you need to use a smaller card.

I tried several 32, 64, and GB cards that were laying in my drawer and none of them were compatible. I wound up purchasing a Transcend five pack of these 2GB cards from Amazon on they worked perfect first try.

Another recommendation is not to use an SD card which has been previously used for some other operating system such as a Raspberry Pi. Again, I just recommend buying a new card.

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Once the card is formatted its now ready to be prepared for use. Although these programs are not strictly needed, they do make the task much simpler.

On some versions of Windows it has been reported that the Explorer will add an extension to the file. If this happens you will need to rename the file and remove everything including the period. EXE or FB It is recommended that you create directories and drop the files into them. This is especially true if you have a multi-disk game. Games like the Ultima series of role-playing games come on several disks and will be much easier to play if they are in their own directory.

LST file, but more on that later. Strictly speaking though, directories are optional and you can place all D64 images right in the root of the SD card along with the FB64 program.

You can find many ready to download D64 images just by doing a quick Google search. Once your there turn off the computer and unplug the power connector from it. One is powered from the user port, while the other is powered from the tape port. Regardless, the connector is labeled with a top and bottom side.

Make sure top is up and plug it into the corresponding port on your Commodore computer. If you also bought a Fastload Reloaded cartridge, now is the time to install it. It simply plugs into the cartridge port of the Commodore While this is completely optional it will dramatically increase the speed of loaded software from the SD2IEC or even a real disk drive.

Note: I highly recommend if this is your first time using the SD2IEC that you have any other peripherals disconnected.

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Do not install modems, daisy chain disk drives, printers, or other devices with the SD2IEC installed until you know everything is working correctly. Simply type the following commands:.

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