Vintage & Retro Computer Project
Rescue, Repair & Relive Yesterdays Technology

Todays Date: April 23, 2024

RETRO DATE: Late 80’s Early 90’s

Commodore 16

The Commodore 16 was a home computer released in 1984 by Commodore International. It was intended to be a low-cost alternative to the Commodore 64, with a focus on simplicity and affordability.

The Commodore 16 was equipped with a 1.76 MHz MOS Technology 6502A processor and had a maximum of 64 kilobytes of RAM. It was also equipped with a Commodore 1640 graphics chip, which was capable of displaying graphics in 16 colors.

History

The Commodore 16 was the very first home computer I owned which was purchase by my Mother as a christmas present.

I was using computers at school at the time (the BBC Model B) and quickly discovered that computers were my thing. I learnt how to program in BASIC on the BBC at school and continued my development on the Commodore 16.

I quickly flew through the user manual and was creating animations using the keyboard characters and the first program I wrote drew a car from the C16 keyboard characters and moved it from left to right on the screen.

Loading games by tape took an age, but that was all part of the fun, and I feel helped develop my patience I rely on to this day in every day things. From using and learning about computers I developed a logical mind, good problem solving skills and an active imagination.

I can credit this computer as the spark that started me down a 30 year career in the computer industry.

As a key part of my retro room project, I had to get a Commodore 16, and once I had tracked down a good one on Ebay, the retro room had one of the founding members of my computer passion and it remains a firm favourite computer.

Rockman

Airwolf

Excorcist

Punchy

EBAY LISTING:

Vintage Commodore C16 Computer System
Commodore C16 Power Supply Unit
Commodore C16 (1531) Datassette
RF Lead
Commodore C16 User Manual
Commodore (1531) Datassette Booklet
Commodore C16 Showcase Booklet
C16 An Introduction To Basic PT1 Cassette Software
An Introduction To Basic PT1 (Tapes 1&2)
XZAP / PUNCHY / INDOOR SPORTS / TIMESLIP
WORLD CUPII / PANIK / MOLECULE MAN
Plus Blank Tapes x 3

After a lot of research on the internet, I discovered that I could upgrade the memory in the Commodore 16 to 64k. This would allow me to use a larger array of sofware that would include all the software written to work exclusivly on the Commodore Plus/4.

Because I was new to retro computing and maintenance and not really done soldering etc before, I felt it was wise to protect my investment by purchasing another C16 motherboard just in case my work break this one. This RAM upgrade involved unsoldering 4 chips from the motherboard and adding a power output.

Once I had found this kit and ordered it, I also found another kit which did not involve doing any work to the motherboard. This other solution meant you just had to remove the TED chip, put this device in, and replace the TED on top of it.

I also purchase additional TED, PLA, CPU chips should I ever need spares as they are getting more rare and expensive. So, now my project is complete, I have the running computer with the TED replacement RAM upgrade, and my spare board has the soldered RAM solution.

ACCESSORIES & UPGRADES

REPLACEMENT MODERN PSU

This is a new Power Supply for Commodore 16 model only

1 amp power supplies might be ok but is near the limit of Commodore 16, so adding internal 64k ram upgrade and other upgrade will put more pressure on internal components.

Our power supply comes with 2amps and of course will give you all the power you ever need

Original Commodore 16 power supplies, (apart from being over 30 years old of course) usually are around 14 volts and use the internal rectifier to channel them down to make them 9 volts, this of course makes your machine run hotter and with the power supply already being 30 years old it can only to help to swap it out with a modern lighter alternative.

The original Commodore 16 PSU was tested for voltages and at time of testing, all the correct voltages were displayed. The downside is that the PSU is over 30 years old and they are known to cause issues without warning and sending over voltages in to the Commodore 16.

The first you know about it is when your Commodore 16
starts behaving odly and this may be a damaged chip.

Due to the shortage of spares and the cost of the ones that are available, the cost of a replacement PSU is cheaper than fixing any potential damage that may be caused by an old original PSU.

The original Commodore 16 PSU was tested for voltages and at time of testing, all the correct voltages were displayed.

The downside is that the PSU is over 30 years old and they are known to cause issues without warning and sending over voltages in to the Commodore 16.

The first you know about it is when your Commodore 16 starts behaving odly and this may be a damaged chip. Due to the shortage of spares and the cost of the ones that are available, the cost of a replacement PSU is cheaper than fixing any potential damage that may be caused by an old original PSU.

SD2IEC DRIVE

TFW8b SD2IEC is the world’s most popular SD Card reader for Commodore 8bit Computers #FACT
High quality VIC20/C64c/C128 Cream, SD2IEC v4 Basic Floppy Drive Emulation

* PCB fully enclosed to protect your computer from STATIC electricity (ESD) *

Next Disk, Previous Disk and Root/Reset Buttons
Supports Auto Generation of AUTOSWAP file
Compatible with Commodore Vic20/64/128 Computers

TFW8b SD2IEC – The SD2IEC emulates the basic functions of a real disk drive

Simply copy D64, D71, D81,M2I or Prg files to an SD card, put it into the SD2IEC and you’re ready to go

JOYSTICK ADAPTER

Allows ese any 9 pin Atari-standard joystick used on any of the following retro games systems

DATASETTE ADAPTER

Allows 1531 Datasettes to be used on the Commodore 64

C16 Motherboard

SPARE COMMODORE 16 MOTHERBOARD

As with all things in life, nothing lasts forever, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a spare C16 motherboard if I needed one due to the first one breaking down for some reason.

In addition to this reason, I had discovered on YouTube that the C16 motherboards could be upgraded to 64K, so before trying to do the upgrade, I thought it was wise to have a spare in case I damaged the first one during the upgrade.

Prior to the arrival of the spare motherboard, I purchaed all the chips needed to populate it, namely the PLA, the CPU and the TED chips.

SPARE COMMODORE 16 CASE

To make the spare Commodore 16 useable and to protect the components, I hunted around on Ebay for a case. It took a long time to get a case as they are rarely up as a seperate item, and if they are, they are often in poor condition.

I bidded my time, and eventually found a listing and got my spare case.

C16 Case
C16 Motherboard

SPARE COMMODORE 16 KEYBOARD

I had to wait a while before a C16 keyboard came up for sale on Ebay at a decent price. This took a while as they are very expensive and mostly broken. 

I waitied a long time but eventually secured a good condition, working keyboard.

C16 Motherboard
C16 Motherboard
C16 Motherboard

SPARE CPU

SPARE PLA

SPARE TED

C16 Motherboard

16K to 64K MEMORY UPGRADE 1

This memory upgrade involved desoldering some chips and then soldering on some IC sockets and then placing it on the motherboard along with power.

16K to 64K MEMORY UPGRADE 2

This type of expansion installs under the TED and is extremely compact. It uses modern static RAM which uses a trickle amount of power. It uses special thin pins adapted to the peculiar (as in dirt cheap…) 48 pins socket installed by Commodore in the C16 and C116.

NO MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED!, no bending of pins and very small size. Comes with a switch to toggle between 16k/64k – a reset is required when switching between these modes.

C16 Motherboard

COMMODORE 16 DIAGNOSIC CARTRIDGE

Commodore 16 , Plus 4 and 116 Diagnostic Cartridge
Ideal for testing machine functions

  • Low RAM, Screen layout, Bank logic
  • High RAM, ROM
  • Keyboard
  • Joystick
  • Cassette
  • Serial
  • User Port
  • RS232
  • Interrupt & 2X Clock tests
  • TED Register
  • Colour Palette
  • TED Graphics Mode
  • Smooth Scroll

ACCESSORIES
&
UPGRADES

SD2IEC DRIVE

TFW8b SD2IEC is the world’s most popular SD Card reader for Commodore 8bit Computers #FACT
High quality VIC20/C64c/C128 Cream, SD2IEC v4 Basic Floppy Drive Emulation

* PCB fully enclosed to protect your computer from STATIC electricity (ESD) *

Next Disk, Previous Disk and Root/Reset Buttons
Supports Auto Generation of AUTOSWAP file
Compatible with Commodore Vic20/64/128 Computers

TFW8b SD2IEC – The SD2IEC emulates the basic functions of a real disk drive

Simply copy D64, D71, D81,M2I or Prg files to an SD card, put it into the SD2IEC and you’re ready to go.

REPLACEMENT MODENT PSU

This is a new Power Supply for Commodore 16 model only

1 amp power supplies might be ok but is near the limit of Commodore 16, so adding internal 64k ram upgrade and other upgrade will put more pressure on internal components.

Our power supply comes with 2amps and of course will give you all the power you ever need

Original Commodore 16 power supplies, (apart from being over 30 years old of course) usually are around 14 volts and use the internal rectifier to channel them down to make them 9 volts, this of course makes your machine run hotter and with the power supply already being 30 years old it can only to help to swap it out with a modern lighter alternative.

The original Commodore 16 PSU was tested for voltages and at time of testing, all the correct voltages were displayed. The downside is that the PSU is over 30 years old and they are known to cause issues without warning and sending over voltages in to the Commodore 16.

The first you know about it is when your Commodore 16 starts behaving odly and this may be a damaged chip. Due to the shortage of spares and the cost of the ones that are available, the cost of a replacement PSU is cheaper than fixing any potential damage that may be caused by an old original PSU.

The original Commodore 16 PSU was tested for voltages and at time of testing, all the correct voltages were displayed.

The downside is that the PSU is over 30 years old and they are known to cause issues without warning and sending over voltages in to the Commodore 16.

The first you know about it is when your Commodore 16 starts behaving odly and this may be a damaged chip. Due to the shortage of spares and the cost of the ones that are available, the cost of a replacement PSU is cheaper than fixing any potential damage that may be caused by an old original PSU.

JOYSTICK ADAPTER

Allows ese any 9 pin Atari-standard joystick used on any of the following retro games systems

DATASETTE ADAPTER

Allows 1531 Datasettes to be used on the Commodore 64

Summary

Future proofed my Commodore 16 by upgrading the RAM to 64K using the TED solution, added heatsinks to all critical chips.

Added SD2IEC to load retro software quicker and removing the need to use the Datasette Drive. Added a joystick adapter so I can use the Atari Joystick.

Purchased 2nd motherboard and populated with chips as spare.

Upgraded to 64K - TED Upgrade

Replacement PSU

Joystick Adapter

SD2IEC Drive

Spare Populated Motherboard

Summary

Future proofed my Commodore 16 by upgrading the RAM to 64K using the TED solution, added heatsinks to all critical chips.

Added SD2IEC to load retro software quicker and removing the need to use the Datasette Drive. Added a joystick adapter so I can use the Atari Joystick.

Purchased 2nd motherboard and populated with chips as spare.

Upgraded to 64K - TED Upgrade

Replacement PSU

Joystick Adapter

SD2IEC Drive

Spare Populated Motherboard