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Commodore VIC-20

6th May 2015

After my recent purchase of a Commodore 64 I decided I might as well try for the entire set (well, as much as my cash flow allows for!).
Actually, the VIC-20 features in my earliest memories of computing; my friend Paul had one. I think I remember him playing Blitz on it and not letting me have a go... I know! I know! I really should let go of these child hood traumas :D. I haven't seen a VIC-20 since then and that was a mere 27 years ago!

I bought this one off of eBay (as usual) for £18 + £8.50 postage. Unfortunately, the original box has seen better days with the one side missing a fair sized chunk(something that the seller failed to mention). Beyond that I'm happy with the machine itself: It works fine and displays a reasonable picture considering I'm using the supplied RF module. That module is a square box with a cable lead to a 5 pin DIN plug that plugs into the Audio/Video socket on the VIC-20. There's also a phono socket on the modulator box which connects to a coax cable and plugs into the aerial socket on a TV.
I plan at some point to make (or buy) a cable which goes directly from the Audio/Video port to RCA (phono) as this is supposed to give a better quality picture.
Here's a picture of the RF module and RF cable:

Vic20 picture Vic20 picture
(click an image to enlarge)

Processor 6502 running at 1.1MHz
OS Commodore Basic V2
RAM 5KB (3.5KB usable by Basic)
Video 176x184, 3bpp - using the VIC chip
Audio 3 sound channels, 1 noise. Mono only
Ports 9 pin D-sub Game port
5 pin DIN Audio/Video
24 pin edge connector User port (RS232/Centronics printer)
44 pin edge connector Expansion Port (for cartridges)
12 pin edge connector Cassette/datasette drive port 6 pin DIN Serial port (IEEE488)

The VIC-20 has a number of ports, most of which are a little non-standard. On the right side we have the power switch, power socket (2 pins in this case, although later versions had 3 pins I think) and Control Port
Vic20 picture Vic20 rear ports picture
Vic20 picture right side ports Vic20 picture serial number
Vic20 picture boot screen Vic20 picture boot screen

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