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26589[midatlanticretro] Re: Diagnosing and Repairing Commodore 64

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  • Jeffrey Brace
    Jun 27, 2012
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      From: s100doctor
      Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:25 PM

      >David has given some good advice. But he was kind enough to avoid the
      >issues of "magic books" and "magic tools".

      Who mentioned the word "magic" ?

      As a beginner I was just looking for a way to get started. Which tools to
      get for example. Instead of buying a soldering iron only to find out the one
      I bought should have been temperature controlled. Or a logic probe will do
      whereas an oscilloscope is overkill. Second I need to know how to learn how
      to use the tools. Third good references that a beginner can figure out.

      >It's my experience that what is needed is some knowledge and some tools and
      >some experience - and time and patience. The more of those you have, the
      >better your results. Generally one gets that stuff incrementally - you
      > >learn in steps, and work in steps. This takes time, and there will be
      >times when you make mistakes and backtrack. Those are learning
      >opportunities - if you are not making mistakes, you are not testing your
      >knowledge! Plus, >you have to know how to use tools, most tools don't tell
      >you very specific things (unless you are in a trade where smart tools are
      >in use).

      My point is my frustration on how to get started and getting conflicting
      advice on even the tools to get in the first place.

      >In the long run, it's of more advantage to UNDERSTAND how things work, then
      >learn some specific knowledge; than to try to remember a bunch of specific
      >things. (shrug) it takes time to learn that stuff, and learning by
      > failing takes time too. The benefits are time and money saved later, and
      > potentially the satisfaction of the work itself. There's another
      > anti-21st-century idea: the idea that work can be satisfying.

      I'm all for understand, but I get tired of just reading about how things
      work and just want to *do* something. I am more for hands on doing than
      sitting in a lecture hall learning about theory ad nauseum. I did enough of
      that in college for 5 year and 193 credits, and more enjoyed the co-op jobs
      where I could actually apply what I learned hands-on.

      I took the liberty of e-mailing the "expert of C64 repair" Ray Carlsen and
      got some quick and simple recommendations :

      > For a beginner repairing a Commodore 64, which tools, materials do you
      > recommend ?

      It depends on how deeply you want to get into it. Bad chips in the
      computer can have many symptoms or just one... blank screen. Diagnosing
      that means testing chips, one at a time, in a working computer.
      Experience helps to determine which chips fail most often and to check
      those first. For socketed IC's, that's easy. For the ones soldered in,
      it's difficult if you want to extract them intact. You don't want to
      destroy the ones that might still be good. Some chips are expensive and
      hard to get.
      So, to answer your question, some basic hand tools like Philips
      screwdrivers of various sizes, a 40 Watt soldering iron, a solder sucker
      (for chip extraction) and desoldering braid, a mulitmeter (volt/ohm
      meter), and one working C64 board with all chips socketed. To aid the
      home user in repairing their own hardware, I have a website with CBM
      repair articles at http://personalpages.tds.net/~rcarlsen

      Jeff Brace
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