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Re: Plus/4

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  • Ray Sills
    I always thought the Plus/4 was the unsung hero of the Commodore line. I had a couple at one time (donated to MARCH).. and always enjoyed the idea of the
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 7, 2009
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      I always thought the Plus/4 was the unsung hero of the Commodore
      line. I had a couple at one time (donated to MARCH).. and always
      enjoyed the idea of the productivity software built into ROM. I
      liked the keyboard, too... and the compact size.

      73 de Ray

      On Apr 4, 2009, at 9:39 AM, B Degnan wrote:

      > Jeffrey Brace wrote:
      >>
      >> I welcome the chance to see a working model. Also I'm working on
      >> other "hard to find" commodore models. It's fun to find out that
      >> there are "other" commodore models out there that are not commonly
      >> known to many people.
      >>
      > I'll sell you a Plus/4 boxed and working if you want it. Name
      > your price.
      >
      > Bill
      >
      >
      >
    • B Degnan
      Do you have copies of any NTSC software for the Plus/4? Bill
      Message 2 of 26 , Apr 7, 2009
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        Do you have copies of any NTSC software for the Plus/4? 
        Bill

        Ray Sills wrote:
        I always thought the Plus/4 was the unsung hero of the Commodore  
        line.  I had a couple at one time (donated to MARCH).. and always  
        enjoyed the idea of the productivity software built into ROM.  I  
        liked the keyboard, too... and the compact size.
        
        73 de Ray
        
        On Apr 4, 2009, at 9:39 AM, B Degnan wrote:
        
          
        Jeffrey Brace wrote:
            
        I welcome the chance to see a working model.  Also I'm working on  
        other "hard to find" commodore models.  It's fun to find out that  
        there are "other" commodore models out there that are not commonly  
        known to many people.
        
              
        I'll sell  you a Plus/4 boxed and working if you want it.  Name  
        your price.
        
        Bill
        
        
        
            
        
        
        ------------------------------------
        
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      • B Degnan
        Mike, If I felt brave I might try to reproduce this. I have a similar power supply at work. Maybe I could set one of these up for the weekend of the 25th.
        Message 3 of 26 , Apr 7, 2009
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          Mike,
          If I felt brave I might try to reproduce this. I have a similar power
          supply at work. Maybe I could set one of these up for the weekend of
          the 25th. Anyone else coming?
          Bill

          Mike Loewen wrote:
          > I tore apart my IMSAI in order to remove the four large electrolytic
          > capacitors for testing/reforming. There are two 9500uf-30VDC caps and two
          > 95000uf-15VDC caps. Here's the rig I put together for bringing them back
          > to life:
          >
          > http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/IMSAI/Reforming-L.jpg
          >
          > I put this together after reading many documents about testing old
          > capacitors. Hidden behind the cap is an 8K power resistor in series with
          > the cap. The small meter is measuring the voltage output from the the
          > power supply (a HP 6443B 0-120VDC/2.5A unit), in this case 25.0 volts.
          > The large meter is measuring the current flowing through the cap, 0.11ma.
          > The voltage across the cap is 24.7V at this point.
          >
          > I started out by raising the voltage by steps, from 3-6-9-12-15-20-25,
          > watching the current and making sure it went no higher than 0.5ma. At
          > each step, I'd let the cap charge up until the current was down to about
          > .05ma then increase the voltage. Once I got to 25.0 volts, I let it sit
          > for a while until the current was down to .03ma.
          >
          > So far I've done one of the 9500uf caps. I'm hoping this procedure is
          > effective. How about it, Dan and the rest of the electronics gurus?
          >
          >
          > Mike Loewen mloewen@...
          > Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Ray Sills
          HI Bill: No, I don t have any software for the Plus/4. Everything I had went to MARCH. It s possible there might be something in the basement storage area.
          Message 4 of 26 , Apr 7, 2009
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            HI Bill:

            No, I don't have any software for the Plus/4. Everything I had went
            to MARCH. It's possible there might be something in the basement
            storage area. Speaking of NTSC.. I used to use one of the Plus/4s at
            work, as a way to generate a title "slate" for recording music cues
            on to videotape. It worked quite well with the old Sony BVH-800 U-
            Matic 3/4" machines. But that was because the machines were not the
            least bit fussy about the quality of the video and the stability of
            the time base. Once we switched to professional Beta format, the
            Plus/4s didn't work properly. At that point, I got an Amiga (1000?)
            (Also now at MARCH) with a gen-lock board, and that worked like a
            champ. The gen-lock boards are at MARCH, too.

            73 de Ray

            On Apr 7, 2009, at 7:39 AM, B Degnan wrote:

            > Do you have copies of any NTSC software for the Plus/4?
            > Bill
            >
          • Brian Cirulnick
            ... Bill, put me down for a Plus/4... (if you ve got extras) Bring it to the MARCH fest, and I ll pay you then... ttyl Brian C.
            Message 5 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'll sell you a Plus/4 boxed and working if you want it. Name your price.
              >
              > Bill
              >---------------

              Bill, put me down for a Plus/4... (if you've got extras)
              Bring it to the MARCH fest, and I'll pay you then...

              ttyl
              Brian C.
            • Brian Cirulnick
              ... Speaking of NTSC.. I used to use one of the Plus/4s at ... If I recall, the VIC-20 was genlockable and was used quite extensively as a cheap Khyron. I
              Message 6 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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                --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ray Sills <raysills@...> wrote:
                >
                Speaking of NTSC.. I used to use one of the Plus/4s at
                > work, as a way to generate a title "slate" for recording music cues
                > on to videotape. It worked quite well with the old Sony BVH-800 U-
                > Matic 3/4" machines. But that was because the machines were not the
                > least bit fussy about the quality of the video and the stability of
                > the time base. Once we switched to professional Beta format, the
                > Plus/4s didn't work properly. At that point, I got an Amiga (1000?)
                > (Also now at MARCH) with a gen-lock board, and that worked like a
                > champ.
                -------------------------

                If I recall, the VIC-20 was "genlockable" and was used quite extensively as a cheap Khyron. I also used a C-64 setup for use as a teleprompter because it easily integrated with existing NTSC equipment in a video studio.

                But yes, the Amiga was the champ when it came to the genlock. More Anime was fan-subtitled with the Amiga than probably any other system.

                Mark Tilden (of Robosapien fame) originally built his own subtitling equipment for his anime releases. Sean Farquarson and I used his Amiga 500 and Mike Ling's genlock, while I typed up the scripts on my 1000.

                Man, that was a lifetime ago....
              • Ray Sills
                Hi Brian: Nah... the VIC-20 and C-64 video output was NTSC, but there was no direct way to genlock to house black. In fact, I used a VIC-20 and a C-64 for
                Message 7 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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                  Hi Brian:

                  Nah... the VIC-20 and C-64 video output was NTSC, but there was no
                  direct way to genlock to house black. In fact, I used a VIC-20 and a
                  C-64 for making title slates before using the Plus/4. The VIC-20 was
                  actually handy due to the larger font.. easier to read at a distance
                  from the CRT. The Plus/4 was better in the sense that I was able to
                  create files that were easily appended to update projects.

                  I also wrote a little app in basic that would "run a stopwatch" as
                  the music was being recorded.. so although you didn't see TC per se..
                  you could see how far along you were in the recording.

                  73 de Ray

                  On Apr 8, 2009, at 12:20 PM, Brian Cirulnick wrote:

                  > --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Ray Sills <raysills@...>
                  > wrote:
                  >>
                  > Speaking of NTSC.. I used to use one of the Plus/4s at
                  >> work, as a way to generate a title "slate" for recording music cues
                  >> on to videotape. It worked quite well with the old Sony BVH-800 U-
                  >> Matic 3/4" machines. But that was because the machines were not the
                  >> least bit fussy about the quality of the video and the stability of
                  >> the time base. Once we switched to professional Beta format, the
                  >> Plus/4s didn't work properly. At that point, I got an Amiga (1000?)
                  >> (Also now at MARCH) with a gen-lock board, and that worked like a
                  >> champ.
                  > -------------------------
                  >
                  > If I recall, the VIC-20 was "genlockable" and was used quite
                  > extensively as a cheap Khyron. I also used a C-64 setup for use as
                  > a teleprompter because it easily integrated with existing NTSC
                  > equipment in a video studio.
                  >
                  > But yes, the Amiga was the champ when it came to the genlock. More
                  > Anime was fan-subtitled with the Amiga than probably any other system.
                  >
                  > Mark Tilden (of Robosapien fame) originally built his own
                  > subtitling equipment for his anime releases. Sean Farquarson and I
                  > used his Amiga 500 and Mike Ling's genlock, while I typed up the
                  > scripts on my 1000.
                  >
                  > Man, that was a lifetime ago....
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------------------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Christian Liendo
                  I remember a cable access show that used the VIC20.. I don t know how he did it without a genlock, but he had text on the bottom of the screen in the familiar
                  Message 8 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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                    I remember a cable access show that used the VIC20.. I don't know how he did it without a genlock, but he had text on the bottom of the screen in the familiar VIC-20 font... The show was "Rapid T Rabbit" and it was on Manhattan Public Cable Access.

                  • Ray Sills
                    If you put the video output of a VIC-20 (or any other device that could output NTSC) through a frame-sync .. that would make it work. A frame-sync is
                    Message 9 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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                      If you put the video output of a VIC-20 (or any other device that
                      could output NTSC) through a "frame-sync".. that would make it work.

                      A frame-sync is essentially a RAM buffer that will store a frame of
                      incoming video, and then play it back in sync with an external
                      reference.
                      TV stations do that all the time for incoming video feeds... since
                      there is no way to send timing signals to a remote source, so that it
                      would
                      be "in time" with local sources. All signals need to be in time in
                      order to matte a source to another video signal.. or to effect a
                      dissolve from one source to another. You can make a hard switch, but
                      then you run the risk of the whole system going out of time for a few
                      frames, and you would see the disruption on air.

                      One issue with using a frame-sync is that unless you -also- delay the
                      audio from the remote source, the video will be OK but the sound will
                      be ahead of the video, which is noticeable when you see a talking
                      head. (The old "lip-sync" issue). The situation can get worse when
                      stations use fancy digital switchers, since the video gets delayed on
                      -all- sources, not just the remote ones, If you see a TV show where
                      the audio is so far out of whack that it looks like a bad sci-fi
                      movie from another country, then you know there are uncompensated
                      audio paths.

                      73 de Ray



                      On Apr 8, 2009, at 1:15 PM, Christian Liendo wrote:

                      >
                      > I remember a cable access show that used the VIC20.. I don't know
                      > how he did it without a genlock, but he had text on the bottom of
                      > the screen in the familiar VIC-20 font... The show was "Rapid T
                      > Rabbit" and it was on Manhattan Public Cable Access.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • B Degnan
                      ... What do I look like, a store? just kidding I probably could be a store, sure I will sell you one, name your price (privately). Bill
                      Message 10 of 26 , Apr 8, 2009
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                        Brian Cirulnick wrote:
                        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, B Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote:
                          
                        I'll sell  you a Plus/4 boxed and working if you want it.  Name your price.
                        
                        Bill
                        ---------------
                            
                        Bill, put me down for a Plus/4... (if you've got extras)
                        Bring it to the MARCH fest, and I'll pay you then...
                        
                        ttyl
                        Brian C.
                        
                          
                        What do I look like, a store?  just kidding I probably could be a store, sure I will sell you one, name your price (privately).
                        Bill
                      • saturnine11
                        ... Hi Mike, I use a simpler, more effective method. Power supply negative to cap negative. Power supply positive to 30kohm resistor to cap positive.
                        Message 11 of 26 , Apr 11, 2009
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                          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > I tore apart my IMSAI in order to remove the four large electrolytic
                          > capacitors for testing/reforming. There are two 9500uf-30VDC caps and two
                          > 95000uf-15VDC caps. Here's the rig I put together for bringing them back
                          > to life:
                          >
                          > http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/IMSAI/Reforming-L.jpg
                          >
                          > I put this together after reading many documents about testing old
                          > capacitors. Hidden behind the cap is an 8K power resistor in series with
                          > the cap. The small meter is measuring the voltage output from the the
                          > power supply (a HP 6443B 0-120VDC/2.5A unit), in this case 25.0 volts.
                          > The large meter is measuring the current flowing through the cap, 0.11ma.
                          > The voltage across the cap is 24.7V at this point.
                          >
                          > I started out by raising the voltage by steps, from 3-6-9-12-15-20-25,
                          > watching the current and making sure it went no higher than 0.5ma. At
                          > each step, I'd let the cap charge up until the current was down to about
                          > .05ma then increase the voltage. Once I got to 25.0 volts, I let it sit
                          > for a while until the current was down to .03ma.
                          >
                          > So far I've done one of the 9500uf caps. I'm hoping this procedure is
                          > effective. How about it, Dan and the rest of the electronics gurus?
                          >
                          >
                          > Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                          > Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/

                          Hi Mike,

                          I use a simpler, more effective method. Power supply negative to cap negative. Power supply positive to 30kohm resistor to cap positive. Voltmeter across 30kohm resistor. Cap voltage determines the increments I raise the supply voltage in. For low voltage caps like yours, I just raise it smoothly until voltage hitting the cap is its rated voltage... but never exceeding 1ma to get there. If the cap can't be slowly raised to rated voltage without going over 1ma, the leakage current is too high and the cap is bad.

                          If the cap settles down to a low leakage at rated voltage (0.5ma or preferably much less), I'll next push the cap... by raising supply V until V hitting cap is 10% OVER the rated voltage... so 33volts and 16.5 volts for your examples. All the while keeping an eye on the leakage current as before.

                          Depending on how long since use, I'll let them sit at that voltage and low leakage rate for at least 30 mins... up to several hours... Then to finish, I slowly discharge the cap with a 1k resistor.

                          Since electrolytics are chemical devices, they can explode from overpressure caused from overheating from too high a *leakage current* (not the same as the charge current!) and otherwise be dangerous to work with if you don't know what you're doing. Always wear goggles.

                          JS
                        • Bill Dromgoole
                          ... From: saturnine11 To: Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:53 AM Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re:
                          Message 12 of 26 , Apr 11, 2009
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "saturnine11" <js@...>
                            To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:53 AM
                            Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Capacitor testing


                            --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > I tore apart my IMSAI in order to remove the four large electrolytic
                            > capacitors for testing/reforming. There are two 9500uf-30VDC caps and two
                            > 95000uf-15VDC caps. Here's the rig I put together for bringing them back
                            > to life:
                            >
                            > http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/IMSAI/Reforming-L.jpg
                            >
                            > I put this together after reading many documents about testing old
                            > capacitors. Hidden behind the cap is an 8K power resistor in series with
                            > the cap. The small meter is measuring the voltage output from the the
                            > power supply (a HP 6443B 0-120VDC/2.5A unit), in this case 25.0 volts.
                            > The large meter is measuring the current flowing through the cap, 0.11ma.
                            > The voltage across the cap is 24.7V at this point.
                            >
                            > I started out by raising the voltage by steps, from 3-6-9-12-15-20-25,
                            > watching the current and making sure it went no higher than 0.5ma. At
                            > each step, I'd let the cap charge up until the current was down to about
                            > .05ma then increase the voltage. Once I got to 25.0 volts, I let it sit
                            > for a while until the current was down to .03ma.
                            >
                            > So far I've done one of the 9500uf caps. I'm hoping this procedure is
                            > effective. How about it, Dan and the rest of the electronics gurus?
                            >
                            >
                            > Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                            > Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/

                            Hi Mike,

                            I use a simpler, more effective method. Power supply negative to cap
                            negative. Power supply positive to 30kohm resistor to cap positive. Voltmeter
                            across 30kohm resistor. Cap voltage determines the increments I raise the
                            supply voltage in. For low voltage caps like yours, I just raise it smoothly
                            until voltage hitting the cap is its rated voltage... but never exceeding 1ma to
                            get there. If the cap can't be slowly raised to rated voltage without going
                            over 1ma, the leakage current is too high and the cap is bad.

                            If the cap settles down to a low leakage at rated voltage (0.5ma or
                            preferably much less), I'll next push the cap... by raising supply V until V
                            hitting cap is 10% OVER the rated voltage... so 33volts and 16.5 volts for your
                            examples. All the while keeping an eye on the leakage current as before.

                            Depending on how long since use, I'll let them sit at that voltage and low
                            leakage rate for at least 30 mins... up to several hours... Then to finish, I
                            slowly discharge the cap with a 1k resistor.

                            Since electrolytics are chemical devices, they can explode from overpressure
                            caused from overheating from too high a *leakage current* (not the same as the
                            charge current!) and otherwise be dangerous to work with if you don't know what
                            you're doing. Always wear goggles.

                            JS



                            ------------------------------------

                            I don't see how your method is simpler or more effective than Mike's method.
                            I probably just don't understand your method.

                            If I understand you correctly you are putting a 30 Kohm resistor in series with
                            the Capacitor being rejuvenated and measureing the voltage across the resistor.
                            When the leakage current is equal to one milliampere the meter would read 30
                            volts and at 0.5 ma it would read 15 volts, etc.
                            The voltage accross the capacitor is unknown unless you have a seperate meter to
                            see the output voltage from the power supply.
                            You would then need to subtract the two voltages to get the capacitor voltage
                            unless you have a third meter to measure capacitor voltage.
                            The purpose of this exercise to to make a bad cap good again, if possible.

                            As you can see, I don't fully understand your method.
                          • saturnine11
                            ... the Capacitor being rejuvenated and measureing the voltage across the
                            Message 13 of 26 , Apr 12, 2009
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                              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Dromgoole" <drummy@...> wrote:
                              > I don't see how your method is simpler or more effective than Mike's method.
                              > I probably just don't understand your method.
                              >
                              > If I understand you correctly you are putting a 30 Kohm resistor in series with
                              > the Capacitor being rejuvenated and measureing the voltage across the resistor.
                              > When the leakage current is equal to one milliampere the meter would read 30
                              > volts and at 0.5 ma it would read 15 volts, etc.
                              > The voltage accross the capacitor is unknown unless you have a seperate meter to
                              > see the output voltage from the power supply.
                              > You would then need to subtract the two voltages to get the capacitor voltage
                              > unless you have a third meter to measure capacitor voltage.
                              > The purpose of this exercise to to make a bad cap good again, if possible.
                              >
                              > As you can see, I don't fully understand your method.
                              >

                              << If I understand you correctly you are putting a 30 Kohm resistor in series with > the Capacitor being rejuvenated and measureing the voltage across the resistor.>>
                              ** That is correct. That configuration makes the approach simpler because of less equipment needed. You only need a variable PSU, voltmeter, and 3-5watt 30k resistor.

                              << When the leakage current is equal to one milliampere the meter would read 30 volts and at 0.5 ma it would read 15 volts, etc.>>
                              ** Correct.

                              << The voltage accross the capacitor is unknown unless you have a seperate meter to see the output voltage from the power supply.>>
                              ** Most variable PSU's have an output Volt/Ammeter built in. So you can either infer V across cap by subtracting the voltage drop across resistor from your PSU's voltage readout... OR you can just move one lead of your VDrop meter over to the cap's opposite terminal.. since you've already got one lead on it where the resistor is.


                              << unless you have a third meter to measure capacitor voltage. The purpose of this exercise to to make a bad cap good again, if possible.>>
                              ** Yeah, the purpose is to reform the oxide layer on the foil roll within the cap... assuming there's enough electolyte left in there to where it's not dried out, and assuming there's not shorts or other problems.

                              To recap, my method is simpler just in equipment setup, and also potentially gives you a longer cap life by the 10% push (the point of which is to give you more of an oxide layer.. well within the design limits of the caps).

                              jS
                            • Evan Koblentz
                              Hello new guy. Please introduce yourself, how you found us, etc.
                              Message 14 of 26 , Apr 12, 2009
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                                Hello new guy. Please introduce yourself, how you found us, etc.
                                > I use a simpler, more effective method .... JS
                                >
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