Vic-20 Recap

Decided that yesterday was the day to recap the Vic.  It wasn’t in bad shape, but the big 4700uF cap was leaking and corrosion was heading on down towards the motherboard. That’s just not cool.

Here’s the insides of a 2-pin Vic-20.  It just uses a 10VAC power supply instead of the newer versions that use a DIN connector that supplies 5VDC and 9VAC.

Here’s the problem child:

Everything else was replaced since it was opened up, and I had the caps.  There aren’t many to replace either, I think around 7?

I did the 128 this morning, but didn’t take and pictures.  There are a fair bit more to change, but not bad.  Maybe an hour or so.

Got a 128!

Picked it up on a whim, for dirt cheap.  Came as-is, untested.  With a 1541, an Atari 2600 Jr. (why, I don’t know, but whatever, I love the 2600).  1541 needs to be cleaned with holy water, as it’s acting a little odd.  I already have 8 or 9 of them, so it’s not that important to fix right now.

Needless to say, it works!

It has some problems.  Missing a key, a spring, and the plungers are broken.  I managed to fix the tab key (needed a spring) so that it didn’t constantly tab the cursor when the machine was on.  The missing key (ALT) is long gone, and I was told these keys are as rare as hen’s teeth.  So It’ll probably be missing for a really long time.

Last problem (so far) and the biggest:  They keyboard matrix was acting weird.  I tore the keyboard apart checking continuity, swapped the 6526 chips around to rule those out.  After more tracing, I found this:

Good times.  The faint blue circle is the problem child.  It’s not allowing EMI21 to connect with pin 3 of the CIA.  Someone recommended a silver conductive pen to fix, but they’re $70 and don’t last.  Another was a fiberglass pen to scrap it down to the copper and solder a jumper wire in there.  I’m going my own route, and soldering a jumper on the underside of the board.  That way I can’t hurt anything (like the socket).