Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

PenUltimate+ VIC-20 Cartridge + Diagnostic DeadTest+ support

April 17th, 2019 No comments
PenUltimate+ VIC-20 Cartridge with diagnostic DeadTest+ support

The new version of the PenUltimate+ cartridge even if apparently it seems identical to the previous version, is not, because the new version has some modifications and a software update made to support the DeadTest+ Diagnostic software.

All cartridges produced since December 2018 supports the DeadTest+ diagnostic software.

The DeadTest+ Diagnostic software can be lauched via the menu or by holding Reset button down for 10seconds at power on.

Compared to the first version this new one brings even more ROMs (70+) and a brand new user interface.

Some tfw8b games have been included (The Future Was 8Bit) including Cheese & Onion, RodMan, Pentagorat (Easier edition) and many others.

And of course, it’s still the best ram pack you’ll ever stuff into your VIC20. 3-35k expansion ram can be selected direct from the menu.

Many thanks to Dave Curran of Tynemouth Software and tfw8b (The Future Was 8Bit)


AVG Cartridge for 8bit Atari + PDM Audio Player Video

March 12th, 2019 No comments
AVG Cartridge for 8bit Atari

First of all i have to thank Filippo Santellocco (Philsan) for this unexpected gift that i really appreciate.

AVGCART – SD multicart for 8bit Atari features:

  • Supports CAR files up to 1MB (most bankswitching types are implemented)
  • Supports XEX files.
  • Supports ATR files (read/write) – support is limited due to cartridge port constraints.
  • SIDE emulation (works with U1MB and SpartaDOS X)
  • Firmware is upgradeable via SD card.

Keyboard reference:

  • arrows to navigate the list, with CTRL jump to beginning/end of page/list
  • BACKSPACE for parent dir
  • ENTER and letters choose item
  • TAB to select multiple ATR files (right cart button to cycle them afterwards)
  • ESC disables cart and resets Atari
  • / for recursive search, use ESC to return to full navigation
  • SHIFT-S enables SIDE CCTL registers and resets

Use left cart button to return to file selector (after reset), right cart button resets current cart’s bank (also cycles ATR files)

Titles of the songs in the video:

  • AC/DC – Back in Black
  • Narada Michael Walden – Tonight I’m Alright
  • Kungs & Cookin’ On 3 Burners – This Girl
  • Sucker Punch (Dubstep Remix)

The songs are complete from beginning to end but for reasons of length of the video i have cut the songs.

The video can be only downloaded, because Youtube and Facebook have blocked the video streaming for copyrighted content, really ridiculous as the audio tracks are not complete and certainly not faithful to the original.

My personal note; the only two home computers that i follow with passion are Commodore & Atari.

…have a good listening

Download: AVG Cartridge PDM Player Atari Video (85)


fpgaSID by andi6510 New Firmware ver. 0A

February 26th, 2019 No comments

A new firmware update for the fpgaSID has been released by andi6510.

Below the changelog taken directly from the website.

Main changes:

  • New 6581 bias setting range and curve. Per default the bias is now tuned to a brighter sound which is the most audible difference to revision 09.
  • Some further improvements on the 6581 filters.

New Features:

  • LEDs can be switched off now.
  • The outputs can be switched to a mix of both SIDs allowing mono setups with a single speaker.
  • The firmware flashing procedure has been improved to increase the success rate.
  • FPGASID is now compatible to the EasyFlash 3 module.


  • Important! Before updating the firmware, please read the documentation on flashing in the ConfiGuru manual.

Download: fpgaSID Firmware ver. 0A (79)


ARMSiD by Nobomi New Firmware v2.8 & New PCB rev.

February 21st, 2019 No comments
ARMSid New PCB rev

Nobomi has made a new revision of the ARMSiD PCB which however has the same hardware features as the previous one.

A new firmware update for the ARMSiD has also been released by Nobomi.

Below is the changelog taken directly from the website.

Differences between FW 2.8 and previous version:

  • The start and the end of the bus data cycle (reading or writing) is now controlled by signal CS only (it was the same on the beginning of the cycle, but the end was controlled by 02 clock before), it can help with a bus stability in other systems than C64 a C128.
  • Internal frequency generators are updated with precision of one 02 clock – about 1us (no audio signal phase changes after frequency retuning) !
  • Correct polarity of the bandpass filter.
  • Added emulation of internal filter voltage offset.
  • Added the “Digi Boost” feature by software – an effect similar to adding 330kOhm resistor between EXTin and GND on the MOS8580.
  • Other speed optimization.


Download: ARMSiD v2.8 (17/2/2019) (84)


sidSwitcher Enhanced v2.02

February 11th, 2019 No comments
SidSwitcher Enhanced v2.02

Project born in 2017 for my SX-64++

I wanted to improve the schematics and make a PCB (thank to CodingKoala Labs), the previous version was made on prototyping board pcb.

I have also added some features that i need when i will install the FPGASID in the SX-64++ and like the previous version the sidSwitcher integrates perfectly with the Overlay-64 & Keyman-64.

This circuit is not for sale. Schematics, Gerber and Atmel hex will be available soon for Download.

P.S: This project can also be used as a simple SPDT of analog audio signals. 2 INPUTS and 1 OUTPUT.


  • Output for Overlay-64 (
  • Input Push Button or Keyman-64 (
  • Bicolor LED (SID1 GREEN / SID2 RED / SID1 + SID2 ORANGE)
  • Possibility to use the mute function.
  • Jumper for configuration.

Schematics: (Prototype and Final):

The following photos are of the first version, second enhanced version, prototype breadboard and pcb.

Ultimate-64 (U64) – RGB LED – Keyboard Mount Set – S/N Stickers

February 11th, 2019 1 comment
U64 - RGB LED - Keyboard Mount Set - S/N Stickers

The RGB LED strip (APA102C) is a feature that has been added since the firmware version V1.0D, this version will be released very soon.

In the photos you can see two different Keyboard Mount Set and Accessories, in the first 7 photos (Transparent case) i have used the KIT sold by and in the following 10 photos (SX-64 style case) i have used the kit sold by

Both KITs do their job and integrate perfectly with the case.

Just a note, but it was my error, i didn’t read the description written on the site, the kit sold by is not compatibile with the U64 motherboards v1.0 because there is a keyboard adapter, i solved quite easily by cutting a piece of plastic of the right side keyboard support.

The two ULTIMATE 64 custom stickers with their S/N and the SX-64 Style C64C Case are on sale on

The transparent C64C case is no longer available and comes from an old campaign on Kickstarter.



Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

Apollo 1260 64Mb Mod Hack by Marmes

February 3rd, 2019 No comments
Apollo 1260 64Mb Mod Hack by Marmes

Easy Mod to add a single 64Mb simm to the Apollo 1260.

What is needed to be made this hack:

  • Cover any area affected by heat of the Apollo 1260.
  • Use a Hot Air Rework Station and carefully lift the mach socket away.
  • Clean and tin the mach chip pads and the mach chip.
  • Brush the pads with a good flux in cream.
  • Position the mach chip back on the pads and reheat with a Hot Air Rework Station or Soldering iron.
  • Remove foil / protection and inspect well the solder.
  • Clean and test.
  • Fit 64Mb Mod socket. (pins towards ram socket)
  • Remove a resistor and solder wires to Marmes Mod PCB. (see photos)
  • Clean & inspect.
  • Fit the 64Mb RAM simm and test.


Download: Apollo 1260 64Mb Hack (first version not updated) (90)


Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

PI2Scart for Raspberry 3B+

February 3rd, 2019 No comments
RetroPie - PI2Scart - Monitor CRT

This is a collection of old photos of an article that i wanted to publish and i never wrote and i will never do.

So i will briefly sum up, the PI2Scart for Raspberry 3B+ works very well but you have to configure the video settings for each emulators.

I tried the SCART RGB output with different monitors and it always worked very well also with a TAXAN Vision EX Monitor, which is not the top for RGB compatibility.



Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

Ultimate-64 p0rn things

February 2nd, 2019 No comments
Ultimate-64 p0rn things

Ultimate-64 p0rn things.

  • RGB Stereo Cable (DIN to SCART)
  • Bicolor LED (C64 / C64C)
  • SIDTap to Female 3.5 Jack Adapter.


Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

Ready to assembly the last batch of iNTY ZOE RGB v2.0

January 17th, 2019 2 comments
Ready to assembly the last batch of iNTY ZOE RGB v2.0

This is the last batch of iNTY ZOE RGB v2.0. I just want to inform for those interested that i’m starting the assembling.

Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

fpgaSID (Stereo 6581/8580 Replacement) by andi6510

January 14th, 2019 No comments
fpgaSID (Stereo 6581/8580 Replacement) by andi6510

I could not resist the temptation to try also this “we hope it will be the last one!” FPGA implementation of the SID (Sound Interface Device) MOS 6581 / 8580, i’m talking about the fpgaSID by andi6510.

Probably this is the best implementation using an FPGA of the sound chip of the Commodore 64. If we make a quick comparison with the implementation made by Gideon for the Ultimate-64, both are the best ever.

It remains however understood that the audiophiles and purist of the sound generated of a original SID will never accept any implementation of the SID via FPGA.

andi6510 also wrote a software for the Commodore 64 (ConfiGuru) to configure the various fpgaSID options and for upgrade the firmware.

fpgaSID (Stereo 6581/8580 Replacement) by andi6510

Below some information taken from the fpgaSID site.

Accurate replication of the original SID MOS6581 and MOS8580:

  • Exact reproduction of the digital sound generation part
  • Spice simulation of the analog filters
  • Advanced models for all 6581 non-linearities

Many extra features on top of the original SID:

  • FPGASID includes two fully functional SIDs for 6-voice stereo sound
  • Perfect audio quality – much better than the original SID!
  • Pseudo stereo mode mixes traditional tunes or game sounds to stereo
  • Digitize the analog input to 8-bit samples (in your own software)
  • Sample playback of 8-bit samples (in your own software)
  • Nice light organ effect visible when mounted in transparent case
  • Paddles readout even more accurate than the original SID

High compatibility:

  • Works in any C64/SX64 or C128
  • Works with any software written for standard single SID computers
  • Works with large existing software base for dual SID stereo tunes
  • Paddle and 1351 Mouse support
  • Analog input EXTIN fully supported

Easy configuration with the software tool ConfiGuru:

  • Individual configuration of every SID
  • Easy- and Expert configuration modes
  • Save up to two configuration sets permanently in flash memory
  • Easy update to new firmware directly on your C64
  • Flexible address allocation of the second SID
  • Diagnostic function to troubleshoot hardware problems

Easy installation:

  • Installation done in 20 minutes
  • No soldering required for all main features (except external configuration switch, when needed)
  • Much smaller than traditional stereo boards thus avoiding installation trouble




Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

ARMSiD (6581/8580 Replacement) by Nobomi

November 6th, 2018 1 comment
ARMSid (6581/8580 Replacement) by Nobomi

ARMSid (6581/8580 Replacement) by Nobomi.

I could not resist the temptation to try also this emulation of the SID 6581/8580 with the STM32F410 ARM Cortex M4, i’m talking about the ARMSid by Nobomi.

The fast shipping and the courtesy of Nobomi are certainly very well but also the packaging, the ARMSid is shipped in a plastic case to avoid any problem with the shipping.

The sound and the “audio” feeling are good like the SwinSID Ultimate but better, personally i would place the ARMDSid between the Original SID and the SwinSID Ultimate, Nobomi you have made a very good job. Congratulations.

Nobomi also wrote a software for Commodore 64 to configure the various ARMSid options and another software to update the Firmware.

Some information taken from the Nobomi site:

What is it ?:

  • A new replacement of the MOS6581 and MOS8580 used in the Commodore C64. It is minimalistic (in simplicity of circuit and use, not in function and power).
  • Real “plug & play” solution. Just insert instead of the original SID into the slot and it’s done.
  • It determines (through supply voltages) which chip it replaces and starts the appropriate emulation (it can be changed later in software).
  • No need to switch the PAL / NTSC version, the circuit uses directly the clock from the computer bus, always synchronous with the C64.
  • It also emulates analog inputs (joysticks, mouse, etc. – POTX and POTY inputs)
  • Analog output is sufficiently buffered, it is not necessary to change anything on the computer board for proper operation.
  • Output sampling frequency is 1/16th bus clock of C64 (approx. 62kHz), real 12bit D/A converter, no pwm.
  • Filters completely transferred to digital form, emulated by float point arithmetic.
  • Significantly lower noise level and less interference from the power supply than the original :)
  • Lower power consumption than the original.
  • Firmware update possible inside the C64.
  • Emulates all waveforms, and even “samples” (at least some of them, Ghostbusters laugh, Chimera screams at you).
  • Full support of analog filters (LowPass, BandPass, HighPass, combination, Q quality control).
  • Emulation of OSC3 and ENV3 registers (little delay, approximately 16 clocks of the C64 bus).
  • Joysticks and mice work.

What is inside ?:

  • A few resistors, capacitors, one stabilizer, one opamp and a processor. That’s all, parts only from one side.
  • The only programmable circuit is the STM32F410, ARM Cortex M4 with HW float point arithmetic at 100MHz.
  • Analogue output amplified via the AD8515 opamp.
  • Stabilizer for the 3.3V processor, the processor itself has 5V tolerance inputs.


  • New features in FW 2.6:
  • Optimization for speed again (approx. 10ns more faster response to read registers, faster processing of writing registers).
  • New features in FW 2.5:
  • Again faster interrupt (approx. 10ns more faster response to read registers).
  • New features in FW 2.4:
  • Further optimization of the interrupt (approx. 20ns faster response to read registers).
  • New features in FW 2.3:
  • A part of source code (interrupt routine) has been rewritten in assembler and manually optimized.
  • It makes a possibility to control the bus only through the CS signal (no need for O2 clock synchronization, so it can run on systems with a different CPU than MOS6502 now).
  • Low frequency limit and filter strength settings and saving settings to permanent flash memory.



ARMSiD Video:

source: ARMSiD Homepage

Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

Multi-Cartridge Arcadia 2001 / GIG Leonardo Extension (Adapter)

October 12th, 2018 1 comment
Multi-Cartridge Arcadia 2001 / GIG Leonardo / Hanimex HMG-2650 Extension (Adapter)

Very nice adapter designed by Rolo that allows you to use the Rolo Multi-Cartridge also on the Emerson Arcadia 2001 / GIG Leonardo and Hanimex HMG-2650 console.

The Eprom need to be installed in the Multi-Cartridge and contains 64 games all fully working.

This is a good alternative for those who don’t want to spend an important amount of money for the Multicart Arcadia 2001.

Thanks Rolo for this great extension (Adapter) for the Multi-Cartridge.




Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today

PenUltimate+ Cartridge VIC-20 3k-35k Ram Pack + Roms

July 1st, 2018 No comments
PenUltimate+ Cartridge VIC-20 3k-35k Ram Pack + RomsPenUltimate+ Cartridge VIC-20 3k-35k Ram Pack + Roms

The Penultimate+ Cartridge is a menu driven RAM/ROM cartridge for your Commodore VIC20 PAL or NTSC.

The Memory Expansion is selectable from 3-35k and include 70+ ROMS including tfw8b exclusive games titles.

Many thanks for this gift to Dave Curran of Tynemouth Software and tfw8b (The Future Was 8Bit)


Click here to buy the PenUltimate+ Cartridge.

SwinSID Ultimate (6581/8580 Replacement) by CodeKiller & Hermit

May 25th, 2018 No comments
SwinSID Ultimate (SID 6581/8580 Replacement) by CodeKiller & Hermit

I tried the SwinSID Ultimate (SID 6581/8580 Replacement) by CodeKiller & Hermit and the base work by Swinkels with a Commodore 64 and the Ultimate-64 by Gideon and i must say that it works well without any problem.

The sound and the feel is good and knowing many SID tunes i did some comparisons, i can only say that these two Hungarian guys have done a Great job.

Forget immediatly how sounded the old Swinsid.

Some information taken from the SwinSID Ultimate site:

A duo from Hungary, Máté “CodeKiller” Sebők and Mihály “Hermit” Horváth have been working on improving SwinSID, originally developed by Swinkels.

List of improvements:

It has full feature compatibility with the original SID (over the old SwinSID):

  • paddle/mouse support.
  • readable registers (OSC3/ENV3)
  • external audio in.
  • bitfade.
  • proper ADSR-bug support.
  • fast ADSR attack rate (thanks to the self-correcting rate-counter)
  • ‘Lazy Jones’ and ‘180’ -like gate and test-bit workaround (no missing note)
  • proper 23bit noise-waveform calculation –> better “random” numbers.
  • full 3V p-p output range w/o 1KOhm load (same as 8580)
  • improved filter quality (16bit) and resonance-table for both SID model.
  • improved waveform calculation (full 16 bit)
  • high resolution combined waveform-tables.

It has enhancements over the original SID:

  • clean anti-aliased bandlimited sound at high pitches.
  • undistorted mixed digi tunes and eliminated volume-change click thanks to AC/DC separation of master volume register.
  • Softconfig — software configurable options for a number of aspects of the operation.
  • LEDs which intensity represents the active channels volume.
  • LED displaying the active (classic) digi playback.
  • or in case of the new Mahoney-digi, the entire array acts like a VU-meter.

Software configuration options:

  • change between 8580/6581 behaviour (filter, ADSR, combined waveforms)
  • change between PAL/NTSC pitch.
  • enable/disable external audio input (less external noise)
  • if enabled, then CAN be enabled to sample trough OSC3 register.
  • enable/disable startup “ding”(beep)
  • upload 3 banks of 256 bytes custom waveforms.
  • “transparent” mute for channels — does not affect the sync, OSC3/ENV3,..



SwinSID Ultimate Video:

Categories: Hardware, News & Rumors, Today