Fixing Commodore 64 Colour (though I’m colourblind) + Rescue on Fractalus!

Fixing Commodore 64 Colour (though I’m colourblind) + Rescue on Fractalus!

on the menu today let’s try to devise a
new fix for a Commodore 64 color issue even though I’m colorblind
we’d better get cooking Ad: “Are you keeping up with the Commodore? Cause the Commodore is keeping up with you!” they seem friendly don’t they
oh hello chip dippers welcome to retro recipes I’ve certainly been keeping up
with Commodore Commodore fixes for about 35 years now and this video will be of
interest to you whether you’re just intrigued by the idiosyncrasies of
Commodore electronics or if you’ve performed a permanent Commodore 64 pal
ntsc conversion and ended up with a black-and-white picture as some people
have reached out to me for help with and if you’re wondering why you’d even want
to convert between pal and ntsc actually we went into this in depth in the video
about my new Vic 2 squared pal ntsc switcher a board that lets you flick
between those modes on the fly for the best of both worlds and that whole
project was made with the support of PCB Way because as we all know PCB way
stands for Perifractic’s Commodores are black and white are yours doesn’t it
feel free to take a look at that video after this one but in short pal has
better color accuracy higher resolution and more software but also NTSC machines
run faster the music sounds different and might be more familiar and pleasing
to you nostaglically speaking so when asking which is best sometimes the
answer can be both but here’s the rub doing so can send you back to the 50s
color wise yes so what’s going on here why is this happening
well I’ve researched this with one stage and the fantastic VIC2
squared beta tester Stephane and what we think we’ve discovered is this old
CRT screens are a little bit finicky when it comes to getting a color sync
and as part of any pal ntsc conversion we basically replaced three things
there’s the Vic chip this jumper and this crystal the power crystals
frequency is roughly speaking seventeen point seven three four four seven five
megahertz roughly speaking whereas NTSC is fourteen point three one
eight one eight megahertz now in the factory when Ladyfractic and this lady
were assembling the Commodore 64 that tests the output and make sure it
provided good color sync to the power TV if the image came out black and white
there’s a component critical to the tuning of the fundamental frequency
which could be adjusted and that’s important because that master lock
generates the all-important color subcarrier frequency that’s the thing
that the monitors failing to lock onto for all the revision boards this was the
job of the r-27 variable resistor which looks a bit like a trim pot for new
aboard revisions this was actually achieved via a variable capacitor
labeled C t1 and adjusting these could compensate for natural variances in the
crystal yeah believe it or not everything from Vic to socket quality to
Vic tip revision numbers can affect was known as the parasitic capacitance and
therefore the frequency pardoning so when we take a pal seventeen point four
seven megahertz crystal out and pop in a fourteen point three megahertz NTSC one
we’re essentially taking this nice lady’s job with the factory and kind of
starting over before shipping it to the customer which is also you but if we
find our newly NTSC machine fails to then give color to are finicky monitor
we can pretend we’re in the factory and adjust the same trim pot thingy
sometimes that will actually fix everything but in my case after
installing them literally in my case after installing the Vic 2 squared on this older revision machine my good old Commodore 1084 s monitor made
by Philips simply can’t lock on to the color what a fusspot
I thought it was trim pot anyway let use an oscilloscope to analyze what we
call that fundamental frequency you can see the frequency here Hey what wait
a minute baby that’s not what I had in mind love to what leave okay now
let’s look at the oscilloscope and we can see there’s slightly below
the fourteen point three one eight one eight megahertz that the monitor expects
and demands but in this case even cranking the r27 variable resistor trim
board up all the way doesn’t get the fusspot working you know the resulting
frequency is still too low and really that’s because we’re expecting a trim
pot that worked for Commodores thirty-five-year-old crystals to work on
modern smaller ones from different manufacturers that are likely to have
different tuning characteristics and Commodore just didn’t really anticipate
us doing that the damn fools so somehow we need to tune the frequency up a bit
further than the dial allows and our theory is that this little 16 Pico farad
capacitor labeled C 70 can help you can see how it’s laying right between the
Vic chip the trim pod and the crystal area basically adding capacitance with a
capacitor lowers frequency so if sixteen Pico farad is lowering too much well why
don’t we try about half of that if we put a seven Pico farad cap in its place
it should lower it less this should raise the frequency just enough for the
monitor to get a sync but there’s one more rub not a big one
but my PCB is screwed in which is usually fine but also these mini
grabbers is fiddly to get off and on then there’s this extension cable and
the PAL NTSC switch is bolted to the case from right over the PCB screw that
we need to screw yeah so I’m going to show you how
to replace capacitors like this from the top without having to remove the PCB
quick disclaimer this isn’t really the right way to do it
why am I American and as it’s only one quick mod and Puppyfractic needs feeding
I’m gonna do this the speedy way this is my Commodore 64 but of course it’s up to
you how you mod yours when I next get the whole board out I can always tidy
things up underneath end of disclaimer I’m American again all right
enough talk let’s get cooking so there it is how to fix Commodore 64
color using a 13 pence capacitor makes cents and if you
order a VIC 2 squared and you’ll find that seven picofarad capacitor included
in your kit just in case your TV’s the trim pot fuss pot too by the way don’t
worry they love each other really now I mentioned I’m color blind actually
that’s kind of a misleading term it isn’t really a blindness more the people
with protanopia see less red and green than full sighted people so the color
deficient is a better term thank you very much
third imagine you load an image in Photoshop then reduced the red and green
by about $0.50 that 50% if you’re not colorblind this is how things would
probably look if you were just as it does to the 8% of men who are you know
for some reason it affects far far less women than men and they say men have it
easy and if you do have protanopia like me
well hello firstly but here’s how a photo probably looks to a color sighted person
that’s that’s just weird I prefer it our way by the way those colorblindness
glasses I’ve tried them they don’t really do much in my opinion
apart from help people make viral videos with color spelled strangely like’ and
subscribe’ everybody there seriously that may be red-green color deficiency
is why I love Commodore basics so much the purple screen of life you know
that’s blue right the blue screen of life well now that this c64 has been rescued
by Perifractic there’s only one thing for it let’s play rescue on Perry
fractalus now this motherships bound toward
booster Ranger practice down there’s where it gets sticky
the Jackie’s have packed the planet with a remote-control weaponry and suicide
saucer there may even be troops it’s all we know now suit up you’re the only ones
who can pull this off some of those pilots have been down there a long time
thumbs up fly guys going out get us a future rescue on fractal as’ a dangerous
mission behind Jack Eli’s you joined the elite rescue squadron and pilot your
valkyrie fighter through the craggy landscape of practice explore every peak
and Valley every Canyon searching for stranded space pilots testing your skill
against the dreaded jaggies who have invaded our sector of the galaxy land
your fighter on practice just long enough to rescue those either core
pilots from the planets treacherous and hostile atmosphere pilots in ranged he’s
on the approach and commander he looks beat oh he’s pounding on the rear
airlocks well I’m open kid okay you am I glad to see you I knew you guys could
bail us out my co-pilot has right I’m low on fuel
what are we gonna do we have to go to the mothership who’s dis firing
here we go we’re gonna make it to the mothership all right and again like I do that come
on buddy thank you for your help what are you saying I wonder what they’re saying in English “Ahhh”

100 thoughts on “Fixing Commodore 64 Colour (though I’m colourblind) + Rescue on Fractalus!

  1. I "had" Rescue on Fractalus back in the day, but I don't believe I ever saw any pilots to rescue. I just wandered around the fractal landscape and got bored. Pretty quickly.

  2. I'm not colorblind but there's this shade of blue people around me wrongly say it's green and it drives me nuts.

  3. Very entertaining video as usual, especially the closing credits featuring real life reenactment of me the the Mrs squabbling by the puppies. PEEEE CEEE BEEE WAAAAAAAAAAYY

  4. Okay I gotta ask this question, I have been subscribed to this channel for a while now, I don't get why always says "fractic" at the end of every name? Perry Fractic, lady fractic, Ashley Fractic? is it his actual Lastname and everyone is related? and isn't saying your own Lastname a bit weird, I'm just a but confused tbh 😂

  5. 'Colour'
    Still fighting the good fight, in showing the Americans how to spell correctly.
    Good to see you haven't gone completely native out there 😉

  6. Always enjoying to watch.
    For more info about the clock circuitry:

  7. Again, Chris, another amazing video. Nothing I will ever need to do or use, but still, very interesting. Just a thought. Couldn't you put a switch between the two capacitors, so you could choose between NTSC (Nice Tuber, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Channel,) and PAL (Perifractics Are Lovely,) to have the best of both worlds? I felt sorry for the old capacitor getting the boot like that. I thought it was your pal. Also. It's great to see the Mrs getting more of a cameo roles in your videos. Be careful though, too much and she might expect to be paid!

  8. Bro hahaahahah I have never ever laughed so much before as to your editing of the game there in the end, absolutely hilarious!! 😆😆❤️❤️ We were folded like Swiss army knives! You're the best, always!!

  9. These types of videos always tend to propel me into philosophical musings. How do you know whether your vision of colors is the standard and everybody else's vision is actually colorblind to the natural tint of color? If it is possible for one to be more intelligent than the majority of their peers, is it not just as likely that one's version of colors is also the proper one? : ) Another great video. Cheers!

  10. "Bloody Alien!" – Perifractic.

    I couldn't have put it better myself. Well, maybe: "Get off my windshield, you toothy git!"

    Oh, and this is coming from someone who was an English major in college, the correct spelling is colour, just as the correct spelling of the word "analyse" is with an s, not a zed. You're welcome. 🙂

  11. You need a Ts100 for that kind of tricky jobs!

    Thanks for the vid!

  12. I remember Rescue On Fractalus and Koronis Rift was great as well. Heady days – time to get the emulators out and the pdf copies of Zzap 64.

  13. If I recall correctly, that's like the way I used to play Rescue on Fractalus !
    Don't think I ever saw the alien smash the window though… only the slapping sounds as he beat me up after letting him on board.

  14. Why put fresh solder in the holes after sucking the old stuff out? You could just put the capacitor in the empty holes then add new solder.

  15. I think a little high pitched “freedom!” in a Scottish accent would have added to the capacitor pulling part when it came out 🙂

  16. One of the best channels- no, THE best channel for retrocomputing-lovers so far! 🙂
    You have such a nice way presenting the good old stuff. I can see the "love" you and your wife? is putting into that things.

    It couldn't get more sympathic und authentic than this! Thank you so much for your hard work! Best greetings from germany, Matthias.

  17. You really don't need to use tip tinner all that often. When I was first taught to solder I was told that if I solder every day, I should re-tin the tip maybe once a month. It's got quite an aggressive flux in it, and too much of it isn't good for the iron.

  18. Fractalus should be a walk in the park for a genuine Star Wars pilot like yourself.
    Plus Commodore really did hire a lot of women to assemble those c64's, ahead of there time it seems.
    Just to let you know that soldiering iron is PINK….tough guy.

  19. As a someone who suffers from red/green colour blindness I'm always being asked "What colour is this?".
    Why do so many people spell colour incorrectly?

  20. The Atari 800XL version of Rescue on Fractulus runs a bit smoother than the C64 version. Be interesting to see if modern coding techniques could improve the C64 frame rate.

  21. Not C64 related but thought I'd comment anyway 🙂 The reason why protanopia affects males more than females is because although the mutation is on the X chromosome, its a recessive mutation. So it only takes one copy on the X chromosome for a male to be affected, for females to be affected they would need the mutation on both X chromosomes and chances are they'll have one good copy on an X chromosome (unless both parents were carriers).

    Nobody asked for this, but I like science hah.

  22. About not being the right way to replace the capacitor.
    If it works and the result is just as good as the traditional way – it's the right way.

  23. You should do a video on those glasses.. I have the same colourblindness as you and have thought about those glasses a lot.

    in general colourblindness hasn't been a big problem except for the time I was air traffic controller for a week… 😛

  24. Just snip the top half of the capacitor off, and, providing it does not shatter, that will tell you if reducing capacitance will help. you can change it then, or leave it there and dab a bit of nail polish over the top where you cut it, or a drop of candle wax.

  25. What a great episode, I loved seeing the many C64`s in the making at the factory and I forgot about Rescue on Fractalus, I played that game so much when I was a boy, with a Quickshot V (The one with the massive red square button at the back).

  26. That explains the unique look of your videos! Somehow that Mr. "Perfect video production" isn't perfect himself gives me hope that I'll do something watchable someday. Grats on doing a 16 mins video about avoiding 5 mins of work to solder in one little capacitor. 🙂

  27. Nice video Peri. Good info to have. And, I feel your pain on the color deficiency. Same here. Can't see light pink very well. Looks like a dirty white, or light grey to me. I can't remember exactly, but I believe we have less Rods and Cones in our eyes. "Look" forward to the next video, just don't add any subliminal messages in light pink.

  28. Nice video! I still need to get myself a Commodore64!

    One quick tip to help with soldering tip life is to ditch the wet sponge, as the thermal difference between the hot tip and cold sponge causes thermal shock in the tip which lowers its life, is to switch over to a brass wool scouring pad type tip cleaner. I find they work better too! 🙂

  29. Most men are color blind to some extent. Women can see more colors. I think there is an advantage to being color blind. I think color blind people can see faster moving objects.

  30. You could always just cut one capacitor leg & solder another capacitor of the same value in series, to that leg, to halve the overall value too.
    Probably simpler for those without the tools or expertise

  31. I would put in the capacitor after sucking out the old solder, then solder it from the top (with the shortened legs of course), saves your board getting damaged by too much heat 🙂

  32. The last old tech m/c i used was an Amiga 1200 with a 68030 and memory upgrade and a workbench upgrade from an independent coder who's name escapes me.Love the doggies………………

  33. Thats cool to find someone else who sees less red than most of people. I have always confused certain shades of blues and purples as well. Seeing someone also mixes blues and purples is a relief.

  34. I think I reflexively turned off my Atari immediately the one and only time I let a Jaggi get past my shields. Just gonna pretend that nightmare never happened.

  35. 10:23
    I finally know why she always looked so familiar to me. She looks like the speedrunner Cheese. They could be siblings.
    Something about the tank top and how she's sitting just in this moment made it click. I don't know why.

  36. I have red-green color blindness too. For me it basically never affects my vision unless it’s a very specific shade.

  37. 10:13 it's been that long since I had a CRT screen that I forgot about the old static buzz you got from running your hand across it.

  38. Have you seen the … modern remake … of Rescue on Fractalus? 🙂

  39. I remember playing this game when it first came out and the when the allien appereared because i had not seen it before i jumped and my wife who was sat next to me knitting i made her jump aswell and she lost most of the stitches off her needles she was not impressed.

  40. I got the tape adapter for my U2+. I still haven't used it yet. I have a few T64s, but they load instantly and apparently don't go through the tape adapter. So to this day I've never used a tape (real or virtual) on a C64. lol

  41. Color blindness is a problem in the X chromosome. Since women have 2 X chromosomes, it is unlikely that both chromosomes will have the issue. Men only have 1 X chromosome, so if it has the issue then you are color blind. I am color blind. You are correct that the term is a misnomer. I think when you tell most people that you are color blind that they think you only see black & white and shades of gray which is incorrect. Anyway I enjoy your channel.

  42. I'm also colourblind. As is the 8-bit guy. We all spent wayyyy too much time on our 8-bit computers in the 80's… hmmmm. Weird.

  43. I always thought of NTSC and PAL like inches and centimeters or pounds and kilograms. Both the same but differently.

    PCBway = Peanut Cup Butter way

    Is ladyfractic immortal?

  44. You call yourself commodore guy but you follow the logic from Atari logo where two drunk guys lead sober one in the middle… so before you make instructional videos it would be better to learn how to solder off camera…

  45. That "Bloody Alien" scared me half to death as a kid! My dad and uncle would scare me on purpose. I would hide under the computer table whenever I saw the green "Helmet" approaching! LOL 😉

  46. '
    old time american made the C-64…
    then hongkong made then china made…
    what happen america dont make it again

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