Commodore 16, C16, vintage home computer, vintage retro computer collection

Commodore 16

The Commodore 16 is an 8-bit home computer, manufactured by Commodore International from 1984 to 1985. It is the next generation of the Commodore Vic20, as well as a lower-cost alternative to Commodore 64.

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It is part of the Commodore 264 series, composed, in addition to the Commodore 16, also by the Commodore Plus/4 and the Commodore 116, with which it shares the main electronic components of the motherboard.

The design is similar to the "biscuit" Commodore 64 and the Commodore Vic20, but with different colors: the case is dark, while the keyboard is light.

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I purchased this computer from a Facebook Marketplace user in 2020. After confirming the existence of the user and the computer, I decided to send payment and arrange transportation. The computer arrived to me... not working! It wasn't an unexpected situation, however. The seller had warned me. I repaired and returned this computer: I describe the steps in this article.

In addition to the computer, the purchased lot also included the Commodore 1531 datassette, the joystick, the power supply, several cassettes and a cartridge with the Jack Attack game.

Commodore 16 used, full, ad, joystick, cassettes, games, recorder, power supply, CBM

Compared to the Commodore Vic20 and Commodore 64, the Commodore 16 has a more advanced Basic: version 3.5 of the Basic has many more commands and programming is more fun.

Commodore 16 boot screen

The C16 boot screen features black lettering on a white background. The outer bezel of the monitor is purple. The image is available at the Audio/Video output (both with CVBS and S-Video composite video signal) and also at the RF output (analog channel 36).

Commodore 16, C16, home screen, boot screen, purple boot screen, basic v3.5, Commodore Basic v3.5 12277 bytes free, ready.

Technical characteristics of the Commodore 16

CPU: MOS 7501 or MOS 8501, at 0.89MHz with TED operational, or 1.77MHz (PAL) / 1.79MHz (NTSC) the rest of the time
ROM: 32 KB
RAM: 16 KB, of which 12277 bytes are available for BASIC V3.5
Graphics: MOS TED (TED 7360 or MOS 8360)
Text mode: 40×25 characters (PETSCII). Three text modes are available: standard, extended color, multicolor
Graphics mode: 160×200 (multi-colored, no sprite) / 320×200 (high resolution) with 121 colors

Commodore 16, CBM, replacement capacitors, board repair, fuse, 1984, assy no 250443, pcb no 251789-01 rev a

Keyboard: 66-key QWERTY, with function keys

Software included in ROM:

Commodore 16, CBM C16, rear ports, expansion port, monitor, RF, datatape, IEC floppy disk drive bus

I/O Ports:

  • 1 Expansion port (cartridge slot)
  • 1 Antenna (RF to TV connection, analog channel 36)
  • 1 Audio/Video (CVBS and S-Video composite video)
  • 1 IEC Serial
  • 1 Datassette port (7-pin mini-DIN connector, not compatible with the Commodore 64, although there are adapters that allow you to connect the C64's Datassette)
  • 2 x 8-pin mini-DIN Joystick Ports
Commodore 16, CBM C16, joystick ports, power connector, reset button, power button, OFF ON, power, JOY 1, JOY 2


It is possible to emulate the Commodore 16 on a common Windows PC, through the VICE. In this way, it is possible to try to start programs and games, as well as program the retro computer, in a simple and convenient way... without even owning the Commodore 16!

Commodore 16 power supply

The power supply of the C16 is external. It generates a single voltage at 9.5 V in direct current, unstabilized, with wide tolerance. The available current is 0.8 A, with a maximum power of 7.6 W. When replacing the power supply with a modern one, attention must be paid to the inverted pinout of the power connector: the negative pole is the central one, while the positive is external.

Power supply C16, Commodore 16, EU plug, power connector pinout, contact arrangement + - 9VDC, 9.5Vdc 0.8A 7.6W


1. Commodore 16 guida utente (ITA)

2. Commodore 16 user manual

3. Commodore 16 service manual

Collection entry date: 05/03/2020

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