Commodore Plus/4, unboxing and disappointment

I wasn't sure I wanted to publish this video, also because, in the end, I felt a huge DISAPPOINTMENT! Towards the middle of the video I start to be less cheerful! Here is the unboxing of a Commodore Plus/4 that I bought on eBay… with… disappointment!

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Some time ago, I bought, on eBay, a Commodore Plus/4. I had wanted to have one for my collection for a long time.

Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 bought eBay does not work disappointment, retro vintage computer

I found an interesting eBay listing: a Commodore Plus/4, PAL version, tested and working. The starting price was a bit high, but the seller kindly gave me a discount. Despite the discount, international transport and import taxes still drove up the price.

Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 four keyboard, vintage retro computer

Technical characteristics of the Commodore Plus/4

The Commodore Plus/4 comes with 64KB of RAM and 64KB of ROM. Depending on the version, it can have a MOS 7501 or MOS 8501 processor at 1.77MHz (in the PAL version).
In the internal ROM there are also productivity software (a word processor, a spreadsheet and a database manager). The home screen is very similar to that of the Commodore 16, with 60671 bytes free against the 12277 of the Commodore 16.

Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 rear panel back connectors, serial joystick, power, expansion, video, serial
Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 bottom panel under label

Unboxing of the Commodore Plus/4, packaging tips

The computer arrived to me more than a month and a half later, compared to the arrival date estimated by eBay. If only for the wait, I wouldn't have been too angry. Unfortunately, however, the problem was not only the delay in delivery of the Commodore Plus/4.

The package was not packed very well. Typically, when I buy vintage hardware, I always ask the seller to leave different space between the edge of the computer and the box. In this case it has not been done, even if expressly requested.

Why do I ask to leave so much space (filled with packaging) between the computer and the edge of the box?

Because, when the box takes a hit, since there is more space, the blow is cushioned by the packaging (bubble wrap, polystyrene, chips, etc ...), rather than reaching the computer.

Unboxing packaging how to pack a package

I recommend leaving space (at least 2-3 centimeters) on all 6 sides of the box, even the lower and upper one. The space must be filled with packaging elements. The box must therefore have a suitable size, as well as considerable strength.

Test the voltages of the power supply, pinout of the power connector of the Commodore Plus/4

I have already explained how to test the voltages of vintage computer power supplies in this article. It is also possible to try them under load, I talked about it in this article. The test of the power supply is to be done without connecting the computer.

During the tension test. the power supply fuse of the Commodore Plus/4 burned out immediately. I replaced it with another, 250mA delayed (T250mA).

How to replace the Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 power supply fuse

The power supply of the Commodore Plus4 has two voltages: 5V in direct current and 9V in alternating current. On the alternating there is wide tolerance. When empty, even 10.5V can be tolerable. The DC voltage should be as close as possible to 5.2V.

Here is the arrangement of the feet of the power steering wheel connector.

Commodore Plus4 Plus 4 feet square power connector 4 poles pinout, contacts 5V 5VDC 9V 9VAC

In the specific case, the power supply has an English power plug, for which I used the adapter Bronson++ VT-300 that I had already used for the Commodore PET.

Test the back computer

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the power supply provides the correct voltages, the Commodore Plus/4 shows no signs of life. The red power LED lights up, but the monitor remains without an image.

This bothered me a lot. But how is this possible? Can a seller write "tested and working" if the computer is not working? What did you test? Just the fact that the red power light comes on? In short: I took a nice rip off on eBay.

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I will try to get a refund…

Credits: in the unboxing video, the SID music is that of the kikstart II video game.

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