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Blog posts and video from Steven as he “COMBS” through the minutia to discover tech, retro-computing, physical computing, gadgets and sci-fi.

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Commodore Plus/4 Series

4 February 2022

Upgrade TheC64 and VIC20 to Firmware 1.6.1

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.
tags: thec64 - thevic20 - firmware - vickey twenty

TheC64 Mini, Maxi, and TheVIC20 received a new firmware version, 1.6.1 to start the new year. During a lengthy Sunday afternoon live stream, I updated both my TheC64 Mini and my TheVIC20 to see what was new. I opened the live stream with a “Vicky Twenty” motherboard unboxing. I’ll share more on this VIC-20 upgrade later in this post.

Before you read the rest of this post, look at my companion video below that compacts a one hour and fifty minute live stream to a mere twenty-minute shadow of its self but includes all the information you need to upgrade your TheC64 or VIC20. Read below to learn how you can view the entire live stream.


Table of Contents


retroCombs Producers

Thanks to these members for supporting me at the C128 level; making them retroCombs producers:

Companion YouTube Video

Title: ‌THEC64 and VIC20 Firmware Upgrade to 1.6.1 and a Vicky Twenty Unboxing

In the video below, I unbox a “Vicky Twenty” mother board and upgrade a TheC64 Mini and a TheVIC20 to firmware version 1.6.1.

Video Errata

None as of 2022-02-04.

Below are the links I mention in this blog post and companion video. All Amazon links are affiliate links. I’d like to thank everyone for your support of the blog and the YouTube channel by starting your purchases here!

  1. All TheRetro Links You Need in One Spot
  2. TheC64 Maxi - Full size with working keyboard)
  3. TheC64 Mini - Small but fun
  4. TheVIC20 - Available in the United Kingdom
  5. TheC64 Joystick - USB Joystick that works perfectly on a modern computer using the VICE emulator
  6. TheManuals - Includes user’s guide not included in the box
  7. The Hobbyist Guide to TheC64 - Most tips are included in the manuals linked above, but there are few extra hacks
  8. TheA500 Mini - Pre order now!
  9. Space Lords by RGCD.DEV - Get your copy if you don’t have a TheC64 or TheVIC20
  10. The Vicky Twenty on Tindie

Vickey Twenty

As shared in the video, I have four untested VIC-20s with one “kinda” working. This will be a large project as I attempt to take the three non-working, the Vicky Twenty motherboard, a lot of de-soldering and soldering, to create another working unit. In the live stream, we chat about retro-brighting. Have an opinion? Drop it in the comments below.

For this project, I need to plan, purchase additional components and sockets, get a de-solderer, and a lot of time. I might live stream part of the process but will document it in either a blog post or video. I hope to have my new Portable Oscilloscope Multimeter - Pokit Pro on hand that’s been on a long journey to my workbench.

TheC64 Firmware Upgrade Live Stream

This video above is an edit of a much longer live stream. If you’d like to watch the entire live stream, check out this post:

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/retroCombs/e/54752

Members can watch for free and non-members can watch for a buck!

It’s one hour and fifty minutes of fun with great chat/interaction from viewers. In the lengthened version, you can watch the upgrades of the TheC64 mini and TheVIC20 from start to finish, including more system configuration and game play demos. Included, I talk more about my plans with the Vicky Twenty and my lot of 4 VIC-20s purchase.

Producer Jamie, shared this link to Space Lords, <Space Lords by RGCD.DEV>. If you don’t own a TheC64/VIC20 you can purchase a boxed cartridge version or download a copy for VICE or to run on an SD2IEC device.

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Help make this content better! Leave your comments, corrections, additions, and thoughts in the comments below. You can email me at retrocombs@icloud.com. Thanks for reading and if you are inclined, please let others know about the blog using the hashtag #retroCombs.

🕹️ retroCombs, OUT!

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