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The Commodore computers of the eighties are growing ever older, yet many continue to enjoy them. Faulty power supplies can be the cause of instability and failure in all computers, the Commodore Power Monitor plugs into the User Port of the Commodore VIC-20, C64, C128 and Plus4 and warns if the voltages from the external power supply are significantly out of spec. or contain problematic ripple voltage.
They are sold as pictured, without a case but with a metal support for the circuit board. They are sold fully assembled.
Warns if the 5V Logic supply voltage is too high or low for the specifications of chips in the computer
Warns if significant voltage ripple voltage appears on the 5V Logic Supply
Warns if the 9VAC voltage is too low
Conveniently plugs into the User Port on the back of the computer
Works with C64, C128, Plus4* and VIC-20 (including early models with built-in 5VDC regulator)
Includes a Reset button to easilly reboot the computer without cycling the power
*The 5VDC LED may show a false warning under some circumstances when used with the Plus4. See below.
Usage is as simple as plugging the monitor into the computers User Port. When the computer is turned on, the 9VAC LED should light, showing that the board has made contact and the computers 9VAC supply is not significantly low. The 5VDC LED may momentarly flash as the voltage stabilises, after this only the 9VAC LED should remain on if the voltages are within the tollerances stated below.
Warnings will occour as follows:
Parameter Warning Voltage Warning LED
Ripple 0.4V - 0.5V Peak RIPPLE Flashing (LED3)
5VDC High 5.25V - 6V 5VDC ON (LED2)
5VDC Low 4.75V - 4V 5VDC ON (LED2)
9VAC < ~8.2VAC 9VAC OFF (LED1)
The voltage ranges indicate the potential range over which a warning may occour, temperature and component variation affect the exact triggering voltage, but the warnings give an indication in case of a significant voltage regulation failure which could cause damage to chips inside the computer. Note that the device is designed to perfom to these specifications only when the ambient temperature is between 3° C - 33° C (5° F - 59° F). Low 9VAC levels (as indicated by the 9VAC LED) may also cause early triggering of the RIPPLE warning.
The power supply for the Commodore Plus4 computer is reported to be set to output 5.2V normally. This means that a 5VDC warning may occour when all power supply components are still working within spec (because the specifications for the voltage regulator allow up to 0.25V above the target voltage). Also note that some Commodore computers were sold with power supplies only just big enough to power the computer, and the 9VAC voltge can drop even under normal load.
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