Tag Archives: Commodore 64

Replacement Transit Card for Commodore 64/VIC-1540/1541/1571

One of the finishing touches that got cut from the Project Essex Commodore SX-64 restoration video on element14 presents was replacing the “transit card” (officially known as the “Head Vibration Protector”) from the 1541 floppy diskette drive. The transit card is a specially-shaped piece of heavy card stock that slides into the disk drive and holds the head assembly in place to prevent damage during transit and is essential to taking proper care of the SX-64 due to its “portable” nature. This card will replace Commodore part number 251171-03 and fits all Commodore 5.25″ floppy disk drives.

To build it, I printed the attached PDF at 100% (no scaling) on 110lb card stock paper, then glued a second sheet (doubling the weight) before cutting out the design. You’ll need to cut out the center hole for the spindle to fit through as well.

Slide the card into the drive like any diskette and close the latch any time you’re going to be moving the assembly (or just keep it in there for storage)!

Download Commodore 1541/1571 Transit Card

A Video Celebration of the Commodore 64

My first computer and game console was the Commodore 64. I still remember those halcyon days with the hulking keyboard/computer assembly connected to the back of the beautiful wooden console television we got as a hand-me-down when my grandparents upgraded theirs to a new Curtis Mathes from the company store in Austell. I can close my eyes and instantly be transported back to the late-1980s, sitting crosslegged in the living room floor, turning the television dial to channel 3 with a satisfying “kaCHUNK” giving way to the unbearable roar of analog snow. With a flip of the switch from “TV” to “GAME” on the small black box dangling from the antenna connection, the snow gave way to the low hum that an old CRT emits when forced to display a static image–the one that changes pitch slightly depending on the color displayed. I had Frogger on cassette tape and it took what seemed–to a child, anyway–to be hours to load, but it was all worth it when I finally managed to beat the preset high score!

The Commodore 64 taught me more about electronics than any single device and begat a lifelong affinity for computers, games, programming, production, and tinkering that persists to this day. Without the Commodore 64, I may never have desired a world beyond Cobb County, Georgia. The gentleman in the video–microcomputing heavyweight Jim Butterfield who, let’s face it, is nearly comical in his blasé approach to the presentation (“It’s a pretty good computer”)–walks us through the entire setup and use of the C64 in a 2-hour-long celebration of the classic machine.

“In here we have the Commodore 64 User’s Guide; that’s a very useful book. You’ll need that. Don’t throw it away.”

Jim Butterfield

Yes, sir, Mr. Butterfield. Yes, sir.