Looking for a TEC FD-501 or Matsushita JA-551 DSDD Disk drive

Restoring a MSD SD-2 disk drive and one of the two drives seems to be beyond repair 🙁 Looking for replacement drives! Can anyone help out?

 

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Manuals final cartridge versions

I finally had some time to make some pdf scans of the manuals I have, some can be find on the internet, others are more difficult to find. It is large 300mb file, if you need just one manual, drop me a line. You can find them here.

The zipfile contains the following:

  1. scan final catridge internal – commodore special – manual 1 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  2. scan final catridge internal – de special – manual – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  3. scan final catridge internal – de special – marketing folder – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  4. scan final catridge internal – de special – marketing folder 2 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  5. scan final catridge plus – manual 1 – medica – german – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  6. scan final catridge plus – manual 2 – milan – german – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  7. scan final catridge plus – manual 3 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  8. scan final catridge – manual 1 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  9. scan final catridge – manual 2 – dutch and german – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  10. scan final catridge – manual 2 – dutch only – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  11. scan final catridge – manual 2 – german only – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  12. scan final catridge – manual 3 – english – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  13. scan final catridge – manual 4 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  14. scan final catridge – manual 5 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  15. scan final catridge 3 – manual 1 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  16. scan final catridge 3 – manual 2 – dutch – frank commodore – 01-12-2023
  17. scan final catridge 3 – manual 3 – german – frank commodore – 01-12-2023

Some I need to redo, hesitating in removing the staples…and yes…catridge should be cartridge…too lazy to fix that for now.

 

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Cat & Korsh

Back when I got my Commodore 64 at the age of fourteen one of the major computer shops in the Netherlands was Cat & Korsh. Most people are familiar with Cat & Korsh since they made the Expert Cartridge. Most of the Commodore stuff they offered was rebranded, items from well known brands in Germany like Rex was sold here in a nice Cat & Korsh box. If you wanted additional Commodore hardware Cat & Korsh was one of the shops to go to!

At that age, without any money to spend on serious hardware for my Commodore, all what was left was the drooling at the advertisements in the Dutch magazines 😉

Most items are not hard to find…except if rebranded and repackage by Cat & Korsh. And 40 years later I am still trying to collect them all. Last year I did managed to add some new finds to my collection:

  • Speeddos plus C64
  • Speeddos plus C128
  • Expert cartridge (seems that C&K had 4 different boxes for the standard Expert & ESM version)
  • Cartridgeport Expander
  • Tape/disk turbo
  • 256k Eprom board
  • 40/80 display
  • Cartridge port expander (Dela, sold by C&K, not repackaged)
  • Super Lighpen
  • Userport Expander II
  • Userport Expander I
  • I/O Switch unit
  • Digital Copy box
  • 32k Eprommer
  • Catridgeport expander (repackaged, C&K box)

Still looking for quit some items from them. I do have some doubles, open for trades against other C&K items, and willing to make an offer if you have some of the missing items.

 

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Silicon Disk

A few months back Bram Brooddoos and I found a Dutch marketplace offering of an unknown and quit rare Dutch made ram disk: the Silicon Disk made by Recomput from Rotterdam.  The seller was offering two of these units, and used them back in the day as storage for his BBS. 

After some searching online and in Dutch Commodore magazines I found two articles  about this ram disk.

Commodore Dossier Aktief – Juli 1987 – Silicon Disk Silicon Disk – Commodore Info – jaargang 4 nummer 3 – mei juni 1987

The disk is from 1987 and contains up to 4 x 512kb ram boards. At the max it can hold up 2MB of data, including a back-up battery which could retain the data for over 5 years. The unit was expensive: basic version was 999 guilders, and each 512kb board was 750 guilders. One of the articles mentions that a manual was missing (it was send by mail to all owners afterwards: this manual is indeed missing, so if anybody has one we would love to have at least a copy!). It also didn’t work with the C128, which was fixed later one with a rom update (we still need to test it). After fixing the fuse and replacing batteries both units were up & running.  

Bram dumped the roms and made some photo’s and we made a scan of the two articles. You can download the zip file here.

 

 

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Final Cartridges

So recap with pictures:

V10 Plus (internal version)

V20 Superplus (internal version)

Can be found in this blog posting, ownership is Bram Brooddoos.

 

S30 The Special (internal version)

Check this blog posting. 

 

 

The final Cartridge I

Black casing versions with 80 of 96kb free mem.

Standard blue casing version

The final Cartridge + (improved version, cartridge)

 

 

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Final Cartridge Plus, Superplus and The Special

 

Photos can be found in this posting.

On the story of all kind of final cartridge versions: I got an internal version a few years back (The Special), including all documentation. A good friend bought two other versions, at that time the three versions show on startup a V10, V20 and S30 (Special) version. Bram Brooddoos (thanks) gave the V10 version to me, and still has the V20. 

The internal version, as in availability of the roms, is documented by Richard Lagendijk and the Replay Resources website.

But what about the V10 and V20 versions? On request of Super Neotendo we dumped all roms of all three internal versions. He was already working on PCB’s for “The Special” version (and is currently working on the other two. All rom versions can be found here.

Next step was looking in all the magazines from back in the day to find the advertisements of Riska/H&P Computers to see what I could find about these pre-cartridge releases.

In 1984 in the “Dossier Commodore nr. 1” the first advertisement can be found of the Commodore Plus (V10).  And in 1985 in the “Dossier Commodore nr.3” is an advertisement of the “Commodore The Special” (S30). In that advertisement they mention the Plus and Superplus, which only results in the conclusion that the V20 release was the “Superplus”, shortly preceding “The Special” and after the “Plus” (v10) release.

And “Dossier Commodore nr. 4” from 1985 already mentions the first cartridge version of the final cartridge.

“Dossier Commodore nr.7” from 1987 has an article of the testing of the “improved final cartridge”. This one is pretty hard to find, preceded the final cartridge III and one of the physical differences is that a freeze button was added (it has a reset, on/off and freeze). The Final Cartridge first version has only the reset and on/off. 

On the subject of the improved final cartridge, I actually own one with manual and in box (you can find it on my blog): over the last almost 10 years of collection I only found that one. It’s almost never offered on market places and I’ve never seen a boxed one again here in the Netherlands.

Since I own the “Special” with all documentation, from the first owner, it seems that the “Special” directly resulted in the first cartridge version. Documentation of the “Special” is the same and that owner had two manuals (Final Cartridge & The Special), without actual owning the cartridge version.

After “The Special” came the Final Cartridge I. Most people are familiar with the blue versions. But I think just before the blue versions there were several other versions with both 80kb or 96kb free mem. I actually have few of them, both in black casings.

On the issue of the “Final Cartridge II” which is mentioned on the Replay Resources site. I think there was never an official II version (which actually is showing in the scroller “final cartridge II”). I am pretty sure this was a Polish clone. Over the last few years I actually bought quit some “bootleg” Final Cartridges from Poland but still haven’t found this one.

Looking for:

Currently  I am missing the manuals of the “Plus – v10” and the “Superplus – v20” versions. If anybody has those, please let me know.

And I am looking for an original German manual from Milan of the Final Cartridge I.

Next:

Will scan and publish all the manuals this year, this is quite some work and still looking for the best way in preserving all the manuals and documentation I have.

 

 

 

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Update – slowly getting back

Previous posting has been April last year, and for  a lot of personal reasons I haven’t been able to spend much time on collecting and maintaining my blog. First of all the municipality I live in decided in all their wisdom that the neighborhood here needed redevelopment. They decided that over 150 appartements/houses, private properties and almost 500 people living here, needed to be demolished. Resulting in al long battle, legal and otherwise, against the plans which we partly won. So my home and cave are in the clear, but still legal battles continue, probably into next year, to ensure all our neighbors can keep their houses as well.

On top of that in that year my father passed away, after a long period of intensively taking care of him. A pretty hard and difficult time, and in combination with a very demanding and busy job ending up at home for a few months to get my feet back on the ground. 

And well…all things come at once. Last April ending up with breaking a leg, stuck to bed for over almost three months. Didn’t had the possibility to even go into the cave during that period.

Well, first posting since. Collecting was slow last year, but I will start to catch up on collecting. Quit some boxes downstairs with books, hardware and software of the last one and a half year that needs to be posted on the blog 🙂 

Glad to be back

 

 

 

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Misc

Some other stuff, haven’t published everything like another CompuCase 64, some mint 64’s and another silver added to the collection. 

Turbo Computer Lightpen, DolphinDos 3.0 PCB’s (winter project), Protovision Kerberos Midi interface cartridge, Flashfire Duplicatore (italian tape duplicator), Competition Pro 5000 boxed, KCS Disk speedloader (P004) and KCS Speedmon (P002)

 

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Some Books

and some books added. Crackers the Gold Rush & Datastorm, a Simon’s Basic book and “het groot grafisch commodore boek”.

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Some software

Added to the collection,  Toki (Ocean) Cartridge, Nixy The Glade Sprite and Soulless II, the Armour of Gods

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