Successor to the VIC20 was the C64.
For the first time the VIC20 got the typical bread box case. It has another height and color as the C64. The beige color fits to the Datasette 1530. The first keyboards were printed on very blocky and rough. They are similar to those used in PET/CBM computers. The F-keys are orange. This first version has a colorful paper logo.
Later models use the same keyboard as the C64 but the f-keys are orange instead of grey. The rainbow logo is a high-quality metal plate. The housing design and the rainbow logo design was also used on the C64.
The VIC20 was first introduced in Japan as the VIC1001. Then, in the USA as VIC20. Since this term can be misunderstood in the German quickly wrong, he has been named "VC20" there. The picture is a VIC20 - notice the nameplate. The rainbow colors are a bit shorter.
Here is an older version of the VIC20: The on/off switch is bigger and different to the model shown above. The power supply plug differs significantly and also the PCB board inside is different. The reason is, that this version only gets 9V (instead 9V and 5V) from the power supply and the conversion to 5V DC to operate the chip is in the VC20 and not in the power supply. The board therefore has a large heat sink inside.
Later models use the same on/off switch and PSU connector as the C64.
On the rear there is a large module port. There you can plug in games, expansions and memory upgrade cartridges. Then comes the video port that is different from the C64: The port on the VIC20 has only five pins instead of eight because there is no chroma/luma signal available. Chroma/Luma cables from the C64 will not fit. As there is no built in TV-modulator, it was possible to connect it externally. Therefor the video port provides 5 volts. A suitable cable is therefore very important to ensure that your computer will not get damaged. Then the Commodore serial bus, Datasette port and the user port.
Here's another view of the VIC20. The rainbow logo is a high-quality metal plate. The housing design and the rainbow logo was also adopted to the C64.
On the underside there is a information label.
Here is the older board with 2-pin 9V PSU connector. Inside of the VC20 the 5V DC for the chips were converted. As this generates heat, there is a big black heatsink mounted inside. The board is bigger and fills the entire case. On left top there are two 6522 VIAs, the ceramic chip in the middle is VIC, responsible for sound and graphics. On right bottom there is the 6502 CPU. Later models use the C64 PSU which provides 5V DC and 9V AC. The internal conversion was not needed anymore and the board was smaller.
Here is the later board with C64-PSU-connector. Inside the rather small circuit board with the processor 6502 and the VIC, which is responsible for sound and video. He is also the namesake of the computer, since it was sold in America with the name VIC-20. Above is the cable for the LED and keyboard, below the shielding.
On the left the VIC20 PSU (also known from C64 but in VC20 color). Right of it the first-version PSU that only gives you 9V output for the first versions of VIC20-motherboard
As Commodore sponsored a couple of sports, they came to an advertising idea. The VC20 was sold some time together with the Datasette in this sports bag. You could then transport the equipment with this exact matching bag. Probably this bag was also sold with a C64 set.
The front of the packaging shows a VC20 - but with very old keyboard (block keyboard) and labels which he was never sold with. At that time the design of the packaging (white / silver) is similar to the floppy disk drive 1540/1541 and the Datasette 1530. He was sold as the "people-computer" ("Volks-Computer") in Germany "with color and music." The very colorful logo is intended to emphasize this more.
Here is the back of the package which explains the connections and optional extensions - "not just a computer, but also a whole system". It's shown that you can use the VC20 to education, job, scientific and entertainment.
Here the lower part of the two Styrofoam pieces with the plastic packaging wrapped VC20 and power supply. There was initially a beige power supply. Later it was sold with brown ones from the C64. Under the computer there you can find a manual, a warranty card and an advertisement.
The VIC1001 marked the starting point for the production of home computers by Commodore. This computer came out first in Japan and later was brought to U.S. under the name of VIC20.
The first home computer by commodore used the "breadbox" design, golden name plates and a blocky keyboard with four function keys.
Similar to the Japanese C64, the device has a keyboard with Japanese characters (instead of PETSCII symbols) and a modified character set.
Yen symbol on keyboard.
The plate on the bottom of the VIC1001 says that is was produced in Japan.
In this VIC1001 the last mainboard was built in - it uses the same PSU as the C64.
This picture shows the VIC graphics-chip as NTSC version.
The modified character ROM was done by an adapter plus EPROM chip. The standard-ROMs have been replaced by (erasable and programmable) EPROMs. This type of chips was used mainly for small quantities - a special ROM IC as the default built-ROMs is only economical for large scale production.
The first Commodore home computer (VC20) had 22 characters per line, and was Commodores first home computer with Commodore BASIC 2.0. Since an instructions can be several lines long because it can only display 22 characters per line it ended by pressing RETURN. However, this was very confusing. Commodore used also BASIC 2.0 for the C64. The C64, however, managed to display 40 characters per line, and the colors have been changed.
3D ModelI don't created these 3D models. I have edited and maybe converted the models only. They are downloadable for free from:
You can change the perspective, zoom and also change the lighting. Because of the ability to rotate the model in 3D, a current Adobe Reader is required (version 8.0 or better). You can download the necessary software from the manufacturer's site.
|Launch Price:||299 Dollar|
|Processor:||MOS 6502 (1,02 MHz)|
|Operating system:||BASIC 2.0|
|graphics chip:||6561 (VIC)|
|Resolution:||Up to 176x184|
|Sound:||3 voices, mono|
|Size:||205 x 405 x 70 mm|
|Units sold:||140.000 (Germany)
The above shown computers are in the collection!
Compatible drives for the computer VIC20: