Commodore 16

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Commodore 16
Commodore 16
Type: Home Computer
Producer: Commodore
Price: 99 US$
Released: 1984
Discontinued: 1985
Processor: MOS 7501/8501 @ 0.885/1.76 MHz
Memory: 16 KByte, upgradeable to 64 KByte
OS: BASIC 3.5
Info: Part of the Commodore-264 series

The Commodore 16 (also known as the C16) was part of Commodore’s budget 264-series of home computers (including the C116 and Plus/4). Commodore sold the C16 from 1984 to 1985, intending it as the VIC-20’s successor, hence the budget price of just $99. In Argentina, the computer company Drean produced the C16 under license, as did Sigma in Mexico, and in total 1,266,000 C16s shipped worldwide.

The C16 resembles the C64 but colored black. It comes with an advanced version of BASIC (v3.5) onboard. This stops the C16 using the C64’s massive hardware and software base. The C16’s datasette 1531, joysticks, and disk drive 1551 connect only to the Commodore-264 series computers, though connectors are available for use with other Commodore equipment.


Construction[edit]

Right side[edit]

Commodore 16 right side
Commodore 16 power supply unit
  • Two joystick connectors (Joy1 and Joy2, round mini DIN, 8-pins, I) to connect a joystick
  • Reset button
  • On/off switch
  • Power connector (power; 2 pins) for the power supply unit


Rear side[edit]

Commodore 16 backside


Mainboards[edit]

C16 board Assy No. 250443, PCB No. 251789-O I REV.A, build year 1984
Early C16 single layer PCB (prototype), not used in regular series model
244 page handbook with circuit diagram
  • CPU: MOS 7501 or 8501 with 0.885/1.76 MHz clock frequency (controlled by TED) - average approx. 1.1 MHz.
  • Memory: 16 KByte RAM, with 12277 free usable under BASIC, expandable to 64 KByte.
  • ROM: 32 KByte in total, consisting of:
    • CBM BASIC V3.5 (16 KByte) ($8000-$BFFF; 32768-49151)
    • KERNAL (14 KByte) ($D800-$FFF9; 55296-65529)
    • Charset (2 KByte) ($D000-$D7FF; 53248-55295)
  • Graphics: TED 8360
    • Display in text mode (either capitalization / graphic characters or uppercase / lowercase) 40 (columns) × 25 (lines) characters or in graphic mode (HiRes) 320×200 pixels or 160×200 pixels, as well as graphics with 5 lines text mode at 320×160 or 160×160 pixels
    • Colors: 121 (15 colors in 8 shades and black)
  • Sound: TED 8360 is also used to create sounds and can form 2 independent voices with tones of over 4 octaves (about 28 notes without overtones) or noises.
  • Keyboard: 66 keys (QWERTY), multi-assigned, function keys are already predefined.
  • Other:
    • Dimensions: 407 mm × 77 mm (Series PCB)
    • Weight: ?
    • Power Supply: 9 V DC provided by power supply unit with 220 V at 50 Hz
    • Power consumption: ? W



Block diagram[edit]

C16 Blockschaltbild.gif


Memory allocation[edit]

 Memory adresses          | Description
Hexadecimal | Decimal     |
$0000-$07FF | 00000-02047 | zero page, system RAM
$0800-$0C00 | 02048-03071 | color RAM
$0C01-$1000 | 03072-04095 | video RAM
$1000-$3FFF | 04096-06143 | BASIC RAM (if using graphics this area will shrink!)
$1800-$1BFF | 06144-07167 | luminance (if using graphics)
$1C00-$1FFF | 07168-08191 | color table (if using graphics)
$2000-$3FFF | 08192-16383 | video RAM for graphics (if using graphics)
$4000-$7FFF | 16384-32767 | free (for memory extensions)
$8000-$BFFF | 32768-49151 | BASIC 3.5 ROM
$C000-$CFFF | 49152-53247 | free for BASIC extensions
$D000-$D7FF | 53248-55295 | char set ROM
$D800-$FBFF | 55296-64511 | KERNAL ROM
$FC00-$FCFF | 64512-64767 | ROM banking routines
$FD00-$FEFF | 64768-65279 | I/O addresses
$FF81-$FFF9 | 65409-65529 | KERNAL
$FFFA-$FFFB | 65530-65531 | NMI vector
$FFFC-$FFFD | 65532-65533 | RES vector
$FFFE-$FFFF | 65534-65535 | IRQ vector

Deviations of color table and control characters[edit]

The C16 color spectrum (121 colors)
15 colors in 8 shades + black

The commodore colour table deviates at the TED after the 9th color (brown):

Color       | Key com-   | Color value  | In program:   | Or by PRINT "control character"
            | bination   | for POKE     | PRINT CHR$(X) | (in quotes!)  
yellow-green| <C=>+<3>   | 090          | 150           | inverse graphic-X  
pink        | <C=>+<4>   | 107          | 152           | inverse ring 
blue-green  | <C=>+<5>   | 092          | 151           | inverse clubs
light blue  | <C=>+<6>   | 109          | 153           | inv. vline right    
dark blue   | <C=>+<7>   | 046          | 154           | inverse check  
light green | <C=>+<8>   | 095          | 155           | inverse clubs

Hint: There are some new control characters on the C16:

PRINTCHR$(027) escape key
PRINTCHR$(130) text flashing on
PRINTCHR$(131) text flashing off
PRINTCHR$(140) help key

Function Keys[edit]

Start screen

The C16 function keys are normally:

An overview or modification of the function key binding can be achieved through the BASIC command KEY, either in direct mode or in programs. After a reset or a reboot the normally function key configuration is reset.


Purchase packing list[edit]

In Germany the C16 was first available in a single package and was later sold in a bundle Commodore Computer-Lernkurs BASIC-Programmiersprache.

Commodore 16 in original box (German/France)

The purchased parts of a C16 package are (1984):


Accessories[edit]

Cartridges[edit]

  • Commodore Jack Attack
  • Commodore Pirate Adventure
  • Commodore Viduzzles
  • Commodore Atomic Mission
  • Commodore Strange Odyssey
  • Commodore Pirate Adventure
  • Commodore C-16 Tutor
  • Commodore Logo
  • Commodore Diagnostic Test (TED Diagnostic Rev 1.5)
  • Commodore Script/Plus
  • Commodore Financial Advisor

Memory extensions[edit]

For the C16/116 the following memory expansions were available:

  • 16K Expansion (Kingsoft)
  • 64K Extension (ak-tronics)
  • 64K RAM (Kingsoft)
  • 64K RAM memory expansion (Golden Games)
  • 64K cartridgel (LINDY)
  • DELA C16 memory expansion 64K
  • REX Datentechnik (9305) 64K
  • Commodore 16K RAM pack cartridge for the expansion port (Ram Electronics Ltd.)
  • 64K RAM (Stonechip Electronics)
  • Jureks 64K Memory Expansion

Other cards[edit]

Adapters[edit]

  • Joystick adapter: To connect common joysticks with the 9-pin sub-D connectors there were adapters or adapter cables, respectively, available plugging these joysticks to the 8-pin, round mini-DIN connectors on the C16/116 and Plus/4.
  • Datasette adapter: To connect datasette drives with the usual 12-pin connector there were suitable adapters or adaptor cables, respectively, plugging them to the 7-pin, round mini-DIN connector on the C16/116 and Plus/4.


Links[edit]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: Commodore 16