Taking Your Computer Abroad
I am the owner of a Commodore 64 computer and a 1541 disk drive. Being in the military, and changing duty stations often, I need to know how to change the frequency of the internal timer from 60 hertz to 50 hertz while using a step-down transformer to reduce voltage from 220 to 110 volts. The Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference Guide touches upon this, but doesn't go into any detail. I believe this is done with a POKE, but I'm not entirely sure what to change. You're my last hope; can you help?
Louis D. Steinritz
We've received many inquiries lately about European computing. To change the North American model of the 64 to successfully operate in Europe, the VIC-II chip and a crystal have to be changed from the standard 60 hertz model to one that operates at 50 hertz. Unfortunately, the 50 hertz VIC-II chip is not for sale to the public. However, there is another way to use your U.S. model 64 in Europe. If you take an American monitor with you, you should have no problems. As long as the 64 and the monitor are compatible, the change from 50 to 60 hertz shouldn't affect performance.
For VIC-20 owners, however, the VIC chip is available in the 50 hertz version, so conversion should be simple. For more information, contact your local Commodore service representative.