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CPC 464 resurrected :D

Started by Trotzdem, 20:56, 24 October 09

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I just got my old CPC 464 running again. That makes me so happy I want to tell :D

It was stored below the roof of my house for now, say, 19 years. I somehow stumbled over an emulator, and that reminded me of the fact that I own a real CPC.

After a short search among lots of things I should have thrown away long ago, there was it: luckily I had covered it with a plastic sheet, so it wasn't all so dusty.

There was: the CPC 464 with an old tape in the tape drive,

a GT 64 Green monitor

a DDI Floppy drive (man, was THAT expensive)

a Multiface 2 Hacking module, made by Romantic Robots.

Ok, I carried all of this in to a room with more space than under my roof.

Plugged in all the cables, and .... NOTHING :(

So I got out the multimeter and measured the current comming from the monitor: 5 Volts. 1a ok so far.

But why doesn't the CPC start ? Ok, first thing I did: I dismantled it. Not very difficult. 6 screws for the case, 2 cables to unplug, then a hand full screws more for the mainboard.

The port for the power plug was looked good. The soldering looked fine, too. The multimeter told me there was no problem with the power coming in.

Next suspect on my list: the power - switch. First I reconnected the plugs connecting the mainboard with the upper half of the case. Then I plugged in the power and shortened the switch.

See: red light shining :D

After dismanteling the switch I saw the reason for it to malfunction: There were clear signs of corrosion in the spot where the connection for closing the circuit was made.

So I cleaned that, and put some WD40 on it (WD40 repairs almost anything).

After reassembling the whole thing, the moment of thruth came near ...

Power on, red light shines again :)

The monitor stays blank. But the explanation for that is quickly found: brightness level zero doesn't produce a good picture.

With that adjusted, I was looking at the once - familar welcome screen of my old pal, the CPC.

Time for the next level: DDI Floppy drive. I attached the large controler to the port of the CPC. Floppy on, CPC on ... but I can't switch to the DDI. As I faintly remembered, the command "|disc" switched to the drive, but the CPC reacts just with "unkown command".

Either the DDI was shot or ... contact problems ? Luckily, I still had that can of WD40 (repairs almost anything) standing next to me. A good spray on the contacts of the DDI - Controler, a little wiping over the contacts of the CPC - port ...

YES! Now the CPC accepts the "|disc" command as well as "|tape" for returning back to the integrated tape drive.

So, I went to the bonus level: Multiface II

It is placed between the DDI Controler and the CPC - Port. What a surprise: it doesn't work. The solution is just as easy as in the previous cases: WD40 (WD40 repairs almost anything).

After the described therapy, even the old hacking module works again.

I already played "Sorcery" again. The old Quickshot II worked without the application of more WD40.

As I haven't found my 3" discs, I have to tidy up the space under the roof before I can test if the DDI actually reads discs.

I will report :D


Ah yes, the wonders of WD40  :D Congratulations of rediscovering ye ol' 464!


Quote from: Cholo on 22:35, 25 October 09
Ah yes, the wonders of WD40  :D Congratulations of rediscovering ye ol' 464!
A useful post which could be on the wiki in a "repairs" section.
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource


I would be delighted :D

If you wish, I write a more compact version, perhaps with photos.


Thank you for sharing. Turning an old CPC on again for the first time in years and looking at the Copyright messages plus the Ready prompt is indeed quite moving...

The switch corrosion that you had is strange - I have never seen corrosion there! But all's well I guess. Just one question - how exactly did you use WD40? I use WD40 for my door knobs etc :D


I looked up what WD40 is and what it's made for:

Here are the facts:

- developed in 1953 by Norm Larsen
- it consists mainly of raw petrol and oil. The recept can vary.
- it was developed mainly for anti-corrosion on Atlas missiles.
- it's name is a abbreviation of "Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try".

What is good enough for the NASA is good for the CPC :D

Fact is: wherever you have metal with corrosion on it, WD40 will help to get it of. Wherever humidity causes contact failure, WD40 will expell all the water (ok, the Titanic would probably be a hard job to resurface, but apart from that ;)).

So when I had dismantled that switch, I saw the corrosion on it. I applied a small amount of WD40, and then wiped away the corrosion. That did the job.

I also sprayed cautiously a little amount of WD40 into the port of the DDI - Controler (the thing you stick into the CPC). As I was unable to get into the slit where the contacts are, I just slided it in and out the CPCs port several times. I had scrubbed the contacts of the CPC with a piece of cloth before, which was soaking with ... WD40.

Before the application of the WD40 the CPC didn't recognize the command "|disc", after it it knew that command, so it was clear the contacts were the problem once more.

And as I tried out the hacking module, it also malfunctioned - until I cleanded it's contact - guess what - with WD40.

So it all was up and running again, just with WD40.

Now my only problem seems to be the drive belt, as I wrote in the other thread. Now I took it out of the drive in order to see in witch condition it actually is. A visual check of the belt supported the assumption that it was ok.

After I held it in my hands it was clear that this is not the case. It was far to stretched to make a powerful connection between the drives motor and the disc.

I made a try to cut the belt and take a piece out of it, then weld it together again.

But it seems I didn't take enought length out of the belt. The spot where I welded it together holds, but it still won't transmit the power.

For the welding I used my soldering iron, which I set on a temperature of about 300° Celsius. Then I placed a flat screwdriver on the spot I wanted to weld. On top of the screwdriver I placed the hot tip of the soldering iron. This ensured that the belt was heated slowly and one could react fast enough so it wouldn't be burned instead of welded.

When I find the time I will have a look out for some other transmission belt which may fit the drive. Or I start another welding adventure. Only I think that probably with increased tension, the welding spot is more likely to break.


About WD40: interesting story :) And an interesting product, of course. What I don't understand is this: so ok, it takes out the H2O from the part that has corrosion, but does this mean that the material underneath returns to its original state? Uncorroded? Because if not, you're still left with less material, which brings you to square one... And, I can't understand how petrol and oil can bind with water, I'd say the exact opposite...!

As for cutting and pasting the belt, it's no good: it's not only that it has grown longer, it has also lost its elasticity, so even if you get it to the correct length you'll have the same problems later on. Go on, get a belt :)


Quote from: Trotzdem on 22:53, 27 October 09
When I find the time I will have a look out for some other transmission belt which may fit the drive. Or I start another welding adventure. Only I think that probably with increased tension, the welding spot is more likely to break.
Lots of sources for good replacement belts are on e-bay.
these are cheap too and are just right.

For the wiki, I was thinking a page detailing fault finding and known solutions is good, where your fixes would be part of the page. Please detail a little about how you checked the switch so that others can do this if needed.
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource


WD40 + Cola rocks, too!!! (With ice)
When you put your ear on a hot stove, you can smell how stupid you are ...

Amstrad CPC games in your webbrowser

JavaCPC Desktop Full Release


Not really, does it ? ;)

I think WD40 actually doesn't bind the water. It rather expells it . It seems to be more adhesive, so it clutches to anything you spray it on. And as it doesn't bind with water, the water is forced from the surface the WD40 is applied to.

WD40 "creeps" under any rust or other forms of corrosion, so one can remove that more easily.

In the case of the switch of my CPC, the metal piece that makes the connection is some iron or steel coated with a thin layer of brass. The latter was very likely applied for keeping the lesser metal from rusting.

As brass is not gold, it itself corroded and left a thin layer of it's corroded remains on the iron.

The rest of the metal piece was yellow, after I removed the corroded brass the part of the metal piece was coloured plain steel.

The layer that is gone is very thin, so I think the thickness of the remaining steel is not a problem. What could develop a problem is the fact that there is no anti - corrosion layer left and that it is more likely now that the switch will fail again before the passing of 20 years. But I think I could repair it again in the same way then. I even believe that a "spare" part for the switch could be easily crafted. And if even that fails, one can take any switch that can close a single circuit and solder it in the place of the defective switch.


I just noticed that you are from Germany, lol. I should have guessed that from the name. Perhaps it is then better to get a new belt from:

Also, even if you old joystick didnt need WD40 at all, perhaps you would rather have a brand new joystick. Only a few years ago, that Speedlink/IndividualComputer produced a new batch of Competition Pro joysticks and they are still in stock. I got mine from:

(they have been working on their shop for a few days, but should be back up soon). Or you can try google, they are all over  ;)


Yes, thanks for the info. I guess I'll have time to figure out wether I can get a matching belt in the vicinity or if I need to buy one from far away, nameably from the source you provided.


So, update:

Today the new drivebelt arrived, I bought it at the Sintech - shop.

After the change of the belt, the drive was like new. Even most of the old discs are still working.

Thanks for helping so much :)


Our pleasure - always nice to ressurrect a great machine and make a fellow user happy...


Then you may call it WD464...

Good, you have a working CPC.
And also a disc drive for it.

The only 2 flaw I see :
You don't have a colour monitor.
You don't have a CPC6128...;p

BTW, the use of modern soundplayers allows proper loadings in Wave or MP3 signals.
Often faster.

Also as you have a proper disc drive, you are able to upgrade to a 3"1/2 drive...easier with modern PCs.
And easier to find discs too...

Needless to say, those machines where hard to kill.
C64 will last long only because a shitton of those were sold.
But CPC are really... tough.
Most of them are still working well..
Too bad many of them ended in garbage...


It was a christmas gift to me, 1986 or so.

I always had a green monitor, so it looks very familar and I am not missing anything. Maybe if I get a good offer, I will buy a color monitor or I solder me together some cable to connect it to a monitor (I actually have a colour monitor for my Commodore Amiga 500).

The CPC - scene was quite small in the place I am living, but there were all kinds of CPCs, from 464 up to the 6128.

As the value of the old CPC 464 I own is more or less idealistic, I think a machine better equipped wouldn't be much gain, because it is very unlikely to outperform my PS3 :D

I have already thought about getting a 3,5" drive attached to my CPC, but I figure there will be a problem with the "ready" - signal, and one with the power supply. I read that Amiga drives could work fine, but I don't want to cannibalize the only secondary drive I have for the Amiga in order to enhance my CPC.

Most likely, I will manage to attach the 3" drive (I got some 30 discs left for it) to one of the more or less as ancient PCs I own. I already found out it won't work with my most advanced PC, but I hope I find one that has USB as well as a compatible FDD controller.


Indeed the CPCs had the lowest return rates... really great durability, especially considering it was built as a 'cheap' machine!

As for loading faster with mp3/wav, indeed, if you speed up the file BUT without altering the pitch. There are some programs that can do that.


One of the reasons i think people always says to get a UK 6128 is to have the greatest compatability with hardware. Like its possible to attach a 3,5" drive without any modding (pretty much):

Having a external 3,5" drive on a 6128 mean that you could run software like SymbOS (symbiface not required to run the software) that can read 720kb pc dos floppies. So all you do is put some Dsk or files on a 720kb floppy on the pc and Symbos can copy it all to the internal floppy drive.

Having a 6128 also makes it easy to use a parrallel cable to hook up a pc to cpc and copy files/dsk with software like Turbotrans.

In the deeeep cash end is also fansy stuff like Symbiface 2 that can handle 2x 80GB IDE Hdd (or IDE HDD adapter SD).

About the Amiga drives, im pretty sure someone warned me against them a while back. Something about them being even further away than pc drives. Of cause any kinda of drive floppy drive can probably be used on the cpc if you do enough rewireing.

Another way might be to locate a old style pc floppy that can be configured to have the ready signal (you may have one already if you have some older pcs).

Some old links that may be of interest:


Quote from: Gryzor on 07:52, 17 November 09
As for loading faster with mp3/wav, indeed, if you speed up the file BUT without altering the pitch. There are some programs that can do that.

Is that what you say: OTLA or K7ZX



Amiga drives are more like 800Ko instead of standard 720Ko...
so it is likely to not work well
Atari drives are more standards

Also, just find a very old PC in the rubish/trash discharge/municipal garbage (public garbage and recycling centers) so you can cannibalise it entirely.

I dont know about your countryn, but even here in Valence, Drôme, France, I see a lot of old computers in the "déchetterie"

Just go there sometimes, and try to know when they remove electronnical devices so you can pass before.
Also, Go when it"s not rainning, lol.

I saved 2 Amstrad like this...


I thought about doing so in the past, but never could manage to actually do it. Maybe I find interesting HIFI devices, too. I feel that I enjoy repairing those things, so I probably should take your advice and just go there.

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