The C128D/81 Page


Please read the entry for the Commodore 128D before proceeding.

Attempting to improve on the perfection that was the 128D, Commodore engineers got their hands on a prototype NTSC Commodore 128 motherboard and attempted to create another "D" (for desktop) variation based around their up and coming 1581 3.5" disk drive, instead of the normal 1571 5.25" version already designed.

This particular model has the same case design of the traditional European C128D: a plastic case with a slot in which the detachable keyboard fits, a plastic handle for carrying, and extensions to wrap the power cord on, all to facilitate easy transport. The internal disk drive is also a prototype; the separate disk drive motherboard has artwork declaring the model number to be "1563", although the ROM on board rightfully lists "1581" as the model number of the disk drive. The computer motherboard inside is also unique, being a highly modified prototype PAL motherboard adapted using a series of daughterboards and hand soldered connections to turn it into an NTSC system. Also, oddly enough, neither the front bezel, nor the serial number sticker on the bottom list the right model number of this computer. The moniker "c128d/81" is, therefore, simply a logical convenience.

Being a variation on the Commodore 128, the computer shares all of its characteristics. It is both hardware and software compatible with the C64, sporting 128k of memory, RGBI monitor compatibility for sharp video output, a separate keyboard, upgraded BASIC 7.0, 2mhz 8502 processor, machine language monitor, fast serial communication, and Commodore's famous SID sound chip.

Statistics and features:

CPU: CSG 8502, Z-80, and 6502 RAM: 128 kilobytes

ROM: MANY kilobytes

Video: MOS 8564 "VIC-II", MOS 8563 CTRC

Sound: MOS 8580 "SID"

Ports: MOS 6526 CIA x2
Keyboard: Full-sized 93 key QWERTY Other Hardware: Internal 1563 (1581) disk drive

Personal Note: This amazing piece was graciously sold to me at cost by Al Anger. As the C128D is the best computer ever made, I am quite indebted to him for this opportunity.

Click here to return to the main pictures page

If you find anything in here you have questions or comments about, feel free to leave me email right here.

To return to my home page, click here.