Z-80 Video Pak

from DATA 20 Corporation

Image: Z-80 Video Pak, cassette, and box

The Z-80 Video Pak from DATA 20 Corporation is a large cartridge which offers CP/M compatability and an 80-column black-and-white display for the Commodore 64. I picked up this unit at a Salvation Army store and fonud out that it was incomplete. It requires its own power supply, and did not come with its video cable or any CP/M disks (though it may not have originally). Because of this, I have not been able to try it out to see if it works.

The 80 column text mode is supposed to be available to the Commodore 64 in its native mode, but I don't know how it would be done. You see, I also don't have the manual for the unit. :-) The information may be stored on the cassette, which I haven't loaded.

From the back of the Z-80 Video Pak box:


The Z-80 Video Pak brings the convenience of an 80 column screen and the power of a CP/M® compatible operating system to the Commodore 64®.

Designed to be used with a monitor, the Z-80 Video Pak lets the Commodore 64 owner switch to a 40 or 80 column screen in black and white, or back to the standard color screen. All switching is done through software and no cables need to be moved.

The Z-80 Video Pak has its own Z-80 microprocessor and operating system which allows the 64 to run CP/M® software formatted for the Commodore 1541® disk drive. A Terminal mode which brings communication with central data bases is included at no extra cost. The Z-80 Video Pak also supports the advanced screen handling features of all Video Pak models such as erase to end of line, erase to end of screen, and dump screen to printer.

The Z-80 Video Pak is a very large cartridge. The image to the right shows how it appears when plugged into the C64's cartridge port.

There should be a cable leading from the C64's video port into the Z-80 Video Pak, and another cable then leading from the Video Pak to the monitor. The Z-80 Video Pak's video connectors are 5-pin DIN plugs, which may mean that it was sold in the early days of the Commodore 64, before it used separated video and the 8-pin plugs.

Image: Z-80 Video Pak plugged into C64

[Hrothgar's Cool Old Junk Page] 1999-08-23