Commodore Computer 3000H Video Game Console Hardware Review

Commodore Computer 3000H Video Game Console Hardware Review


Welcome to the BreadBox the channel
dedicated to Commodore Computers. Today we’re going to look at the Commodore
3000H, Commodore’s first game console machine. You may thought of the
Commodore GS released in 1990 as Commodore’s first foray into console
arena but it wasn’t. The 3000H was released about fourteen years
earlier around 1976. It was a four player, four game console machine & in
essence though it was a Pong clone. After the acquisition of MOS
Technologies Commodore joined the other 80+ manufacturers that released
their own version of Pong. But the 3000H wasn’t Commodore’s only Pong clone at the time. They also released the 2000K , which was also a four player, four game console
machine. It consisted of the same games but had a new design case & improved
control controllers. These controllers were all separate to the machine as we
look at the 3000H you’ll see why this was significant. Before we open up my
Commodore 3000H though, it’s pretty dirty this is not sun damage you can see
rather it’s 40 years of grime that’s built up on this machine so we’ll give
it a quick spruce up and hopefully make it look like new again. I did this
with the additional controllers for the Commodore 3000h and they look great .
They were the same shade of yuck when I got them so let’s get into this! What I
use on my initial cleanup on my Commodore’s is AJAX with Baking Soda
this stuff is great as it has baking soda which is like a natural cleaner but it
gets rid of the grime buildup on my Commodores & most importantly it
doesn’t scratch them. I’ll get started on the wired controller first of all. Just
two screws hold this together. The 3000H is quite an unusual machine
as it has this dedicated wired controller or paddle but also has two
additional controllers that you plug into the back of the 3000H…but as you’ll
see there is a four player machine… the fourth player uses a paddle directly
built into the 3000H itself. This should just pop open, as you can see
this is a simple sliding mechanism which you use to guide your man up and down the screen I will remove this so we can take the
slider mechanism out of this case and just three screws hold this in place. It
is basic simple (I’ll get rid of those) but it does the job it’s designed to do.
Now it’s time to crack out the Ajax with Baking Soda it doesn’t take long to
clean these up it just takes a little bit of elbow grease
and straightaway you start to see results. So while I’m doing this, here’s
some more interesting information about the 3000H, I’ll be opening up the
Machine soon so here’s this the nuts and bolts so to speak. As you’ll see soon
the 3000H was powered by a MOS 7601 microcontroller. This is a PAL
machine so it uses the 7601 but if this was a NTSC machine I’ll be using a
MOS 7600. The 3000H is powered by a nine volt DC power supply, but here’s an
interesting twist about that power supply which I will share with you in
more detail soon, because according to the 3000H manual the mains adapter
or the power supply unit was an ‘optional extra’ so how could you power the 3000H
without plugging it into the wall? We’ll have a look very soon. See
straightway you start to see a difference really just like new again well pretty close
there’s a couple of marks I couldn’t get rid of but I’m pleased with the results.
There’s a slight bit of discoloration but otherwise it looks great. Now onto
the console itself. Four screws hold this console together so we’ll get it open
and should be pretty easy to pop open once I get these screws out. As I
mentioned I should be able to just pop this open. Okay that took a little bit longer
than I anticipated but hey we’re got it open. These wires they’re pretty tight so
I’ll just leave it like this. All of the sounds of the 3000H
come out of this internal dedicated speaker. I tried to get the board out of
the case so could actually take a right apart but I couldn’t get past this power
connection here I couldn’t undo it so this is as far as
I can go with taking this 3000H apart. As I mentioned this is a PAL machine so
under this heat sink is the MOS 7601 microcontroller. In my research online about this micro controller, it was different to many of the 1970s Pong chips that we’re
out there which had their game had coded into the system’s logic. The 7600 in the
7601 were basic micro processors that read the game instructions from a
special 512 word ROM which appeared to be internal to that chip To connect your 3000H to your TV it
has a standard hardwired RF cable. The 9 volt DC power supply
connects to the back of the 3000H but this one has a UK plug which I can’t use
here in New Zealand. So how am I going to use this console without buying a new
power supply unit? No worries because the 3000H is also battery-powered it takes
six AA batteries (1.5 volts each) which makes that the nine volts to run
the console unit. The console controls from top to bottom left to right are all
written in English and also in German. We have the SERVE
button the RESET button the game control button which has the options to choose
between Target,Tennis, Soccer and Squash but then you also have the Serve switch
which is automatically set to Manual but you can change to Automatic serve. You
have the Power on/off button you have the forth controller or Bat Control
sliding mechanism for the fourth player you have the Speed Handicap where you
can choose between Amateur and Professional and then also you have the
Option Selector. On the rear of the 3000H from left to right there’s a wire
heading out to the dedicated wired controller or paddle, there’s the power
input socket there’s a five Pin DIN socket for the rifle or pistol accessory…
I’ll show you more about this in a few seconds because it’s quite unique. Then
also you have the five pin DIN socket for the additional two paddles and
finally you have the RF cable going off (to the TV) The optional rifle / pistol
light gun could be brought from your local Commodore reseller. What
made this optional extra interesting though was you could use it as a light
pistol but if you added the rifle butt you can also use it as a light rifle. This
was needed in either format to be able to play the target game. Let’s plug in
the paddles and play a game or two on the Commodore 3000H. The additional pedals
plug into the five Pin DIN socket that I showed in the back. Being upside down
I’ve lost my bearings, okay yeah it plugs into here. This is now the
complete set up minus the very rare light pistol / light rifle. In this format it
gives you four player games you can choose a course between the four
different games you have the soccer tennis and squash which we can play
without the rifle. Lets get started. Initially I tried demonstrating the
games on my own… one player didn’t quite work in fact when I was playing soccer I
managed to score a goal in my own goal and I realized okay I need to have
someone else here playing with me so I asked my gaming buddy, my wife to help me out now this made a lot more sense and it was a lot more easier to try that out the different games the games were really
simple but there were a lot of fun even my wife actually enjoyed playing them. We checked out all the games we could obviously for the target game we needed thelight rifle or light pistol to play it but this is what looks like and you
should the little target with your light gun next was TENNIS SOCCER or football and
finally SQUASH. And even when I finished my wife continued playing so it really
demonstrates the Commodore 3000H must have given hours of great fun for the
whole family back in 1976 to 1977. Hey, thanks for watching this video I hope
you enjoyed it please like and SUBSCRIBE and click that NOTIFICATION BELL for
seeing new videos they’re coming out very soon and also check out my other
videos on my channel as well they’re all about Commodore computers. Until
next time, See You later!

3 thoughts on “Commodore Computer 3000H Video Game Console Hardware Review

  • November 17, 2019 at 1:53 am
    Permalink

    Fascinating! I never knew about this. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  • November 17, 2019 at 7:58 am
    Permalink

    Great video pity you didn't have the optional gaming light rifle it would have been good to see.

    Reply
  • November 17, 2019 at 8:51 am
    Permalink

    Time to get a CRT!

    Reply

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