Digicom Packet System – Radio Ham for Commodore 64

I recently bought a Commodore 64 from ebay.

In the bundle I got this Digicom Packet System. I know it was used by Ham Radio enthusiasts but have no clue how it works.  I know the guy who used to own this Commodore 64 made this box from a kit.

I think it is technically a modem but not 100% sure.

My hope is to get it running again on the C64. I have no idea where to start, that will be a project for a later date.

Main “modem” with wires and disks.

The wires are in really poor condition and will need to be remade.

This is obviously the software.

This disk seems to have radio ham call signs on it.

I was also given various books and manuals. These ones appear to be related to the Digicom.

This document has G4GWK in the corner. I think that is the call sign of the guy who owned my c64.  That call sign is on the front of the device also.

I seem to have various iterations of the software manuals printed in hard copy.

Finally a letter from the guy who supplied the kit originally.

I have updated this post with some further details . . 

21 thoughts on “Digicom Packet System – Radio Ham for Commodore 64”

  1. Hi,

    I love c64 retro packet on hf/vhf and like to make
    the modem at home. i have the am7910 in my shack but i have no
    printlayout. I did see the layout on this site maybe you dan make a scan
    for me ?

    Regards , Ramon

    1. Hey Ramon,
      Sure I would be happy to do you a scan of what I have. Maybe in return you can help me get this thing set up my end?

      Joe

      1. Hi Joe !

        Sry for my late response 🙁 I did nog see any notification on my maillist.
        Whats the probleem on your side ? connections to the rtx ?

        Ramon

      2. Joe,

        Maybe you have WhatsApp, its easier to explain your problems
        and for me to give you tips ! Mail me and we can exchange numbers..

        Gr Ramon

  2. Hi there. I’ve been looking around for a Digicom set-up to get running with a Commodore 64 and a Kenwood TR-7400A. If you end up not pursuing the project of getting the Digicom going, I’d be interested in buying it from you.

  3. As a retro collector and a ham operator I think this is an awesome find.
    Please if you have the time try to share with us some quality scans, especially the pcb and bom page as I would like to recreate it.

    1. Hey Petros, yes I will add some better quality scans / photos in the next few days. I would really like to get this think going. I am not 100% sure what type of radio to use with it. Is it the sort of thing I can pick up easily on ebay? I live near the coast and I believe there are some active morse transmissions nearby and so i’d like to work with those.

      1. I am pretty sure this can work with any cheap handheld vhf/uhf baofeng radio that you can buy on ebay.
        I have seen the ptt speaker microphone pinout and i think it will work.
        Transmitting in vhf/uhf bands requires a licence. Recieving is permitted without one.

        I also found the original schematics, it was published in an italian electronics magazine in 1979!

        1. Hi, ok i will try to see if I can pick one up on ebay. I am keen to get this thing running if I can. I am in the process of resurrecting an old 1541 drive so I can try to see if the software I have works. That said it seems easy to find the digicom software online. I will post images / scans of all I have on the site this week including some simple tests of that box I have.

  4. I think it will work as most baofeng handheld radios use the same jack for ppt speaker microphone.
    Dont forget to order a cheap ppt sp/mic, you will need to cut the cable and use it on your modem.

  5. Hello, I ran DigiCom64 back many years ago. It was an incredible Ham Radio Packet Radio program! I’d really like to get a system set up again, I just can’t find a copy of the program for the C64. I loved the way that it had a special 3 x 7 font that would let you display 80 column lines on a monochrome monitor.

    August KG7BZ

    1. Hi I may be able to share a copy of the software with you. I think I have digicom v4 and v5 somewhere. Do you still have the hardware?

      1. No I don’t have the modem hardware anymore, but it’s real easy to make. Schematics for different versions are all over the Internet. I think I remember that only a couple versions had the 80-column operation, don’t remember which. I’m working on getting my C64 systems up and running again, have found v2, 5 and 6 of the software. I’ll make a modem and see if I can get the whole thing going again. In the past, I even built a modem and radio into an SX64, the radio sat in the compartment above the disk drive. Email me at kg7bz at arrl.net and I’ll get back to you from my real email address. Or you have it already.

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