Last weekend I attended the 10th Oklahoma Video Game Exhibition (OVGE). We had a modest vendor/exhibitor table, showcasing my recent C64C Gold mod and a variety of old logo t-shirts for sale. (Related: I wrote a simple one-file C64 demo for the show here.)
The C64C was an update to the C64 that brought a more modern look (for its time) to the Commodore 64. After Commodore finished off its stock of motherboards, it also got a new updated “short board” that cost a lot less to produce. By the time the Commodore 64 was discontinued, they were able to make them at about $20 a pop. Pretty good for something that retailed for about $100.
These short boards were not actually 100% compatible with the older version. Many of the parts were not interchangeable with older boards, and the famous SID chip was actually changed. (If you’re curious, you can test this with a C64C by playing Impossible Mission. If you can’t hear “stay awhile…. staaaaay forever!” then you have the updated SID chip.) Compatibility with the older C64 approached 100% but didn’t quite get there.
Anyway, this particular model has one great advantage: lots of empty space under the keyboard for modifications! So below is what I did with mine, in video and in higher resolution pictures.
- Added a reset switch.
- Replaced the KERNAL ROM with JiffyDOS. (My board did not have socketed chips, so I had to remove the old ROM and install a socket.)
- Internally mounted a uIEC/SD — a great sd2iec-based device for mass storage from Retro Innovations. Easily the most gratifying part of this project!
- Installed all four control switches for the uIEC/SD, too, and
- Gave it a gold paint job with a shiny clear coat.
Video and Pictures follow.
In addition to tinkering with old computer hardware, I also like to play at photography.
One of my earliest mod projects is Commie Red.
- Reset Switch
- Sports-car Red Paint Job
Also, this is the C64 that gets the 1541 Ultimate, which you can see in these pictures. My 1541 Ultimate has a specially designed case for earlier units that did not come with a cartridge case.
There are some flaws in my work — I was a bit impatient to complete the painting part of the project and did not take the time to paint the inside of the case first. So if you look for it, you can see the original color in some areas where the case separates.