Commodore 64 – The great refurbishing – PART THREE

… or how to use a heart surgeon tool to fix C64!

Part three

Ha! So part three it is … Yoda said.
Well, he didn’t say it but just imagine he did ok?
Yup, this is part three and last part of the Great refurbishing of six Commodore 64 units. However, more C64s are piling up so it is not a final post about mods of these great computers!

In the first part, I’ve covered the whitening process and cleaning in general. The second part was about minor PCB repairs, SwinSID, and ROM changes.
The third part will be about case mods and wraps it all up. Let’s begin!

Further case mods

Just to remind you, I have five C64 C and one G unit(LoL).
After cleaning and whitening, I had to prepare slots and holes for SD2IEC internal installation. SD2IEC was made by myself but I’ll cover a full story about it in future posts. Here is a photo of it.

In a version G getting a proper place for SD2IEC was an easy task since there is plenty of space, but just remember to use Dremel-like tools only when you are sober 😀
While cutting I didn’t notice that I am killing a case with collet cover :/

I decided that LEDs and DiskSwap switch should be placed here:

I’ve also added a UV LED instead of standard green so it makes this particular C64 the first one that has enough computing powaah to test if money notes are legit! 😀
A shot from an inside.

Here is a view of a finished G unit and if you want to see a video of it working just have a look at PART TWO

SD2IEC in Version C

To connect SD2IEC you need five wires. Obviously, a power supply consists of +5V and GND and also ATN, CLK, and DAT signals. On a motherboard, I connected it like this.

Heres a shot after installing SD2IEC inside a case.

SD card slot was put on a bottom-right part of the case.

Holes for LEDs and disk swap buttons were placed here.

Some more fixes

I didn’t notice it earlier but I had a few mounting brackets broken.

It had to be fixed. I could have used acetone or soldering iron as usual but this time, I figured that I can make perfect use of the surgeon’s cutting tool.
I’ve got this puppy from one of my biggest friends who actually is a heart surgeon —> (Cheers Sebkos :).

I did a bit of hot modeling and It worked like a charm. I am not the best operator of this kind of tool yet, but still, this work resulted in a very strong bond.

Another issue was with mismatching cases.
Five out of six C64s had matching cases, however, the last one had the lower part of the case from the early C cases series and the upper part from the newer one. I decided that I’ll do minor changes to it and install this little part shown below.

After a bit of cleaning and taking measurements I’ve heated up metal thingies (I dunno what its proper name 😀 any native speakers around ? ) with a blow torch and stuck it to a case.

To make it more solid I’ve applied a bit of an epoxy resin.

Paint job

I wrote in previous parts of c64 refurbishing that two of the worst cases will be painted. Yes, yes I know .. a lot of you would not paint it but still wanted to experiment and see how it’ll look.

I didn’t want to remove badges since they deform very easily. Instead, I’ve covered it with protective paper tape.

Now I could easily apply the first layer – undercoating

I chose a nice looking metallic blue color from Motip.
I was hoping to achieve an effect that would slightly change color with different light sources, It turned out to be a good choice. You will see that in the photos below.
Also, this is typical car paint and that is why I needed undercoating in the first place.

White LED

Cases had to be left for drying so I had a bit of time to complete these builds with one final piece.
Originally cases are fitted with dull green LEDs.
At first, I wanted to put blue LEDs instead of green but later I figured that warm white would look neater.
The problem was that I had only SMD packaged white ones so I had to implement a cunning plan! < INSERT EVIL LAUGHTER HERE >

I started with this:

A plan was to use an old green LED because it nicely fits in the original hole. That required a bit of work with a metal file, gluing it together, and testing.

Now with LEDs finished I was ready for final assembly so a few hours later…


End results can be watched below.

C64 C White – The great refurbishing part 3 from pit on Vimeo.

C64 C Blue – The great refurbishing part 3 from pit on Vimeo.

This is pretty much the end of this long story with these six retro machines but no worries, new stories are piling 😉
I’m like … ready for more!


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