Extreme refurbishing: Episode 1 – Commodore 64

… or a story about C64 straight from a Monster Truck

Fail of the month


Last month, I’ve bought quite a few retro computers.
There was one quite special so I decided I’ll write a blog post about it 😉

That was a unit that most probably served as a fuel injection controller on some sort of monster truck … lol.
This project was originally called – C64 The Mud Crawler

Here are some pics of it.

The mainboard was so corroded that the power button simply fell off – ZOMG :O

Few shots of the mainboard itself.

… and here is proof that Commodore had a CPU codename SandyBridge waaaay before 2005!

The repair

I was really curious if this unit actually works so, I soldered on a power button prior to cleaning.

… after a while … the moment of truth … aaaand

My jaw dropped several kilometers underground and I had to look at an empty whiskey glass to get it back in its place 😀

The C64 that you’ve seen on the above screenshots actually worked !!!
That was a moment when I decided that this particular unit has to be rewarded somehow – it deserved special treatment and a few other upgrades …

Cleaning and mods

As usual, I’ve started off with cleaning it, replacing very rusty parts like the modulator, etc., putting sockets, and installing a switch for a flash ROM – switchable Kernal mod.

The case was a bit tatty so, I’ve decided that it will be painted. Obviously, black matt 😉

Another problem was a damaged solder mask so to prevent further damage I’ve covered a mainboard with a transparent paint

I’ve installed an SD2IEC in a standard way. This time it is my own layout that I’ve presented in one of my previous blog posts

Some time ago I’ve figured that it could be nice to 3D print SD card socket lips. I did a quick CAD drawing and 3D printed a few. Later, I painted it in black matt.

It was a cool add-on to this project 🙂

Keyboard fights

This project was inspired by beautiful C64 renders made by Thomas Koch.

I decided that I’ll modify it a bit. After some tests …

… I chose this color 😉

Later, It turned out that this color is extremely hard to photograph.

Work in progress.

Nearly done.

With missing spacebar.

Finally assembled 🙂

I also wanted to install a nice, orange Power LED.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. The only matching color that I’ve found, was in a front bezel of an old Dell server 😀
Obviously, the Dell server didn’t need that LED so I’ve scavenged it quickly 😀

I just needed to make it square and I did it in the following way.

The last thing that I’ve added, were black screws 😉

Finally, the product of extreme refurbishing.

That’s it! I hope you like it 😉

PS. … yes, those paint stains on keycaps were corrected a bit later 😉


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7 thoughts on “Extreme refurbishing: Episode 1 – Commodore 64

  1. I saw your video about it on Youtube. Your channel is Retro Recipes, right? That’s you, right? =P

    1. Nope, That is Perifractics channel. Chris is a friend of mine and he creates videos based on my posts 🙂

    1. Yeah, it is Duplicolor. There is a paint number on one of the pics. As a primer, I’ve used a transparent fast-drying primer from Motip IIRC

  2. Very good work, looks superb. Especiall i like the orange key-color. I wonder, how it was possibly, that the letters shines through the color and are still readable. Or this are a kind of labels and i have overread something (just cross-read the text).

    Looks really good. I have an Amiga-500 here, which i painted. Case in blue and keys in white. But i must inscribe all the keys again then with a toothpick and black color, cause nothing shined through this white color. But the selfwritten letters and numbers looks not bad actually.

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