…well almost… The machine still needs some new colored keycaps (hurry up Phase5!!!), a domed sticker at the bottom and a cold reset button using an Arduino Pro Mini. But I gotta have some modding goals for 2016, right? This machine has been build from a broken Assy 250425 Rev. A breadbox. The motherboard was the the first one I bought when I picked up the interest for the Commodore 64. It had a black screen which was easily fixed with a new replacement PLA (MOS 906114) at U17. The case was from another repair job that I ended up painting and decided to use it to host the PCB. The entire ‘Mod of the year 2015’ mod is a compilation of several previously described mods as well as a few new ones. I’ve worked on the machine for quite a while and eventually decided to finish it so I could do a little post about it. This is the complete list of what I have done on the breadbox so far:
The breadbox case was really dirty when I got it, so I thought, ‘Hey, let’s see what 90 minutes at 60°C (140°F) in the dishwasher will do to it’. It was certainly clean when it came out, but the color of the case had faded and looked really bad. So I painted it with some Molotow spray paint in anthracite grey. In my own opinion, the result is not that bad! Now I just need some orange function keys and a stack of black keys to finish the looks of the keyboard.
The machine has a sid2sid pcb installed so I can play stereo SIDs from the HVSC SID collection. To connect both channels (left & right) a pair of stereo phono RCA jacks have been mounted on the back of the case. All I have to do is attach some phono cables to my stereo receiver and I’m ready to go nostalgic!
A new Commodore 64 label from Ebay was also added…
Internally installed SD2IEC PCB for all my gaming needs. The SD card can be inserted/released without opening the case. The green and red LEDs (disk activity and disk load error) have been mounted to the metal bracket as well.
I still have to make a 3D domed sticker for the bottom, but having just a few copies made is ridiculously expensive! I hope to find someone who will print them at a reasonable price in 2016.
The PCB is an Assy 250425 Rev. A and it is in pretty good shape. This is the inside of the machine. I have tried to make the cable mess as neat as possible.
The SD2IEC is a mass storage device which uses a SD card for data storage (i.e. games and programs) and interfaces with the IEC bus. The most common use of the SD2IEC is as a replacement of a Commodore 1541 diskette drive. It does not emulate the diskette drives completely like the 1541 Ultimate II, but it reads quite a few .d64 and .prg files. And most importantly, it supports JiffyDOS natively!
I got the PCB from thefuturewas8bit which carries it in various versions (internal & external cased versions). I wanted an internal install of the SD2IEC and I did not want to make any cuts to the case itself. I found the best location to be at the metal bracket between the joystick ports. A small rectangular piece was cut out to make just enough room for the device to stay clear of the top part of the case.
The internal install version has a pin header for attaching a disk swap button and two LEDs (usually a green and a red). The disk swap button is essential whenever a game comes on more than one disk. Pressing the button will swap the disk and automatically load the second disk. To use this feature, special files must be created and placed in the specific game directory. To reassemble the diodes of the original Commodore 1541 Diskette drive I installed a red LED which flashes whenever there is a disk load error and a green LED which shows disk activity.
The SD2IEC must be soldered to the 5V+, Data, CLK, ATN and Ground lines of the IEC (Serial Port). The grey wires are all for the SD2IEC, while the blue wire is the sound signal for the SID2SID stereo connection.
The SD2IEC is fixed to the motherboard using the screw holes for the joystick ports.
Two plastic spacers were used to get the position of the device correct.
Two small screws were used to tighten the PCB to the spacers. The SD2IEC comes with two holes already made. However, to get the screws into them, the SD-card slot has to be removed. It took me 3 SD2IEC PCBs before I got reassembled one that would actually work after the operation – so do this mod at your own risk!
The disk swap button goes out the back at a non-occupied hole next to the RF-antenna plug.