Refurbishing Six Commodore 64s in Parallel

[Drygol] found himself with six Commodore 64’s in various states of disrepair. Because batch work is often more efficient, he detailed the process of restoring all of them in parallel in this one-, two-, three-part series.

The first step was to whiten the cases. Old cases turn yellow from the degradation of the fire retardant additives in the plastic. The proven method to fix this is with a paste called Retr0bright. [Drygol] used hair bleaching paste which is very similar. The cases came out nicely whitened from their treatment.

Next he repaired the keyboard PCB and whitened the keys as well. Drinking was involved, but it all came out okay. The circuit boards were cleaned and inspected. There were a few corroded spots, broken chips, and bad solder joints to be repaired. A few common mods were also installed.

In the final part of the series two of the C64s have SD cards installed into them. A few interesting fixes were done to repair broken plastics. Lastly the two worst cases were painted. In the end [Drygol] found himself with six perfectly working and attractive C64s. Who know’s what he’ll do with them, but we all know that was not the point.

12 thoughts on “Refurbishing Six Commodore 64s in Parallel

  1. [Drygol] fixed the PCBs (broken chips and solder joints), and also modded-in SD cards for two of them.
    Turned six broken ugly things into six working aesthetically-pleasing working devices. Great hacking IMO.

  2. Nice job in restoring these nice machines. Good job in saving them from the dumpster.
    Adding the SD2IEC is a nice feature (although seeing a case being beautifully restored and then “destroyed” with an extra slot for the card and holes for the LED’s, it hurts my retro heart… a little bit).

    Does any body know where he bought the “expression (cream hydrogen peroxide)”?

    Does any body has a tip/suggestion regarding how to color the keys without destroying the print on it?
    The beautiful blue C64 has still the original key colors, at home I have a similar situation, a black painted C64 (painted many many years ago way before retrobright was created). Somehow, it does not look really finished (with the key still being the same color). Using the grey C16 keys is not an option (these keys are not completely identical regarding their symbols). Also an old C64 keyboard with brown keys is not an option.
    Does anybody know of transparent paint perhaps or have experience with it?

        1. Hey , watch out with h2o2 above 10% in any form. It is really dangerous stuff. Oxidizes flesh very easily.
          30% is a killer and also quite unusable for whitening since it evaporates to fast while sunbathing

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