Making A Commodore 64 Portable


This is [Wpqrek’s] Commodore 64 modified to go on the road with him. The elderly machine has a special place in his heart as it was what he learned to code on. He performed a series of hacks which house everything necessary to use the machine inside the original case.

Obviously the hack that has the most effect when it comes to portability was swapping a display for the small LCD mounted above the number keys. This was a pretty simple process because the screen, originally intended for a rear view camera in a vehicle, already had a composite video input. To emulate the floppy disc drive he’s using an SD card via an sd2iec board which he laid out himself. Rounding up the alterations is a stereo SID. The second channel uses the pre-amp circuit cut from a second C64. This audio hardware will let him do cool things like playing some classic Zeppelin.

You can get a video tour of these alterations after the break.

20 thoughts on “Making A Commodore 64 Portable

  1. This would be really great to do to the C64DTV (which I got for Xmas a few years ago). You could do something like a Gameboy Advance SP, clamshell case. You’d need to customise the SD-card interface to connect to the DTV’s expansion solder point, and fix a nice PS/2 socket to it for a keyboard. That’d be something to be proud of!

    1. Wait, are you serious? I thought this was pretty awesome when I saw it. Stuffing a tiny emulated chip like the C64DTV has into a case made for such chips wouldn’t impress me that much. Also, would really carry around a PS/2 keyboard with something the size of a Gameboy Advance SP?

    2. Or . . . How about putting it into an EeePC-701 case? You’d have the keyboard and SD slot? Converting the video to work with the salvaged display would be the trick there.

        1. Q: How the heck is 320×240 “high resolution”?
          A: When it’s a 4.3 inch screen. That’d be around 90 dpi, I estimate. Similar to the 22″ LCD monitor I’m using now.

  2. What is that C64 model? It’s got the color scheme of a C64C, but with a breadbox-style case. If this is indeed an original C64 case, then as cool as this mod is, he’s destroyed an exceptionally rare Commodore product.

    1. Is a standart c64g model aka aldi 64 , made for the german marked as they had a very popular keyboard add on that only fitted the old case and the new newer flat design, so they made those in the same colour scheme for the german market

  3. Commodore showed a VIC-20 set up something like this at some point in the mid-eighties, probably with a CRT from a video camera viewfinder. I remember a picture of it with a display on the upper right-hand corner of the case.

  4. Nice :) Kinda reminds me of that move The Explorers The kid in that had some computer that ran on a 9V and when they pulled it, the ship dropped Never mind him mystically powering a CRT in a space ship made out of kid junk lol Good movie iirc.

    To the builder: Congrats on keeping your baby alive and portable!

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