We’re big fans of taking old computers and giving them a new lease on life, but only when it is done respectfully. That means no cutting, no hot glue, and no gouging out bits to make the new computer fit. It’s best if it can be done in a way that the original parts can be restored if required.
This Commodore 64 to Raspberry Pi conversion from [Mattsoft] definitely fits our criteria here, as it uses the old keyboard, joystick connectors and output portholes for the required authentic look. It does this through the clever use of a couple of 3D-printed parts that hold the Raspberry Pi and outputs in place, mounting them to use the original screw holes in the case.
Combine the Pi with a Keyrah V2 to connect the C64 keyboard and a PowerBlock to juice up all of the parts, and you’ve got a fully updated C64 that can use the keyboard, joysticks or other peripherals, but which also comes with a HDMI port, USB and other more modern goodies.
[Mattsoft] suggests using Combian 64, a C64 emulator for the Pi for the authentic look and feel. Personally, I might use it as a thin client to the big-ass PC with 16 CPU cores and 32GB of memory that’s hidden in my basement, but that’s just because I enjoy confusing people.
27 thoughts on “Commodore 64 To Raspberry Pi Conversion Is Respectful & Complete”
I now regret getting rid of my C-64 collection.
If you are in the UK Sore Thumb Retro Games can source for you, https://www.facebook.com/SoreThumbRetroGames/ , they have a wall of C64 stuff, often boxed. I got two from them, Early Breadbin and later C128 style as I wanted both sid chip models, total was UKpounds 60,
really, like, now?!
Now?!?!?!…. As in, like… now????
When will then be now?
If not “now”, when?
The funny thing is you don’t hear much about all the other computers Commodore made (Amiga notwithstanding).
Well, us VIC-20 owners are in Denial (http://sleepingelephant.com/denial/)
It must be a PET peeve for many?
Can you be more precise about not hearing?
It mostly depends on how willing you are to listen. Retro computing never have been as active as the past few years.
All sorts of expansions are made for the VIC20. All sorts of games are written the C64, VIC20, PET, C16/+4.
The C128 seems to be the least experimented with but I’m sure people will pick it up soon. For the Amiga series there are some huge leaps made forward with the viper boards.
The only reason why people are cutting up C64’s is because they are the cheapest ones. So If you want to cut up a 8-bit computer what do you destroy in your quest to the ultimate hack… not the PET, it’s such an iconic design. Not the VIC20, it’s so adorable/friendly, not the C16 although I do need parts for it to fix the +4, nahhh, that can wait. Ehhmmm the C128 then… nope… that one still works as a C64, and if it dies… it will have 2 lifes left (Z80 mode and C128 mode). Yep… it will be the C64 that must go, never liked the brown-ish case anyway.
“Retro computing never have been as active as the past few years.”
Because, in years past, there were no computers to be “retro”?
bah! Keyrah V2 +shipping would cost me more than the C64 did !
the free write-up here and dude’s conversion details/photos there are an excellent value.
i came here for the bracket. so clean. better than duct tape and cardboard i built
Is that Keyrah open source ? Of course we can build something similar, but it it already exists with the bugs ironed out it would be easier to build that.
It should be easy to adapt TMK (https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard) to the C64 keyboard if not.
So, reading the title, I was wondering…
Why would anyone want to convert a Commodore 64 to a Raspberry Pi?
I mean, this late in the game.
Isn’t that like converting a 1984 Testarossa to a 2008 Tercel?
Probably because the motherboard gave out. There’s a PLA in every C64, and they die with age. Probably the most common failure. But the rams also commonly fail. In any case, the most economic way to go, is to sell the VIC and SID chips on EBay, scrap the motherboard, and use the proceeds from the EBay sale to buy a Raspberry PI and a Keyrah. :)
although someone will soon draw up a full replacement one to original spec like that outfit did for the ibm pc
Also a lot of C64s get fried because “transmit 115v on the 5v rail” is the failure mode of the old power supplies.
Since everything else is off the shelf: a job well done on those 3D printed brackets.
I don’t I’d considered it a hack. It’s just another instance of someone stuffing a Raspi in place of older hardware. No programming or h/w design necessary.
It’;s certainly not retro-computing.
You’re doing a good job of keeping that gate,
A way more authentic build than the c64 mini, which has a non-working keyboard.
There is the best Retro PI c64 case: http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?104223-Raspberry-pi-Commodore-C64-cases-with-working-power-LED
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