Pet Docking Station Was Two Decades In The Making

There are some projects which once might have been entirely appropriate, but which now seem sacrilegious. [Dave Luna]’s PC docking station in a Commodore Pet 64 case might at first sight seem to be one of them, but there’s a little more to it than gutting a cherished retrocomputer.

A much younger [Dave] had a dead Pet 64, and because over two decades ago such a thing was considered junk, set about converting it to a PC case. In the way of all ambitious projects it stalled, so here in 2022 he was starting with the metal case and keyboard of a Pet 64 rather than the full computer.

Into the case went a small color TFT monitor, a USB3 hub, a DisplayLink adapter, and and an Arduino Micro doing the job of USB-ifying the Commodore keyboard. The result is a pretty cool docking station, but one which he admits isn’t as nice to use as he’d like. Viewed through rose tinted glasses any PET was an amazing machine in its day, but a slightly lackluster keyboard and a tiny screen don’t quite have the same allure in a world of 4K monitors. Still, we’d have one on our desk.

The Pet appears in quite a few projects that have made it to these pages, for example showing YouTube videos.

Continue reading “Pet Docking Station Was Two Decades In The Making”


Computer Docking Plug Alleviates Docking Station Woes

If you’ve ever owned a laptop with a docking station you can certainly attest to how something so simple can make your life easier. Just pop in the laptop and your external monitor(s), mouse, keyboard, and whatever are all ready to go. When it’s time to leave, just pop the laptop out and be on your way. [Chris] uses a Macbook for work and has to plug and unplug 4 connectors several times a day. This is just plain annoying and even more annoying when he accidentally plugs his two external monitors into the wrong ports. Commercially available docking stations are very expensive so [Chris] scratched his head and came up with a neat DIY docking station alternative.

All of the cords that regularly need connecting and disconnecting are conveniently located next to each other. He took some moldable plastic and surrounded all of his cord connectors while they were plugged into his laptop. Once the plastic hardened, all 4 cables can be plugged/unplugged at once. The plastic holds the connectors at the right orientation and spacing so [Chris’s] monitors will never again be plugged into the wrong ports. This is a great idea and we’d love to see a 3D printed version made for the docking-station-less computer users.

via [LifeHacker]