Someone built a Commodore 64 from mostly new parts

What the hell?! The perfect-selling residence desktop laptop of all time, the Commodore 64 continues to be beloved 40 years after its debut. An everlasting signal of its recognition is the devotion seen within the customers who preserve the C64 {{hardware}} and software program right now. A do-it-yourself challenge to rebuild the system exhibits the depth of this neighborhood.

A modder has efficiently constructed a totally new, working Commodore 64 utilizing principally new parts. The challenge documentation comprises helpful info for these considering repairing or researching system {{hardware}}.

Modder Celso Martinho constructed a duplicate of the C64 nearly from scratch to check his mastery of the retro laptop. With out dwelling on rebuilding the system because it was in 1982, Martinho determined to make use of as a lot new supplies as doable and make his “Frankenstein 64” simply repairable.

The circuit board, resistors, capacitors, passive semiconductors, board connectors, widespread logic chips, and IC sockets are all new. A lot of the new components come from a Commodore 64 components equipment that customers sometimes purchase to restore older programs.

For another parts, Martinho discovered trendy substitutes. He used a substitute for the C64’s programmable logic array, which connects its processor to its reminiscence, as a result of that is one of many components that often dies over time. It is also a component that was beforehand reverse-engineered by one other modder, so customers can construct new fashions right now.

Martinho did one thing comparable with the sound chip of the C64 and the ability swap of the Philips monitor. Additionally, the brand new energy provide replacements are safer than the originals.

Fanatics can purchase trendy replacements for the C64 casing as a result of somebody found the unique molds in 2014. A number of colours can be found right now and Martinho selected the clear model.

Nonetheless, some components are not made and may subsequently solely be present in previous {{hardware}}. Martinho purchased them on-line or salvaged them from his previous C64s that did not work.

These embody two MOS 6526 Advanced Interface Adapters, the C64’s MOS 6569 Video Interface Chip II (VIC-II) graphics chip, eight 4164 DRAM chips, a Motorola MC4044, and the C64’s MSO 6510 CPU. There are FPGA-based substitutes for the VIC-II, however Martinho does not take into account them prepared for prime time.

The challenge additionally consists of three ROM chips with no trendy replacements: two MOS 2364 ROMs for the core interpreter and Kernal working system, and one MOS 2332 character set ROM. For these, Martinho burned unique C64 ROM dumps into EPROMs. He additionally eliminated and cleaned the keys of an genuine C64 keyboard.

Sadly, Frankenstein 64 didn’t produce a playable picture the primary time Martinho turned it on. After months of trial and error he fastened the issue by changing the 74LS193 splitter. Lastly, Martinho examined the system with a diagnostic cartridge that labored completely, as did all of the video games he performed on it.

Informal customers planning to revisit the C64 will seemingly wish to buy the 2019 re-release from Retro Video video games Ltd. It comes with all the fundamental options of the genuine, 64 built-in video games, a USB port for loading new video games, and firmware (together with software program applications). residence) and an HDMI output for contemporary shows.