Commodore 64 Project: Part 3: Parts Unknown

31 08 2015

As I said in the first part of the series, I’m not the only one who still holds enthusiasm for the Commodore 64. One of the companies still making products for the old girl is Individual Computers. And one of the products they still make that works with the Commodore 64 is the Keyrah.

The Keyrah provides an interface between the Commodore’s proprietary keyboard connector and allows it to be used as a USB keyboard. This is essential for this project as it allows me to, inside the case connect the keyboard to the motherboard. As an added bonus, the Keyrah has two joystick ports mostly compatible with the original C64/Atari 2600 joysticks.

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My Keyrah was purchased at the start of this project, and thus is the V1 version of the hardware. The more recent version incorporates added features, most notably a switch where the C64’s original power switch was located that acts as a ACPI power button. On my version that switch is a toggle between two keymaps.

I also managed to salvage the old DVD drive from my HTPC project and planned to reuse it for the Commodore. Like in the mini-itx.com project, I would have the DVD tray pop out of the left side of the case.

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However not salvaged from the older project was the hard drive. An alternative had to be found. Keeping with the ongoing theme of obsolete technology, I purchased a IDE compact flash adapter and a 64 GB Compact Flash card. The price point and the fact it was a “64” made me a little giddy. Also, as I had anticipated I would probably want more USB ports than the EPIA provided, I also bought an internal USB hub.

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As the power supply was very specific to the old case and also very dead I bought a Pico-PSU. These devices are amazingly compact and perfect for the job.

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At this point in the project the single greatest expense has been the Keyrah, and the total bill (if the EPIA is discounted) was under $100. I’m feeling pretty confident and happy about where this is all heading.


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