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Restoring a Commodore 64

Irestoring a commodore 64 won an ebay auction for on an entire lot of Commodore Computer gear. In this bunch was a very sad C64 breadbin, that looked like it had known better days. It looks like my next project will be restoring a Commodore 64!

Restoring a Commodore 64

There in the box was a sad, and very abused Commodore 64. It was dirty, had stains on it and it smelled funny. The auction photos showed that it was missing 2 keys, but when I unpacked it, it was missing 4 keys. She had definitely seen better days.

abused commodore 64

I disassembled the case, removed the keyboard, and motherboard. Then I washed the case in the kitchen sink with Dawn and a soft sponge, focusing on the stains with a green scratch pad. It was gross.

Now it was time to remedy the 4 broken keys. As I examined the keyboard, I could see it was filthy and when I blew it out, some dead bugs came out. Oh heck no!

Luckily, I had a spare C64 keyboard, from another auction of parts, that was only missing 1 key (oddly enough it was the “1” key).

c64 keyboard

spare keyboard, before I cleaned it up

I decided to swap the spare keyboard with the original keyboard and replace the missing key on that keyboard.  It was much cleaner. I removed the keys from the gross keyboard, washed them then put them in my spare parts stash. Then I fixed the missing “1”.

refurbished commodore 64 keyboard

wish I had take a pic before putting it back in the case

After cleaning all the contacts and contact points with Isopropyl alcohol, it was time to reassemble the keyboard.

It looks like something was spilled on this computer in the past, so I spent time with alcohol and cotton swabs cleaning up the motherboard, what a mess.

It was time to put this thing back together. I made sure to remove the foil / cardboard RF shield that typically sits on top of the chips and board. It doesn’t offer any protection but does cause for some pretty major heat build up.

I wish I’d have taken pictures during the process, but I rushed into this emergency rescue and wasn’t thinking.

Now I need to figure out a good answer to 5 1/4 disk storage. Do they even make 5 1/4 disk storage solutions anymore?

c64-before-after

Top: Before; Bottom: After. It didn’t change color, I’m not sure what camera they used for the ebay auction photos!

Outstanding tasks:

  • Install heat sink on the IC/Chips that run hot.
  • Reconnect the Caps Lock leads (forgot all about that).

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