Raspberry Pi Revamps Retro Commodore 64

Commodore 64 Revamp Project
(Image credit: RaspberryPioneer https://www.instructables.com/member/RaspberryPioneer/)

In the 1980s the 8 bit computer scene was dominated by now long forgotten names. Commodore Business Machines had a successful range of home computers, with the VIC 20 as a flagship for their brand. But the Commodore 64 (C64) released in 1982 was one of their most popular machines, and to this day enthusiasts restore and use their machines. One hacker, RaspberryPioneer has taken a broken C64, a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino and used them to build a revamped retro machine that looks just the part. (Via ElectronicsWeekly.com)

RaspberryPioneer chose a C64 case that was nonfunctional, quite a considered move given that working machines can go for around $200. Connecting the existing C64 keyboard to an Arduino Micro programmed to decipher the keypresses, RaspberryPioneer created a bespoke USB keyboard interface for the Raspberry Pi, which can be any model of Pi but a 2 or 3B more than enough power. RaspberryPioneer then wired up a push button to power on the machine and created a Lego based frame to hold the various wires and components in place. RaspberryPioneer then goes on to explain how to send games and applications to their new RetroPie powered machine.

This is a fantastic way to resurrect old hardware. Aesthetically this is a clean mod, nothing is damaged to make way for new ports, rather the Lego frame provides alternative ports openings in existing spaces. An alternative to RetroPie for those that wish to have a “pure” C64 experience is BMC64 (Bare Metal C64) which boots to the same BASIC interpreter screen and works just like an original C64.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

  • TerryLaze
    Just get yourself a TheC64, mini or maxi.
    If you want a retro case for your raspberry get yourself a cheap coolbaby nes mini clone or something that nobody will cry over.