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Pi in a Commodore



  • I was wondering if anyone has experience with the interface card linked here?
    https://www.tindie.com/products/tynemouthsw/commodore-64-usb-keyboard-kit/
    It is designed to allow you to use a the keyboard of a Commodore 64 or Vic 20 as a USB keyboard, and would be perfect for running with a Pi in the case using Retropie and Vice. I was hoping someone could tell me how good it is before I jump in and buy one plus a dead computer to go with it.



  • @douga i used a keyrah v2. Does more than that adapter.



  • @douga also there is a keyrah v2b out now. And its $20 cheaper than the adapter you are looking at.



  • Why oh why did you have to post that, I'm now trying to locate a dead 'Breadbin' C64, thats an amazing bit of kit, and easier than when I fitted a Mayflash adapter into my MegaDrive II conversion.

    Already pondering, wouldn't the cassette deck make a good hard drive case...



  • @madrikxiv i put my hdd in an old apple modem that matches my apple iie pi. The cassette player would be nice. I would convert the floppy drive to a dvd drive.



  • @madrikxiv the nice thing about the keyrah is if you are using a commodore emulator, if you flip the switch, one way is standard keyboard positioning and tricks for other keys ignoring what is printed on the keys. Flipped the other way it works exactly like a commodore keyboard so using vice it works perfect. Also the keyrah lets you use the atari joysticks or the commodore ones.



  • @edmaul69 said in Pi in a Commodore:

    @madrikxiv the nice thing about the keyrah is if you are using a commodore emulator, if you flip the switch, one way is standard keyboard positioning and tricks for other keys ignoring what is printed on the keys. Flipped the other way it works exactly like a commodore keyboard so using vice it works perfect. Also the keyrah lets you use the atari joysticks or the commodore ones.

    That Keyrah has me wanting one, an easier option than the Mayflash I used , just need to find an old broken Breadbin C64 at a not silly price.

    Can already picture it now, throw in the old flashing line loading, C64 look theme.

    Just to locate parts, and not have the other half notice.



  • @edmaul69 There are different versions of this adaptor that I didn't post - including ones with the functionality you mention, ie commodore/atari joystick interfaces and the option to flip back and forth from commodore to standard keyboard. I will have a look at the keyrah too before I decide.

    Update: The only drawback with the keyrah is that I would have to solder a USB cable onto it to allow the Pi to be kept inside the "breadbin", but considering it is Euro35 vs the $80 for the equivalent spec version of the one I found (or $60 for the basic one), it is a much better buy. Thanks for the information.



  • @madrikxiv Just to make it worse, they sell other versions for Ti99/4A, BBC Micro, Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore Amiga. I was most interested in the Commodore 64/VIC20 one as a VIC 20 was my first computer - with tape drive and a multi-expansion slot card that allowed me to have 3 cards attached, allowing me a massive 24K or RAM and the extended Basic which had actual graphics commands!

    If you are in the US, there are quite a few Vic-20's available on E-Bay listed as untested, which I interpret as "tested but I know it doesn't work". Goodwill also has a few on their e-bidding site too. I was looking for some advice on the interface before I started bidding.



  • @douga there is solder holes for the usb. You can use add a pin connector to those holes if you preferred.



  • @edmaul69 Even better! Thanks.



  • @MadRikXIV can I tempt you a bit further? I was digging around and found that If you want to use the keyrah2 with a C64, you can even buy a mounting kit to fit it plus a Pi in a breadboard Case :-)

    https://corei64.com/store/products.php?14&cPath=19

    Can’t get much easier than that!



  • @douga @MadRikXIV there is one thing i recommend doing. When you mount the keyrah and the metal plate, hot glue the metal plate to the case on the inside. The keyrah is supported by only two screw holes and the joystick ports are really tight. My screw holes were brittle and ended up cracking them trying to plug a controller in. So i had to glue them back together. Then i hot-glued the plate to the case.



  • @edmaul69 that sounds like good advice. I’m sure those cases must be brittle after all those years. I’m not sure how I will mount my cards, as even though the keyrah works with the Vic 20 keyboard, it is really designed for C64 configurations - 2 joystick ports rather than one, for example. Anyway, I need to find a suitable donor computer before I worry about that.



  • @douga said in Pi in a Commodore:

    @madrikxiv Just to make it worse, they sell other versions for Ti99/4A, BBC Micro, Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore Amiga. I was most interested in the Commodore 64/VIC20 one as a VIC 20 was my first computer - with tape drive and a multi-expansion slot card that allowed me to have 3 cards attached, allowing me a massive 24K or RAM and the extended Basic which had actual graphics commands!

    If you are in the US, there are quite a few Vic-20's available on E-Bay listed as untested, which I interpret as "tested but I know it doesn't work". Goodwill also has a few on their e-bidding site too. I was looking for some advice on the interface before I started bidding.

    Unfortunately, I'm in the UK, been looking through E-Bay, even faulty and untested are going for $40+.

    May look at a Vic, spray paint it beige.

    Already have a modified Amiga, with a Compact Flash Hard Drive and USB flopy drive I put together some time ago with WHDLoad.



  • @madrikxiv That's about the cheapest they seem to go for here in the US too. I will probably get one through the Goodwill auction site, which is a charity, so at least my cash goes to something useful



  • @douga just be aware, goodwill packs items really really bad. And they refuse to give refunds.



  • @edmaul69 Great :-( Thanks for the warning


 

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