A few months ago, I got chatting with a RCM member and as a result he gave me a non working Commodore 1541 Disk Drive for a little project I’ve been wanting to try out. He was quite happy to let me have it because it was beyond repair and no use to him. Personally I don’t like to modify working equipment anyway, especially as these drives are becoming quite rare. He brought it with him to last weekends RCM event and I’ve been musing over what to do with it.
I always wanted a 1541 disk drive when I was younger my beloved C64. Appreciate this one isn’t working but 25 years later, I finally have one..well half of one anyway 🙂
Commodore really did have a thing for shades of beige!
My original idea was to simply strip out the innards, pop in my PC external Hard disk unit and simply use it like that as a bit of retro chic for my desk. The thing is, now I have one, I really want to do more than that.
Having researched for similar projects (founds lots of inspiration online) I’ve decided either to install a very small mini-ITX based motherboard, add a 1TB hard disk, install FreeNas (http://www.freenas.org/)and use it as a home NAS server or, again on the same principle, use it as a very small desktop PC….maybe for my emulator collection?
You can see from the chart below, how small these ITX form factor boards really are –
Once stripped, there should be plenty of room for a PC components, although creative placement might be required to ensure sufficient cooling.
Please visit here to see a completed 1541 PC conversion http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/c1541/ – and also, check out their amazing project pages containing weird and wonderful custom PC’s.
I won’t be doing anything just yet, but will add it to my project list for the coming winter nights.