Commodore C64 ITX PC – Part III ‘Keyrah testing’

On with the next bit, fitting the Keyrah interface board into the C64 case and testing it.

Fitting the board was quite easy and the screw holes line up perfectly on the right hand side of the C64 case.

The Keyrah has been designed so that the original C64 input plate can be used that provides nice original look one the case is fitted back together. You can see here how the key map selector switch matches that of the original C64 on/off switch.

Next, the C64 keyboard wiring block is installed on to the Keyrah interface board. It will only fit one way due to a blocked pin so there’s no fear of getting anything the wrong way around. I also connected the C64 power LED cable (the red and black cable) to test that the original LED is working.

With the C64 case fitted back together, I inserted one end of the USB cable into the Keyrah and the other into the USB port on our laptop…….and prayed:-)

I fired up Windows notepad and pressed a few keys on the C64 keyboard…yay, everything worked perfectly.

With everything working o.k, I moved everything into the study as the light reflecting on the laptop screen from the kitchen window was too bright.  Here I’ve plugged in an old school Cheetah Annihilator 9-pin joystick.

Testing the joystick interface with IK+ running on the C64 emulator Vice64.

…and finally, more testing…actually scrub that, it’s just an excuse to play one of my favorites…Bubble Bobble 🙂

The next bit is the fun bit, installing the ITX board and PC components. However, I’ve had to have a bit of a rethink about this part though. Originally, the ITX board I was going to use is actually quite modern and powerful including HDMI ports/Hardware MPEG encoder etc etc and is probably a little overkill for a C64 emulation PC and better suited as a ITX HTPC.

I’m actually wanting to downsize my current HTPC from a M-ATX format to ITX so i’m going to use this board for that project. This leaves me with one more spare ITX board but the only trouble with that one is that a) there’s no I/O blanking shield and b) there’s no Sata input, only IDE. I don’t mind using IDE but I’d prefer not to have a large 3.5″ drive inside the C64.

I just need to decide the best way to go. i.e Buy a cheap sata based ITX board on eBay, buy a Sata to IDE interface or try out one of those SD card to IDE interface boards……thinking!

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