Ultimate 64 Elite

Well, well, well… when I dug my nose into retro computing about 11 years ago, I never quite understood what made people buy expensive replicas and knock-offs when you can have the real thing simply using the old hardware. Times have changed and here I am going for an all new Ultimate 64 Elite from Giddeon. I figured that this should/will be the last C64 I ever buy, despite the ten or so sitting in my basement. It finally arrived last week and over the course of the last couple of days I build it up whenever there was a little bit of time for it.

Besides having everything included that you can dream of (HDMI output), I added two SID Chips – one of each flavor: 6581 and a newer 8580R5. This should do the trick with every ocation that might occur when watching Demos or playing games. The elite version comes without any jumpers… just insert your sids and the board will autodetect ’em. Welcome to 2019!

Two years ago, I bought one of those nes Dallas cases, produced bei Pixelwizzard and the board does not fit really well, but I managed to get it in there, not screwing it in too tightly.

The LED needed is a flat headed one, which I could have taken from another C64 II case, but I rather sanded down a blue one till it snugged in nicely. I will change it to a tripple coloured one – although it only will have two states and only two colours will be used: one for power and one for the floppy activity.

Getting the keyboard in was another adventure ivolving forex boards, cutter and clue because the 3D printed parts I bough a while back, where only fitting on the left side. For the right side, I used forex foam board and glued together a riser that would rest on the joystick ports.

Next thing I discovered is a feature that sees to make no sense at all, but is really nice to have. Giddeon put LED strip support into the firmware, so you can hook up an APA102 or APA102C strip to the internal user port and the included SID player will turn your C64 in a disco machine. Still got a piece of APA102 lying around, so I made a littel extra board that I screwed to the keyboard and wrapped 24 LEDs around it. So now all risers/brackets and LED plate are screwed to the keaboard and can easily been taken out.

Should have taken the transparent case that I still keep in the closet instead of the Dallas case. The effect is very decent and kind of “under cover”. 😉 But there is always something to improve…. right.

Now I will need some time to actually tinker around with the all new hardware and off course I will need to design some stickers for the case….

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