Blacked out Commodore 64

Aug 7, 2022 | Computing, Retro Gaming

I have had this Commodore C64 in my possession for a while at this stage and it just sat there in the corner unused beyond making sure it powered up. Something about the colour always just bummed me out and I didn’t want to use it. So the goal was to bring it back to a presentable state, add one some modern add-ons and actually set it up.

Arrival State

I got this in a VERY yellow state a couple of years ago and it was all working fine then. But I had recently got it back out to play with it as I had discovered the IEC2SD project and the 8 Bit Guy’s games for the unit, so seemed like a good reason to try it all out properly. The case was fairly grubby and had a small nick/dent in the top of the vents ( which would haunt me later ).

Un-required Ram Repair

Upon powering it up, I got the ever dreaded black screen. I went through the usual things, check voltages, check chips, use the ‘dead test cart’ and still got nothing. I then proceeded to remove all the ram and PLA to test them in a known working system at my friends house and guess what, everything worked! So with all the ram and PLA now socketed I went back to the drawing board and tried and dumb thing and swapped over the video cables, and what would you know the bloody thing worked. Turns out I had grabbed my Sega Mega Drive 1 cable that looks identical instead of the C64 AV cable. So the machine was fine the whole time.

Retrobrite Failure

Now that the machine was working again I proceeded with my original plan of getting it back to the right colour. I stripped the whole thing down, cleaned it and used a magic eraser to remove the stubborn marks all over it. I found some 40Vol peroxide cream and tried the lather and cling wrap method. This was a bad call, even though it brought it back to the original colour, it came back totally marbled and even missing that bit in the vents from earlier. It arguably looked worse than it did before.

Plan B, Paint it Black

In comes my mate to the rescue. As a much better painter than myself I can it to him with some paint and just said ‘make it look nice’. He filled and fixed the hole in the vent and opted with a two tone / two texture finish. A black case and a ‘wrinkle black’ keyboard surround which I think turned out amazingly.


All put back together, I finished off my project with a new S-Video cable, a IEC2SD adapter with a full game collection on it and the Fast Cart to speed up the load times.


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