- Individual Computers MK2 Reloaded which I took note of in some detail in a previous photo essay (€189 + €25 shipping).
- Kickstarter case for the C64C, which I picked up on Ebay a couple of years ago for $24.
- 3D printed power adapter cover to fill the gaps between the MK2's power and the case (virtually free)
- Mechboard64 (€189)
- Stainless steel C64c key mount kit (€13)
After having previously installed the MK2 Reloaded, all this machine really lacked was a new keyboard. I picked up the Mechboard64 with yellow switches. The keycaps are originally from a destroyed breadbin (destroyed by a careless Ebay seller). I retrobrighted the glphys and got it ready for a transplant. For those that aren't familiar...
The MK2 Reloaded is a modern recreation of the C64 motherboard that utilizes some of the original chips. So the foundation is "green" and simplified, while avoiding the FPGA route and staying "pure".
The Mechboard replaces your old cheap plastic C64 keyboard bracket with a laser cut aluminum bracket with a silky smooth black powder coated finish and a black printed circuit board with white silk screen writing. More importantly it provides 66 Gateron microswitches of your choice (red, yellows, browns or blues) taking your C64's typing skills to a whole other-worldly level. I went with yellows for this build, as yellows are the closest to the original feel.
To be completely honest I originally planned on using the Mechboard64 with a brand new laser cut case I had custom made in Germany. I installed my Ultimate64 into the case and wanted to put the Mechboard in that build, too. After speaking to the creators of both the Mechboard and the case, I am the first person to attempt to do this.
Unfortunately, after several hours (and a bit of modding) I discovered that the two products are simply not compatible. But that story is for another day.
Disappointed but resigned, I decided to move the Mechboard into my MK2 build to make that machine the nearly 100% new machine instead. I'd say it worked out pretty well. And the Mechboard took all of 2 minutes to install using an extension cable I'd previously picked up from Lau (aka MtnBuffalo). I'm extremely happy with this build.
The only thing I plan on changing is the case badge - it should be a darker one. I do prefer the look of the breadbin keys so I will likely be putting the original 64C gray ones into the plexiglass case if I don't source another nice breadbin set from a dead machine.
The only thing about this build that is disappointing is the MK2 Reloaded and WiFi modems are not compatible. That's a bit of a hit because I can say without hesitation that the Mechboard64 has upgraded this C64 to have the best, most fluid keyboard I've ever used. It's sexy to type on this thing. And not being able to easily get my BBS fix with this machine is a tragedy. I will be ordering a second Mechboard if Lau opens the project back up again (sadly it's on hold right now due to a lack of support). If there was ever a Mechboard made for the C128D? Good god - my head would explode.