C64 Kickstarter Cases – With pictures!

Commodore 64 C Kickstarter cases

The Kickstarter campaign for new C64 C cases using the original molds happened, and a lot of people have been very excited about that. Despite some ridiculous occurrences by Kickstarter (can’t show renders of the cases) and dimwits owning some rights to Commodore brand (can’t even mention Commodore in the campaign), the campaign was a real funding success.

Also the production phase faced an unfortunate incident, as the plastic molding company that produced the cases suffered a fire in the factory. The fire destroyed the transparent cases which had been the first ones pressed. Despite these shortcomings and delays the cases got pressed and sent out in the last couple of weeks. Related forums and social media groups have been filled with photos of these new cases and nice C64 setups installed in them.

I got mine last week, and guess what I’m going to do? Post some pictures of course! 

Commodore 64 C Kickstarter cases P1010086

Blue C64 Kickstarter cases P1010089

I tried to keep things from getting out of hand and only pledged for one blue case and two transparent ones.

Some people have criticized the handwritten serial numbers and found some nice alternative badges too, but I don’t mind them. Haven’t just decided what kind of label I’m going to slap to each case!

Blue C64 Kickstarter cases P1010098

Blue C64 Kickstarter cases P1010100

The cases are mostly of good quality. Especially my blue case is flawless except for slight difference in color of the two halves. The top half has lighter, less saturated tint.

Transparent C64 Kickstarter cases P1010096

Transparent C64 Kickstarter cases P1010093

The transparent cases were of course a must have. I haven’t bothered to follow much of the discussion, but some people seem to be more or less unsatisfied with the quality of the transparent cases. And indeed, one of the two transparent cases I have has the LED hole completely filled with a solid body of plastic. It appears that there is quite a few of these faulty transparent cases around. After contacting him, Dallas assured that the faulty ones are getting replaced, so let’s wait and see.

Apart from those LED hole faults, I think some of the critique might be more or less unjustified. First thing that one has to understand is that the molds were never designed for making transparent cases. The transparent plastic will of course reveal all the markings inside the case which would normally go unnoticed. There’s all kinds of ducts and channels inside the case, and different markings too. Also the surface finishing of the insides of the case hasn’t been important factor with non-transparent cases.

One thing that is unfortunate though, is that the blue case seems to be of better molding quality than the transparent cases I have. It could be that the transparent cases that got destroyed in the fire were of better quality than the ones we have now. Now the transparent cases have been made after all the others, while initially the transparent cases were pressed first. Perhaps for quality reasons, I dunno.

But let’s have a look how the cases look like with the computer inside!

Transparent KS 64 C old and new model

Dayum!

Both of these setups have their insides taken from a C64 C, but of different age. The one on left is a typical late C64 C with the cost reduced C64E “short” motherboard and cardboard RF shielding. The one on right is older model with the big C64B3 motherboard with metal RF shield. notice also the different looking keyboards!

More pics with the old mobo:

KS 64 C old model P1010120

KS 64 C old model P1010125

I think the metal RF shield looks pretty cool with the transparent case. This case has a proper hole for the LED, but I didn’t install the LED yet. These installations are not final – just tried different combinations :)

KS 64 C old model P1010126
Transparent KS 64 C case detail

KS 64 C old model transparent bottom P1010128

Nice looking also from the underside!

 

Alright! Let’s see how the short C64E board looks like:

KS 64 C new model P1010121

The cardboard-tinfoil RF shield looks ok in the photos, but the eye sees the wavy surface of the cardboard through the plastic. The cardboard shielding is not very useful and mostly prevents a proper airflow inside the case. So let’s take it off!

KS 64 C new model no shield P1010130

KS 64 C new model no shield P1010129

Not bad. By the way, not all short board C64 Cs have that lousy cardboard shield. Some machines have a solid sheet metal shield, which probably looks great in transparent case.

KS 64 C new model no shield P1010131

You can see the insides of the machine quite well – better with a plain eye than these pictures suggest.

KS 64 C new model transparent bottom P1010132

The underside of the C64E model without the cardboard shield looks pretty interesting!

KS 64 C new model dark keyboard P1010148

And of course, a combination with short board, no RF shield and breadbin keys. Me likes.

 

Few words about installation; Note that you will need keyboard mounts with these Kickstarter cases. If you are borrowing the internals from a C64 C, then you most likely have everything you need.

KS 64 C old and new motherboard without top case P1010111

You see, the keyboards are attached and partly sitting on top of the motherboard.

KS 64 C old and new motherboard without top case P1010114

Here you can see the metal part supporting the back edge of the keyboard.

KS 64 C old and new motherboard without top case P1010108

KS 64 C old and new motherboard without top case P1010107
Here side by side, with the keyboard removed.

KS 64 C new motherboard install P1010110

Short board keyboard mounts look like this. If you got short model with the metal shield, the keyboard mounts are attached to the shield.

KS 64 C old motherboard install P1010109

C64 C models with the older large motherboard have different looking mounts. The right side mount is almost identical and might in fact be interchangeable. I didn’t try that though. The large left-hand-side mount is attached to the RF shield.

Just like with the later C64 C models, there are different ways how the shielding is done. Some old mobo models have cardboard shield.

Anyway, all but some very late C64 C models have these keyboard mounts that you’ll need. Some of the late C64 Cs have even the case cost-reduced, and they do not come with these keyboard mounts. Instead, the keyboard is attached to the the top half of the case – like with the breadbin. You’ll recognize these variants from the Commodore label on the front right edge of the case. Instead of a sticker label, the text is embossed to the plastic itself.

Talking about breadbin, you will need the keyboard mounts if you take the internals from one.

C64 breadbin P1010141

C64 breadbin P1010145

See, there’s no mounts here. The keyboard is screwed to the top half of the case. The keyboards itself are fully interchangeable between old and new C64s.

If you don’t have those metal keyboard mounts, not to worry. 3D printing to the rescue!

Another advice for installing a machine into these Kickstarter cases: Use a good screwdriver! Huh? Well, these new cases are brand new, meaning the screw holes are just holes without any threads on them. The screws will bite away bit of the plastic as you screw them in. The screws are going to be stiffer than already installed cases. Use a good screwdriver with correct size and type head. Otherwise you’ll easily cam out the screws.

At least with these machines, the correct type of tool head for the screws attaching the mobo was Phillips size 2.

 

Let’s go on with few more pictures, shall we ;)

KS 64 C blue-transparent mixed cases P1010136

Mixing the colors – why not! I kind of like that solid top with transparent bottom. It doesn’t scream for attention, but it’s still quite special.

KS 64 C blue-transparent mixed cases P1010139

KS 64 C blue-transparent mixed cases P1010138

And here’s the blue case with breadbin keys. Yay or nay?

Blue KS 64 C case with dark keyboard P1010150

 

 

And of course you’re wondering about the obvious combination; C64 Reloaded in transparent case! 

C64 Reloaded in transparent KS 64 C case P1010165

C64 Reloaded in transparent KS 64 C case P1010166

C64 Reloaded in transparent KS 64 C case P1010167

 

So many options! I’m in trouble!

So many options
What’s your personal favorite combo?

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to C64 Kickstarter Cases – With pictures!

  1. Wow, got to get myself one of those cases for my C64R. Which by the way is working now after swapping the CIA:s. Some what mysterious I might add since I expected the keyboard or the joystick ports to misbehave due to the faulty 6526, but they’re working just fine. Weird.

    Are transparent cases generally available now? Or must one still purchase another color in order to have that translucent beauty?

    • ilesj says:

      I don’t know if these cases are available at the moment anywhere. Beige and transparent cases got pressed in large amounts (stated 5000 pieces each) and I’m sure they will become available again sooner or later. Keep an eye on the facebook page at least: https://www.facebook.com/com64kickstarter

      Good to hear your C64R is working now! That’s interesting – did you get any reasoning from Jens why simply swapping the chips got rid of any issues?

  2. Ok, thanks! And nope, haven’t heard from Jens just yet. I will let you know when I do :)

  3. Rasmus says:

    Awesome article – thank you so much for taking the time to write this piece! Short question – can you please link to the other badges/stickers you mention?

    • ilesj says:

      Hi Rasmus,
      I don’t know if there are different badges available from various sources, but you’ll find those at least on eBay by searching for “Commodore C64 Label”.

  4. Rasmus says:

    Thanks, ilesj – I suppose Ebay is also the place to look for keyboards, since no one seems to be making brand new ones (which is kind of funny, since that’s the only component missing from getting a complete C64 Reloaded provided you have a new keyboard case).

  5. Andreas says:

    Superb cases. I like especially the combination of the blue case and the dark breadbin keys. Looks very good. I like such colored cases and i have here an Amiga500, which was lacquered in a nice blue case with white keys. Was made by a somebody who is a pro in this lacquer-works and the colors are very stable, even when i use this Amiga often. But having a case which is naturally colored is even better, therefore i like this C64-kickstarter-campaign alot. There also exist a kickstarter for colored keys, i read somewhere. Then the combinations are even more, different colored keys with different colored cases. Wow. Somewhere i read, that now for Amiga500 also a campaign is planed with new colored cases. Very cool!

  6. Jack says:

    Black! I think if not using beige (understandable if you don’t want it to look like a standard C64), black would be the best choice. Definitely don’t like the light blue.

    BTW, I remember in recent years seeing online a lot of standard C64 cases that people have painted.

  7. enpera says:

    I love the transparent one. But unfortunately its impossible to buy it from Europe :(

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