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Strider

"Split" Two-Part Commodore 64?

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Posted (edited)

I always considered myself pretty knowledgeable when it came to the C64, but never claiming to be an expert by any means. That being said, in all my years, I never seen a C64 split into two parts. Never knew this existed.

Anyone else seen these?

Found one browsing eBay just now.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/184915685522?hash=item2b0dd57092:g:4LIAAOSwnb1g3dC9

splitc64.thumb.jpg.048417ea28472ddba295176e41f47bae.jpg

splitc642.jpg.7a6b5bb00c76a151f314c76214e96eb1.jpg

I would like to see this system. Not sure why, but it fascinates me. 🙂

Edit: Added photos from auction since it will eventually be taken down after being sold and the link will no longer work.

Edited by Strider
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Appears to me that top unit is only the keyboard.  Gonna guess this was for some application where multiple units were stacked in the slimline version without the keyboard.  The keyboard unit only used when one needed to work on a unit.  A BBS setup perhaps?

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Posted (edited)

Given the relative coloring of the top and bottom portions relative to the middle two portions, I don't think it makes any difference that they were injection molded. The keyboard ribbon runs from the top keyboard part around to the far side bottom.

It smells like some homebrew frankensystem, to me, where parts from other enclosures were used to put this together for whatever reason.

Edit: I see now where the listing claims it is a kit and definitely not homebrew, which would explain relative coloration of the pieces. Still, the way the fake middle pieces go together still lead me to believe it is some sort of homebrew. The fact that screws are visible in the mainboard portion of the case, where an "elegant" add on kit would have built the same piece to have posts that the bottom tray screws into...

I don't know what to think about it really, just making my observations.

Edited by Scott Robison
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I guess I could only add my agreement that this seems a little doubtful without more documentation of the history of this setup. If nothing else, I agree that this seems inelegant, particularly with a vanilla ribbon cable connecting the keyboard to the mainboard - surely an official kit would have chosen a more professional-looking cable? Perhaps something a bit more rugged, if the idea is that it can be moved around relatively frequently?

I certainly don't have the expertise to say either way. Sans that, I could only see myself valuing it as much as any other homebrew mod.

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The distinction between kit and homebrew in the 80s was not always that clear and sharp. And, after all, millions of C64s were sold ... if someone hacked something together and then made it into a kit and sold a dozen or even a hundred, it would be a drop in the ocean.

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I found that right as I was getting ready to hop off and go to bed. Now that I have had more time to think about it, I do wonder why it was modified or if it was made for a specific use. Perhaps industrial,  commercial, or could just be someones homebrew.

I agree that it does not seem very "professional". I would like to see the inside and see how everything is soldered and mounted.

Either way, even if it is just a mod, it's the first time I have seen a C64 setup that way. :)

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29 minutes ago, Strider said:

I found that right as I was getting ready to hop off and go to bed. Now that I have had more time to think about it, I do wonder why it was modified or if it was made for a specific use. Perhaps industrial,  commercial, or could just be someones homebrew.

I agree that it does not seem very "professional". I would like to see the inside and see how everything is soldered and mounted.

Either way, even if it is just a mod, it's the first time I have seen a C64 setup that way. 🙂

Ditto (first time I've seen any such thing). I think your idea about some industrial use makes the most sense. Having a long ribbon coming out of the case to relocate the keyboard to a safe location relative to whatever the base was being used to control / monitor / what-have-you.

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Posted (edited)

Rethinking this, since the cable goes inside the mainboard case it wouldn't easily be connected/disconnected to several of these in some commercial application, so I think that's out.

Rather, I think some user didn't like all the cables/attachments coming out from the keyboard.  They'd rather have the single ribbon cable going from keyboard to mainboard, then all the spaghetti from there.  And I'd say they located it to the right (not directly behind, as in the picture) by the way the ribbon cable goes from right side of keyboard to left side of mainboard unit.

How they found the case(s) that matched well enough as it does is beyond me.  The rear notches on the foreign case don't even line up top to bottom as far as I can tell, so I think it was 2 other cases.

Edit: Actually, I think the 2 pieces of "foreign" case are identical, just flipped, one's the bottom of the keyboard, the other is the top of the main board.

Edited by x16tial
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Posted (edited)

Yeah, it's an odd mod that's for sure, and does look like it was hobbled together from available materials when it was done.

The reason I thought industrial was from past experience. I used to work for Coca Cola, many moons ago, and we had to use long extension cables to connect keyboards/displays/etc. to computers that were located outside the production room. Mainly for "add-on" or temporary equipment. The environment in the filler rooms was too humid and generally damp, even though they were air conditioned, for any hardware not sealed inside an environmentally controlled case, or otherwise designed for that environment. In some cases, we had to make our own cables or rig something up to solve a temporary problem.

For a home user, I could totally see someone wanting to hide or move the spaghetti cable monster away from their desktop. 

All good ideas and observations.

Edited by Strider
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