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Commodore SX-64 keyboard restoration (retrohax.net)
128 points by zdw 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 23 comments





FYI that compelling marketing image at the top is from a "1983 commercial from Australia made for the Commodore SX-64, the portable version of the famous home computer Commodore 64". The full ad, which is quite the blast from the past with some delightful Aussie flavour, can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95cGh9EeMIY.

This is incredible. Thanks for sharing!

So I guess my question is...

...are you keeping up with the Commodore?


Wait, that is too good to reward only with an upvote! Than you for that gem!

Thank you everyone for warm words. Such feedback means a lot to me :) More of this kind of refurbs are on my blog already -> https://retrohax.net/?s=extreme

I was blown away and just shared it with my wife + kids who were equally impressed. How does one learn how to do this? Trial and error I presume?

Thank you for kind words. Regarding learning, basics are out there on the Internet but it all required a lot of testing, so yes, trial and error approach.

That metal scaffold is an excellent idea, usually epoxying shards of plastic back together isn't really viable on its own.

I've seen it done before, as reinforcement on large cracks, but the level this guy goes to, to perfectly restore this is amazing. I am truly open-jawed after looking at all the pictures. There aren't many working SX-64s out there, so the effort involved was totally worth it.

I remember the SX-64. This was the computer I started coding (basic). Impressive graphics capabilities.

This "portable" computer was so heavy I couldn't lift it from the ground (I was 5 o 6 at that time).


That's awesome! SX-64's are a rare beast. I remember seeing my first and only one at a user group meeting back in the 80s. We all came in with our duffel bags of C64s, 1541s, and then had to lug in our monitors or TVs. Then this one guy rolls in with his computer all in his hand and we were amazed. Of course most of us were there pirating games, but he was just running some demos and basking in the attention. That is until the guy with an Amiga 1000 came by. Those were the days...

Just the other day over on YT the channel retro recipes also did a refurbish on a Commodore SX-64[1] for anyone who's interested.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlWsR5WN9e4&t=0s


I was hoping to see this here...there is a modern remake of the poolside photo at the end of the video, too :-)

Not gonna lie, that looked janky as fuck, until he showed the finished picture. Nice work.

C64 has a special place in my heart, and I will never forgive myself for selling mine. It was the mid 90's and I had just gotten a shiny new 486.


My dad sold mine when I was a kid, in order to get me a PC XT clone. It was a good decision -- the PC was a much more capable computer and I learned how to program with GW-BASIC -- but I really wish I still had my C64.

While working with emulators such as VICE is great, it's not the same as having the good ole breadbin :(


I am curious about the silicon oil. I assume this is a solution for places where there is not a lot of rubbing/use? Some searching did not turn up any indication this was a common use nor permanent.

It might be that I've used a wrong name for it. This is basically a kind of oil to fix squeaking car door rubber gaskets.

Reading the title I thought this was going to be repairing a failure of the keyboard itself and thought that maybe all keyboards on these "portable" computers. I've got a Compaq Portable 1 and and Osborne 1, both with bad keyboards when I got them. The Compaq was as simple as replacing the foam touch pads while the Osborne looks like it'll be a bit more work.

Here’s a very recent SX-64 restoration on Retro Recipes: https://youtu.be/MlWsR5WN9e4

Cool hack, SX 64 computers are expensive and they don't make parts for them anymore.

Great blog there with many interesting retro projects. I enjoyed the one where he bought 32 Atari 65xe's in various states of decay and restored a number of them for resale. Truly a labor of love.

A friend of mine had one of those, I remember that I was most in awe over the integrated disk station. Great job with the restoration!

not all heroes wear capes

You don't actually know that. The restorer could have been wearing a cape through the whole process. I could be wearing a cape right now.



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