June 16, 2012

Converting a C64 Keyboard to USB with Arduino

 After renovating some Commodore 64 computers, "bisrhythm" found themselves with a few extras that were beyond repair. So instead of  gathering dust in the cupboard, they have been modified to work with more contemporary PCs.

As the C64 keyboard is an 8x8 button matrix, the conversion was quite simple. The use of a virtual-USB library finalises the task and works well. Even the power LED can be illuminated for maximum realism. 

When reproducing your own C64 keyboard there isn't that much circuitry to add to the keyboard. Therefore the use of one of our Arduino-compatible boards such as the Freetronics Eleven, and a ProtoShield would solve the problem nicely:

So if you have your own C64 in terminal condition and want to convert it to a keyboard, the instructions, sketch and notes can be found here

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