Build a Commodore SX-64 Mini Clone Using the Raspberry Pi 3

The Commodore SX-64 was a 23-pound full-color portable version of the Commodore 64 and packed a 5-inch composite monitor and 1541 floppy…

Cabe Atwell
3 years ago

The Commodore SX-64 was a 23-pound, full-color portable version of the Commodore 64 and packed a 5-inch composite monitor and 1541 floppy drive. As heavy as it was, it needed a reinforced handle strong enough to lug the machine around, which also acted as an adjustable stand. Not surprisingly, the SX-64 didn’t sell very well, with its failure attributed to its small screen, weight, and limited software when compared to the other competitors at the time (1984).

Like the Commodore 64, the SX-64 still has a large fan base for the retro technology, but finding one in working order can prove to be a daunting endeavor. That said, you can build a clone of the SX-64 using readily available hardware and a dash of ingenuity, which is what Commodore fan Christian Steenken accomplished using a Raspberry Pi.

Steenken designed his SX-64 Mini around the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, which he uses to emulate the Commodore software (KERNEL/BASIC 2.0). Beyond the Pi, the Mini features a Kuman 3.5-inch touch TFT LCD display, Audiocore AC870 compact stereo speaker, Rii Mini K01X1 wireless keyboard, and an Excellway EF01 project case he modified for the setup.

Steenken used several templates to make his Mini look just like the original, including a fake floppy drive on the front of the enclosure. He also 3D printed a tray for the keyboard that snaps onto the face like the original when in portability mode. While Steenken won’t sell his unit or build them to order, he does list the hardware for those looking to make their own on his website.

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