Turn Your Broken Commodore 128 Into a USB Keyboard

If you’ve got an old Commodore 128 that's no longer functional, can use Tynemouth Software's kit to convert it into a modern USB keyboard.

Cameron Coward
3 months agoRetroTech

Commodore made a respectable name for themselves in the 8-bit home computer era with models like the Commodore PET 2001 and the Commodore VIC-20. Then, in 1982, the Commodore 64 was released and eventually became the highest-selling computer model of all time — a record it still holds to this day. Its successor, the Commodore 128, was the last 8-bit home computer built by the company. It didn’t sell nearly as well as the Commodore 64, but still reached an impressive 5.7 million units sold. If you’ve got an old Commodore 128 that is no longer functional, you can use this conversion kit to turn it into a USB keyboard.

Lest you incur the wrath of the retrocomputing community, it’s best that you only use this conversion kit on a Commodore 128 that can’t be reasonably repaired. While the Commodore 128 isn’t as rare as some other vintage computers, working examples are still pretty difficult to find. If, however, your original C128 motherboard is a lost cause, this conversion kit is a great way to keep the case and keyboard out of the junkyard. Like most other Commodore computers, the C128 had a decent keyboard that should provide a satisfactory typing experience even today.

This conversion kit was designed by Tynemouth Software, which is a company that has produced a number of similar conversion kits for other computers over the years. This kit replaces all of the original electronic components inside of the C128 enclosure, including the motherboard and power supply. You’ll have a lot of room left over, which is perfect if you want to put a Raspberry Pi SBC inside. The kit will transform the C128’s keyboard into a USB HID that can be connected to any computer, and it also provides a connection for your C128 joysticks. Power is provided through the USB connection, so no additional power supply is required. If you want to revive a broken C128, this is $75 kit is a fantastic choice.

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