IDE64 in PC case - deconstructed

Posted by: Ferenc Veres on June 24, 2007 06:14:33 PM +00:00(28178 Reads)
There are a lot of changes since my article about my IDE64 in 2004. In the past years I've added a lot more little details to this box, so it's just about the time to write an updated article.

These are not assembly instructions by any means. If you build something similar, and you break your c64, ide64 or whatever, I take no responsibility. This is just a demonstration of what I have done.

Before examining the details, have a look at the complete picture. It is still for the drives and power supplies only, the C64 and the IDE64 card is on my desk.

A PC case opened from side, containing C64 and IDE64 perpherials arranged as it was just a PC

Contains power supply for C64, 1541 and an original PC power supply for CD and HD. In the middle you can see the 1541 motherboard, the back of the case has all the needed connections. The drive area contains CD, 1541 and HD (yes, old 1541's internal drive unit fits well to 5.25" drive bay).


The connections go to the usual card area of the PC case, this fits well to the concept. The solution required a little panel (transparent on the picture) in the place of original mother board, to hold connections tight.

An usual card slot area of a PC case, but with C64 related connections in many card slots

From left to right:

  • CD audio output
  • 1541 serial connection with a little PCB
  • 1541 parallel connection
  • IDE connection with a little PCB
  • C64 power connection (partially visible under power supplies)

1541 connection

1541 connector on a PC card slot cover PCB with wires for two 1541 connectors on a PC card slot cover

There is a little PCB with place for 2 1541 connections, similar to an original drive, but I added only 1 connector yet. This connects to the motherboard of the 1541 in the PC case, thus this is the place to connect the C64 to the internal 1541 drive.

IDE drive connection

IDE connector on a PC card slot cover. IDE wire soldered to an IDE connector

A lot of soldering on this PCB, I guess you can imagine that. The traditional style IDE cable goes to the internal HD and CD. I connect the c64 with a nicer, blue, rounded IDE cable to this.

50cm rounded, then 30cm in the case to the HD, and 15cm more to the CD. Well, sometimes I had problems. For example I did not have shielding for c64 power supply and cable went directly above it. When I added a newer HD, it just stopped working correctly. Then C64 power supply got shielding, will show that soon.

Power supplies

On this picture you can see two PC power supply cases. The lower one contains original power supplies of 1541 and C64, the upper one is a normal PC power supply for the HD and the CD.

Two usual PC power supply boxes in the PC case.

As you can see, c64 power supply does not fit in the box, but no problem, this helps the recently added fan's air circulation. The PC power supply does not have a fan, I think a HD and a CD should run fine, if that power supply could drive a complete PC.

An opened PC power supply box containing a 1541 and a C64 power supply. C64 power supply partially not fitting to the PC power supply box

The fan is not added yet on this photo. These power supplies get the 230V from the PC power supply (some of the cables on the bigger picture). They get power only when the PC case power switch is turned on. Thus when I turn on the PC case, the CD, HD and the 1541 gets power, and C64's power supply starts supplying power to the C64 (what I turn on afterwards of course).

1541 hacks included

Research on modifying the 1541 was the most difficult of all these tasks. (Ok, maybe IDE connection soldering was the most difficult. No, the most difficult was some of the mechanical works. Well, I must be crazy doing all this. ;-) ).

There are so many different 1541 motherboards, I don't even remember how I succeeded to make the reset switch and the parallel cable.

PC case power cable connected to 1541 PCB PC case reset cable connected to 1541 PCB Many wires soldered to the pins of a chip on the 1541 PCB

From left to right:

  • The power led connection of the 1541 is connected to the power led of the PC case. Thus when the "master power switch" is on, the original PC power led lights up.
  • The reset switch of the PC case is connected to 1541's reset. I have no idea how I managed to find this and why I have a little gray resistor there.
  • The third photo shows the edge of the 1541 PCB, all you can see is that some wires are soldered to the pins of one of the IO chips. This is connected to the 1541 parallel connection on the back of the PC case as seen above.

Assembled again

The PC case from the front, containing CD and 1541 drive The back of the PC case with several connections

The front looks completely usual. Power switch looks strange, deep (I had to remove the original ATX power switch). 1541 looks like an old 5.25" floppy drive. Besides "Blue sky" text (c64 screen? ;-) ) it writes: "Multi media computer system". ;-)

On the back you can see all the connections described above. From bottom to top:

  • CD audio
  • 1541 serial
  • 1541 parallel
  • IDE
  • C64 power (on the black area)

This black cover is being replaced with something that has holes, for the new fan for C64 power supply. Which means, even after two years of updates, it is not finished yet!

Related links

IDE64 news portal
IDE64 website
IDEDOS 0.9x ide64's open source firmware
Games, tools and utilities for (and fixed for) IDE64
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