C64 keyboard, wrapping up

Busy “Bee” me, project complete! Not much further work stage photos to present (thanks to yours truly forgetting to pack the camera along), so let’s roll with some photos of the completed keyboard.

Nice contrast between the case and the keyboard.

Ports gone!

Rewinding back to where I left off after the previous session.. With the epoxy settled, it was time to start levelling up the now-sealed openings on the rear side of the enclosure. I had only some soon-to-expire drywall filler at hand, so I figured why not test using that on this fun quickie. The filler is not likely to endure much warping (f.ex. if keyboard is dropped), but it’s at least quick to dry and easy to sand. Indeed, I had the ports filled up and sanded neat after a few hours from getting down to it, despite five passes were needed.

What I didn’t come to think of is, that this dry-wall filler does add quite a bit of weight. The finished enclosure weighs around 700 grams, adding up to +1200 grams with the electronics thrown in. Nothing over the top really, but I doubt I’ll end up using drywall filler in amounts such as this again. For now, call it sturdy design if you will ;)

So yeah, this time around I (at least somewhat) had the intent of making a smooth finish as the filler is easy to sand. I even bothered overpainting the filled up sections a couple of times, as the solid color helps spotting surface defects that still need work.. But, as you can see from the following pictures, in the end I didn’t bother going all the way. F.ex. the pre-paint sanding was done with 150 grit paper and this is still coarse enough to leave visible scratches under the paint. Sanding the lacquer smooth.. meh.

Nice "orange peel" and coarse sanding!

Whilst cutting the case, I managed to snap off a piece from the right side. I didn’t even see it break off nor was I able to find the piece either (glue it back in or such), so I’m really baffled about the whole deal.

Just a small "editing" reminder on the left side..

..and a little bigger one on the right :/

Yet another added little extra was that I decided to wrap the completed keyboard in bubble-wrap for the transit home. Despite the surface was dry enough to withstand handling, the bubble-wrap still managed to leave some markings on the relatively fresh layer of varnish here and there. Classy going with this project :)

A C64, now in glorious bubble-wrap texture!

As for the electronics, it’s all plug’n play. The Keyrah identifies itself as a HID keyboard under WinXP so there’s no need to install drivers. Joysticks are also mapped (to numpad keys), so I’m thinking this device should definitely go neat with VICE and possibly even my MAME cabinet.

Despite giving the keyboard a quick cleanup, it does still look awfully yellowed next to the white enclosure. Maybe a good target for giving Retr0bright a spin.. ;)

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