User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 9:08 am

Hello, 8-bit world! :commodore:

Ok.. ok.. I always come up with 8-bit stuff, instead of 16-bit stuff. I promise to post some Amiga-related topics in the future, and I indeed have a "build a new Amiga 500" project comming up... soon... hopefully. ;)

However, I want to show you an awesome little project, the Handheld 64. This is a real C64, using actual C64 chips, compacted into a neat handheld form factor. This project has been designed and developed by a friend of mine. He has developed and manufactured the circuit boards, as well as the cover board and the bottom board. After the Handheld 64 got my attention, I got involved into this project, since I am trying to design a nice C64-style casing for this awesome device. I've started to do some 3D-modelling on the actual circuit boards as a foundation for building up the actual case in 3D.

Since I am in possession of the actual hardware, it will be much easier to work on the case design, since I can now take measurements from the real device. I also got some data from my friend's circuit board layout programm to work with.

Here are some pictures of the assembled Handheld 64:
Handheld64_front.jpg
The printed front cover.

Handheld64_side.jpg
A first look at the side of the device.

Handheld64_top.jpg
The expansion port and the power plug.

Handheld64_left.jpg
The socket on the right can carry a PI1541 board.

Handheld64_right.jpg
Headphone jack, volume control, switch for D-Pad or Analog Pad, and a switch for using external controls.

Handheld64_pi1541.jpg
The Rhaspberry PI Zero board which will server as a PI1541.

Handheld64_cover.jpg
This is a cover board solo.

Handheld64_boards.jpg
Those are the two inner unpopulated circuit boards.

I yet have to populate the Handheld 64 with my own original C64 chips, so I am looking forward to see it run. I've already seen a video of the working device, recorded by my buddy.

If you are interested, my friend sells the circuit boards of the Handheld 64, as well as a variety of other C64-related hardware developments, on his homepage: https://www.uni64.com/ However, you need to get all the eletronic components by yourself and do the soldering. A table of needed componentes are also provided on his homepage. He also runs an own forum where one can find information and help on his various projects: https://loop64.com/

At last, let me show you some work-in-progress 3D-work of mine, which is the beginning of my attempt to design a case for the Handheld 64:
Handheld64_3D_Screenshot1.jpg
Handheld64_3D_Screenshot2.jpg
Handheld64_3D_Screenshot3.jpg
This is just the start though, not much of a case to see till now. ;)

User avatar
JoeUser
Dallas, TX

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 9:35 am

Wow, this looks like a lot of thought and work has gone into this project!

I always thought that I'd get around to replacing the little CRT in my SX-64 with an LED panel, but this project makes my future To-Do project pale in comparison! Yours looks like a terrific little unit, I'm envious :)

Keep us posted once you get the final case built and a working product completed, for sure.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 1:08 pm

Oh man to have a truly dedicated handheld C64 would be so cool.

How thick would that thing have to be, based on the current design?

Update: Please add me to the interesting buyers list. :)

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 1:17 pm

It just occurred to me: what do you do if you have to switch joystick ports since how that's coded from game to game is so random?

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 5:36 pm

Man, that is one cool little design. The only problem I can forsee with building one is that it uses the near impossible to find PLA that shipped with the very last variants of the C64C short-boards.

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Mon May 24, 2021 5:47 pm

intric8 wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 1:17 pm
It just occurred to me: what do you do if you have to switch joystick ports since how that's coded from game to game is so random?
Not exactly the information you're asking about, but, the description on the website where it's for sale states that it has a header to connect external joysticks. In a pinch, I guess that would do, but then you lose the whole concept of it being a portable, like a Gameboy, if you've got to carry around an extra joystick. It would be nice to be able to switch the gamepad via a dipswitch or similar, though.
handheld.jpg

Looking at the section of the assembly instructions below, maybe this IC allows one to switch joystick ports? I don't know enough about it to say for sure what it does, so this is purely a guess. There are no other references to this IC in the instructions.
handheld2.png

User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Tue May 25, 2021 1:23 am

intric8 wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 1:17 pm
It just occurred to me: what do you do if you have to switch joystick ports since how that's coded from game to game is so random?
One of the switches on the righthand side is to switch joystick ports.

User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Tue May 25, 2021 1:45 am

intric8 wrote:
Mon May 24, 2021 1:08 pm
Oh man to have a truly dedicated handheld C64 would be so cool.

How thick would that thing have to be, based on the current design?

Update: Please add me to the interesting buyers list. :)
The thickness of the assembled raw version (from the above pictures) is 42mm (1,65354 inch), measured from the top side of the cover board to the bottom side of the bottom board, without the screws and the buttons. My case design attempt is still very "fluid", since I think about the position of the screen. Either a flat position like in the raw assembly, or a slightly tiltet position. I also want to include holding brackts into the case, because the actual screen is held by hot glue.

As for the buying interest: The circuit boards are already available on my buddy's homepage. Unfortunately, he does neither sell assembled versions, nor does he offer an assembling service. I was lucky to have A LOT of help from him on my prototype version.

Also, there is a slight issue with the length of the display cable. He is looking for an alternative display which will fit better.

User avatar
3D-vice
Germany

Posted Tue May 25, 2021 1:48 am

Here's a little promotional video of the Handeld 64.

As soon as a am done with populating mine with C64 chips, I'll post some progress here.





Return to “8 Bits”