Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Jul 2017 20:48 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

It's time to announce the upcoming new "Ultimate-64" board!

In order to sustain the love for the Commodore 64, with failing machines, power supplies and flaky old connectors, I proudly present a new main board for your beloved C64 case:

What is it?!  This board is a hardware implementation (FPGA) of the entire C64, and it includes the Ultimate-II+ as well.  An ALL IN ONE solution!

It will be produced in small batches, and the creator hopes to be able to sell it for around 200 dollars. That's a pretty great price to give a C64 a lease on life.

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FPGA implementation
by Treza on Thu 13th Jul 2017 22:20 UTC
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At the same price, 200$€, there is also the more versatile MIST box which suports the C64, Amiga, Atari ST, Archimedes, Apple ][...

But it does not look like a C64 !

Reply Score: 3

RE: FPGA implementation
by bugjacobs on Fri 14th Jul 2017 02:05 UTC in reply to "FPGA implementation"
bugjacobs Member since:

Mist is not the best for C64, (more for Amiga and Atari ST).

I dont know how much work Gideon has got into the main C64 FPGA cloning yet - but the 1541 disk drive should be very good - the SID mostly ok I suppose without having examined it extensivly, its atleast in his cartridge already.

For a product like this that is more mature you might want to wait for the Commodore C64 Reloaded MK3 from Jens Schönfeld which will I suppose have the Chameleon C64 core built in - and that has several years of work on it. The most complete C64 FPGA I believe.

Now Id wait a few months into the availability of both of these possibly incase of any leftover bugs .. Jens should have ironed out most problems I guess by now.

He has delivered a bunch of boards with real chips up to now, and if you have a few C64 chips leftover you might look at the MK2 C64 Reloaded as well, it needs 4 or 5 original chips and should provide the best NEW C64 experience you can get by now.

Anyway reports are that MK3 with all FPGA might be out late this year. And new Turbo Chameleon 64 Carts soonish I think. (So dont waste time on eBay for those.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: FPGA implementation
by jal_ on Fri 14th Jul 2017 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE: FPGA implementation"
jal_ Member since:

Then again, Jens is not the most reliable when it comes to these matters. Remember the Clone-A?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: FPGA implementation
by bugjacobs on Fri 14th Jul 2017 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FPGA implementation"
bugjacobs Member since:

I agree Jens might be a little quaint :-D But the Clone-A gained knowledge, is being used in other products for example in Indivision (for the ECS ?) I think as well as it might still come out for the Chameleon. Sometime .. :-D
He likely use the knowledge for the accelerators and ACA500 etc as well.. Btw I have the Chameleon, its pretty good and actively developed for C64 !

Edited 2017-07-14 23:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

any reason
by avgalen on Fri 14th Jul 2017 08:49 UTC
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Is there any reason other than nostalgia to pay 200€$ for a C64?

I get that people have different hobbies and just like them I pay a lot more than I probably should for things that I like. But is there a logical reason for this to exist at this pricepoint?

Reply Score: 2

RE: any reason
by dmantione on Sun 16th Jul 2017 17:13 UTC in reply to "any reason"
dmantione Member since:

Is there any reason other than nostalgia to pay 200€$ for a C64?

I think so. The C64 platform still has an active user base and there are still commercial games being developed for the C64. Nostaliga is part of the C64 hobby, but the C64 is still a very interresting computer platform that is worth spending time on, for fun.

Gideon's Ultimate 1541 cartridge adds a lot of convenience for a C64 user. It sold many thousands of pieces and look at the price.

The Ultimate 64 with 1541 Utimate built-in will likely add even more convenience. It is plausible that many C64 users will see the merit and buy it.

Reply Score: 2

Bit pricey for a toy
by ThomasFuhringer on Fri 14th Jul 2017 09:57 UTC
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If I want a dedicated machine to placate my C64 yearning, I guess I would rather use RetroPie. Costs me around $30.
I know it is not the same, but then Ultimate-64 is also a compromise of sorts.

Reply Score: 3

Member since:

He might want to collaborate with Jeri Ellsworth if he hasn't done so already. She has designed several Commodore 64 chipsets that have been in production for many years. They are used in many retail plug-and-play video game consoles (I own a few of them) as well as several general-purpose models.

Some boards, especially in the game consoles, are feature-reduced custom builds. Others can be hacked to become fully working Commodore 64 desktop computers. Ellsworth has also collaborated with Schönfeld.

Like the article states, the Ellsworth-designed boards are hardware implementations, not emulations.

Edited 2017-07-14 22:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

bugjacobs Member since:

Ellsworth and Jens had a rather non amicable split .. And the Joystick C64 is apparently not very accurate in its implementation ..

Reply Score: 1

Comment by grandmasterphp
by grandmasterphp on Sat 15th Jul 2017 15:04 UTC
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Individual computers already do a replacement C64 board for about the same price.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by grandmasterphp
by leech on Sun 16th Jul 2017 19:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by grandmasterphp"
leech Member since:

Individual computers already do a replacement C64 board for about the same price.

That one is out of stock, and the MK2 requires C64 chips. The Ultimate 64 is all FPGA from my understanding, so for someone who doesn't already have a C64 to pull chips out of, it's a nice alternative. I signed up to get one, then I'll see if I can track down a C64 to swap out the board for. Then without having to worry about monitors and such (since the Ultimate 64 has built on HDMI) I can hook it up to my large screen in my living room for some old gaming!

Reply Score: 2