23 July 2019

Inside the Commodore SX-64

My favorite part of getting any cool retro tech is taking it apart and cleaning it up to make it look new again. Making something that has been neglected for years look nice again is incredibly satisfying and there are many successful YouTube channels that do just this.
That being said, I had to draw the line with the SX-64. It was not cheap, and I'm not likely to find another one again in the near future for the price I got it. In the Meet the Machine post, I said I'd be giving this machine a deep cleaning. I won't be doing that. Not now, at least.

I did disassemble it a bit, however. To be honest, it's pretty clean already. This SX-64 was not neglected by its previous owner at all.
To start the disassembly, there are eight screws on the back holding much of it together. Some of these are missing on this computer, but it hasn't had any negative impact. Still, I'd like to find identical screws to make this complete.
With the screws out, these vents slide out on both sides revealing more screws holding the top and bottom of the chassis together. I love this.
With three screws on either side removed, the top lifts cleanly off, revealing all of the goodies inside. Commodore did not waste space inside this computer. There are way more wires than I expected given that the regular Commodore 64 only has one wire inside. There are a lot of PCBs here, but I was mostly interested in finding the PLA and SID chips. Fun fact: I couldn't find them.
Here's the cartridge slot up close and the largest area of empty space. Like I said, it's very clean inside this computer.
The back panel sort of slides away but I couldn't move it very far without disconnecting all of the wires.
Just to make sure I wasn't screwing things up, I powered on the machine. Thankfully I wasn't screwing things up.
It occurred to me I hadn't taken a picture of the BASIC screen, so here's that.

And that's as far as I took this thing apart. Not very exciting, I know, but at least I was able to get some good shots of the interior. If this machine ever stops working and requires repairs, I'll gladly do a full disassembly and document that entire process. But there is no way I'm going to take any risks with it.

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