MIDIBox SID Project Blog

A COMMODORE 64 BASED MUSIC SYNTHESIZER

Mistake-O-Rama

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Well today was a mistake-o-rama. Nothing major, just annoying for my own lack of attention. My Arrow order came, so I sat down thinking I had all the new parts only to realize that I ordered a polarized 330nF (0.33uF) cap for C2 in which it appears a non-polarized is required because C2 doesn’t indicate a positive pad. I’ve reached out to the forums and they said that I can use it still as long as I get it in the right direction (which would be the lower hole is positive).

Rising to the Surface

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Many people who have built a MIDIBox SID inside a Commodore 64 case have created a control surface panel that covers the whole front of the case that is attached with screws. While that's a much easier way to do things, I really wanted to use the actual keys from the PET style VIC-20 keyboard as the buttons for the synth and to still have exposed the keyboard cutout. After a bunch of research, measuring, hunting down the correct size switches and encoders, I figured out a solution that I think will work.

MIDIBox With a Side of Pi

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I’ve decided (for now) that I will build the MIDIBox SID in the VIC-20 case. This means I have a C64C with everything but a power supply and a SID chip. I don’t know if the mainboard even works though so I think I’m going to go full nostalgia and use the 64C case and keyboard to make a Raspberry Pi based video game emulator.

BOM OMB

Sunday, November 5, 2017

I’ve come to discover I got myself mixed up with the instructions for building out the PSU sections and I think I need caps C1, C2, C4, C11, and C12. In addition I forgot to buy a 7812 voltage regulator which goes in V3.

A Failure to Case This Joint

Saturday, November 4, 2017

I’ve come to realize that my original plan to build this synth in a 64C case isn’t going to work. There’s not enough vertical space at the front of the case for the PCB with components to fit. I have two alternatives to decide between. The MB-6582 will fit fine inside the VIC-20 breadbox case that I got with the PET style keyboard. The clear issue with that plan was that I wanted to use the 64C case since that’s the model C64 I had as a youth and that means the case I bought was wasted money. The other alternative might be a terrible idea, I have decided.