MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post Reply
User avatar
Nuke
Site Admin
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:57 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post by Nuke »

So last week I decided to start up another project - building a Commodore 64. I had already done one kit similar, the Neo128 build, which was a wonderful experience. And to do this a second time with a little bit of experience now under my belt, I'm really excited.

The MELIUS build is provided from DIYChris and offers a lot of options in your purchase; ranging from bare bones and find it yourself parts to a complete built kit ready to rock.

For my experience, I went after a bare board, but got nearly 100 percent of the needed parts from DIYChris - this saves a lot on search time and shipping costs - especially since DIYChris is USA-based for me - though I'm sure some cost is in there from shipping that DIYChris had to pay for to procure the parts. With the board and nearly all parts, my purchase total was $260 after shipping and taxes.
Board Arrives!
Board Arrives!
20240502_155248_reduced.jpg (107.66 KiB) Viewed 34 times
The board is beautiful. The build list DIYChris provided is detailed and adequate, leaving very few questions as I start to wade through this. I immediately started on my trek.

DAY 1: Ferrite Beads
Seemed like a good start to get my soldering groove on. I was a little rusty after two years of not soldering. A few of the beads show a slight misalignment after the job was complete.
Ferrite Beads in (pic 1)
Ferrite Beads in (pic 1)
20240502_165359_reduced.jpg (107.81 KiB) Viewed 34 times
Ferrite Beads in (pic 2)
Ferrite Beads in (pic 2)
20240502_171251_reduced.jpg (105.48 KiB) Viewed 34 times
Upcoming - Day 2!
=-= Nuke =-=
User avatar
Nuke
Site Admin
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:57 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post by Nuke »

Day 2:
So I worked the RF section of the board today. Really had a hard time with component alignment - but I didn't do a lot of pre-work in measurement and kind of eye-balled it. Bad Bad LOL - this is crappy alignment work. One thing I did notice that seems particular with this board and its pads: the heat isn't transferring well to the opposite side. In my previous builds, I haven't experienced this. You can really see it in the photo below with R10, R12, & R15. Additionally, L6, R9, R11 & R20 did not get solder flow across the entire pad (looks as if it favored where the soldering iron was placed (towards the right side of the picture). This indicates the heat is not fully transferring across the pad and may require I flux both sides prior to soldering a component in. For the components above, I'll have to reflow some additional solder. Thank God for cell phone cameras, because my old naked eyes can't see these deficiencies!
A 5 year old could align components better than me!
A 5 year old could align components better than me!
20240504_121316_reduced.jpg (147.36 KiB) Viewed 27 times
=-= Nuke =-=
User avatar
Nuke
Site Admin
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:57 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post by Nuke »

Day three & four.
Tried to clean up the RF section and it just made it look even more shabby LOL. So just going to leave as is to avoid accidental damage. The electrical connections check out well.

Placed in remaining resistors that were not surface mounted. For the most part, these went in nicely and soldered well. I brought in some newer tools that helped with component forming. Only issue I had was on day four, my tremors were acting up so it was tough to paint solder well. The joys of getting old... but from what I see, I'll take it as a win.
Resistors are in!
Resistors are in!
20240506_142813_reduced.jpg (224.16 KiB) Viewed 24 times
=-= Nuke =-=
User avatar
Nuke
Site Admin
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:57 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post by Nuke »

Day 5 - more capacitors day!
This one I noted two components that have labels hidden on the board. You can find the assignments in the PDF document for the board, but I note them here as well.
hidden_components_reduced.jpg
hidden_components_reduced.jpg (101.73 KiB) Viewed 13 times
In the above, you will see components C95 on the lower right and C36 on upper left have markings that were covered when the board was manufactured.

Another note on C95 - this is very tricky to solder in if you do any work on the front side with it - as you can see my boo boo below... I tried to wick up, but further cleanup will be needed.
D'oh!!!!
D'oh!!!!
day5_2_reduced.jpg (58.37 KiB) Viewed 13 times
But after about two hours, all .01uf capacitors are installed.
day5_reduced.jpg
day5_reduced.jpg (151.98 KiB) Viewed 13 times
=-= Nuke =-=
User avatar
Nuke
Site Admin
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 6:57 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: MELIUS Commodore 64 Build - Working Blog

Post by Nuke »

Days 6 & 7. A lot of focus on diodes, transistors, capacitors and cartridge port.
No major significant problems.
Day 6
Day 6
20240516_145832_reduced.jpg (191.62 KiB) Viewed 2 times
Day 7 - Nice new cartridge port!
Day 7 - Nice new cartridge port!
20240517_144330_reduced.jpg (140.43 KiB) Viewed 2 times
=-= Nuke =-=
Post Reply