The Hackability of an Arduino With the Retro Swagger of a C64
Some people are excited about single-board computers (SBCs) that fit inside USB ports or whatever. Which is cool and all, but some of us prefer the sturdy beige majesty of a Commodore 64. Powered by eight bits of warm nostalgia and decorated with shiny keycaps that go all the way down, your beloved C64 is now good for more than just binging on Jumpman Junior (assuming you can find the floppies).
Remember that port on the back of your Commodore 64? The one you never used? Well we think it’s about time you plugged something into that port. Specifically, we recommend a Zion adapter connected to one or more Zeus LT expansion boards. Together, these two boards open up a world of possibilities:
Give your Commodore 64 dominion over your home automation system by connecting it to lights, cameras, sensors, automatic locks, motors, and just about any 220 V appliance. It is highly unlikely to leverage targeted marketing strategies to monetize whatever data it might gather in the process…
Design, test, and debug Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions while using a keyboard that doesn’t suck.
Develop innovative retro-gaming hardware and software that brings motion control, sensor networks, computer vision, and other “real world” input and output to the glorious world of 8-bit entertainment.
Learn or teach basic electronics—and BASIC programming—using a familiar, trusted platform that you can understand fully but that can (still) handle whatever computation might be required.
Look good doing it.
Zeus LT Board + Single-Port Adapter
This has everything you need to make the Commodore 64 external I/O magic happen:
One single-port adapter that plugs into your Commodore 64
One 15-pin D-sub connector cable to connect the adapter to the Zeus LT I/O board
One Zeus LT board that has:
8 inputs for sensors
4 outputs controlled by relays
4 outputs controlled by TRIACs
4 signaling LEDs connected to the relay outputs
A single power-on LED
A beeper attached to the first relay output. (Don’t worry, you can disable it.)