Tidying under the stairs… C64-DTV

A few (well 6 or 7) years ago someone came up with the bright idea of building a C64 into one of the most popular joysticks of the period, a Competition Pro.

c64dtv

I’m not sure if the original moulds were used, the stick certainly looks like a Competition Pro, but made more cheaply and the directions don’t feel quite like they should.  Inside is a small board running a re-implementation of the C64 hardware which was designed by a Jeri Ellsworth, a self taught chip designer.

It’s flash memory based, and comes pre-loaded with a selection of games mostly from Epyx and Hewson depending on which region you purchase – and you should purchase carefully because the PAL units have a problem in the colour output (fixable if you have the skills).  There is (or was, these are kind of old hat now) a modding community with adaptions for extra joystick ports, flash memory access interfaces and so on.  I’ve not touched mine although I really should do the colour fix at some point.

Here’s a bad video of it in action, not sure why but the DVD recorder I used to make the video seems to add stepping artifacts to movement, the actual unit doesn’t suffer from this.

The C64 really did have amazing sound all things considered. I picked this up when they first came out, and the original batteries were still in there, and they weren’t in very good shape… Luckily there wasn’t any corrosion, just a crystalline mess which brushed away. Please – if you have weird things like this tucked away around the house like I do, remember to remove the batteries. I’m pretty bad about it myself and it never ends well.