Wiring a Pimmodore-64 is very similar to wiring a Keymmodore-64, because both use the same interface for the keyboard. However, housing a Raspberry Pi inside the case, there are additional cables and connectors specifically for the Pi.
Two options for powering the Pi
The Raspberry Pi requires a good 5VDC Power Supply with at least 2.5 Amps of capacity. Using cell phone chargers will cause problems, so avoid that chargers.
Pimmodore-64 implements a female «barrel» plug for power, located in the same place than original PS were connected to the C64 (right side). It uses also a switch, to turn on and off the Pi without having to unplug it, also like the original C64.
Using a Certified Power Supply
In order to use your certified power supply (like Canakit), cut the cable (about 40 cm from the Micro-USB connector) and solder negative wire to female barrel terminal, and positive to power switch… Of course you need to run a cable from the positive terminal power connector to the switch terminar in order to close the circuit.
Using a 5VDC power brick
An easier way to power the Pi is using a 5VDC power brick with a male barrel plug (instead of Micro-USB) like the ones used from surveillance cameras. Just check for a brick with 4A or larger capacity. That way you do not need to «sacrifice» your Pi Power Supply. Also a brick looks more like the original C64 Power Supply 😉
If you choose the 5VDC «brick» type power supply, you need to solder two wires directly to solder pads located at the bottom of the Pi. This way you also avoid the voltage drop of thin cables and cheap USB connectors. Look at the following video for instructions how to solder the cable.
How to solder power cables directly to the Raspberry Pi.
Three options for C64 Joysticks Ports wiring.
Pimmodore-64 supports two C64/Atari standard Joysticks ports. The ports are located at the right side, in the same way C64 had. If you’ve read about Keymmodore-64, you already know there are two ways to wire joysticks, depending of the interface board of choice. However, Pimmodore adds a third (and easier option) as explained below:
- Option 1: Connected directly to the Teensy ++2.0 interface board as explained here.
- Option 2: Connected to the At32u4 interface board using «Y» connectors as explained here.
- Option 3: Connected directly to the R-Pi GPIO ports.
Option 3 is better suited for At32u4 boards, so you do not need to build that «Y» connections. However there are some caveats: It only works with BMC64 emulator, although BMC64 is maybe the best emulator for a Pimmodore-64.
Technically, Retropie, Recalbox and some others platforms allow to map arcade sticks and buttons to GPIO pins of the R-Pi, so you can try that also if you want to use your old joysticks with anything else than BMC64.
Optional analog Video and Audio Output
The R-Pi has analog video and audio outputs. It’s four pole female plug has Composite Video and Stereo Sound.
If you want that «retro» experience using an old CRT TV for example, you can wire that plug according the following pinout:
The Composite Video Output works best with BMC64 Emulator. BMC64 is able to switch between NTSC and PAL-B, depending what model of computer is being emulated. It’s also cycle perfect so is very close to «the real deal». Of course you need a PAL-B compatible TV if you want to emulate that using Composite Output.
HDMI supports 50Hz signals so you can always emulate european PAL-B machines using HDMI output.
There are two types of 3D printed supports for Pimmodore-64: With or without Analog Outputs, in case you choose not to wire it.