@PhaytalError – those demos are amazing, and I love that there’s still such an active community around this machine, what a great piece of hardware.
With some encouragement from the friendly folks over at Lemon64 I decided to give the C128 another go. I tried a different AV cable and that sorted out most of the issues I had with the image quality, the problem with the “fixed” SID chip doesn’t impact many of the games I want to play, and there exists a mod to fix the issue of the internal 1571 drive hogging device # 8, details here:
In summary the idea is to cut the relevant trace on the motherboard to disable the internal drive, and then add a switch to turn it back on if required. I gave it a go last night and it was surprisingly straight forward; the C128 was very easy to work with, very modular and plenty of room to move. This is the internal drive which I removed temporarily to improve access to the relevant traces on the motherboard:
Here is the chip in question, and the relevant traces. The traces are not too fine, and there are some nice big solder pads to attach things to:
Ingredients for the switch:
The assembled switch:
The trace has been cut and the switch attached to the relevant pads on the motherboard:
The switch mounted on the side of the machine, the instructions suggest mounting it in the plastic front of the case but I didn’t want to see it:
Success! The drive is now easily switched off, allowing the 1541UII to emulate device 8, and allowing for a single drive to be present which is important for some fast loaders. And with the flick of a switch the internal drive – which will come in handy - is enabled again:
Life? Don't talk to me about life.