DTV64 Micro Tower

The Direct-to-TV (DTV) 30-in-1 C64 was released in the lead-up to Christmas 2004. For many this was a chance to re-live some of their favourite games. For me, it was a chance to get my hands onto a "new generation" C64. The DTV's designer included many more features in the circuit that have been implemented in the joystick toy - 256colours, a DMA engine, PS/2 keyboard support are all included, as well as the ability to boot to BASIC and run most applications just like the real thing.

Within days of the release, DTV hacking sites spread on the web. Though I got my DTV in time for Christmas, I had to wait a little longer to get some extra units for hacking.

What I've set out to do is create a computer out of the game unit, something which includes the connectivity features that would be in a C64 if released today...

In addition to building a case for the device, I wanted to add all the I/O ports, build-in a XE-port, add compatibility to existing C= equipment such as power connectors and video port. There's even even enough space left in the micro tower for a S-video to VGA card - but that's for later ;)

This item is not in the 64HDD Shop, but I had built some for folks. Unfortunately the DTV is no longer available in stores - try eBay.

The Micro Tower DTV64:

The cases: - the cases come in a range of colours including black, grey, transparent blue and transparent clear. With all the PC modding going on these days and with Nintendo also using transparent cases, I thought the coolest case was the blue one.
The interfacing board: - wanting to minimise the changes to the DTV circuit board I chose to include a second board where all soldering and interface work could be done. This means that only simple fly-leads are needed to connect to the DTV allowing for the hack to be reversed without damaging the original DTV.
Interfacing to the connectors: - leads with headers are used to make the assembly to the interfacing board easier and give it that big PC look.
The front panel: - on the front are...
  • power and serial disk bus activity indicators
  • power switch
  • push button switches for 64HDD reset and disk-flip functions
  • the PS/2 keyboard connector, and
  • connectors for the two joystick ports. Control port #1 is not fully accessible on the DTV because the "up" direction is not routed out of the CPU blob.

The sticker is entirely optional ;)

The rear panel: - not much room left here! The power socket allows a standard C64 power supply to be used - no more running out of batteries! Above this is a serial disk drive port, and above that a video port which is compatible with both 5-pin C64 A/V cables and the Vic20 RF modulator. Conventional A/V RCA sockets are also there, as well as an output for connecting up those powered stereo speakers. Of course, today's C64 would not be complete without a built-in XE1541 interface, the XE-Port. A system reset button is also fitted.

Let there be light! - no modern mod would be complete without the glow-in-the-dark feature.

Completing the tower: - to complete the setup a matching ice blue transparent PS/2 compatible keyboard was sourced!

Prefer a desktop?: - easy! The case looks just as good laid on its side. The overall dimensions are a tiny 180 x 100 x 55mm.

Matching extras: - how about a IEC hub with reset and device disable switches, all in the same colour scheme? The overall dimensions are a tiny 100 x 55 x 30mm.

The Lite Micro Tower DTV64:

The Lite version: - I've been offerring some users the option of a lite version with fewer connectors and switches. All connections are done direct to the DTV PCB also as this saves some build time.

Front panel only has one joystick port, the PS/2 keyboard connector and a drive reset.

No XE-Port: - the XE-Port is not included on the lite version, but you can use your standard XE1541 cable, or ask to have it added as an option.

The rear panel has A/V plugs, the serial IEC drive port, C64 power connector and a master-reset.