Friday, 13 September 2019

More Assembling of MEGA65 Pre-Series Machines

Just a quick post with some eye-candy of the growing number of fully assembled MEGA65 pre-series machines:

So much 8-bit fun in so little space!

Meanwhile, we continue to work to assemble the rest, and to figure out a good solution for financing the creation of the injection moulds for the cases for mass-production (the pre-series machines were produced using a very expensive per unit vacuum form process, that is much too expensive for mass production).

This is really the biggest remaining barrier. While we have some ideas we are exploring, now would be a great time for any wealthy sheiks in the audience to offer us their patronage ;) Or people willing to run sausage sizzles at their local home improvement stores, or whatever. We estimate the total cost of this stage to be around 65,000 €.  We'd naturally be happy to talk about appropriate ways to recognise any such support.

Of course this is the frustrating part where we need actual money, rather than being able to use volunteer labour. If I tried to calculate the value of the volunteer labour, I'd have to guess somewhere between 500K and 1M €, if we had to pay folks to have done the work.  This really is a labour of love on the part of many -- and from which we all benefit, since if we had to fund this project "properly" from the start, then (a) it probably wouldn't have happened; and (b) if it had happened, it would have had to have cut so many corners that it wouldn't be recognised. It is only through the voluntary efforts of so many that we have managed to re-create this lost unicorn of computers.

We really want to get this last hurdle settled before we move forward, because how we fund this is really the greatest uncertainty left in the process of determining what is a possible price, and thus to start moving towards being able to offer a pre-order mechanism for everyone who is longing to hold their very own MEGA65 in their hands.


  1. My deepest respect! - Love your project and I know exactly what you mean.

    We were in the exact same situation just over twenty years ago with our "small" project, DROID-3 (the very first Danish synthesizer - 8 bit of course :) )

  2. Kickstarter>???? This is an guaranteed success

  3. I'm not a sheik, sorry. But I work as a developer in a company that produces injection molding machines. Maybe I can help you in some way...

  4. Another vote for a crowdfounding solution. Looking at what the SpectrumNEXT went through, there will be other expenses to consider, from producing PCBs to keyboards to manuals and boxes. So, maybe an area where a non-engineering group of students can contribute - running this is no mean feat but don't see any other way of doing it. You may even start your own crowdfounding campaign independent of the crowdfounding sites by collecting through the Museum or founding a similar attached entity to take care of the funding.

  5. +1 crowdfunding ... will be a huge success for sure

  6. I agree that a crowdfunding/kickstarter solution is the way to go.
    This project is really fantastic, and I am sure that C64 demo sceners and in general people that are passionate about retro computers and gaming should love to own a MEGA 65.
    I should sure love to make a great C65 demo for a demo competition for this machine, and I am sure that there is a lot of people out that feel the same.

  7. Totally agree. Crowdfunding is a great start to know if there is enough people interested in this wonderful new computer.

  8. I agree with the above.

    I've never previously bought anything on Kickstarter, but I would seriously consider the MEGA65 should it be offered.

    BTW I am not so much interested in the Commodore part, but the (FPGA) hardware looks like a pretty great platform to emulate other 8-bit machines. I am sure that interest would be wider than just to the C= retro community.

    I also appreciate that you have made all the FPGA code open-source. This really gives you credibility.

  9. I'm not a great lover of KickStarter, been burned a few times on there, but this project has real working prototypes backed up by fact rather than fantasy. I think there's big fan-base for this mythical machine. You've already got some nice marketing material going here that can be moved to a campaign. You've only got to look at the demand on eBay for old Commodore kit to see the market's out there. The crazy selling price for a real C65 also adds to the allure...