Retro Raspberry Pi project replaces the C64 sound chip with the Pico

Retro-style C64 mini-computer box next to a Raspberry Pi Pico board.

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If you have a C64 with a broken sound chip lying around, don’t worry; you won’t have to spend tons of money to bring it back to its former glory. Instead, all you need is the budget-friendly and highly reliable Raspberry Pi Pico to replace the Commodore 64’s SID (sound interface device) chip, so you can listen to your favorite 8-bit songs like in the good old days.

Most enthusiasts know that collecting and maintaining retro hardware can often be an expensive and laborious endeavor. However, tech YouTuber More Fun Making It’s video showed viewers that you don’t need to break the bank to restore your favorite classic tech pieces. Their lengthy reel also revealed just how capable and versatile the Raspberry Pi Pico is after bringing the C64’s glitchy-sounding, music-making capabilities back to life.

The SIDKick Pico brings C64 sound back to life

If you prefer a much more convenient solution, More Fun Making It also revealed a couple of alternatives to replace your C64’s SID chip. However, they aren’t quite as reliable and affordable as the tried-and-tested Raspberry Pi Pico since official replacement chips, like RetroComp’s ARMSID, typically cost between “25 and 40 euros.” They’re also susceptible to breaking down quickly because, let’s face it, these are old pieces of tech that have been around since well before the noughties.

Of course, like any piece of tech worth reviving, bringing the C64’s sound back to life requires a bit of technical know-how since you’ll need to solder and install a few different components together. Luckily, More Fun Making It’s detailed video shows you exactly what you need to do to learn how to set up and solder a Raspberry Pi Pico. If you’re looking for a more powerful single-board computer, you may want to take a look at where to buy a Raspberry Pi 5 instead.

Nico is a Tech News Writer for PC Guide. He is also adept at finding a good deal every now and then, stemming from his days penny-pinching as a broke college kid.