Recalbox Announces ModderBrothers Hardware to Mod Your Retro Gear

Recalbox Announces ModderBrothers Hardware to Mod Your Retro Gear

Following on from its success with the RGB Dual, retro emulation suite creators at Recalbox have been working on a new project, ModderBrothers.

This is a new Kickstarter that starts tomorrow an aims to enable retro gear to be brought up to date, combining existing mods with original and inovaive onces, created and pre-assembled.

If you’re interested, you can watch the launch on Recalbox’s Twitch channel on Friday, April 28, 2023.

Covering pretty much all the retro gear you can think of, the project includes development of first new models as well as the development of other, innovative products. Recalbox states that “All the original mods created will have their plans, schematics and sources made public and free, to facilitate their accessibility, in OpenHardware license.”

Supporting the project means getting a mod as a reward, but if you don’t fancy that, a collection of PCB coasters is also available.

By supporting us through this funding campaign, you will give us the possibility to create these first models, but also to consider developing many new innovative products, such as new composite and RGB mods, “Action Replay”-like cartridges for ZX-Spectrum and C64/C128, flashcards for several consoles, memory extensions or replacement memory cards to repair and give life to your old computers… The list of projects is already long!

Modderbrothers mod installation levels

Mods come as extensions or cartridges. Some need mounting in a computer or console, while others may need soldering. ModderBrothers mods are intended to be the easiest to install, with complexity minimized. Consequently, different mods have an installation level, to give you an idea of how easy it will be to install. Four levels have been established:

  • Level 0: The mod is an extension or a cartridge. No manipulation is necessary, it is plug and play!
  • Level 1: The mod requires the opening of the machine. It’s plugged in an internal connector or is placed between a circuit and its socket. Basic tooling is required: screwdriver, pliers, knife…, but no soldering!
  • Level 2: Soldering is required. Of course, the documentation will guide you step by step, and all the wires to solder are provided to the right length and pre-tinned to simplify your work!
  • Level 3: Highest level, soldering and desoldering are required. You need the right tooling: iron, desoldering pump, isopropanol, …

ModderBrothers retro mods

So, what mods are on the table with this Kickstarter campaign?

  • Atari 2600: mod to connect it to modern TVs
  • Commodore 64: fix display artifact issues
  • ZX Spectrum: fix weird pixels
  • Composite video mods
  • RGB SCART mods
  • Philips VG-5000: add RAM, internal joystick ports, reset button
  • KungFu Flash: load games from SD card
  • ZX81: RAM expansion and BIOS selector
  • Gotek 2.0 disk drive replacement for Amiga/Atari ST/Amstrad
  • Game Boy Interceptor interface for streaming Game Boy/GBC/GBA games

As you can see, the options are exhaustive, but if you’ve found the idea of modding your old hardware troubling, then the MidderBrothers Kickstarter could be the solution. Other hardware is also under consideration, including Action Replay-style carts for the C64.

There is also the possibility of DIY cap kits and other classic repair hardware, such as:

  • Broken chips
  • Changing broken joystick/pad switches
  • Change the springs of the vectrex pads
  • Atari 2600 foam washers/caps

For the full picture, we recommend you check the Kickstarter when it launches on Friday, 28th April 2023. That said, if RecalBox’s project can make modding old gear easier, it simply has to be supported.

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