Not more than a week after I finally get around to repairing my C128's keyboard, the sound started to crackle and fade out on me. A quick jiggle of the video cable and the problem didn't go away. What was up now? I unplugged the video cable and gave the video port a cleaning, but that didn't fix the problem either.
Reluctantly, I once again pulled the C128 apart to try and see if I could find anything that might be causing the problem. However, all the connections and components seemed to be as they should. So, what was left? It would be quite strange that, after all of this time, the SID chip would be acting up; and right after I fixed the keyboard. But, there was nothing left for me to do but try replacing the SID. Luckily, I had that spare parts C128 (which I used to fix the keyboard) with a working SID - at least it was working the last time I checked.
I pulled the SID and plunked in the replacement, and voila!, I had crystal clear sound, once again. Thankfully, I have the luxury of owning a source of replacement parts for my C128, at least for now. But, then again, I wonder how long this will last.
Looking at the on-line community of Commodore users, it's great to see hardware projects, like the C64 Reloaded and the soon to be released Ultimate64 out there for when original C64 parts and components can no longer be found. But what about the C128? It's unfortunate that there are no such projects for it out there in the community. I know that the C128 is not as popular in the community, but still, it would be a sad thing to see this fantastic 8-bit computer fade away, as the original parts for it become more difficult to find.
If you're a C128 user, like I am, I suggest holding on to any working (or even half working) systems you come across in your travels. For, unless a “reloaded” project springs up some time in the future, these systems will get more difficult to repair as time goes on.
Composed on my C128 with Archetype