I´m not dead!

backbaby

After a break I am back…almost….

There are several Projects “under developement”:

First of all, a quick and easy one: The “Top-Secret” LCD Screen
The second one is a Raspberry Pi in a golden Commodore64 Case – with original Keyboard.
And the third one is a new Cab. An arcade cab specially designed for Shooters like House of dead or Time Crisis.

For the Commodore64 i still need…well…a C64…
The problem is, that I will not pay EUR 60,– upwards for a working C64 for breaking it (besides that my heart would be bleeding when breaking it). If anybody knows where to get a cheap one, let me know – no matter if its working or not (only the Keyboard is important). Even an ugly, rotten unit will do the job cause of the gold-plating.

The arcade cab will take some time, because thats a REALLY expensive project.
Oh, and no, I have not cancelled the ark of covenant 😉

 

Coming soon….

Oh my god…. April is almost over and I have finished – nothing….
Sorry, but 2015 started real bad for me but the worst part´s over (i hope).

I´ll start a new project real soon – maybe not the ark of covenant (this will be done later when I am (kind of) fully recovered) but a smaller one.

Zak_McKracken_and_the_Alien_Mindbenders_-_1988_-_Startbildschirm

The RaspBoy (Part 10) – Grande Finale

Well,  already thought the desire to project Raspboy had lost?
To be honest – almost, because the configuration is quite tedious and not very funny but finally I did the it.

Emulation station was configured quickly – this tool is really foolproof. Retroarch was more difficult – maybe difficult is the wrong word, more complicated.After I edited the configuration file finished I did a test and – hooray, it works!

Ideally in Retroarch one function could be done with several buttons that was necessary. Why?
It’s simple: In “handheld” mode the games are controlled with the GameBoy buttons but via HDMI on the TV and wireless controller player 1 should be controlled wireless and not with GameBoy buttons. A simultaneous pressure on Select and Start exits the emulators.

Also “console mode” works perfectly. However, I will underclock the RasPi, since the thing gets really warm when playing a longer period.
So this project seems to be finished – and now for the planning of the Ark of the Covenant …..

Today there once a small interim report, as well as an outlook for the year 2015

The RaspBoy project is almost completed – but the software must be configured – a work which is not really exciting (hence no update yet;-))

There are also some Pinball-news:

I have decided leave the pinball as it is (well, almost) – so no Steampunk outfit. Too bad, because the thing with the exhaust pipe would have been funny. The Pinball is good as it is – Sideart will be created soon (well, as soon as I bought the plotter)

What I could now do in 2015 ….
A difficult question – a RaspGear is too boring for me atm – maybe later. An arcade cab would be fine, but the project is too expensive at the moment (apart from the fact that I unfortunately have no room for it). At the top of my 2do list is something that is less technical, but rather decorative (similar to the tes-dragon). The Ark of the Covenant.

Yes, you read correctly. Well, not with the same features, but the one or the other gadget I will also incorporate here. First of all I have to check on the project feasibility – planned start is early 2015 – stay tuned!

The RaspBoy (Part 9) – Case closed (almost)

First of all:

Here are the updated schematics of the Raspboy:

I tried to get rid of the noise caused by the Amplifier with a self-made shield:

No, that´s not a condom…..

Another epic fail – the noise was´nt very impressed of the shield. So I installed the old Amplifier again – Better crappy sount than no sound – or noise on the LCD.

I almost closed the Raspboy-Casing by gluing the screw-mounting (which I cut off another GameBoy case) into the Raspboy. It worked perfectly.

Too bad this method worked only with 3 of the 6 screws, so there is a little gap on one of the corners of the RaspBoy case…

The Raspboy (Part 8) – Back to 5V

Sorry for the late update – I had some troubles with my Macbook (thanks apple) and I was in the deepest, secluded corner of Styria the last few days because I had to visit a seminar – isolated with no internet…

Since the attempt to use a 3,7V battery to power the Raspboy was (another) epic fail I needed another solution for the problem…

Actually it was quite simple:

The Problem was, that i was impossible to operate the Raspboy when the battery was empty – even when powered with the power supply, to I had to wire the power-supply to the battery (for charging) AND the Raspboy (to power it)

So:

power supply –> battery –>Raspboy
power supply –> RaspBoy

IMPORTANT: to prevent the current for flowing into the “wrong side” of the battery (the output) the battery has to be uncoupled with Diodes.

After fileing a little bit there was enough room for moving the battery upwards so te GameBoy headphone jack can be installed.

The USB port and the mini USB port (for charging) have enough room in the battery compartment!
Using a 2A make the Raspboy work perfectly (even with an empty battery) BUT:

Houston, we have a new Problem:
The new amplifier causes the LCD to flicker really bad when closing the Raspboy…..
And: I need a way to close the Raspboy – without sticking it together…

The RaspBoy (Part 7) – Goodbye Teensy!

Thanks to one of the kind readers on my Blog (Many thanks Hugo!) I started to research a way to use the GameBoy Buttons without the Teensy and – was successfull! There is a great tutorial from Adafruit available

Goodbye Teensy, hello GPIO Pins of the Raspberry Pi!

First of all I had to check if the PCB of the Buttons is still working – after torturing it with my soldering iron it was in a VERY bad shape:

YES, i know, it looks very very bad, but it is still working!

So I soldered the wires to the GPIO Pins and started to modify the tool which is needed to tell the RasPi what to do with the pins.

The tutorial is for a 6 Button setup (4 directional and 2 fire-buttons) so I used 4 more GPIO pins (caution: some of them are preallocated and cant be used). Connected to the RasPi with SSH I downloaded and unpacked this Zip-File and modified the retrogame.c

Even if you have little of no experience in programming this is really easy:

First of all open the file with nano (You´ll find it in the unpacked Adafruit-Retrogame Folder) with

nano retrogame.c

You´ll find the Key-assignment at about line 110 using the format ( {GPIO PIN , KEYCODE} ). Just copy one of the lines and paste it 4 times into the file and assign the GPIO Pins and Keycode the way you need it.

Here are some lines of my retrogame.c:


ioStandard[] = {
// (using HDMI or composite instead), as with our original
// retro gaming guide.
// Input Output (from /usr/include/linux/input.h)

{ 10, KEY_LEFT },        // Left
{ 9, KEY_RIGHT },       // Right
{ 25, KEY_UP },           // Up
{ 9, KEY_DOWN },      // Down
{ 11, KEY_A },             // A
{ 23, KEY_S },             // B
{ 7, KEY_Q },              // X
{ 24, KEY_W },           // Y
{ 18, KEY_TAB },       // Select
{ 17, KEY_ENTER }, // Start

// For credit/start/etc., use USB keyboard or add more buttons.
{ -1, -1 } }; // END OF LIST, DO NOT CHANGE

// This pin/key table is used when the PiTFT isn’t found

N

ow you have to compile the file with

make retrogame

And edit the rc.local with

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

 pasting the following line BEFORE „Exit 0“ (Adapt the path if necessary)

/home/pi/Adafruit-Retrogame/retrogame &

and save.

Now create with

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/10-retrogame.rules

the .rules file and paste

SUBSYSTEM==”input”, ATTRS{name}==”retrogame”, ENV{ID_INPUT_KEYBOARD}=”1″

in your editor – then save.

Now to a restart with

sudo restart 

DONE!

Now I have to get rid of the battery-problem….

The RaspBoy (Part 6) – The Battery Problem

I decided to replace the 5V Battery with a normal battery for mobile phones, a PCB for charging and a DC-DC Converter (to convert the 3,7V to 5V)

The tiny PCBs fit perfectly in the GameBoy case not needing much room. I also replaced the mini-amplifier (boy, this thing was crap!) with another (better) one so I can use an internal speaker too.

Also an new USB Hub is now inside the RaspBoy, because 2 of the 4 USB ports of the old one were not working (yes, it was my fault..)

So I disassembled the new one…

…and removed 3 of the 4 USB Cables. Then I soldered the USB Cable of the Teensy and the wireless-receiver to the USB-ports and put the Hub into the RaspBoy.

YES, a wireless Receiver!

I had an XBox360-wireless-USB-receiver which I don’t need anymore, so I disassembled it and….had no clue where to put that big PCB….

I cut away not needed Parts of the PCB (It is a little bit bigger than it has to be) and had luck:

It fits perfectly in the Cartridge slot of the GameBoy Case and even the connect button is accessible!

When its done the Raspboy, connected to an TV with HDMI is a nice retro-console with wireless-controllers – well, at least thats the plan…..

When I power the whole thing directly without the Battery the RaspBoy works perfectly (almost), but there is a problem with the new battery: The RaspBoy tries to boot, but then (after a split second) it does a reboot . Also the Screen powers off, and then back on…

Also the PCB of the Gameboy Buttons or (more likely) the Teensy did´nt like the hours of soldering on it: There is an extreme input-lag when controlling the Raspboy with the internal buttons. The Raspboy won’t boot when the wireless Keyboard and the Teensy are connected to the RaspBoy simultaneously too….

I´ll do a fresh install of the RetroPi software first before I order a new Teensy – maybe I screwed up one of the config files….

UPDATE:
Thanks to attentive reader Hugo the Teensy is history. You don´t need that thing for using the GameBoy Buttons, because you can use the GPIO Pins of the RasPi! Read more in my next Post….

The RaspBoy (Part 5) – Energy Crisis

Be warned: The diagrams in this post are …lets call it beta… because there are several problems with the battery
I created them because of many requests (OK, it was only one….)

Problem 1: Annoying safety switch

The battery has to be switched on with an extra micro switch – quite annoying, so I planned to get the needed energy directly from the battery – without the battery-controller. Well… many persons told me not to do that because of current fluctuations and possible deep discharge.

Problem 2:

The battery-controller serves 1A to charge the battery. 1A – no more (only less..). This is a big problem when operating the RaspBoy while charging, because the RasPi and Pheriphery already require little bit more than 1A, so it´s not possible to operate the RaspBoy when battery is discharged

The solution: Another battery, more boards (luckily only 2 tiny ones)

User Jensma donated a 3,7V battery charger (right) and a 5V regulator (left) (many, many thanks for that!!) so I only need a different battery and some luck and my battery-problems are history.

Here comes the diagrams of the current wiring:

Power supply (and Composite):

I soldered the current supply directly to the Raspy (Ground = yellow):

USB and amplifier:

Note, that the +5V and Ground for the USB Hub are from the “Main power supply” and not from the USB port. The USB port only gives 500mA – this could be to less for the USB devices connected to the HUB.