Category Archives: Life

Atari 2600 Complete

Finally picked up the Atari 2600 again.  I found someone selling a unit with 100 games for $100 in town.  I managed to score it for $75 but it only actually had 60 games..  Still turned out to be 40(ish) games I did not have before. and Sadly that Atari did not work.  (Discussed with seller and we agree’d it wasnt an issue because the games were what I was after, but hey.  another to sort out right…)

however of course I want to be able to PLAY these games… I’m tired of emulators.  I took the WIP unit out of the box, re opened it and decided to finish it.  this whole thing really should have been like an hour project one afternoon, not sure why I shelved it.  But I wired the transister boost I built previously, gave it power, a game and turned it on.   wow… whats that nasty hum… oh wait, theres a short for sure!….

20 minutes and a ton of tests for shorts/etc later I discovered when I made the original circuit, I put the transistor in backwards… on top of that I for some reason put the ground on the video in and the video in to VCC.  not smart.

oh well.  disassembled that bit.  reversed the in and out lines so the transistor was correct, and tested again.

and Voila!  things are running.  Before looking at the photos, I KNOW I need to work on my photo skills and my phone is NOT a suitable camera.  I’ve previously liked the details of the mod I installed and how it works, so feel free to go look at that post here

if you have any questions or just want details, please feel free to reach out to me.  I can create a schematic and wiring diagram for anyone that isn’t satisfied with the link

And finally a horrible video of it working

Retro Pi

So one of the many things keeping me so busy these days is a large portion of people who really liked the RetroPie custom build I’ve made.  So I figured I would explain what all was done.

first bought a bunch of RaspberryPi 3s.  and various controllers as requested per user, then I took RetroPie flashed it to a card.  developed a remote admin and update tool.  once I had all that working it was as simple as printing the custom cases they wanted and hooking it all up.  however I ran into a small issue.  It seems the supplier I used for the Raspberry Pi’s used more than 1 source for the SD cards.  and some were 112MB smaller than the SanDisk I used.  why does this matter, well.  pulling an image from one, cannot be written to the other.  BUT thanks to some linux power and a little google, I figured out how to shrink the partition and truncate the image file.  then it was write the SD cards for them all.  from there just finish printing/assembling the 3D printed cases, get all my branding on, test and deploy.

The branding material was done up by my Friend at SignPros Design

all code built and 3D files will be uploaded on GIT once I get them cleaned up and usable.  There are a few photos below of the N64 build and the SNES controller for this project.  as things improve/progress I will ensure to share all with everyone.

PS:  just a note for those legally minded.  any ROMS, 3D models/etc were NOT part of the purchase from the buyers.  only material costs and time were charged.

a lot on my plate == no posts

Yes, I know i’ve neglected my blog for FAR too long again..  well no more.  I’ve made a schedule and I will stick to it.  new posts on many of the projects I’ve been working on to come.  every week there will be at LEAST one.

first coming up in a day or so will be about the FPGA CPU design i’m playing with.  this serves no REAL purpose other than to say look what *I* figured out.  and has already elicited assistance from a fellow blogger.  Alex from http://langster1980.blogspot.ca was a great help in sorting out my Component embedding whoas.

Then there’s the Coleco Video output fix, 2 AVR projects and a Microchip as well as countless 3D printing updates. so stay tuned!

Where have I been

Well that didnt go so well. Life, Kids, Sports/etc… things get in the way.  but lets fix that now.  I have been playing around with a Mimas V2 for a short while trying to learn FPGA and i’m doing well I think.  Recently I decided to try and learn how to drive the VGA.  although far from a proper working solution I can get the driver to work on my multisync monitor.  I have reached out to a fellow FPGA/Mimas V2 blogger (Alexander Lang) and he’s agreed to help me figure things out.  of course I’m always interested in information/assistance from my readers as well so heres the GIT.

https://github.com/duckyvirus/MIMAS_V2_VGA

Pics, etc will be available soon, unfortunatelly posting this from the office right now.  I also promise to try and get back into the weekly postings again and I’ll share more on my projects (I have several on my bench right now).

as always stay well and don’t forget your towel!

— James