Sunday, 25 January 2015

Mame Cocktail

Hi I Have recently been the recipient of a Space Invader cocktail, the board has faults and the electrics are too dodgy to keep on unsupervised so I set about carefully removing the contents and placing them into storage. I have been saving up various parts for a project like this.I considered using the Raspberry PI, but its lack of VGA for the monitor I had was a deterrent for this.

Luckily enough my old PC would fit the bill perfectly, I installed Lubuntu; a light weight operating system that would run mame and provide USB support.

This was fairly easy to do, but when it came to dropping the tower into the cabinet it would not go! so a stripdown was required.

The controls were mapped to a great little usb interface that I picked up on ebay for £6, I gave the unit and legs a respray and touched out big blemishes in the wood work.

Other modifications were needed, the power switch and the status LEDs were broken out to the old site of the slow blow fuse, and  the speaker is now powered by a stripped down PC speaker amp.

That Tube you see is a tumble drier exhaust to get the heat of the PCB straight out of the cabinet via the vacant speaker grille. The credit button is a push to make switch glued to the coin reject mechanism so when you push the button the innards close the switch, this avoids making holes in the original cabinet.

Another pc fan was added in the site of the older air intake fan from the 1979 build to keep the temperature down in there, and I have a few games installed that only use the left/Right controller and one fire button.

I can manage the files from any other computer as I installed a SSH client to it, so remote maintenance can be preformed easily.

Lots of space invader games & Lunar rescue added

Two way games added, Mappy

Hunch Back


Final Build with monitor in situ

Push to make switch adds credits when cion reject is pushed

Final install, with monitor removed

USB joystick interface

the PC PCB removed, PSU and HD

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sinclair Mobile Phone

What if...

Sinclair made an attempt to get a foothold in the fledgling mobile communications industry in the late 80s?

Pitted against Motorola, Ericsson and nokia, what would the Sinclair Brand introduced?

Perhaps this would have been a possibility.

The Sinclair Mobile.

800 MHz Antenna
Full floating keypad.
4 preset memories
Keypad lock
SOS button
Short Messaging Service (SMS) compatible.
2" Screen

Sinclair could have been the British IBM with computers, but they may have been the British Apple with the evolution of the Sinclair phone.

the above phone is a working mock up, I used a Doro Handleplus phone, the four buttons were the inspiration for me, it sort have reminded me of my ZX spectrum and it's keywords.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

International Space Station received on scanner.

Hi I managed to receive a conversation from the ISS today, it was a Cosmonaut, I have no idea what she is talking about, sounds to me like she is answering questions from below.

Well pleased to have picked this up and record it, I used a Sony voice recorder and pumped it into audacity for the upload.

Would be great if I could find out about what she was explaining.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Arcade cabinet slims down!

SO after slimlining my ZX Spectrum +2 I decided to try to make the Arcade cabinet a wee bit smaller.

Since fixing a junk 19" monitor for my PC I have used to use the older monitor in the cab, replacing the Grundig CRT. This allowed me to chop a whopping 10 inches/ 22 cm  off the back and make it fit snugly to my wall.

It still safely free stands, but is easier to move about.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

SDR Radio for Raspberry Pi

Just wanted to share my Software Designed Radio running on Raspberry Pi, the dongle costs less than £10 on eBay and transforms your PC into a receiver capable of listening or Watching all types of frequencies.

The Device has plenty of potential, to be on the safe side I will Blog this as a neat way of listening to Commercial Radio Stations, you can  web search to reveal how to listen to the ISS and other cool things.

I this forum thread on the Pi forums to debug and install what I needed. Please be aware that listening in to other frequencies and processing the info  may be illegal in some countries and territories.

Cool radio though!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The wall of retro games.

HI Folks!, not been as prolific for a bit, one reason for this is the Retro Podcast that I am working on at the moment. but I wanted to update you on another retro  project I have been slowly (for a change!) working on.

The display wall.

The whole idea of this started from a tenuous origin, my youngest son over the summer holidays was keeping himself amused one day with some hama beads. These little bits of multi coloured plastic can be arranged on a matrix and the ironed to meld themselves together.I asked him to make me some space invaders, I was so impressed with the effect I commissioned him to make me more, he had ice cream in return.

I have a rather grotty boring magnolia wall in my office/ box room so I thought I could paint a backdrop and glue his invaders up, I painted an area a bit too large to keep my son's enthusiasm for making these sustainable, it quite boring if you like playing football in the park so I was left with a bit of a void to fill.

After a visit to the )2 area in London I saw an awesome way of displaying old retro memorabilia,
I did not take a photo but there is one here that is from 

there are an amazing amount of lps and tapes countersunk into the wall, and those Marshall speakers are real!

There is a touch screen that allows you to plug in your headphones and select any track you like.

AS I have a small collection of games and computers that are stashed away, that do not get much appreciation I set about filling the rest of that black square up with some of the more interesting things that were A:Flat and B:light.

The fundamental rule of the wall was that any item must be able to be removed and placed back, after all I do get enjoyment from these items, my NC100 and gameboy games are regularly used, so glue was a no no.

The solution to this was to use plained batten wood, measured and screwed to the wall so that all the objects could be squeeze held.

As an extra touch I wanted to play the PS2 games, they are mostly all compilations of arcade and retro consoles, Atari anthology, Sega Megadrive collection and Taito legends and the like, so I salvaged a 7" tft monitor and mounted it along with a playstation 2 to the all, I managed to hide the wiring in the trunking that I  used to hold the smaller, lighter games in place.

This is the whole wall so far, I need to paint the magnolia area black, but I am still adding at the moment.Click the image for a closer view.

 As the playstation runs older PS one games, I now can play them on the wall too.The Summer games box is held with velcro and hides the plugs and connections.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

My other project a podcast.

If you are interested in Retrogaming please give a listen to another project I have been working on.

 the RVG podcast: Episode 1: In the first episode, Carl & Keith from introduce themselves and start to talk about....

FIGnition DIY computer
The Raspberry Pi
BBC Micro Computer
RM Nimbus Wiki
The Doomsday Project
Laserdiscs Wiki
CRT vs. LCD screens.
Keith's Youtube Channel.
Retro North / Replay / Play
NES Bit Magazine.
Pixel Nation Mario Artwork.
Atari ST
Commodore Amiga
ZX Spectrum Divide interface.
Monkey Island
Monkey Island for the iPad
Broken Sword Wiki
Bubble Bobble
Rainbow Islands
The Sunspot Amusement Arcade, Jaywick.
Miss Bobble 2
Double Dragon.
Mr Do Prototype?
PC engine.
GEKISHA BOY (not Photo Kid!)

hope you enjoy it.