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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 independanttravelhelp.com 

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 RetroVideoGamer.co.uk 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
Pirates!
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!)
Mother/Earthbound


hope you enjoy it. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Extreme Home Computing a potted history of DIY computers.

A little while back I wrote a short article about the early home built system from the 70s and 80s I discovered some very interesting systems and spoke to some interesting people about their recollections of using and building the machines back in the day, including the Galaskia and Micro Kit 101.

Darren Doyle of Greyfox productions for Homebrew Heroes constructed the Layout, thank you to Georg Fuchs of Lotek64 Magazin, Scott Adams, John Honniball and David Buckley for their kind contributions.

Please zoom in to read, it has been converted to JPG @ 300 dpi.









Saturday, 2 August 2014

Arduino Micro and BBC Keyboard.

My good friend  Andy Ward has managed to interface his redundant BBC Keyboard to run on his PC using the Arduino Micro. He plans to include a Raspberry PI and do some very groovy thing with it as an ongoing project, a little bit like the Commodore 314.
You can get the make file to do this yourself here from Andy's GitHub that he has kindly made available.

Of course one of my rules about this blog is that I must have built or made the blogpost myself, this is where Andy asked me to make an interface from his design. So this happily qualifies :-)

The whole keyboard works a treat, he can even cycle the three LED indicators while using it.



The interface shield that I prepared for him was very straight forward, here is the diagram and below the assembled board, top and underside.
layout


top

underside

Here is a closer look on how the Arduino and the shield meet the ribbon of the BBC keyboard.
the layout so far

the interface






Wednesday, 30 July 2014