Jan 24

IPS LCD Upgrade for a GBA SP

Hey All,

Well this has been a week! Here’s to hoping President Biden can usher in some new progressive policies and finally have a government that takes the Coronavirus Pandemic seriously. All I want is my vaccination ASAP!

Tryign to take my mind off everythign I’ve been throwing myself into lots of projects that I KNOW I can complete. One of those was to upgrade one of my older GBA SP AGS-001 consoles with an awesome IPS LCD screen.

The difference between the original frontlit screen versus the new one is night and day!

This is a time-lapse of me refurbishing and upgrading a beat up original Japanese imported GameBoy Advance that used a front-lit screen.

I take it apart, clean it all out, then replace the screen with a back-lit IPS LCD and new casing for the screen.

The actual hardware swap took less than an hour including soldering the LCD brightness control wire and then me messing up and forgetting to put in the hinge locking screw the first time around.

The screen (and new cases) are easily found on eBay – https://www.ebay.com/itm/V2-IPS-GBA-SP-Backlight-Backlit-LCD-For-Game-Boy-Advance-SP-Pre-cut-Shell-Case/184107831403 – That’s the one I used!

I also found some awesome shiny “silk” green PLA filament and printed this giant Bulbasaur!

It came out so great!

Finally, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new board! The Rasberry Pi Pico! Their first microcontroller!

I haven’t had much need for advanced microcontrollers like these, a regular Arduino is plenty for the little hobby projects I work on, but for $5, I’m definitely going to see if I can swap these in at some point.

Have a great week all!

Jan 01

Happy New Year! Hi 2021! Go Away 2020…

Hey all.

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to blog once a week again. Every Friday I will post what I’m working on. I’ve become creative again (I think…) and I want to put out to the world what I’m working on.

Raspberry Pi StepMania Dance Pad

Right now I’m working on a CNC’d StepMania dance pad for the Raspberry Pi. I can’t wait to get it complete but so far we have the FSR’s working with the Arduino connected to the Pi.

LEGO

I’ve been building a few LEGO sets with my toddler these past few months. Mainly I build them and he does QA I should say ūüôā It’s so much fun watching him get better and better at putting stuff together. I love it!

3D Printing

Last print of 2020 was of course a Bulbasaur. My favorite starter Pokémon!

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I backed Naomi Wu’s 3D PrintMill “infinite Z” printer on Kickstarter which should hopefully arrive in a few months. I know how many 3D printers have failed on Kickstarter before, but this is a collaboration between Naomi and Creality, and they already have the printer built, this is more of a way to how many they need to make for their factory. And I get that. It’s a great use of Kickstarter. I’m excited to buy vast amounts of filament for this thing!

Conveyor Belt 3D Printers : Creality CR-30 3DPrintMill

That’s it from me for this week. Here’s to an amazing 2021!

See ya next Friday!

Jul 10

Friday Post: Make Magazine!

Hey All,

Happy Friday!

This week just flew by, but projects are going really well, and I am hoping to have a cool announcement in the next week or so. ¬†In the meantime…

PiPlay was featured in Make Magazine!!!!!!!

I’m seriously fanboying over here. ¬†To have my project featured in Make is like having a researcher’s paper featured in Science or Nature magazine. ¬†I’m just blown away.

The article is about making a home arcade system and controlling the games with an Arduino Esplora.

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Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

 

May 22

Friday Post: Happy 90th Birthday Grandma!

Hey All,

First off, Happy 90th Birthday to my Grandma B!!  Love ya!

It’s been a hectic few weeks. ¬†The migration has gone pretty well. ¬†I have some more stuff to move over, but I’m happy with it. ¬†The server is so powerful.

Mark and I are going to be bringing up a new service for gamebox art soon to help with PiPlay.  I have also been hard at work on some electronics stuff, and Mark has been doing some cool coding.

I’m really looking forward to the next month. ¬†I have been pulled in a lot of directions, took a few breaks, but I think I’m finding the right thing to move forward with.

I can’t wait for the next part of this ride.

Have a good weekend everyone!

-Shea

Apr 17

Friday Post: PyCon 2015!

Hey All,

PyCon 2015 is over.  It was an amazing time in Montreal.  My coworker and I presented ProctorHub, the homegrown proctoring solution that we created for our university.

We met a lot of fellow educators, tons of fellow pythonistas, and learned a ton!

A PiPlay kit was also auctioned off during the PyLadies auction, where it brought in $200!

All of the talks are up on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgxzjK6GuOHVKR_08TT4hJQ

I’ve also picked up two of these¬†nrf24l01+ Transceivers.

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I have a neat project I’m working on involving a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino. ¬†Hopefully I’ll have the prototype to show next week ūüėÄ

Have a good weekend!

Nov 15

Friday Post: MakeSmith CNC Router

Hey All!  Happy Friday!

This has been a “short” week for me. ¬†Had the day off on Tuesday for Veterans Day, and today campus closed early because our football team is going up against Tulsa. ¬†Go Knights!

PiPlay happenings!  Mark has been working on an advanced database scraper tool.

IMG_20141114_163640

It’s going to be awesome once it’s get a little more polished. ¬†I’ve been working on some more controller stuff. ¬†I’ll have more to say about that soon.

MakeSmith CNC

A few months ago I backed the MakeSmith CNC router kickstarter.  The project was created to design and sell a CNC mill / router that cost less than $200.

cncnew

IMG_4466 IMG_4467 IMG_0147 IMG_0148 IMG_0149

My kit arrived yesterday, and I’ve gotten what appears to be the base put together. ¬†The instructions are in the form of a bunch of YouTube videos, so I’m watching each one a few times, and then attempting the install. ¬†I have forgone using wood glue at the moment, just in case I mess up or need to redo something. ¬†I figure I will just reinforce the joints after everything is attached.

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Sep 27

Friday Post: PiPlay 0.8 Beta 6

Hey All,

If you’ve powered on your PiPlay today, you will notice an update is available!

Updates:

  • modified romlist layout to include area for game descriptions
  • added 2 player controller config support
  • added “button combo” support for PiPlay Menu actions
  • optimization, screen updates only happen on controlled events
  • removed horizontal romlist option in theme support
  • Wifi Config built in

The new disk image has been updated to the latest version of Raspbian which included Minecraft and the new Epiphany web browser.  Its a really great browser!

PCDuino

I got in a PCDuino3 to try and port PiPlay to it. ¬†So far the hardware seems impressive, but the lack of community and documentation is depressing. ¬†I need to keep plugging at it, because I think there is huge potential for a dual core chip with arduino headers. ¬†I’ll keep you all posted.

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Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

Jan 25

Friday Post: Little Boards

Hey all,

I’ve been anxiously awaiting some voltage regulator boards I ordered from eBay for the past 2 weeks. ¬†It seems they all came from China and all got here within a day or two of each other. ¬†It’s kinda neat to see how each came packaged differently, through different mail systems, but yet all arrived safely on the other side of the planet.

Photo Jan 25, 9 41 31 PM

 

Photo Jan 25, 9 41 58 PM

 

My DigiSpark mini Arduino board came in as well.  This was a kickstarter based project from DigiStump that puts a whole Arduino with USB connector into a 1 square inch of space.

Photo Jan 25, 9 42 29 PM

It seems that the PiMAME 0.5 beta release is going well.  I advise everyone running it to expand the filesystem before uploading any games.  To do this, exit out of AdvMENU, then type sudo raspi-config on the command line.  Press enter and run the Expand Filesystem tool so you will have the usable space of your SD Card.  PiMAME was built to run on a 2GB SD Card, but only has 8MB of usable space be default.

Have a good weekend!

-Shea

 

Sep 15

Friday Post: Stuff in the pipeline

Not much to blog about tonight. ¬†My PCSX_ReARMed binaries are getting a lot of hits. ¬†I’m really impressed by the performance. ¬†This weekend I’m working on my NeoGeo controller project. ¬†Got more of the parts I need and a bunch of the Arduino code written.

Still working on the Mednafen Emulator. ¬†Their IRC channel on freenode is really active, so that’s a great sign.

Also, VIA Technologies tweeted my APC unboxing video ūüôā ¬†That was a neat little treat.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sep 01

Friday Post: Arduino Keyboard Joystick

Hey all,

It’s been a long week, and I am really glad I have a long weekend to sleep in.

When the Arduino Leonardo was announced I was really excited to see it have built in USB HID support and could act as a keyboard, mouse, or joystick.  I was even more excited to find out that my year old Teensy++ (Arduino compatible board) was based on the same chipset that the Leonardo now uses, and is able to act as a keyboard as well!

This is a new feature that was introduced in the Arduino 1.0 IDE. ¬†You can now send keyboard presses with this simple line of code: Keyboard.write(‘a’); ¬†If I wanted the Up joystick to be the up arrow on the keyboard, I would just use: Keyboard.write(0x0E); .

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My goal is to use my Neo Geo AES controllers as an input for MAME. ¬†The Neo Geo pads don’t have any control boards built into the unit. ¬†The console itself interprets each pin individually, just like an actual arcade board. ¬†The pad uses a standard midi gameport (DA-15) connector, with each pin representing one button.

My idea is to make a Neo Geo pad to usb adapter using the Teensy++ as go-between.  The Neo Geo pins will be wired up to the digital pins on the Teensy, and the Teensy Arduino sketch will interpret each button press as a keyboard press.

I’m looking forward to working on this project. ¬†I hope everyone has a great weekend and a restful Labor Day.