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 🙂 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!

Nov 17

StepMania on the Raspberry Pi 4!

For anyone that knows me, Dance Dance Revolution and StepMania were a large part of my life years ago. It’s how I lost a ton of weight.

6 years ago was my first attempt to get StepMania running on a Raspberry Pi…and it was a horrible experience.

Today I’m proud to say that StepMania runs GREAT on the Raspberry Pi 4!

I’ve hosted the shell script / step by step instructions on how to compile and run StepMania on your own Pi4 as a GitHub Gist:

Just run these commands in a terminal on the Desktop GUI version of Raspberry Pi OS and you will be up and playing StepMania in about an hour.

Enjoy!

-Shea

Nov 16

Things I did in 2020

So, like my last post stated, I did some things while stuck at home.

My absolute favorite project was this:

I followed this guide (https://github.com/geaz/simplyRetro-D8) and built this awesome 3D printable desktop arcade cabinet. It of course uses a Raspberry Pi running RetroPi and uses an awesome readily available 4 x 3 LCD screen!

And of course my little guy helping me build and test it 😀

I got a small CNC machine in January and hadn’t had time to use it until recently but I have been having fun making some videos of it in action.

That’s a 3040T CNC Machine. You can find a lot of them on eBay and various other importing sites. More fun hobbies that involve turning one thing into another thing 🙂

On that note, I repurposed my 4k LED display for a lot of statements this year!

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My house got egged for one of those statements. Worth it.

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I edited and 3D Printed a mini Dreamcast case for the Raspberry Pi! Did you know you can play Dreamcast games at 60FPS on the Pi4 now? No? WELL YOU CAN! Using Redream it’s totally possible! You can download the case files here https://thingiverse.com/thing:4539273.

And we got a new kitten!

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Say hi to Dash. Our Manx kitty. He’s kinda awesome.

If you’ve gotten to this part of the post, all I can say is thank you! It’s been a year. Please stay safe out there. Wear a mask. Keep on making. I’ve missed y’all!

-Shea

May 26

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable funded :D

Hey All,

Thank you, to my backers, and supporters, for helping to fund the PiPlay Portable. I’m so excited to get to make this.

We just got the latest prototype boards in, as well as our stickers from StickerMule.  We were also able to get some polybags for real cheap (they are in beta, so why not!)

Also MegaCon is this weekend!  I finished making my Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine and made it an Ultra SF2 Machine.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

May 20

PiPlay Portable – Last Day

Hey All,

This has been an exciting week.  The PiPlay Portable is fully funded, and we have less than 12 hours to go on the Kickstarter!


Sam has been growing so fast!  I love being a Dad.  It’s an experience I am so happy I get to have, and of course I have 3D scanned him and got him 3D printed…

 

I also won the Community Leadership award from IMS Global at the LILI conference.  I had no idea I was even nominated!!  I am really humbled by this.  Thank you IMS!

Apr 15

Arcades! Arcades! Arcades!

Hey All,

This weekend is Star Wars Celebrations!  While I’m not able to go, for the past week I’ve been helping Free Play Florida finish their 10 foot Star Wars arcade cabinet for the convention.  This thing is awesome!  And MASSIVE!

This machine will be at Free Play Florida and Orlando Maker Faire this year 😀

SwitchCade

The Nintendo Switch has come out, and I have put a ton of hours into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild already.  This is one of my favorite consoles so far.  The eShop already has Neo Geo games and a new Street Fighter game is coming out ( Ultra Street Fighter II ) so of course I had to make a Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine 😀  The files to make your own are on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2235516/#files 

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Mar 31

Friday Post: Fix It Felix Jr. running on the Raspberry Pi!

Hey All,

This post is made possible because ELTechs has provided me with an early version of Exagear Desktop 2.0.  This is commercial software that was provided to me free of charge.

One of my game room goals has been to have a full sized Fix It Felix Jr. arcade cabinet, and now that I can run the game on the Raspberry Pi, I’m one step closer!

The desktop version of Fix-It Felix Jr. has been notoriously hard to find.  It has been released as a flash game, an Apple iOS app, Android app, and even a homebrew Sega Genesis/MegaDrive ROM, but never as a stand alone application.

The version that ran at Disney Quest, and which was on tour at some of the themeparks, was never officially released.

Recently though, it got released to the internet, and I quickly grabbed it and ran it through a hex editor to see what makes it tick.  

It uses a 3rd party framework called FOCAL, which powers many small games on desktop and mobile, made by Code Mystics.  I was excited to finally have the software, but I wasn’t thrilled that I needed a Windows machine to run it.

Enter ExaGear Desktop.  An inexpensive (~$27) x86 emulator with OpenGL support for the Raspberry Pi.  It’s acts more as a virtual machine, running an x86 distro of Debian (or Ubuntu) inside a shell on top of Raspbian.

To get it working once you have purchased Exagear:

In a fresh install of Raspbian, you need to make sure to run sudo raspi-config and enable FULL Open GL support.  After that, install ExaGear ( sudo ./install_exagear.sh ), and then double click on the exagear icon on the desktop to bring up the shell. Run sudo apt-get install wine, then run wine FixItFelixJr.exe .

Wine should start up and asks to install some dependencies.  And then the moment of truth, the Fix It Felix Jr. window should pop up, and the game will be fully playable!

You can even change the window orientation and run it full screen!

I’ll be uploading video of the game in action ASAP!

Have a good weekend all!

-Shea

P.S: Baby Silverman is expected any day now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Mar 14

Pi Day Giveaway!

Hey All!

Happy Pi Day!

For Pi Day, I am going to be giving away TWO things.  A Raspberry Pi 3, and a PiPlay Portable kit.

All you have to do to enter is enter your email address in the form below.  I will be closing the submission at the end of the week!  Look for the PiPlay Portable Kickstarter this month!

-Shea